Jasmine Baba looks at the problems being faced at Everton.
I haven’t been able to put my finger on what exactly the problem with Everton is, but even after the transfer of Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi to Everton, I was still unimpressed and unexcited by the team.
They were unbeaten at Goodison Park from March 2019, after drawing 0-0 with Liverpool and then went on a winning spree of six home games, keeping five consecutive clean sheets; a run that included Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. This was evidence that my pessimism was unfounded.
Until a few weeks ago. They had to dig deep to edge past Wolves where they won 3-2. It was still a victory, but with their next result losing 3-1 away at Bournemouth, they had to get a result at Goodison again, against newly-promoted Sheffield United.
In part, their 2-0 defeat against the Blades was unlucky; how many times will a team with one shot on goal win 2-0 (especially with 30% possession), but a part of it had been coming for the Toffees and as they prepare to take on the defending champions, is there something wrong at Everton or is it just bad luck?
Their attack and defending set pieces
As mentioned, young additions to their attack has looked optimistic, and it would be awful to “turn” on 19-year-old Kean and 23-year-old Iwobi.
Kean could very much be one of the players to fulfil the Romelu Lukaku-shaped hole that Everton badly needed, but right now, it hasn’t clicked.
Even with their earlier line up of Calvert-Lewin and Bernard, instead of them playing their new signings, they’ve only managed five goals across their six Premier League games.
Against Sheffield United, they were wildly inconsistent in front of goal, only managing three attempts on target out of 16 attempts, showing a lack of a clinical edge to their shooting.
As for the talented fullbacks, and improvements they’ve tried to make in defence; they have conceded the most goals from set-pieces since Marco Silva took over, which leads me to believe that maybe Marco Silva isn’t the right man for the job.
Silva’s managerial run hasn’t been the most successful story. After a fairly successful time in Portugal (even though he was sacked from Sporting Lisbon for not wearing their official suit in a match), his time in England has been tumultuous.
Surprisingly the replacement of then Premier League club Hull City, Silva led the Tigers to a few highlights; getting to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, beating Liverpool 2-0, and winning four wins from their first four home matches. Yet, that couldn’t stop them getting relegated and him resigning.
He then had a solid start at his new club, Watford, but the vacant role at Everton from November that season was at the helm of controversy as they approached Silva for the job.
This then consequently saw the hornets’ form drop off the edge of a cliff and he was gone by January.
And here he is. With a win percentage of 40.8% (which is higher than his previous two teams at 36.4% and 30.8% respectively), and after a big investment in players over the transfer window, it’s hard to think in this business that his days aren’t numbered.
He hasn’t offered any type of Plan B in games and it may come as no surprise that Silva has failed to win any of his last 25 Premier League games where his team has gone behind (D5-L20), a run going since his days at Watford (December 2017).
Follow Jasmine on Twitter @_BabsJ