There must be changes now with Everton locked in relegation form

After another Premier League defeat at the weekend to Manchester United how can the Blues revive their fortunes before it is too late?

Manchester United v Everton FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Everton FC - Premier League / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

The 2-0 loss at Old Trafford, while hardly unexpected, means Everton now haven't won a league match since mid-December and are it seems sliding inexorably back towards the drop zone.

This latest defeat leaves the Toffees hovering just above the bottom three with only four points separating them from eighteenth placed Luton Town.

All the momentum that could have been gained after the restoration of four points two weeks ago has been lost with the Blues beaten by West Ham and then the Red Devils in successive games since then.

And of course there is the small matter of the other charges currently being looked at, which might mean yet another points deduction.

Had Everton managed to get say four points from these two matches, they would be sitting in thirteenth place looking much more secure regardless of the outcome of this second investigation.

A run of eleven games without a win is unprecedented and frankly disgraceful and it is surely almost certain relegation form.

So, what on earth can be done to rescue this situation?

I, along with many others no doubt, have been pleading with Sean Dyche to consider changing his tactics and formation, especially at home, to find some way to conjure a few goals out of this team.

But so far, other than changing his lone centre-forward by giving Beto a chance up front instead of Calvert-Lewin, he hasn't shown any willingness to make significant changes of this kind.

Yet again on Saturday Beto was isolated and lacking in any meaningful support as has been the case pretty much all season long in Dyche's 4-4-1-1 system.

And Abdoulaye Doucoure, who was the link between midfield and attack and proved an effective one earlier in the season providing support to the striker and netting six times, has been a shadow of his early season self since returning from those hamstring injuries.

Furthermore the team's wide players have been virtually anonymous recently, certainly in terms of goalscoring, with Dwight McNeil - last season's top scorer with seven - and Jack Harrison having managed just five between them all campaign.

Both played very deep and narrow at Old Trafford and rarely offered any concrete support to Beto who consequently had few touches and little chance to make any impression.

This lack of genuine width is also suffocating the Toffees attacking potential. Surely it is now well past time to consider using a naturally adventurous player like Nathan Patterson as a wide outlet. Why is he sitting on the bench week after week?

Neither Beto or Calvert-Lewin are top strikers and they will need a lot of chances to regularly score goals and so Dyche must find a way to get more balls and bodies into the box.

Perhaps he should consider playing Beto and Calvert-Lewin together, or as I have suggested think a little outside the box and give Youssef Chermiti a proper opportunity.

The young Portuguese only came on for three minutes against United with the game of course already long gone.

What is the point of that sort of meaningless cameo and how can you learn anything about a player if he has such little time to make an impression?

Of course one other option that would have been available for Everton in previous campaigns is to change manager and hope that a fresh face and ideas can lift the side enough to get out of trouble.

As we all know, the Blues have done this so often over the past few years and still ended up in the same sort of position so I'm not suggesting it is the answer yet again.

And, the other factor is that I don't even know if such a change could be made with the Toffees in total limbo not knowing who their owner is and with an interim board running things day-to-day.

But, regardless of all that, there are now just ten matches of the season remaining and time is ticking away once again on this club's top flight status.

There is enough time and matches against Bournemouth, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Brentford, Luton and Sheffield United, all of which could in theory yield enough points for survival.

However, something has to change now because is feels as though the team are locked in a losing mindset and that together with a chronic lack of goals and a suddenly leaky defence, spells serious trouble.