Prior to Sean Dyche’s arrival at the end of January, Everton’s continued membership of the exclusive Premier League club appeared to be coming to an end.
A meagre total of 15 points from Frank Lampard’s final 20 games left The Blues sitting precariously in 19th place, and Championship bound. Everton’s last experience of the second tier was a three-year spell following relegation at the end of the 1950/51 season.
Hopes of survival were raised with the arrival of the former Burnley manager. A serial Premier League survivor, Dyche has registered three wins and a draw from his first seven games in charge at the club, lifting The Toffees up to 15th place on 25 points, but still only a single point above the relegation zone.
How many points do Everton need to survive? Does an analysis of Premier league relegation battles over the last 10 years provide the answer?
MerseySportLive takes a look in terms of previous points totals, goals scored and goals conceded records.
The highest points tally that a team has accumulated but still been relegated was 37 points, by Newcastle United in the 2015/16 season. On average, over the last 10 seasons, 37 points would see a team achieve a 17th place finish and safety. Could Everton hit that safety target with only 11 games remaining? An average of 0.75 points per game – Lampard’s record – would suggest not and a total of 33 points.
However, a continuation of Dyche’s record to date – 1.4 points per game – would see Everton reach 40 points, and comfortably safe from the drop… you would hope.
The required number of points to extend Everton’s Premier League stay could obviously be much lower. Over the last 10 seasons the average points total for the final relegation spot is 34. Any total above that could see The Toffees safe.
A fair assessment would be that Everton require 10-12 more points from their remaining 11 games. Four wins? Three wins and three draws? It does not appear that difficult but then you reflect on the fact that they have only won six games in the league to date. So, what is needed between now and the end of the season?
Scoring goals has been problem for Everton, particularly since the departure of star man Richarlison, who departed for Tottenham Hotspur in the summer for a £60 million fee. Everton have only managed to register 20 goals so far this season. The average total ‘goals for’ for a 17th placed, and team avoiding relegation, over the past 10 seasons is 40. Dyche will be hoping that Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s return from injury will markedly increase the number of goals that The Toffees are scoring.
Defensively, the analysis suggests Everton are on track for survival. The average total ‘goals conceded’ for a team finishing 17th, and above the relegation zone is 61, or 1.6 goals per game. Everton have shipped 38 in 27 games so far this season, which works out at 1.4 goals per game. Drawing on lessons learnt in his previous relegation battles, Dyche will be expecting stellar defensive performances from his experienced team, particularly his central defensive partnership of England internationals James Tarkowski and Connor Coady.
England number one Jordan Pickford will also be keen to add to his tally of seven clean sheets in 27 games this season to give Everton the best chance of avoiding the drop.
The analysis suggests that Everton have some achievable targets to aim at – certainly if Dyche can maintain his results record to date. Even though some of the statistics are against them, goalscoring specifically, Everton sit above the relegation places and with some consistency and winning performances Sean Dyche may yet lead Everton to the promised land – another year in the exclusive Premier League club.