Even renowned world-class football managers can sometimes get it wrong. That's how I felt after watching the dismal Everton performance against 'one win in 11 games' Newcastle Utd.
The players were rightly condemned, but I felt the manager's format and team selection was wrong as well. Starting with Gomes and Godfrey on the bench was a mistake and the team huffed and puffed all afternoon.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night and I reconciled myself to the team being over-run in midfield and all over the pitch, as the energetic style of 'fast passing' and movement of Leeds Utd being too much for Gylfi and Co to cope with. Instead, we were unusually quick out of the blocks, with strong performances all over the pitch.
I honestly don't think anybody had a poor game. One thing has become apparent over the last month: Godfrey is making it impossible for the manager to leave him out the side, such is his growing influence on the team.
His strong powerful presence is something we have sorely lacked over the years, and credit is due (to Brands maybe) or whoever spotted his potential at Norwich. I have seen a recent clip of him in the gym, shadow boxing with a trainer, and he really is the ultimate athlete.
But another player who has grown on me since the season started is Yerry Mina. I honestly thought this would be his final full season here as a centre-back due to his regular defensive mishaps and being prone to long spells on the sidelines through injury.
But no, he has become a dominant figure in the air at the back, and his tackling and positional sense has improved immensely, something I didn't think would happen.
Added to that, the all-round display of a rejuvenated Gomes, who bossed the middle of the park, made it a night when I had to re-assess my opinions on a number of our squad.
Has it really taken so long for Gomes to recover from that horror injury, physically and mentally, or is it something else? Who knows, but when he puts in a performance like that, he really brings something to the party.I
s it just me, or do Everton look more physically imposing in the all-blue kit? We looked strong all over the pitch last night and dominant in the air at set-pieces and corners.
So, onto Old Trafford and another stern test. Will Carlo stick or twist in the crucial goalkeeping position? Will he bring Rodriguez back after being rested? You certainly couldn't drop the impressive Doucouré, who continues to cover virtually all of the pitch.
Although Sigurdsson scored an impressive goal last night, he can still disappear for long periods of a game, and I'm not sure he will survive when Allan returns.
Anyway, great team performance on Wednesday night, and all questions for the manager to answer.
Reader Comments (6)
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1 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:30:41
In general though home teams seem to play less well than the away teams at the moment meaning big teams getting shocks at home. Just shows what a big role supporters have. I hope that's what happens for us tomorrow!
Going forward I think Carlo will mix it up every game to keep players fresh and on their toes because he's almost got a fully fit squad. Players have also mostly improved their standard of play, apart from Pickford, so he knows that he can expect his teams to compete. They just need to ensure high levels all the time, no matter who the competition is.
2 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:09:36
3 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:33:14
Godfrey is one of the buys of the season. Allan is a worry, his injury is taking for ever.
4 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:52:27
Ancelotti continues to say and actually do rotation of players. Rotating Gomes is, in my opinion, not a cause to worry about as he hadn't been consistently setting the place alight. Godfrey again in my opinion is different. He has been excellent since his first game and quite rightly on the teamsheet.
I have no doubt Ancelotti looked at Newcastle's season and thought it was the ideal game to rest Godfrey. On paper, the team he put out should have walked that game. Unfortunately, we failed spectacularly.
The perfect storm of Newcastle playing their best of the season and our lot unable to pass to each other or motivate themselves caused that rubbish.
Hopefully they can all get their act together against Man Utd.
5 Posted 08/02/2021 at 17:25:08
6 Posted 15/02/2021 at 13:11:59
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