Everton’s current league position reflects defeats by Man United and City

Has too much been made of Everton’s lack of firepower this season? Perhaps people look at recent Everton’s line-ups, such as the one named by David Moyes at Fulham a fortnight ago, and not see anyone on there who stands out as a striker. They have sold Jermaine Beckford and neither Tim Cahill or Louis Saha have been regular starters this season. But international youngsters who have recently arrived at Goodison Park such as Apostolos Vellios and Royston Drenthe are the club’s top scorers with two Premier League goals each. Their late efforts earned the Merseysiders three points against Wigan at Goodison Park – which has remained their only league win at home – but only QPR in August have gone there and inflicted a shock result.

Only two points currently separate ninth and sixteenth place. Had Everton taken only a single point at Craven Cottage (rather than score two goals in additional time to win and take all three) they would be part of a bottom five still to break into double figures. As it stands they still find themselves four places off the bottom but looking up rather than over their shoulders. Because after today’s fixture at high-flying Newcastle United they take on two of those sides still in single figures.

In contrast, to everybody’s surprise, the Magpies are unbeaten this season. Ahead of games against both Manchester clubs and Chelsea, I half expect Newcastle to do to Everton today what both Manchester clubs and Liverpool have done already this season by beating them. That would maintain, for one more game at least, their growing belief they can repeat what Everton did back in 2005 and what Tottenham did five years later, and break into the top four.

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