Everton: Why are Toffees still miles away from Premier League top four? Ashley Williams analysis

Although I have a clear vision of where Everton wants to go, they don't seem likely to get there any time soon.
Farhad Moshiri purchased Everton in February 2016, when they were 10th place in the Premier League. This was more than five-and a half years ago.

I joined the club shortly after and I understand how ambitious it is. The Champions League was my goal.

They have spent approximately PS500m trying to reach that goal, and went through several managers. Rafa Benitez, Moshiri's fifth permanent job, is Rafa Benitez.

While things are improving off the pitch, they still need a top-four team.

There's no reason to believe that anything will change in the near future.

Everton has lost three of the five league games they have played in and have drawn two. With five losses, only Aston Villa has picked up more points.

Everton finished 11th after Sunday's draw against Tottenham. You have to admit that mid-table is a good place for them. West Ham, currently third, is clearly a better team.

The Hammers are a team I can predict when I see them. They are difficult to break down with some very dangerous players on the counter-attack, and they have quality where it matters.

They have a plan. This is true for all teams that are at the top of the table but not Everton.

I don't look at Benitez's side and say, "right if the plan works, they will win today." I'm not sure what that plan is.

Their squad doesn't have as many options or isn't good enough.

Everton boss Benitez said that the penalty decision was overturned because it was "a pity"

This lack of depth is what really holds them back, especially at the front. Their attacking options are very limited. Every week, I see them on their bench. It's almost as if they have all their best attackers on the pitch and no one to bring on that could change the game.

Also, I don't think they have a play style that is strong enough to keep them in the top six for the remainder of the season.

They aren't in a mess, they aren't playing badly and there is no crisis. Marco Silva (2019), and Ronald Koeman (2017) were both fired at this point in the season. The team was currently in the relegation zone.

While things are not so bad right now, there is no reason to believe that anything will change in the near future. Even if their injured players return. It is understandable why they are frustrated.

Rafa's teams deserve better than this.

It felt like Tottenham was there to take my breath away when I saw Sunday's MOTD2 game. Everton didn't look like they could do that.

Spurs were so deep and Everton at home, but they didn’t show any real intent of trying to win the game.

They didn't just sit back and wait for Spurs to counter-attack. It was more of an in-between. I don't know what they were trying.

Rafa has been known for his great tactics, but I'm not seeing it right now. When I watch his teams, I expect more.

Although he is known for being cautious, he has a reputation of being very sharp and can hurt the opposition. This was completely absent against Spurs.

Everton appeared to be merely hoping Demarai Gray would do something extraordinary, or that Andros Townsend would score one of his amazing goals from 30 yards.

As I watched them, I wondered if they were trying to make it wider to cross it or if they were playing in the middle.

It feels like they're a team waiting for Dominic Calvert Lewin to return from injury in order to get them on the right track. They have had a difficult few weeks without him.

Although I understand why they are missing him, he is an important presence in the front, I don't see any reason for them not making the top six or even close to it.

Will Benitez have the time and energy to make things right?

Everton couldn't spend much this summer due to Financial Fair Play restrictions, but they made two great signings in Townsend & Gray.

They made a great start under Benitez, which was a relief after all the fuss about his Liverpool connections.

This gave him some time to put his plan in place for the team, but I don't understand what he is trying.

If the results aren't positive soon, then the noise surrounding his connections with Liverpool will only get louder.

In the last few weeks, we've seen that each Premier League manager is just a few losses away from being fired. And things are likely to get worse for Benitez as some of his fans were unhappy before he started.

Everton should not put him under pressure. They need someone who can build success. It is not going to happen overnight.

Benitez is an outstanding manager, and he can deliver the long-term vision if given the time.

However, as a former Liverpool manager and Everton manager, I don't think he will succeed.

Ashley Williams spoke to Chris Bevan, BBC Sport.