Post by Matthew Barry on Jan 11, 2020 20:59:29 GMT
Brighton (h) Step by step
Been a bit of a soap opera this week hasn’t it? Fabian Delph offering straightners, fans turning up at Finch Farm to speak to the players after last weeks derby loss and then more media nonsense with the Daily Star completely misconstruing a report from The Athletic and having to retract it!!
So how many changes would Carlo make? That was the big question before 2pm, surprisingly it was only 3. More surprising Mina was out for Keane and Sigurdsson had kept his place. On the positive side, Davies and Bernard were back.
A subdued atmosphere, a cautious start, it was up to the players to raise the crowd today, they owed us at least that much today and start the quest forgiveness. There was a tempo ,there was energy and there were tackles going in, and the failings of VAR vs Brighton bit us again. How on earth Dunk’s pull back on Walcott was not penalised is a mystery, travesty and calamity all in one. The linesman had a clear view and the VAR officials reviewed it, I look forward to Dermott Gallagher completely ignoring this on ref watch. Absolute clowns.
Brighton were probably the perfect opposition today, a little less robust than Burnley and a little more adventurous than Newcastle, their back 3 allowed Bernard so much space in between the lines which meant Richarlison and DCL had room to run forwards and receive the ball infront of them. This was missing so evidently against City and Liverpool. When we have space to run into and we can put balls ahead of our forwards we are totally different proposition, Bernard allows us to do that, and it was absolutely no surprise that Lucas Digne had his best game in months today. He knows Bernard, he trusts Bernard, he knows when to stay back and when to go forward.
Michael Keane replacing Mina had a shaky start, rusty to be kind. But he did well, Maupay was dropping deep, luckily the cheat Connelly wasn’t playing, obviously still suffering from the wounds after being shot from the grassy knoll in October’s reverse fixture. Bad, bad cheat.
Richarlison was full of running and looked hungry, he took his goal magnificently, the control to get into position and the vision to pick out the corner to beat the excellent Ryan was world class. If it had been scored by another Brazilian forward not so far away it makes the 9pm news headlines...but it’s us and it won’t, so we’ll enjoy it in our own way!! He’s worth his weight in gold this lad, Rom was brilliant but he didn’t love us, Richarlison does. HT 1-0
Brighton came out early, and truth be told were straight into us, it helped us out. We often start second half’s slowly, like we’re still processing the managers instructions, thankfully it brought us back into focus. Chances came and went, we could have had 2 or 3 more goals by 70 mins, the feeling that at some point Brighton would have a chance was lingering. On came Alzate, followed by Glenn Murray. Just before that Trossard cut in from the left and sent a curler off the crossbar. Warning headed from Carlo, Delph on, Coleman on and to ensure the win Mina was brought on. The last 10 minutes didn’t go without incident and hearts in mouths moments! Holgate almost scoring an own goal and Murray edged just wide whilst stretching to lift the ball over Pickford. FT 1-0!! Hallelujah
Special mention for Holgate, who aswell as Bernard and Richarlison was superb today. He’s maturing game by game and his recovery pace has been vital to the improvement in our league form.
Apart from a few boo’s for Sigurdsson and Delph, the onus was squarely on the players to win over the supporters this afternoon. We give everything every week for them in support, we expect a return. We know and understand they are not the best players in the league, we know that they can’t win every game, but what we won’t understand and what we won’t accept is them not trying to win every game. It’s as simple as that.
3 league wins out of 4 for Carlo. It’s a great start in very difficult circumstances. And all of a sudden we’re closer to a European place than a relegation place. He’s only had 1 full week with them and hopefully he and Marcel Brands can find some midfield reinforcements before months end.
After last week we were all deflated and rightly so, it was an unnatural hurt, today we are back up again, if still all is not totally forgiven or forgotten.
But as Michael Corleone said “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”
If Everton are to start dominating games, scoring more goals, and push up the table, we need to be more creative, and more determined. We have to start making quicker decisions, and a few players need to start thinking "I don't need to pass the ball".
What I'm seeing from our players is a lack of responsibility in scoring, and too much "Who can I pass it to"? I'm seeing a lack of movement 'off' the ball also.
Why not take a man on and have a go, instead of looking for a pass every time they get the ball?
We have to improve our midfield, and we won't do that by continuing to play Sigurdsson or Walcott. I'd be looking to give Anthony Gordon a go, and I'd definitely be looking to buy another midfielder who can orchestrate play right in the middle of the pitch.
Has Carlo has simply employed what Ferguson was doing? I appreciate it's early days, but it's so obvious to fans where our weaknesses are, yet our club staff seem oblivious to it, and have not relayed it to Carlo, nor has he sensed it himself yet. His substitutions are very much a case of "Let's protect our 1 goal lead" which is fine, but it also attracts the opposition on to us, and nearly cost us yesterday.
He will, I'm sure, as time goes by, but continuing with Sigurdsson is a mistake, and Walcott is probably the worst finisher I've ever seen for some time, although he does work hard. How he can make Sigurdsson captain is beyond me.