There are many ways for your football team to disappoint you. For Everton, this time around they did it by putting together what may have been their worst 90 minutes of the 2015-16 season after such an exciting win a week ago. The Toffees looked uncomfortable all day during their 2-0 loss to Arsenal at Goodison Park on Saturday.
While both halves were awful for the hosts, it was the opening 45 minutes that really left a lot to be desired. At the very beginning, it looked like an exciting Everton side that fancied scoring at least once or twice on the day, but that feeling quickly disintegrated.
After not even seven minutes, Danny Welbeck took a pass from Alexis Sanchez, dribbled around Joel Robles and slotted the ball into the net, making it 1-0 Arsenal with little effort. Near the end of the half, Alex Iwobi doubled the lead with a 42nd minute strike between Robles' legs on a breakaway. It proved to be an insurmountable deficit.
There weren't any real bright spots for Everton on this day. Romelu Lukaku had a tough battle with Gabriel Paulista throughout the match and struggled to get service. Fan favorite Mo Besic was anonymous in his 45 minutes on the pitch. Joel Robles seemed out of sync with his defense at times. If asked to pick, you would be forced to look at Aaron Lennon and Ross Barkley as at least serviceable at times, but with little working around them it's tough to even be happy with that.
The only time at which the Toffees looked dangerous was right after Gerard Deulofeu was brought on. A ball he played into the box led to a collision between Lukaku and goalkeeper David Ospina. While the big Belgian was no worse for the wear, the 27-year-old Colombian keeper was definitely hurt and noticeably limping for the remainder of the match. Immediately following that incident, Phil Jagielka had a great chance on goal off of a corner, but missed an open net.
Manager Roberto Martinez had made an adjustment at halftime to bring on John Stones and take off Besic in order to go with three at the back and, one would think, lead to more chances in the Arsenal box. But that never really happened. Sure, Everton had more possession that the Gunners in the second half, but it didn't turn into shots. It was more because Arsenal was allowing them to have control than it was because Everton earned it.
What else can we say at this point that hasn't already been said? Everton is having the same issues now that they were back in the fall. They stink at home and they stink on defense. Martinez continues to play football the way he wants to and it's not working. There need to be adjustments.
Do something to make these league games seem as if they are worth something. Just because this team beat Chelsea last week in the FA Cup does not mean they were the right team to play against Arsenal. Try something new. Tom Cleverley wasn't particularly good last week. Give Oumar Niasse or Gerard Deulofeu a start. Give Brendan Galloway another run in the squad. Change it up.
We head into an international break now. Everton won't be back on the pitch together until April 3rd when they take on Machester United at Old Trafford.