Thursday, March 30, 2023

Are Everton Real Top Four Contenders After Their Amazing Start To The Season?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Ronald Koeman’s arrival has worked like magic at Everton as the Toffees have made a dream start to their campaign. After four Premier League games, the Toffees are now sitting third on the table with 10 points. Two points behind league leaders Manchester City and level with Chelsea, the fans have every right to be optimistic about their chances. The Toffees started with a 1-1 home draw against Spurs and have beaten West Brom, Stoke City and Sunderland. With their 3-0 win over Sunderland on Monday night, Everton look like real top four contenders if they can sustain their form.

Do Everton have what it takes to keep up such a good run?

Easy run of fixtures

The fixtures have been very kind to Everton this season. They hardly have two back to back big games throughout the whole campaign. Games against Arsenal and Liverpool back to back in December is the first time when they face two big clubs on the bounce but both games are at Goodison Park which makes it not as bad as it looks. After that, in April, they face Manchester United and against Liverpool back to back but that is a long way to go and the Toffees can bolster their squad in January before that.

Everton's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (L) throws the ball in jst towards the officials following the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and Everton at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, north-east England on September 12, 2016. Everton won the match 3-0. / AFP / SCOTT HEPPELL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read SCOTT HEPPELL/AFP/Getty Images)

They have the money to spend in January

Everton were expected to break the bank in the summer with the financial backing of new owner Farhad Moshiri but Ronald Koeman did not spend too much money. The Toffees will have a wealth of funds available at their disposal when the transfer window reopens in January and Koeman can reinforce the areas of his squad which will be calling for improvements.

Ronald Koeman’s experience and style of play

Ronald Koeman is a highly-experienced manager and knows the top level of football inside out. Everton were poor defensively under their former manager Roberto Martinez but under Koeman, they look like a completely different side. Everton’s average passing accuracy is 83% and they had 56% possession of the ball on an average so far this season. With 22.3 tackles, 10.8 interceptions, 10.8 aerial duels won, 10.8 shots allowed every game, Everton look much more compact than they used to be before the arrival of Koeman. With such an excellent defensive display as a unit and a prolific attack, Everton have very few weaknesses in their team which they will overcome with time.

If Koeman can improve the team to such an extent in such a less amount of time, he can build on the solid start Everton had to their season. In Everton, we have realistic top four candidates for this season.

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