Everton have had to face quite a bit of adversity very early on this season, with a man sent off in the first half of both their away games so far. While it is commendable to come away unbeaten in both those fixtures with a point each time, it is also to be noted that the Blues have led in both fixtures and Marco Silva will need to work on building some steel within this squad, and the new signings should help.
After the game, Gylfi Sigurdsson commended his teammates for their effort. The Icelander had a second consecutive good game, dictating play and doing well to keep the Blues attacks flowing despite Richarlison’s red card on Saturday.
“We feel like there’s a good team spirit [in this squad]. We’ve had two away games and have been reduced to 10 men twice and we’ve had to battle all the way through.
“Over the course of the season you need to pick up points away from home like we have so far but it would have been nice to have followed up last weekend’s win with another three points. We need to build on this, though.
“We have mixed emotions [from the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth],” added Sigurdsson. “Coming in at half-time with 10 men, you would have taken a point. Going 2-0 up with 25 minutes to go, it’s very disappointing not to be coming away with three points from a tough away ground. But we’re still unbeaten and it was a tough afternoon going down to 10 men early on. The team did ever so well to go 2-0 up with 10 men.”
Everton take on Rotherham United in a second round clash in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, before hosting Huddersfield on Saturday in the Premier League, and Silva will have some tough selection decisions to make with Phil Jagielka and Richarlison unavailable through suspension, Michael Keane now injured and a raft of new summer signings still injured or not fully fit yet.
“We’re now looking for wins in both games this week, to get through in the cup and then it’s a big home game for us [against Huddersfield]. It would be a fantastic week and a good start to the season if we get two wins now.
“[Marco Silva] has been fantastic, not just for myself but for the team. He’s really got us going. The team spirit is really good, we are working hard and working together, pressing from the front. We are organised and we feel we can do better things this season.”
The Blues are facing their first adversity of the young season and this will be a good test for Silva to show his ability to keep the team on an even keel.