EFC squad building, instant analysis now supported by hindsight? The sight of Michael Keane on crutches at Goodison for the Bournemouth game said much about this summers transfer window at Everton.
Well it did when you digest the fact that it turned out Jags was also out injured not rested, and that we were left with Holgate and Williams as the only bespoke centre back pairing available. Our we’ll documented failure to replace Lukaku has rightly been the focus. But importantly the failure to land cover and or a first team pick for left side of the defence is serious.
Keane has struggled of late but most of us think he’s going to be a top defender. Losing him for just a couple of games is a blow if it means that we face nervous moments watching the gutsy and talented Holgate find his way in his true position of centre back. He was embarrassed by King for Bournemouths goal and he cannot afford to be so obviously second best as a speedy and talented forward like King bears down on goal.
Harsh ? Maybe, but this is the Premier League and frankly for me Mason feels like he’s not quite where we expected he would be, but then I’d only ever play him at centre back so what do I know !
We needed that quality defensive cover, hell we needed someone able to show us that Williams and Jags can be the cover. It didn’t happen. Nor did that attacking replacement for 25 goals a season and it’s all got a bit dull but that shouldn’t be allowed to excuse the failure to sort the transfer window as the manager clearly felt was necessary.
Oumar and hindsight ? Well he is now making Koeman look foolish and the latters attempts to justify his approach feel a bit weak to be honest. The fans had it right. They gently, then more loudly, lobbied in Oumar’s favour, screaming about pragmatism, lack of depth and well, how much worse could he be etc etc. I wonder if 4th, or 5th or 6th was so out of reach with seven or eight more no9 goals in the last ten games of the campaign that saw us firmly the best of the rest ? Hindsight yes, but it was hardly a secret that many questioned this childish “no locker approach” and pointed to reasonable performances at Hull on loan and Unsworths impressive handling of Niasse as a fairly decent example of how to do things.
We are I feel regretting that hugely unbalanced squad, with so many no10’s and so little pace and width but whilst that’s all been done to death it’s not too unreasonable to learn from experience and hope that Walsh is spot on with two, possibly four, genuinely needed re enforcements in January.
Before then my gut says I’d love to see us start v Burnley with a very attacking lineup. They defend deep as do we, but they are good at it. Sigurdsson and Klasic wide, with DCL and Rooney up top. Niasse on the bench waiting for the rescue mission seems a more likely outcome than dropping Rooney but his place is under threat now. Gylfi badly needs to play in the centre behind the forwards but I don’t see that happening right now and hope Davies can partner Gueye. Kenny surely deserves another run at right back.
With hindsight, was starting the season with Kenny such a terrible risk given how unbalanced and negative we’ve been going forward ? It was a risk of sorts yes, but looking back I just can’t see it having been worse and really think it would have altered our balance positively.
Mind you, with hindsight I wouldn’t have wanted the owner to get into team selection with Jim White on Sky, still waiting for the rationale behind that Comms strategy !!!