Happy Friday Toffees!
I know, I know there seems to be so little to be positive about in Everton-land, but fear not I am bringing the positivity like Richarlison brings goals.
(See, I’m already sneaking it in like a Gylfi through-ball. Ok I’ll stop.)
Point is, for all of the hand-wringing and hair-pulling this season has brought, Everton aren’t exactly bottom-dwellers.
I understand that the schedule thus far has been favorable, but it’s not as if the circumstances have been perfect.
Between a managerial change (which brought a HUGE shift in tactics) and a hysterical amount of injuries (at least Everton leads the league in SOMETHING), the first few weeks have been anything but ideal.
It doesn’t exactly help that the team has been picking up red cards like they are playing Uno
So with a semi-competent Arsenal team on the docket Sunday, why should Blues be optimistic?
Well one, the team Silva envisioned at the beginning of the season is slowly starting to come back together.
Richarlison will return to the lineup after three weeks out for ‘headbutting’ an opponent, and fans are certainly anticipating him returning the Toffees attack which he accidentally tossed into his bag before leaving for the international break.
Second, it appears Kurt Zouma’s partner-to-be is finally healthy!
The Colombian center back will surely take his lumps as he rounds back into form having not played since scoring in his team’s elimination from the World Cup in the Round of 16 at the hands of England on July 3rd.
However, should Yerry Mina join Richarlison in the lineup, the team is sure to get a lift and hopefully be propelled towards a performance that will ease the simmering tension around Goodison.
Come on Toffees!!
Now, without further delay, to your questions!!
# 9 Richarlison or Cenk?— ⚽️Matt (@RickelMatt) September 20, 2018
I really like Cenk Tosun.
He works his Turkish socks off and never can be found fussing at his teammates in lieu of tracking back or making a run to create space for others.
I actually think he has high-class finishing abilities and can find a good pass.
But what’s he missing?
Goals, and no amount of hard-work can make up for not finding the back of the net.
Royal Blue Mersey offered two inteligent competing points of view on this issue.
For benching the Turkish striker.
Where do I fall?
Well, I actually would be ok with Tosun being benched, but would like to see DCL take the reins at the #9 position and leave Richarlison out wide where it will be harder for the Gunners to cut him out of the match and where the Brazilian has already proven himself to be a positive influence on the Toffees.
That would let DCL use his speed to stretch the backline of the Gunners and give Richarlison and Theo Walcott more room to come inside and create lanes for Jonjoe Kenny and Lucas Digne (who was mighty impressive last match.)
While I wouldn’t mind seeing the change up top, I also can understand if Silva wants to give Tosun time now that Richarlison is back to see if he can find the back of the net.
You know what I really want to see more than anything Sunday?
to EFC:— Trash Brandicoot, Senator (@tasty_magic) September 20, 2018
Why are you the way that you are?
Everton “Sorry Trash”:
Trash Bandicoot: “It’s ok Everton, it’s...”
Expect further punishment to be taken to Richarlison? Surely he wouldn’t just slot him right back into the 11, would he? Bernard for instance played well out there after coming on as a sub. #contributing— ⚽️Matt (@Squidwardsson) September 20, 2018
Not only will Richarlison slide right back into the lineup, Silva may ask him to play two positions!
I can appreciate the sentiment of having to earn back your spot, but the reality is that the Toffees have struggled mightily since the Brazilian left the lineup and any concerns about forgetting just how impactful he can be were lost when he knocked in two goals for Brazil over the international break.
Bernard has looked every bit the creative type the Toffees need, but right now the only place I can see him starting is centrally if Silva decides to drop Idrissa Gueye or Morgan Schneiderlin and slide Gylfi Sigurdsson into a deeper role.
I don’t expect Silva to do anything crazy like that, but I DO expect him to adjust somethings with Richarlison’s return.
I have no doubt that Silva spoke at length with Richarlison about his behavior and I hope that the young attacker has learned his lesson and we will see a more disciplined player from here on out.
Is Richarlson going to be relied on as much for Silva as Lukaku was for RM and Koeman? If so, that could be worrisome.— Jon Hein (@jdhein13) September 20, 2018
We can only hope to be able to rely upon Richarlison to score goals the way Lukaku did right?
However, like Jon said, should the Toffees find themselves leaning on one player for the bulk of the goals they will find themselves continuing to live mid-table (or below).
As I talked about above, the striker position has to score more goals for the Toffees regardless of the role.
If Cenk Tosun could have found the back of the net once of twice this season those goals could have been worth 4-6 points and a much needed confidence boost around Goodison.
I am not laying all of the Toffees attacking woes at the feet of Tosun, but he is just the clearest example of Everton’s inability to provide goals from multiple players.
I have faith that Silva will work out the kinks and get more players finding the back of the net, and not just because Richarlison will return to the lineup.
Theo Walcott has chipped in, and with him and JJK building a better relationship, and Seamus Coleman not too far off from returning, the Toffees should offer a truly balanced attack.
Hopefully this symmetrical attack can create a scoring load for multiple players to have to share.
James McCarthy or Morgan Schneiderlin? (Given both are fully fit at the same time)— ⚽️Matt (@Squidwardsson) September 20, 2018
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that concerned about James McCarthy’s return at the beginning of the season.
With Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Keiran Dowell manning the middle of the field, and Andre Gomes on the mend, the Toffees appeared set.
A knock to Gueye and underwhelming performances from others has me wondering if an injection of Irish ire into the midfield isn’t something the Toffees could use.
As to who he may steal minutes from, that’s a bit more complicated.
While he is primarily a defensive force, he doesn’t has the discipline or passing consistency to play as a true #6. These traits mean he is best when paired with a true #6 like Schneiderlin.
However, I wonder if Marco Silva will try and reshape the team to allow him to unleash the likes of Gana and McCarthy together behind Gylfi in an effort to create complete chaos and keep pressure higher up the pitch at all times.
Regardless of how they use him, McCarthy’s physical presence is sorely needed in an ambitious if not sometimes overwhelmed Toffees midfield.