No urgency in attack
According to the pre-match team sheet, Manager David Unsowrth was deploying his team in the usual 4-2-3-1. However, once the match began it was clear the team would be playing a more traditional 4-4-2.
With Everton ceding the vast majority of the possession to Southampton, one would assume they would be playing a counter-attacking style to break out of their slump. But as the game progressed, it was clear that Everton would be pedestrian in both attack and defense.
During the occasions where Southampton was caught with too many men forward, Everton looked listless and disinterested in pushing the ball forward with any urgency. It was obvious that Everton had no interest in defending Southampton’s endless attacks and even less interest in trying to score a goal of their own. In the few situations they did push the ball forward, they did so with such sluggishness that Southampton was easily able to get men back behind the ball.
Under David Unsworth it is painfully clear that Everton have no identity on either side of the ball. Everton’s brain trust need to act quickly to install a permanent manager. A real tactical plan needs to be implemented by a manager if Everton with to stay out of the Premier League cellar.
The worst defense in the Premier League
Stoke City, West Ham and Crystal Palace have been doing battle for worst defense in the Premier League for the length of this still young season. Everton, clearly feeling left out of this discussion vaulted to the top of the goals allowed category during their defeat to Southampton.
It’s been no secret that Everton’s defense has been horrid this season. Every writer on this blog and any supporter on Twitter has commented on the defensive abilities of this squad. But it wasn’t until this match that Everton were cemented, for the time being, as the worst defensive side in top flight English football.
This is the result of top-down failure by Everton to defend with any consistency. As stated above, the manager seems to have no clue how to organize his team defensively and the players have looked listless and disinterested on the pitch. For every good defensive moment by Everton, there are five dreadful ones. There are just no answers on this current squad. While young players like Michael Keane and Jonjoe Kenny may be promising options, they are surrounded by aging veterans like Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka.
At this point I would welcome any manager that can drill effective defensive tactics in to this team. Even if it meant winning boring games 1-0.
Gylfi Sigurdsson gets his first league goal
In the only bit of good news from this match, Gylfi Sigurdsson finally got his first Premier League goal since joining Everton. The attacking midfielder has easily been on of Everton’s most disappointing signings from the summer. Arriving with much fanfare and a whole lot of money, the Icelandic international has thus far failed to show the attacking ability he showcased at Swansea City.
Sigurdsson’s only goal to date for Everton had been a long range wonder strike against Hajduk Split in the Europa League and his second goal was equally as wondrous. A high, curling shot over Fraser Forester found the back of the net to bring Everton level in the 45th minute.
Gylfi was easily Everton’s best player in what would prove to be a depressing rout. He was one of the only Everton players running with any conviction and effort and was constantly trying to get his team going. Unfortunately, such a task is difficult when you have a defense that is akin to a sinking ship.
While Sigurdsson has not yet lived up to his massive price tag, performances like this give hope that his signing may not have been a total waste.