Another decent result. But was it more of the same from Big Dunc as Everton and Manchester United ended up 1-1? Let’s see what the numbers tell us.
5-3-2? Nae. 4-4-F’ing-2 Again
Three centre backs line-up, but Holgate moves to midfield
With a midfield injury crisis to deal with, it seemed as though Duncan Ferguson had been forced to switch to a 5-3-2.
That’s even how Everton lined up for kick-off… before Mason Holgate charged forward into a central midfield role as soon as the first whistle blew, showing the set-up to be an almighty bluff.
Holgate looked like a classy operator in holding midfield and certainly looked like he could play there again. Given our lack of midfield numbers currently, he may well have the same role against Leicester City on Wednesday.
Pickford Direct Once Again
37 out of 38 passes go long
Early on, Jordan Pickford played a short pass to Yerry Mina and I wondered whether Ferguson had taken the emphasis off long balls from the back.
37 of the 38 passes he made where long, with only one other pass staying in his own half.
Second Goal from a Corner This Season
…and second own goal
But with the first corner delivery of the season from Leighton Baines.
The 35-year-old showed that he can still compete at the top level and set up Everton’s opener with a deep corner that actually beat the first man – an interesting tactic that Everton could adopt more in future.
It did, though, seem a naïve decision to play Lucas Digne, given that he clearly wasn’t match ready after injuring his groin against Chelsea next week. It’s hard to see him playing again before New Year, meaning that Baines might have to come in from the cold to play four games in 11 days.
Not So Kean?
Was replaced just 18 minutes after coming on
If Moise Kean’s Everton career looked sketchy before this game, it looked horrendous after what happened at Old Trafford.
Kean was brought on after 70 minutes and had little impact – which wasn’t necessarily his own doing. But he looked astonished when his number came up once again on the fourth official’s board on 88 minutes, with Oumar Niasse coming on to replace him.
➡️⬅️ Moise Kean— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 15, 2019
19 mins played
Completed 1/4 passes
Won 0/5 duels
3 fouls conceded pic.twitter.com/mM2jkN0TH0
Online speculators had assumed that Kean hadn’t followed the instructions he was given, hence why he was replaced – which would be fair enough and a sign of brave management from Ferguson. However, the caretaker manager said after the game that he simply needed to bring someone off to waste a bit of time. If Big Dunc is being honest about this, surely he could have brought off the exhausted Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin – and not by humiliating a 19-year-old striker who is already unhappy with how his Everton career is going.
Not All Bad This Year…
The Blues picked up 16 points against the top six in 2019
16 - During 2019, Everton have picked up 16 points against last season's top six sides in the @premierleague - only Liverpool (20) and Manchester City (19) have earned more against such opposition in the calendar year. Sweet. #MUNEVE pic.twitter.com/1KOqiPOgYB— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 15, 2019
If only we could beat fodder at home.