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West Ham 3 Everton 1: Terrible defensive performance costs Toffees

Three thoughts from Everton’s listless performance against West Ham

Everton FC v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Ghost of Transfer Rumors Past

Three managers and what seems like a lifetime ago, Andriy Yarmolenko was supposed to be one of the players that finally got Everton over the hump and into top four contention. After helping destroy Everton in the Europa League as a member of Dynamo Kyiv, Yarmolenko was constantly rumored to be heading to Goodison Park. When Roberto Martinez left, so did the chances of the Ukranian winger joining Everton. He finally did make his way to the Premier League, but instead it is in a West Ham kit.

It’s almost cruelly poetic that he would be the one that was most responsible for Everton’s downfall in this match. His two goals in the first 30 minutes completely destroyed any momentum Everton had early in this match and exposed the seemingly endless issues this team are having at the center back position. The defense was so bad, they made a West Ham team that had only scored two goals heading into this match look more like the 2015-16 Leicester City squad.

Cenk Tosun Struggles to Convert

If there was a golden boot award for almost scoring, Cenk Tosun would be at the top of the table. The Turkish international had high expectations going into this season after playing well in his limited appearances with the club last year. No one expected 20-plus goals from him, but at least one goal at this point wouldn’t be an unreasonable ask.

But despite his excellent work rate and intelligent runs Tosun can’t seem to put the ball in the net. He missed three very clear chances in this match, goals which could have changed the momentum in this match or even put Everton in the outright lead. Even the best strikers miss some opportunities but right now the starting striker needs to score more than this.

Left Back is Digne’s Position to Lose

One of the few bright spots in an otherwise terrible match was Everton’s new left back signing, Lucas Digne. It goes without saying that Leighton Baines is beloved at this club, but even his biggest supporters must admit that he’s lost a step over the years.

The little bit of offense that Everton was able to generate in this match was coming from the wings and Digne’s contribution was a key part of that. His crosses were accurate, his defending was no worse than Baines’ and he possesses that extra bit of pace and athleticism that had been missing from the position. Even with Dominic Calvert-Lewin as a partner he played well, imagine how much better he would look with a quality player like Richarlison in front of him.