The surprising area Everton have improved upon over last season

Roberto Martinez's side have been nowhere near as good as last year, but the statistics suggest otherwise.

After a highly lauded first season under Roberto Martinez, hopes were high for Everton this season.

The Spaniard introduced a fast paced, possession-based game that was a far cry from former manager David Moyes’ tactics style, and it reaped instant rewards.

Unfortunately for the Blues, they ended up missing out on eventual Champions League qualification to Arsenal, despite having led the way in that race for quite some time.

This season has not gone so well for the Toffees though, as they languish down in 12th in the Premier League table and aren’t as far away from the relegation zone as they would like.

  SeasonFwd Pass per gameAccurate Pass per gameBackward Pass per gameTotal Passes per game
Everton 2014-2015 174 439 81 522
Everton 2013-2014 163 403 75 481

Despite that, it seems that Roberto Martinez’s side have improved upon the important aspect of their game, possession. The side have so far recorded an average of 522 passes per game this season, compared to last season’s tally of 481. Similarly, their number of accurate passes per game has increased significantly as well.

Even more odd considering their struggles this season is the fact that they are registering 11 more forward passes per game compared to last season, which would suggest the Blues are even more attacking than they were last year.

One possible explanation could be within the number of backward passes the side are playing per game. A criticism from the fans has been that the players are consistently passing backwards rather than forwards, and the stats back up that claim with them playing six more per game than last year.

All of these statistics seemingly make Everton’s struggles all the more perplexing, and given their evident improvement in possession, perhaps blame should be pointed at their lack of quality in attack and defence instead. However, the criticism about it being all about the passing and not much more is backed up by the statistics above, and suggest Martinez should be looking at a Plan B. 

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