Comfortable if not entirely convincing

By Paul Traill 24/08/2016  13 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Everton 4 - 0 Yeovil Town

With home cup games now counting as away credits, you almost dare not miss a home cup game anymore at risk of missing out should we get to Wembley this season. Though with a new manager not long through the door there is still a bit of initial excitement about going the game and seeing some of the new signings. All of them featured in our English Football League Cup Second Round tie at home to Yeovil Town of League Two with Ross Barkley given the privilege of skippering the side on his 116th Everton appearance. As promised, Ronald Koeman fielded a strong side.

With my season card not working in the home game against Tottenham Hotspur I had to collect a new one from the Goodison Road ticket office before kick off. I was convinced it wasn't going to work again as I walked through the turnstyle but thankfully it was fine, and after meeting the guys in the pub for a quick pint we were in the ground, comfortably in time for kick off, Everton attacking the Park End in the first half.

Romalu Lukaku, still awaiting his first goal of the season, missed perhaps the best of our early chances and we were nearly punished when Matt Butcher was unlucky with a great effort on goal from the edge of the penalty area. Another Yeovil Town player also came close with a header from a corner kick as the visitors, backed by a solid following of 903 supporters on a long mid-week journey, seemed to be enjoying themselves. Their fans got plucky too, and were having fun singing about the "library" that is Goodison Park. They were stopped in their tracks however when just as they taunted, James McCarthy played the ball back for Aaron Lennon to slot home, giving Everton the advantage. We got to the break a goal to the good.

The second half consisted of plenty of probing, and though we were comfortable with Yeovil Town opportunities very few and far between, we struggled to make the most of our opportunities with crosses over-hit, passes over-played and shooting somewhat wasteful. Romalu Lukaku missed another good opportunity and the longer the game went on at 1-0 you really hoped we could just finish them off. The prospect of extra time really wasn't very appetising.

Thankfully we as good as put the game to bed on 69 minutes when Artur Krysiak was beaten at his near post too easily from a Ross Barkley free kick. Though I wasn't aware of it at the time, Ross offered a nice gesture to Sid Benson, the recently deceased scout who discovered his talent, upon scoring his goal. It was nice to see Ross score on the night he captained Everton for the first time.

Arouna Kone was given a bit of game time and good on the Ivorian for making the most of his opportunity with two fine goals. One a great finish from the edge of the penalty area, the other when he was somehow afforded time and space to wriggle inside the penalty area from a corner before scoring from close range. He did well to take his chances, but as Ste said, it's all well and good doing it in the last minute against an exhausted Yeovil Town. Can he do it in the Premier League?

The 4-0 scoreline certainly put some gloss on the scoresheet, and though we have to be satisfied with a comfortable victory and safe passage into the Third Round, we can certainly make more of our opportunities in and around the penalty area.

Leaving the ground we hit all sorts of roadworks whilst trying to take our usual shortcut towards the Queensway tunnel. It felt like something of a labyrinth as we seemed to meet road closure after road closure until Ste navigated us safely towards home. I'll be sure to check the roadworks prior to Saturday's battle with Stoke City.

Player ratings:

Stekelenburg: Had an easy night really but came and caught what he had to. Distribution I'm still not sure about. 6

Oviedo: Full of effort but his crossing was generally poor and he seemed a bit light defensively at times. 5

Funes Mori: Question marks remain over his defensive abilities for me. 6

Williams: Seemed to take a little bit of time to settle but coped fine once in the groove. 6

Holgate: He doesn't really put a foot wrong defensively, that's not a problem. Going forward from right back however, though he gives it his best shot, is just not his position. Cover/quality competition for Seamus Coleman should be on our shopping list, whether that be externally or with Callum Connolly perhaps. 6

McCarthy: Back in his more familiar position in the midfield, James ran hard and kept things ticking over nicely, even claiming an assist. My man of the match. 8

Gueye: Hit that consistent level we already expect. A great player. 7

Bolasie: Some flashes of brilliance though was in and out of the game. I got the impression he was only really playing at 60%. Loads more to come from him. 7 Lennon: Always lively and industrious, and will be pleased to have gotten on the scoresheet also. 7

Barkley: Nice to see him get his goal on the night he skippered the side for the first time. 7

Lukaku: His presence is good but he was wasteful with his opportunities. Will come good at the weekend I think. 5

Substitutes:

Gibson (for McCarthy): Kept things ticking over nicely. 6

Cleverley (for Holgate): Worked hard down the right. 6

Kone (for Barkley): Well you can't ask for more than that. Will be interesting to see if he's earned an opportunity for the weekend. 8


Reader Comments (13)

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Liam Wilson
1 Posted 24/08/2016 at 02:38:05
Thanks Paul. Always enjoy your "hands on" reports and the mental picture it paints for me being so far away (in Nepal) watching the games on dodgy streams. Assume you are not a Yank, and with my tongue firmly in cheek for Lennon' s description, "Always lively and industrious, and will be pleased to have GOT (not "gotten") on the score-sheet".
Paul Ferry
2 Posted 24/08/2016 at 05:21:58
There appear to be 10 players in Paul's team; the one he left out, Lennon, was in my opinion MotM. Holgate, Bolasie, and our Boss goalie – 6? What, he had nothing to do? Why not give him 10, for fuck's sake! They are serious buys.

Dead happy me!

Kieran Fitzgerald
3 Posted 24/08/2016 at 07:58:47
I think it was good to see Gibson playing. He did well at the end of last season and was doing well in pre-season before the injury. It looks like he is staying more consistently injury free. I hope so as he will add something that McCarthy and Barry don't in midfield.

I am happy for Kone. He has shown in glimpses that he can score and can also link up well with Lukaku. Hopefully the two goals and some game time will give him a run in the team. We don't have any other option at present so give him time on Saturday as I think he will be buzzing.

Steve Hogan
4 Posted 24/08/2016 at 08:24:13
Paul. I went the game last night and for what it's worth, I thought Oviedo was awful right throughout the match.

Distribution poor, often caught in possession, and one Yeovil forward gave him a right 'roasting' at one stage in the second half. His game seems to have gone backwards, I just don't see him having a long term future at Everton anymore.

Martin Nicholls
5 Posted 24/08/2016 at 09:35:52
Paul#2 - Lennon not left out! He is in same paragraph as Bolasie and Paul T scored him a 7!
Ian Burns
6 Posted 24/08/2016 at 10:07:18
Thanks for the report Paul - like Liam - 1 - I have to rely on streams; Live Forum and reports.

Mr Paul Ferry, are you back from Chicago now?

Paul Kennedy
7 Posted 24/08/2016 at 10:10:12
I am really pleased. Yes, it would have been nice to breeze past Yeovil 6-0 or 7-0... Then our expectations would have been sky high.

We really need to accept we are a work in progress with new faces bedding in, new tactics for most players, and understanding that needs to build.

Still not convinced on Lukaku though I think he believes he is far better than the reality!!

Jon Hirshman
8 Posted 24/08/2016 at 12:22:29
Not sure about the entirely convincing headline. From my seat in the top balcony I was completely convinced. Yeovil offered nothing and although we took our time to get to a realistic scoreline, we completely outclassed them. Gana was easily the MOTM. Not sure I agree about people's views on Oveido either. He did ok defensively over the 90 minutes as did Funes Mori and he also put in some crosses that deserved better from our striker. Could Lukaku be any slower getting back onside? As far as competition for right back goes it looks like we're trying to bring in the lad from Southampton, Cuco Martina.
Nick Armitage
9 Posted 24/08/2016 at 12:52:59
McCarthy had a very good second half but Gana was brilliant. He seems to do everything in second gear. His energy and workrate defy logic. He is gonna be one hell of a midfielder for us. Cleverly looked full of beans when he came on and his presence seemed to open up Bolasie's game too.

Oviedo was found out last night, offered zilch going forwards and got knocked off the ball far too easily on several occasions, I thnk he needs to move on.

Barkley did his usual fat Peter Beagrie impersonation and Lukaku looked like he was still gobsmacked by getting an invitation to Paul Pogba's house warming party.

Richard Dodd
10 Posted 24/08/2016 at 16:53:17
Liam @1. I think you will find 'gotten' is old English rather than recent Americanization.

But what about 'eaten' rather than 'ate'?

Jon Cox
11 Posted 24/08/2016 at 20:02:09
Richard I think you'll find that Jonah was "Eaten"

And the whale "Ate"

Andy Crooks
12 Posted 24/08/2016 at 21:29:41
Paul, I enjoy the different angle you bring to the match experience. Top stuff. Jon, brilliant.
Dave Speed
13 Posted 24/08/2016 at 21:49:36
Brilliant this! Not only do I get a well depicted vision of the game, but I also get grammatical corrections! 4-0 against a lower league side is a major step up from most of our previous years in this cup (last season being one of the exceptions – cheated in the City game).

We did what we had to do, and it was plain to see that, excluding Rom who needs time to get 'Rom' sharp, the intensity was higher from some players who cruised through some games last year. Clearly they realise that they can't do it any more or RK will ship them out, either now or in the next window.

How many times has McCarthy been so high up the pitch? He nearly had a nose bleed! (He should stay at EFC as he will get better under RK). Let's be positive about it - we won and the game will be mostly forgotten in time because we won, but we won't forget Grimsby, Bradford, York and Shrewsbury (FA Cup, I know). So onwards and upwards. COYB! NSNO!

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