Following an impressive seventh placed finish last season and a summer spending spree that surpassed £135.8 million, the Toffees’ early season performances have been less than convincing but why is this?
Square pegs in round holes.
Losing a player of Romelu Lukaku’s ilk and expecting the same goal-scoring efficiency is daft to say the least. From the outset, it looks like Ronald Koeman has tried to replace a 20+ goal per season striker, with a few of 7-10 goals per season playmakers. However, Koeman has tried to accommodate all three attacking midfielders (Klassenn, Rooney and Sigurdsson) into a starting eleven.
Maybe Koeman is trying to use all three attacking midfielders to provide for forward Sandro Ramirez who arrived in the summer. But, the problem with this system of three play-makers in the same side, is that Everton become too narrow and lose a lot of width.
Full backs have become a key component in the modern day game, with managers expecting their full backs to become wing-backs with bags of athleticism. Teams such as Tottenham, Chelsea, and as of late Manchester City have been classic examples of this. Unfortunately for the Goodison Park faithful, their available full backs at the moment are somewhat outdated in the modern game, with Cuco Martina’s reluctance to take on his opposite number and Leighton Baines slow decline leaving The Toffees with next to nothing, when it comes to width.
Too much too soon
History shows that selling your best player and bringing in quantity over quality doesn’t make for success, with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur prime examples of this.
Back in 2013, Andre Vilas-Boas sold Gareth Bale and brought in seven new faces, just two of those seven are still at the club. The 2013-2014 season proved to be disastrous, with Spurs finishing four points and a place worse than their previous season, A.V.B eventually was relieved of his duties five months into the season.
Liverpool adopted the same philosophy a year later, bringing in eight new faces following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. Brendan Rodgers’ side finished four places lower in the league, and finishing 22 points worse off.
In with the old, out with the new
Everton built an impressive side last season, with academy graduates such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies becoming key components in Ronald Koeman’s side. Davies is a dynamic, forward-thinking midfielder offering athleticism and work rate in the middle of the park. Whilst Calvert-Lewin offers intelligent, defence splitting runs and most importantly pace, something that Everton have been devote of thus far.
Davies and Calvert-Lewin have been relegated to the bench as a result of the new arrivals, I think that this is not a good move by Everton, as The Blues look a lot more creative, fast and more importantly entertaining when the duo are in the side.
Whilst Everton’s fixtures list has not been to kind to them, and could be considered a major factor behind their slow start, their is no denying that Koeman’s side have not been good enough this season. Koeman (or whoever is in charge in the near future) can look forward to Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman returning from injury in the near future, as The Toffees look for a change in fortunes.
Do you agree with these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!