How one tactic can save Everton from relegation as Premier League-leading stat revealed
Everton's season in front of goal has been difficult once again and they are struggling to find a solution to such issues, but one tactic has worked time and time again.
In front of goal, Everton have the joint third-worst attack in the league having netted 26 goals, the same as Crystal Palace. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and £25m summer signing Beto have a combined four league goals together and it's the same old story at the top end of the pitch.
Their most recent game against Tottenham saw them net twice, with both goals coming from set pieces at Goodison Park as Ange Postecoglou's side failed to deal with the intensity, power and organisation of Sean Dyche's side. Of course, it has been a tactic that he has been famed for across his coaching career and Burnley also championed such an idea. It was clear to see with Jack Harrison and Jarrad Branthwaite's goals which caused Spurs fundamental issues.
For Everton, they got to see it in action in Dyche's very first game in charge. James Tarkowski's header at the back post against Arsenal on February 4, 2023 saw them earn a hard-fought three points over the runaway leaders at the time which proved to be a crucial win that helped them to avoid relegation.
In fact, this season Everton have scored 13 goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season - only Arsenal have scored more with 14 and that means that 50% of their goals have come from free-kicks and corners. Conversely, Everton have scored 13 goals from open play in the Premier League this season and only Sheffield United have scored fewer (11) which further highlights their struggles. Plus, according to the Athletic, no side in the division has a higher expected goals figure from dead balls than Everton.
Typically, Everton have Calvert-Lewin, Jarrad Brathwaite, Amadou Onana, James Tarkowski and Abdoulaye Doucoure, all of whom are above six foot one and give them a strong aerial presence and they are currently the tallest team in the league, with an average height of 185cm or 6ft 1in - so it's no wonder that set pieces are a real focus for Dyche and his coaching team. If they are to survive, they need to be better in open play but they also need to continue to pressure teams with set pieces, as it clearly pays dividends and it's a viable avenue towards goal while their forwards continue to falter.