Aston Villa 4-0 Everton: Analysis by Martin Keown: ‘It’s disturbing how bad the Toffees were at the basics’

MOTD2 analysis

It was disconcerting to see exactly how bad Everton did on some basics in their 4-0 defeat by Aston Villa on Sunday.

Then, when Toffees manager Sean Dyche spoke about his team’s lack of sharpness, I felt like he might have been questioning their mental strength, but everything about their performance sounded incredibly naive.

Even when Villa were three goals up and the game was over, I still wanted to see the Everton players fighting to keep score, but it seemed to me that message wasn’t getting through.

I was left wondering where their leaders were – I couldn’t believe this was the same group of players who moved to Brighton at the end of last season and played so well to win 5-1.

Against the Seagulls, Everton played a bit deeper but they were composed and solid and when they got the ball they attacked with real energy and exploded forward. Their reward was an amazing result that went a long way to keeping them in the Premier League.

Eight of the players who started that game also started this game, but this time it was very easy to play through.

Once again, they got what they deserved – but this time it was a painful defeat.

Dyche must find the answers again

A snapshot from the bottom of the English Premier League: Chelsea XV, Chief United XVI, Luton XVII, Burnley XVIII, Wolf XIX, Everton XX.
Everton are one of only three top-flight sides to have played two games this season and lost both – and Tovey are the only team to score after playing twice.

It already looks like it will be a very long season for Everton, who are bottom of the table without a goal or a point from their first two matches.

They are already under pressure, and that will only increase if they do not beat another equally matched side, Wolverhampton, at Goodison Park next weekend.

It’s up to Dyche to find a way to do that, just as he did when he came on and kept Everton up.

He’s pulled it off despite winning just five of his 18 league games when he’s in charge, so he already knows the importance of dealing with disappointment and focusing on the next test – something the whole squad will have to do this week.

This is the same Everton team that struggled last year so they are bound to struggle again – but we also know they can play as well as they did against Brighton, and now they have to show it.

“This was not what you would expect from the Dyche team”

Graphic showing Everton starting XI against Aston Villa: Pickford, Patterson, Kane, Tarkovsky, Young, Joy, Garner, Doucoure, Onana, Iwobi, Calvert-Lewin

After a reasonable start against Villa, where I already thought they did a good job in the first 15 minutes, Everton started to give way too much space further out in midfield.

Villa were very clever in the way they pocketed John McGinn and Moussa Diaby in front of the Toves defence, but Daichy’s side never seemed to find a way to stop them and, in the end, they just couldn’t cope.

When Newcastle played Villa last week, the Magpies got hold of them and pressed them up high. Even if Everton didn’t have the players to implement the same game plan, their aim was to make things difficult for Aston Villa – but they didn’t come close to doing so.

I was really surprised to see the ball keep hitting the Everton box so often and there were some very poor grades at times, which really isn’t what you would expect from a team managed by Dycke.

Everton were beaten on the cheap after committing some egregious defensive errors in what was probably the worst performance we’ve seen since Dycke took charge at the end of January.

It was a particularly dark day for them when you consider that they also lost two key players, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alex Iwobi, to injury as well.

Calvert Lewin is very unlucky to get hurt.

Calvert-Lewin was forced off in the first half after injuring his cheek in a collision with Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

He has been criticized by Everton fans for his injury record but I think he is an excellent player who was very unlucky to get hurt.

Calvert Lewis was very brave, really very brave, to attack the ball in the penalty area the way he did and I think anyone who asks him should remember that – and the fact that he didn’t want to go out after that.

He kept playing despite having swelling like you see in a comic strip and by the end it was clear he couldn’t go on.

Most of the time players get injuries that are not visible, but you can definitely see them. He tried to play it all, but he really shouldn’t have been allowed to stay as long as he did.

Without him, Everton lacked a focal point in their attack although I thought Arnaud Danjuma ran the channels well when he came on.

I suppose if you’re an Everton fan you’re looking for the positives right now – there aren’t many of them admittedly, but Danjuma is one.

Daichi clearly needs reinforcements, and was already trying to boost his attack before the Villa match.

He is in talks with Southampton striker Che Adams and is said to be trying to sign Leeds United striker Wilfred Junonto as well. Both players are in the Championship but that’s where Everton are shopping now, because they don’t have a lot of money to spend.

They certainly can’t go out and buy expensive players to try and turn things around, so they’ll have to count on working hard again to make that happen.

MArtyn Keown was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

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