1. 60,000 capacity for BMD may not be the brightest idea..
It seems appropriate to start with a non-footballing issue as a trip to the Etihad is slowly becoming the equivalent as to an away day at the Camp Nou. One thing that Barcelona’s 99,354 (pending expansion) seater guarantees that the Etihad does not however, is atmosphere.
Speckles of empty blue seats throughout the ground and a grey atmosphere to match the miserable Manchester weather. You wouldn’t think the home supporters were witnessing arguably the best Premier League side of all time under the guidance of someone who many consider one of footballs greatest brains: Pep Guardiola.
While Everton are yet to house such elite personnel- its worthwhile extracting what we can from our contemporaries, Dan Meis has expressed his caution about a 60,000 seater and how that may hinder atmosphere. Lets listen to the experts.
2. Stick to your guns, Marco..
While they may be a bloody excellent side, altering your entire set up to accommodate the defending champions is perhaps showing them just a bit too much respect. Yerry Mina was beaten in the air in crucial moments by Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling- who are both 5’9 and 5’7 respectively. Bad positioning in a system Everton’s defenders obviously aren’t schooled in well enough just yet.
Given the decent performances against Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool with a stable back four, the 5-back looked unnecessary.
3. Playing out from the back needs some practice too..
Pep Guardiola teams have a notoriety for a vicious counter-press that is triggered the moment they lose the ball- this is also utilised when opposition attempts to play out from the back. Leroy Sane, Jesus and co. were on the Everton defenders in a flash whenever they tried to play out- often resulting in a hoof upfield that may as well have been played by Jordan Pickford from the off.
Liverpool have displayed the blueprint of how to systematically take apart Manchester City by fighting fire with fire- it doesn’t look like Everton are of that ilk just yet.
4. Lack of cutting edge cost Everton again..
While the disparity in quality and game plan was evident at times- with the home team creating triangles around Everton all the time, its not as if Silva’s team didn’t create chances.
Seven shots with two on target isn’t good enough against a team that scored 106 goals last season. You just have to be efficient. Chances went begging from the likes of Richarlison and Walcott that really should have found the target. Credit to DCL for grabbing his goal. His ability in the air is becoming unquestioned with the catalogue of headers he’s found the back of the net with.
5. It’s only Man City, but that Merseyside Derby result looks to have wobbled our heads..
As underlined before, City away is somewhat of an “expected loss” as a certain someone once said. However, that last minute calamity at Anfield still looks to be effecting Everton. A draw against Newcastle and Watford, this loss against City (where we played well till they got the first)- all under-par performances with Tottenham up next.
Forms not great at the minute Blues, time to show “bouncebackability”.