Everton cruised to a 3-0 win at Cardiff City yesterday, so have the Blues finally turned the corner?
Let’s see what the numbers tell us...
Blues Dominate Poor Opposition
Everton have 67% possession.
This was a great result and a much needed three points to avoid being sucked into any kind of “danger”, and the Blues were dominant… but Cardiff, were, quite frankly, rubbish.
Even during this poor run the Blues have been on since December, they’ve still managed to beat dismal opposition away from home (Burnley, Huddersfield and now Cardiff), showing that there remains sufficient quality in the squad.
However, the big questions regarding this Marco Silva team remain, and we’ll get a clearer picture of whether the issues of the last few months when we face better opposition in the coming weeks.
Schneiderlin Back from the Brink?
Frenchman and Gueye control game from deep
There may have been a collective groan from Evertonians when they saw Morgan Schneiderlin’s name on the teamsheet, but the Frenchman excelled after being brought back into the side for his first league start since September.
Indeed, his excellent pass sent Coleman through who pulled back to Sigurdsson for the opener, while himself and Gueye seemed to show a great understanding of each other’s game, with the pair completing 85.9% and 86.6% of their passes respectively.
Jagielka off the Pace
Blues keep a clean sheet, but…
Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka looked shaky throughout. Fortunately, Cardiff only managed six shots during the game and only once seriously threatened (incidentally after Jag’s dodgy back pass).
However, Jagielka completed a relatively low 72.7% pass rate, which is quite poor considering how much possession the Blues had and how little pressure Cardiff applied. He also completed just two of 11 long ball attempts.
He may have gotten away with it in south Wales, but such a performance would have a different outcome against the likes of Salah, Mane and Firmino. Expect Mina to come in if fit enough at the weekend..
Winger had more touches and shots that normal
Theo Walcott has been driving me up the wall this season (pun somewhat intended). Too often he looks disinterested, lacking in aggression and defensively slow to react, and while not much came off for him against the Bluebirds, his demeanour was much better.
The winger was more involved than usual, with only Sigurdsson recording more touches than the Englishman in Everton’s front four. He also managed to get off four shots in the game – a season high for him.
Brazilian dispossessed four times
After making a blistering start to his Everton career, Richarlison has struggled to make the same explosive impact in recent months. But his performance against Cardiff was uncharacteristically poor, with the Blues looking much better after he was replaced by Bernard.
The 21-year-old was dispossessed four times in his 60 minute appearance – a comfortably higher amount than any other player on the field.
Marco Silva has a big call to make at the weekend. Play your best, but out-of-form, player, or twist for another Brazilian who’s making things happen?