The tides have turned at Goodison Park. The early promise of Marco Silva’s tenure has been rediscovered and the Blues are looking a force.
Unfortunately, there’s little left to play for this season, but should the Blues start getting optimistic for next season or is this just another false dawn? Let’s see what the numbers tell us….
A Right Resurgence
Coleman and Richarlison link up
Not only are Marco Silva’s Blues back to their best, Everton’s right flank has also awoken from its slumbers.
Both Seamus Coleman and Theo Walcott have struggled this season, with Everton’s left side of Lucas Digne and Bernard proving much more effective. However, against Arsenal, Coleman and Richarlison combined to great effect on several occasions to balance out Everton’s attacking play.
Indeed, in the second half, 40.2% of Everton’s play came down the right wing (compared to 38.7% on the left). That is one of the first times this season that this has been the case.
Another Clean Sheet
5 clean sheets in 6 games
The mini winter break that Everton enjoyed in February seems to be reaping rewards, with the Blues’ previously leaky defence now having kept five clean sheets in the past six games. That statistic becomes all the more impressive when you consider that this run includes facing Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – none of whom have managed to put the ball past Jordan “out-of-form” Pickford.
Zouma and Gomes
On-loan pair vital for Blues
No player in Blue put in a bad display against Arsenal, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes should be Everton’s priority transfer business in the summer.
Zouma completed 85.7% of his passes against the Gunners, while Gomes completed a remarkable 89.5% of his. This was one of the Blues most controlled and measured performances of this season, creating several good chances, looking rock-solid at the back, while managing the game well in the latter stages – with both Zouma and Gomes key to this display.
DCL: The Target Man
Youngster won 8 aerial duels
He’s by no means the finished article, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin is leading the Everton line in a superb and mature fashion right now.
He works hard and is a real threat in the air, which allows Everton to mix up their play between going short and long.
Calvert-Lewin won a remarkable eight aerial duels against Arsenal – the joint highest on the pitch.
If he can improve with the ball at his feet in the final third, DCL could well be the answer to Everton’s striking problems.
Still Going Strong
Jags oldest player to score in PL this season
He may have been called into the starting line up just minutes before kick-off, but Phil Jagielka showed he still has plenty to offer the club with a composed and solid display. Not only that, but he also scored the winning goal in the 10th minute when he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the Arsenal box.
At 36 years and 233 days, Jagielka became the oldest player to score in the Premier League this season.
The big question remains though: with both Jags and Baines out of contract in the summer, should the Blues hand the veterans new deals to provide experienced cover?