Everton were humiliated on Sunday as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed them by a 6-2 scoreline at Goodison Park.
Having taken the lead through Theo Walcott, a calamitous defensive mix up saw Spurs level the tie almost immediately, and from then on Tottenham pulled their opponents apart.
The manner of this defeat will be a huge concern for Marco Silva, whose side have now failed to win in five consecutive Premier League matches.
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The Toffees can count a number of top class players amongst their ranks – especially in their attacking contingent. However, if they are serious about competing for European football, then Silva must address the key frailties in his squad.
For all of their technical ability, the Merseyside outfit lack steel. Yesterday’s wingers, Walcott and Richarlison, offer pace and goal threat, defensively though they do not compete well enough or track back with enough diligence and awareness.
The central paring of Andre Gomes and Tom Davies, likewise, lost the physical battle on Sunday. With Idrissa Gueye missing, Everton lacked tenacity and fight in the middle of the park.
The Toffees need more battlers, like Gueye. However, this is not a problem Silva can look to solve via the transfer market alone.
Change must first arise from a new attitude in the team towards defending from the front. Against Spurs, Everton’s pressing – when it occurred at all – was limp and disjointed, and served only to create more space for the visitors to exploit. In this discipline, Everton should look to repeat the progress of their neighbours, and bitter rivals, Liverpool.
Silva has to instil a new mentality. If he can’t then Everton shall continue to be picked apart by the ‘big six’, and the club will stand no chance of breaking into the ranks of that elite group themselves.