Friday, 24 August 2018

Are Everton much better than they were under Allardyce?

Everton have started this season with a draw and a win. They are in the top half of the table and have been one of the few big spenders that have done well with their new signings. The most important factor though has to be the managerial change they made in the summer and the ability of Marco Silva to get his message across to his players in such a short time.
Last season's Everton went down to a 2-1 defeat at Dean Court
The player that has impressed most is top signing Richarlison from Watford. Everyone was staggered at the £40m price tag, but after two games it looks very good business for Everton. Stopping Richarlison will be a major part of Howe's talk with defenders this week. Richarlison has been in the goals and has been a positive force whenever Everton go forward. Both he and Theo Walcott got the goals in their last game against Southampton and the speed of Everton's attacks is certainly one of their strengths. Gylfi Sigurdsson also seems more settled in his second season at Everton and is the player pulling little passes behind the forwards to create opportunities.

While Calvert-Lewin and Niasse were major fixtures last season they have been coming off the bench. The back four though is more or less what Allardyce used with Baines, Keane, Holgate and Coleman providing protection for Jordan Pickford. The player of course who they have lost for a few games is Phil Jagielka who was sent off against Wolves. But Everton have been playing with more energy and purpose since Silva took over and it can be expected that this will be Bournemouth's hardest test so far this season.

Sam Allardyce made Everton more solid in stopping teams find space against them. But Silva has added more attacking intent to their game. Bournemouth have to get Everton more concerned about whether they are defending well enough. That means stopping the forward runs of players like Baines and looking to get in behind Everton when he does push forward. It will be an intriguing battle between Brooks and Baines on Bournemouth's right side and Howe will have to help Brooks take on one of the most experienced left backs in the country.

Bournemouth will note though that, while Everton have been putting points on the board they have let in three goals from their first two games - they have vulnerabilities. Everton have scored first in their first two games as well and they might find things a bit more difficult if Bournemouth can get a fast start on Saturday.

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