Everton are currently 14th in the Premier League and have a terrible away record, but their fans don’t seem to worry. They will be very happy with this season’s progress, or they won’t
The “Everton’s away record means everyone doubts them” is a quote from Everton manager Sam Allardyce. He said this after the team’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool on Saturday.
Everton’s refusal to give up against West Ham on Sunday was crucial, but they are not in a position where they can lose like that and say, “Well, the performance was OK.”
While Toffees manager Frank Lampard claims to have taken a lot of positives from the loss, the end outcome was what mattered most.
Everton performed pretty well against the Hammers and had the required intensity, but some of their problems from earlier in the season resurfaced: they made errors at the back, they failed to take their opportunities, and they were defeated once again.
That emotion will weigh heavily on their players’ minds ahead of Wednesday’s critical trip to Turf Moor, since they know they are still on a losing streak away from home.
Because of the importance of the game to the Clarets, it will be a scrap versus relegation rivals Burnley.
Everton will be hurt by Michael Keane’s ban after his red card, and it isn’t the first time this has occurred. It seems like they are constantly losing key players due to injury or suspension for big matches like this one.
Even so, I have no doubt that Everton’s players are capable of going there and winning – but their away record means that everyone, including themselves, doubts them.
Everton deserved a lot more than a 2–1 defeat against West Ham – Frank Lampard
Misses cost as much as any defensive blunder.
I’ve been in the situation that the Toffees players are in now – playing in a team that is so out of form away from home that it’s difficult to persuade yourself that everything will be OK when you go behind.
Everton have lost all five away games in the Premier League and FA Cup under Lampard, and have only picked up six points on the road all season.
When you’re on a hot streak like that, it’s almost as if the players believe to themselves, “here we go again.”
Going behind doesn’t matter if your team is performing well. You simply urge to each other, “Come on, let’s just keep going,” but Everton has never really performed at their greatest level away from home.
Since defeating Brighton in August, they’ve only led once in the league on the road, against Newcastle in February, and that advantage lasted barely a minute.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal in a 2-0 win at Brighton on August 28. It was the Toffees’ lone away victory so far in 2021-22, and also the last time he scored in an injury-plagued season.
They had opportunities against West Ham when the score was 0-0, and those missed seemed as expensive as any defensive blunder because of how they might have altered the game’s atmosphere.
Going ahead against Burnley, whatever they achieve it, would not only give the Everton players a big boost, but it would also put pressure on the Clarets instead of being all on them – which must be how it feels right now.
Everton’s starting XI against West Ham was forced to make a late substitution when Donny van de Beek got hurt in the warm-up. Mason Holgate was chosen ahead of Dele Alli to play in their midfield.
Why do certain teams have such a difficult time away from home?
When you play away in the Premier League, having the right mentality might be the difference between going into a game expecting to win and going into a game expecting to lose.
That was my experience with QPR in 2011-12, when we were promoted on the last day of the season despite having the poorest away record in the Premier League.
We were terrible on the road, but we had some incredible successes at home, beating Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham. Every team that was predicted to defeat us, no matter where they were.
When there is a significant disparity between home and away performances, it is often because the team’s collective attitude is weak or non-existent.
Being up against any opponent on their home ground instead of yours, facing their supporters and feeling that degree of pressure – and understanding that going a goal down or having any type of setback isn’t the end of the world, even if it seems like it – is a whole different assignment.
Of sure, some teams play in a certain way that helps, but it’s not only talent or tactics that get you through those tough moments.
That’s what Lampard was getting at when he slammed his team following their FA Cup loss to Crystal Palace last month, because you can work with players all week but they still need to be able to dig in when things aren’t going well.
Playing away from home can be tough if you don’t have a group of players who are all extremely good at it, and Everton seem to be locked in that cycle right now.
The good news is that Everton is still above the relegation zone.
Since Frank Lampard took over on January 31, Everton has won two and lost six of their eight league games.
With their current record, the greatest positive for Everton is undoubtedly their league position – and the fact that they aren’t in the bottom three.
It’s a huge plus for them to be above the red line at this stage because things would be a lot more worrying if they were below it on this run and the teams above them were catching up to them.
For the time being, they are the ones being pursued, and others below them are concerned that if Everton wins, the gap will widen.
At this point in the season, I’ve been just above and just below the line, and that makes a big difference. When you’re on the verge of relegation, it’s an awful feeling, but trust me, it’s lot worse when you’re already there and time is running out.
That is the most important point to understand here: despite their issues, Everton is still in a position where the clubs behind them would gladly exchange places with them.
Chris Bevan of Sport spoke with Nedum Onuoha.
“Everton’s away record means everyone doubts them” is a phrase that is used to describe how Everton has performed on the road. They have only won 1 of their last 6 away games, which makes it seem like they are not as good as they should be. Reference: everton review.
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