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Everton 3-6 Chelsea: Post Match Analysis - Looking on the Bright Side

The Toffees played in a tremendously entertaining match over the weekend. Of course, it was too bad that they watched all the best parts.

Don't worry Steven, there's still some good news.
Don't worry Steven, there's still some good news.
Chris Brunskill

In this week's post match analysis, I've elected to focus on the things that went right against Chelsea, rather than what went wrong. This is perhaps part optimism and part naivety, but more than anything else, it is simply the most interesting.

Anyone who watched Saturday's match knows full well what happened-- the defense fell apart early and often. There's little to be said in analyzing defensive errors that are easily preventable, and need to be worked out.

Is it time to see John Stones in the middle? Probably. Did we want to see the team bring in another center-back before the transfer window closed? Probably.

Put very simply, these problems will be sorted out and the Roberto Martinez will right the ship, or they will not, and the team will be in serious danger.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at the bright side.

Suddenly, the Toffees have some depth at striker - led by Steven Naismith.

If you are feeling down about how this season has gone so far, just reread that sentence a few times. Lots of ink, my own included, was spilled on this issue, before and after the signing of Romelu Lukaku.

But Steven Naismith's blistering start to the season helped put that issue to bed, and the encouraging debut of Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o absolutely slammed the door on striker depth worries.

Lukaku, due to injury and a general lack of fitness, has understandably not reached his peak yet this season, but with Eto'o and Naismith playing well, the pressure on the young Belgian has been reduced considerably.

Of course, Naismith's early breakneck pace will slow, but he has proven he can be a consistent contributor when properly utilized. As long as one of the trio of Naismith, Eto'o, and Lukaku is firing, goals will come.

Kevin Mirallas looks to be both physically fit and full of confidence - a dangerous combination for opponents.

The Belgian winger looked in the mood for much of the Chelsea match. He took defenders on, looked to shoot often, and made key runs, such as the one that led to Everton's first goal.

With Aiden McGeady putting in inconsistent performances, Steven Pienaar injured, and Cristian Atsu still finding his role with the club, being able to rely on Mirallas will be crucial to getting contributions from the wings.

This match will serve as a serious wake-up call.

The brunt of the issues that Everton had in their first two matches appeared to be defending late in the game. This is not to say the defensive issues weren't there at other times (they most certainly were against Leicester at least), but the focus was on issues with defending leads rather than simply issues defending.

After Saturday, there is no escaping the larger issue. This pounding will force Martinez to consider changes in personnel or tactics that were evidently needed, but could have been swept under the rug for another week if this match turned into a loss with a more reasonable number of goals conceded.

Even though no new defenders were added on deadline day, there are still options on the bench to fill the gaping hole in central defense.

There was a point last season during which John Stones was playing so well as a center-half that supporters and pundits alike wondered if club captain Phil Jagielka would get his place back in the starting XI after returning from injury.

The skipper ultimately returned to the starting lineup following the injury, but the whole situation made clear the ability of the 20-year-old Englishman.

Martinez also thinks highly of Bosnian Muhamed Besic, who is capable of playing center-back. Besic will be eager to forget his first competitive touch as an Everton player no doubt, as he is certainly a better player than that incident would indicate.

Antolin Alcaraz, the Paraguayan who played under Martinez at Wigan, is also still available, as is youngster Tyias Browning, who just signed a new contract with the club.

Everton showed tremendous fortitude throughout the match, even if the defending did not reflect it.

There were countless moments in this match in which it would have been easy for the Toffees to roll over and die. Rather, they fought back repeatedly, taking that spirit all the way to the final whistle.

Down 2-0 after four minutes, it appeared the match could be completely out of reach imminently. Instead though, Everton started to work their way back into the match, gaining possession and creating chances. When Mirallas struck to cut the deficit in half just before the break, it seemed that the Toffees had all the momentum.

Each time Chelsea brought the lead back to two in the second half, it seemed that the Everton midfielders and attackers put forward even more effort to try to get back in striking distance. Though the effort ultimately proved fruitless, the never-say-die attitude will serve them well going forward.