It was a fairly straightforward Saturday afternoon for Everton who eased past Fulham for their second win of the season. Here’s five things we learned:
Idrissa Gueye back to his best
A few weeks ago, an unfit Idrissa Gueye put in a poor performance against West Ham as the Toffees suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat to the Hammers. Now fully fit again, he looks back to his best.
Gueye was everywhere and constantly won possession back for the Blues, making sure Everton won the key midfield battle. Against Fulham, the Senegalese star made nine successful tackles, five interceptions and 10 recoveries as well as helping to create two chances.
If you include the tackles Gueye made against Arsenal then he has made 19 tackles in his last two games. This is more than 376 of the 386 players in the Premier League have made all season. Not bad for a player who was signed by Steve Walsh.
Fulham getting a taste of Premier League life
When Fulham were promoted to the Premier League a lot of hype was made about the quality of their squad and there was no talk whatsoever about relegation, instead, people were talking about just how high they could finish, just like Wolves.
However, unlike Wolves, Fulham have so far found Premier League life much more difficult. After defeat to the Toffees their record now stands at one win, two draws and four defeats and sit just one place outside of the bottom three who haven’t won a game between them.
Although Fulham haven’t necessarily played poorly this season they have been wasteful at times and have seriously struggled on the road, scoring just three goals in four games and not even managing a shot on target in the game against Everton. Although they have the ability to turn it around, they haven’t taken to water like many thought they would.
Tosun ends the drought
A lot of questions have been asked of the Everton strike force this season with a lot of them being aimed towards striker Cenk Tosun in particular. The man signed from Besiktas in January for £27 million has had a slow start to the 2018/19 season after impressing in the latter stages of last season.
Before the game against Fulham, Tosun had been involved in six games in the 2018/19 season without scoring a goal and Silva showed what he thought about this by playing Calvert-Lewin ahead of Tosun once more, this is despite Calvert-Lewin’s poor showing against the Gunners.
When Tosun did finally find the net, the relief could be seen in his celebration and Evertonian’s will be hoping Tosun can now push on. With a goal-scoring striker in the team, it could make a massive difference to where Everton finish come the end of the season.
Mitro wasn’t on fire and neither is Sessegnon
With five goals to his name so far this season, Aleksandar Mitrovic is starting to show the potential he had when Newcastle first signed him and at an initial fee of £22 million, his signing may end up being somewhat of a coup for Fulham, especially if he steers them clear of the relegation zone.
However, in the game against Everton, the Serbian was very quiet as Fulham struggled to break the Blues back-line down for a large portion of the game. Mitrovic also struggled to use his physicality to his advantage with Zouma matching him for strength.
Fulham’s best chance of the game came to youngster Ryan Sessegnon when he found himself unmarked in the box, however, his effort cannoned off the bar. The young Englishman has so far struggled to adapt to Premier League life and hasn’t hit the heights that was expected of him just yet. Sessegnon was extremely quiet for most of the game and manager Jokanovic will be hoping this is just a blip.
No Mina? No problem
The possibility of finally seeing new signing Yerry Mina in an Everton shirt for the game against Fulham caused excitement among Evertonian’s. However, after another injury picked up in training, those hopes were soon dashed.
The Colombian has had another set-back and although the injury isn’t as severe as first reported it is extremely frustrating. Many still have question marks over Michael Keane’s quality after last season and Everton have once again struggled at times defensively this season.
However, when Mina finally does return, Silva may have a selection headache over who he is going to drop with both Zouma and Keane making a strong claim for a starting place. Zouma has looked good and Keane looks like a new player compared to last season with a lot of that possibly being down to his defensive partner.
If you want to see what I mean, go on Twitter and type in ‘Ashley Williams’ to see just what Stoke City fans think of the Welshman.