Everton’s Lack of Pace & Width Easily SolvedBy Ryan Grant • Sep 26th, 2017 • Category: News |
Everton are struggling massively down to their lack of genuine pace and width – but is the solution closer to home?
Perhaps the stubborn Koeman should opt to utilise his wingers – Bolasie is soon to be back, but he has Vlasic, Mirallas, Lennon and Lookman at his disposal. Whilst inconistent, these players could provide a proposed front two of Niasse and Calvert-Lewin with genuine service.
OK, perhaps Everton are lacking real quality up front and out wide. Everton do have a wide range of number tens, central defensive and box-to-box midfielders, but he also does wide men. Sadly, these seem to be a dated thing for Koeman.
The Impact Of A Lack of Pace On the Defence
Everton’s full backs have often been left exposed by slow ‘number tens’ who have not afforded adequete protection on the flanks due to their instinct to play centrally.
Any side that moves the ball quickly against us can expose this ill-positioning.
Playing genuine wide men will help protect Everton’s exposed full backs, who currently have nobody in front of them to support them with defensive duties or with building possession and retaining the ball.
Currently, the central midfielders have to shift across to the sides, leaving holes in front of the centre of defence and this leaves the team exposed.
This exploits Everton’s lack of pace in central defence, though the thought is that this can be solved with Holgate & Keane.
However, when Williams and Jagielka play, Everton struggle. The team cannot afford to play high enough up the pitch as a starting position. Pace in defence and a higher starting position would help to compensate for an inability to get up the pitch from a deep starting position with slower centre backs.
In other words, the combination of Holgate and Keane would allow Everton to defend higher up the pitch – rather than their box – and allow the likes of Klassen to have starting positions that are close enough to the opposition danger areas to cause genuine problems.
Klassen, Rooney, Sigurrdson, Gueye are workaholics but need to be utilised in a more suitable gameplan.
Everton’s Style of Play Doesn’t Offer Any Hope
There is no genuine strategy and real hope amongst Everton fans that Everton’s current style of play will succeed.
Would Giroud help? Yes. He would certainly hold the ball up well enough to allow players to get up the pitch and offer a real threat from crosses.
With the formation Everton have played this season, they have relied on width from full-backs to deliver a final ball or cross into the box.
This simply hasn’t worked as Baines is no longer able to get high up the pitch, has no support in front of him and always has to pass inside, and no protection behind him. Martina is proving to be very erratic and inconistent, although may settle into a decent offensive full back.
But until Everton play wingers, they will continue to struggle to offer any width and find good, late crossing opportunities from the by-line. Some are not entirely convinced this system is even viable yet without a target man – they need the option to play high crosses and cut backs to a Giroud type and low crosses to the likes of Klassen, Rooney. Perhaps Niasse and Calvert-Lewin in partnership up front and two wide men can help with this.
But those two lack reputation and this is why they are looking at Cavani and Giroud.
Away from home, Koeman should look towards a counter attacking style with wingers would be a genuine option away at the bigger sides. Jagielka and Williams, if they play, can only defend their 18 yard box, so this would help them.
But at home, Everton need to find a new way of playing. Upping the tempo can help compensate for a lack of pace, and that would be a start – however that comes with confidence which has been shattered by a luckless start.
Discuss this news in our Everton Forum.