Everton Premier League Preview: “We need big seasons from these 5 players”
By David Parkinson
The major difference I see between Blues and Reds is realism.
Blues have experienced more than our share of lows, a few highs and a period during the 80’s when we spent every summer on Queen’s Drive waving at a bus.
Since then it’s been a marathon of mediocrity interspersed with periods of progress, rounded off with seasons of sorrow. We know how great we were, we are resolute that one day we will be great again but, for the most part, we understand we are a long way off it. Whilst every year the loveable Reds from across the park let us know it’s their year. Liverpool fans feel that they have a divine right to win the league.
But that divine right syndrome has crept in at Goodison Park over the last 3 years, too. A section of our support has started to demand success. Groans at goals conceded late on have given way to moans at a misplaced pass and it has become toxic.
Expectations will be high once again this season, especially given the deadline day additions of Bernard, Mina, Gomes and Zouma. It’s brilliant news for Blues that Marco Silva and Marcel Brands have managed to bring in four more young players with international experience. With that level of recruitment though, comes a little more pressure.
We must resist the urge to be unrealistic. For Everton to get back to where we want to be, we must have patience instead. The fans in the ground need the feel-good factor back first. If that’s to happen, we’ll need the deadline boys to gel well and hit the ground running. We’ll also need big seasons from these 5 key players.
Two months ago he was overpriced and too small to be England keeper. That’s what the media told us. Everton fans knew differently and his performances in the World Cup seem to have led the same media to now deem his club as too small for him. I have no doubt that Jordan Pickford will be Everton’s number 1 come Wolves away and I think he could be a future captain. But, as a realist, I know we need to progress with him or lose him. Another stand-out season like the last would help Everton progress.
60 grand 60 grand Seamus Coleman. The famous chant reflects the fee we paid for him, which is now dwarfed by most of his teammates’ weekly wage. Coleman has shown his worth time and time again. Last season we were denied his buccaneering play by a career threatening injury. His return against Leicester was superhuman and displayed the kind of heart Everton fans demand. The negative tactics the then manager (like Voldemort I won’t name him) deployed, prevented us from seeing him at his best. A change of approach under Silva will help him, and us, immensely.
Gylfi Thor Sigurdsson
Yes his middle name is Thor, and no it has no relevance, but if your record signing was an Avenger you would bring it up too. It took Sigurdsson some time to shine but, before injury ended his season, he was running Pickford close for player of the year. His work rate was astonishing, his link up play and goals were special. I now think that if he wasn’t having to do Rooney’s share of the running, as well as his own, he would have scored and created more. This is a big season for our god of thunder. I expect double figures in goals and assists. We will need it.
Richarlison De Andrade
If you believe the media we have paid £50 million for a kid who only played well for two months last season. In reality we have paid £35 million for a highly-rated Brazilian. One who had been playing nonstop for 18 months before his loss of form at Watford. This was the first summer in three that Richarlison has had a break. For someone so young that takes its toll. He was a breath of fresh air in friendlies and the potential of his link up with former Barcelona left back Digne is exciting. If they click we could be looking at something special, akin to Baines and Pienaar.
Tosun bagged 5 goals in 12 appearances playing in one of the most negative Everton sides I’ve seen. This makes me believe we could have found a talismanic forward, the likes of which we have missed since Duncan Ferguson. If Tosun can match his passion and add the goals the lesser revered Lukaku scored, we may have a special season. He is an 18 yard box player, his link up play is great but he comes alive in the box. If Sigurdsson , Walcott, Richarlison and (whisper it quietly) Lookman, can provide the bullets he will kill the goals…I mean shoot the shots…you know what I mean. He will bag at least twenty.
Despite me picking out these five, Everton now have a big squad football and all off them will have to be at it for Everton to have any success. I think it is reasonable to want a top 8 finish again. If we click early and get more than 10 points on the board after our first five games we could push for top six. If we carry that form into Christmas then top four is possible…but that’s not me being realistic. Or is it?