Welcome back Seamus Coleman. Coincidentally, the club captain’s last Everton start came against Manchester United on November 7th — a game the Toffees also lost. Coleman missed Everton’s previous six games, during which time the team defeated Fulham, Chelsea, Leicester City and Arsenal but lost to Leeds United and tied Burnley. While a 2–0 cup loss wasn’t the return Coleman hoped for, it was a welcome sight to see the captain back on the pitch.
Having struggled with hamstring issues that have limited him to seven appearances this season, Coleman still presents Everton’s best option at fullback, although Mason Holgate performed admirably in the Irishman’s absence. Even at 32 years old, Coleman’s work rate and top-flight experience are invaluable to a Toffees side looking to string together a consistent run of wins during the holiday period.
Another missed opportunity to lift the League Cup
Everton may have just missed out on their best chance at winning silverware since 1995. Without European football and a Premier League title a pipedream, Everton will turn to the 2020/21 FA Cup — and a January 8th meeting with Rotherham United — for hopes at silverware. With hopes of qualifying for the Carabao Cup semifinals snatched away in the 88th minute by an Edinson Cavani curling strike, the wait for a trophy at Goodison continues.
What’s all the more disappointing is that Everton failed to advance with a world-class manager and one of the deepest squads in recent memory. Losing Richarlison to a second-half injury against United, coupled with ailments precluding the likes of James Rodríguez and Allan among others, from playing made the task all the more challenging. Nevertheless, the EFL Cup provided a magnificent opportunity to end the trophy drought in Merseyside.
Can Anyone Catch DCL?
There are two parts to this question. The quick answer is a resounding no. Midway through the cup tie against United, following a corner, Yerry Mina played a ball out to Alex Iwobi on the left wing as Everton sprang on the counter. While United struggled to track back, Dominic Calvert-Lewin broke into a flat-out sprint. In that moment, not one player on the pitch was going to catch Everton’s prodigious playmaker. While the play ended up breaking down, it was just another example highlighting Calvert-Lewin’s unbelievable pace and energy.
The second answer deals with the race for the golden boot race. As of writing, DCL trails Mo Salah by two goals (11 to 13). Everton’s recent string of wins hasn’t done much to diminish growing worries over the lack of supply Calvert-Lewin is receiving. He is having to create from nominal amounts of service, something Carlo Ancelotti must address moving forward to ensure his top striker’s four-game drought doesn’t stretch on.