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Fulham v Everton: 5 Thoughts

Everton cruised to a victory over Fulham after a sluggish first half. Here are some thoughts on the game...

Shaun Botterill

1. Tim Howard kept us in the game

The game would have been out of reach without Howard making some big saves throughout the first half. Our midfield was quite sluggish and we kept giving away the ball in dangerous places. A lot of the shots weren't particularly spectacular but when called upon, Howard made good saves to keep us in the game. It was a little frustrating that Fulham got so many efforts, which leads me to my second thought.

2. Gerard Deulofeu is not close to ready to be a starter

Yes, he gives defenders headaches with his direct style and many times he gives us opportunities that no one else on our squad could create. He even pulls of some astonishing moves that I need to rewind to check if it's even humanly possible. But he just loses possession too much and holds the ball too long. I've been long complaining about this and while he creates a ton of chances (which many fans love) he gives the ball away in dangerous positions that lead to counterattacks. This isn't such a big deal against relegation sides since they have trouble finishing, but you make mistakes like that against a top half side and they will make you pay. For me, he is still just an impact substitute.

3. Steven Naismith is silky smooth

His runs are perfect. His vision is phenomenal. A major problem for Everton are attacking creativity. We don't really try too many through balls or have link up plays near the box, but Naismith has changed that. He is going to be a very important player for Everton's future. Even if he is not a starter.

4. McGeady seems to be finally fully fit

We knew that Aiden McGeady was better than he was playing. He seemed a little slow and we didn't see much of his creativity. That pass to Mirallas before his goal was pinpoint. I haven't seen anything like that from Everton this season. Our squad now has the creative players it needs to succeed at a high level. McGeady is the guy to help us make a final push for the Champions League (not Barkley or Deulofeu).

5. Everton won't beat Arsenal playing like they did Sunday

Too many mistakes, too many chances for the opposition and not enough offense. If we play like that again, the second half surge won't be enough to beat Arsenal. Luckily for us, we have the in form players to start in place of Deulofeu and Barkley. It's going to be an exciting match, but only one of a many in a hectic finish to the season.