1. Squad depth paying dividends..
Everton struggled to unlock Crystal Palace for 85 minutes. Everton looked to the bench and those changes went on to win the game. Quite a rarity for the Blues over the years with limited backup options such as Denis Stracqualursi and Magaye Gueye.
After a year of lots of ins and outs, this current squad under Marco Silva’s disposal seems to be both likeable and technically proficient in equal measure. Bringing the young, budding talent of Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin off the bench- in addition to the goal scoring Cenk Tosun, Everton are on the up and up.
2. Jordan Pickford is so good, he’s changing games..
The Goodison atmosphere shifted the moment Luka Milivojevic’s penalty-kick cannoned off the boot of England’s number one.
The old lady was riled up, which had an obvious effect on the players. Every call from the referee was met with a fiery reaction from both fans and players. Pickford the architect of it all- at 0-0 it looked like it was going to be “one of those days” for the boys in blue. Momentum massively favoured Everton following the penalty save. Four saves in total and 28 passes is a solid contribution.
3. Yerry Mina may have to get used to the sidelines for a little longer.,
It was great to see Colombian World Cup hero Yerry Mina included in a matchday squad for the first time since signing for Everton in the Summer. He received a round of applause from the Gwladys Street when warming up on the touchline as substitute- including a rendition of the “baby shark” tune with his name subbed in from a someone in the Family Enclosure.
Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma were great again, making that two clean sheets in their last three Premier League games. Winning everything in the air and maintaining Wilfred Zaha, the pair look formidable together. Yerry Mina will just have to bide his time.
4. Andre Gomes, welcome to Everton Football Club,,
Making his debut from the club, was Mina’s former Barcelona teammate Andre Gomes. Gomes last played club football in May 2017 for Barcelona- only participating for the remaining 13 minutes of a 5-0 win.
He took to the field like someone who hadn’t missed a beat. Completing 55/60 attempted passes, Gomes looks to be the embodiment of what Marco Silva demands from a central midfielder. With his 75 touches, he distributed the ball forward and poised an attacking threat, all the while not looking too defensively vulnerable.
5, Goodison continues to be a fortress under Silva. A big test awaits next Sunday..
With the West Ham loss seemingly in the past, Everton continue to rack up the points at Goodison with both recent victories over both Fulham and Crystal Palace being wins-to-nil.
The 2-0 loss to Arsenal can be dissected down to the manager not having his strongest starting 11. With match-fitness returning international talent such a Seamus Coleman, Bernard and the aforementioned Gomes and Mina. Everton are developing the identity of being a forward thinking, exciting team. With Jose Mourinho’s media circus up next at Old Trafford, its time to see how Everton’s best fare against the top six.