Tottenham Hotspur take on relegation-threatened Everton today in Monday Night Football. While our beloved Spurs are going through the biggest dip in the roller coaster ride of the 2022-23 campaign, it has to feel like Everton’s ride has the tracks pointed off a cliff. Relegation would be a disaster for the Toffees, but they can still survive given how close the clubs are in the bottom half of the table.
Here to talk with us about all things Everton is Royal Blue Mersey’s Trent Nelson. We talk about the problems at Goodison Park, what can be done to fix it, and some good ol’ fashioned best case/worst case talk.
CFC: Let’s start off with an easy one: With ten matches to go, Everton are two points above the drop zone, yet are also just one point out of 12th. Does Everton survive the drop?
RBM: Yes. It’s not going to be easy at all - neither was last year - but the team has played better under Dyche so far than it did with Lampard at the end. The road is not easy ahead, but anything can happen each week; a win Monday would certainly go far towards the end of remaining in the Premier League next year.
CFC: Honestly, what has gone wrong with the Toffees the past few years?
I think it has a lot to do with injuries, years of poor financial moves, COVID-19 and the departure of Carlo Ancelotti.
After Marco Silva’s departure, he demonstrated truly what a remarkable boss he is. Nearly had us in Europe with essentially the same squad as last season.
Losing Richy to you lot hasn’t helped, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has become injury plagued, plus other injuries as well. You add in poor academy production, poor previous window management, two unfortunate bosses since the Italian left, and here we are.
CFC: Everton are facing possible charges for violating the EPL rules on profit and sustainability. With £371m in losses over three years, do you think Everton have a case to stave off the allegations?
It’s an interesting case. Other teams are frustrated with the ordeal because Everton were previously told they would be fine and were being as proactive and transparent as was being asked of them.
Everton is going to do whatever is necessary to clear their name and to reduce and potentially harm that might come from a guilty verdict - but it doesn’t sound nearly as serious as what Man City are dealing with. It’s important to keep perspective.
In any event, the results are likely to impact next years race, so there is time to build up a better squad that can withstand point deductions should they take place. Everton should hope to still be in Prem at that time, as penalties in the Championship could be an additional nightmare to navigate.
CFC: Sean Dyche seems to have at least stabilized things but he can’t be the long term solution, right?
Sean Dyche won’t remain at Everton for as long as he was at Burnley, that’s for sure. With that said, however, he has been more positive than I first expected to be honest.
He has is better organized and our set piece game has improved too. It’s really possible that Sean Dyche is secretly a very good coach, and that this is plausibly his most talented side across his coaching career. More will have to be seen, but the team is tougher and a better watch than they were at the end of the previous regime.
CFC: Let’s talk best-case and worst-case scenarios. I think we’re in agreement that the best case is Everton survive the drop and face no punishment for those allegations. What would be the best moves the club can make in the summer to right the ship?
The team have to ship out players who have grown old or simply benchwarmers. Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Tom Davies are amongst those names to go and Neal Maupay likely won’t hang on in Merseyside for much longer; more may be out of the door as well.
Then, a real creative talent to accompany Amadou Onana is crucial. And of course, the team needs another number nine regardless of the futures of either Ellis Simms or DCL. The wings are in good shape currently, but if a player fell into our lap that could play out wide, the side should get them if we can afford it.
With healthy pieces across the rest of the pitch, the side could be much better next year with Sean Dyche - but we’re still far from there of course.
CFC: And then the worst case scenario: Everton are relegated, something that’s never happened to the Toffees in the EPL era. How catastrophic would it be and would Everton be able to do the yo-yo immediately back up?
Oh man. That would be terrible. Really emotionally draining for the side and supporters, not to even discuss the financial impact.
One shutters to think about it, but it’s a real possibility. Everton would be miles beyond most of the sides one would wager, so the yo-yo is possible, but being found guilty next year would mean a point deduction in the Championship. That would be hard to overcome even with the talent gap.
If the team were to somehow be punished this season for this season, then it likely would be unable to overcome the point deduction from where the table sits currently, and so the Championship would be inevitable - although we wouldn’t be hurt in that competition by the penalty.
Neither scenario is very appetizing though.
CFC: What are the tactics/formation for Sean Dyche’s men on Monday?
I’ll say a 4-3-2-1 again. That’s what it’s been and the team have found good success relatively speaking. Compact defensively and able to spring out on counters and challenge during set pieces.
Pickford; Godfrey, Tarkowski, Keane, Coleman; Onana, Gueye, Doucoure; McNeil, Iwobi; Simms
With the place that Tottenham is in right now, and the Sean Dyche era bustling along, I’m going to say that Everton win 2-1 to jump up the table at the expense of Spurs.
A big thank you to Trent and RBM for joining us on Know Your Opponent. I talked with them about the turmoil at Spurs as well. You can check it out here.