Sean Dyche has been hinting that he’s ready to consider making changes to his Everton side as he desperately searches for ways to enable his team to score goals.
The Toffees’ have been appallingly, embarrassingly goal-shy this season with only a paltry seventeen goals netted in the Premier League. It is of course the lowest total of all the 20 teams.
And, as we all know while all of their rivals in the relegation dogfight managed to bolster their attacks in January, Everton drew a blank and failed to sign anyone.
Neal Maupay isn’t able to replace him, he just hasn’t got the power, pace or guile to lead the line and Ellis Simms is still young and learning his trade.
Everyone knows this is the critical achilles heel with this Blues’ side, although there are plenty of other issues. It will also probably be the one crucial factor that will decide whether Everton go down in the end.
What can Dyche do? I have written several times about the possible options he might try to explore to conjure some goals out of this disfunctional team.
On Saturday, the Toffees’ created enough chances to win that game. Dwight McNeil put plenty of decent balls in and if Everton had a centre-forward on the pitch who thrived on that sort of delivery they would have won, probably by two or three goals.
Another option is to push one of his midfielders (the obvious choice is Abdoulaye Doucoure) further up to provide at least a physical presence and a target.
One other returning player who might help is Nathan Patterson.
The young Scot was a revelation when he came into the side at the start of the season. He provided real pace, energy and width on the right flank.
While Seamus Coleman has done well so far since Dyche took over, he doesn’t offer as much going forward as he did in the past.
Patterson won’t solve the goalscoring problem directly.
But, if he can return to that early-season form supplying quality crosses to balance McNeil’s product from the other wing and Dyche is able to re-jig his team to offer more physical options in the box, then it just might help provide more threat up front.
Perhaps, that means a team in a 4-4-2 with Patterson moving up to play wide in midfield. I know I’m clutching at straws but what else is there to do?