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If an alien were sent to Earth to study soccer on Friday night, his evaluation of the beautiful game would conclude that it was anything but pretty.
That would definitely have been the case had they seen Everton and West Ham play each other. The game between the two standouts this season was a monotonous affair, lacking quality, penetration and emotion, but he did score a goal.
Unfortunately for the Toffees, he went the West Ham path, as Tomas Soucek was in the right place at the right time once again to find the goods.
It was a performance by Carlo Ancelotti’s side that was completely out of tune with his recent performances. In the last month they have beaten Leicester, Arsenal and Chelsea, but this was missing everything we saw in those games.
It was a slow and laborious display and was typified by the performance of midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Who was Everton’s worst player on Friday?
The Icelandic international scored against Sheffield United last time out, but his efforts this time, along with Bernard’s on the right side, weren’t good enough. The Brazilian only won one of the nine games he played, but Sigurdsson was even worse.
To highlight how bad he was, he lost the offensive midfielder 100% of their duels, without being able to design a performance of any importance. However, it was his creativity that should have been the biggest concern. Sigurdsson met alone one key pass and therefore lamented for it full time.
Adam Jones, Everton reporter for the Echo of Liverpool, wrote: “Everton needed creativity and energy in the final third and, sadly, Sigurdsson lacked this time.”
With James Rodriguez starting on the bench, Ancelotti really needed his midfielder to stand up and be counted, but that just wasn’t the case. To add to his problems, he didn’t attempt a single shot or dribble.
Everton had a lot of problems against the Hammers, but Sigurdsson was undoubtedly one of the worst. He needs to match the same energy that he showed on Boxing Day.