Garth Crooks has shared his verdict on how Everton performed against Sheffield United.
Everton recorded their first Premier League point of the season so far with a 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Sheffield United on Saturday.
Sean Dyche’s side had to battle for the result. The Toffees went ahead when Abdoulaye Doucoure netted the club’s first Premier League goal of the season, but the Blades fought back to level the tie.
With seconds remaining, the hosts had a corner. Oli McBurnie rose highest to crash a bouncing header towards goal. Jordan Pickford pulled off a spectacular save to claw the ball away, with some help from the woodwork. The England shot-stopped was on hand again to keep the ball out as the Sheffield United striker tried to bundle in the follow-up.
Pickford’s last gasp heroics earned him a place in Garth Crook’s Team of the Week. However, the BBC Sport pundit was less kind about the rest of the Everton team. He said, “if Everton are going to survive this season then they can’t afford to concede two goals, especially when they score two away from home. Their problem hasn’t been so much their poor finishing but their diabolical defending.”
Everton look fragile at the back
Much has been made of Everton’s lack of goals. It was a huge issue for the Merseyside club last season, as they came very close to relegation from the Premier League.
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Dyche tried to address his team’s lack of cutting edge in the transfer window his summer. Beto, Youssef Chermiti, Arnaut Danjuma, and Jack Harrison were all brought to Goodison Park to try and make Everton more clinical in the final third.
However, the Toffees’ issues at the back remain, and could ultimately end up costing them their top flight status this season. Everton have already conceded eight goals in four Premier League games.
Jarrad Branthwaite has been brought into the starting XI in place of the struggling Michael Keane. However, the 21-year-old centre-back may not be ready to shoulder that burden throughout the entire season. Meanwhile, summer arrival Ashley Young has struggled to hit the ground running at the club.
Dyche needs to make his side more solid at the back as a matter of urgency.