The start of a new season is always an exciting time for fans. It’s when we get to judge the arrivals and evaluate whether the team has a chance to better the previous year’s campaign. So, there’s nothing like getting off to winning ways to boost the confidence levels and keep the supporters singing on the terraces.
Seeing as Everton FC has been surrounded by uncertainty recently, it’s more important than ever. Of course, we can’t click our fingers and hope for the best. The Toffees need a strategy, but what should it be in the opening fixture against Southampton?
Crosses into the Box
Okay, crossing the ball is an old-school way of winning football matches. As a result, it’s not very popular anymore. However, we don’t have Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp at the helm lecturing the side of the pros of the tiki-taka or heavy metal styles. What we have is a solid squad with threatening players in wide positions.
Take James Rodriguez as an example. Although he likes a free role, the Colombian often drifts out to either flank to spray through-balls into the box. Plus, we now have Andros Townsend in the ranks, an old-fashioned winger who loves to get to the byline and pull the ball back for the strikers. Considering they are Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, two forwards who are lethal in the air, it makes sense to get the ball into the box early.
At 100/1 to win the league, the Premier League betting doesn’t believe Everton FC is a title contender. Still, it’s essential to play to our strengths, especially when the squad is full of players who trust this style to give us the best chance of collecting three points. Also, you never know what can happen – just look at Leicester!
Rest & Rotation
Rafa Benitez is the sort of manager who likes to rotate his players. Considering the year our squad has had, this may not be a bad thing for the beginning of the campaign. Jordan Pickford and Calvert-Lewin made it to the finals of Euro 2020, for example, while Lucas Digne’s holiday was interrupted by the competition also.
🎵 He’s Brazilian 🎵— Everton FC News (@LivEchoEFC) July 22, 2021
Just the 23-minute hat-trick from Richarlison earlier today… pic.twitter.com/kR6XREEemN
James, meanwhile, was on international duty for Colombia in Copa America, as was Richarlison for Brazil. The latter is playing at the Olympics and made an excellent start to the tournament. Unfortunately, this means these guys are likely to be tired for the beginning of the season. Should we play them anyway and hope for the best? No.
The smart thing to do is to give them extended leave so that they can rest and recover. If that involves missing a couple of matches, it’s worth the short-term pain for the long-term gain. That doesn’t entail dropping everyone who was on international leave, mind you. Calvert-Lewin, for instance, should be desperate to play since he didn’t make an appearance for England at the Euro 2020 finals. A savvy rotation policy will give us a healthy chance of taking on the likes of Southampton and Leeds while ensuring the rest of the season isn’t harmed in the process.
Every coach has their way of doing things, so it’s ultimately up to them. However, if Everton’s men are direct on the pitch and smart off it, the club should have an excellent opportunity of starting August with a bang.
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