Here's who's having the worst #CaseOfTheMondays this morning.
Everton’s 5-2 loss to Arsenal this weekend was the final nail in Ronald Koeman’s coffin, as the Toffees sit in the relegation zone after nine matches with a bleak record of 2-2-5 and the second-worst goal difference in the league. And their Europa League season hasn’t been going so much better, either.There was some hope for Everton heading into the season, despite the loss of Lukaku, with a waning Wayne Rooney returned to his boyhood club as part of a £140m summer spending spree. And especially for a team that finished 7th last year, the current run of form — with the squad they have — is unacceptable.Whoever replaces him has quite the tall task ahead of them.
FC DALLAS & REAL SALT LAKE
The race for the last couple of Western Conference playoff spots was wild this year. The Houston Dynamo had just clinched last weekend, saving themselves the mess that three other teams — FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, and the San Jose Earthquakes — found themselves in on Decision Day. And, for the first time in four years, it went the Quakes’ way.Dallas missed out because San Jose had two more wins, the first tiebreaker, despite having a +21 better goal difference — and despite their 5-1 trouncing of the league-worst LA Galaxy. Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, was a whole point behind, despite their Sunday win as well. And so both teams ended their seasons on a emotional-rollercoaster mix of high and low — but mostly low, because it never feels good to miss out on a playoff system that accepts a whole 50% of the teams, and especially by that thin a margin.
Plenty went right for Atlanta this weekend — like breaking the MLS attendance record for the second time this year — not to mention the fact that it’s a pretty impressive feat to make the playoffs in your inaugural season. (Compare, for example, to Minnesota United.) But one thing didn’t go well enough: their seeding for the playoff.Just like Dallas and RSL will be reeling from how close they came to the playoffs, Atlanta was just two points short of clinching a BYE in the first round. Those two points, too, were dropped at home in the final game...although, to be fair, they were dropped to Toronto, against whom even a draw feels like a success.Luckily, they were still seeded high enough to end up at home for their first playoff match ever. They’ll host Columbus, who also finished the regular season with a draw, on Thursday.
The other side of Merseyside isn’t doing so hot, either.After finding themselves at the top of their Champions League group midweek, they fell 4-1 to Spurs at the weekend. A Salah goal pegged them back to 2-1, which gave them a little hope, but a third Tottenham goal right before halftime deflated them entirely. After that, there was no real way for them to get back in it.Maybe a victory, even a 7-0 victory, against a second-placed Slovenian side isn’t the best way to judge their form.Their defensive struggles were on display once again, egregious errors at the back leading to Kane’s first goal after only a few minutes and to Lovren’s substitution midway through the half. At least the latter shows that Klopp is willing to recognize the issues rather than continue to push through them.And maybe that means they’ll finally buy some defence in the January window.