In the first of a 3 part end of season review we break down the performance of the team and analyse areas of success along with opportunities for improvement. Each aspect will compare our performance with the best and worst teams for that aspect of play in the division and where possible our stats from last year.
A note about the Data: The tables below show how we fare in comparison to the rest of the division using opta data. So for example, the passing stats shows Arsenal are best passers based on their pass completion figures with Stoke the worst and the Blues ranked 9th.
Key: SOT Shots on Target BM Premier League Average PG – Per Game INT – Interceptions
Our pass completion figure of 76% is decent – the same as last season – although still way behind the benchmark passers Arsenal who registered 84%.
The average amount of successful passes we made in the first ten games of the season was 364; with a 74% pass completion –at this stage of the season our play was very possession based and characterized by short passing movements.
From looking at the stats we switched to a more direct passing style following the Stoke defeat at the turn of the year. The next 10 games, from the Spurs win at Goodison onwards our pass completion figure dropped by 3% to 71% and we made on average 64 less passes per game.
Here is a breakdown of our passes in comparison to other clubs, unsuprisingly Arsenal have the highest pass completion.
The below shows the direction of our attacks, focused mostly down the left side. The Blues also spend a higher proportion of game time in the opposition half than any other side.
This campaign we scored 9 goals fewer than last season. 53% of our shots have come from within the 18 yard box with 8% from inside the 6 yard box and 39% from outside the 18 yard box.
Our goals per game ratio before the Spurs home game midway through the season was 1.05. For the 2nd part of the campaign this rose to 1.66 per game for the remainder, showing that the shift to more direct play did work.
Shot Direction/Shot Zones (Everton shots)
Shot Direction/Shot Zones ( shots conceded)
Goal Method – Everton goals 2010/11
As mentioned above, our goals per game ratio increased after Christmas. This was largely down to several factors; tweaks in the formation and tactics (more direct) with crosses whipped in at greater regularity, plus the return to the team of Leon Osman.
Here is a breakdown of our creativity in comparison to other clubs.
The most creative side were Chelsea, creating 570 goal scoring opportunities, we ranked 8th, creating just over the league average. We generally attack down the flanks, particularly the left side, registering considerably above the league average for crosses per game. We have a weakness in terms of through balls, registering below the league average.
Generally our defending was not great this season. Although we conceded fewer goals than last season we kept fewer clean sheets than in any campaign under Moyes
Everton defensive record under David Moyes
Generally the bulk of the shots against us came from inside the 18 yard box (49%) with 44% from outside the 18 yard box and 7% from inside the 6 yard box.
No one factor can explain poor defending as it is a team dynamic but some contributory factors include;
- A general lack of concentration in tracking runs.
- Defending fast break situations
- Aerial vulnerability from crosses
- Our ambitious left side is a great strength but also a weakness, leaving us wide open at times for counter attacks which opposition managers targeted.
Generally, we make 20 tackles per game – 1 below the league average. Aerially we win 47% of aerial duels – down 3% on last year’s total. The absence of Fellaini was perhaps the biggest factor here – a good example being the last match of the campaign against a physically robust side such as Chelsea when we won just 33% of the aerial duels.
In terms of interceptions, this year we averaged just 12 per game – the lowest in the league. Last season we had the highest total per game (22) in the division.
Until Neville stepped into midfield we were too easy to play through as the interception stats show. In the second period of the season with Cahill, Yakubu and often Saha not available for selection there was no physicality up front to hold the ball up leading to us losing possession up field before our attacks could begin.
David Moyes completed his 9th full season in the Goodison hotseat and as has been the case in the last 3 seasons, our season has been split into 2 phases; early season struggle followed by a surge in the second period of the campaign.
We have shown variation in tactics this campaign, playing 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1 and 4-4-1-1 at various stages of the campaign. The deployment of Coleman in right midfield was a good move and compensated for our lack of speed in forward areas as well as balance to our more offensive left side.
The Scot should also be applauded for his ability to galvanize the team after various setbacks through the campaign: the Blues didn’t lose back to back games in the league all season.
Some of his signings haven’t come of though, Billy doesn’t seem equipped for the division and following the World Cup Final Heitinga’s head became bigger than Grantchester’s bank balance – his application in some games pre Christmas was appalling.
In short, Moyes is a top, top manager and its obvious that the bottleneck is finance. To get further then we are now investment in the most expensive position (a striker) is required.
The 2nd part of this 3 part End of Season post will focus on the players and will be uploaded to the blog on Thursday evening.