Player: James McCarthy #16
Games played: 18 Games started: 18 Goals: 2 avg pass accuracy: 85%
On a regular basis, I struggle to come up with the superlatives to describe James McCarthy after each match. I'll begin by saying he is One of a rare bread currently in this country or any other for that matter, a type of player that gives you his last bit of energy to the game and has the footballing talent to boot. If you can come across the same type of player for less than £20million, at the same age or younger, in this day in age then give Mr.Kenwright a shout. No team can have to many of his type.
What he did well
When you look back on McCarthy's season, you would probably have to say it has been One of his best in the game so far. Thats even with an injury or Two along the way. Comparing him to the central midfielders that have gone before him at out great club, he is fastly approaching the top of that bracket. When he is paired alongside Gareth Barry you find that McCarthy has to work more going forward, this is were he has come underfire from critics. The reason for that is because Barry himself sits so deep into the midfield/defence, it leaves a big gap to be filled for the man alongside him. This in turn means that McCarthy must restrain himself from venturing to far forward. But, as we seen towards the back end of the season, McCarthy has still managed to pop up with some important goals in important games, not to mention his goal assists as well.
What he could have done better
I would say that McCarthy's lesser games or lesser performances have come on the back of his return from injuries. Thats understandable. That game against Stoke City at home springs to mind, this was his first game back from the hamstring injury he picked up at the Europa league game away to Wolfsburg. McCarthy was subbed on the 69th minute after a slow performance. That day, the Irish international gave away the penalty that Bojan scored, and was to be the only goal of the game to give Stoke the 3 points. He struggled to really get going that day and I think a lot of things contributed, the return from injury, the up and coming Christmas period at the time, a little lack of match fitness and the stop start game that was the Stoke match.
Having said that, McCarthy has had many a good game this season and I couldn't possibly put my finger on just One. The few that spring to mind are Manchester City (Home & Away), Lille (Away), Liverpool (Home & away) and finally, in my opinion, his best performance to date in a Blue shirt was the home tie against Manchester United at the back end of the year. In that game against United, it was a full showing of every bit of his current talents. He never stopped, attack to defence in the blink of an eye, scoring an important goal to kick start the teams dominant performance and his goal assisting for our 3rd goal.
So, for the stats to back up the talk! James McCarthy featured in 28 of Everton's matches this season. He had made a total of 1178 passes this season, the 3rd most in the league only to be topped by Cesc Fabregas (1192) and Nemanja Matic (2011). Out of those 1178 pass he completed 85% of those passes, with 72% of those being forward passes. He won 60% of tackles he was involved in, the best in the league. McCarthy was recorded as making 0 defensive errors, which don't included the concession of penalties. McCarthy was listed 23rd in Sqwarka's 'best stats' list for the 2014/15 season.
I think those stats back up his game. I do believe a few more goals a season would help him become a more complete player, However if he gave us another season like the last One I wouldn't be complaining.
What are your thoughts on James McCarthy's season? Give him a grade!