Honestly, how good can this kid be? There are a few wrinkles to iron out, the final pass isn't always there, and he hasn't had an assist yet this season, but Barkley is finding the level of consistency that you need to become a fixture in a top Premier League team. His use of space against Arsenal was excellent, finding holes everywhere in the middle third of the pitch. His direct running definitely has hints of Gazza about it, and his work in winning back the ball shows that he's been watching some of the very best players, think the Barcelona midfield. Roberto Martinez is doing a very good job of managing him, resting him when he sees fit. If he keeps this up though we might find him starting for England at the World Cup next summer.
Bryan Oviedo / Seamus Coleman
There isn't a better fullback combination in the Premier League right now. And we all thought we'd have problems with Leighton Baines was ruled out, how wrong we were. Oviedo has taken his chance with both hands and put in another accomplished performance against Arsenal. He was called upon to do some work defensively this time out and coped admirably whilst being an ever present outlet on the left wing. On the right Coleman has developed into one of the best right backs in the league now, attacking-wise he has no peers, and defensively his improvement has been massive.
The focus should really be on the whole team as one of the most impressive things that Martinez has changed is how the players work as a unit. We saw Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas instinctively changing wings, sometimes both on the same side of the pitch at once, we say the full backs bombing forward, we saw Barkley sat between the two centre backs at one point, and James McCarthy and Gareth Barry disciplined throughout. It was a joy to watch the first forty minutes as Everton took the game to the seasons outstanding team on their own turf. It's safe to say we completely outplayed, and more impressively outpassed, them in that period. Fantastic stuff.
Making the ball do the work
The Most noticeable thing about the first half was how well the team used the ball. The passing wasn't just for passings sake but was stretching Arsenal across the pitch. The way the highly talented Arsenal midfield were running about after the ball was great to see, and made better by the fact that Jack Wilshire, Aaron Ramsey, Mezut Ozil, et all, were too tired to use the ball well when they did win it back. The fact we had 58% possession across the match is an amazing stat. That passing allied to the tactical flexibility that the players showed ensured we bossed the first half. Now if only we had a killer final ball.
This was another game to warm the hearts of both Evertonians, and those exponents of the"best league in the world", I'm not sure I've seen a game between two team where the quality of football on show was so high, for such long periods. To see the boys in blue outclassing the potential champions for half the game was brilliant to watch. The positivity that Martinez exudes is having a real affect on the team at this time, I hope he can keep it up when there are tougher times. If you can't get carried away now then when can you.