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When should we start worrying?

This week at Arsenal won’t tell us much

Everton v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

So... getting blown out by West Ham wasn’t good. I know, you’re glad you clicked for such tremendous insight. Six points through five games, only one win in the league, not how we drew it up, to be sure.

But should we be worried yet? Alarmist reports have told us that Jordan Pickford isn’t the same man we saw just this past summer and that Cenk Tosun needs to be replaced.. nearly every first team player has had questions asked of his ability, and I’m here to tell you that every bit of it is premature.

It will still be premature after the Arsenal game. A result would be nice, but as long as we’re competitive there will be nothing to be upset about. Even if we’re not, we haven’t gotten a chance to really see what Everton can do. At one point during the last international break, we had twelve players on the fitness table or suspended. We have twice finished with only ten men on the pitch, new players have yet to be truly integrated and Marco Silva still needs time to implement his ideas. In some ways, because of things largely outside of the control of the players and manager, Everton has yet to see what they can really offer.

The trouble is, we had this last year also. For all the criticism leveled at Ronald Koeman, starting the year without Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman was a tremendous blow from which we never recovered. Koeman more than earned his sacking by not playing players in their true positions and his treatment of players such as Oumar Niasse, but who knows how last year would have played out differently if we had those two (especially Coleman) for the entire year. We may have been playing in the Europa League again.

With that ridiculously difficult start to last season, we still had seven points in six games, three of which were against tops six sides. A loss at Arsenal tomorrow will leave us with six points in six games, against much easier opposition.

We need to get healthy very soon, or too much damage will have been done to this season to recover, but this week is not a make or break one for Everton. Observing the upcoming schedule, we have four winnable games (including a cup tie) before we face Manchester United at the end of October. Don’t try to fire the manager or sell off all the players yet, it’s too early to tell. I remain optimistic about this season, and I think you should as well.