3 issues the next Everton manager needs to address
Toffees currently lie in the relegation zone
Following a disappointing start to the season, Everton will head into November inside the relegation zone.
The Toffees have picked up just eight points from 30 available since the opening day and recently sacked manager Ronald Koeman.
With the season almost a third of the way through, the Coral News Team look at what the new manager on Merseyside will need to do if they’re to move up the table…
The Rooney problem
Nobody seems to know Wayne Rooney’s best position. The ex-Man United ace has been a consistent feature in the Everton starting XI this season. But the question remains over where he is best deployed in the Toffees side.
Koeman persisted with the 32-year-old in a central-striking role. While temporary boss David Unsworth went with the Blues legend in the number ten position against Leicester yesterday.
So far this season, neither option has yielded the results the former or incumbent manager would have wanted. And that creates an issue. A youthful Everton are best served playing free-flowing, attacking football. Rooney’s style of play does not fit that mould.
He may be good for the odd goal every so often, but is that really good enough to warrant a starting place? For Unsworth, or whoever is next in the Goodison hotseat, it creates an issue over Rooney’s continued selection in the side.
Striking a balance
Part of the problem that Everton have had so far this season is striking a balance between youth and experience.
The Toffees are currently blessed with their best crop of young players in a generation. Jonjoe Kenny, Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman, Mason Holgate and Beni Baningime have all featured at some stage this season.
However, throwing that amount of inexperience in at once doesn’t always work. And under Koeman, Everton arguably went too far the other way, failing to give youth a chance regularly enough in the forward positions.
The challenge for whoever is next in the Goodison dugout is striking that difficult-to-find balance between youth and experience.
Everton are not short of top-quality defenders. So it’s a mystery as to why the Toffees have conceded a joint-league worst 20 goals so far this season.
At centre-half, Ashley Williams, Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka have all been lauded for their defensive abilities in the not so distant past and should be doing better. On the left, Leighton Baines may be getting older, but his defensive quality has not evaporated overnight.
The youthful Kenny is learning on the right-hand side and should be developing with the help of those around him. But with the Toffees’ slapdash approach to defending, that is quite simply not happening.
In truth, Everton probably have a better group of defenders than most of their Premier League opponents. And with that sort of quality at their disposal, there can be no excuses for such haphazardness at the back.
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