Everton play with no urgency
A patient and methodical build-up can be an effective strategy for a team, but for a struggling Everton team, that may not be the best way to break out of their recent slump. The speedy counter-attacking style that lead to some early season wins has all but vanished.
This issue comes down to Everton’s two best passers, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes. Neither player is particularly fast, and that’s okay. No one is asking them to be Theo Walcott. But what should be expected of them is getting the ball upfield and at the feet of Everton’s attacking players in a timely manner. Whenever Everton had the opportunity to attack Watford FC on the break, one of Sigurdsson or Gomes would take their sweet time deciding on a pass only for the opportunity to vanish.
A simple, quick-paced attack could be a way for Everton to break out of their recent slump. They have been woefully ineffective at scoring through a more traditional build-up and getting up field a little quicker could catch the opposing defenses off guard.
xG map for Watford - Everton pic.twitter.com/bIvdfSeREC— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) February 10, 2019
Silva’s formation change fails
Credit to Marco Silva, he did attempt to switch things up Saturday with a 4-3-2-1 formation. Unfortunately it did little to help Everton compete against Watford.
The passing and inter-play was good at times, but Everton were simply unable to generate any real chances. The few opportunities they did have were the result of turnovers by Watford and they were easily stopped.
No reinforcements will be coming, so Silva is stuck with what he has. It remains to be seen what, if anything can be done by the manager to get his team to play up to their potential.
Idrissa Gueye has a sneaky good match
Fresh off his failed transfer to Paris Saint Germain, there may have been some concerns about Idrissa Gueye’s commitment to the club for the remainder of the season. But against Watford, Gueye was arguably Everton’s best player in a match where they struggled to do much of anything.
Unless you’re looking closely, it can be easy to forget just how much Gueye does for this team. His passing was very good in this match, 83% pass success with 75% of his long balls being successful. He was also rock solid on the defensive side of the ball nabbing two interceptions and four successful tackles.
Since his arrival, Gueye has been one of Everton’s most consistent players. It is good to see him remain with the team at least for the rest of this season.