Former England international Danny Mills has suggested Everton have become a predictable side to face when playing away from Goodison Park, and questioned Marco Silva’s tactics while speaking on talkSPORT.
The retired right-back, who represented the Three Lions on 19 occasions (TransferMarkt), was speaking after the Blues were beaten 3-1 by AFC Bournemouth on Sunday, in a game where the Toffees were seen to be fragile defensively.
Callum Wilson opened the scoring on Sunday when he diverted Joshua King’s effort goal-bound after Everton failed to clear Diego Rico’s corner kick, which set the tone for the game.
Everton may have pulled back level, but the Cherries later struck again when Yerry Mina was caught out of position and Rico chipped the ball forward for Wilson to secure his brace.
The result ensured Everton succumbed to their second successive away defeat in the Premier League, and maintain their current struggle on the road without a league win since March (TransferMarkt). The story at home has been a stark contrast, with Everton unbeaten since February, when Manchester City left Goodison Park with the spoils.
To right their form, Mills has suggested Everton must be more aggressive away from home, as Silva’s tactics are holding them back.
“He tries to be solid,” Mills told talkSPORT (September 16, 10:50). “He’s quite a defensive coach, he generally plays two defensive midfielders.
“But because the run is so bad and because of the players he’s got in attacking areas, maybe he’s got to change that philosophy. They’re a bit predictable at times.”
With Everton struggling for results away from home, going all guns blazing looking for a win will likely only create further issues at the back, and not help to solve their form which could soon become a crisis.
The issues displayed at Bournemouth showed why Silva has often set his side out to be defensively solid with two holding midfielders sitting in front of a back four, as they are bleeding goals when not on home soil.
Only against Crystal Palace have they not conceded away from home this season, while shipping at least two goals in their other away trips. Even last season, the Blues struggled to keep the opponent out, with Silva’s men picking the ball out of their net on 28 occasions across all competitions.
Thankfully for Everton their next away day in the league sees the Toffees travel to Turf Moor, where they beat Burnley 5-1 last season, but the Clarets have not been an easy side to beat on home soil, as Southampton found out in the opening weekend.
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