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.