By Gary Ju/4/19
Q – Another win against a ‘top 6’ side after beating Arsenal at the weekend. How much encouragement can the players, staff and fans take from 2 back to back victories at home against the ‘top 6’?
It’s a massive boost for the players and for the management team; Silva, Brands and even the board itself! That seems dramatic but its not exaggeration to say that going into the infamous “17 day break”, 50% of the fan base wanted Silva out! Regular listeners will know that I was not one of those in that camp but at the same time, I wasn’t naïve enough to think that the results could continue the way they were. We spent pretty big in the summer and had an overhaul of the management structure. It would have been a huge blow to the club to have to rip up the plan and start again. Not only that, it would have started to bring into question the leadership of Farhad Moshiri. These 2 wins and the 3 clean sheets (including the Liverpool 0-0) have wet the fans appetite and “put to bed” the hoodoo of not being able to mix it with the big boys. I just don’t want Everton fans to become disillusioned now! Our squad is still very thin on the ground and we have a lot of young inexperienced players. Another bad run could be just around the corner so its vital we now start to identify targets that are going to help us come through the next “wobble” so that Silva has the ability to shake things up and avoid us slipping down the table next season, as quick as we did this!
Q – On the instant match reaction, the blues were undecided on a man of the match such was the all-round performance of all 11 as a team. Now the dust has settled, looking back can you pin point your man of the match?
I am going to stick with Seamus Coleman. That’s a decision made as much with my heaert as my head! That lad loves the club to bits and he showed everything that we want from an Everton player on Sunday; Determination, leadership, aggression, attacking intent and defensive know how. The other significant factor is the impact he has on the players around him. Since Richarlson has moved onto his side he’s working harder and is invariably out of position. I firmly think he was one of the first names on Brands’ list to replace in the summer. If we can keep him fit though, it might just be the best move we can make by keeping him in there as the captain and the experienced head we are going to need around the young players.
Q – A few weeks back you said it was fair to call Dominic Calvert Lewin ‘Everton’s number 9’ for the remainder of the season, but has he done enough to be Everton’s number 9 next season?
I wouldn’t quite say he’s done enough to warrant us forgetting about buying a recognised striker but his form has definitely given us options. If he can continue to mature then his aerial threat and his physical attributes in general mean that we will be able to change formations and even our style of play more readily. For instance, we played some great football on Sunday but equally, we weren’t afraid to “lump” it up or just clear the ball as we knew that invariably, Calvert- Lewin would make something of it. His recent performances have at least convinced me that he can definitely offer something at this level
Q – Finally, Fulham away on Saturday. Already relegated, on a run of 9 successive losses, nothing to play for. Is this a game you’d like to see Everton make changes for or should we be keeping the same 11 between now and May 12th?
There’s no way that any player deserves to come out of that team. That includes Jagielka, although I do have a feeling that Keane may come back in. I just can’t personally see any reason to change it. We looked solid and assured at the back and looked a constant threat going forwards. We do have to be aware of complacency however, that’s definitely something that is common with a young side. For me, that gives even more merit to Jag’s keeping his place. I would love to see us go and put a few past Fulham at the weekend and really send out a statement but as I’m typing this I’m also thinking that it would be “so Everton” to gift Fulham their first 3 points in 10 games!