There has been a hell of a lot more negativity than I thought there would be in the last few weeks. It seems to have come from nowhere, and I really don’t quite know what has sparked it.
Look, I adore hating Everton just as much as any other Evertonian, but it’s really unwarranted right now. Marco Silva is still working with a relegation-level team as of last season, and there will be times when we look every bit as awful as we did last season. Last time at home was one of those times. We came up against one of the worst teams in the league and we got slaughtered.
After that, we played Arsenal. We never turn up against Arsenal, and I realise that isn’t an excuse, but it’s a reason not to get torn up about anything.
Days like that happen. Of all people, I thought it would be the Evertonians who were the bearers of that standard.
Anyway, let’s get rid of those memories straight away and move on to being back at home with Fulham coming to Goodison.
GK - Jordan Pickford
In one of the few bits of positivity this week, Pickford’s six-year deal seems to have locked down one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers to Everton, and that’s perfect news.
RB - Jonjoe Kenny
Jonjoe Kenny needs to seriously up his game if he wants to pressure Séamus Coleman at all. It can’t keep being the case that any player can drift by knowing that their spot in the team is secure.
CB - Michael Keane
I have a confession to make. I didn’t watch the Arsenal game. Therefore, I have no idea what happened in defence, or whoever made the mistakes.
But from what I’ve heard, Zouma wasn’t the best.
So, I’ll put Keane back in for now.
CB - Mason Holgate
Like I said, Mason Holgate seems to be the least of our central defensive worries right now, so he keeps his place.
LB - Lucas Digne
Lucas Digne has well-established now that the left-back position is his at Everton. Leighton Baines can continue to pressurise Digne, but he isn the first choice.
CM - Idrissa Gana Gueye
Gueye is probably the most undroppable midfielder that we have right now, simply because there isn’t anyone else who can do his role anywhere near the same level that Gana can.
CM - Morgan Schneiderlin
Schneiderlin still remains one of our strongest players this season, so he must be one of the first names on the teamsheet. Gueye and Schneiderlin seem to have shaken off the label that they can’t play together, and that only puts even more of a spanner in the works regarding selection in midfield.
AM - Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi seems to be one of the players getting very unwarranted criticism right now, as he has been one of the most productive players in the Premier League this season.
He is the focal point of the team, and once everyone realises that everything goes through him, they’ll see how important he really is to the side.
LW - Richarlison
Speaking of important players, Richarlison may just be the most important of all. He is the spark of this Everton side, and we must make sure that he has ample opportunity to create and score goals.
RW - Theo Walcott
I haven’t seen anything to suggest that Walcott needs to be dropped. He has been somewhat unproductive in the last two games, but that is a result of the entire team being very, very poor.
He is still a livewire going forward, and also contributes an immense amount tracking back.
He’s staying put for now.
ST- Cenk Tosun
I’m sticking with largely the same team that found success early in the season (success I know is relative in this case, if you don’t think it was successful, at least admit that we looked like a good side in places).
Cenk Tosun is no less important to this team right now than Gylfi Sigurdsson or Richarlison. While he isn’t scoring, he offers a game that DCL or Niasse simply cannot.
His play off the ball is arguably better than Lukaku’s.
Cenk came into a team stifled of any attacking creativity under Sam Allardyce, and is now only adjusting to a less abusive relationship. He needs time. If you don’t think Cenk Tosun is the permanent answer then that’s fine.
I think you’re wrong, but that’s fine.