Second Season Syndrome?

First off, thanks very much to GOT for giving me a platform to air my opinions!

Is it too soon to have reservations and worries about this season?

There’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot and it’s called “Second Season Syndrome”. The general gist of it being that after a good first season, it can be hard for a manager, player or club to match it the following season.

The idea is that worry sets in because the second season isn’t going as well and that subsequent worry and nervousness leads to the season going even worse. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But how soon into a season do a club have to get before you can argue that they’re trapped in that cycle? Everton are a mere three games into this season and are yet to play in any of the cups. However, in those three games Everton have shipped ten goals and have looked exceedingly shaky at the back.

Is it too soon to worry? Is it too soon to think that this second season is going to be a slog? By worrying, are we in fact already beginning the cycle in the first place?

How many Evertonians are worried about this anyway? I can only speak for myself and say that I’ve been deeply worried since the end of the Chelsea game. After the Arsenal game, I was more frustrated than worried. Arsenal were at our mercy and we let them off the hook. Thankfully, we still managed to grab a point, but it felt like 2 points dropped.

To lose two early goals to Chelsea like we did was simply unacceptable. Yes, to drag it back to 2-1. 3-2 and 4-3 at points showed that the players didn’t give up, but the match was essentially lost as soon as Chelsea’s second went in.

What’s happened to the defence? This is the same defence that was in the Premierships top 5 last season. They’re merely 4 months older and yet it seems like they’re a galaxy apart from the same players who finished off the game against Hull last May.

It worries me even further that Everton’s senior side are yet to win a game, including friendlies, since that match at The KC Stadium.

Am I being over dramatic? The season is still very young and there are still a grand total of 105 points to play for between now and the final game of the season. There is still plenty of time to nip this in the bud.

West Brom is the chance to get the season going. I think a win would be a massive boost, especially after how well a lot of Everton’s players did during the international break.

McGeady, Naismith and Stones all put in excellent performances. Hopefully all three can carry that momentum into the game at The Hawthorns.

This Everton side is better than the results it’s had. It’s one thing to draw with Arsenal and lose to Chelsea. I’ve seen the last five Everton Vs Chelsea games in person and Everton have won the fixture a grand total of once and lost the other four. During that same time period, I’ve also seen Everton draw with Arsenal 4 times, lose once and win once.

Basically, the results against Arsenal and Chelsea were not unusual results. They were in line with how Everton usually do against those sides. The worries I have stem not from the results themselves but how the results came to be.

Throwing away a 2 goal lead against Arsenal and conceding 6 at home against Chelsea highlights a defensive frailty that makes me very worried about where we’ll end up this season.

Something needs to be done, but what? Why have these players suddenly started playing like this?

Phil Jagielka was savaged, quite unfairly I might add, by the national press and pundits following the World Cup. Maybe this has knocked his confidence?

What to do though? Does Martinez drop him in hope that it’ll slap any complacency out of him? Or would that ruin what confidence he has left? Does Stones now get a game following a decent performance against Switzerland?

Whatever Martinez’s answer to this question is, I hope he gets it right.

Still, that’s why he makes the big bucks isn’t it?

Cheerful sod sometimes aren’t I?

Thanks for reading

Peace Out

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