New Everton boss Sam Allardyce says that he would like to bring in a sport psychologist to help those players who have struggled so much to find their form this season, including new signings like Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Iceland international has scored two goals in the space of a week, a signal that he is finally getting to grips with life with the Blues and the burden of expectation that has come with his massive £45m price tag.
Sigurdsson finally moved to Goodison Park following protracted negotiations with Swansea City during which he missed almost all of the pre-season friendlies as did not feature in the Welsh club's season opener.
Allardyce, who oversaw a 2-0 win in his first game in charge in which Sigurdsson scored, says he understands the midfielder's situation.
“It is a big club,” he explained. “No disrespect to Swansea, you are playing on a bigger stage so you have to have a greater mentality to come out and produce because the demand is higher to play for Everton.
“All fans want entertaining but they want to see a level of ability, too. It is big pressure and a lot of the other players who have come from abroad because of the start of the season, [and] the Europa League, it has not given them a real opportunity to settle in and be able to produce at Everton so that is a disappointment.”
“Gylfi came so late because of the ongoing saga of ‘How much will he be and will Swansea let him go? Will they or won't they?'” he said. “In that time he wasn't really training with the first team and it wasn't happening for him in terms of a full pre-season. So he is on catch-up.”
Sigurdsson isn't the only one of Everton's summer signings who has had trouble adapting. Neither Davy Klaassen nor Sandro Ramirez have been able to get into the team for the past three games while Michael Keane has found consistency and confidence hard to come by.
Indeed, morale has been an issue for much of the squad during what has been a difficult period for the club generally.
“I would actually try and find them a sports psychologist because I think that will be very important,” Allardyce continued. “If the brain is clear and positive before the lads go out, then they produce a positive performance. If the brain is clouded and doubtful, you don't see the player produce the abilities he has got.
“That has obviously been seen on a couple of occasions here with the lack of confidence from the lack of results. But there is nothing better than two wins on the trot.”
Quotes sourced from The Guardian