Football is a game of momentum. It is a game of both team as well as individual momentum and neither is ever guaranteed without hard work and innovation. And yet even still, sometimes things simply aren’t clicking; in these instances, its simply not best to overthink it.
These are things that Richarlison de Andrade knows quite well from his time fighting his way up the footballing ranks in his native Nova Venécia, Brazil, and it is something he will need to remember during this early season stretch of two goalless matches for Everton.
To be sure, it should be somewhat heartening to have three victories to open a new campaign without arguably your best player scoring. There were stretches last season where the Brazilian carried the scoring burden alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin relentlessly; now, he is relying on his teammates until he catches fire, but when he does, be sure to watch out.
Richarlison’s Recent History: Downpours and Draughts
Last season didn’t see the young Brazilian international perform his best consistently throughout the campaign. The end of his prior season saw him playing some really world class football on Merseyside. While Richarlison was streaky enough to have ten goals by the end of December, none of it was enough to save Marco Silva, who wouldn't see another Merseyside Christmas. Compounding personal inconsistency and a lackluster manager was the team’s overall performance during these early months. In the end, with the teams performance and morale, it wouldn’t have much mattered how many goals Richarlison could’ve scored, unless it was somehow more than what Liverpool could muster.
Getting a legend like Carlo Ancelotti can never hurt the youth on a team. It did not hurt to have a greater dose of Duncan Ferguson as well of course; these two would start to realign the team, creating better play and service for both he and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as well as a better protected defensive backline, sometimes.
And then, COVID-19 struck at the hearts of society, and the suspension of play allowed for study, practice, fitness and thoughtfulness. As the Toffees ended up in a disappointing 12th place, it was believed that Richarlison would remain at Goodison Park and receive much needed reinforcements.
With the current innovations of this summer transfer window standing at Allan of Napoli, James Rodriguez of Real Madrid, Abdoulaye Doucoure of Watford FC and left back Niels Nkounkou of Olympique Marseille, at least a sizable portion of the summer’s backups have arrived in the northwest. And yet, Richarlison has not found himself on the tally sheet, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is proving himself a dangerous number nine for Carlo.
This is not to say he hasn’t looked superb at times; his two assists are as much evidence of this after two matches as possible. There have been times where he’s appeared listless however, and that can always be worked on, especially for such a supreme talent.
But ultimately, these goals will come, and so we must all demonstrate patience with Richarlison. For his recent history shows that the spark to ignite his engine properly, needn’t be anything too remarkable. Just a minor impact in one match, can lead to a bevy of succeeding performances that can leave one speechless.
While never previously known as an assist-provider, Richarlison’s contributions towards the team’s goal totals really came along, especially in the 4-4-2 formation where he was able to support and play-off Calvert-Lewin.
The Brazilian has always been a deadly finisher, to the extent that he has always outstripped his expected goals numbers since joining the Blues. And while the goals haven’t come for him despite the chances he’s had this season, one thing the statistics tell us is that they will come, and it will be a deluge when they do.
It’s only a small sample size so far with two games in the books, but with the raised level of talent behind him creating chances and goalscoring opportunities, it’s only a matter of time. The eye-popping goal contribution numbers (xG+xA/90) will eventually come down, but until they do, he’s good for over a goal scored every time he’s on the pitch.
Were it not for a matter of inches causing an offside, Richarlison’s account should already be open with this stirring strike, and also an automatic contender for one of the top goals of the season. Expected goals be damned, this Brazilian has an eye for the net.
No debate about the offside but what a finish from @richarlison97— Jamie Hynes (@ArtfulDoctor) September 20, 2020
Shame it never made the MOTD highlights but credit due to a great game & start to the season by Richy @bluekippercom @ToffeeArt @EvertonNewsFeed @ToffeeWeb pic.twitter.com/uC0t4DhzdN
What a time to be a Toffee: Richarlison and the Rewards of Patience
Last campaign, neither our boss nor our players could afford to give Richarlison the patience or service necessary to consistently deliver in the early season quagmire. This however, is not last year (in Footballing terms) thankfully. With the team, patience, creativity and ability of this current team, Richarlison could come into the next few matches against Fleetwood Town, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion with fresh, vibrant scoring performances. They will without question need him at his peak for the match in the middle of October against Liverpool. Goodison Park could use a great Derby victory against the rivals who have taken much of the rivalry out of the match by recent domination.
When Richarlison gets on the same page for scoring opportunities, the floodgates will be unleashed so to speak. The idiom, “When it rains, it pours” feels relevant here, for when the young Brazilian feels he is unleashed finally, he will be certainly more difficult to stop than last year. In my opinion, he is easily capable of topping twenty goals this season, as well as having more than five assists; he is nearly at his conservative assist predication already to be fair.
And that type of passion and energy could find Everton as surprise challengers for some type of European play in the next season. It is not reactionary; if the Toffees can get the sort of solid team play, offensive and defensively speaking, as they have so far against largely lesser opponents, they will have the points to be a threat. But only with the 23-year-old winger from Brazil can Everton fulfill this opportunity.
Wiht DCL at the top and James Rodriguez to his right, there are some real opportunities for the Brazilian left winger to work into space and create opportunities. With the continual development of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton would have the chance to see consistent goal tallies across an entire campaign. This is what the best clubs possess, they have danger as well as versatility; they have style as well as depth, and they have organization. These are the concepts that Everton are trying to embody currently and they have some wonderful players to do it with. While DCL and his growth are as important as any potential transfer, the team cannot take the next step from there, without a potent and threatening Richarlison de Andrade menacing near or inside the 18-yard-box after a wonderful display of power or pace.