Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti admits he does not have the personnel to play the measured possession game he wants and will look to address the issue in the transfer window.
A ninth home defeat, losing 1-0 to bottom side Sheffield United, equalled the club’s worst league record with one match still to come at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
It was a performance Ancelotti said he was embarrassed by because he does not have the players with the right skill set to carry out his tactics which are based on building from the back.
“We are more comfortable when we play direct but that is not the best style of play,” he said.
“We are a team with defined characteristics. We are strong without the ball and direct. I think one of the technical reasons of this home run is this.
“We don’t have players of strong personality with the ball, strong quality with the ball.
“When we try to build up from the back we have some more difficulties because we play slow.
“We don’t have the confidence with the ball compared to the confidence that we have without the ball.
“At home we have to try and play more attacking football but it doesn’t work as well as direct attacking or counter-attack in the away games.
“It is really difficult to explain but I have to find a solution for this. Maybe, for next season, we need to try and have, for sure, a better squad.
“For next season, we are going to change. We have to analyse the season. Certain aspects are really good – away we did fantastic results, at home really bad. Double face.”
Defeat put a huge dent in Everton’s hopes of playing European football next season with the club unlikely to even make the new Europa Conference, likely to go to the Premier League’s seventh-placed side – currently West Ham, three points ahead.
Three-time Champions League winner Ancelotti put European qualification top of their list of targets this season and failure to make it will affect his transfer plans.
But even so he still has to address the obvious weaknesses in his squad.
“We have to try to win the two games and see if we are in Europe or not. If we are, we will build a squad to be in Europe,” he added.
“If we’re not, we’ll build a squad to be better in the Premier League.
“If we are able to qualify for Europe, it will be a step forward quicker. I think we have improved compared to last season and we have to still improve for the next season.”
One player seemingly unlikely to be around next season is Moise Kean.
The 21-year-old, a £27.5million signing from Juventus in the summer of 2019, has spent the campaign on loan at Paris St Germain where he has scored 16 goals.
His latest goal came in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Reims, after which the Italian posted on Instagram: “Happy to score in the last game at Parc des Princes. Hope to see you next season!”