There’s no doubt about it, Everton are suffering from a crisis of confidence right now. Ever since the freak goal in the derby, the Blues haven’t looked the same force they were in October and November.
But is it just confidence? Or is there another force at play to explain’s Everton poor form?
Let’s take a look at the numbers…
Inefficient in Possession
Blues top possession again but create little
One of Roberto Martinez’s major downfalls was failing to use his possession-based style efficiently. So often teams would come to Goodison, and let Everton keep the ball knowing they would not know what to do with it.
There is a danger that the same is becoming true under Marco Silva. The Blues best performances this season have come when they press teams high up the pitch, not when they dwell on the ball.
Indeed, all of Everton’s defeats against teams outside of the top six have seen the Blues have more of the ball in each game. Against the Saints, Everton had a hefty 61% of possession, but had just seven shots to Southampton’s seven.
Calvert-Lewin the Answer for Now?
Youngster wins most headers per 90 mins in the squad
There’s no doubt about it, Richarlison has been so much less effective as a centre-forward compared to out on the wing. He is potentially Everton’s best player but struggles to have an impact in the demanding central forward role.
So, who do you replace him with (in lieu of a new player): Cenk Tosun or Dominic Calvert-Lewin?
Well, from statistical standpoint, it’s hard to look past the youngster who was named England Under-21s player of the year this week. Per 90 minutes played, Calvert-Lewin matches Richarlison for goals scored, while also comfortably leads the way in terms of aerial duels won across the entire squad (11.7 per 90 minutes). His hard-working style also suits the profile of what Marco Silva likes to see in his forward players, although there’s no doubt he still needs to work on his touch and finishing with his feet.
Bizarre Own Goal Record at St Mary’s Continues
Fourth OG in last six games at Southampton
I’m not sure there’s much that can be read into this, but Everton have a habit of turning into their own net at St. Mary’s.
In the first half Gomes went close when his interception hit the post, but Digne kept the bizarre record going in the second half when his excellent tackle was unlucky to fly into the bottom corner.
It means Everton have conceded four own goals in their last six trips to Southampton. To put that into context, of Everton’s last nine own goals in the Premier League (stretching back to the 2013/14 season), over 44% have come at St. Mary’s.
Lookman the Right Choice
Completed 85.7% of passes and three dribbles
While he didn’t have his best game (no-one in Blue did), it’s still clear that Ademola Lookman offers significantly more on the right wing. He was again one of Everton’s most active attacking players, completing 85.7% of his passes, getting two shots off, completing three dribbles and earning two fouls, while making one success tackle and one interception – numbers that put Walcott’s to shame.
Midfielder completes just 72.5% of passes
After sending Blues hearts wooing in his first appearances for Everton, Andre Gomes has gone off the boil somewhat in recent weeks and his performance against Southampton was his worst to date.
Normally so composed on the ball, the Portuguese midfielder completed just 72.5% of his passes – often being caught out in dangerous positions – and was hauled off before the hour mark.
Having had confidence issues at Barcelona, let’s hope he is able to move past this performance and return to his best for Everton.