Two up, Two down – Toffee’s in a Sticky Position…

Two up, Two down – Toffee’s in a Sticky Position…

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Last week’s first ‘Two up, Two down’ piece went down well so here’s another for your enjoyment! Let us know if you agree with each or if you’d have anything different in there.

TWO UP – Guardiola’s Barca Style of Play

Manchester City have won 9 of their 10 Premier League games so far with their only dropped points surprisingly coming against Everton (who may or may not feature in a ‘Two Down’). In contrast to their red neighbours, Pep Guardiola’s side seem determined to entertain with 13 goals scored in their last three games. One player thriving under the Spaniard is Raheem Sterling, who is only one Premier League goal behind Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.

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Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his side’s second goal during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

A 3-2 win against Manchester City on Saturday saw Pep’s ‘Barca Style of Play’ well and truly on show…

Man City’s passing vs. West Brom:

914 attempted

832 completed

91% accuracy

69% possession

This dominance helps to free up space for the attacking threat of Sterling, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero. It also allows for the predictable Otamendi mistake that seems to occur once every couple of games.

Whether Man City’s start can continue remains to be seen, however after just 10 games they’ve already managed to open up a 5 point gap to Man Utd and are into 1/4 to win their first Premier League title under Pep Guardiola.

TWO UP – Sheffield United

The Blades currently top the Championship table after yet another hugely impressive win against Leeds on Friday night. After finally achieving promotion back to the Championship last season, a return to the Premier League is starting to appear to be a real possibility with Chris Wilder’s side picking up maximum points in 10 0f their 14 league games so far this season.

Given the competition they face in a Championship consisting of clubs who spent big during the summer window, Sheffield United have kept the majority of the squad that did so well for them last season together and this momentum has played a key part in this season’s success. The best thing about United’s success is their top scorer Billy Sharp and manager Chris Wilder are both boyhood fans of the club. Which is a real throwback given the way modern football has developed.

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Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd celebrates his goal at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s record since taking over at Sheffield United:

Played – 60

Won – 40

Drawn – 10

Lost – 10

Just to top off the enjoyment of Blades fans this season, their blue neighbours are in big trouble with manager Carlos Carvalhal reportedly under increasing pressure. Whether Chris Wilder’s side can sustain their form throughout the rest of the season remains to be seen, however a top half finish at the start of the season would’ve surely been deemed a success.

TWO DOWN – Everton Football Club

From top to bottom this season has been a shambles for Everton. Starting in the summer with the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for £80m, which was deemed a good deal at the time. That may have been the case if a replacement was lined up. Instead, it’s 20-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin who has been tasked with leading the line so far this season.

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Everton’s Wayne Rooney reacting to an offside decision.

On July 21st, The Toffee’s appointed Steve Walsh as Director of Football, the man who signed the likes of N’Golo Kante during his time at Leicester. His remit was to recruit players to help take Everton to the next level this season. To say this hasn’t gone to plan would be an understatement. Everton are currently in the Premier League relegation places and look set to be knocked out of the Europa League this week.

Former manager Ronald Koeman isn’t blameless in this Everton struggle. The Dutchman lasted only 9 Premier League games this season before being shown the door with former Everton player David Unsworth taking over in temporary charge. In his first two games, Everton have been knocked out of the League Cup and suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Leicester in the league. To a neutral, it seems baffling that somebody else with first team experience wouldn’t be lined up to replace Koeman.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is the bookies favourite to be the next Everton manager, with Sam Allardyce also linked with the job.

From top to bottom The Toffee’s seem a disjointed unit which needs fixing soon before they find themselves deep in a relegation battle.

TWO DOWN – Sunderland’s Players

Sunderland have the incredible record of failing to win in any of their 19 home games in 2017. A statistic which their players should be ashamed of. Manager Simon Grayson is reportedly set to lose his job if they fail to beat Bolton on Tuesday, who are the only team below Sunderland in the league.

The Sunderland squad consists of players like Lamine Kone, who was linked with £15m transfers in recent seasons as well as experienced players like John O’Shea and Lewis Grabban. To go 10 months without a home win is a disgrace and it has to be the players who take most of the blame.

Sunderland’s Relegation Odds:

30th August – 28/1

30th October – 6/4

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