A game unlikely to go in to the annals of history with anything other than a reference to the scoreline. If you change ‘that’ word to just the one ‘n’ then it would be a fair reflection not just of the quality of the game overall, but the Everton performance within it.
The game is more likely to be remembered from our perspective to the welcome return of Yannick Bolasie
His appearance on the flank was a welcome surprise, but a surprise nevertheless; it probably came as a bit of a surprise to Aaron Lennon, who has done nothing wrong whilst occupying a wide role, but who became a casualty one assumes of rotation to spare his tiring old bones (after all, he is 30 after all….) and give Bolasie a run out. We Managers amongst us would presumably have brought him on for the last 30 minutes rather than the first 60, but that’s why we do what we do, and the guy that’s actually paid to be the manager makes the decisions. Anyway, welcome back Yala, wonderful to see you back on the pitch, and let’s see you flying down the wing again soon.
It is hard to analyse a performance like yesterday, it was frankly pretty poor. Defensively solid, so not poor in that sense, but what worried me most of all is how often we gave the ball away, often without being under pressure, and how knackered the kids looked. One of the kids who looks both exhausted and who gave up possession far too easily was Tom Davies. It’s fair to say his ‘second’ season is proving more of a challenge than his first. He still has the desire to drive forward, but his thought processes, judgement and pass direction were poor yesterday, surely a sign of fatigue. No need to get on the lad’s back, he’s a real talent as we all know, he just needs managing through this difficult period in his growth to becoming an Everton Great, a label he has more than enough raw talent (and a great haircut) to make happen.
One player not looking tired, but who must be, is Jonjoe Kenny.
It has been observed by many, @paddy_boyland in particular, that Kenny’s many talents include a strong leap for a lad of relatively diminutive height. He’s the same height as Coleman, but whereas balls lofted to the back stick used to catch out the Irishman, to date, that’s not a fate suffered by the lad from Kirkdale. Far from it. In fact, his headed clearances when under pressure have been superb, almost every game. If only we could stop those pesky crosses coming in to start with…..
I imagine rotation will be a feature against Bournemouth this weekend, and whether Rooney can lift himself off his sick bed in time, and even if he can, whether it’s sensible to do so given United just (literally) around the corner, and Liverpool not much further away, only Allardyce will judge, correctly or otherwise. Calvert-Lewin needs to start from the bench and give Niasse a run out, with or without Sandro, Lennon back for me, maybe Bolasie from the bench, maybe Jags can make one game a week so stick him in on the South Coast, and perhaps Lookman gets a look in at some stage. I’m not sure what’s happened, or more appropriately what is going to happen, to Klaassen, but he’s hardly pushing for a starting berth to give our Icelandic star a breather.
So just as other countries give their Clubs a break from the madness over the festive season, the UK pumps it up. At least after the Cup game, we’ve a sensible break before a trip to Spurs.
The u23's are supposed to bolster a squad, not form it, and it's easy to forget that this is a huge ask, not just because of the inexperience of our youngsters, but the fact it must drain them mentally, so good point about Tom Davies being tired.
If we're to become a better footballing team, we have to look at the top teams in the league, and recognise that they are where they are, because not only do they have the quality in depth, and the experience, but they all have goals in the side.
Everton have struggled for goals as a squad. Our Midfield haven't contributed at all, with only Gylfi Sigurdsson on the score sheet this campaign (3) in the league, from a pool of 14 approx Midfielders.
Although Baines has scored twice from the spot, in open play, only Ashley Williams has scored a goal.
If we look at our Strikers, Rooney, Niasse, Ramirez, and Lewin, 2 of them rarely play, and Lewin is mostly up front on his own. Rooney is often not playing in the striker position, which I'm fine with, but then if we call him a Midfielder, it means our regular Striker has just 3 goals all season, which further highlights the point.
We're short on Strikers, but when you look at the Midfielders that don't play much, such as Mirallas, Lookman, Vlasic, and let's not forget Klaassen, (let's include Barkley & Bolasie too) it's clear to see why we've no goals from Midfield, as the ones that have goals in them, aren't on the field.
At what point does a manager, be it Koeman, Unsworth, or Allardyce notice this, and address it?
It shows how defensive minded we've been all season, not just now, that we prefer 2 Defensive Midfielders, sometimes 3 over an attacking player.
Yes, we've been leaking goals, but is it fair to say that if you can't score, you invite pressure? Is it fair to say that if we'd scored more, and posed a much bigger scoring threat, that the result of giving our opponents more to think about, might have reduced the defending needed against them? In a boxing match, if you don't hit back, you're going to be in for a rough night, and it's the same with all sports, as if you only defend, you're going to have to defend much more.
This then brings me to the part of our players not being good enough.
Defensively, we're improving, because mainly our whole ethic is to protect the defence, but that doesn't mean our Defenders have suddenly risen in quality, as they haven't, but that they're now protected by all but DCL. Their confidence might grow from the clean sheets, but it's a bit of a false confidence, similar to that of walking around with your big brother to protect you in order to avoid the bullies. As soon as we focus more on attack, they'll have to cope. Let's then not kid ourselves that the likes of Williams, Jags, and even Baines are suddenly worthy of extended contracts, and ensure we have plans in place to replace them.
If we aren't going to use players, replace them. Our u23's are showing us that the seniors we have aren't up to it, or at least not keeping fit, so do we need 'senior' fringe players? I'd consider selling a lot of players in the next 2 windows, and making sure we have quality in every position.
It's funny to hear people say "Get to 40 points" before worrying about playing well, which although I see their logic, are we going to pretend that we can't amass points by playing positive attacking football, utilising attacking midfielders? If we don't score, we'll have to get 13 draws from the 18 available left to play to get to 40.
Penalties have been kind to us, but we need to start scoring goals. We won't do it by playing the players we've been playing, whilst keeping our attacking options in the shadows.
Post by evertontillidie on Dec 28, 2017 16:50:49 GMT
Kenny gets a lot of praise but he didn't mark his man and entered the box too often leaving an attacker in his zone so has to be more aware of marking his territory. Niasse had a go but that was about it. There's zero entertainment value in a goalless draw against them. I know they held Liverpool too, but it was us who did the defending, not them, which makes it even harder to enjoy. Bolasie offered nothing at all so why drop Lennon?