Only Burnley and Luton are keeping Everton from last position and both of those sides have played a match less as we reach the 6th game of the season this weekend. For Everton they have yet to win and have lost four games already including all 3 so far at home. It's just 1 point won from 15, two goals scored and 9 conceded. This has been a nightmare start for Sean Dyche's side and yet at times the club have not played too badly. Take the opening game against Fulham where the Toffees created plenty of chances and good goal scoring opportunities and yet lost 1-0, it was the same situation in the 1-0 loss at home to Wolves and they dominated the second half against Sheffield United. However if it wasn't for the heroics of Jordan Pickford in goal Everton would have lost that game too. The Toffees latest match ended in a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal at home. Losing to the team who finished 2nd last season should not be a big deal however the Gunners in recent times had struggled in Merseyside and hadn't won up there in six years, but from the first whistle there looked like only one winner. For Everton this was about defence and they did a solid job overall before Arsenal inevitably broke through. Everton looked toothless and almost worried to attack and while it is true that going toe to toe with such a brilliant counter attacking side is a dangerous game, perhaps someone should have reminded Dyche and company that attack can be the best form of defence. Perhaps the only positive to be taken away from the game is the goal difference and not getting hammered by Mikel Arteta's side.
So it's certainly a miserable time at the club presently however there could be a silver lining ahead as Farhad Moshiri has sold the club to American company 777 Partners. They will have to clear the fit and proper business model to be approved by the FA but if Newcastle's owners can do that then why not 777 Partners? The company have already dabbled in club ownership all over the world from Serie A side Genoa to Brazilian's Vasco de Gama. It is true that some clubs have suffered under their ownership, namely Genoa who were relegated then promoted however Everton can argue that they are already a side ripe to be relegated and perhaps a change of ownership with the new stadium on the way is the only way forward. It is also true that 777 Partners are a new company who were only formed in 2015, in that sense the future looks uncertain for the Toffees but presently they are in a mess. What of Moshiri's legacy? Investment wise he cannot be criticised after ploughing in over £700m but along with board members he has made some shocking choices and decisions, from technical directors to managers- it may have seemed like a bold move but hiring Rafa Benitez was never going to work. There were some good choices in buying players in Jordan Pickford and Richarlison but overall Moshiri has run a terrible business model, one would expect that he will be very relieved to get out of the club. However in some fairness running a club and making those choices is not the easiest job in the world, just look at the current model at Chelsea.
Richarlison back on the score sheet
Richarlson has publicly spoken about his frustrations at Tottenham and his lack of goals and has said he will see a therapist about it. However before his first appointment he got on the score sheet at the weekend and dragged Tottenham back from the jaws of defeat to beat Sheffield United 2-1. They were losing as the clock ticked up to the 97th minute. The Brazilian has managed just 2 goals for Tottenham in 32 league games. He has hinted at many personal reasons going on in his life for his lack of goals and if he needs to see a therapist about that then fair enough, nobody could blame him. It is questionable though that a therapist is going to help him score more goals, as evidenced at the weekend. Perhaps Richarlison is simply not a prolific goalscorer, he has never scored more than 13 in a league season. Perhaps in truth at his former clubs including Everton he was the big fish in the pond and at Tottenham is the small fish in the ocean meaning that he will not score as many goals as he wishes. Only time will tell but history suggests while he can be very effective in certain games in the majority he fails to deliver.
UEFA tinkering again
European football kicks off this week and this will be the last time that we will witness the traditional group system. UEFA who cannot stop tinkering will change the format for the 2024/25 edition which will see 32 sides in one big league. Over the course of the competition we will witness a further 60 games overall and if teams navigate themselves to the final they would have played two games more than they currently do. The bloated first phase will not finish until January and let's not forget that FIFA will be introducing a 32 team World Club Cup format which will also be bloated and will probably end up undermining the Champions League at the same time. This is not about quality but revenue but what about players health which will inevitably suffer and could lead to many meaningless games which we have seen already in qualifying for major tournaments.
To win the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Manchester City 3.00, Bayern Munich 6.00, Real Madrid 9.00, Arsenal 11.00, Barcelona 15.00