Upcoming fixtures could prove decisive for Everton season

Everton (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /

As the latest international break has concluded Everton face a massive run of matches that could prove crucial in deciding the outcome of this campaign.

Everton began this season well and were unbeaten after their first five Premier Leagues games before defeat at Aston Villa ended that solid start.

Then the Toffees’ momentum began to falter as they went out of the Carabao Cup on penalties and followed up with three consecutive losses to West Ham, Watford and Wolves.

Those defeats were very depressing examples once more of the problems with this Blues’ team which we have seen again and again in recent years.

And then just before the break Everton managed to stop the rot and secured a point against Spurs, which could and perhaps should have been three.

Was that something that can be built on or was it just a blip and a return to the awful performances and results just recently is more likely?

Now, comes a key run of fixtures that cloud potentially decide how this campaign turns out. Will it end up like so many recently with a mediocre, mid-table finish or is there a chance that the Toffees’ can salvage something meaningful from it?

Blues’ boss Rafa Benitez has still got a raft of injuries to deal with and we can only hope that players like Abdoulaye Doucoure and Yerry Mina will be fit again this weekend, although this is probably a long shot, certainly in Doucoure’s case.

And, as for Dominic Calvert-Lewin it’s still an open question as to when he will be ready to return to the first-team.

Obviously, getting these players back will hugely help Benitez and will be crucial to trying to turn around recent results.

But, there is also a need for finding a way to secure consistent results whether those players are available or not.

The draw at Spurs identified this to some extent and I think a focus on resiliance will be vital to gaining better results.

It is a big test for Benitez, maybe one of the toughest of his managerial career and given that he has little good will in the bank as far as many Evertonians are concerned, he will need some decent results again quickly.