Everton beaten at home again by what is becoming a bit of an unlikely bogey team in Newcastle. Everton losing six points home and away to the Geordies with two abysmal performances this season.
Ancelotti went for an attacking line up as I predicted in my pre-match post.
Ancelotti named two different players to what I predicted the line up might be, retaining Pickford after his error against Leicester and choosing Sigurdsson ahead of Tom Davies to partner Doucouré in midfield.
Retaining Pickford for this game, especially against Newcastle, showed in my opinionthe manager’s man management skills.
Carlo, greatly values Pickford’s distribution and Jordan does pull off some amazing saves, that have won us a few games this season, notably against Spurs and Wolves.
Moments that go under the radar of most supporters, who focus on the pain of the odd costly error.
Ancelotti is managing the goal-keeping situation with the wisdom of Soloman. However, will be making notes to take into the summer transfer market.
Both Coleman and Digne came back into action off the back of injuries. Neither can be deemed as fully match fit and up to their best.
Maybe Carlo’s hope, as was mine, was that Coleman and Digne could have used this game against a downbeat Newcastle side and both played themselves in and marauded down the flanks, blowing away the opposition.
Newcastle came with a plan. Unexpectedly playing a high press targeting both Coleman and Digne pushing them back and cutting off Everton’s supply down the flanks.
Callum Wilson gave a Man of the Match performance with two goals and totally occupying and out running Lucas Digne. Who will need time to get back to match fitness after his ankle operation.
These tactics in turn affected supply and flow to Richarlison and Iwobi who never got into any flow or momentum and who could be argued failed to show the fight and energy to manage the situation.
Everton were passive in dealing with what Newcastle brought to the game. Ancelotti went further after the game by using the term “lazy”, to describe the Everton performance.
In the middle of the park, Everton were totally bullied and out ran, over-ran.
Shelvey targeted James who was shown scant protection from the referee Stuart Attwell, who in my opinion had a poor game. Was a Newcastle player in an offside position and distracting Pickford for Newcastle’s opener? (see image above)
James was basically taken out of the game, stamped on two occasions and dragged down cynically totally disrupting any impact he could have had on the game.
Doucoure tried his best, industrious as ever, but seemed a little lost and alone holding the midfield alongside Sigurdsson, who had one of his “anonymous” days.
We have to accept now that Gylfi just does not have the legs or spirit to play in that deeper midfield role.
He has far more creative possibility than Tom Davies in that area of the pitch, this is true. But to be honest he seldom shows it and Tom Davies would have fought like hell in front of Mina and Keane.
I actually think Sigurdsson should be understudy to James and those two should be utilised in rotation behind Calvert-Lewin. Can Everton really expect Doucouré to do the leg work for Sigurdsson and James. One, but never both again please Carlo.
Calvert-Lewin is having his supply lines targeted and his goals are drying up. This is starting to show how dependent Dominic is becoming on being fed and his lack of goals from self-created situations.
Lastly, I want to give total credit to Newcastl United who ran their hearts out, pressed superbly and showed a spirit and intent that frankly put the home side to shame.