Everton outclassed by superior opponent
Save for their draws against Manchester City and Liverpool, Everton have shown an inability to compete with the Premier League’s top teams. This team is clearly not good enough in their current set-up to grab a Champions League place, but they should at least put up a fight against these better squads. What we saw against Tottenham Hotspur was something we had yet to see under Sam Allardyce, complete capitulation.
One thing Allardyce has instilled in this team is a sense of pride. Under Ronald Koeman, this team would falter at the first sign of of difficulty, but with Allardyce as manager, there has at least been fight in the squad. That fight was no where to be found as Everton continued to allow goal after goal against Spurs.
It’s difficult to say where this problem originates from within the squad, but Allardyce needs to continue to get this team into better mental shape or ship out the players that are the source of the problem.
A huge dearth of talent
As an Evertonian, I love every player on this squad. Some may frustrate, or disappoint, but I want each and every one of them to succeed and allow the club to succeed in turn. This can make it difficult at times to recognize when some players on the squad are just not good enough to get this team to higher levels. In the mind of a supporter, almost every player can get better and find a gear that hadn’t been there before.
But having watched the various iterations of this Everton squad over the years, I can confidently say that they aren’t good enough. Yes, they can over-achieve at times and secure Europa League spots and the like, but it isn’t sustainable.
I want Phil Jagielka to be the center back he was three or four years ago. I want James McCarthy to be the promising, young midfielder he was when he arrived from Wigan. I want Mason Holgate to have a football IQ that matches his insane athleticism. I can want and hope for all these things, but that doesn’t mean they will happen. I admire Everton’s loyalty to club servants and willingness to give younger players a shot. But with this current squad, there isn’t enough real talent to make up for the deficiencies caused the aforementioned players.
Cenk Tosun shows promise in debut
If the flashes of quality that Cenk Tosun showed against Spurs are any indication, then it appears Steve Walsh and company have an excellent signing on their hands. While Everton’s attack struggled to get going for large chunks of the match, Tosun showed a skill and ability at striker that has been sorely missing.
Unlike Everton’s previous striking corps Tosun appears to have the ability to combine, pace, work rate and skill. The likes of Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse had some combination of the necessary skills, Tosun so far seems to be the complete package.
Everton need to continue to surround the likes of Tosun and Sigurdsson with quality players and they may just have a positive end to this season.