Everton return to action in a wobbly state of affairs. They are one of the teams who simply can’t wait for the 2019/20 campaign to end.
The Toffees are stuck in a cycle of ‘spend big, achieve little’ right now and while there are shoots of optimism for 2020/21 with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, the remainder of this season is a write-off.
Big signings have failed to lift Everton this time around, with too many deadwood fringe players weaving their way into the first team picture by virtue of no better options.
However, while there’s not a great deal to play for as things stand, Ancelotti will be demanding excellence. This is a proving ground for next term, a chance for the wily Italian to challenge his squad to play for their future. Perform in the last nine Premier League fixtures or leave.
Check out your complete guide to Everton’s 2019/20 season ahead of the Premier League restart.
Everton in 2019/20
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
Top scorer: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (13 goals)
Most assists: Lucas Digne (5 goals)
Check out our full list of Everton fixtures 2019/20.
Traditionally, Everton are the epitome of ‘hard to beat’, an ‘awkward fixture’ but in 2019/20, they’ve allowed far too many sides to walk all over them.
A lack of defensive solidity combined with one too many inconsistent attacking stars will never lead to success. A 4-0 drubbing away to Chelsea in their final game before lockdown – with all of the goals scored before the hour mark – tells the story of a team in desperate need of a reboot.
Perhaps lockdown will have opened up space for a re-think, a reassessment, a spot of soul-searching ahead of the restart, but the likelihood is that several big names may need to be shipped out and replaced before things can radically change at Goodison Park.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is symptomatic of the problems at Everton. He is by no means the only underperforming culprit in 2019/20, but for an attacking lynchpin who usually reaps goals and assists for fun, one strike and two setups in 28 games is not even close to acceptable.
As with all teams, Everton have been afforded a chance to rest and return with clear heads, but whether the break will have any positive impact remains to be seen.
Looking for all the remaining Premier League matches and how to watch them? Check out our Premier League fixtures guide.