After a truly demoralising defeat last Sunday to Arsenal, Everton travel to West London to face Brentford needing something positive to give their long-suffering supporters some hope.
Five games in and the Blues are already locked in the relegation zone having accumulated just a single point courtesy of their 2-2 draw at Sheffield United.
Everton look as though they are already facing a huge uphill struggle to avoid another horrendous battle against the drop this season and desperately need points as soon as possible to claw their way out of the bottom three.
Will they likely get anything on Saturday evening? It seems very doubtful when you look at the Toffees awful form and recent results in the capital.
The Blues have a terrible record in London over the last few decades and haven’t won a match in the big smoke since downing Crystal Palace back in September 2020.
It isn’t actually that long ago, only three years, although it seems an age away given all the chaos and upheaval that has happened over the last few seasons.
However, one reason to be optimistic is that at least Everton won’t be playing at Goodison Park this weekend!
If the Toffees already have a bad record in London they are in serious danger of creating an unenviably poor one at home now.
So far this campaign, the Blues have played three times at the Grand Old Lady, have lost all three and failed to score a single goal.
This follows on from the end of last season when the Toffees only managed one win after beating tomorrow’s opponents Brentford 1-0 in March and that was the final day victory over Bournemouth that preserved their Premier League status.
Their performances have also steadily declined too this season and after playing well against Fulham on opening day, a game they should have won, Everton have since got worse culminating in Sunday’s utterly lacklustre display against the Gunners.
Sean Dyche’s negative tactics have come under more scrutiny as the disasterous start to the season continued.
Against Arsenal, Dyche refused to change his defensive approach even when making substitutions and while there is a case for continuing with a cautious attitude when playing a much superior team, the need to try and secure a win at home was surely just as persuasive.
The manager seems almost obsessed with keeping a tight narrow shape even at the expense of playing more expansively when necessary and supporting his forwards adequately.
At times it’s almost as if as results go south, Dyche has lost sight of the need to try and win matches rather than just not lose them. And that’s not working very well is it?
His summer signing Beto was left badly isolated up front on Sunday and then to compound things when the manager did bring on another striker it wasn’t to provide him with some much-needed company, but instead as his replacement.
I hope, although I’m not optimistic, that Dyche will consider doing something different tomorrow like pairing Beto and Domimic Calvert-Lewin together or switching to a more fluid, attacking formation. After all, Brentford won’t be expecting a more aggresive approach from the visitors.
And,# Everton really do need to get something from tomorrow evening’s game, at the very least a point if possible.
A defeat would be dreadful and would put Dyche and his players under enormous pressure when Luton Town come to Goodison next.
The Bees have some injury worries and although they are without star striker Ivan Toney, they still possess plenty of firepower up front.
Winning looks a tall order given that Everton have only managed two away victories in the whole of the last campaign.
But, let’s hope we see a much improved effort and performance from last weekend and in particular more energy, fight and attacking threat. And please Everon try and bring a point back to Merseyside.