Sean Dyche felt the performances of Vitalii Mykolenko and Jarrad Branthwaite were the positives during Everton’s loss to Arsenal.
The Toffees slipped to a fourth loss in five Premier League games as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Gunners. Despite the encounter taking place at Goodison Park, Everton had just 26% possession and mustered a solitary shot on target - and only four in total.
The Blues were forced to soak up pressure for periods and were eventually breached in the 69th minute through Leandro Trossard’s striker from a short corner. The reverse leaves Everton on just one point and in the relegation zone. While Dyche admitted that Everton barely laid a glove on Arsenal, he was encouraged by the displays of Mykolenko - who made his first league start of the season - and Branthwaite as he featured for a third successive top-flight game.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Dyche said: “Just balance (bringing in Mykolenko and switching Ashley Young to right-back), trying to find that balance. I think Myko had two solid performances when he was away. I've been waiting for him to get fit, I thought he played well today, he stayed at it. I thought Jarrad was good again today, a young centre-half earning his spurs.
“There were some pleasing aspects to the game against Arsenal. I'm not going to just brush that away. We want to do better for ourselves; with possession we want to build from the back, there wasn't any clear signs of that. If we're not playing that well, we've got to play well in different ways and be affective in different ways.”
On his thoughts on Everton’s overall performance, Dyche said: “Defensively, there was a shift put in by the players. We were pretty affective on the defensive side of things but on transition, so many give aways, so many loose passes and that first pass is so important. Wrong decision-making, we never got to grips on that side of things of transition or dealing with the ball, to be honest.
“The idea of being brave on the ball wasn’t there today. I must say that’s a very good side. Some say they haven’t started that well but they’re an outfit that went second last year and spent a couple of hundred million quid. It’s not just with the ball, I always mention about Man City that they’re technically bright with the ball and work very hard and anticipate the game very well without the ball and there were signs from them about that today.”