At this point, you’re used to me saying, “last game was last game, let’s move on to the next one now”.
But I can’t this time, the whole fanbase is still hurting from Tuesday night, and as harsh as a lot of my criticism may have been, I stand by all of it. There are players in this squad that are not good enough, and Marco Silva’s job was to ensure that we phase them out, not play them. But like I said, he didn’t do that, and that isn’t good enough. He has lost any credit he gained from how we started the season, and it will take some effort to gain it back.
If we don’t go very far in the FA Cup or finish in the Top 6, Silva’s first season will be a severe failure. Under no means should he be sacked, as like I’ve said, I want to see him given three years to reinvigorate this club from top to bottom, but throwing away our best chance at winning a trophy is complete arrogance towards Everton fans. To then come out and defend the decision after the fact is heading towards incompetency.
If we simply ‘rested’ players to be beaten by Leicester, then there should be serious questions asked of the way Marco Silva is approaching things.
Not to say that we should simply move on from Tuesday night if we do beat Leicester however, as the decisions Marco Silva made last time out should not be forgotten for a while.
GK - Jordan Pickford
Assuming Pickford is ever dropped again (Because Pickford was not rested, he was dropped, he doesn’t need to rest a game) then João Virgínia should be the one starting.
RB - Jonjoe Kenny
Jonjoe was impressive last time during the Fulham game, and has another chance to impress coming up against Leicester. He is the one who needs to take the mantle from a lacklustre Séamus Coleman and really push on to create an interesting battle at right-back.
CB - Kurt Zouma
Zouma has had an impressive start to his Everton career so far. He was always meant to be a stop-gap, but if he carries on performing the way he is, then I see no reason why we shouldn’t be in for him come the end of the season.
Chelsea selling is another story, but with a new manager in the picture and vast resources at their disposal, maybe they wouldn’t be too keen on keeping him around.
CB - Michael Keane
Another who has enjoyed a fresh start on his football is Michael Keane. He has been infinitely better than last season already and is making Yerry Mina’s job to break into the side when he returns from injury that much harder.
LB - Lucas Digne
In my opinion, only Gylfi Sigurdsson has been better than Lucas Digne this season, and I truly believe he can be an elite full-back for Everton in years to come (possibly opposite to Jonjoe Kenny?)
His defensive work is on another world to Leighton Baines’ and he is not as poor going forward as he himself would have you believe.
CM - Idrissa Gana Gueye
Gana may very well not be the long term option that Marco Silva wants, who knows, but right now he is undroppable. He is the one that makes the midfield tick by allowing those in front to press much higher knowing he is covering for any slack around the half-way line.
However, the two defensive midfielder set-up is too negative most of the time, so hopefully Silva will try to move either Gylfi Sigurdsson or Bernard back to occupy Tom Davies’ role, and hopefully do it far better, as a midfield ball-carrier is something we’ve sorely lacked since Ross Barkley’s departure.
CM - Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi is the one, for now, that I want to see play deeper. Andre Gomes may well be able to occupy this role once he returns from the void, but Gylfi is a player who has all the attributes to be an excellent #8.
His passing can be the best we have in the squad on his day, and he has incredible stamina to press for 90 minutes.
AM - Bernard
Bernard now must be starting games. He looked just as exciting on Tuesday as he did in his short cameo against Fulham.
We also saw on Tuesday night that he can play through the middle, and if he can reproduce that this weekend, then it is something to be extremely excited about.
I’ll keep repeating this until proven wrong, because I didn’t die on the hill of Davy Klaassen, apparently, but I truly believe that I can see shades of David Silva in Bernard. I think he can be a special player for Everton for a long time.
If he comes good, and plays the way his potential is suggesting he will, it may be one of our best ever signings. A Brazil international who lost his way slightly who comes good again with the Blues.
And then some.
RW - Theo Walcott
Walcott seemed to be the most obvious candidate to be dropped eventually this season and going forward, given that he is: A) A Sam Allardyce signing and B) We have extremely talented, young wingers like Henry Onyekuru, Ademola Lookman and Bernard waiting in the shadows.
However, he has also undergone a renaissance since joining the Blues, and on his day is by far our most threatening attacker.
Like a Level 2 Aaron Lennon, he possesses incredible pace and, at times, immense end product.
He may find himself undroppable for years to come, which would be a hell of a feat for a declining Arsenal winger signed for sub-20 million pounds, a miniscule fee nowadays.
LW - Richarlison
Richarlison is going to need to have a big game this weekend if we want to come away with anything. Leicester away is as tricky as a game against none of the ‘Sky 6’ get, and they are a defensively impressive unit.
But Richarlison has magic that Everton haven’t seen since prime Steven Pienaar, and in an attack backed up by Walcott, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson, he is going to have free reign to dazzle.
ST - Cenk Tosun
Make no mistake, Cenk Tosun is key to our attack. He is a phenomenal striker as far as hold-up play and ball winning go, and he gives 110% anytime he’s out there.
Once he gets scoring more regularly, he is going to be as dangerous as any striker in the League, especially in front of such an exciting attack.
I’ve gotten progressively more positive throughout this piece, I’ve noticed. Maybe everything isn’t so awful as I thought when I first started typing. What could possibly go wrong?
The Gang Loses to Leicester.