Sean Dyche has stated the attacking side of their game let Everton down against Arsenal.
Whilst Everton came into Sunday’s fixture as underdogs, they will have taken heart from the fact that the Gunners hadn’t previously won a Premier League match at Goodison Park since 2017.
However, the visitors produced a dominant display and deserved their 1-0 win.
Whilst the Toffees defended diligently for much of the match, they offered no real cutting edge in the final third. £26 million summer signing Beto was ineffective, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin fared no better when he replaced the striker from the bench.
Too often, Everton resorted to lumping hopeful long balls up the pitch which invariably amounted to nothing.
This isn’t the first time Sean Dyche has seen his side lack a killer instinct this season. In five Premier League outings so far, the Toffees have only found the back of the net twice, with both strikes coming against newly-promoted Sheffield United last time out.
Everton must improve in this regard, and quickly, if they are to stand any chance of retained their top flight status this season.
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After the defeat against Arsenal, Dyche did not seek to disguise his side’s attacking shortcomings.
Dyche slams Everton attack
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Everton boss said, “we defended resolutely but we never got to grips with the ball. The defensive side worked really hard but the attacking side we were never really near to laying a glove and making a difference.”
“They pressed well and we were unsure whether to go short or long. You have to get the first pass away on turnover. If you don’t get it away then the team can’t open up on the counter.”
This key detail, about the confusion in Everton’s build up play, explains why the hosts weren’t able to seriously test the Arsenal rearguard. On the few occasions they did have the ball, the Toffees’ play lacked cohesion and broke down all too easily.
Dyche needs to take responsibility for this. Everton’s attacking woes can be remedied to at least some extent on the training pitch. Whilst there is certainly a shortage of quality in the squad, they ought to have created more against Arsenal than they did. Any uncertainty over how they were meant to play and build attacks falls on the manager’s shoulders.