Marco Silva is having trouble providing answers to why his team continues to underperform in big moments.
Everton failed in its bid to ride into the Top Four after five weeks, falling 3-1 to Bournemouth on Sunday at the Vitality Stadium, another inconsistent performance from a string of fixtures expected to yield much more than seven points.
[ RECAP: Bournemouth 3-1 Everton ]
The Toffees have drawn Crystal Palace, beaten Wolves and Watford, and lost to Aston Villa and Bournemouth. That fixture list led to lofty early season expectations, and Everton has failed to live up to them.
Take Sunday: The Toffees went down early but rebounded to level the score through Dominic Calvert-Lewin and were in control of the game before a pair of glaring errors put them down 3-1.
First, Fabian Delph couldn’t get muster on Ryan Fraser‘s dangerous free kick and Jordan Pickford couldn’t claim the slight deflection. Then Yerry Mina and Michael Keane failed to notice Callum Wilson before a 1v1 with a stunned Pickford put the game in an even worse position for them.
“It was a big frustration. we lost the game and we gave some things to easily to our opponent,” Silva said. “We have to be ruthless away from home and you have to be clinical in attack.”
Everton had made a habit of winning tackles and 50/50 balls over the first four weeks, but found it tough sledding against the Cherries.
While the Toffees out-tackled Bournemouth 21-17 and finished even in aerial battles, they are usually well in front in tackles (7th in the Premier League) and also lead the league in aerials won per match.
That also tells you that in Everton’s matches, the ball really isn’t on the deck too often.
“They won the second ball and the third ball,” Silva said. “We reacted and equalized and then we introduced some fresh legs in our attacking line but then we conceded in that moment. As always, we have a lot of work to do. Our home form is fantastic but to win our away games we have to be more aggressive and more solid so that we do not concede easy goals.”
Sheffield United is next, and Everton has a League Cup match before meeting its first contender of the season in Man City.
But life doesn’t get truly tough until an absolutely perilous run of fixtures beginning Nov. 30 at Leicester City, and then seeing the following opponents over the next 21 days: Liverpool away, Chelsea home, Manchester United away, Arsenal home.
The Toffees are wasting the chance to build a top class cushion.