Everton are awful at the moment and boss Marco Silva, despite his positivity, is under major scrutiny – so what questions can the Portuguese and his players answer to address some very concerning issues?
The Toffees’ recent defeat at Watford means they’ve only collected three points out of a possible fifteen and, to be quite frank, that isn’t good enough for a team who considers themselves amongst of the “bigger” sides in the league.
In fact, it’s embarrassing.
There’s no sign of effort or drive, no evidence of an end goal, nor any real proof that Everton possesses the quality to rescue themselves from their current lull.
With less than half of the season left, here are two possible solutions to Everton’s decline…
Get the new boys playing
Despite spending big in the summer and recruiting a number of quality players, including the likes of Zouma, Bernard, Mina, Digne and Gomes, only Richarlison holds relatively promising statistics.
There’s no doubt that the players possess the quality to make a difference, especially considering three of them have played for Barcelona and one was France’s most promising prospect at one point. There’s really no excuse for the way they’re playing.
Of course, it’s not an easy task adjusting to the speed of the Premier League and its definitely not made any easy having to do it alongside an overall change to their philosophy having seen two very different managers leave in the space of a season.
Of course, it’s no simple task adjusting to a new competition, especially one as challenging as the Premier League. Nor is it made any easier by having to do it within a club who are currently undergoing an overall change to their philosophy.
Also, there’s an added pressure to perform because of their immense price tags, which some haven’t been able to handle.
Should Silva keep his job for the remainder of the season, it’s imperative he fuses the new players with the old to create a successful working environment.
Set pieces and zonal marking
Everton are without doubt the weakest side in the Premier League when it comes to defending set pieces. According to Sky Sports, no other club in the English top-flight have conceded more goals from set piece situations than Everton (11).
This alone is bad enough – but when accounting for all other domestic competitions they’ve taken part in, the figure is far more alarming. In 29 games the Toffees have leaked a total of 16 goals from set pieces.
That’s double the percentage of goals they conceded from similar situations last year (<14%).
If Silva wants to stem the issue, he’s going to need to address his preferred strategy of zonal marking. It didn’t work at Hull and it certainly isn’t working now.