By Kealan Hughes

31st Jan, 2021 | 4:41pm

View: Ancelotti wrong to blame Everton players for defeat v Newcastle

Everton fell to a first defeat in six games against Newcastle on Saturday thanks to a lacklustre display.

There were poor displays from back to front and Carlo Ancelotti outlined the reasons for the defeat.

He spoke to Everton’s media team after the game, saying, “I think Newcastle won the game because they showed more fighting spirit on the pitch.

“They showed more concentration, more motivation. They were the weapons we had when we won games – spirit, motivation, concentration and ambition.

“I think we forgot all this today at home. I don’t know why.

“But that was the reason, it was not a tactical or physical reason, it was a mental reason. The psychological aspect affected our performance.”

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Ancelotti’s comments show he is not taking responsibility for Newcastle’s win.

However, only three Toffees players managed a WhoScored rating over 6.5, and that hints at some underlying issues.

Sure, there were some poor individual efforts on show, Jordan Pickford for example could have kept out Callum Wilson’s opener.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and James Rodriguez (5.9 rating) were far from their best too, which meant Dominic Calvert-Lewin had minimal service.

Despite that, Everton lacked intensity, and that is because of Ancelotti’s possession-based style.

We had 61% of the ball against the Magpies yet had two shots less than our opponents, and only three shots on target.

It was a very similar case in the loss to West Ham, when we enjoyed 60% possession but just two shots on target.

We clearly struggle to threaten and break down teams that sit behind the ball and hit us on the counter.

It is up to Ancelotti to address this issue, and he has to do so by working on different attacking methods in training.

He cannot simply rely on Lucas Digne coming up with good crosses for Calvert-Lewin, or for Rodriguez to produce moments of magic like he did against Leicester in mid-week.

The fact the Italian pinpointed psychological reasons suggests he is grasping at straws.

Our recent run had seen seven wins in ten games prior to Newcastle’s visit, so why did we not shown mental fragility in those matches?

Instead, in games against Arsenal and Chelsea we had just 42% and 28% possession respectively, yet came out on top.

We are clearly better suited to more open games.

Hopefully Ancelotti understands that we lack creativity and begins to work on that weakness instead of blaming the players.

It will take a united effort to improve on our errors, and it is a little worrying if the Everton boss cannot see that.

In other Everton news, we set to miss out on Parma-bound Zirkzee according to Fabrizio Romano.