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Everton: Journalist baffled by relegation struggles

Everton: Journalist baffled by relegation struggles -Everton News

Everton’s woes this season are ‘nonsensical’, ESPN Editor Alex Shaw says

The lowdown

With just two games to go, Everton’s Premier League status remains in the balance.

Frank Lampard’s side had the chance to banish their relegation fears on Sunday by beating Brentford, but after twice taking the lead, the nine-man Blues wound up losing 3-2.

A victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday would also be enough to mathematically secure safety but anything less and they may be required to get something away to Champions-League-chasing Arsenal on the final day.

Everton finished 10th under Carlo Ancelotti last season and haven’t ranked outside the league’s top 12 since the 2003/04 season.

The latest

Shaw tweeted that he was bewildered by Everton’s plight, arguing that relegation for the Toffees would be almost as big a shock as Leicester City’s title win in 2016.

He believes Everton have the players to be competing for a top-half finish, rather than mere survival.

“Honestly, Everton are blowing my mind,” he said. “To me, this is 5,000-1 Leicester territory. I don’t understand it whatsoever: they have some decent players.

“Why on Earth are they where they are? It’s nonsensical. There’s at least 5-10 teams worse than them.”

In a follow-up tweet, he added that they ‘should be 6-10th. Not this!?’

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The verdict

One large reason why Everton have, in Shaw’s assessment, significantly underperformed is injuries.

As of 4 April, they had suffered a Premier League-high 34 injuries, sidelining their players for a total of 1,255 days.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence may have been particularly costly. The striker top-scored for Everton last season with 21 goals, eight more than his nearest challenger Richarlison.

But a fractured toe saw him sidelined from the end of August until the New Year, and he’s only been fit enough to start 13 Premier League matches.

Everton have, partly as a consequence, averaged less than 1.1 goals per game this season, with 39 from 36 matches.

In other news, a medical expert has shared another injury update.

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