Silva's stars begin to align as Everton top Leicester

By Lyndon Lloyd 06/10/2018 49comments  |  Jump to last
Leicester City 1 - 2 Everton

Like many fellow Blues, I'm sure, my Everton idols have usually been wingers. Our strikers, when we've had players worthy of the description, have usually scored the goals and grabbed the headlines but it's the likes of the sublime Trevor Steven, the exhilarating Andrei Kanchelskis (to be fair, he was a goalscoring forward in his own right), the skilful Steven Pienaar and even Mikel Arteta (he played wide when he first joined) who have always set this particular Blue's pulse racing the most.

Richarlison has already ingratiated himself to Evertonians playing wide on the left – as direct as he his, he is more reminiscent of Kanchelskis than a tricky winger – and the introduction of Andre Gomes is hotly anticipated but I admit that of all the summer signings, it was Bernard who excited me the most when we landed him. Securing him on a free transfer in the face of some significant competition felt like it was a coup at the time and the early indications are proving that to be the case.

His belated cameo against Fulham last week, which featured an assist for the third goal, coupled with his eye-catching full debut against Southampton last Tuesday had more or less forced Marco Silva's hand when it came to the selection of the starting XI to face Leicester today. How could he not include the fleet-footed Brazilian from the start?

Tweet (typo and all) from a week ago regarding Bernard

The manager was clearly convinced and short of dropping Gylfi Sigurdsson back into a more withdrawn "No. 8" role (which he actually did late on as Everton pushed for a winner after Wes Morgan was sent off for a second bookable offence) and playing Bernard behind the striker, the obvious choice was to put Richarlison up top and deploy his compatriot wide on the left.

It was described by some as a gamble; as if putting your trust in your joint-top scorer to lead the line not long after he had done the same for Brazil (and scored twice) was a big leap of faith on Silva’s part. It was precisely the formation that a number of fans — this one included — had been imploring him to try but it clearly needed a demonstration of fitness from Bernard before it could become a reality.

Indeed, given that he hadn’t played since March when he joined the club in August, a measure of patience has been required where Bernard’s readiness has been concerned. He looks better with each passing week, though, and he lit up parts of this game with some dazzling play. He looks to be a very special player and in light of the impact Sigurdsson has made in the last two games, including an absolute belter to win this one, the front four that Everton boasted at kick off really does look like a formidable unit.

It only took seven minutes for the wisdom of Silva’s choice to be underlined by a goal made in Brazil. With the Portuguese’s favoured high press having already forced Leicester’s back line into gifting the ball to Bernard in the fourth minute, only for Sigurdsson to lose control of the former’s pass, the visitors demonstrated from the off that they meant business.

Then, following a throw in down the Everton left, Idrissa Gueye laid the ball off to Bernard and he embarked on an electrifying run where he twisted one way and the next before clipping a cross from the byline that Kasper Schmeichel could only help into Richarlison’s path. The 21-year-old met the ball on the half volley and guided it into the net past Harry Maguire on the line. 1-0 and the Blues — well, all white today in their attractive third kit — were flying.

Spurred into action by conceding the goal, Leicester inevitably came into the game more as the first half wore on but with the Foxes hugely reliant on putting long balls over the top trying to spring the offside trap for Vardy, it was Everton who fashioned the better chances. Indeed, if Silva’s men could capitalise fully on interceptions in the final third or finish off counter-attacks they would be deadly and they could have scored more goals than they did before the interval.

In one instance, Sigurdsson held off his man in the centre circle and played a beautifully-weighted ball into the box that Theo Walcott momentarily lost control of until Bernard played it back to him and Schmeichel tipped his curling shot over the bar. Then, Richarlison galloped down the right and Walcott teed up Sigurdsson but his low shot was gathered. Finally, two more terrific cut-outs in the middle of the pitch, first by Walcott and then by Bernard set up opportunities for Everton to rampage forward but on the first occasion Walcott appeared to held momentarily by Maguire as he skipped past him in the box and on the second, Sigurdsson’s shot was deflected wide.

Claude Puel’s side were always a danger on the counter themselves and it was a classic Vardy break that almost yielded the equaliser 11 minutes before half-time. The England striker accelerated past Michael Keane to meet the through-ball but the defender did just enough to recover and use his presence to put Vardy off and he fired wide.

It was a let-off but six minutes later, Leicester got their equaliser. Unfortunately, it didn’t reflect on Jonjoe Kenny, who struggled all afternoon and had already been made to look foolish by Ben Chilwell for an earlier chance that Vardy had headed wide, nor Bernard who, just like Kurt Zouma for Arsenal’s second goal two weeks ago, was guilty of knocking the ball into trouble as opponents closed in around him rather than getting rid.

Ricardo Periera was the beneficiary of the loose ball and oceans of space ahead of him and after running 50 yards to get into the Everton penalty area, he turned Kenny inside and out as the fullback committed himself with a lunge and then hammered home off Jordan Pickford’s hand to restore parity five minutes before half time.

The expectation at that point was for a more even second half and it proved to be that way in the first quarter of an hour after the break, with Vardy becoming increasingly threatening. It was Chilwell who almost handed Leicester the lead, though, when he collected Tom Davies’s attempted pass and was allowed to dance his way unchecked to the 18-yard line before whipping a shot inches wide of Pickford’s right-hand post.

But Everton continued to look dangerous themselves, not least when lovely control from Walcott opened up space for a shot in the 62nd minute but his effort was a little tame and Schmeichel saved comfortably.

The moment that arguably proved decisive in tipping the contest Everton’s way came a minute later when Morgan, who had been booked for wrestling Richarlison to the ground in the first half and escaped a second for shoving the same player out of bounds, received his marching orders from referee Andre Marriner for chopping the Brazilian down from behind near the halfway line.

It was, arguably, the only major decision the officials gave Everton’s way in the match. Sigurdsson had been visibly impeded by Morgan in the six yard box in the first half as he tried to get on the end of Richarlison’s low cross and there was the Maguire incident with Walcott that might have resulted in a penalty on another day.

With the extra man, Everton exerted control over the game and twice went close midway through the second period but Schmeichel foiled first the impressive Lucas Digne and then Davies after Kenny had won a corner. The Danish ‘keeper then turned Sigurdsson’s low drive around the post.

As it turned out, for all their attacking superiority — the Toffees out-shot the Foxes 17 to eight over the course of the match, putting 10 on target to their hosts’ two — it would take a moment of individual magic from Sigurdsson to win it in the 77th minute just minutes after he had taken the captain’s armband with Davies’s departure for Cent Tosun.

Picking the ball up 30 yards from goal, the Nordic star turned James Maddison brilliantly and left him for dead before striding forward a couple of paces, looking him and unleashing a perfectly placed shot that sailed well beyond Schmeichel and into the top corner.

Everton had chances to put the game to bed in the closing stages and avoid a somewhat nervy finale where Maddison volleyed wide and Daniel Amartey planted a stoppage-time header from a corner the wrong side the post as the travelling Evertonians held their collective breath. Zouma put a free header over the bar off a corner at the other end while Walcott had a great chance to put Tosun in the clear in a two-on-one situation but made a mess of the final ball which was picked off by Maguire.

All in all, while Leicester had some clear-cut chances that could have robbed Everton of all three points, this was a richly-deserved first away victory of the season and one which feels long overdue after the disappointments at Wolves and Bournemouth. Indeed, when added to the team’s efforts at the Emirates where a 2-0 defeat was tremendously harsh, it was illustrative of how well the team has performed away from home so far.

That bodes very well for the rest of the season, one in which Everton under Silva look like they will only get better as the new players continue to bed in, others work their way back from injury and the team as a whole takes the managers methods on board. If only we didn’t have to wait another fortnight for the next game!

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Reader Comments (49)

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Ari Sigurgeirsson
1 Posted 07/10/2018 at 08:03:10
Wonderful win. Thanks for this, Lyndon. Unfortunately, I did not see the game, was working. But was wondering when I saw Leicester's goal... Why put both Zouma & Keane forward in corners we get?

It is a risk and we got exposed in their goal. I have some answers myself but what do you say?

Sorry for a bit negative comment after this wonderful win. :)

Laurie Hartley
2 Posted 07/10/2018 at 08:29:47
I didn't know anything about Bernard before he signed for us but, from his first few minutes in the royal blue, I was convinced we had a "real one".

Bernard brings belief to the rest of the team. They know as well as we do when there is a special player in the team. Very exciting to think that he will get better.

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 07/10/2018 at 08:34:33
Ari, everyone puts their biggest players up for corners. It's just something that's been done since the game began.

Their goal came because Gana and Kenny(?) were too weak and stupid to stop their counter-attack. All they had to do was belt the ball out of touch but they tried to be cute and messed up.

Wait until Seamus, Mina, Gomes and even McCarthy are up and running. I think we could be the surprise team this season.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 07/10/2018 at 08:41:38
Laurie, before the 2014 World Cup, Bernard was considered the next big thing to come out of Brazil. All the European giants were watching him but after the (disappointing) tournament he opted to go to The Ukraine and ply his trade there. He was dropped from the Brazilian squad and from sight.

I'd seen him play for Shakhtar Donetsk a few times and was always impressed even though I didn't think he had the stature to play in the Premier League. He reminds me a bit of Alan Ball so, if he's even half as good as Bally, we've got ourselves a gem.

Laurie Hartley
5 Posted 07/10/2018 at 09:00:03
Colin, I have been thinking about your comment on the other thread that he reminds you of Bally.

One thing he does that is classic Ball is that, when he is receiving a pass, he lets the ball do the work for him. He knows exactly when and where he is going to take his first touch – and, by that time, he knows exactly what he is going to do with it.

He is a cracker.

Niall McIlhone
6 Posted 07/10/2018 at 09:12:08
Your concluding paragraph sums it up for me, Lyndon – two great wins, a clear improvement in the synergy and team performance… and another annoying international break.

All-in-all, though, the break brings those injured players a step closer to fitness and, if we can maintain the vim and vigour of that display yesterday, I can see us giving Palace a thumping.

I fully expect there will be players in and out in January, and the recent form given encouragement that Silva is capable of finding a winning combination, also with good options on the bench.
How good is Gana at the moment, by the way? I know he was at fault for their goal, but his link play has improved a lot; he is so important to us right now, his energy and focus is fantastic.

Adam Baig
7 Posted 07/10/2018 at 09:24:26
Good to get the first away win; it was starting to become an issue.

That front four is ideal for a high press, and will trouble any defence.

There is definitely momentum building – let's hope we can get everyone fit and maybe get some favourable decisions that will be needed to get points from our next few away games.

Jon Withey
8 Posted 07/10/2018 at 09:59:02
What often seems to happen with a confidence-building win is it is followed by an over-confident loss.

Anyway, hopefully we take a similar approach in the next game, improve on finishing and iron out the mistakes.

So, is Richarlison basically our striker now? Tosun and Calvert-Lewin from the bench.

Martin Faulkner
9 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:09:10
On a side note, I see that Keown and Ince have been spouting off saying Richarlison conned the ref to get Morgan sent off, shithouses.
Jon Withey
10 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:13:06
Richarlison just had the beating of Morgan – he did nothing wrong.
Martin Faulkner
11 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:33:32
I know, Jon, but these guys have an agenda with us, Keown even said "You have to respect your fellow professionals" — pot, kettle, black.
Henrik Lyngsie
12 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:39:12
We had a good match yesterday. A lot of good pressing, winning the ball in their half. Solid defensively due to good central defending and good work from Davies and Idrissa.

On the negative three points.

1) We are very poor in corners and freekicks. We have two specialist in delivering: Sigurdsson and Digne. But still more than 10 corners & freekicks and only one half-decent attempt from Zouma. It seems like no-one really attacking the ball. I have never seen Silva speak to Duncan. But maybe Duncan could teach them how to attack a corner?

2) We are very poor just to control the midfield by keeping possession. We get too easily under pressure because Davies and Idrissa panic.

3) Kenny had a hard day at the office. He was clearly targeted and struggled throughout the match. I am sure he will learn from the experience and going away with 3 points will give him confidence.

Gordon White
13 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:48:52
Really enjoyed the game. Our performances are definitely improving. For me, this was our best and strongest line-up.

I felt at times that we were still vulnerable to the long ball over the top. Something to work on. Also, I think Kenny will have learned a lot from the game. But, to be fair, he could have done with a bit more support.

I thought Tom had a good game in parts but he's still to get his confidence back. I think the trouble is that a lot of the good things he does go unnoticed. And then he misplaces a pass and that's what fans judge him on. I'm not sure the armband has had the desired effect? Just an observation.

There were others who might have played better, particularly in the final third. But overall I thought it was a good team performance. Winning at Leicester is no mean feat and, if we get 3 points away when not all of the team are playing out of their skins, then that bodes well.

One thing we do need to improve on is set-pieces. Considering how many corners we've been winning, we just don't seem to get on the end of any of them? And when we do, we're missing clear-cut chances. Headers are flying over the bar. (And we are vulnerable to quick counter-attacks, as seen.)

If we're not going to rely on superb solo efforts, we have to be converting more of these chances and wrapping games up earlier.

I feel so much better than after the Hammers game. Actually, it feels like a great weekend and it's a shame there's an international break!

Tom Dodds
14 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:54:26
Bernard... The Angus Young of wingers!
Bob Parrington
15 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:54:32
I was excited watching this. On the whole, it was a massive improvement in what we've watched for some time!

But, let's not get too carried away. We still gave them too many chances to score with small pieces of very sloppy work.

Still, I'm taking this one as a real positive as we have some real game winners in the squad. Generally, high points for the players, with the greatest problem being at right back (defensively), even thought Kenny did some great work, too!

John G Davies
16 Posted 07/10/2018 at 11:09:29
Absolutely thrilled by the performance yesterday and what it bodes for the future.

Patience will be rewarded.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 07/10/2018 at 11:44:54
I thought Michael Keane had a good game; he's brave in the air, is definitely improving, but any ball over the top is always going to put him in trouble.

Kenny had a difficult first half, but he's a young kid, very young to be playing in the Premier League, and it's definitely a learning curve for him. I said last week that I doubt any young English fullback will have ever come across how this manager wants to play before, so it won't be the last time we see him getting caught in no-man's land.

Zouma had his best game: quick, strong, athletic, and looking like he's growing in confidence. Digne, was actually my MotM, and looks to be a very good player.

I'm talking about the defence because it's obvious to me that, once Silva's style evolves, then we won't have much trouble in scoring goals; so, if we can't also learn to tighten up defensively (it won't be easy), then better times might just be ahead.

Rob Halligan
18 Posted 07/10/2018 at 11:47:41
Martin # 9. Listening to Neil Warnock on SSN, and he's saying Harry Kane got the Cardiff player sent off yesterday following a cynical foul on Lucas Moura. Warnock, it seems, is under the impression his player was only going to receive a yellow card until Kane intervened, a bit like Gerrard when he got Tony Hibbert sent off.

Did Keown or Ince say anything about this, or say nothing because he's the England captain? I know which one I think is the answer.

Martin Faulkner
19 Posted 07/10/2018 at 11:58:20
I'm not sure, Rob, I saw a reference to it on ToffeeTV on Twitter, they only showed them commenting on Everton.
David Ellis
20 Posted 07/10/2018 at 12:01:00
Henrik (#12) – your 3 negative points are all correct – to which I'd add a fourth in the number of chances we made a Horlicks of – with Walcott particularly guilty yesterday.

The issue that concerns me most is the ability to retain possession in midfield when under pressure. Davies and Gana are not skilful enough with the ball to get out of trouble. I'm hoping that Gomes will fix this.
But, lots of positives today; lots of chances created, defending at corners seems better than earlier in the season and all this summer's signings look the part. We are transformed, even if our points total doesn't fully reflect it yet.

The teams looking to challenge us for 7th are Bournemouth, Wolves and Leicester – we've played all of them away from home and got the better of all of them, and we have a deeper squad with two of our signings not even playing yet – overall, it's looking good.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 07/10/2018 at 12:02:09
That's the formation, then. It's got to be. Richarlison is very good in the centre with his back to goal. Strong, good ball control, can turn his man or lay it off. Bernard out wide – what skill and passing. Backed up by Digne, not only strong defensively but strong going forward. Oh for such combinations on the right as well.

Zouma's best game so far. Siggy in his best position (and a goal of reasonable quality!). It's great to be able to look forward to the next game with excitement and realistic optimism.

But boy, isn't the Live Forum a mass of contradictions. Caught up with it on the way back from Leicester. Some great humour. But some miserable feckers on there – keep them away from guns, cliff edges and Chang.

James Hughes
22 Posted 07/10/2018 at 12:09:25
Rob, I think Warnock needs to take his medication. He must be seeing things that aren't there, if he thinks Ralls's tackle wasn't a straight red card.

As for Ince, the only time I would listen to that smeghead would be if he was handing over my Lotto jackpot cheque, even then just long enough to say "Cheers, now do one, Ince". That man gave himself the nickname 'The Guvnor' and he was being serious!! Total bell-end.

Nicholas Ryan
23 Posted 07/10/2018 at 12:20:58
Laurie [5], Colin [4] . Interesting comments about Bernard 'knowing what he is going to do with the ball'. My son's rugby coach (a Kiwi) said that the All Blacks know what they are going to do with the ball, before they receive it. That makes them faster and sharper than the rest.

Secondly, Tom Davies. Good player, but makes mistakes. I think he needs to look at 2 sportsmen – Alastair Cook: he was a promising young batsman, who made too many mistakes. He spent a year in the nets with Graham Gooch, learning to eliminate those mistakes. He emerged as a player of fierce concentration, who didn't take risks. He then went on to score more (Test) runs than anyone else.

Gennaro Gatusso, the 'engine' for AC Milan in their pomp. All he did was tackle, and pass the ball 5 yards to his mate. Again, no risks taken, just did the basics, to perfection. Enough to win 2 Champions Leagues and play in 3 World Cups.

Tom Davies needs to learn fierce concentration, and the elimination of risk. Might make him boring, but he'll be much more effective.

Finally, Tom [14], surely Angus Young is the Bernard of guitarists!

Danny O'Neill
24 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:01:16
I agree, Tony, Keane's pace is always going to be a problem for him so he needs to learn how to compensate. Dare I say, as Carragher had to, because his powers of recovery against quick players will be limited.

The Vardy one-on-one is a good example. Why stand man for man on the half-way line with a player who will clearly skin you in an out-and-out race for an over-the-top ball? In my opinion, he should have had one eye on Vardy receiving to feet & close if that scenario plays out, but stand 5-10 yards back in our own half and cover the space; he can't be offside on the half-way line so why mark tight in that situation, knowing what Vardy wants (which is want Keane presented him with)?

Let's not be too negative. I'm not Keane's biggest fan but he has played okay in recent games. He can be a good top-flight defender, but only if he works on thinking ahead; more than most players, he needs to use his brain as much as his body.

Overall a lot of positives that most have already covered; Bernard, Richarlison back and our attacking 4 looking menacing. As for Sigurdsson's goal, wow! With fear of sounding bitter, had that been scored by one of the current Sky darlings, we'd still be talking about it in May. I think it's been acknowledged it was a good goal!!

Neil Cremin
25 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:10:36
I didn't see the game, just the MotD highlights... but, when looking at Bernard and setting up the first goal, he reminded me of John Giles – for those who are old enough to remember the Leeds United midfield general.
Tony Everan
26 Posted 07/10/2018 at 18:50:11
Yes Lyndon, Bernard was a masterstroke of a signing.

David Silva is a player who is worth the admission price to watch. One of the best ever Premier League players in my view. With Bernard we have landed some of that timeless quality.

He has a total belief in his ability and technique, it shines through. You know yesterday was no flash in the pan, he is the real deal. He is not David Silva, but at 26 and with his style of play he still has 5 or 6 years at the top with us. He can get even better.

The Premier League looks like it will suit him in the way it suits Silva. Tough, tall, meathead defenders just don't know how to cope with that movement and skill, they are not used to it at all. He turned the Leicester defenders into statues for the first goal.

I'm looking forward to more of the same against Crystal Palace and dare I say it against Phil Jones, Eric Bailly etc.

Charles Brewer
27 Posted 07/10/2018 at 18:54:32
I though yesterday's match was a credit to both teams (with the possible exception of Morgan, whom someone memorably described on the live discussion as "like a wheely bin"). Kenny had a very difficult first half, and the Leicester goal was superbly taken and very skillfully done, I don't think many defenders would have done better without resorting to a foul – and unless it's against Liverpool, I'd rather see a really good goal scored against Everton than the kind of cheating which kills matches. That said, I thought something went seriously right at half-time, since Kenny had a much better second half.

I thought every one of the Everton team played well, although the subs didn't make any noticeable improvement, and I thought it was wise to take Tom Davies off before the referee decided that "in the interests of fairness" a second yellow was in order (probably for something like breathing heavily on someone).

On the subject of Alan Ball (above), my son spent the afternoon working at Fulham and spent the entire second half with George Cohen, who with Ball and a few others (all northerners apart from Cohen) did not receive any kind of national recognition until 2000. Funny how inept civil servants and corrupt politicians get all kinds of honours, while a unique and still remembered football team got minimal acclaim.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 07/10/2018 at 19:53:30
Ari (1), I agree with you. Zouma with his speed is the one of the centre-backs I would keep back when we are attacking corners; let Michael Keane go forward. It happened last week versus Fulham, when Kenny was left back on his own and left to face two or three Fulham attackers. Pickford saved the day last week. Zouma with his pace is better equipped to deal with the quick breakaways.

It is a failing in Silva's defensive preparation and needs to be altered. Apart from that, I am more than happy with the way the team are performing this season and I think we will continue to improve as the season progresses and Goodison Parkwill come to life as we do; plenty to look forward to.

Mark Taylor
29 Posted 07/10/2018 at 19:55:50
Managed to catch the whole game on Sky's game of the day and lots of positives there but also a few criticisms. Bernard looks class. Personally I think his best position is going to be where Siggy plays, prompting the attackers.

Question then is what you'd do with Siggy. For most matches I think he could play alongside either Gana or Davies. I don't think we gain from having both of them, given their passing and vision is so woeful at this level. I've no problem with a terrier in the team, but one would do. Siggy is a decent defender and we wouldn't lose that much playing him in that role, and he's certainly a better passer. It's such a shame Lookman has mentally checked out because if we did have a front 3, him interchanging with Walcott, Richarlison in the centre with Bernard behind would make for a tasty attack. So given that is not the case, I suspect the front 3 will stay as in this match, with Siggy at number 10. Maybe Gomes can make a better job of CM and play alongside either Gana or Davies- and at this point, I'd have the former as the more reliable. We might then be able to move the ball forward more incisively.

Defence is still not fixed. Digne looks a good solid technical player, albeit a bit slow. Zouma is a magnificent athlete but looks like he has a mistake or three in him, reminds me of the RS bloke, Sakho. Very ungainly. Keane we've talked about. Against fairly immobile front lines he'll be fine, but he turns like an oil tanker and seriously lacks pace. Here one can only hope Mina can do the job he was bought for. If we ever see him or Gomes.

I'm not sure what Kenny can become but I know what he is now. He's like a very early version of Seamus, handly going forward but defensively a bit naive to put it charitably. We used to play Seamus right wing in his early years for that very reason but that position doesn't really exist in our current system. And I worry about Seamus' ability to rebound from his latest injury; he didn't look close to his best for the brief return after that horrific leg injury.

Tony Everan
30 Posted 07/10/2018 at 20:13:32
Any criticism of Jonjoe Kenny needs to be tempered by the fact that he will be targeted by opponents as a perceived weak link. Leicester attacked down that side often and sometimes they doubled up.

Whilst his play has been far from perfect, it's been good in the circumstances. He has been committed to the cause, tough and resilient. He has performed well in Seamus's absence and I think he is growing into a first-team player.

Brian Porter
31 Posted 07/10/2018 at 21:09:54
Neil #25, you obviously saw Johnny Giles, of Leeds, very differently to me. I remember Giles as a mean, nasty spiteful little bugger.

I remember being at Elland Road one year... maybe 1967-68, when Giles kicked lumps out of Bally, who just got up every time and shrugged it off except for one really nasty tackle that Bally did take exception to. He got up, looked at Giles and pointed a finger at him. It must have been a warning because Giles didn't touch him again during the game.

John Raftery
32 Posted 07/10/2018 at 21:19:43
if Bernard reminded me of any of the Leeds players of the 1960s and 1970s, it was Eddie Gray. He was all left foot with great dribbling ability. The rest were all dirty bastards.
Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 07/10/2018 at 21:24:18
It's a very positive step in the right direction in wake of the League Cup exit v Southampton.

Let's hope we can kick on after the international break, and the gelling of the squad can grow and flourish.

Class acts on the pitch yesterday and class goals. Plenty to look forward to but consistency in play is now needed and some luck with injuries.

Simon Smith
34 Posted 07/10/2018 at 21:27:12
Tony @30;

I agree mate, Kenny is coming along nicely, both him and Holgate have already made the transition from U21 to first team squad players. This is promising as we need to be able to count on the U23s to give us players capable of coming into the squad so as we can spend our funds on 1st team players and not waste it on squad players.

Frank Sheppard
35 Posted 07/10/2018 at 21:48:35
Nice to see people not moaning about Sigurdsson this week, and saying how poor he is, and not worth his place!
John Boon
36 Posted 08/10/2018 at 00:56:32
Great game to watch and positive signs ahead. Most of the positives have already been posted so I just want to focus on one team weakness and would really like to see others opinions on "corners".

We never seem to be able to take any advantages of winning corners. Surely when we win over a dozen corners we should be able to make something out of it. Usually lousy headers well over the bar. We seem to be just as bad at the other end as opponents seem to cause havoc when we are defending. To me, we need to go back to Tim Cahill to find any player really efficient in the air.

Bill Watson
37 Posted 08/10/2018 at 01:00:12
The comparison to last season's visit to Leicester is like chalk and cheese. So much to commend about yesterday's performance – not least, the amount of shots on target, and corners, albeit we need to be much more clinical to convert these chances into goals. We still look vulnerable to fast counter-attacks too, as many have already pointed out.

I've been a Blue since 1958 so rarely get that excited about today's players but Bernard looks a real class act. The sort of player who makes you hold your breath when he gets into the penalty area. The sort of player who can see, and make, a pass others can't and the sort of player who will earn us free kicks and penalties and, probably invite a few red cards in the process. In fact, the sort of player it's impossible to play against.

It's early days but he really looks as if he has that 'wow' factor that could make him an Everton hero.

Laurie Hartley
38 Posted 08/10/2018 at 03:10:29
Brian #31 – that is a fitting description of Giles. The worst part about it was there was no need for it because he was very clever, skillful and strong for his size. I think that was what Neil was alluding to.

Nicholas #23 – the All Blacks are mustard. I have often wondered if footballers could learn from other codes – their training methods and tactical approach – or perhaps they already do.

Machiel Barnard
39 Posted 08/10/2018 at 06:01:57
I am sure Silva is going to replace Tom Davies with Andre Gomes when he is available.
John Jennings
40 Posted 08/10/2018 at 10:13:55
Okay, guys – a few thoughts on Foxes v Toffees from high up in the away end on Saturday.

I live near Leicester and have played footie with the same bunch of lads for 30+ years, most of whom are Foxes fans with the odd Ram and Tricky Tree thrown in for good measure. Always good banter.

It was also my eldest lad's birthday so we set out with great hope, but expecting a close encounter, and so it turned out. Leicester are a young and energetic side who play decent football and move the ball quickly. They have a big weakness in Wes Morgan, who makes Michael Keane look quick. We thought Richarlison would cause him problems, and he certainly did with a deserved, if rather stupid, red card as a result of three fouls on our Brazilian drama queen.

I do love his aggression, work rate and bond with the supporters, though (shirt handed to a travelling Toffee after the final whistle). If only Theo Walcott would show a similar appetite for hard work to go alongside his undoubted talents. He noticeably stops showing for the ball when we are up against it and needs some fire in his belly.

Leicester have nothing to dislike in their style of play and, in James Maddison, they have the makings of a real star. For those who indulge in Fantasy Football, he is the best points per £ player in the Premier League. He is what I really hoped Tom Davies would be looking like – quick thinking, fast passing and a real football brain.

Alas, Tommy looks like he is wading through treacle and as soon as the man from Barca is fit, he needs some time away with Rhino's calm words in his ear. I really want the lad to make it but, at present, he is simply not good enough at the Premier League level and making him skipper is one of Marco Silva's more baffling decisions. It should be Sigurdsson, no question.

And as for that goal – Wow! Not many in the Premier League who have the ability to do that. Revelling in the Rooney free space and good enough to take advantage. Penalties might need a bit more focus though, but don't ask Riyad Mahrez for advice – what a knobhead.

Is it me, but Man City's technical and back-up team is a cast of thousands and Pep is acknowledged as a tactical master, but no-one has a plan for what to do if the penalty taker is subbed. Just saying.

Anyway, back to our game. Bernard – as soon as he came on against Fulham (for all of 5 minutes) we thought 'Hello, the boy can play!' MotD edited out some of his sublime control and turns and he was worth the admission money. Just like watching Brazil

On the not-so-good side, I fear the lad Keane will not make it. Too slow in thought and movement; on another day, Vardy would have made him pay. Apart from watching the monster Mina bully England, I really don't know how good he is position-wise and for pace, but he has to be included, once fit, alongside the Zoom. And, he might get his noggin on a few corners, which no-one could manage on Saturday, despite having lots of them.

Jonjoe Kenny had a really poor game up against some Leicester trickery and a goal always looked likely to come from his side. He stuck at it, but we need the £60k man back asap.

So, some signs of hope and Silva deserves credit for picking a bold formation and making the right subs at the right time. Much, much sterner tests to come though and in January, we need to break the bank and get the 20-25 goals a season man in, whatever it takes.


Brent Stephens
41 Posted 08/10/2018 at 10:26:15
John #40, your ref to our man as The Zoom brought back that cracking song from Fat Larry's Band – "Zoom". I could imagine the away fans singing something along those lines when our own Zoom scores!
John Jennings
42 Posted 08/10/2018 at 10:42:56
Brent #41.

Great shout and a great track. Travelling Toffees could be renamed 'The Joy Division' after the hearty rendering of 'Bernard will tear you apart, again' on Saturday. Whoever came up with that, take a bow, son!

Tony Everan
43 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:14:15
Nice write-up, John, I agree Tom Davies's place will be debated against Gomes's inclusion. However, since Gana and Davies have been playing together, the midfield has been better.

Tom won't get away with so many passing mistakes though every week. Chilwell missed by an inch after one of them. He got away with it. Against teams like Liverpool, he will get even less time and come under even more pressure. It's damned tough in the centre of midfield for a Premier League player.

Gomes will not find it a walk in the park either and I don't think Silva will disrupt a winning team. So the ball is in Tom Davies's court. Cut out the mistakes and he will be difficult for Gomes to dislodge.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:33:37
John #42 — yes, that was a ball, Saturday. "Bernard will tear you apart again". Very good.
Rob Halligan
45 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:53:03
Pretty certain we're not the first set of fans to sing that song? I'm sure Man Utd fans sang it with regards to Ryan Giggs, and even the England cricket fans sang it regarding Graham Swann.

Still, WTF – catchy little number.

Ajay Gopal
46 Posted 08/10/2018 at 17:05:00
Silva should not change a winning side just because Mina, Coleman and Gomes are available. Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny are developing well. Although I would like Kenny to take a look at videos of Tony Hibbert defending at right-back — he was the best tackling right-back, IMO, even though he couldn't cross for nuts!

If he can cut out over-committing himself (happened a couple of occasions last season as well — left fallen on his arse), he will be a good long-term replacement for Coleman. Everyone seems to have high expectations of Gomes just because he is from Barcelona, but we need to see how he acquits himself in the Premier League.

Fran Mitchell
47 Posted 08/10/2018 at 17:43:24
Saw the game in bits and pieces, work distracting from being able to pay full attention.

Few points: the attacking trio has to remain the same, maybe Lookman for Walcott as the season progresses.

Davies and Gana, while they have limitations, have at least been a partnership that works and fits our preferred pressing style. Schneiderlin is just too static.

With Mina, we could and will add a real threat to our set-pieces that is lacking. Keane has improved, but simply is not good enough.

Digne looks class, and Kenny looks good. While still second to Coleman (whose form was poor before his injury), he has done well. Kenny occasionally has great crossing, yet it is his positioning that lets him down. Hopefully he'll improve on this.

Jerome Shields
48 Posted 09/10/2018 at 10:46:40
Whilst Silva is the Manager and has organised the team, I think Brands is heavily involved.

I am beginning to think the introduction of 7 changes in the League Cup tie was a chance taken to give players playing time for assessment. Those that played better, like Lookman, will be given further games, but the others will be looking at the January transfer window. Of course, neither Brands and Silva are happy with the result, but I don't think Moshiri spent too much time discussing the League and FA Cups with Brands and Silva during the interviews for their jobs.

I feared that consistency would be lost but, against Leicester, the team continued on from the second-half display against Fulham. Some players need to improve in aspects of their game, but it will be clear to them that they will have to.

I am impressed by the way Everton are playing. A framework is being put in place where a player can come in and play to his best, but equally under-performance is easily identified and all players know they are being continuously assessed. Makes a change from the days of sloopy and predictable, when we all were being fed sop from the Everton Management,

Neil Cremin
49 Posted 09/10/2018 at 23:43:07
Brian and Laurie,

It was Giles's skill. He was known as the midfield general.

Yes, he was tough and had a nasty streak but all small midfielders in those days had that streak. I have heard Giles in interviews admit he was no angel but, in those days, he claims that you didn't get the same protection from refs as you do today.

Bernard, when he dropped his shoulder to cross that ball, reminded me of that part of his skill-set.

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