Another defeat and it would be easy for to cast criticism on the team today after what has been a rollercoaster season. Watching Everton at St. James’s Park today, had the same gut churning emotion including excitement, thrill and dread.
A tireless, energetic display, full of passion and I don’t just mean the Newcastle performance. Watching us in the first half was like watching the Everton, Moyes era. The whole team defended as a unit and had spells were we looked comfortable on the ball, with moments of creativity and good off ball movement.
A shakey display from the England no. 1, an energetic performance from Newcastle and poor game management from manager, Marco Silva, were all factors leading to our defeat today, but there was positives to the game too.
A lesson learnt and for some a bad day at the office. Plenty of Everton players can hold their heads high however, having putting in a worthy display that had us within touching distance of all 3 points. Here is a choice of three of the best Everton Stars from today’s match.
In the days of David Moyes, Everton boasted an exciting and formidable left side. Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar certainly had a major role in the Pride of Merseyside. Instinctively knowing each other’s thoughts and style in an almost telepathic mannor and at times it was a joy to behold. I never thought we would replicate the style and understanding of two individuals again until I watched Bernard link up with Digne today. In weeks past the little Brazilian has shown the passion and desire it takes to play for the club. After the Cardiff game and last weeks Derby Day at Goodison, I think the most devote Bernard critic would have to say there was an attacking threat in this player. Today he proved that over again. He held the ball well, played dangerous through balls, squared balls central, switched play, cut back, overlapped and linked up well with his left side partner with such fluency it reminded me of peak Baines and Pienaar.
Since his first game for the Toffees the comparison to senior player Leighton Baines has been apparent. The young French left back has shown movement, crossing ability and lets not forget his free kicks to rival Baines and even keeping him out the team. As part of an exciting duo today he linked well with Bernard and other teams to make sure Everton were solid defensively and in possession.
After missing the last few games for the Toffees, Andre Gomes was a surprise inclusion today, mainly due to the return of form from Morgan Schniderlin. The French midfielders past few games have been solid, with him not doing much wrong, it would take a good display from Gomes to justify his start. In my opinion the Portuguese international and Barcelona loanee didn’t let us down. Constantly pressing and always in the right parts of the pitch he looked far from the tired, out of sort player he looked during his last start. With his determination and quality leading to the second goal and his skill on the ball, he had to be included in today’s Three Stars.