Up until the hour mark, it looked like it might be another of those Everton days.
The game was sleepwalking towards either penalties or a Watford FC goal when the Blues burst into line, with Michael Keane heading straight at the keeper, before Gomes beat the keeper but saw his shot blocked on the line, then Iwobi and, minutes later, Digne rattled the bar. Then it really looked like it would be one of those Everton days.
But then up popped the unlikeliest of match winners. One that not even his Mum had down for first goalscorer on her slip: Mason Holgate, with his first Everton goal.
Goal and best pass completion rate on the pitch
After grabbing an assist as part of an impressive display at the weekend, Mason Holgate showed once again that he should be in serious contention for more starts at centre-back.
The 23-year-old completed an excellent 93.5% of his passes, while completing an excellent nine from 11 long balls.
With Yerry Mina once again going off with an injury, it looks as though Holgate will continue to get chances and, if he keeps performing like this, he may well become a mainstay in the team. He also provides a different style of play to both Mina and Keane, as he is quicker and more technical than the pair – which could provide a better balance at the back.
Nice little angle of Holgates goal.— The Clawless Lobster (@JuiceTerry9) October 29, 2019
Davies reaction for his mates goal is boss too. pic.twitter.com/1gK6sJw5Vy
Touched the ball just 14 times in the first half
Many people, myself included, where very excited to see Moise Kean start this game. Unfortunately, though, he struggled to have an impact and was the victim of the team’s poor first half showing which resulted in him being replaced by the resurrected Theo Walcott at the break.
Richarlison can count himself very lucky not to have been hauled off instead following a miserable first half showing. But, nevertheless, a change was needed, and Silva should be applauded for making a bold move at half time, although it leaves us with a lot of questions about Moise Kean, but not a lot of answers.
The 19-year-old has featured in a Blue shirt for just 408 minutes – and his game time seems to be diminishing week-by-week. Reason to panic? No. The lad is still just a teenager, but has a fantastic touch and outstanding physicality.
His chance will come. And, with a run in the team and hopefully some goals, he’ll surely play a big part for Everton in the coming seasons.
14 touches and just one completed pass
DCL has looked impressive in his recent cameos, scoring a brace in the last round and even netting with a smart finish at the weekend – something which has seem him deservingly edge ahead of Kean in the pecking order for now.
However, he was absolutely anonymous against Watford, touching the ball just 14 times and completing just one of his seven attempted passes for a woeful success rate of 14.1%.
An opportunity missed.
Iwobi the Maker
Dominates Sigurdsson in two perspectives
One accusation that has been levelled at Gylfi Sigurdsson this season is that too often the game just passes him by.
And, since Alex Iwobi has come into his position, there’s been two statistics that have changed significantly: defensive actions and dribbles completed.
Sigurdsson has averaged just 1.1 defensive actions (tackles and interceptions) per 90 minutes this season, while this number has increased to over 1.8 with Iwobi – showing that he is doing better at winning the ball back in offensive positions.
The other thing that Iwobi does very differently is that he dribbles with the ball. He completed five dribbles against Watford and four against Brighton at the weekend. Well above Sig’s average of 0.8 dribbles per game. By dribbling high up the pitch, Iwobi is able to draw in defenders and open up more space.
It could be a long road back into the team for Sigurdsson.
It’s Not So Bad at Goodison
Blues have won 8 of last 10 at home
Barring the meltdown against Sheffield United and a loss to Man City, Everton are still looking much, much better at Goodison than they are on the road.
There are two things that Marco Silva needs to rectify if he wants to keep his job, and quickly.
First, he simply needs to start picking up points away from home. Everton have picked up just one point from a possible 15 on the road this season (none of which were against teams you’d expect to see in the top half).
Secondly, he needs to get his side digging in deep when needed. When we score first, we look great. But when we concede first, our mental fragility shows far too clearly.