Everton v Southampton: Blues need major surgery

Everton produced another tepid, hugely disappointing performance last night and were lucky to get away with a point as they drew 1-1 with Southampton at Goodison Park.

Southampton deservedly went ahead through that man Danny Ings, who yet again managed to score against Everton.

The Saints could have had more goals and were well on top, before the Blues unexpectedly equalised as Richarlison latched onto a fine ball from Lucas Digne and slotted home.

The Toffees were a little better in a dreary second half, but barely deserved the point they managed to hold onto.

Looking at this game raises a lot of disturbing questions. With all due respect to Southampton they are hardly a Premier League superpower. And while they are only just behind Everton in the table, they haven’t spent a tenth of the money shelled out by Farhad Moshiri on this team. So to see how badly the Blues struggled against them last night was deeply worrying.

If Everton keep turning in efforts like this, they will be looking at a finish in the bottom half of the Premier League, never mind qualifying for Europe.

In fact last night finally put paid to that extremely distant prospect in my opinion. Nothing short of a miracle from the virgin Mary herself can get the Blues European football next season!

This turgid performance will surely have convinced Carlo Ancelotti that his team needs major surgery now, not just a bit of tinkering with a few players added here and there.

Personally I’d tear up most of the team that turned out last night. Of those players, the only ones I’d be fully content to see wearing the Toffees brand new Hummel kit next season are; Seamus Coleman, Lucas Digne, Anthony Gordon, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

And I only mention Calvert-Lewin because of how well he was playing before the pandemic. His performances since the season resumed have been very ordinary and unlike his Brazilian partner he’s failed to score a goal.

As for all the rest, frankly most of them can be either binned or relegated to a reserve capacity.

Starting at the back, although he wasn’t particularly bad yesterday or at fault for the goal, I’ve already said I’m not convinced Jordan Pickford can become that top drawer keeper every successful team needs.

And while Michael Keane has been solid enough and plays well alongside a quick defender like Mason Holgate, (who Everton badly missed last night), he is also not really good enough to regularly start.

Yerry Mina is too injury-prone and too similar a defender to Keane, so one or other of those two needs to go in my view. Given all his injury problems, I’d be inclined to cut my losses on Mina.

Then we come to midfield. What can we say about the Toffees dreadful midfield that hasn’t already been said?

Alex Iwobi is, despite his talent, never going to amount to anything it seems and I’m losing patience with him after too many of these listless and forgettable performances.

And what has happened to Andre Gomes? The Portuguese midfield maestro hasn’t really done anything of note since he returned from injury.

Perhaps understandably  he seems to be inhibited by what happened to him back in November and reluctant to get involved in scrapping for the ball.

But even when he has it, he doesn’t seem to want to drive forward anymore or make anything happen. Maybe he came back too quickly from that injury..?

And it tells you how bad he must have been last night to be substituted for Gylfi Sigurdsson! The Icelandic player should not ever be wearing a royal blue shirt again, haven’t I said that before?!

I really don’t understand what Ancelotti sees in him. He consistently under-performs, providing neither offensive creativity or much defensive work rate either. Out the door.

Sorting all this out, represents yet another round of rebuilding with a least six or seven new players needed. Can Everton do it all this summer? I don’t think so and it seems as though we’re looking at at least another two transfer windows before there is likely to be any major improvement in quality. That’s not a happy prospect is it?