عالمية عالمية

Everton analysis – Jordan Pickford saves embarrassment but Marcel Brands transfer mission obvious


Late change effects

How much would James Rodriguez have changed this match?

That’s the question Everton supporters are left to wonder after another crushing home defeat, with the Colombia international unfortunately picking up another injury issue as the two sides were warming up.

He’s clearly an important player for the side and a lot of creative play naturally flows through him when he’s on the pitch, so to be missing his influence was of course going to harm Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

But, it really shouldn’t have been as noticeable throughout the 90 minutes as it eventually was.

Being forced to make such a sweeping change to your system with only about half an hour to go before a Premier League match kicks off is clearly not ideal.

In naming an unchanged line-up from the win over Arsenal, you would have expected Ancelotti would have chosen the same system alongside that personnel.

However, taking Rodriguez out of the equation meant that the entire three behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin had to change.

Richarlison, instead of playing on the right flank, was initially moved out to the left. That in turn pushed Gylfi Sigurdsson central, and left Alex Iwobi to fill the void on the right-hand side.

To put things simply, it didn’t work. Everton were forced to switch things up pretty early on, with Richarlison eventually joining Calvert-Lewin in the centre and Sigurdsson taking up a role on the left once more.

But aside from a spell towards the end of the first half in which the Blues looked to be causing a lot more problems, particularly with the kind of crosses into the box their striker thrives on, they were creatively lacking again.

Apart from those balls into the box, namely from Lucas Digne corners or the odd free kick from Sigurdsson, there just wasn’t enough consistent quality to be able to cause problems for the Aston Villa defence in open play.

The full backs, try as they might to get forward and create width, can only do so much.

Everton played in a very narrow manner all told, and when the second half came around they needed someone in the centre to have the composure and belief to pull out something special.

So often this season, that has been Rodriguez. But, he wasn’t there – so who was going to step up?

The Liverpool ECHO is proud to stand in solidarity with everyone who faces hate and discrimination online. Our sports social media accounts will be silent from 3pm on Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May. We stand with football against hate.

Unfortunately we have seen too many incidences of abuse on social media towards players, officials and many others involved with the game we love and not enough is done to punish those responsible.

We will of course continue to create the news, match reaction and analysis you enjoy. We just won’t be sharing this on our social media channels during this time.

You can still keep on top of the latest news around Everton or Liverpool by signing up to our e-mail updates. You can also discuss the story you have just read in our comments section below.

Players had the opportunity to do so. Both Richarlison and Sigurdsson had great opportunities to make the right decision on the edge of the box in the second period and both squandered those chances.

They don’t have to step up and have the exact same qualities as their Colombian teammate, because to be frank there’s not a lot of people in the Premier League with the natural ability he has.

But to play with the confidence and intelligence of Rodriguez should be achievable for players in this squad. Certainly it should to beat a fairly out-of-form Aston Villa side.

However, again, the Blues were lacking.

How much was it down to the late change? It’s really hard to say. And, because of that, it can’t really be used as an excuse.

Transfer needs clear

The point was made after last week’s victory over Arsenal, but it’s worth reiterating here.

Marcel Brands and Carlo Ancelotti should know they absolutely need one key aspect in the coming transfer window.

Pace. A lot of pace.

Villa used that in abundance to cause Everton a whole host of problems throughout the course of the 90 minutes and the Blues could have no answer to it.

Especially in midfield, the Blues looked to be seriously lacking in that aspect – but it wasn’t the only issue that they had throughout Saturday evening’s game.

Andre Gomes kept his place in the side following the victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, despite competition from both Fabian Delph and Tom Davies who were named on the bench.

Given his performance, you might expect one of the latter pair to start the match last time out.

The Portugal international was presumably included in the side to be a calm head and to be cool and composed in possession, but he wasn’t able to do that.

Davies in particular might feel a little aggrieved to be out of the side after showing some great form in the weeks before he was dropped, and must be looking to get his chance next time out.

Everton just didn’t have that energy and fighting spirit throughout the whole squad for this important game, but in particular in midfield the visitors were able to use that to their advantage.

Perhaps these are all issues that won’t be fully solved until Ancelotti can have another full transfer window to work on bringing in the targets he needs to the club.

A winger clearly has to be one of those, because Everton can’t keep relying on their full backs to provide the only width, while Calvert-Lewin gets dragged out to run the channels a little too much.

And a central midfielder is becoming all the more crucial of a signing as well.

In this sense you have to bear in mind that Abdoulaye Doucoure, who proved to be such a brilliant signing last summer, has been injured since March – and goodness how Everton miss him.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin also has to be considered here too, but there’s no doubting the Blues really are missing an increased amount of quality and tempo in that area of the pitch.

Bring in some pace around that, and suddenly the squad might look much more strong.

In fact, it has to.

Brilliant Pickford

The performance from the rest of his teammates should not detract from just how well Jordan Pickford played on Saturday evening.

Gareth Southgate would undoubtedly have been very impressed from his seat in the Main Stand.

In our player ratings for this defeat the England international picked up a nine, but how many would have actually argued if he’d managed a ten?

Neither goal could be placed at his feet. One was a dreadful mistake from a defender in front of him, one was a strike that hardly any goalkeeper in the world would have got themselves to.

Aston Villa could easily have expected to have scored about six or seven goals in the first half alone thanks to their performance and the chances they created.

The Everton woodwork played some part in making sure that didn’t happen, but the majority of the credit has to go to Pickford.

At one stage it looked as if he wouldn’t be beaten. He was rapidly closing down one-on-one situations to block shots, he was pulling out fingertip saves for efforts along the floor and those attempting to loop over him into the far corner.

He was the saviour for his side on multiple occasions, quite frankly. Without him, it could really have been an embarrassing scoreline for the Blues.

While that is obviously a shocking thing to admit for the majority of the players involved, it’s clearly fantastic to see from the goalkeeper.

This is now potentially the best form the Everton man has shown in a long time. In a side which has shown a horrifying lack of consistency throughout the course of the season, Pickford has been a shining example of that trait recently.

He showed ultimate concentration last time out against Arsenal to produce a brilliant stop when it mattered in the dying moments of the match, but this was a different experience.

This was a performance Evertonians are much more used to seeing from the England international. Constantly working, brilliant shot-stopping ability.

It was a sensational performance from the man between the sticks for the hosts. It’s just a shame no-one else on the pitch could really match his performance levels.

Home discomforts

How many times are we going to have to talk about Everton’s home form?

Yes there’s no fans here and yes that’s clearly going to have an effect in some capacity, that tiresome point almost goes without saying at this stage.

But, did anyone honestly expect it to have this much of an impact?

Everton’s points-per-game at Goodison Park in the Premier League this season now stands at a measly 1.12. In case you were wondering, that’s currently the lowest in the club’s entire history.

Of course they have never played under these circumstances before, but criticism for that fact is still absolutely warranted.

Ancelotti admitted following the game that his side deserved to lose, as a team they didn’t show enough spirit. Having played so many matches in front of no crowds, can that really be blamed anymore?

Everton have found the way to win away from home, what is it that changes so drastically when they are back at Goodison? It’s still an empty stadium.

These last three matches at Goodison were always going to be crucial to the club’s European hopes, and they’ve kicked off that trio in the worst possible way.

Supporters will be back against Wolves, and they simply will not accept another limp defeat such as that.

الوسوم
اظهر المزيد

اترك تعليقاً

لن يتم نشر عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني. الحقول الإلزامية مشار إليها بـ *

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى
إغلاق

أنت تستخدم إضافة Adblock

برجاء دعمنا عن طريق تعطيل إضافة Adblock