EPL Season Preview: Everton

Ronald Koeman 2Updated August 10, 2016

Coach: Ronald Koeman

2015/16 Finish: 11

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 9

Sportify Rating: 1553

2015/15 Wagebill: £75M

Stadium Capacity: 40,221 at Goodison Park

Departures: Conor Grant (ipswich, loan); Tony Hibbert (released); Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids); Felipe Mattioni (released); Leon Osman (released); Steven Pienaar (released); Jindrich Stanek (released); John Stones (Manchester City); Jordan Thorniley (Sheffield Wednesday)

Arrivals: Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa);  Chris Renshaw (Oldham); Bassala Sambou (Coventry); Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham); Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

 

The good: This group has been better and now they have Ronald Koeman

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Everton still have the same core group of players who finished fifth in 2013-14. Bright young stars like John Stones (at Manchester City as of Aug. 9), Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu have another year under their belt. Ramiro Funes Mori and Stones had the potential to form an elite CB pairing under the watchful eye of new manager Ronald Koeman who boasts an elite defensive record both playing and coaching. In his two years at the helm of Southampton, the Saints conceded 74 goals, only Arsenal and Manchester United can say they did better.

 

The bad: Defense

Everton conceded 55 goals last season (T-15th), only the 5 teams at the bottom of the table conceded more. The Everton defense conceded 53.6 xG (13th), and 56% of that xG got past the defense and was put on frame, the fifth worst tally in the league. Those types of numbers are troubling for a team with ambitions of getting back to the top eight where they spent as many consecutive seasons before two straight 11th place finishes.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: John Stones (L) and Ramiro Funes Mori (R) of Everton celebrates their team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on December 28, 2015 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
John Stones (L) and Ramiro Funes Mori (R) of Everton celebrates their team’s first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on December 28, 2015 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)