Townsend Continuing to Deliver
The free agent winger has now scored 3 goals and provided 3 assists in 6 games in his Blues career, so far. He was one of the few who played with pride, personally and in the shirt last night as Everton deflated like a punctured tire in London. Not bad at all for a free agent that no one was interested in.
Andros Townsend has contributed to 6 goals in all competitions this season (3 goals scored, 3 assists). #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) September 22, 2021
Loss of Ground
Everton once more lost the battle for possession at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, this time managing only 39%. Through 7 matches in all competitions, the Toffees have won the battle for control of the ball only once - against Burnley - and that only marginally. Partly this is down to the way Rafa Benitez has the team set up to play on the counter, but watching Tom Davies and Andre Gomes getting outplayed by Championship midfielders last night can’t be part of anyone’s plan.
Where is the Centre?
The singings of Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray signalled that the new Blues manager would be integrating wing play into his tactical approach, something that has been needed for a while and which would take advantage of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s aerial prowess. Both players have been bright spots and welcome additions. Against QPR however, less than 19% of Everton’s attacks were directed through the centre. A bit more balance will be needed to keep future opponent’s off-balance, but the drop-off from Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure to Tom Davies and Andre Gomes is precipitous.
It is becoming apparent that a defensive pairing of Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey is not ideal. QPR veteran striker Charlie Austin had a bit of a field day, bullying the Everton central defenders, seeing plenty of the ball and scoring two goals. While a good player on his day, Austin is a long way from his prime, so it was a bit worrying watching a premier league defensive pairing being manhandled all night long.
20-year old academy prospect Anthony Gordon was given a rare opportunity to start and didn’t do his cause for future involvement any harm. Along with fellow winger Townsend he was one of the brighter lights, growing into the game after an anonymous opening, pressing actively, wanting the ball and looking to run at the QPR players. He has pace, is looking physically stronger and clearly is desperate to succeed at Goodison Park. Ideally a high-level loan would have aided his development, but he has been retained by Benitez, at least until January. What he needs is minutes under his belt and to add end product. His shot in the first half was hit straight at Seny Dieng and he needed to do a lot better.
Anthony Gordon's stats against QPR:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) September 21, 2021
Touches - 45
Shots - 2
On target - 1
Successful passes - 27
Successful long balls - 3
Chances created - 4
Pass accuracy - 84%
Successful dribbles - 1
Successful tackles - 1
Interceptions - 1
Aerial duels won - 1#EFC #QPREVE #CarabaoCup