Everton: Reason behind Everton’s struggle in attack in Brentford loss explained

The resentfulness among the fans was way over the boiling point. Restlessness hit new peaks. No signs of renaissance from the team. The away trip to Brentford felt like another stone-cold reality check as Everton were left exposed to their attacking deficiencies.

Everton dominated possession for large periods of the game, amounting to 60% in the entire game, which is in stark contrast with the average possession of 42.9%. Sadly, most of the possession turned out to be meaningless possession as despite having the ball, the side struggled to make inroads in the Brentford goal. Even when spaces were attacked and half chances were created, the strikers didn’t attack the position and often the attack just fizzled out.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured and Richarlison suspended, there was a bar debate going on as to who starts the game as the focal point of the attack and maximum arguments were made in favour of Lewis Dobbin and Ellis Simms. The substandard performances of Salomon Rondon haven’t gone down too well with the supporters.

Instead, Rafa Benitez made it clear in his press conference that the chances of Rondon starting are higher than that of the youngsters. As it turned out, Rondon started up top and Alex Iwobi played behind the Venezuelan.

Everton were toothless in the attack

Throughout the game, Everton lacked a focal point despite having Rondon. Wingers Anthony Gordon and Andros Townsend struggled to get crosses and when the ball was eventually played in the middle, Rondon or Iwobi were often missing and there seemed no coordination from the duo.

The tweet shows Everton’s average position in the game. What might come as a big surprise is that Iwobi’s average position is ahead of Rondon. Throughout the game, the former Newcastle striker dropped deep, leaving spaces up top and no focal point to play passes to. Iwobi wasn’t the striker and often shifted from right to left to provide support which again left the striker’s spaces unattended.

Even when Demarai Gray came on and Everton pushed in search of an equalizer, Rondon wasn’t seen leading the attack but instead trying to drop deep which is why neither Rondon nor Iwobi were able to attack a couple of brilliant crosses put in by the 25 year old winger.

When Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are on the pitch it is a different story altogether. As against Leeds United, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison centrally occupied the spaces and attacked the crosses coming from either end. One major contrast is the position of the two forwards. In the Brentford game, Iwobi and Rondon stuck near each other instead of creating space for another by running down the channels or attracting defenders towards them.

The Richarlison and DCL duo worked perfectly against Leeds, staying separated and stopping the excessive pressure. Rondon and Iwobi were seen as liabilities after their underwhelming displays. The Everton attack did not have enough bite and was disjointed throughout the game.

The absence of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin hasn’t been felt more. The Brazilian will return for the Merseyside derby after serving his one match suspension but fingers remain crossed over Calvert-Lewin. Whatever the case, Rondon and Iwobi have been extremely ineffective.

Will Dominic Calvert-Lewin return for the Merseyside derby?