Everton have picked up just eight points from their last ten Premier League games, so what is going wrong for Marco Silva and the Toffees?
Everton fell to a 2-1 defeat at Southampton last weekend, and the performance will be just as worrying to Silva as the result itself.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints were first in every department, beating the visitors to every loose ball and 50-50.
So what’s going wrong at Goodison Park? They won five out of the seven matches prior to this torrid run of form, so was that a false dawn or a glimpse into this side’s true potential?
The first thing Silva needs to do is identify a captain, whether that be within the dressing room or in the transfer market.
Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines were the leaders in the starting XI until they lost their places this season, and while their replacements have certainly proved to be an upgrade in quality, the Toffees have lost a huge chunk of what made them difficult to play against in the past – fight.
The likes of Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies and Gyfli Sigurdsson have all worn the captain’s armband this season, and it’s pretty clear to see that none of them are the commanding leader that every side needs.
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Whatever fans think of Everton’s centre-forward options, there’s no question they need an upgrade in midfield too.
Idrissa Gueye is a sold play-breaker, but he’s understudied by Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin, both of whom have underwhelmed this season.
Furthermore, the impressive loan move for Andre Gomes looked to be one of the signings of the summer, but the Portuguese international seems lost at the moment and his honeymoon period is well and truly over.
The Toffees are crying out for more options and depth in midfield.
Of course, there is one thing Everton need more than anything else – a new centre forward.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has shown some of his potential in recent matches, but the youngster is simply not a 20-goal striker, yet.
Cenk Tosun appears completely out of favour with Silva, having started just six league games this season, and Richarlison isn’t as effective up front as he is on the wing.
The Toffees need a new captain and a new central midfielder if they are going to surge up the table, but if they don’t sign a clinical striker who can put away chances, the aforementioned improvements would only count for so much.
So, Everton fans, what do you think is going wrong at the moment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…