It wasn’t an overwhelming performance, but it was a badly needed win wasn’t it?
Not only that, Everton’s 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth may have also been the coming out party for the new and improved Ademola Lookman.
Consistently pegged as always being just a string of starts away from showing what he could do, Lookman has been either stuck behind an in-form Theo Walcott (not a recent issue) or battling a string of knocks (a recent issue).
However, it was just one match, and while I would love to start waving the Lookman flag, I am going to hold off until he puts together a string of good performances.
Which is why I want to talk about this guy.
Right now you may know him as the guy that stops Everton from pursuing Michi Batshuyai on loan, but the reality is that Kurt Zouma has had one hell of a solid season for the Toffees even though he seems to be overshadowed by his teammates at every turn.
Big time signing Yerry Mina pushed Zouma out of the starting XI as soon as he was healthy, and even when he scored this past weekend it was his center back partner who got the nod from FIFA for Ultimate Team Team of the Week.
Now that’s not a knock on Michael Keane, who has been every bit as good, if not better, than the Chelsea loanee this season. However, Zouma has clearly been a step above summer signing Yerry Mina who is obviously still adjusting to a league both Keane and Zouma have spent years becoming acclimated to.
Zouma has been absolutely fantastic this season though, even if he hasn’t been perfect.
Even when Mina was given a chance to prove himself (first due to Zouma’s inability to play against his parent club Chelsea then due to initial performance) the Frenchman bode his time and waited until Marco Silva called upon him again.
Since the Everton manager finally did give Zouma a second chance, he has taken full advantage of it.
After years or dealing with what can only kindly be called inconsistent play at the heart of the defense, Toffees fans shouldn’t take Zouma’s professionalism for granted.
To your questions!
Are we going to play the same system which clearly is not working and getting the best out of the players we have. Are we going to have 2 in midfield and probably get overrun, again?— Beans (@Ecclesbean) January 17, 2019
I think at this point it is quite clear that Marco Silva will be building a team to suit his style, and will not allow the fact the personnel currently at his disposal doesn’t quite fit stop him.
He has played 3 in the back a few matches, but a 4-3-3 is obviously his preferred method of attack.
As you have detailed, the biggest issue is in the midfield, where Idrissa Gana Gueye’s tackling is impressive as ever.
It’s his lack of skills on the ball, however, that have the Toffees considering shipping out the man they bought on the cheap from Aston Villa just a few seasons ago.
Silva values ball retention, and Gueye just simply doesn’t fit in alongside Gomes like say a Doucoure might.
Long story short, don’t hold your breath for any change of tactics, Silva is pretty set in his ways and I don’t see Southampton getting the Toffees to do anything too unfamiliar.
I will say this, however.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Gomes and Gyli paired deep together against a side like Southampton and let a more nimble player like Bernard or Ademola Lookman play in a more central attacking location.
Just a thought.
Richarlison has had 19 shots on target in the Premier League so far this season - more than any Everton player had managed in the league in the whole of last season. #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) January 14, 2019
Now if we could only play him at his best position.
Speaking of our striker shortage........
Does cenk tosun have a long term role to play at Everton?— Rug (@Squidwardsson) January 17, 2019
He sure seems to thinks so.
However, with reports out strongly linking Everton with a move for Michy Batshuayi it is hard to imagine that the Toffees front office isn’t also looking to unload someone at the same position as well, for both squad and book balancing purposes.
Tosun is just a square peg in a round hole in Marco Silva’s team construct and it has become glaringly evident that Silva will not be bending his approach to the game to fit certain players into the team.
The Turkish striker is a consummate professional and I wish only the best for him. However, I don’t see the Toffees new leadership dragging their feet on any potential moves.
As our Matthew Chandler said:
Now, the Toffees won’t rush Tosun out the door, especially with Oumar Niasse headed off on loan to Cardiff.
(BEST OF LUCK OUMAR!!!)
However, seeing as how new strikers, like new managers, are seen as the fastest way to turning a season around it is hard not to think that there won’t be a number of teams sniffing around asking about his services.
At the end of the day Tosun will eventually head out the door. whether in January or in the summer.
Perhaps he has one more chapter to write before then.
What to do? Trust and believe in Everton or cash out due to our poor results at St marys over the years? pic.twitter.com/XJHFtJ1ymn— Mick (@Michael79557552) January 17, 2019
Oh wow, that’s a tough call.
I know what one fellow mailbag reader thinks.
Cash out ALL DAY LONG— Beans (@Ecclesbean) January 17, 2019
Personally I am not much of a gambler, but in this case, I actually feel like the gamble is worth it.
Sure, you could cash out now and take your 58.61, but all you need is one good match from Everton against a Southampton side the Toffees are clearly more talented, and more rested than.
First, the Saints took a tough loss.
Then Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted his side would have to rotate players due to fatigue.
So a rested, presumably confident, Toffees side against a tired, rotated, and heart-broken side who has struggled all season even with their best players available?
You know what....on second thought..... maybe you should listen to Beans.
Cash out ALL DAY LONG— Beans (@Ecclesbean) January 17, 2019
Go. Now. Listen.