EVERTON’s defeat at Newcastle was hardly surprising because they still suffer from the same issues that they always have done.
That is the view of former Everton man Michael Ball, who says that the team think they are Real Madrid when they go ahead in games.
Marco Silva’s men blew a two-goal lead at St James Park on Saturday, eventually losing 3-2 after conceding three goals in the second half.
The Toffees had improved of late, beating Huddersfield 3-0 before claiming a 0-0 draw at home to rivals Liverpool.
But after their latest defeat, the same old problems resurfaced once again at Newcastle, according to Ball.
“We need to cut all of that out of our game as soon as possible”
“In the first half against Newcastle we obviously got away with Jordan Pickford’s penalty, who was lucky to stay on the pitch, and at 2-0 we were looking quite comfortable,” he said in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
“But then, the mindset once again cost us. We seem to think we’re Real Madrid when we’re 2-0 up and we forget to do the hard, nasty work.
“There’s a lack of leadership, of composure, and when we get rattled our heads instantly seem to go down. We lose our gameplan.
“We need to cut all of that out of our game as soon as possible, because it’s happening far too often.
“As soon as that happens the crowd start to turn, there’s no leadership to rally our troops once again and it’s regularly costing us dearly.
“I was there and the tension in the Newcastle fans when they were 2-0 down was palpable, half the stadium were leaving.
“But what do we do? As we’ve always done, we leave the door open for them to have opportunities.”
And Ball thinks that his former team need to become more ruthless in games.
“There’s no nastiness to us,” he added. “At 2-0 we should have been trying to get more goals to end the game because they were there for the taking.
“But again we’ve left the door open, and as soon as that first goal went in you’re thinking “Oh here we go again”. You’re hoping it doesn’t happen, but from that point on there was only one team winning that match.
“It’s just so disappointing. Why we keep doing it, I do not know.
“Whether it’s the players’ mentality on the pitch at times or not, I just don’t get why they think the game is over at 2-0. They stopped doing the hard yards and everything else they were doing earlier on in the game.
“You’ve got to be ruthless in this league and stop being so friendly.”