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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Turgid Toffees must act now in managerial hunt

Everton slump to another defeat

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
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Five things we learned from the weekend

1 Everton cannot hang around for a permanent boss
Football teams can always lose matches but Everton put in their second disgraceful performance in a week when they lost 4-1 at Southampton so soon after the  5-1 stuffing by Atalanta on Thursday.

Interim boss David Unsworth looked a beaten man at St Mary's as Everton capitulated against one of the weakest attacking units in the Premier League.

The Toffees are lacking in just about every department and they cannot allow the season to drift otherwise it could end in relegation under Unsworth.

Their managerial search to replace Ronald Koeman has been as confused as their scattergun summer spending spree. Marco Silva has been displaced by Martin O'Neill as favourite for the Goodison Park vacancy, two totally different managers with totally different ideas.

Whatever happens the dressing-room needs a rocket and Unsworth seems unable to get any kind of response from a beleaguered bunch.

2 Tottenham lack consistency in top-four hunt
As mentioned last week there is a desperate battle to reach the top four spots in the Premier League and Tottenham seem to have lost their way. The 1-1 draw with West Brom at Wembley on Saturday was the latest disappointing result.

Spurs are flying in the Champions League but have been unable to maintain those standards domestically since thrashing Liverpool 4-1, and have scored only two goals in their last four league outings.

They lost to nil at Manchester United and Arsenal, were lucky to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and failed to create enough clear chances to overcome the Baggies. 

3 Delight for improving Derby
Derby had lost just one of their last ten matches, including draws at BrentfordCardiff and Fulham, prior to their trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday. So they arrived at the Riverside in decent nick but confirmed their status as promotion candidates with a fine 3-0 win.

The Rams have a nice home double-header coming up against Ipswich and Burton, part of a quartet of Pride Park outings before Christmas, and that gives Gary Rowett's men a decent opportunity to kick on. 

4 Keeper crisis a pain for Plymouth

Luke McCormick, Kyle Letheren and Robbert te Loeke have all suffered injuries this season to leave Plymouth desperately short of goalkeeping options.

Norwich's on-loan Remi Matthews looks to have been a shrewd signing and has kept four clean sheets in seven matches since arriving from Carrow Road, but he has also picked up a problem and is said to be playing through the pain barrier.

Matthews made a horrendous error in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday and Sky Bet League One's bottom club need to find a solution to a difficult problem.

5 Spireites are on the up
Mansfield manager Steve Evans is usually one of the more biased managers on the circuit so it's worth listening when he said of a 2-2 home draw against Chesterfield: "I think we were second best in the second half."

That should be seen as a glowing endorsement of Chesterfield's recent improvement under new manager Jack Lester.

The Spireites are unbeaten in five, scoring ten goals in the process, and there is much more attacking output than there was during the shambolic early stages of the campaign.

Chesterfield remain bottom but no longer look like relegation fodder and should soon climb the standings.

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The Toffees are lacking in just about every department and they cannot allow the season to drift otherwise it could end in relegation
E.W. Terms
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