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Everton 2-1 Newcastle: Three Thoughts

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Some thoughts from the Blues’ win yesterday at St. James’ Park

Newcastle United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

DCL on a roll

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has continued his hot streak by scoring both of Everton’s goals in this match. With five goals in the last five league matches, Calvert-Lewin has already topped his previous season high with just over half of the season gone.

It has been no secret that the striker position has been inconsistent for Everton. Since Romelu Lukaku’s departure a number of strikers, including Calvert-Lewin, have tried to fill the hole left by the Belgian. I suppose it only took time and some belief from the manager(s) for the young centreforward to finally put up promising numbers.

For the time being, Calvert-Lewin has solved at least one big issue for Carlo Ancelotti. If he can keep the striker position locked down, that will allow Ancelotti and Marcel Brands to focus on other parts of the team that need improvement.

Defence still vulnerable

In only two matches, Carlo Ancelotti has employed a much more exciting style of football. There finally seems to be real purpose in every Everton attack and the matches have been more enjoyable to watch. But one downside of this style started to rear it’s head in this match: the defence was quite vulnerable.

Two important factors played into this vulnerability, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies in midfield, and having the full backs far up the pitch. As we know, Sigurdsson and Davies are known more for their offensive prowess than their defensive skills. Both are capable of winning some midfield battles, but when pressed for an extended period they are likely to make a mistake. Second, both Leighton Baines and Djibril Sidibe were practically in midfield when Everton were playing the ball out from the back. This is ideal when Everton are in attack, but there were a number of close calls where Newcastle was able to get behind Michael Keane and Mason Holgate.

The big difference is that Ancelotti seems much more capable of adapting to what the opposition throws at him, but it’s something worth keeping an eye on against teams like Manchester City and Liverpool coming up.

Give Kean a chance to start

The frustration at the lack of goals from Moise Kean is fair, but I was still impressed with how he played in this match. Despite the hype surrounding the 19-year-old, he has yet to score a goal for Everton. However, he’s showing given the opportunity to settle into the starting line-up, he may just make an impact.

If Ancelotti is going to have a two striker set-up on a regular basis, then that is all the more reason to let the young striker get a good run of games under his belt. The other options, Cenk Tosun and Oumar Niasse, haven’t exactly lit the world on fire in their time here. Kean presents an excellent foil to Calvert-Lewin’s playing style. Where Calvert-Lewin is more direct and high-flying, Kean presents more finesse and skill. If given the chance they could be a fantastic strike force for Everton for years to come.