‘Warning signs were there’: former Everton ace not surprised unbeaten run ended

John Reid October 27, 2020
‘Warning signs were there’: former Everton ace not surprised unbeaten run ended
Photo by ANDY RAIN/AFP via Getty Images

Former Everton defender Michael Ball has said he wasn’t surprised the team’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end at Southampton, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The Goodison Park side had started the season brilliantly, proudly sitting unbeaten at the top of the Premier League before the game on Sunday.

While Everton remain top of the league on goal difference, they are no longer unbeaten after the 2-0 loss to Southampton. Ball wasn’t surprised, as he feels that the result had “been coming”.

Photo by Tony McArdle – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

“The warning signs were there in a few other games. We keep on conceding goals and our midfield doesn’t protect our back four,” Ball said, writing in his column in the Liverpool Echo.

‘Been getting away with it’

“We’d been getting away with it, until this game. Our expectations have grown because of the results we’ve had but, in each one of those games, there have been signs of the old Everton we don’t want to creep back in.”

How Everton respond to the first real setback of the season will be interesting.

Photo by Tony McArdle – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

If it is the “old” Everton Ball talks about, it wouldn’t be a shock if the team went on a few games without a win. Carlo Ancelotti will be doing everything to stop Everton slipping into their old ways.

Two games before break are vital

The two games before the international break could provide an indication of how Everton might fare this season – a trip to Newcastle and a home game versus Manchester United.

Four points from those games would be a decent return. Six, however, would show Everton are genuine contenders for Europe this season. One or two points would be a major disappointment.

All in all, though, it has been an excellent start to the season for Everton. As it stands, they are still top of the Premier League.

If they want to stay there or thereabouts, Ancelotti will demand an improvement on the performance against Southampton.

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John Reid is an experienced journalist, specialising in Scottish football for a number of years.