Another three points in the bag against Arsenal. Another shock result for most fans. After the start of the season, not being able to capitalise on positive displays and dominant performances, it’s has been shocking to see Everton pull together a sequence of wins. Especially when they’re against teams from the big six, like Chelsea and Arsenal.
At the moment our bad luck seems behind us. Although we struggled to convert numerous good chances, we managed to score another first half goal, from what was a brave but scrappy, attempt from the two young Everton forwards, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. The joy of this win will carry most Everton fans over until our next game, Saturday’s 3pm, away game, against the new championship side, Fulham. Most would expect to carry on our winning streak, taking all three points from Craven Cottage and if the fans and players show up like they have in the last few weeks, then I don’t see why not.
It’s a fun problem to have, but when the players are all giving their all, it makes choosing Three Stars, rather difficult. Here are my Three Stars:
Another strong and stylish display from the Portuguese international player. For those who were on his back a couple of weeks ago, hang your heads in shame. Admittedly Gomes hit a lull in form but the quality he shown today and over the last few games, shows this player is the real deal.
Strong in possession hardly loosing the ball, great vision and setting a good tempo on the counter. A back post run, against Arsenal, off the ball which could easily of resulted in a goal, had Richarlison, who was supplying the cross picked out the midfielder. The on loan Barcelona player has rightly been the topic of transfer rumours and I think it would be a huge blow for Everton not to make his stay permanent.
Idrissa Gana Gueye
In the last few weeks performance levels and passion have left me a dilemma when selecting my ReadEverton, Three Stars. One of the players who has been there or near about has been the relentless midfielder. The ground covered by the midfield against Arsenal was impressive with Gomes, Sigurdsson & Gueye all working hard to nullify Arsenal’s build up play & in turn cutting off the service to the opposition attack. Whenever Arsenal looked like they were about to counter, up popped the Senagal international, pressing and making crucial tackles, allowing the team to get its shape back and often winning back possession allowing for Everton, to press up field.
Scoring one goal against Arsenal, would in the premier league era at least, read a consolation goal in an expected defeat. This time about however Arsenal didn’t look like scoring. It would be easy to say Arsenal had an off day but I think that would be hugely disrespectful to the work Idrissa Gana Gueye and the whole Everton team put in.
Another player linked with a move away from the club in the summer and coverted by French champions PSG in the January transfer window, I think it would be a real shame to loose the quality IGG brings to the team.
I know if I was to ask a lot of Everton fans their opinion on my third Everton star, to make the list, many would have chosen differently. The official MotM, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, missed the list by a narrow margin, winning first balls. Holding up the ball as a solo attacking outlet at times & making runs off the ball to threaten the Arsenal defense. However the young Everton striker failed to do what his captain managed, with just 10 minutes on the clock. With the long throw into the box from team mate, Lucas Digne, the CB, who wasn’t even starting the game at the beginning of the day, stepped up and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
With Everton wasting a lot of chances in front of goal I think Jags fully deserves his place, as without his goal Everton fans may have witnessed another, wasted opportunity, against one of the “Sky six”. The fact that he hasn’t had much game time this season, has struggled with injury and that he stepped up, when expecting to see the start of the game from the substitute bench, has only further cemented his place in my ReadEverton, Three Stars, list.
I struggle to see Phil Jagielka pull on the Royal blue jersey next year and as much as it will be sad to see the back of a long term captain and a player who we’ve all shared fond memories with, I feel that sentiment shouldn’t stand in the way of progress and development. As solid as he was in his display, (even if he wasn’t called upon much), you could see the pace of the game taking its toll on the ageing captain. If this is the last time we see Jagielka I’m glad he’s given me the opportunity to put him on this list and even though there was no silverware in his years at the club, I’d personally like to say, thank you for your service.