Everton, despite failing to maintain their one-goal lead and allowing Brighton to secure a point in yesterday’s match, displayed signs of ongoing progress.
In truth, the Toffees didn’t exhibit a high level of ambition at Goodison Park. However, after taking an early lead through Vitalii Mykolenko, they might have been a bit unlucky to concede a late own goal.
On the positive side, it was encouraging to witness Everton holding their ground against a quality team like Brighton. It seems that their overall performance is steadily improving.
As per Sean Dyche’s typical approach, Everton were organized to play with limited ambition, focusing on defense and counter-attacking. They executed this strategy effectively, at least until the final few minutes.
Ultimately, Brighton’s persistence, patience, and commitment to attacking football paid off, leading to the equalizer.
As I mentioned in my match report, with only a one-goal lead, there was always a possibility that the visitors would find a way to score at least one goal and potentially more.
Under the former Burnley manager, the Blues are well-structured, disciplined, and defensively solid. They can also pose a significant counter-attacking threat with their best attacking players. However, this approach, while effective away from home against possession-dominant teams, may not be as suitable for home games with higher expectations to attack and win.
Furthermore, it heavily relies on the team maintaining a high level of concentration and minimizing errors, which can be challenging, especially when players are fatigued from a congested fixture schedule. This fatigue issue is partly a consequence of the squad’s lack of depth.
As many have pointed out previously, Everton must find a way to consistently threaten throughout a game and avoid conceding too much possession week after week, as they did against Brighton with approximately 80% possession.
Another concern is the right side of the team, which appears to be a potential weakness. Dyche chose Ashley Young at right-back with Jack Harrison in front of him. Young, despite his defensive capabilities, doesn’t contribute much offensively and has disciplinary issues. Some argue that Nathan Patterson should be given more opportunities, as he represents the future in that position, unlike the 38-year-old free agent signing Young.
Harrison, while hardworking and always available for the ball, has had a limited impact recently and should focus on providing more of a goal threat.
Hopefully, Dyche will consider giving Patterson another chance, starting with the upcoming game against Crystal Palace.
In summary, although conceding late and dropping two points was frustrating, there are positive signs that Everton is on an upward trajectory and can distance themselves from the relegation zone.