Things have gone well for Rafael Benitez so far at Everton after an unbeaten start to the campaign which has seen his side pick up ten points from a possible 12.
The latest positive result came against Burnley when the Blues overturned going a goal behind to score three times in a scintillating six minutes in the second half.
As a result of their good start, Everton are currently sitting joint top of the table alongside Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Many, including a large portion of Everton fans, would have been surprised by the start the Toffees have made, particularly given the lack of transfer activity through the summer, and the general disdain aimed towards Benitez following his arrival.
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Beyond his contentious Liverpool history, there was a fear that the former Real Madrid manager might look to implement an unenviable defensive style of play at the club.
Yet early indications suggest that this doesn’t look to be the case. So far, only both Manchester clubs have scored more than Everton’s total of ten league goals, whilst not since October last year have the Blues scored two or more goals in four straight league matches.
Of course, it’s still very early into the season, making it tough to add any weight to those comparisons with other Premier League rivals who could have played much tougher opening fixtures so far.
Yet comparisons to Everton’s attacking performances last season against the same four sides they’ve faced so far in this campaign does paint a promising picture of the Blues going forward.
Across the four matches at the same venues against each of Southampton, Leeds, Brighton and Burnley last season, Everton accumulated an xG of 5.4 and attempted 39 shots, only 12 of which were on target.
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Within this season’s clashes however, they accumulated an xG of 7.4, whilst hitting 59 shots, 20 of which hit the target.
Although a small sample of matches, that’s still an impressive increase in attacking output from Benitez’s Everton side.
There will be tougher tests ahead for his side, yet these early signs are good and initial fears of a drab trying defensive style of football look like they could be wide of the mark.
Another impressive win this weekend away at Aston Villa might start getting Blues fans excited at just what can be achieved in this first campaign under Benitez’s regime.