I said in the preview that I thought Everton would struggle this season and I think on that display, I look to be totally correct. Not that it’s any surprise, as they’ve looked increasingly poorer over the last few seasons.
But they offered absolutely nothing today. What must surely be annoying Sean Dyche is that they looked so toothless and massively lacked physicality in exactly the same way as we did against Newcastle last week. Except it was worse.
I seriously think Dyche has bitten off more than he can chew this time.
Does that mean Villa weren’t very good?
Well, no, I wouldn’t quite say that, although we didn’t need to be good if I’m being honest.
What concerned me slightly is that I thought Villa actually stepped down a couple of gears and eased off the throttle, which surely won’t be to Emery’s liking, as we all know he plays to win at a flat out pace. That said, it’s difficult to blame players thinking they have a game wrapped up, even as early as it looked. I don’t think it made much of a spectacle for us fans though and most of the game looked like a training exercise.
There were a few things to talk about, one being our penalty, after Pickford was deemed to have fouled Watkins. I like to think I’m pretty neutral when it comes to penalty calls and offsides, and I honestly think there were grounds for Everton to complain that although Pickford definitely did clatter Watkins, it was after Watkins had made his attempt and hence had lost possession of the ball. Of course, it doesn’t give the goalie any right to clatter a player, but we all know these sorts of clashes happen and I don’t believe there was any intent.
I’m certainly not going to complain about any penalty given in our favour, but I think if the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn’t have been very happy.
Luiz took the penalty and I was intrigued as to why it wasn’t Watkins? Then it seems that Watkins missed a couple in the pre-season, so it seems Luiz has now been tagged as our penalty taker. I’m really not sure what that says about Watkins, but surely any striker wouldn’t be very happy about that. I think it’s yet another indicator of how the striker couldn’t hit a cow’s proverbial with a banjo lately. I honestly hope he hits top form again, but the reality is he seems to miss more and more chances as time moves on.
Then there’s the injury to Coutinho, where he really didn’t look in good shape. Surely we’re not going to get another long term injury, are we? I certainly hope not and you have to expect that might have scuppered any transfer he and maybe the club were hoping for. Not good.
Man of the match was officially John McGinn, but I’d already given it to him at half time. Exactly the opposite to last week, he worked tirelessly and dominated the midfield.
And then there’s Jhon Duran, who was only on for about two minutes before he was gifted a chance from a terrible Ashley Young throw in. It’s definitely a funny old game, but it was nice to see the lad get his first goal for us.
All in all, a nice easy day’s work which leads us nicely into what should be another easy game at Hibs, who won’t even have the weather in their favour.
Here we go with the pretty much non stop games.
I can’t wait.