It is the first international break for the Premier League which gives all fans of the 20 teams a chance to reflect on the start. Has it gone well? Gone badly? Did you expect more? Have you been pleasantly surprised?
Oddly enough, all the above questions will have been given a yes answer by a number of Everton fans. This week, 343Everton sat down with Ian Croll, the Liverpool Echo’s Video editor, and true Blue, to get his perspective on the start of the Silva/Brands era.
“The need to reduce the squad and ship out the deadwood was a must and Brands has succeeded in his task, ” said Ian. “Numerous players have left Goodison Park this summer and I wouldn’t have kept any of them.
“The deadline day signings of Mina, Gomes, Bernard and Zouma were also a massive boost. We just need them injury and suspension free to feel the benefit within the team.”
While deadline day was such a plus for the Blues, it has been another summer capture that has caught Ian’s eye, along with almost every other Toffee.
“Richarlison is the clear standout,” continues the View From the Gwladys Street host. “He has thrust himself into the Everton way of life on, and off, the pitch. A fantastic start to his Everton career was obviously marred with his recent sending off. However, I fully expect him to be back scoring goals soon enough.”
Undefeated, scoring goals and a squad boosted by both departure and arrival. Anything to worry about for Ian? In a word, yes! Well two actually:
“Zonal marking. Every goal we have conceded this season has been from a set-piece,” says Ian. “It has cost us vital points and can’t continue. Will this method work when the likes of Mina is in the team? Only time will tell! Silva needs to fix it and quick.”
So on the whole, a positive start. Keep your eye out for part two when Ian gives his thoughts on hope, expectation and more strength in the squad.
By John Howard