Premier League Half-Term Reports: Everton must try harder

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Team Name: Everton

Current Premier League position: 17th

Giddy highs: Despite encouraging signs in the transfer market – notably the permanent signings of Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry – Everton endured a torrid start to the Premier League campaign.

Given the level of expectation at Goodison Park the solitary league win away at West Brom simply won’t suffice.

With that in mind, the last-minute screamer from Phil Jagielka, which rescued a point in the derby day draw against Liverpool at Anfield has to be the highlight in an otherwise poor campaign so far.

Crushing lows: Losing at home is never good for a side with top four aspirations but to concede six in front of your own fans is devastating. Everton were played off the park by Chelsea at 2-0 down after just three minutes and despite the efforts of Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith and Samuel Eto’o were roundly beaten by the Blues of London.

Shining Star: Steven Naismith

With Lukaku and Eto’o on permanent terms the strike duo were supposed to spearhead an expensively =-formed attacking threat. However, it is midfielder Naismith – a free signing from Rangers in 2004 – who has been leading the way. The Scotland international scored in Everton’s first three games of the season and netted the equaliser in the 2-1 loss to Manchester United last time out – picking up the slack left by the strike duo.

NaismithcOPY

Biggest Disappointment: Romelu Lukaku

While it’s fair to say Eto’o hasn’t been pulling up any daisies after shelling out £28m on Lukaku in the summer it is the younger man who will be disappointing Everton fans most. His return of two goals from seven games is well below par and his European and Cup form (0/3) does little to inspire confidence. Certainly has the ability but must try harder!

Best bet for the rest of the season: Betting without the big six @ 5/6

Grade: D

Final Thoughts: Everton haven’t become a bad side overnight so should start to make their way up the table in the coming weeks. Once Lukaku is firing on all cylinders the points should start coming thick and fast. Their Europa League involvement could have an impact on their domestic aspirations but they should still have enough to head the chasing pack comfortably.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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