Everton are back in Bournemouth just four days after the completely embarassing 4-1 capitulation at the hands of the Cherries in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. Lampard made 11 changes to the team that was beaten by Leicester last weekend and it was a challenge to come up with anything that could be seen as being worthy of ‘building upon’. This was the final game before the World Cup break and a result was critical.......period.
In his pre-match comments, Frank Lampard was mindful of the performance on Tuesday but understandably needing to put it out of the team’s thinking:
It’s a blank sheet. There will be different teams for both of us and it’s a different competition. Of course, we will make changes and Bournemouth will, too.
In terms of ourselves, we’re going back to a stadium where we didn’t perform well enough [on Tuesday]. We have to take that as a collective and put it right. It would be really nice to go into a big break for the World Cup with a win. There’s no doubt.
It’s important to be resilient constantly and understand the process of where we want to get to.
It’s a season where you can get three points and be a point or goal difference away from the top half of the table. We will push to try to get a result at the weekend, then everyone then goes home with a bit of positivity, and the table will look better.
Everton and Bournemouth have met ten times in the Premier League. Both clubs have won four, with two draws. Everton are winless in all five league away matches versus Bournemouth, with two draws and three defeats. When Frank Lampard faced Gary O’Neill as a player, Frank came out on top in every one of the twelve Premier League matches. Let’s hope THIS is the pattern that continues!
Nathan Patterson will start at right-back as Frank Lampard makes two changes from Everton’s previous league encounter for today’s Premier League clash at Bournemouth. The Scotland international comes into the XI for Seamus Coleman, while Neal Maupay replaces the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin in attack in the only switches from last weekend’s match against Leicester City at Goodison Park.
Idrissa Gana Gueye and Amadou Onana - who both missed the midweek Carabao Cup loss due to minor injuries start in midfield alongside Alex Iwobi. James Garner misses out today through injury. It will be interesting to see if Tom Cannon is given a bigger opportunity off the bench after only getting a 10 minute spell in midweek. Anthony Gordon was on the bench after a less than acceptable outing on Tuesday.
Everton started the match with a 4-3-3 formation with Maupay up front. The game started with little pace or venom although Everton had more than 70% of the possession in the first ten minutes. The game started to open up and the sides both using the counter attack as the most potent way forward. The deadlock was broken after Dominic Solanke curled a shot which Pickford saved but Tavernier was there to put the ball into the net.
On the 20 minute mark, Everton were given a free kick which was well defended by Bournemouth. Everton’s resulting corner, their 67th without a goal and the number went up to 68. Everton have not scored a headed goal this season. Bournemouth continued to press and McNeil gave up the ball which ended with Zemura and Pickford clattering into each other. Bournemouth doubled their lead in the 24th minute after Tarkowski went down with a head injury and Keifer Moore slammed the ball into the net. There was a goal check but there was no reprieve for the Blues. Mykolenko was also injured in the melee and was withdrawn with a head injury. Seamus Coleman came on in his place.
It took Everton 40 minutes to get their first shot on the net and it could have been more accurately called a back pass from Alex Iwobi. Solanke had another chance but the ball skidded wide of the far post. Nathan Pattersen had a shot blocked and then was taken down by Senesi who was given a yellow card which was then followed by another given to Lewis Cook. As the half ended, the only saving grace for Everton was knowing that Bournemouth have struggled to protect a lead in recent weeks.
The second half started without any changes to the sides. Amadou Onana went on a marauding run and cut the ball back only to have the ball fly over the net. The pace of the match was greatly increased at the start of the half. Solanke had another chance in the 50th minute but Pickford was up to the task. Everton were all over the place defensively and Bournemouth were exploiting the space that was being provided by Everton as they attempted to push forward.
After a good attacking run from Gray, the resulting corner saw Tarkowski climb and head the ball agonizingly over the bar. Nathan Pattersen then took a strike at net which just went over the top of the bar. Onana was taking more of a controlling role in the middle of the field. The third goal was scored by Jadon Anthony after only 2 minutes of being on the field with another thumping header. There was absolutely no marking and he was inside the six yard box. Everton quickly took the ball down the field and both McNeil and Pattersen could not get the ball into the net. Solanke put the ball into the net but it was quickly flagged for offside.
It took until the 75th minute for a substitution to be made. Cannon, Doucore and Gordon were brought on to replace Maupay and McNeil who were poor and Onana. It took Cannon only one minute to force the Bournemouth keeper into a save. Unfortunately, this was the only chance that Everton could muster in the final minutes of the game. Bournemouth had the closest opportunity with Billings putting the ball just wide of the post.
The final whistle blew and the Everton fans showed their displeasure. Iwobi went over to them and received some abuse. Iwobi gave his shirt to a fan who threw it back. The situation was very uncomfortable.
The attacking ineptitude continued to be the downfall for Everton. The team had their 68th corner of the season without a goal. Everton have not scored a a headed goal this season. Everton had failed to score in their last 3 away games which was their worst run in the last 8 seasons. One of the obvious issues was the lack of movement ahead of the ball. The passing was too slow and their long passes were easily read. Everton need to watch how Solanke, Tavernier and Moore did their work today.
The Premier League has rightly been addressing the need to protect players with head injuries. The incident leading to Bournemouth’s second goal was overlooked by Craig Pawson and play was allowed to continue. Later in the half a Bournemouth player went down and the whistle was immediately blown much to the frustration of the attacking Blues. Consistency from Craig Pawson would have helped provide clarity for how a referee should manage a head injury. The referee should blow the whistle when he has determined that a player has a head injury. This did not happen and it cost Everton.
A fifth defeat in seven league games is just not good enough. When Bournemouth score 7 goals in two matches there is a problem. No attack, a lack of focus and no visible plan when in possession. Everton end the day in 17th place, just one point above the drop zone. Dark days and 7 weeks to reflect on the dire situation. The fans who travelled to Bournemouth twice this week should have their travelling expenses covered and their tickets paid for by the club. Great fans can only take so much.
The debate over Lampard will only continue. Although the lack of changes continue to frustrate, I am not sure if a change of manager will help. The real work needs to be done in the window. The question will be whether the team will be in the relegation zone when that window opens. At this rate they will be.