I went on YouTube to look at his highlight reels — which is not a great way to assess a player — but what I saw was him getting into the box, scoring several goals, some from outside the penalty area. He does have a good shot on him. Not that you would guess that from his Everton performances so far.
So I ask myself: What has changed? — apart from a change of club and managers.
When he came in with James and Allan, I was more excited than the arrival of James and Allan, as I thought I knew what Abdoulaye would bring to our midfield. A big strong athletic box-to-box player that we so desperately needed. Added to that his ability to get into the box and score a few goals.
Watching him play against us, I always hoped that Watford would get relegated and we could snap him up. But he does not appear to be the same player. Why? Obviously he is a manager's dream and plays very much according to the tactical plan, which he has done well so far this season but I feel Carlo is missing a part of his game that we are crying out for again, based on our last 3 games.
At Watford, he ran the show in midfield. He responded well to Deeney who was the type of captain and leader we can only dream of. Is he missing this type of encouragement on the pitch? Who would you choose to lead the Blues? Deeney or Sigurdsson?
Maybe when Jean-Philippe Gbamin finally is fit enough to play, he will join Allan as the midfield shield and Doucouré will be given more freedom to get up the field — and become again the player he was at Watford.
Reader Comments (24)
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1 Posted 05/11/2020 at 08:26:54
When Coleman bombing forward he would cover so were not too exposed on a counter. Sadly this only made sense when we had the attacking threat of Coleman.
2 Posted 05/11/2020 at 09:39:18
3 Posted 05/11/2020 at 09:42:47
Like others, he'll start to look good again when Richarlison, Rodriguez and Coleman are back.
4 Posted 05/11/2020 at 09:49:10
He is playing to orders. Doing the cover work for Rodriguez and bizarrely covering jjk last week against Newcastle.
I thought that we signed him to be that centre mid that burst past the striker to go through on goal after all that looks like his strength. Ancelotti is deploying him deeper to do other people's running and lack of pace.
The worrying thing for me is that he is becoming one of the first to get hooked off the pitch which must frustrate the lad.
5 Posted 05/11/2020 at 10:01:38
6 Posted 05/11/2020 at 10:11:35
7 Posted 05/11/2020 at 12:26:53
The trouble is that it's Everton's blueprint to just nullify instead of encourage attacking (one of the reasons why it was so refreshing the goals in the first six games, but probably we knew exception to the rule).
We sign players and we change their dynamic, too often we restrict players and then within months it looks like a complete different player to the one we bought.
8 Posted 05/11/2020 at 15:00:57
9 Posted 05/11/2020 at 16:42:08
We barely put up with Rom because he couldn't control a ball but his effectiveness at scoring goals diluted the vitriol.
Nothing down for this chap I'm afraid
10 Posted 05/11/2020 at 16:51:05
11 Posted 05/11/2020 at 17:28:05
12 Posted 05/11/2020 at 18:47:48
In well over three hundred games Alan has barley got into double figures. He has averaged about a goal per season throughout his career. Doucoure is a slight improvement. He's got 31 in ten seasons - averaging three per season. Compare the two Ancelotti midfield signings to one of the more creative players he is inherited.
Gylfi Sigurdsson gets hammered.. and justifiably so, but throughout his career, he has scored twice as many as Doucoure and Allan combined He also creates twice as many.
Stats eh ? Who'd have em ? Even when they are correct they are misleading.
The problem with buying to midfield players to primarily defend is you need to be able to show a big improvement in the goals against column. If they don't defend properly they offer little else.
These are decent players, but they have to be better than they have been recently.
13 Posted 05/11/2020 at 19:39:59
I agree that we need to defend a whole lot better, the only clean sheet was the opening game against Spurs, and that might not have been a clean sheet if it hadn't been for two great saves from Pickford. Although, before the weekend's games, I think our neighbours had conceded the most goals so far.
Just to take Sunday's game: it wouldn't have mattered if we had the best two defensive midfield players in the country, their first was Gomes reacting too slow to a corner, and the second was a simple ball over the head of Mina – not the first time a ball over the top has found him wanting.
Without Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and James, we don't carry a goal threat as it seems the goals have dried up for Sigurdsson, who was the only other player with a decent goalscoring record. Iwobi, Bernard, Gomes, Davies are poor when it comes to scoring; the stats also say they aren't great when it comes to assists – and therein lies the problem.
We need to buy another goalscorer and play James behind the front 3; that would take pressure off the full-back behind James, and it would hopefully give James more touches; with his quality, that could mean more goals.
14 Posted 05/11/2020 at 21:26:25
Sorry to be negative, but isn't this what tends to happen? Must be the Everton effect that we've come to know so well.
15 Posted 05/11/2020 at 21:47:33
Watch his form when they come back in the team. He'll be doing lung-busting defensive interceptions like at Spurs away, or bursting into the box to create, like against West Brom at home. It's not his game to dictate play, it's his job to get about the pitch. He gives us something we just don't have in midfield without him, mainly legs and power.
16 Posted 05/11/2020 at 22:12:35
17 Posted 05/11/2020 at 23:04:46
We may only have Digne and Rodriguez back as Richarlison is still suspended and I suspect 3 weeks won't be enough for Seamus to recover from his hamstring strain. But having those two will help. I'd play Gordon in Richarlison's role and try to get the team shape close to what we were doing earlier in the season.
In terms of our midfield, we will win the battle with United's midfield as long as we don't have Sigurdsson in there. Although he didn't play well against Newcastle, I think Delph can cover for Gomes and link up with Digne and Gordon on the left. I think Allan and Doucouré are better than anything United can pair together...
18 Posted 06/11/2020 at 10:50:29
It was always going to take Carlo more than one window to get his squad sorted and if Gbamin can defy the odds and get back to what he was then that will be a good step forward.
19 Posted 06/11/2020 at 12:34:29
21 Posted 07/11/2020 at 19:00:01
I am still trying to put my finger on why he is not the player I thought we had got. His confidence must be rock bottom so maybe we wont see the best of him till he is really contributing to the team in an attacking sense. To do that we need a change of shape and find someone to play alongside Allan. Is that JP Gbamin? Will we see him in two weeks against Fulham?
22 Posted 07/11/2020 at 19:15:01
23 Posted 09/11/2020 at 11:38:36
If you can turn your man and beat him then suddenly you open some space up for others to hopefully profit from and at the moment no-one is the middle is doing that except from Allan on ocassion.
Historically Doucore completes about one dribble per game in the PL but currently he's at about half that.
Ever since Barkley left I think we have lacked a muscular presence in the middle who can beat a man and advance us up the pitch quickly to produce opportunities. Gomes, Delph and Sigurdsson sure as hell are not going to that. Davies is too slow. Allan is doing it a bit but I think Doucore could certainly do it more. Is it bad that I slightly wish we'd taken Barkley on loan, think he'd do well in this team and has been pretty stellar for Villa, though a short sample so far. I hope that if we buy a third central midfielder it will be someone who can carry the ball a bit.
24 Posted 10/11/2020 at 12:20:28
25 Posted 11/11/2020 at 12:51:08
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