Poor tactics. No ambition. Precious little attacking verve. Cowardly defending. Everton Football Club have been reduced to “Theo Walcott and Gylfi Sigurdsson try stuff while Jordan Pickford has to play Superman”.
It doesn’t work.
- There was a leaked lineup making its way around the interwebs before the game, but that turned out to be untrue - and thankfully so, because Cenk Tosun was afforded a start up top with Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle of the park making plays. Lo and behold, they both looked excellent. Weird, that.
- In that setup, Tosun opened his Everton account. Sigurdsson opened up the Burnley defense with a ball out wide to Theo Walcott, and Seamus Coleman flicked on the resulting cross right into the path of Cenk’s forehead. Easy as you like, a striker’s finish.
- With England manager Gareth Southgate in attendance, Jordan Pickford was perhaps the best player on the field. He made a stunning save on Ashley Barnes in the first half, and an athletic double-save on Aaron Lennon and Ben Mee in the second frame was just as good. England’s number one.
- Unfortunately with this club, the good always comes with a healthy dose of bad. Burnley opened up the Everton defense with a simple through ball to Ashley Barnes, and Pickford seemed to forget what kind of form he was in. Rooted to the spot, Ashley Barnes was afforded plenty of time to blast the ball home for an equalizer.
- Burnley are one of Everton’s main competitors for 7th place in the Premier League, so it was more than a little curious to see the Blues not really go for three points in the second half. Bringing on Oumar Niasse and Wayne Rooney was aggressive in name only, because Sam Allardyce’s instructions seemed to indicate he wanted Everton well behind the ball.
- Sure enough, Allardyce’s “plan” backfired spectacularly. Everton conceded a late set piece and decided to let Burnley’s tallest player head the ball into the net completely unmarked.
- To make matters worse, Allardyce’s final substitution was to remove the Blues’ standout attacker - Sigurdsson. The rotund coach has no idea what he is doing. Not a one. Ashley Williams was sent off shortly thereafter for a ridiculous swing of his arm at Ashley Barnes, and that was that.
Can this season be over now? Please?