Everton put away Rotherham United 3-1 in their Second Round Carabao Cup clash last night, but while the Blues looked mostly comfortable the Millers didn’t make it easy.
There appears to be a mounting injury crisis at the Toffees right now and Marco Silva will be very relieved that his makeshift side of three attack-minded midfielders and three strikers were able to get the result.
With Morgan Schneiderlin out, news broke just before the game that Idrissa Gueye had sustained a knee injury over the weekend and Andre Gomes had new complications that will keep him out for longer.
Suspended captain Phil Jagielka picked up a knee ailment that will keep him out even longer while Michael Keane is also out after sustaining a hairline fracture to his skull and Yerry Mina will not return until after the international break.
It doesn’t end there - Bernard is also out with a muscle strain and Ademola Lookman might start training again after a groin issue. It’s too early in the season for this!
You know this is going to be a talking point all season long. The Blues are simply taking too long to adapt to it, and once again it came back to bite them in the behind. Everton have failed to keep a clean sheet this season at the fourth time of asking, and almost always it’s been because of blown assignments at setpieces.
Most of Rotherham’s goals have come from setpieces this season, and their goal yesterday came from Will Vaulks making a run to the front that wasn’t picked up by Cenk Tosun or Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
We might keep getting away with it playing against inferior opposition, but a better-coached opponent can (and will) make us pay heavily sooner than later.
With the parade of walking wounded to the physiotherapist’s office growing, yesterday was a chance for some fringe players to stake their claims for a starting spot. Jonjoe Kenny showed no signs of rust and looked ready to step in when needed, as did Lucas Digne who was heavily involved in a lot of build-up play.
Tom Davies showed no sign of being encumbered by the weight of becoming Everton’s youngest ever senior captain and his influence in the game grew in the second half as did that of Kieran Dowell.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin did his case no harm whatsoever with two well-taken goals while Sandro Ramirez put in an excellent display, especially in the first half when he seemed to be the focal point of the attack. Indeed, after the game Silva commended both and deservedly so.