Liverpool, April 5 (IANS) Everton defender Leighton Baines has blamed a lack of chemistry for the team’s inability to live up to their potential this season.
The Everton squad includes a smattering of talented players, including attacking midfielder Ross Barkley, defender John Stones and star striker Romelu Lukaku, who is currently the third highest scorer in the English Premier League (EPL) with 18 goals.
But despite the talent at their disposal, Everton are languishing at the 12th spot on the EPL table with 38 points. Their home form has been poor, although they have fared much better in away matches.
Their inconsistent season suffered another blow last Sunday when they fell to a second away defeat in the EPL at Manchester United.
“I just don’t feel as though the chemistry is quite there with the team on the pitch at the moment, and it hasn’t been for a while. We are maybe leaning too heavily on individuals to come up with something,” Baines told the Liverpool Echo on Monday.
“We’re in games; we were in the game on Sunday and had a couple of chances, but we’re not performing as a team to the level we know we can or we should be. Results have an impact on that because chemistry and confidence go hand in hand. Look at the teams who are having success this year and you’d say they have chemistry,” he added.
“If I had to say one thing, I just don’t know if it’s there with us at the moment, for whatever reason.”
Qualification for next season’s Europa Cup also seems out of reach for Everton as they trail sixth-placed West Ham United by 13 points. The only redeeming point for the Merseyside club this season could be the FA Cup where they will face either Manchester United or West Ham in the semi-finals at Wembley on April 23.
“We’re not where we should be. We haven’t won enough games to make excuses. You get judged at the end of the season and we’re getting towards the end of the season, and we’re not near a position we should be in given what we’ve got,” Baines said.
“We’re all accountable. We try and put it right but we’ve not been able to. That’s the third loss on the bounce in the league which is disappointing to us all.
“We want to win every time we go out to play and we’d like to go into that cup game with a few wins behind us. That’s our season in some respects now, it certainly is from the fans’ point of view and we’ve let them down a lot, it’s our only way of making it up to them,” the 31-year-old left-back said.