Everton’s struggles are a mixture of strategy, player quality and motivation

Everton's struggles are a mixture of strategy, player quality and motivation

Stopping Everton’s buildup

The entire world knows that if you mark Jorginho you disrupt Chelsea’s passing but Everton were one of the first to do it this season. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s position as a 10 means he is perfectly placed to follow Jorginho around and disrupt their buildup and we can expect to see similar on Sunday.

However, Everton their own problems in buildup. Silva plays a double pivot, partnering Idrissa Gueye with either Andre Gomes or Morgan Schneiderlin. While Jorginho can be isolated, Everton have two players able to receive the ball in that space but this only works if those players are forward thinking, otherwise Chelsea can break down Everton’s buildup by pressing them midway and forcing play backwards.

In the 0-0 draw with Liverpool, Everton’s centre-back would receive the ball from the goalkeeper and pass to one of Gueye or Schneiderlin, who should then turn and look for the next forward ball to continue the move. Instead, the defensive midfielder played it safe and went back, or wide to a full-back, forcing the next pass back to the goalkeeper who would then boot it forward and gift possession away.

Against Newcastle, Gueye was more forward thinking, acting as the link between defence and midfield as Everton pushed high up the pitch. When Newcastle attacked, Gueye would look to win the ball in midfield and start a counter-attack but too often played an early pass too far ahead of a chasing striker, handing possession back to Rafa Benitez’s team.

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