REPORT | EVERTON 0-1 ASTON VILLA
Duncan Ferguson’s first game back in charge sees the Toffees suffer a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Goodison Park.
Everton’s first game of the season without Benitez at the helm ends in defeat, with the Toffee’s bested by Steven Gerrard’s Lions.
A goal by Emi Buendía right at the end of the first half was enough for the Villans to snatch all 3 points.
Some positive pressure in the second half encouraged by the roar of both ‘Big Dunc’ and the Everton faithful saw Everton pushing the Claret and Blue all the way.
The best chance came from a headed effort by Ben Godfrey which Tyrone Mings cleared off the line. The Toffees were unable rescue a point.
An Everton performance that was full of passion under the leadership of Duncan Ferguson. However, question marks over Ferguson’s abilities as a tactician suggest holes in his game.
Duncan Ferguson’s Unmatched Charisma
When it comes to getting players up for an occasion, no one does it better than Duncan Ferguson. Simply, this was a much more spirited performance by Everton.
Defensively, Everton looked way more steady and controlled. With the reintroduction of Yerry Mina, a respectable performance by Ben Godfrey and and some great saves by England International, Jordan Pickford, It was clear to see that Mr Ferguson had rightly turned his attention to solving the defensive problems that were left to fester by Rafa Benitez.
Anthony Gordon’s light continued to shine brightest in this fixture, with his introduction into the game giving a new lease of life to the Everton attack. The Liverpool born midfielder sprayed some lovely passes in the second half and showcased a real confidence to his game.
Question Marks Over Tactics
It is yet to be understood if the Scotsman has the tactical nous to lead a club like Everton to future success. For all Duncan Ferguson’s charisma and ability to lead, it is still unclear if Everton could continue under a more direct system by the 50-year-old.
There were certain occasions where particular players looked lost playing in this very direct Ferguson approach. Players like Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend became totally redundant in this more direct 4-4-2. Not utilising the abilities of players like Gray and Townsend would be a huge mistake for Ferguson.
Duncan Ferguson also needs to minimize the number of fouls that the team were giving away. Everton picked up five yellow cards in this fixture and some were lucky Craig Pawson didn’t go to his book. The Toffees can’t continue to play this ferociously week in, week out, without players picking up suspensions.
Everton showcased plenty of positives for the Toffees to build upon, but the reality of potential relegation still hangs over the boys in the blue. With Norwich and Newcastle managing to win their respective games this weekend and the Toffees only 4 points off relegation, Everton must get themselves into gear to avoid the drop.