Just as I’ve been quiet because I didn’t want to keep saying how poor we are, it’s only fair that I do the opposite after I think we’ve played well.
Which is exactly what we did tonight. Indeed, we were by far the better side and could easily have scored four or five goals.
Before I come on to who I thought wasn’t up to scratch, I should say who I thought played well and it gives me great pleasure to say it was practically the whole side.
I know we showed signs of improvement against the Albion last week, but it wasn’t prolonged enough by a long chalk and I find myself wondering what’s gone on to cause such an improvement in this game.
I’m quite perplexed, having had a good few minutes to think about it, but I can’t get away from asking why it seems the players worked harder than they have done for months?
The improvement in workrate and desire was marked and it was almost as if the lads had been threatened with the sack.
The player that stood out for me was Traore. Where did that effort come from? I’ve often said I rate him, but he’s been so inconsistent and in and out of games that I’d got ho, marked as a waste of money and a squad player at best.
If he can keep that sort of effort up he’s one of the first names on the teamsheet.
I can’t get my head around his performance.
Ross Barkley too, was mostly excellent and I don’t understand how someone who has played so poorly for so long can suddenly work so hard.
McGinn was nowhere near as generous in giving the ball away, Ollie worked even harder than usual and the whole side were just sharper and up for it from the off.
There were some downsides and our defending of set pieces is one of them, in particular.
Barkley was at fault for Everton’s goal, but I think it’s harsh to blame him.
We zone mark and it makes us look daft when it goes wrong, because you get the likes of McGinn marking usually the biggest player on the opposition’s side.
I’ve never understood the reasoning behind it and much prefer man marking, but then I think Mings is a cowardly, poor defender.
Yet our defence is statistically very good. Hence I have to concede that there’s a good chance I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I thought our worst players were Luiz, who hasn’t looked on top of his game for a while and yep Anwar El Ghazi, who had done nothing all game.
Until he proved me wrong too and popped up to strike a cracker to give us the points. Only a couple of minutes after saying I’d have subbed him.
Football has a knack of proving you wrong, but fortunately it was in a good way today.
We’re up to ninth then and leapfrog Leeds and Arsenal.
If we can keep that up, there’s still plenty of points to be played for.
The big question is, can we?