Matt Cheetham

Analysing Fellaini Against his Rivals | Opta Stats

Analysing Fellaini Against his Rivals | Opta Stats

A couple of years ago, after a series of all-action displays, David Moyes labelled Marouane Fellaini as the best midfielder in the Premier League. At the time, this controversial notion was taken with a pinch of salt, barely considered at all seriously by those in and around football. It was just viewed as being one of those emotional, radical lines, delivered too soon after the final whistle, by a manager who was obviously still raw from combat.  However it is …
Everton | The Continuing Rise of Fellaini - Opta Stats

Everton | The Continuing Rise of Fellaini - Opta Stats

In the Premier League, Everton now boast the joint second worst attack, with no player finding the net more than three times this season. With just the 26 goals scored, it is no surprise that this precarious characteristic has generated far more attention than most other elements of the Toffees' game. However, on the flip-side of their attacking deficiencies, and what has kept the Toffees afloat and competitive for large parts of this campaign has been a stubborn, uncompromising defence. After 26 games last …
Everton | Who Replaces Arteta Best?

Everton | Who Replaces Arteta Best?

Since parting ways with Mikel Arteta, Goodison Park's chief creative threat for several years, Everton have struggled to find a player capable of replicating his high level of production. This season, the Spaniard's absence has clearly hampered elements of the Toffees' arsenal, with many attacking statistics on the decline. As is emphasised above, despite their recent upturn in form, the Toffees' creative nous has wavered. What has helped negate these attacking deficiencies and kept David Moyes' side competing  in games this season has …
Why Everton Must Buy Landon Donovan

Why Everton Must Buy Landon Donovan

At the start of January, when Landon Donovan returned to Everton once again, supporters envisaged the American rousing a stale dressing room and galvanising performances on the pitch. Judging by results alone, this has not yet happened. His stay has only coincided with two points from a possible 12 in the league, and his only taste of victory came in the FA Cup, after a dire 90 minute tussle against lowly Tamworth. Ninth in the table when he arrived, the …
Everton | Full Mid-Season Stats Review

Everton | Full Mid-Season Stats Review

Wednesday’s sobering 2-1 home reverse at the hands of a then, rock bottom Bolton, signalled the half way mark of Everton’s season. With 19 games completed, believe it or not, the Toffees are actually two points better off than last year, and their overall haul of 24 is their best return since 2008/09 at this stage. By dissecting the team into various categories, the 50% mark is the perfect time to monitor several aspects of the Toffees play so far, …
Louis Saha | Striking Struggles | Opta Stats

Louis Saha | Striking Struggles | Opta Stats

Unable to find that elusive bargain of a striker in the summer, mainly due to the paltry scraps of cash their bleak bank balance forces them to barter with, Everton have unsurprisingly struggled in front of goal this season. In fact, only Swansea and Wigan – both pre-season favourites to be relegation fodder – have scored fewer than the 18 strikes the Toffees have registered so far. On countless occasions Everton have dominated games, carved open opponents, sent in lavish …
Johnny Heitinga v Everton Centre Backs

Johnny Heitinga v Everton Centre Backs

Seen by many supporters to have been Everton's last marquee signing, Johnny Heitinga has continually struggled to establish himself on the pitch in his more natural position of centre-back. Brought in to help fill the void left by Joleon Lescott, more often that not he has found himself required to fill in at right-back, or as a defensive midfielder at Everton, with David Moyes preferring to use Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin at the back. The Dutchman now fiercely divides opinion at Goodison Park. …
Neville v Hibbert | Superior Right-Back?

Neville v Hibbert | Superior Right-Back?

For a number of seasons, Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville have been jousting for Everton’s right-back jersey. More often that not, club captain Neville wins the duel, and finishes each campaign having played a greater amount of minutes in the role. However, this year David Moyes has seemingly opted to remodel his defence, starting Hibbert for the past nine straight Premier League games. This decision has surprised a significant proportion of Everton fans who clearly value Neville's input. So what is …