God-awful defending from Everton
Not that this is a particularly hot, or new take, but Everton’s defence was once again dreadful. While the center backs were certainly an issue, it was the full backs that were particularly bad against Swansea City having been exposed by the midfield.
Seamus Coleman, for all the great work he does on the offensive side of the ball was far from great in this match. On several occasions, Coleman completely lost track of his man and allowed Jordan Ayew to receive the ball with plenty of space to run on the wing. Swansea did an excellent job of exploiting this weakness and began to pile up the chances early on.
A lot of this came from the midfielders failing to track runners especially as they split wide, with the Swans playing almost a 4-2-4 in the second half as they sought an equalizer and then a winner.
For a manager that prides himself on having defensively-stout teams, Everton have been horrendous on both sides of the ball. While I may not be a fan of the way the Blues play in the attacking third, it can be accepted if the defence is keeping the ball out of their own net. But nothing of the sort is going on. This team is awfully disorganized on both sides of the ball and it inevitably leads to draws against teams like Swansea.
Swansea struggle to finish
Were it not for Swansea’s inability to capitalize on their seemingly endless amount of chances, this game could have been a lot worse than it was. Everton did their best in the first half to make Swansea look like Welsh Barcelona as the Swans dominated possession for large portions of the first half.
Swansea may be fighting for a place in the Premier League next season, but that’s no excuse to let a team in 17th place have so much of the ball. The final possession numbers did eventually even out, but I was getting flashbacks to the Liverpool match for most of the first half.
Fortunately, Everton were saved from total embarrassment due to the Swans inability to finish. Whether it was out wide or through the middle, Swansea were overwhelming Everton early and often. Jordan Pickford certainly played a huge role in keeping the score down, but it was no surprise that Jordan Ayew was finally able to level the score. At this level, even a 17th place team will score given enough opportunities.
xG map for Swansea - Everton. pic.twitter.com/03Px0FKW1S— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) April 14, 2018
The long ball doesn’t work
Big shocker here, but blasting long balls to Cenk Tosun is not going to win this team any matches. Now this is not a knock on the Turkey striker, I think he’s a fine striker, but Sam Allardyce is misusing him in his current set up.
Tosun is neither particularly tall nor strong and not surprisingly has struggled to be effective when the long ball is played to him. If Romelu Lukaku were leading the line, I could understand this strategy, but with the current line up, it makes little sense. Tosun was out-jumped all afternoon by Swansea’s defenders and the ball was quickly turned over to the opposition.
There is simply no urgency to the attack with this squad. They sit back, defend and then slowly trod up the field as the opponent gets reorganized in the defensive third. A number of times as Swans pressed up the Blues had opportunities to hit them on the counter and either it fizzled out with misplaced passes or for a lack of personnel moving upfield.
With the speed and skill available to Everton out wide, it is painful to watch them play this boring and outdated style of football. This kind of play may get some points, but it’s dull and soul-sucking to watch.