Andy Gray is convinced that Everton are softer under Roberto Martinez and the Everton boss might have to rethink his stratergy a little.
Everton's poor form continued with defeats to Stoke City [at Goodison Park] on Boxing Day and Newcastle on Sunday, leaving the Toffees in 12th position in the Premier League table, just five points above the relegation zone.
However, Everton legend and top football pundit Andy Gray reckons Roberto Martinez's side need to be more organised defensively like they used to be under David Moyes and the Everton manager needs to 'rethink his strategy'.
“I’m a little concerned, if I’m honest,” the Everton great told talkSPORT "the club’s former striker told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“Roberto is maybe trying to soften Everton a little too much. The stats don’t lie, and Everton’s defending is nowhere near as good as it used to be.
“The one thing I remember under David Moyes was Everton were one of the toughest teams to play against in the Premier League. They were extremely tough to break down, they were extremely well organised, and they just seem less so to me now.
“A little bit too much football for me, a little bit too soft for me, and I think that has been reflected in results.
“I am concerned. Roberto needs to rethink his strategy because without a doubt there are problems.
“Apart from the moments when they scored two wonderful goals (at Newcastle), in between was a chunk of mediocrity from Everton.”
Andy Gray was asked if Martinez now has to prove he can set up a side to defend well, he replied: “I think he has got to prove it.
“Arsene Wenger walked into Arsenal and saw a goalkeeper and back four and said ‘Wow, this is fantastic.
‘I do not need to touch this for a few years and this will allow me to get the other parts of the team sorted because these guys at the back, they know what they are doing and they know how to defend’.
“I think Roberto, in maybe trying to soften his team to get them to play more football from the back, has sacrificed defensive stability.
“Everton have conceded 31 goals in the league last season, that’s only eight less than they conceded in the whole of last season.
“Now, that can’t be right.
“Something is wrong whether that is the back four, whether that’s the protection in front of the back four or whether it’s the team as a whole not defending better when they don’t have the ball, something has got to change.
Written by @Chukkymufc