After enduring a mixed bag of success and setbacks over the seasons, Everton have slowly been rising in the ranks of the Premier League, and have always sought to make their mark. However, so far this season, they’ve not managed to do that.
Having secured just one win the in the league, the Toffees sit at the 17th position, just above the relegation zone. And while it is still too early in the season to raise alarm bells, their 3-0 loss to Atlanta in the Europa League has prompted manager Ronald Koeman to hold a crisis meeting with senior players.
After the Europa League defeat, the manager promised (via the Guardian): “I will have a meeting with most of the players, with the key players. Not a young talent of 18 or 19 because it’s time for the experienced players to stand up.
“I am worried about what I saw yesterday. I wasn’t so worried after [the 2-0 loss at] Chelsea. It starts with the reaction in the second half against Tottenham. That 45 minutes and the first 45 minutes of yesterday are enough reason to be worried.”
Moreover, it appears that much of their failures to capitalize on opportunities lie in the looming hole in attack left by the departure of Romelu Lukaku, who was a prized goal-scorer for the club for several seasons. The prodigal return of Wayne Rooney, despite being the only player to have found the net for the Merseyside club this season, has proved underwhelming.
Furthermore, the manager also attributed defensive woes to be the source of the club’s poor run, by stating: “I am worried about our aggression on the pitch and how we defend.
“I see a difference in how teams make it difficult for our strikers and how much space we give their strikers, how we let them turn, not following your man, not defending your man tight, not being aggressive. That’s what I am worried about. And, of course, confidence.”
Everton return to action in the Premier League on Sunday. With the Red Devils eager to cement their spot at the top of the table, the encounter will definitely prove to be another tough hurdle for the Merseysiders.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.