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Football News: Everton Premier League season so far

Everton Premier League season so far
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Results so far:
H v Tottenham Hotspur 1-1
A v West Bromwich Albion 2-1
H v Stoke City 1-0
A v Sunderland 3-0
H v Middlesbrough 3-1
A v Bournemouth 0-1
H v Crystal Palace 1-1

After the disappointment of last season's struggle under previous manager Roberto Martinez, who probably should have been sued under the trade descriptions act, this season has been a breath of fresh air for Evertonians. Not just the arrival of an actual manager in Ronald Koeman, but the excitement of being able to spend actual money in the transfer window has transformed their expectations. So far, Koeman is delivering, though the last couple of results have been a letdown following such a great start.

While no Bluenose will ever be truly happy being below the red half of Merseyside, Toffees are at least filled with a brand new sense of optimism following the early sequence of games. It is like night and day between Martinez and Koeman. Gone are the inept defensive displays, passing for passing's sake and general lack of fight in the team. Replacing it has been a tighter defence, despite (or perhaps because of?) the loss of £50m centre back John Stones to Manchester City and a clear pattern of play in each match.

There are weaknesses, the attack lacks a ruthless edge and there is very little depth in the squad for strikers, if Lukaku's form dips or he gets injured, they have very little in the way of firepower to replace him. Especially with the style of play Koeman favours revolving around a target man up top to build from. Can loanee Enner Valencia be the answer, or will his third party ownership issues be too much of a distraction? Could Koeman even work a miracle and turn Oumar Niasse into a footballer? Those questions will need to be answered if Everton are to nip in and take a top four place this season.

With Koeman's tactical set up and style of play being very focused on defensive work to cover limitations of his players, particularly by providing cover to the fullbacks/wingbacks, you can be sure that Everton will be difficult to beat this season. That, in itself, is a huge step forward from last season's performances. Is it enough to reach the holy land of the top 4 and Champions League qualification? Probably not, but they look to be the best placed to break into the top group if anyone in there struggles.

Written by Tris Burke October 07 2016 08:15:21