What a first match!
It was a few days ago, and I am sure you have already read up and digested the 2-2 draw at Wolves, but the performance is worth a quick note:
The Everton team we saw last weekend was one that knew exactly WHAT their manager wanted them to do, and HOW to do it.
Both before and after Phil Jagielka’s unfortunate dismissal the Toffees were constantly looking for opportunities to score and get at the Wolves goal.
In fact, it was a 10-man Toffees side that took the lead though a splendid team movement that was capped off with a beautiful Richarlison finish.
Here’s to hoping Everton get to play full strength for 90 minutes and show Southampton, and the rest of the league, just what they are in for this season against the new look Toffees.
Now, without further hesitation:
TO YOUR QUESTIONS!!!
Honest question. Does the captaincy mean more in English football than it does in American sports? To me, people keep clamoring over Seamus to be the captain of EFC. I feel a leader is a leader with or without the captaincy. I really do want to know what the big deal is.— Jon Hein (@jdhein13) August 14, 2018
I actually do think the captaincy does mean more to players in English soccer than it does to professional athletes in the the Unites States, and I think it is for one major reason
The continuous nature of the game.
Unlike American sports: American football, baseball, and basketball, soccer does not have a number of scheduled or unscheduled stops within the game itself. While injuries and delays DO happen, it is nothing compared to American sports.
From timeouts to challenges to mound visits, American sports are riddled with breaks in the action that allow the referee or umpire to interact directly with the coaches without causing any great delay in the action.
Soccer, on the other hand, requires the referee to keep the action moving no matter what.
This means the players on the field answer directly to the ref.
This means that it is IMPERATIVE for the ref to be able to appeal to the players directly for on field discipline and self-regulation.
By designating a captain who the players know will stand up for them, the refs know who to go to in order to have a message heard by the entire team.
This is also why so many Everton fans are clamoring for Seamus Coleman to be captain: they want to root for a team that is reflective of the Irish right back’s best qualities, and by naming him captain the team would be moving in the right direction.
He gets it.
My nephew spotted Richarlison out my car window driving past the docks, made me do a full U turn and go back so that he could see him! What a present for him as his birthday is Sunday! Thank you @richarlison97 @Everton pic.twitter.com/SsxmYV0gPa— hannah (@HanrayGK1) August 13, 2018
So does he!!!
Which would score first - a hundred duck-sized Richarlisons, or one Richarlison-sized duck?— Ankur Mandhania (@amandhania) August 14, 2018
I leave that question, as well as "are there defenders? how good are they?" to @foleysthoughts and his expertise.— Ankur Mandhania (@amandhania) August 14, 2018
In context, the next two lines were too good to leave alone: pic.twitter.com/VcO1FX5nel— 570 U.S. at 240 (@_JD_JD_) August 14, 2018
With that in mind...I give you the results of:
1 RICHARLISON-SIZED DUCK
100 DUCK-SIZED RICHARLISONS?
A few notes:
- He can fly
- I thought about keeping the Richarlison-sized duck in well...duck shape, but wasn’t sure if the duck would be equal in height to Richarlison (and thus only 3x bigger in weight and 7-8 lbs) or equal in weight (and thus be 70 feet tall and open up a whole new set of questions)
- The Tiny Richarlisons are about 1 1⁄2 feet tall and operate independently.
So who would score first?
Well. we can’t just drop 100 tiny Richarlisons into an 11 v 11 side, so we are going to just do a 1 v 1 / 1 v 100.
So who will be the defense in our little experiment?
There’s only one type of person who can defend a duck:
Luckily for us, we have our very own Icelander in house:
So in a simple match up against Gylfi, which one of our competitors would score first?
Well, the tiny Richarlisons certainly have a HUGE numbers advantage, but with only one ball, their advantage is muted, while Gylfi’s size poses a serious problem for what basically amounts to 100 large actions figures.
Our Richarlison-sized duck, however, makes up for webbed feet by being able to touch the ball wide and then LITERALLY FLY TO THE BALL!
This speed advantage would surely create a hanhdul of opportunities that the gigantic duck would be able to put away.
So after much scientific study the answer to the question posed by our reader is:
1 RICHARLISON-SIZED DUCK
Do you think Silva goes with Mina and Zouma Saturday or did Keane play well enough to deserve another start?— Weinstein⚽️ (@nickweinstein27) August 13, 2018
Well, earlier in the week I was thinking it was a tossup, but to be fair, the answer has been provided to us.
Brands, the man who secured Yerry Mina’s signature in the first place, said in an interview Wednesday that the Columbian center back would begin training with the Toffees Thursday.
This means the player who has had little to no preseason will need AT LEAST another week or two in order to be in shape enough to even be considered for the bench, much less be prepared to start.
The thing about centerback is that a coach rarely, if EVER, plans on one of their chosen center backs not playing the full 90, so I can’t imagine Silva will start Mina until he is fit enough to play the entire match.
While it’s frustrating not to have Mina ready in a position of such need for the Toffees, let’s not forget that if the window wouldn’t have closed early, a deadline day signee wouldn’t arrive for another 3 weeks!
So as it stands, Michael Keane seems poised to maintain his place in side, and Kurt Zouma is going to step in for the suspended Phil Jagielka.
I am incredibly excited to see Zouma, who had a solid season at Stoke despite their relegation, step into the Everton back four and be a presence for a defense that has sorely missed one since Sivlan Distin left Goodison.
Plus, once Yerry Mina (who is bigger than Zouma) does get fit, Everton is going to present a daunting duo for attacks to have to get through.
Aside from Pickford, were there any players that other clubs actually wanted?— Jon Hein (@jdhein13) August 9, 2018
Well, the most notable one was Ademola Lookman, who was (is?) being pursued by Red Bull Leipzig in Germany for the duration of the window.
The Champions League side lodged a number of bids for the dynamic young winger, but were rebuffed by the Everton front office.
Once Richarlison arrived, it appeared that Lookman’s time at Goodison had come to an end, but the Toffees held firm on their stance and eventually made their intentions public.
Otherwise, Everton were able to unload a number of assests, including turning Wayne Rooney and Roberto Funes Mori into profits.
Otherwise though, you would have to say the first window of the Brands/Silva era has seen more in the way of loans than sales.
Ashley Williams, Callum Connolly, Nikola Vlasic and Kevin Mirallas are just a handful of the players that were sent out for a year with another squad.
Some, like Mirallas, have probably played their last minutes for Everton and were sur, while others like Connolly will hope another year away will earn him a shot with the first team come 2019-2020.
What will Phil Jagielka do to enjoy his time off during his suspension?— Adam Braun (@abraun_15) August 13, 2018
and sell clothes:
If Usmanov joins the club could we expect us vying for world class players with the biggest clubs in the world?— Aaron Smith (@notaaronsmith) August 14, 2018
If you somehow missed the news, Alsair Usmanov broke up with Arsenal and is now single again.
The Russian billionaire would be a legitimate step up from current owner Farhad Moshiri.
He is significantly more wealthy than Moshiri, and Usmanov is already experienced in the English game so he knows what he is getting into.
As for vying for the biggest players in the world. Usmanov’s arrival would be the first step towards a day when the Toffees COULD vie for the biggest players in the league.
Unfortunately the journey from Top 7 Club to Top Club in the world is a long journey.
Usmanov would allow Everton to spend a little more to get players who may not otherwise join the Toffees, but more his biggest impact would be on the infrastructure of the team.
Should the Russian invest in Everton, his help in completing the Bramley Moore stadium would perhaps be the biggest thing he could do if he were to join up with his friend Farhad.
The stadium will not only generate revenue for the club, it will also be a selling point to future players who will dream of one day playing in the Dan Meis designed building.
Usmanov’s arrival, assuming it is some type of major role beyond his current funding of the training ground, would not necessarily bring in the best players in the world from day one, but has all the makings of laying a foundation that will let Everton grow even larger than it is now and ultimately become a club the best players clamor to come to.