Everton need Jelavic to start firing again

Everton

The Croatian's drought has been overshadowed by the incredible form of Marouane Fellaini, but Everton will need both to be finding the back of the net to fight for fourth place.

At the back end of last season only Papiss Cisse was in better goal scoring form than Nikica Jelavic, with Everton's January signing scoring 11 goals in 16 games in his first few months at the club.

Like with Cisse at Newcastle, this year has been a different story, as the striker has struggled to find the back of the net, with five goals in the league so far, and only one in his last eight outings.

Handily for Everton, Marouane Fellaini has been banging them in during Jelavic's barren spell, so the club have not been short of goals, only failing to find the net in one league match this season.

However there are plenty of matches they perhaps could and should have won this year, where the odd goal from Jelavic would have turned one point into three. They also don't want to end up over reliant on the Belgian, especially during the silly season of the January transfer window where there will be plenty of distracting speculation for Fellaini to deal with.

For Everton to continue to compete for the Champions League places this season, they will more than likely need Jelavic to find his scoring touch. The Croatian is an excellent player, and is an important part of the Everton team even when he's not scoring, linking the play and keeping the ball in the final third so the likes of Fellaini, Pienaar and Naismith can profit from possession in dangerous areas.

He also will be given every chance to get back into form. As clearly the first choice striker at the club, he will be starting every game and given the full backing of the players and coaching staff.

Everton are already two games into a tricky spell of matches, and have come out of draws with Arsenal and Manchester City with great credit. However still to come this month are home games with Spurs and Chelsea, and away trips to West Ham and Stoke.

Throughout the season they've been the better side in most of their matches and yet often haven't been able to clinch the win. That's continued so far this month, even when playing some of the best sides in the league, and you feel that if Jelavic was in form, they would have the wins to show for their performances.

If he can find his touch over the next few weeks, and emulate Fellaini's attacking returns, then Everton may be favourites for fourth place.

images: © Everton FC, © isirya

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch