Why Everton may persist with 3-5-2 despite Reading struggle

The Blues struggled with the formation in the first half at the Madejski, but Roberto Martinez could turn to it again in future.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez may persist with a 3-5-2 formation despite the system failing to work in the 2-1 League Cup win over Reading.

The manager went with defenders John Stones, Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori as a back three for the game, with wide men Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu filing the wing-back roles.

It didn’t work for the side, though, as they went 1-0 down in the first half, with the wingers struggling in their new roles and Martinez changing to a more conventional system in the second half.

However, that is unlikely to be the manager’s last flirtation with the formation with the Toffees, as it could be a successful option in the future when he has his a full squad from which to select.

Principle among those options are full-backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman, who would flourish in the wing-back roles, with both arguably at their best when they are going forward.

The 3-5-2 formation gives them the perfect license to do so, without the Blues surrendering their defensive solidity. Speaking of going forward, the formation could also be beneficial to John Stones.

The young defender is extremely comfortable coming out of defence with the ball, and this formation would encourage him to do that more often. That is only going to help develop his game further, something everyone is keen to see happen.

At the other end of the pitch, the move would also be good for the likes of Romelu Lukaku, who would have a strike partner alongside him, something he may need from time to time.

Wingers would suffer with formation change 

On the other side of the coin, the formation would be a negative for wingers such as Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas, who do not fit into such a tactical approach.

For now though, Martinez is likely to revert back to his more favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.

However, when his full squad is at his disposal once again, it represents a viable Plan B for the Spaniard and his side and, for that reason, it is unlikely that he will abandon it just yet - despite the first half struggled at the Madejski.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch