The first international break of the season took place over these past week with five of Everton’s players taking to the pitch for their respective nations. Five is the second lowest number of players called up to international duty by a team in the Premier League with only Sheffield United having the least amount of international players called up (4). Quite a few players had a quiet International break with Amadou Onana and Vitalii Mykolenko featuring the most.
Amadou Onana (Belgium), Jordan Pickford (England), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal), Nathan Patterson (Scotland) and Vitalii Mykolenko (Ukraine), were all called up and saw some amount of time during their nations’ matches.
Amadou Onana– Onana dominated in Belgium’s 1-0 win against Azerbaijan in their Euro 2024 Qualifier. Offensively, he was about what you’d think, above average going forward. He played all 90 minutes during the game and was resounding in the midfield defensively. He had a passing percentage of 80% and played like a true central midfielder. If he played like this every single week for Everton, we may not be as dead in the water.
[Defensive stats from the Azerbaijan match.]
- Tackles won-3/3 (100%)
- Headed clearance-1
- Defensive actions-8
He also played the full 90 minutes in their Euro 2024 Qualifier against Estonia match where the entire Belgium team dominated in their 5-0 win. He looked the part once again, but historically Estonia is not a very tough opponent. It was just a walk in the park for Belgium – Onana’s stats from this match were not as impressive. Though Onana did have a 92% pass completion and offered more going forward this game, his defensive stats were lower than the Azerbaijan match, assuming this was because Belgium had 75% possession.
Jordan Pickford– Pickford played his first and only match of international duty against teammate Vitalii Mykolenko with Ukraine. England would end up drawing with Ukraine 1-1. Though FOTMOB would not credit Pickford with any saves during the 90, he did act as a sweeper and had four recoveries. A quiet game for Pickford. Pickford would not feature against Scotland.
Idrissa Gana Gueye– Gueye and Senegal took the pitch against Rwanda on September 9th and left with a draw as a late goal from Rwanda’s Niyonzima sealed the game at 1-1. Gueye would only feature for four minutes near the end in the AFCON 2023 Qualifier. He was 100% on passing as he went 3/3 and he also won three duels in his short appearance. He would also start in Senegal’s friendly match against Algeria and would have a lackluster performance. Algeria went on to win 1-0. Gueye played well in parts of the game but would fade for periods of time.
Nathan Patterson– Patterson would not feature all that much in either of Scotland’s matches against Cyprus and England. Patterson came on for an entire six minutes in Scotland’s 3-0 Euro 2024 Qualifier win against Cyprus to close out the game and he did complete all 7 of his passes in that time. Patterson played one minute against England and completed both of his passes. Unlucky to have not been featured more.
Vitalli Mykolenko– Myko played all 90 minutes against England and I thought he played well. There were “Myko” moments that we see often when he plays for Everton, but overall he looked decent. His passing actions left much to be desired, as he finished with 69% passing. He was defensively stout on the day. He looked comfortable defending England’s top players, not an easy task.
[Defensive stats from Ukraine Vs. England]
- Tackles won-2/2 (100%)
- Headed clearance-1
- Defensive actions-10
- Duels won-4
- Duels lost-2
- Ground duels won-2/4 (50%)
- Aerial duels won-2/2 (100%)
Ukraine vs Italy was a different story. Myko looked to struggle quite a bit against Italy, his numbers were not terrible but just an off day for him. He played all 90 minutes once again, he did not offer anything going forward, but he did send two balls in the final third. Myko defensively looked bang average. He lost over half of his ground duels, while picking up four fouls and collected a yellow card for safe keeping. He was dribbled past more than once and just looked a step behind this match. I do rate Myko as a player, I would like to see him feature for Everton this season and hopefully he can play up to his level with us.