The struggle continues for Everton as they once again suffered a late disappointment on the road against Brighton & Hove Albion. The VAR was the centre of controversy for rewarding the Seagulls a spot-kick, and the goal from Neal Maupay instigated a comeback minutes after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s sumptuous go-ahead strike.
The pressure continues to mount up on Marco Silva even though the gaffer might feel dejected due to several disputed decisions that did not go in his favour.
“We did well until 75 or 80 minutes and we were in the game and then came one decision. VAR has to be the same for both sides. I’m 100 per cent sure that if they always do the same, we’d see 20 penalties each week in the Premier League.”
The Portuguese did not hide his frustration (as quoted by Sky Sports) after the game, but that does not conceal Silva’s tactical lapse which needs to be addressed more than ever.
Sticking To 4-2-3-1 That Doesn’t Work!
The Goodison boss has been criticised time and again for sticking to a 4-2-3-1 despite failing to produce results for quite a while. This set-up demands a prolific ‘number 9’ who would deliver 20-goal-a-season display persistently while spearheading the attack. However, neither Richarlison nor Dominic Calvert-Lewin holds that poaching instinct despite being effective in their own way.
While many would have thought that Moise Kean is the answer for Everton’s striking woes, it should have been kept in mind that the forward is still too green. He has never scored more than seven goals in the top flight in a single season, and the money spent on him was more to do with the talent he possesses which can come in handy in the future.
Richarlison has exhibited his excellence down the wide areas or as a midfield attacker but is yet to flourish as a marksman. Calvert-Lewin, on the other hand, is more of a second striker or withdrawn forward who loves to keep the ball on his feet, dribble and create space upfront for his attacking partner. He would be more efficient if Silva lines up two strikers in a 4-4-2 diamond with the Brazilian occupying the ‘number 10’ role.
Why 4-4-2 Is The Answer For Everton
While Calvert-Lewin is set to operate as the second striker, outcast Cenk Tosun should be reintegrated due to his scoring ability. The Turkish hitman has been ignored for his one-dimensional display but might find his feet if the formation tweak takes place.
The wingers, these days, prefer to get forward at every opportunity, and that means that the teams in attack do not require inside-forwards. The pair of Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph would do the trick in central midfield whereas Tom Davies or Morgan Schneiderlin might take care of the ‘number 6’ role to shield the ‘back four’ and feature as the chief ball carrier.
This would offer more flexibility allowing Silva to shift to a 4-3-3 (keeping Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison on the wings) or 4-2-3-1 (with Gomes dropping a little dipper to form a double pivot) depending upon the mood and momentum of the game. The likes of Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Moise Kean, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott should be rotated accordingly to utilise the depth and strength of the Everton squad.