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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Everton vs Aston Villa – ‘Three poor performances. Why?’

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was asking the question all supporters have been asking over the last couple of weeks. Why have the performances been so poor? Not even the vastly experienced manager could give a definitive answer in the pre-match press conference admitting ‘It is difficult to say.’ His excuses were that that Everton ‘didn’t have a lot of time to recover properly’ and also ‘we lost a bit of fighting spirit’.  

Everton fans could have answered his own question, however. It is simply because the players are not good enough. No passion, no fight, and no quality. That was evident in the game against Wolves. It was clear to see. It has been clear to see all season. Over the past few years many managers have came in at Everton and have soon after been sacked due to the poor performances. One thing is for certain, that will not happen this time round. 

The supporters will back this manager over any of the players and since the restart many members of the squad have practically shown themselves the exit door. Since Ancelotti has come in Everton’s form improved but it only papered over the cracks. Many a time Ancelotti would have won the game for Everton with his tactical nous. Now the players are performing like they did earlier on in the season.  

Luckily for them there is a transfer window coming up. Nearly the whole squad could be moved on that is how bad they have been performing. That is unrealistic however due to the fact a massive overhaul could see another problem arise. Ancelotti is not stupid and will know what to do. That may be the only thing Everton fans are clinging onto. 

They are worried. They have every right to be. This season is finished for Everton now. But the worry is for embarrassment. Aston Villa will be a difficult game regardless of form due to how Dean Smith’s side are in a dog fight down the bottom of the table. Everton do not want to be embarrassed but it may just happen as the awful performances of these players has no bounds. Need I remind you of already relegated Norwich City’s singular away win this season? 

If Marco Silva was still in charge this game against Aston Villa may have been an all important six pointer but Ancelotti made sure that was not the case. Now the Italian wants to see a huge reaction from his players stating that he wants to see a ‘different attitude, different mentality’ and a ‘different character’. If some players do not give him that then they may be playing their last games for this famous old club. 

A big attitude change is definitely needed from England’s number one, if he still has that tag anymore. Jordan Pickford has never shown good consistent form whilst at Everton and his performance against Wolves was absolutely horrendous. He always seems to have a howler in him and yet again he did. Letting a simple weak shot go under him and nearly creep in from Daniel Pondence. The worst thing about it was his reaction as he was smirking and had his tongue out like a child in a playground. 

For some that is that. Many Everton fans vented their annoyance on social media stating that his time was up. The third goal from Wolves was also medicore goalkeeping as he was beaten at his near post. A very poor game which Pickford may not survive from. He has three games left to effectively save his Everton career. Ancelotti is harsh, which is needed, but it looks unlikely that he is harsh enough to drop Pickford for the departing Maarten Stekelenburg or the young Joao Virgina, although stranger things have happened. 

Confirmed team news for the game on Thursday night is that Andre Gomes and finally Mason Holgate will be back ready to start. Unfortunately, though Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph will be out. For Aston Villa as well as long term injured players Tom Heaton and Wesley the likes of Bjorn Engels, Kortney Hause and Neil Taylor will be missing. 

It may be a time for Ancelotti to try a new system or different players but one thing is for certain it is time to get a win after three games without one. It is time to give Evertonians a reason to be happy about their beloved team that they care so much about. They want to see a glimpse of the future which many of these players will not be a part of. 

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: ‘If You Know Your History’ Everton-themed 5K run goes virtual

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