After The Whistle : Everton 3–1 Middlesbrough
“Everybody knows it’s only after five games and it is too early to predict anything. We know we have a strong team. We improved a lot and the team is working hard, and we know we can be really strong.”
— Ronald Koeman
At the start of the season, when Ronald Koeman said that his squad were only 75% fit, it was fair to assume that Everton were going to have a slow start to the campaign. But after four wins in five games, The former Dutch defender’s side have hit the ground running, playing with style and swagger in the process. As a unit, they seem to perform very well with each other and the pieces to the Everton jigsaw fit. Evidently, there is an efficient natural flow to their attack, with the disciplined Gareth Barry and industrious Idrissa Gueye in the middle of the park complementing the attacking foursome of Bolasie, Mirallas, Barkley and Lukaku almost to perfection.
Speaking of Gareth Barry, what a way to mark your 600th Premier League appearance. Middlesbrough had taken the lead through some dubious refereeing that saw Alvaro Negredo’s illegal challenge on Maarten Stekelenburg after the goalkeeper had clearly caught the ball, result in the keeper dropping the ball into his net for an “own goal”. Everton rallied and the former Aston Villa and Manchester City man equalised with a brilliant finish after Middlesbrough’s defence could not deal with a corner.
Such is Everton’s all round growing confidence that Seamus Coleman, in only his second game of the season, reminded the Everton faithful of what he is capable of by cutting inside from the right, beating Daniel Ayala before finishing with his left foot. Everton were suddenly 2–1 up after going behind under very unsettling circumstances.
They did not stop there as just before the end of the game, Yannick Bolasie’s cross was met by the faintest of touches from Romelu Lukaku to make it 3–1. Although both players may continue the debate in the dressing room as to who really got the goal. Three points, Everton move up to 2nd place.
“I’m an experienced manager and you don’t get too carried away when you lose or if people are moaning and groaning or…thegoldcoastreport.com
There is a great sense of expectation among fans at Goodison Park and an undeniable chemistry between the players. They have a manager showing signs that he could be the one to take them to the next level they crave so much. They managed to keep their best players at the club as well as adding significant quality to the squad in Gueye, Williams and Bolasie.
Ross Barkley had a poor first half against Sunderland but he showed signs in this game that he was ready to take more responsibility and improve on his all round game.
Next up for Ronald Koeman’s men is a trip to Bournemouth on gameweek 6.