So we finally got the radical changes we have been asking for. Garbutt came in, as did Kone and McGeady, and it all started so well. Baines, Eto’o, McGeady and Coleman combining to set up Aroune Kone for his first Everton goal. And what a great finish it was too.
The goal showed everything that we had been missing in recent weeks. Pace, power and precision in every touch. Sadly, this is where the story ends for anything close to that move.
For the remaining 86 minutes Everton fell back in to their recent ways, and Newcastle showed all the power, pace and precision.
For the most part the changes we had been asking for worked. Garbutt had a solid game attacking wise. His crossing from open play and set pieces were a constant danger, when he got the chance. Defensively he was left exposed at times but on the whole performed OK.
Aroune Kone also had a lively time up front. Showing more running and poise than Lukaku and Eto’o have all season. The goal came from a great run from himself and a wonderful first time finish into the roof of the net.
I feel both players have earned their opportunity to start against Hull on Thursday.
Another bright point was the performance of Joel Robles. At fault for none of the 3 Newcastle goals, he was quick to come out for balls, commanded his box well and made a terrific save just before their second goal. A confident ‘keeper is what we need if Howard is to be out for any period of time.
This section could go on for a while. But to name a few: Gareth Barry (again), 4-2-3-1 (again), Eto’o (again) and McGeady.
How Gareth Barry gets a game week after week is beyond me. Named captain today he did little to stem any of the pacy Newcastle attacks and defend his (inexperienced) back five. I cannot see how he can start against Hull City, things need to change, which leads me onto 4-2-3-1.
We have called in recent posts for playing two attackers that have different strengths together in a 4-4-2 formation, with a more direct approach thrown in too. It’s all very well playing tika-taka football, but when you have players who either a) can’t pass or b) don’t want the ball it’s not going to work. A more direct approach stretches the play and stops the three men to each man marking when we have the ball. Of course players passing and moving would also do this, but baby steps are needed here.
I am not really sure what to say about Eto’o and McGeady. Eto’o seems to want everything to go through him, at one point he took the ball off a marauding Garbutt who looked perplexed. And McGeady, well we have called for him to be in the team recently, and he did well in the lead up to our first goal but he also set up their second!
The boy shows flashes of mediocrity but the rest of the time is a waste of a player on the pitch at the moment.
Substitutions continue to be an issue for Everton at the moment. We had possibly our strongest bench for years, yet failed to utilise it to it’s fullest. When we make a sub it’s ALWAYS like for like. Mirallas for McGeady, Barkley for McCarthey (to play deeper) and Lukaku for Kone. One of the subs was completely correct (as discussed above). Mirallas had to come on for McGeady as he had been dreadful. The other two subs however were laughable.
Kone was much the better out of himself and Eto’o, whilst McCarthey was the better of him and Barry. Despite that, a change in shape was also needed.
I am 100% behind Roberto, but things need to change. We can play our fancy slow football when we are winning and playing with confidence, for now we need to start winning at any cost, and if that means going more direct then so be it (the best teams have more than one way of playing).
We keep saying this but we go again at Hull.
Come On You Blues!