This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Everton have struggled for goals this season and until Alex Iwobi is given a prominent role it could be a problem that derails their season.
On the chalkboard
The Toffees are already four points off sixth-place and without a win in the league since a 3-2 victory over Wolves on September 1.
To make matters worse, in their four matches since they have conceded an alarming 10 goals, whilst only scoring two in the process, although an improved performance against Manchester City indicates that they could soon turn a corner.
Regardless, a key issue this season has been Marco Silva’s failure to identify his best team, and as a result new signings like Iwobi, who cost an initial £28m, and Moise Kean have been in and out of the team, so have struggled for consistency and goals.
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The same is true of Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson, particularly the latter who has thus far failed to live up to the 14 goals and seven assists he recorded last year – directly contributing to a total of just two goals this term.
Against the Citizens he failed to deliver once again, but the former Arsenal man had a helping hand in the goal, and could make the No.10 role his own if given an opportunity there.
Pace in attack
Iwobi played in attacking midfield for much of his youth so it is a position he knows well and excels at, allowing him to find space to take the ball past opposition defenders and create openings for his striker, as he did against Sheffield Wednesday last week.
Playing in that role for Silva will also allow him to be key in the transition, and his pace on the counter-attack alongside Richarlison and Bernard could prove devastating, as a quick break is more likely to lead to a goal.
The 23-year-old has averaged 1.4 successful dribbles per game from the five matches he has played, and despite contributing two goals and an assist in only four starts, he has divided opinion amongst the Everton fanbase.
Iwobi has been criticised in the past for his failings in and around the final third, but against Pep Guardiola’s side he showed that he can use the ball effectively, achieving a 95% pass success rate which meant he retained possession well – a difficult task against a team adept at pressing.