Scouting Report: Everton | Stats & In-Depth Tactical Analysis

Scouting Report: Everton | Stats & In-Depth Tactical Analysis

This week Martin Lewis has a scouting report on Everton. This will not only be interesting for Everton supporters but also Manchester City supporters before the big game tomorrow. In fact supporters of any club that are yet to play Everton this season will find this in-depth tactical and statistical analysis interesting.

[box_light]N.B. Please note that this is not an article – the purpose of this report is just that for it to seem like a Scouting Report please take it in such a way.[/box_light]

Initial information:

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  • Very objective and direct team that look to keep tempo high.
  • On a dip of the form and consistency in the performances from what they showed earlier on in the season, with 6 wins in 13 games in all competitions this year.
  • They will be motivated to regain 6th place, overtaking Liverpool.
  • Very physical, aggressive, competitive, intense, hard-working and well organised team.
  • Dominate nearly all 1st balls, then also dominate second balls when in rhythm.
  • Always highly motivated and intense in big games.

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Injury news

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Image from


Offensive organisation:Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 18.12.48

  • Team set up in a 4x2x3x1\4x4x1x1 with directness, high tempo and intensity.
  • Dominate all 1st balls up to Fellaini & midfield are high & aggressive to compete for second ball.
  • Very good dynamics on the left hand side, especially when Pienaar is playing on the left.
  • Lots of 1-2 combinations to allow Baines to overlap or under lap. Quality with delivery.
  • Two behaviours in short build up. Full backs are always high early, leaving the centre backs & central midfielders to bring the ball out.
  • They will either look for progression from Heitinga [1 midfielder will move to the right of him, usually Gibson] who will then look for Fellaini coming deep [moving into Gibsons position] then lay off to Gibson.
  • With Pienaar on the right hand side, Fellaini will then change positions with him. Pienaar will receive the ball deep from Gibson and play a horizontal pass to Osman or back to Distin. Long ball to Fellaini will then be on [on the right hand side, creating miss match in the air].
  • Their other short build up pattern involves both central midfielders moving tighter to each other to allow passes from the centre backs to the fullbacks [high] or Pienaar between lines.
  • Long build up also comes from the centre backs, with long vertical or diagonal balls to Fellaini and Jelavic.
  • The midfield and defensive line will then push up high to compete to win the second ball or support play for a lay off.

Team dynamics

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Defensive organisation:Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 18.12.40

  • Team defend in a 4x4x2 with good aggression, especially form the central midfield players.
  • Set up in a wide, medium-low block, looking to remain organised and press though the middle.
  • With further progression from the opposition them will become more tight and compact & are then hard to break down.
  • Fellaini often becomes a 3rd central midfield player [especially when he can surprise opponent by pressing from behind].
  • Vulnerable to overlaps on the side Mirallas is on, especially when he is on the right.
  • It is important to be patient and circulate the ball, otherwise they will be able to play long and push up to win the second ball.
  • Inside movements from wide players are also something they struggle to deal with [especially just after a defensive transition] with no pressure from central midfield players when the ball is lateral.
  • Pull back crosses when on byline, as they often lose midfield alignment when the ball is passed them and there is space created in between then lines.
  • They also don’t have the mobility in midfield to match central midfielders breaking lines.

Fellaini pressure from behind to become 3rd central midfielder:

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Offensive transitions [first 10 seconds after winning the ball]:

  • Quick transitions from the goalkeeper [usually throws the ball out].
  • They will look to go long to the head/chest of one of the forwards to hold the ball up and lay off to supporting players[using their long build up pattern].
  • If initial ball isn’t on, they will look to circulate the ball in order to get into their offensive shape.

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Defensive transitions [first 10 seconds after losing the ball]:

  • Usually a good reaction to the area of the ball, with pressure form Pienaar, Jelavic and Fellaini, with the rest of the team looking to recover position.
  • Imbalance with midfield & full-backs high to win second ball, leaving only the centre backs for balance.
  • Space between lines & down channels.
  • Often lateral space next to central midfielders when deeper [aggressive]. Use mobility to appear and receive in front of them then play in space behind or lateral to them.
  • Opportunities for overloads and overlaps from full-backs to exploit the wings.

Mirallas poor at tracking man

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Set plays

Offensive corners:

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Short offensive corner:

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Defensive corners:

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Offensive frontal free kicks:

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Offensive free kicks from the side:

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Defensive free kicks from the side:

Deep zonal line, will drop deep with progression down the wing from short option.

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Offensive lateral free kicks:

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Pattern and combinations:

Short build up:

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Long build up:

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1-2 combinations down left [with Pienaar]:

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1-2 combinations down left [with Mirallas]:

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Central midfielders becoming tight to attack down the sides:

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Rotation and movement  pattern on the right:

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Overloading 2nd post in the box:

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Pienaar coming inside to play diagonal pass to Mirallas [becoming second striker]:

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Kick off combination:

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Other observations:

  • All throw ins will go to Fellaini that has capacity, height and strength to will all first balls. Very good control with chest & quality lays offs. Important to keep correct distances as he will flick the ball on if he has sucked enough defenders towards him to exploit the space behind them.
  • Substitutions usually alter the positions of players, and not changing dynamics dramatically.
Neville playing in the middle allows more defensive compactness and cover, with Fellaini dropping in the middle and Mirallas staying high:
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[box_light]All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]