Everton must produce an improved performance against Brentford on Saturday.
Everton were totally outplayed by Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday. Even though the Toffees only lost by a 1-0 scoreline, Sean Dyche will know that his side were comprehensively outclassed.
The home side were entirely toothless in attack, mustering just one shot on target in the match. Arsenal were also allowed to enjoy 74% of possession as they dominated the midfield battle.
This is arguably the biggest problem that Dyche must find a solution to. His side couldn’t get a foothold in the middle of the park, which caused the problems at both ends of the pitch.
As Arsenal had so much of the ball, they were able to build up wave after wave of attacks. Eventually, this pressure told as Leandro Trossard made the breakthrough. Equally, Everton weren’t able to work the ball up the pitch in a measured fashion often enough to carve out any clear cut scoring opportunities of their own.
The shortcomings of Dyche’s preferred midfield trio, comprised of Idrissa Gueye, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Amadou Onana, were ruthlessly exposed by the north London club. This isn’t the first time this season that this midfield unit has been overwhelmed. Aston Villa also won their midfield battle against Everton.
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Dyche must pick Garner over Gueye
Dyche needs to address this by taking Gueye out of the starting XI when Everton take on Brentford this weekend. The 33-year-old simply isn’t at the required standard anymore. Instead, James Garner needs an opportunity to shine in the heart of the Everton midfield.
The £30,000-a-week 22-year-old has been deployed on the right-flank so far this season, but is at his best in the middle of the field. He would bring extra energy and creativity into this part of the pitch.
Dyche’s midfield selections so far have failed him. Now is the time to give the player Everton paid £15 million to Manchester United for last summer his chance to strut his stuff in his preferred position this season.