Everton 0-1 Burnley: Five things we learned

The Clarets came away with all three points in a textbook performance in how to play to your strengths


The loss continues Everton’s rotten start to the season with the Toffees only three points above the relegation zone. They look unbalanced and the new signings are struggling to gel and make an impression.

Everton made a bright start to the game, however failed to truly test Burnley at any point in the tie.

Burnley scored the only goal of the game on 21 minutes. It was a brilliantly worked goal that saw over 20 passes made before the ball eventually came to Irish international Hendrick inside the area.

The central midfielder showed good composure to first sell the defender short for a dummy and then slot past the despairing Jordan Pickford.

RealSport pick out five things we learned from the game:

Everton are 2013/2014 Spurs

The similarities between the two sides are eerily similar. Tottenham Hotspur lost their star man Gareth Bale that summer for a then world record fee to Real Madrid. Everton received £75m for their main man Romelu Lukaku this summer from Manchester United.

With the hefty cheques that came into the club, both sides spent over £100million a raft of new players in order to improve their squad. Garth Crooks famously said Spurs has sold Elvis and bought the Beatles.

Unfortunately for the North London club, the signings were more comparable with the insect, rather than the rock and roll legends. Of the seven signings brought in with the Bale money, only Christian Eriksen could be called a resounding success. Erik Lamela is still at the club, however, seems to have missed two out of his four seasons through injury whilst the rest have been sold on.

A big issue was Spurs failed to sign a player who had already played in the league. Another was the lack of variation in the players brought to the club. Eriksen, Lamela, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli all work best in the attacking midfield slots behind the striker. It led to an often balanced Spurs side lacking pace and speed of passing.

Similar issues are apparent with the Everton side. Davy Klaassen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney are all good players however operate best behind the main striker. Again, due to the lack of variation, Everton often lack balance and look lost for ideas.

Not only that, Everton now lacks presence up front which they had with Lukaku. Sandro Ramirez may be a good player however is a completely different forward to Lukaku as is Rooney. It has led to Ronald Koeman turning to forgotten man Oumar Niasse in desperation.

Everton should have spent more wisely in the summer and they are left with an unbalanced and bloated squad.

Burnley control

Sean Dyche has proven to be a master at controlling the game, without dominating possession. Burnley were organised as ever and had Everton exactly where they wanted them. Everton could not find any gaps in Burnley’s excellent tactical structure, which Dyche deserves credit for.

The Clarets’ goal was even an example of beautiful possession based football. Starting from the keeper, Burnley made over 20 passes in the build up, with the ball eventually falling to Jeff Hendrick who showed wonderful composure to slot home.

Dyche may never get the top jobs due to his direct, even defensive style of football however he deserves far more credit for the job he’s done at Burnley. He is tactically excellent, gets the best out of his players and has created a clear ethos which the Burnley squad have bought into; he is one of the best managers in the league.

Too deep

Ronald Koeman likes to set his defensive shape up in a compact and low block system, similar to that of Sean Dyche’s Burnley. It is a big reason why Everton brought in Michael Keane from Burnley, who had shown what a good centre half he was in that system.

However, where Burnley had organisation, Everton do not. For Hendrick’s goal, the Everton backline were far too deep, inviting pressure and avenues into their box.

However, once the Burnley players entered the box, the Everton defence were far too stand-offish. When Hendrick slotted the ball home, Ashley Williams was in line with his goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Everton invite far too much pressure onto their backline and Burnley reaped the benefits to leave Goodison Park with all three points.

Who needs Keane?

Burnley were one of the favourites to go down in the summer. Their transfer business was questionable and selling Keane without signing a replacement was risky. However, James Tarkowski has slotted straight into the Burnley backline, and has put in outstanding performances.

Due to Burnley’s defensive structure, their defenders are required to make a lot blocks. The pairing of Ben Mee and Tarkowski has brought about an incredible 28 blocks in the league so far, more than 16 other teams total.

Mee and Tarkowski may not be household names, however they are yet another example of Burnley players who buy into the ethos of the club, and perform solidly and consistently.

Where’s Ademola Lookman?

Having signed from Charlton Athletic last January, the English youngster burst onto the Everton and Premier League scene with a debut goal against Manchester City. However, the forward is yet to make a single Premier League appearance for Everton this season, despite being exactly what Everton are missing.

The Toffees squad is full of players who prefer the ball to feet, and lack runners in behind with pace and good movement. Although Lookman may be raw, he is a brilliant off the ball runner and would offer this Everton side a much-needed outlet and variation in their play.

Koeman’s side have been far too narrow in their games so far this season, however Lookman will certainly look to stretch the opposition backline and make life far more uncomfortable for other side’s than it currently is.

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Harry Brooks

27

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

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