Ironically, Everton’s best attacking performance of the season was the first to produce no goals for the Blues.
Despite the defeat at the Emirates Stadium, Everton’s performance for the first 55 minutes was the most promising of the campaign with the Blues slicing through Arsenal’s backline time and again.
Unfortunately, poor finishing for the Blues proved costly, but what can we take from the game?
High Press Worked Well
Front Line Made 5 Interceptions
In the first half and early stages of the second half, Everton pressed Arsenal excellently - forcing them into mistakes before unleashing pacey attacks with the front three consisting of Richarlison, Walcott and Calvert-Lewin.
Indeed, along with Sigurdsson and substitute Bernard, Everton’s attacking players made an impressive five interceptions, as well as three tackles from Theo Walcott.
Idrissa Gueye was also everywhere for Everton once again, putting in a typically energetic performance and, along with the high press, was key to Everton winning the ball back and launching attacks.
The Senegal midfielder made an incredible 10 tackles – six more than anyone on the pitch. Surprisingly, Ozil made the second most tackles with four…
DCL: The Solution and the Problem
Finishing and control continues to evade youngster
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is excellent at leading a forward line: stretching teams with his pace, winning headers and holding up the ball. However, he has three significant weaknesses: control, finishing and decision making in front of goal.
After miscontrolling the ball more than anyone on the pitch last week, he had four more bad touches in the first half, while also missing two glorious chances. Right now, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the roughest of rough diamonds. If he can fix his weaknesses, he could become a top Premier League striker. But, if not, he’s probably destined for the Championship. Let’s hope for the former.
Not Enough Passes in Final Third
Blues have yet to have more attacking passes against an opponent
When Dominic Calvert-Lewin was through on goal in the second minute, a squared passed to Richarlison would surely have put the Blues one-up. Instead he tried to take the ball around Petr Cech despite already being at a tight angle.
But this has been a pattern of Everton’s play this season: we don’t complete enough in the 20 yards around the opponent’s goal.
Despite creating a host of chances at the Emirates, Everton completed just five passes in the 20 yards around goal against Arsenal, who completed 15. But hey, it’s Arsenal, right? They walk the ball in…
Well, here’s the summary for amount of completed passes around goal in each game so far:
- Everton 5-6 West Ham
- Everton 2-2 Huddersfield
- Bournemouth 11-4 Everton
- Everton 6-7 Southampton
- Wolves 4-2 Everton
Everton need to be much more composed in front of goal: not just with finishing, but also deciding whether they should laying the ball off to a better placed teammate – especially Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun.
Can the Blues deal with Adversity?
Everton have picked up just 1 point from losing positions
Despite being excellent for 55 minutes, Everton never looked like getting back in the game after conceding – a worryingly similar tale to the West Ham game last week.
Indeed, Everton have picked up just one point from losing positions – the 1-1 snoozefest at home to Huddersfield when we were behind for just two minutes.
Contrarily, Everton have dropped four points from winning positions – the 2-2 draws away to Bournemouth and Wolves.
It’s still early days, but Everton need to start showing their steel with their backs to the wall.
Starting XI average age of 24 years old
Not only were Everton led out by 20-year-old captain, Tom Davies, the Blues line-up was incredibly young with not a single player over 30.
The average age of the starting eleven was just 24.18 years old, while the defence and goalkeeper averaged just 23.6 years old.
Despite the result, it was a huge encouraging performance from Everton and one of the best away performances against a top six side for several years.
Stick with a youthful side playing attacking football and Marco Silva will have Evertonians right behind him as he attempts to build a truly successful team for the coming years.