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Everton 2-2 Crystal Palace: Dumb

why was any of that

Crystal Palace v Everton - Premier League Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images

All of us suffered through a dire Everton match at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park today. The final score was 2-2, and it was flattering to the Blues. I’m sorry that you’ve chosen to read about it.

  • Everton’s lineup - for once - made great sense on paper from the start, but in reality, David Unsworth got the application wrong...again. What should have been a 4-2-3-1 with Gylfi Sigurdsson in the hole translated to an incredibly flat 4-5-1 with Sigurdsson deep in midfield and Oumar Niasse depressingly isolated.
  • The negativity in Unsworth’s first half formation meant that Crystal Palace enjoyed a stunning amount of possession, and as such, created by far the better chances in the opening frame.
  • That said, the Blues were fortunate to not be down 2 or 3-0 at the break. A refereeing mistake gifted Everton a penalty that Leighton Baines converted, and an awful mistake by Julian Speroni allowed Niasse to easily slot home right at the whistle.
  • Aaron Lennon today showed why he has to be one of the first names on the team sheet. One of the few players with any real drive going forward, Lennon also displayed remarkable defensive ability. The Englishman dealt well with Wilfried Zaha and contributed several huge blocks late on.
  • Unfortunately, Lennon was pretty much the sole bright spot for Everton. Unsworth’s side played as if they were scared. Of the worst team in the league. The Toffees couldn’t keep the ball to save their lives, and were brutally disorganized in defense.
  • In truth, a draw in this match was an unfair result. For Crystal Palace. It’s very possible this was Everton’s worst performance of the season. They created nothing, fouled too much, and gave Palace far too much comfort on the ball. Don’t let the result against Watford fool you - Everton are a bad, bad football team.
  • The personnel selection was generally correct, but David Unsworth is clearly in over his head. Which is unfortunate, because Rhino genuinely seems like a great person who loves the club, but it’s going to take someone else to get this team turned around.

The match against Atalanta on Thursday is technically meaningless, but whoever is managing this club at that point needs to use it as an opportunity to try new things and perhaps give the summer signings a full 90 minutes to acclimate themselves. Nothing else is working.