Everton – Brighton: Mac Allister Brings Misery To Merseyside (2-3)
Everton’s horrific run of results continued, with Alexis Mac Allister’s double consigning them to their eighth loss in the last twelve games. It was a game that showed the contrast between the two managers, with Graham Potter’s well-coached side dominating against a chaotic and clueless Everton.
Tactical analysis and match report by Harshal Patel.
Rafael Benítez’s appointment at Everton was always going to be a marriage of convenience, and a rocky one, at that. His history with Liverpool made him persona non grata for a large majority of the Everton faithful, whilst a dour, pragmatic playing style was at odds with the supposed stylistic template that owner Farhad Moshiri wants to implement at Goodison Park.
It must be remembered that Benítez was nowhere near the first choice after Carlo Ancelotti decided to return to Real Madrid in the summer. Everton initially wanted to bring back David Moyes, but he signed a new contract at West Ham United. They then turned to Nuno Espírito Santo, but pulled out of a deal after reservations emerged among the hierarchy. The Spaniard was therefore always on a hiding to nothing, and whilst the Toffees started superbly, that early optimism has evaporated after a string of poor results and performances. Injuries and COVID infections do offer some mitigation, but the Everton fans, already not particularly in favour of the Spaniard, are close to mutiny around his continued employment at the club.
The big news for Everton was that Dominic Calvert-Lewin was fit to start the game, having missed four months through injury. Benítez also opted to play with the five-man defensive shape that had managed to bring the Toffees . . .