Everton drew 2-2 at fellow Champions League hopefuls Tottenham yesterday, with Gylfi Sigurdsson rescuing a point for the home side with just three minutes of the game remaining.
The late goal could mean that Everton’s hopes of Champions League football may now be over for another season.
Yesterday’s encounter was an entertaining one with both sides going out to win claim maximum points. A draw did not really do either side much good, but the late goal has made it very difficult for David Moyes’ side to catch Spurs in fourth place.
Sigurdsson’s effort means that Everton are six points behind Spurs with just six games remaining. The Merseysider’s do have a game in-hand, but that game is at Tottenham’s rivals Arsenal next week.
Everton have not won at Arsenal in Moyes tenure in charge of the club and it is going to be tough this time around, as the Gunners are also hoping to secure Champions League football.
Everton boss David Moyes still thinks his side have a chance of finishing in the Champions League positions this season. The Scot told Sky Sports: “I don’t know if a point does a great deal for us. If we’d won we’d have been right in it.
“I don’t think we’re too far away but I just hope the games don’t run out. Tottenham are one of the top teams who have been fighting for fourth all season and we have taken four points off them this season so it is not a bad return.”
Everton were missing suspended midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar yesterday. The pair are two of the vital cogs in the Everton machine and usual play a big part in everything good that Everton have to offer going forward.
However, the players that played against Spurs did an admirable job considering the pair was missing. Had the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon been fit it may have been a completely different game.
Everton’s problem is that there is not really a great deal of strength in-depth in the squad. Around the start of the year Everton seemed to hit a brick wall, because most of the first team players had played the majority of games.
Some may argue that other English teams have played more games this season, but those teams have squads rather than just fifteen players that seem to appear in every game. Yesterday was a prime example of Everton’s lack of depth.
David Moyes selected highly rated 19-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley for the clash. The youngster has not started a game in over a year. He looked out of his depth against international opponents.
I do not think Everton boss David Moyes would have picked Barkley if he had another option. The absence of Fellaini and Pienaar slightly forced the Scot’s hand though.
A squad that lacks depth will probably mean that Everton’s challenge for a place in the top four of the Premier League will fall flat.
As most people are aware, Everton boss David Moyes’ future at the club is in doubt. The Scot is being linked with German Bundesliga club Schalke. The club from Gelsenkirchen look set to qualify for the Champions League.
The Scottish boss is ambitious, but has not been able to fulfil his ambitions on Merseyside. However, I feel that it partly due to the lack of resources available to him.
I am sure if he does leave this summer most Evertonian’s would wish him well for the future. Moyes has raised the bar at Everton and the club as a whole is certainly in a far better situation than it was 11 years ago when he arrived.
Maybe this summer is the right time for David Moyes to leave. Everton owes David Moyes a lot. The Scot owes Everton a lot as well. The Toffee’s plucked Moyes from the Championship and gave him the opportunity to manage one of English football’s oldest institutions.
Whoever takes the Everton job after David Moyes will inherit a very good team from the Scot. Maybe the club does now need some fresh ideas though and Moyes needs a new challenge.
Unfortunately, it looks like Everton are going to fall short of the top four places in the Premier League. However, for the resources that the club have at their disposal there will not be any shame in finishing just outside the top four.
Are Everton’s Champions League hopes now finished?