Last weekend’s result brought a lot of confidence back to the Blue half of Merseyside. Of course, it was only a draw, but a point away to City is a valuable one as long as we put the results in against less-tougher opposition. Next match, we get beaten away to Burnley. A positive start led to horrendous defending at the back, Stek spilling the ball straight to Sam Vokes who won’t have an easier finish in his career. Everton would equalise after having most of the ball in the second half, Yannick Bolasie scoring his first for the Blues. However, after having no pressure whatsoever from the Burnley attack, Scott Arfield scored in the 90th minute to give Burnley their injury-time winner in the Premier League (oh yes, it had to be against Everton). Time to analyse…
The hosts sat in a 442, Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee and Ward making up the back five. Burnley was without Steven Defour so Jeff Hendrick replaced him in midfield, alongside Dean Marney. Gudmundsson and Kightly on the wing. Scitt Arfield and Sam Vokes starting upfront.
Everton would make just the one change from Man City, Cleverley being replaced by Ross Barkley. The Toffees started in a 433, Stekelenburg in goal, Coleman and Oviedo as fullbacks, Jagielka and Williams in the centre-back roles. Barry, Gueye and Barkley made the three in midfield, Mirallas left, Bolasie right, Lukaku as striker.
In fairness to Everton, we started well. Most of the play was all coming from the right, we had just 13% of our touches on the ball on the left side of the pitch, 33% was on the right. Despite having 8 shots, warning signs were already appearing. Lukaku had just one shot out of the 8 in the first 25 minutes and despite having that amount of shots, we weren’t really creating anything. The final ball didn’t exist. Burnley made this difficult of course, rather than having men behind the ball, the hosts were actually pressing and pressed very well against a controlling Everton team.
Defensively we looked shaky, even though Burnley weren’t doing anything at all. The only threat that came towards us was long balls, unsurprising considering they had a striker who had won more aerial duels than anyone else in the entire league. The ball would be left to bounce all the way back to Stekelenburg at times, Williams and Jagielka not clearing as much as they usually do.
From 25 minutes onwards, it was complete shut down until the end of the half. No shots, no chances created, we couldn’t even string two passes together at times – 20 minutes before the end of the half, Everton ended on a 45% passing rate (that’s involving all the players).
After barely any threat at all, Burnley went one-up. Mirallas was disposed on the halfway line, 3 passes later we were totally exposed. Oviedo pointlessly moving forward on Gudmundsson, which broke the defensive line completely. Williams was beaten by Arfield on the one-v-one, before Arfield produced a very slow, bouncing ball forward, nowhere near the striker Sam Vokes. Rather than keeping the ball in both his hands, Stekelenburg spilled the ball straight to Vokes who tapped in from close range. An awful goal to concede not helped by the fact Seamus Coleman played everyone onside.
A shocking half completed by a shocking goal.
Coleman and Oviedo moved up the field a lot more during the second half; thanks to Gareth Barry dropping into the back three. He does this most the time anyway and a tactic, which Koeman has used at other clubs – but this was noticed much more during the second half.
To be brutally honest, Oviedo and Coleman moving forward created no effect anyway. Nothing was still being created, Lukaku was invisible and the only player who was putting in any sort of effort was Yannick Bolasie.
Just before the hour mark and Everton equalised. Barry’s ball forward created an overlap on the far side, arriving to Lukaku. He was then shoved off the ball – the most amount of aggression we showed during the entire match – by Yannick Bolasie who carried the ball into the area before beating Heaton to make it 1-1.
After finally breaking through Burnley’s defence, you would’ve thought Everton would push on and actually create some more chances. Nope. It was as if nothing had happened. Mirallas and Barkley vanished from the game entirely, Lukaku given no service from his attacking midfielders – very similar to last season.
A lot of credit has to be given to Burnley during this period however, sticking to a 442 and drifting from one side to the other. They may of not provided anything going forward, but you could tell nothing was going to get past them. Having a great goalkeeper didn’t help us in the slightest; Heaton was making save after save and continued to do this all afternoon.
After a long, frustrating 89 minutes, it seemed like Everton were going to accept another draw – their third in the league on the bounce. One minute later, Burnley would take the lead.
Heaton’s long ball forward created absolute chaos for at the back for Everton. Gudmundsson’s long-range effort smashed the crossbar, the ball bounced back to Scott Arfield who put the ball into the bottom corner on the half-volley. The attack shouldn’t even of started if Bolaise didn’t try to dribble the ball out of the area. Cleverley allowed Arfield into the area and Seamus Coleman was too busy covering Ashley Williams rather than covering the only position he had to be in. An awful defensive showing from Everton.
A few talking points
I’m not usually this negative when it comes to analysis – but we need to be honest, we simply weren’t good enough. We had the possession to do it, we had the striker to do it and we had the defence to at least keep us stable. I understand credit is due to Burnley, Lukaku had 4 touches in the box the entire game and beat us without having Steven Defour in midfield – a player I rate highly.
Everton are clearly missing 4 or 5 physical players in the side, we are consistently bullied off the ball against ‘lower’ opposition. One player we are crying out for is someone who can create chances, Leighton Baines has been a big, big miss, not just going forward but keeping the defence balanced. As for Barkley, Mirallas and Coleman, Koeman needs to evaluate these players and decide on their futures.
Two match analysis’s posted on the website, two defeats. Results like these ones just make draws away at the Ethiad completely pointless and meaningless. I’d rather pick up three points away at Burnley and outclassed by City rather than an impressive point at a big club before defeat the next week. Something needs to change and I’m sure it will, we’ve got a lot of tough fixtures ahead in November/December time and we need to have the team to do it. Onwards and upwards.
Stats via Squawka and Whoscored,
Up the Toffees.