Everton have become one of the Premier League’s greatest attractions, but also one of its greatest frustrations, writes Michael Graham.
Given Cameron Jerome’s astonishing miss, Everton may feel quite thankful to have eventually escaped from Norwich with a point. I suppose you could say that any point away from home in the Premier League is a decent one.
However, Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Carrow Road showed exactly why Everton continue to struggle to break into the Champions League pack.
It’s not a lack of ability either. Any team that can boast the likes of Gerard Deulofeu, Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines, and John Stones is going to fancy their chances of competing, at least, with just about anyone. Any squad that can afford to leave players such as Kevin Mirallas and Aaron Lennon on the bench isn’t short on depth.
It’s really more of an attitude thing – a certain lack of ruthlessness that is required to really take the next step.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Everton should have been out of sight by half time. Granted, Norwich were resilient and came back into the game strongly after the break but The Toffees should never have allowed them the opportunity to grab anything more than a consolation. That’s what the top teams do.
Everton, for me, are one of the best teams in the Premier League to watch. They are vibrant, energetic, and have a plethora of young and exciting footballers. Perhaps that inexperience is part of the problem, and with time and some patience they will grow to make these kinds of missed opportunities a thing of the past.
However, part of what makes them so absorbing to watch is that knowledge that, no matter how dominant they could and should be, they pretty much always give the opposition a chance.
Perhaps in that sense, Everton embody the very best of the Premier League. They are exciting, you know you’ll be watching quality footballers, and you never really know what is going to happen.
But until they can find some ruthlessness to their game, they are also likely to remain one of the Premier League’s greatest frustrations.