Everton 1-0 Newcastle report - 'Eighth will have to do'

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It wasn’t pretty but after a couple of miserable weeks Everton are back to winning ways in the Premier League. 

23rd Apr 2018

A 1-0 win over Newcastle at home wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered but it was enough to lift spirits, at least temporarily. 

The fact that Everton had just one shot on target throughout the game tells you all you need to know about what went on during it.

It was a boring, lifeless affair between two sides that aren’t going down and have little hope of finishing much higher than they are in the table. This certainly won’t be on Premier League classics.

The votes are cast

Last week Everton fans were asked to cast their votes in a wide-ranging survey about issues around the club.

One of the questions was about faith in the management team and their performance. It is fair to say that Evertonians voted lowly on that question.

That survey was widely criticised by the wider media as the Sam Allardyce appreciation society came out in their droves to support the veteran boss and criticise the club.

They believe Allardyce deserves more credit and Everton’s fans should be grateful for the work he has done. The fans have voted differently.

They’ve made their feelings about the current Everton manager clear once again, the survey says it is time for him to leave. Only the best is good enough as far as they are concerned.

It now remains to be seen if Farhad Moshiri, who was in attendance on Monday evening, has gotten the message. Evertonians could not be making it any clearer for him.

Schneiderlin’s redemption

In a season that has been full of Everton players massively underperforming, Morgan Schneiderlin has been up there with the worst offenders.

A negative attitude, perceived lack of effort and those bad performances has put him deeply into the bad books as far Everton fans are concerned.

Recent weeks has seen gradual improvement in his performances, though, and that continued against Newcastle.

At times Schneiderlin was back to the solid defensive midfielder that was dominating the midfield for the Blues from January onwards last season. Indeed, he was very much the best player on the pitch for the time he was on it.

Of course, one good performance does not right the wrongs of this season. It was a stark reminder that there is a player in there somewhere and perhaps those who are keen to see him leave in the summer should think again.

Eighth is eighth

And so Everton move up to eighth in the table, the highest they’ve been in the Premier League since August.

It must now become their number one aim to remain there between now and the end of the season and try to finish this miserable campaign on something of a high.

Finishing eighth does not represent a good season for the Toffees - it represents regression given that they finished seventh last season.

However, finishing eighth is better than finishing ninth and so on and so forth. It is certainly a big improvement on the relegation battle that they were threatening to be involved in for much of this year.

It’s a shame Everton can’t make it up to seventh but, given how the Europa League has affected this season, perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise.

As league places go, eighth will have to do. It’s not good but it’s good enough.