Everton: Can the Merseyside derby be a turning point in the season?

Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Saying that Everton’s form has been inconsistent this season is an understatement. The Merseyside club started the season pretty well as the first five games of the 2021-22 Premier League showed us.

Rafa Benitez’ men managed to accumulate 10 points out of a possible 15 and were sitting as high as 5th in the table till their game against West Ham United which saw them lose to their former manager, David Moyes, ending their positive start to the season.

Since the West Ham clash, the Toffees have played five games, losing four and drawing one of them and because of this slump in form, the club now sits 14th in the table with 15 points, 4 points off Tottenham Hotspur who are 7th in the table, the last spot for European football in the league.

But this inconsistency may well be the reason why the Toffees can pull off a win at the Goodison Park against their eternal rivals, Liverpool. Benitez has a point to prove against his former employers. Crossing the Stanley Park divide was always going to send waves across Merseyside.

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The Spaniard was appointed after Carlo Ancelotti left to return to Real Madrid in June. He arrived at Goodison Park with a wealth of experience having managed in Spain, Italy, England and China in the past. However, his appointment was arguably the most controversial in Merseyside football history due to his past with Liverpool, becoming the first manager to coach both, Everton and Liverpool in the process.

Rafa Benitez is under scrutiny at the moment, should Everton pick up a surprise win at Goodison Park, then it would re-install some faith among the club’s board of directors and fans. However, another defeat would likely see the Spanish tactician face the chop even before the January transfer window arrives.

In the 2020-21 season, the Royal Blues managed to draw 2-2 at home and win 2-0 away from home, securing their first win at Anfield in any competition since 1999. Jurgen Klopp’s side will visit Goodison Park on Wednesday as they look for their first win there since December 2016.

This game offers Benitez the chance to finally win over the disgruntled fanbase and give himself a little breathing room. A win for the Toffees could boost the club’s morale and could actually prove to be a turning point in their season.

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