Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills has torn into Marco Silva for his tactics when it comes to defending set-pieces and the key Everton men tasked with carrying them out, while speaking with Football Insider.
Everton have conceded the most goals of any Premier League side this season from dead ball situations excluding penalties, with the Blues allowing six goals against them (Liverpool Echo) after leading the same chart last term with 16 (WhoScored).
Burnley added the latest to Everton’s tally for the season last time out, when Jeff Hendrick fired home the only goal of the day with a half-volley after connecting with Ashley Westwood’s corner while unmarked at the back post.
Millwall and Wolverhampton Wanderers were both able to capitalise on Everton’s slack defending from set-pieces last season, too, with the London outfit winning 3-2 in January eliminating the Blues from the FA Cup in the fourth round.
Silva had issues defending from dead ball situations while at Hull City, as well, with his Tigers shipping 45 goals (Liverpool Echo) before ultimately bowing out of the top-flight.
Mills has now suggested Silva and Everton must go back to the drawing board to stop the rot, as opposing sides smell blood.
“Set pieces are still clearly a problem and that needs to be addressed very, very quickly,” he said. “It’s five, six, seven, maybe more set pieces that they’ve conceded from this season. It’s one of the easiest aspects of the game to organise and stop.
“They need to go back to the drawing board, look at it, look at what they are doing wrong, what they can change and what they can do better and then go put it into practice.
“At the minute teams are thinking: ‘Okay, we get a corner, get a free-kick, let’s put them under pressure because they are vulnerable and confidence will be low from those situations.”
Mills is absolutely right in that Silva needs to go back to the start and look at how he is tasking his players, as whatever he is currently telling them to do is not working, and the longer it continues, then the longer Everton’s struggles will.
It could simply be a case of matching the wrong man to the wrong position in his zonal set-up, as only six Toffees players have won more aerial duels than they have lost this season (WhoScored), with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford ranking higher for aerial success than Gylfi Sigurdsson, Moise Kean and Cenk Tosun among others.
How much longer Silva gets to try and turn things around is up for debate, though, and it may take a change in leader before Everton can command the air again.
Is Marco Silva the right man for Everton?
Everton fans, can Silva get things right defending set-pieces, or will it be an aspect of his game than never fades away? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Everton notifications!