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IF you ever grow weary of the "internet-dwelling bottom feeders" ([c] Ed Bottomley's wonderful essay on the Dixie's 60 site) or the "people who specialise in posting mocking, sneering, cynical and hideously negative remarks" ([c] Simon Barnes, The Times) - check out the outstanding Executioner's Bong blog.

No cynicism, no wild conspiracy theorising - just clear and concise statistically based analysis.

Phil Neville was asked on Monday night why so many goals were being scored this season. He had a few ideas, but couldn't explain why Everton are worryingly bucking that trend.

Armed with information from the Bong he might have offered a different response.

Last week the Executioner presented the 50 most crucial Everton stats of the season, which included: ? One through ball per game - lowest in the league.

(Everton clearly miss Mikel Arteta more than they think - a suggestion ALSO supported by ... ? 15% - reduction in shots made from inside the 18 yard box.

? 13% increase in shots from outside the box.

Just as concerning was Everton's average number of shots per away game - 10, the lowest in the division.

A worrying 39% of Everton attacks focus down the left (only Wolves have more in the top flight) which might also explain why Leighton Baines creates more chances per match than any other player.

The inference is clear.

Stop Baines and you stop Everton.

Plenty of food for thought, then. But unlike many sites, Executioner's Bong also offers possible answers.

With Royston Drenthe in the side Everton have scored every 36 minutes this season, without him, that ratio spreads to 149 minutes.

The Executioner's Bong.

Warmly recommended.


GOAL THREAT: Royston Drenthe
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2011
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