For all of Everton’s improvement under Marco Silva, they now go into battle with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on the back of a three-game winless streak.
The 1-0 loss to Liverpool was a bitter blow, but more alarming will be the two draws with Newcastle United and Watford at Goodison Park.
In both games, Everton’s wide players’ struggles. In the latter, the full-backs were very poor defensively. Seamus Coleman scored an own goal and was outdone with ease for the second Watford goal. However, both goals came down Lucas Digne’s side as he again showed his defensive frailties.
So, should Everton switch to a back-three?
It is a system that Silva has used before at Watford and Everton do have three in-form centre-backs. Kurt Zouma is unfortunate to be watching from the bench after his good start to the season. Michael Keane and Yerry Mina have also been in good form.
The trio could form a brilliant back-line. Keane right-footed, Mina capable on both and Zouma left-footed, they would have a natural balance. It would also take some of the defensive responsibility off of Coleman and Digne, who appear to be struggling with that aspect of the game.
Everton could pair Richarlison with Cenk Tosun up front and Gylfi Sigurdsson would get a genuine free role in behind. Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gana Gueye would perfectly marshall midfield allowing Everton to give Bernard and Theo Walcott a gut-check by sitting on the bench.
Three at the back might be the way forward for Everton.