Everton’s form has gone from bad to worse over recent weeks, and even the most optimistic fan would be brave, foolhardy or a combination of the two to bet on them turning things around in their next match against Manchester United on Sunday.
The 3-0 drubbing against a ruthless Tottenham was bad enough, but this was followed up by a performance described by BBC journalist Kal Sajad as “dreadful”, as they lost their opening Europa League showdown by the same margin to Atalanta on Thursday and then a 4-0 drubbing at Manchester United yesterday.
According to former Blues midfielder Leon Osman, a major contributing factor to their hapless start is Ronald Koeman’s misguided decision to sell star striker Romelu Lukaku to Man Utd back in June for an eye watering £75 million.
Osman feels the decision will come back to haunt Everton, not just when the teams square up this weekend, but throughout the rest of the season, for the simple reason that the team have nobody that can come close to stepping into the talented Belgian’s boots. This was rubber stamped on the weekend, scoring one and assisting Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
He described the current Everton squad as one that is developing, but that is clearly short of a top class attacker. Given that the team has scored just two Premiership goals this season, it is a contention that is hard to dispute – particularly when you consider that Lukaku alone has scored twice as many at the same stage in the season.
Options for a football wager
The opinions of former players are always interesting, but to get a clear and unbiased view, it is always worth looking at the gambling sites to see what the bookmakers think, and the latest football wagering options make intriguing reading where Everton are concerned. Bournemouth, who have also struggled this season, are Everton’s next opponents in the Premier League, and are currently 19/5 to get the win, while Everton are 7/10.
Of course, with the popularity of sports betting being what it is in the digital age, the wagering options go deeper than what happened on the weekend. This was a real test of much Everton will miss Lukaku will be how their fortunes pan out over the season.
Five games in, the club sits just inside the relegation zone, the performance and result not helping their cause on Sunday. Could they really go down this year? According to the bookies, it is highly unlikely, but if Osman wants to put his money where his mouth is, he could get odds of 100/1 from some bookmakers.
Of course, that is nothing to the potential winnings if they could really turn around their fortunes and finish top of the league. The stuff of fantasy? Almost certainly, but with two bookies offering odds of 500/1 on the eventuality, there are certain to be at least a handful of die hard Everton fans who think it is worth a pound or two – after all, we all have to dream, don’t we?