Everton need to get back to basics

  • Published

Mike Hughes, BBC Radio Merseyside

The buoyancy and belief that came Everton’s way after that dramatic victory against Arsenal ultimately appeared to account for very little after a poor performance at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace had lost their previous three matches but played with energy, drive and determination. They passed the ball well and kept unforced errors to a minimum. Everton didn't - Demarai Gray's mistake leading to Conor Gallagher's opener and more bad defending in the build-up to his sublime second in stoppage-time.

And if it wasn't so seriously poor, the set-piece defending for Palace's second goal would be funny in a Keystone Cops manner. The Everton fans weren't laughing though.

Yet despite a thoroughly underwhelming performance, the Blues looked like they might get something for a short period after substitute Salomon Rondon dragged them back into the game.

A share of the spoils would have been welcome, but not really deserved. No-one doubts the endeavour of the Everton players, but they need to do the basics much better than they’re doing right now. The players need to accept more individual responsibility for their on-field actions. When they do, the team will perform much better.

Benitez is right when he points to the injury problems that have undermined Everton’s season so far. But one of the many jobs a manager has is to get the best out of his players. The Blues boss has to believe his team are better than this.