Louis Saha thinks former club Everton need to toughen up or risk another below-par Premier League season in 2015-16.
The Merseyside club finished 11th last term – their joint lowest finish since 2004 – and amassed 25 points fewer than in 2013-14, which was manager Roberto Martinez’s first campaign in charge.
“Maybe I am wrong but I don’t think there was the same aggression in some games,” former striker Saha told the Liverpool Echo.
Martinez claimed Everton’s involvement in the UEFA Europa League, coupled with players returning later than usual following the World Cup in Brazil, were major contributing factors to the slump in fortunes.
Saha, who scored 34 goals in 115 appearances for Everton, added: “Everton was always a very strong unit that doesn’t concede many goals, but it was not like this last season. So they lost many games by conceding silly goals.
“It is easy to judge, but it is more about the spirit. I was a bit surprised.
“I watched a game against Chelsea last year and it is strange because I didn’t see the same aggression.
“So maybe the aggression, the actual strength of Everton, wasn’t there last season.”