After having a seemingly fantastic transfer window, Everton were tipped by many at the start of the season to make a serious claim to enter the top 4. Liverpool had their defensive problems, while Spurs’ poor form at Wembley was a concern as well. Hence, the Toffees could really get in and among the big boys if their new signings came good. These signing included goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, centre-back Michael Keane, midfielders Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaasen and forwards Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney. All the bases looked to be covered, as they splashed out over £ million in total.
Five weeks in, and Everton are nowhere to be seen in the top 4. Hell, you can’t even find them in the top half. Scroll all the way down and Ronald Koeman’s men are down in 18th place, in the relegation zone. They’ve only collected 4 points and have a goal difference of -8, the joint worst in the entire league.
So what’s gone wrong? They haven’t won since the opening day of the season and in the last three Premier League games, they’ve conceded 9 times without scoring a single goal themselves. Sandwiched between these matches was the 3-0 loss to Atalanta in the Europa League as well. Koeman has big problems.
At the weekend against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Everton played well. After going down to an unstoppable Antonio Valencia early on, the visitors were very much in the game until late on. Rooney missed a couple of good chances to level, before a quickfire flourish from United saw the game end 4-0. The scoreline may have not have suggested it, but there were certainly some improvements from the Everton point of view.
However, the problem remained the same. They just can’t seem to score goals at the moment. They’ve only managed 2 all season, and the loss of RomeluLukaku to United in the summer is being felt loud and clear. The Belgian scored against his former club at the weekend to compound their misery, showing them just what they were missing.
The defence hasn’t flattered at all. Even though Keane hasn’t been all that shabby following his £25 million move from Burnley in the summer, Ashley Williams has looked really suspect. They need to stop the flow of goals going in. There is creativity aplenty in midfield but they need to find someone who can finish off the chances created.
Rooney has been good but is clearly in the declining phase of his career. Ramirez was fantastic at Malaga last season and could be the way forward. If not, Everton could be in the market once again in January, this time looking for a marquee striker. Koeman has to steady the ship soon, and could be looking at the exit door at Goodison Park.
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