2013 has not exactly been as successful a year so far as that of 2012 for Everton Football Club. Their form in the last calendar year was up there with the best and such consistent levels of performance have them well and truly in the race for a European spot.
However since the turn of the year they have continued to struggle to finish certain games off including draws with Aston Villa and Swansea and have been beaten by those in and around them at the top of the table in games against Manchester United and Chelsea. Add to that a disappointing draw against Oldham in the FA Cup and while it has not been a disastrous year, not even a bad year, it could be described as rather sluggish.
David Moyes has always had to work on a strict budget and lean squad during his Merseyside tenure and when injury strikes that can be compounded. A few players have had sizeable parts of this current campaign out injured including the likes of Kevin Mirallas, Darron Gibson, Phil Neville; even Leroy Fer failed a medical as a proposed new signing.
However none of these injuries have had a bigger impact on the team than the ailments suffered by Seamus Coleman. The Irishman started the season in great form; finally playing in his favoured right-back position he provided perfect balance to the Everton team on the opposite side to Leighton Baines. In fact in the 14 Premier League games in which Coleman featured Everton lost just once; a 2-1 defeat at Reading’s Madejski Stadium. However he has not played since the 0-0 draw with Southampton a month ago as he battles a thigh strain.
With Tony Hibbert still out injured and Phil Neville vital in the midfield it has left Phil Jagielka operating at right back which has seen Jonny Heitinga operating at centre back.
In January his agent made it quite clear that he wanted a move away from Goodison due to a lack of first team action; but now he has been given the chance to play regularly he has been, for want of a better word, abysmal.
Jagielka is also not a right-back and is desperately needed back in the centre of the park and you won’t be surprised at this rate if John Stones’ first-team debut is move forward slightly.
As far as Everton’s European hopes are concerned Seamus Coleman cannot return soon enough.
How important has Seamus Coleman been to Everton’s season?
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