Silva’s press effective again
For the second consecutive match, Everton manager Marco Silva employed an aggressive pressing strategy against the opposition. But in this match it was far more effective and was a huge contributor in their win over Fulham.
Much like Arsenal, Fulham were looking to generate their offense from the back. And also like Arsenal, they were not quick to do so. This gave high workrate players like Dominc Calvert-Lewin, Theo Walcott and Idrissa Gueye free rein to pressure the opposition high up the pitch. This tactic may not have always led directly to a scoring chance, but it put the Fulham midfield and defence on the wrong foot throughout the whole match.
Obviously this is not a tactic that can be used against every team, this should be something done on a case-by-case basis. But it has been used very well in the last two matches and this win showed what a great tool this press can be against the right team.
Defence steps up
Zero shots on target, seven blocked shots and a clean sheet. These stats are generally not mentioned when talking about an Everton defensive unit, but in this match they put forward a great performance.
One player in particular who had a particularly outstanding match was Michael Keane. Keane has certainly had an up-and-down career since he signed with Everton, and has looked brilliant in some matches, terrible in others. However, the key to his success seems to lie in his defensive partner. When teamed up with a more athletic defender, Keane seems to shine. Kurt Zouma has proven to be an excellent partner for him so far as opposed to the less athletically inclined defenders like Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams.
This clean sheet was not without nervy moments and close calls, but it is a step in the right direction and will likely get better when Yerry Mina finally makes his debut with the club.
Tosun finally breaks through
Cenk Tosun’s first goal of the season may have been the easiest goal he will ever score. But for a player who has been struggling to find the back of the net, an easy goal may be exactly what he needed.
It has been no secret that Everton have struggled to get goals out of their strikers. All three strikers do certain things well, but largely lack the ability to put together a complete performance. Tosun is arguably the best striker out of the bunch, but had struggled this season and was rightly benched after a string of bad performances.
This goal will hopefully open the floodgates for Tosun and lead to more consistent performances. He does not need to be a 20+ goalscorer in the vein of Romelu Lukaku, but he at least needs to get into double digits. Everton are strongest on the wings, but this team needs a player who can consistently lift the burden off of Richarlison and Theo Walcott and score the odd goal here and there.