Sure, this wasn’t the worst the Blues have played against the ‘big’ sides this season but it was nonetheless discouraging. It was another big game in which Everton learned they have a long way still to go.
Progress has been swift since the turn of the year but there is still a sizeable gap between where the club is and where it wants to be.
Nowhere was this more evident than on both team’s benches on Sunday. While Chelsea were bringing on World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas and Brazilian international Willian, Everton turned to Kevin Mirallas and Arouna Kone.
It was a clear indication that Steve Walsh has a major job on his hands this summer. With Europa League football coming, an overhaul is needed.
The vast majority of the duds from Roberto Martinez’s reign have been swept away and an influx of quality is needed into the squad, at least five if this result is any barometer.
A new goalkeeper, centre-back, midfielder, number ten and striker should all be on Ronald Koeman’s wish list. Basically, Everton need a spine of proven quality.
Among them should be Wayne Rooney. Many think the Manchester United and England captain is beyond his best but he can offer his boyhood club more than technical ability. This is a player with vast experience and a winning mentality, both of which are sorely lacking in this current group of players.
Those who do not think England’s greatest ever goalscorer would not be a smart signing are wrong. The club is crying out for a player of his experience and knowhow to lead the crop of current youngsters forward.
Nobody in this current group is accustomed to winning big games on a regular basis. Rooney has done it week in, week out since leaving Goodison Park. They’re only likely to get two years from him but they could prove crucial in helping the club take that next big step.
In a weekend overshadowed by the big fight at Wembley, Everton’s young contenders failed to show the mettle in theirs. This summer, it is key that that changes if they are to be contending with the champions in future.