Avoiding injuries is always a top priority when the international break arrives and Everton have managed to have pick up just one ahead of the weekend’s visit of Crystal Palace – although it’s not a name many Blues want to see missing from the teamsheet…
Otherwise it was a positive break for the Everton contingent, with plenty of goals and impressive performances put in.
Richarlison - Brazil
Came off the bench with half an hour to play to help Brazil to a last-minute 1-0 friendly win over arch-rivals Argentina. The 21-year-old picked up his fourth cap and looked dangerous as he lined up on the right side of a 4-3-3 formation. The Everton forward had also logged a few minutes as a late sub in the 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia.
Jordan Pickford - England
He launched two scintillating England attacks as the Three Lions went 3-0 up against Spain at half-time. England held on for a 3-2 win, although Pickford came under the spotlight after a precarious Cruyff-turn in his own six-yard-box was almost punished.
Asked whether a penalty should have been awarded for the incident, Pickford quipped, -
“I had that never say die attitude and there might have been a little nudge. But if you look back I got an elbow right in my dish and I got a good clearance.”
Idrissa Gana Gueye – Senegal
The holding midfielder scored a rare goal in Senegal’s 3-0 win over Sudan. But then, in true Everton fashion, got injured – hobbling off just before half-time leaving him as a doubt for the Blues’ weekend clash with Crystal Palace.
The Lions of Teranga won the return leg too and have qualified for the continental showcase early in 2019.
Idrissa Gueye played 44 minutes and scored Senegal’s second in a 3-0 win over Sudan. Idrissa limped off injured in the 44th minute. Fingers crossed he’s okay and it’s not too bad pic.twitter.com/pVmtPu2qqZ— The Toffee Blues (@EvertonNewsFeed) October 13, 2018
Henry Onyekuru - Nigeria
The forward made two substitute appearances as Nigeria virtually sealed a spot in January’s Africa Cup of Nations with two wins over Libya.
Antonee Robinson - USA
Robinson unfortunately got the run-around once again while playing for the United States, with his side well-beaten 4-2 by Colombia. He picked up a yellow card and was hooked after 75 minutes in Florida.
There’s no doubt that the on-loan Wigan Athletic full-back has a lot of promise (especially going forward – as he showed with a great cross for the USMNT’s first goal) but his defensive game needs a lot of work – especially when it comes to positioning and awareness.
Robinson made a late appearance as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Peru.
Cenk Tosun - Turkey
Tosun came on as a second half substitute in the 0-0 draw against Muhamed Besic’s Bosnia & Herzegovina, and could only pick up a yellow card as Turkey fell to a 2-0 defeat in Russia.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - Iceland
Only two late goals prevented Sigurdsson’s Iceland from claiming a famous win over France in last week’s friendly. However his side could do nothing to falling to another Nations League defeat, although by a smaller 2-1 margin at home to Switzerland, and subsequent relegation from Tier 1.
There were plenty of Blues in action for England’s under 21s this week – and plenty of goals for them too!
Ademola Lookman scored and put in a man-of-the-match performance in England’s 7-0 thumping of Andorra – with Dominic Calvert-Lewin also bagging a brace. Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny also started the game and set up Lookman’s opener.
Lookman scores for England U-21s. pic.twitter.com/pPgswtbcie— Toffee Analysis (@ToffeeAnalysis) October 11, 2018
Then, on Tuesday night, Kieran Dowell scored a stunning Sigurdsson-esque goal in their 2-0 win over Scotland – with Calvert-Lewin coming off the bench for the Young Lions.
I know it’s only U-21’s, but when will Dowell finally get some minutes? pic.twitter.com/eWofJoUkSz— Toffee Analysis (@ToffeeAnalysis) October 16, 2018
Elsewhere, Shane Lavery and Nathan Broadhead started for Ireland U-21s and Wales U-21 respectively, while Fraser Hornby missed out for Scotland’s youth side after undergoing surgery for an ankle issue.