Attack can’t assert themselves
One of the big areas of improvement under Carlo Ancelotti has been the attack. With Marco Silva as manager, Everton often struggled to remain cohesive in attack and score goals. With Ancelotti this team is at least scoring more and giving themselves a chance to compete in games.
But in this match against Chelsea, Everton looked disorganized and lost. The players never seemed able to get any sustained pressure on Chelsea. The midfield looked completely disconnected from the strikers and too often the midfielders were left with few options to move the ball forward.
This lack of organization and inability to exert any influence in the attacking half left the defense open to attack. And the defense certainly did themselves no favors in repelling the pressure from Chelsea either.
Defense in shambles
The defense for Everton seems to be a never ending issue. They seem incapable of stringing together more than a few positive performances before allowing several goals in one afternoon. The defense against Chelsea was poor in all aspects of the game.
They allowed Chelsea to run behind them, they defended set pieces poorly and allowed too much space for shots inside the box. Jordan Pickford also looked poor despite some big saves. Lucas Digne and Michael Keane in particular looked poor in this match and throughout the season as a whole.
Ancelotti needs to figure out the best player combination for this back line. Both Yerry Mina and Leighton Baines have both performed consistently and may have earned an extended run in the starting line up.
Turn the focus away from the Europa League
Many would like to see Everton playing European football again, but as things stand they don’t look ready. With the league table so bunched up, Everton still have a chance to make it to Europe despite finding themselves in 12th place. But it appears that even if they did grab that final spot, the results would likely be the same as they have been in previous seasons.
I think it would be wise for Ancelotti to figure out his roster and get this team set up to succeed before being plunged into European football. After a loss like this it’s so clear that this side has a lot of issues. The defense is spotty at best, the midfield is lacking quality depth and they have no one to get goals beside Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
Ancelotti and Marcel Brands need to spend the rest of this season and the upcoming summer creating a team that Ancelotti can succeed with. Both times Everton have been in the Europa League under Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman they were unable to balance the work load of multiple competitions. A more deliberate rebuild may be the way to long term success.