Ex-Everton player Michael Ball has bemoaned The Toffees’ struggles at Goodison Park but admits he’s ‘used to’ such frustration.
The Blues were beaten 2-1 by relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday evening in a blow to their top-four hopes.
Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil put the visitors two goals up inside 25 minutes, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s effort before the break was not enough to inspire a fightback.
Everton have now lost on home soil to the teams in 15th (Burnley), 17th (Newcastle) and 18th (Fulham) this season.
They sit eighth in the table, five points off fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand. Had they beaten those three struggling outfits, they would be within striking range of Manchester United.
Everton players need ‘kick up the backside’
Without supporters present, Ball fears that complacency may have set in. He lamented what he sees as a tendency for Everton to shoot themselves in the foot.
“The lads should be embarrassed by this home record,” he wrote in his Liverpool Echo column.
“We’re not the only team struggling on our own turf, and it probably is down to the fans not being there, but find a solution.
“Some players are getting away with it because there’s no-one there to give them a kick up the backside.
“The sad thing is that we’re used to this. We’ve got many home games coming up and we’ve got a find a way to stop this rot.”
Transfer Tavern verdict
After the initial frustration, Everton fans will find solace in perspective.
Yes, they have squandered opportunities, but they are still having an excellent season and remain in a strong position in the European race.
The key for Carlo Ancelotti going forward in this long-term process is to hone the different ways of playing.
Everton have been able to frustrate high-quality sides like Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, but it’s a different matter when the onus is on them to be constantly on the front-foot.
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