Premier League club Everton surprisingly finds themselves seventh in the league table and just five points out of qualifying for the champions league.
New Manager Carlo Ancelotti has brought in a culture that has seen Everton attract big-name players and win key games since his arrival a year ago. The club has managed to compete at the highest level up to this point and should continue through the second half of the season.
James Rodriguez has headlined the club’s big summer signings and has proven he’s still world-class talent on the field. Rodriguez arrived for only £20 million from Real Madrid after spending two years on loan at Bayern Munich. He has adjusted to the Premier league nicely adding five goals and four assists, while also being a key part of Everton’s attack and midfield.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is enjoying a breakthrough campaign as well. Lewin, behind an electrifying first month, has found the back of the net 13 times behind 55 total shots. He has made a name for himself as a forward who dominates the air in front of the goal, which has seen him earn his first caps for England this past fall.
Everton still has just under half the season left to make up ground on the top of the table. They have already gained wins over Tottenham, Arsenal, and Chelsea. Not to mention, Everton managed to beat their inner-city rivals in Liverpool by a 2-0 margin; their first win against their rivals away this century.
However, the club has still showed signs of their troubled past despite this season’s success.
To say the club is streaky would be an understatement. At times this year, Everton has looked unstoppable, scoring goals at will and dominating possession. Then, the club has been abysmal on the defensive side of the ball, letting teams score much too easily.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has taken on a lot of the blame this year at Everton for his subpar performances. In his 15 appearances in goal this season, Pickford only has managed three clean sheets. He has also looked dumbfounded in goal-committing errors leading to easy goals from opposing teams.
Star defender Lucas Digne and even James Rodriguez have both dealt with injuries this season. Everton has missed both players when they’re not on the field, with both being a key part of the team’s attack as Digne leads the team with five assists and Rodriguez also has three.
For Everton to find success, they will need to solve their defending issues and will have to play in top form consistently. Pickford will also have to play at the highest quality as he does so often for his country England at the international level.
Despite Everton’s history of always finishing just outside the top four, they do have a real chance this year to qualify for the champions league. Manager Ancelotti has his club playing top quality this season and if everything continues right for the club, you should see them finish top four by the end of this season.