Everton fail to get a shot on target
For a team that has been fairly proficient in the offensive third, this match was a particularly terrible showing from Everton. Coming into this match, the Toffees’ attack was running on all cylinders, having scored seven goals in their last two matches. West Ham United looked to be the newest victims of Everton’s high scoring attack, but with relegation in the front of their minds, the Hammers kept Everton at bay and did not allow a single shot on target for the whole match.
Everton’s lack of shots cannot be attributed to one particular issue. Instead this was a failure from back to front for the Toffees. Unable to deal with West Ham’s press, the Blues midfield rarely played quality passes to the attackers. When the attackers did get the ball, they rarely had a decent chance on goal.
There just seemed to be an overall lack of cohesion in the team, which is surprising given that there were no major changes to the starting line up. Hopefully this performance is a mere blip on the radar because there are two very difficult matches against Chelsea and Arsenal coming up. Everton will need all the points they can to remain as high in the table as possible.
Blues very sloppy on the ball
It is not surprising to see that Everton failed to register a shot on goal given how poor they were on the ball all afternoon. While they may not be the most crisp team in possession, they have generally done a fine job of possessing and moving the ball. That was not the case against West Ham as the Toffees looked absolutely dreadful whenever they had possession.
Ronald Koeman could have changed his tactics and players all he wanted, but the fact still remained, Everton seemed unable to keep the ball at their feet. Ross Barkley who has been a stud in midfield in recent weeks even looked a bit shaky. Add in the poor showing from the holding midfielders and the end result becomes much less surprising.
Koeman’s changes fail to turn the tide
It appears that Ronald Koeman’s tactical magic does have it’s limits. The Everton manager has been rightly praised for his ability and willingness to switch things up to get the most points out of a match. But against West Ham these changes failed to turn the match around.
At half time, Koeman made a bold move, bringing on Ademola Lookman and Gareth Barry for Tom Davies and Idrissa Gueye. The idea behind this move was a smart one: Barry could assist Morgan Schneiderlin in shielding the back line while Lookman could add some pace and creativity to a stagnant attack. Unfortunately, this strategy only worked somewhat.
Lookman was able to inject some life into the attack, but overall he struggled to make his mark on the match. His pace and dribbling have the potential to be great, but his size often works against him. He has yet to figure out how to move around the stronger Premier League defenders and often times found himself being sealed out from the ball. Barry did what Barry does well, but rarely will he get you back into a match. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was then brought on to replace Kevin Mirallas, but as the game wore on it appeared that the magic that Everton’s youth had provided earlier in the season had ran out, at least for this match.