What a disaster last weekend was. It’s criminal to give up a two-goal lead whether that be in a World Cup final or a Sunday league game, so the next three fixtures will really prove what this Everton squad are made of.
They looked frail once Newcastle got a goal back on Saturday, but before that, they were playing attractive football and creating chances, and that’s been reflective of their season so far. It’s been hit and miss. Now they face Chelsea at home, West Ham away and Arsenal at home in the next three games.
They’re all very tough fixtures, but it’s in adversity, in the big games, where the value (or lack thereof) of a squad becomes crystal clear. There’s been an awful lot of investment in recent years, but not much in the way of return. Marco Silva has a lot of faith in his young forwards and talented midfield, but they’ve not been consistent enough. This is the time for them to put in three big performances and prove they’re worthy of being part of the squad to take Everton to the next level.
The board and manager have high ambitions. A new stadium is on the way and money is available to spend in order to replace any weaknesses in the squad. It’s very easy to mistake Silva’s belief for blind loyalty and anyone who does that without putting enough good performances in will find themselves replaced in the summer.
Of course, nobody’s saying they expect nine points from nine in these three games, but they should at least be showing they can go toe to toe with other teams that they hope to be competing with for the European spots in the near future. Silva will learn a great deal about his team’s technical ability and resilience in the next month or so.
If Everton are to reach the big-time again, they have to be ruthless and cull any players who aren’t capable of holding their own in the most difficult games. It’s going to be a tough few fixtures, but it’s a run Silva needs to see just what his lads are capable of.
Everton fans, how many points do you think your side is capable of winning in the next three games? Join the discussion by commenting below.