Premier League Everton defeated League One Oldham 3-1 in a FA Cup fifth round replay last night at Goodison Park.
The victory was met with relief rather than joy because of the Toffee’s recent concerning form.
The home side’s performance was professional rather than spectacular. Everton were expected to defeat the Latics and they overcame a stubborn Oldham team with the minimum of fuss.
Everton have been in something of a slump in recent weeks, which has seen the Toffees fall seven points behind fourth place and the Champions League spots. Everton haven’t been losing a large number of games, but have lost the last two Premier League games, after losing just two games of their previous 33 league encounters.
The number of games that Everton have drawn this season looks set to cost David Moyes’ team a place in the top four. Everton have slipped up in the most unexpected games and threw away too many points late-on in games they really should have won.
Everton in recent seasons under David Moyes have been solid at the back, but this season has seen an almost complete turnaround. The Toffees are not doing the basics right in defence and yet again last night Moyes’ side couldn’t keep a clean sheet.
In previous seasons Everton have struggled to score goals, but solid defensive displays won them so many points. Everton have been scoring more freely this season, until recent league games that is.
The combination of not scoring enough goals and conceding too many is going to get any team in a mess. Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic could do no wrong last season, but this season the striker just isn’t getting the rub of the green.
Nothing seems to be going right for the former-Rangers star. He is trying desperately hard to rediscover his scoring touch and I can’t fault his work effort. Hopefully his luck in front of goal turns around very soon.
Everton have a reputation of enduring terrible starts to the season and then picking up in the second half of the campaign. This season there has been a turnaround. The Toffees made a great start to the season and have found it hard going in the second half of the campaign.
Everton don’t have the biggest squad in the league and some of their top players seem to have hit the wall physically. Everton don’t have enough quality players to come in and replace their first team regulars, so Everton’s performances have suffered in recent months.
Right, that’s the negatives over and done with. The way I’m talking you would think that Everton were in a relegation fight, but the fact is the Toffee’s do have a lot left to play for this season and it hasn’t been a terrible campaign.
David Moyes’ side are sixth place in the Premier League table and in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a very winnable tie at home to Wigan. I think most Evertonian’s would have taken this position if it was offered at the beginning of the season, I know I would.
Hopefully this win will help the teams’ confidence, after last weekend’s late 2-1 defeat at Norwich. David Moyes could be in the last few months of his career as Everton boss. I just hope that if the Scot leaves the club this summer then it will be on a high note.
Finishing in the top six of the Premier League and winning the FA Cup would be the perfect way for Moyes to bid farewell to the club he has managed for nearly 11 years.
Can victory over Oldham revive Everton’s league form?