If an extra-terrestrial was sent down to Earth to study football on Friday evening, their assessment of the beautiful game would conclude that it was anything but pretty.
That would definitely have been the case if they watched Everton and West Ham play each other. The match between the two overachievers this season was a drab affair devoid of quality, penetration and excitement but it did garner one goal.
Unfortunately for the Toffees, it went West Ham’s way as Tomas Soucek was in the right place at the right time yet again to come up with the goods.
It was a performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s side that was completely out of tune with their recent performances. Over the last month or so they have beaten Leicester, Arsenal and Chelsea but this lacked everything we saw in those matches.
It was a slow laboured display and it was typified by the performance of midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Iceland international scored against Sheffield United last time out but his efforts on this occasion, along with Bernard’s on the right-hand side, weren’t good enough. The Brazilian only won one of the nine duels he contested but Sigurdsson was even worse.
To highlight how bad he was, the attacking midfielder lost 100% of his duels, failing to engineer a performance of any significance. Though, it was his creativity that should have been the biggest concern. Sigurdsson mustered only one key pass and thus, was lamented for it at full-time.
Adam Jones, Everton reporter for the Liverpool Echo, wrote: “Everton needed creativity and energy in the final third and it was unfortunately lacking from Sigurdsson on this occasion.”
With James Rodriguez starting on the bench, Ancelotti really needed his midfielder to stand up and be counted but that simply wasn’t the case. To add to his woes, he didn’t attempt a single shot or dribble.
Everton had plenty of problems against the Hammers, but Sigurdsson was undoubtedly one of the worst. He needs to match the same energy he showed on Boxing Day.