There were some strange lineup decisions, and as of this writing the transfer window is still open. However, this was an enjoyable match.
- Welcome back, Seamus Coleman. You were utterly spectacular today, in defense and attack. The Irishman looked like he had been partnering with Theo Walcott on Everton’s right side for years. It was a throwback to the days of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar. Long may it live.
- Walcott, too, was absolutely superb. He has the speed and cleverness of Yannick Bolasie, with far more finishing ability. 20 million looks like an absolute steal.
- We criticize Sam Allardyce often in this space, but credit where it’s due today. When the lineup came out, there was fume - Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney were playing together, Yannick Bolasie was dropped, and neither Ademola Lookman or Nikola Vlasic were anywhere to be found. Despite all that, it mostly worked. Except for...
- ...playing Oumar Niasse over Cenk Tosun (or even Dominic Calvert-Lewin). The Senegalese striker had about 2 1⁄2 superb chances to score, and missed them all. Niasse is better as a substitute, and it showed here today.
- A midfield three of Rooney, Idrissa Gueye, and Tom Davies doesn’t really seem like it should work, but it did. Davies ended up usually getting further forward than Rooney, which allowed Wayne to take his time and pick out some passes - including the one that led to Walcott’s first.
- Speaking of Rooney, he was at fault for the penalty to Leicester City, drawn by Wilfred Ndidi. Rooney had hold of the Nigerian by the hand, but that’s about it. Curious that such a small amount of contact could bring down a grown man, but I guess the referee knows best...
- Tom Davies had been dealing with a relatively unknown injury, and was deemed fit enough to play the entire match today. The fitness showed, because he was superb. Well in, Tom.
- Michael Keane is now the legal executor of Jamie Vardy’s estate.
Three points. Whew. On to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Arsenal.