Loads of Everton fans have been slamming Charlie Nicholas on social media, after the ex-Arsenal striker claimed our home form has been an issue.
Nicholas made his claim while writing his weekly predictions column for Sky Sports, in which he suggested Carlo Ancelotti’s defensive figures are ‘vulnerable’ and that we tend to struggle when playing at Goodison Park.
Everton are at home to Crystal Palace this weekend with an eye on moving level on points with sixth-placed Sheffield United, while we would already be sixth were the table decided solely on home form with 21 of a possible 36 points taken this season.
Nicholas, though, seemingly feels we have been underperforming at home and need to be cautious of a defensive Eagles side that could snatch a draw.
“I watched Everton again last week against Watford – I do not know how they won,” Nicholas noted. “When they were 2-0 down, they were absolutely abysmal. Carlo Ancelotti did not do anything magical, but before half-time, they get two in three minutes – a real ‘get out of jail’ card before Theo Walcott nicked it.
“The form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been promising, while Walcott has improved with his pace and movement a constant threat. Richarlison is down the left [he has featured on the left once in his last eight Premier League games] and they have some tidy enough midfielders to complement their attack but it is the defence that is the worry. They look so vulnerable. Jordan Pickford cannot be branded as England’s No.1. He looks off it.
What will the result be vs Palace?
“The home games seem to be the issue. Roy Hodgson is clever enough to structure his team to sit in and bide their time, hitting them with the pace on the counter-attack.
“Crystal Palace tend to enjoy these games, but where are the goals coming from? Cenk Tosun cannot play as he is on loan from Everton and he has looked the most promising. Somewhere along the line, Christian Benteke has to get a goal. Could it be written for Benteke, being ex-Liverpool?”
Ancelotti’s Everton welcome Crystal Palace to Merseyside this Saturday before we begin our winter break, and will be entering the weekend on a run of six games unbeaten at home across all competitions.
We have only lost at Goodison Park three times in the past year, in fact, with Sheffield United, Manchester City and Norwich taking all three points during their visits this season, while Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues were the last side to win on our soil in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign during their visit on February 6.
Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Newcastle United have held the Toffees to draws at Goodison Park this term, as well, while only Liverpool returned home with something to show for their efforts at the tail end of last season.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans tore into Nicholas for his lousy claim…
One day @SkySportsPL will employ some pundits that are actually credible in today’s game. The guy really has no idea what he is talking about.
— Steven Taylor (@Stevexebra) February 6, 2020
He is such a 🤡 Imagine paying money for that ‘expertise’ 😂
— Andrew Holden (@iamandrewholden) February 6, 2020
This is wrong on almost every level.
— David Alexander Hughes (@DAHughes_) February 6, 2020
Never let facts get in the way of a good narrative
— Michael (@wombat_combat) February 6, 2020
Describes our two goals to draw level with Watford as a ‘get out of jail free card’, as if an official came onto the pitch and announced that we were being awarded 2 goals for nothing
— MiguelEFC (@Miguel9t5) February 6, 2020
He needs to go to Specsavers but he won’t wear his glasses because when he was driving home the other night he wouldn’t wear them because they, you know, looked silly and he was getting stick for it.
— Mathew Berkley (@MatBerkley) February 7, 2020
Baffles me how people like this get any exposure
— Michael (@monaghanm66) February 6, 2020
I think he means Palace but his articulation is so poor. Can’t believe how he is allowed to continue making the predictions this deep into the season. One of the poorest sporting columns I’ve ever read.
— Raef (@rd_blueEFC) February 6, 2020
Richarlison hasn’t even been playing on the left either. And just because Walcott has scored one goal, that does not mean he’s improved. Absolutely amateurs with biased agendas as per usual.
— 🌊 (@N1LSAT1SN1S1) February 6, 2020