Everton 2015/2016 Premier League PreviewBy Unclassified • Jul 6th, 2015 • Category: News |
Like many Premier League sides trying to fend off transfer interest for their best players, Everton’s success in the coming season is likely to depend on the talent they keep hold off rather than any new potential stars they recruit and it will be interesting to see what the mood is like at Goodison Park when the transfer windows shuts at the end of August.
The early capture of Gerard Deulofeu on a permanent deal has certainly been a fantastic start for manager Roberto Martinez this summer but ensuring the likes of Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku remain on Merseyside is essential.
The former has established himself as the finest player at his position in England’s top flight in recent years and it was certainly not down to the Irishman’s efforts that the Toffees endured such a poor season last term.
A late rally, when winning six of their final ten matches, was not enough to repair the pre-Christmas damage, that briefly saw Martinez and his players looking over his shoulder at the bottom three, and quite where expectations should lie ahead of the 2015/16 campaign is difficult to pinpoint.
That said, I still expect Everton to be challenging Liverpool and Tottenham as the most likely sides to break up the current top four – and so do the bookmakers. The likes of John Stones, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Ross Barkley, Lukaku and new signing Deulofeu represent an exciting core of players who together have huge potential for the upcoming season.
Take England’s Champions League-competing quartet out of the equation and Everton are as big as 12/1 to better the remainder, in a market which rivals Liverpool are odds on favourites, and that looks too big given their recent form figures.
Prior to last season’s bottom half flop, Everton’s efforts in the top flight read 6/5/5/8/7/7/6/5 and surely Martinez’s men are more likely to return to those performance levels than be overtaken by a pretty mediocre challenge from the lower echelons of the Premier League.
Often so formidable on home soil, a good start seems crucial for Everton to build early momentum and confidence could well be forthcoming if a tricky opening period can be negotiated successfully.
Early battles with Southampton, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea could set the tone for the months ahead but Everton must be an each way wager to nothing at 3/1 without the ‘Big Six’ in spite of what the fixture computer has thrown at them.
One particular firm offer enhanced place terms in that particular market (at a quarter odds) and therefore only minimal damage would be inflicted should Everton finish anywhere from seventh to ninth in the standings. A campaign in which the Toffees end the season tenth or lower once more looks highly unlikely and Martinez will be able to focus entirely on domestic matters without the distraction of the Europa League.
There are 17 points to make up on Spurs, who occupied fifth place come May, but Everton’s playing staff is as good as London club’s in quality and, in Martinez, have a manager that deserves another chance to get it right against he elite.
That will be especially true should Tottenham see Harry Kane and/or Hugo Lloris depart while the challenge from across Stanley Park is far from a watertight one.