Welcome back loyal readers to another Premier League season! Just a quick refresher for the old veterans, and an introduction for new readers, about what our instant reaction post is all about. Essentially, it's a stream of consciousness post from the just completed match. I'll make notes, observations, yell, scream, and probably curse, about everything that happened during the Everton's match.
I encourage you to add your opinions in the comment sections. Think I'm wrong about something? Tell me, I won't get mad. Think I'm right? HEAP PRAISE UPON ME! You get the idea.
So here we go!
- If Romelu Lukaku could get a little stronger with his ability to hold the ball up and keep possession, you feel like he'd finally reach the levels that so many have been expecting of him. That said, he's so good when he can collect the ball, make a turn and race towards goal. Roberto Martinez knows this and you suspect he wants the attack to play to that strength when possible.
- Defensive miscommunication/marking issues early on. Leicester aren't City or Chelsea, but if you had a Premier League side gift chances, eventually they'll make you pay.
- AIDEN MCGEADY!!! HOLY HELL WHAT A SHOT THAT WAS!! Admit it, when he struck the ball, your first thought was something along the lines of what in the hell is he doing? Then the ball curved wickedly and pinged in off the bar. With Ross Barkley out for several weeks, Everton needed someone to step-up and McGeady definitely did that in the first half.
- Of course, when you give up and equalizer minus later because your defense simply cannot figure out how to properly mark on a corner kick, it really takes some of the shine off the goal.
- As the half rolled on, Everton definitely improve and took control of the match. Steven Naismith's goal in the 45th minute was deserved, and a great finish. Remember what I said about players needing to step up with Barkley out? McGeady played well, Naismith played well, and perhaps even more importantly, Steven Pienaar played well too.
- You got the sense that Martinez told his team to slow down a bit at halftime and work on keeping possession, rather than trying to turn the match into a track meet. That more wide open style benefited Leicester in the first half, and probably helped create some of the wheels off moments at the back. With Everton keeping their shape a bit better and not giving up so many counter chances, they looked like a more dominant side.
- James McCarthy's injury in the 62nd minute did not look good at all. He stayed down for awhile and looked to be a real pain. If he's out for an extended period of time, along with Barkley, Everton's depth is rapidly evaporating VERY early in the season.
- Ok, McCarthy is back on. Probably should still take him off though to be safe once Besic or Mirallas is ready.
- 72nd minute: Need a change Roberto! Leicester are getting traction. Maybe Atsu or Mirallas for some fresh legs to run at the Foxes?
- After looking great in the first half, Baines and Pienaar simply couldn't get on the same page in the second half. Credit to Nigel Pearson I suppose for making some adjustments at halftime to disrupt that combination. They'd really been giving the Foxes fits in the first half.
- OUCH. Jags got straight up kicked in the head. Time to test the new concussion protocols installed by the league after the outcry during the World Cup. Really poor defending from Distin and Stones put Jags in a bad spot though and he had to make a dangerous challenge.
- John Stones didn't look that great today at right back. You get the sense he's gotten more comfortable playing centrally.
- Welp. That was shit was the defense. Way to toss full points down the drain.
- It's always frustrating when a team sits back for an entire half trying to sit on a lead, gives up the inevitable equalizer, and then suddenly decides to try and play again in stoppage time.