By Ian Mills
Q – After such an impressive run of form, how disappointing was a loss to already relegated Fulham at the weekend?
Massively. I said on this week’s podcast that if Fulham had risen from 18th to 17th with that win then the result would become bit more acceptable as it’s a team fighting for their lives, but the fact it was against a team who are dead and buried with no divine right to be out fighting and out performing a side that could have gone 7th makes it all that much worse. Fulham whilst not cutting up tree’s all year have looked at times that they have something about them, specifically the spurs and Liverpool games and were as it was never the case that we should see it as a forgone conclusion we we would be getting 3pts, we certainly didn’t have to perform to the Arsenal level of performance to win. The fact is, we didn’t even get to half that level, which in a premier league game with a European place up for grabs, is not good enough.
Q – What was it about the performance for you that was the most disappointing?
The fight. The energy. The work rate. The basics basically. If we had any of them on pomp at the weekend, we would have taken something from the game. Simple things like us being 2nd best to balls, not liking being pressed and Alexander Mitrovic bullying our captain are things that should never be part of an Everton performance. I think its fair to say a few players had off days, Coleman, Richarlison & Gomes seemed particularly off their game but as above, the lack of doing the basic’s was our downfall and in turn the most disappointing aspect.
Q – Dominic Calvert Lewin had a couple of good chances to score? He has been getting a lot of praise for his performances lately but does his lack of goal’s worry you?
Again going back to the podcast, we discussed this in depth. Lewin now has 2 goals in 8. That’s not good enough, despite what you’re doing in other area’s of the pitch for a premier league number 9 who has aspirations of getting into Europe. A lot of people were pointing at the one on one he missed in the 2nd half but the chance that summed him up for me was when Andre Gomes drilled the ball across the goal in the first half and he was a yard off it. He doesn’t seem to have the goal scoring impact and unless you have a number 10 who can score 20 goals behind you then you really need to be the one scoring the goals that win Everton points. He hasn’t done that yet at all in his Everton career and that for me is the sole reason why we need to invest in a number 9 in the summer.
Q – Finally, Manchester UTD at home this weekend. Is this a time for Silva to make 2 or 3 changes on the back of a number of poor individual performances at the weekend, or does he stick with the same 11 minus the suspended Andre Gomes?
Michael Keane comes back in, that’s a given for me. Tom Davies comes in for the suspended Gomes for me, ahead of Schneiderlin. The poor performers last week, i.e the attacking players for me get given the chance to prove Fulham was a blip in a good run. They already proved that after the defeat to Newcastle by going and winning the next 3, so I think they’ve at least earnt the right. However, Silva has form for dropping players who he has previously dragged off. Richarlsion, Walcott, Lookman, Bernard, Tosun, Lewin have all seen themselves dragged off and then dropped and I think Gylfi Sigurdsson can count himself quite fortunate the suspension of Andre Gomes won’t allow himself to fall into that category. I could have seen the high pressing energy of Tom Davies being played there on Sunday should Gomes have been available, but barring that I don’t think Theo Walcott or Ademola Lookman have done enough when they’ve been given minutes to even be considered ahead of Bernard or Richarlison.
Have a great easter blues!