Since James McCarthy’s absence Muhamed Besic has taken over alongside Gareth Barry in midfield, but with Barry’s performances not living up to the same standards of his loan spell from Manchester City last season, Evertonians are calling for him to be dropped from the side.
Besic has been a success and has put in a string of solid performances – his stand-out one being his man-of-the-match performance against West Ham in the FA Cup at Goodison Park. In the game against West Brom on Monday, Besic completed 92 passes with a 92% passing accuracy and his heat map below really does speak for itself. He completed 85 passes in the 79 minutes he played – more than any other Premier League player over that weekend.
If Martinez sticks to playing a duo in a defensive midfield role, then there are options there. The three main ones being sticking with Barry & Besic, going back to Barry & McCarthy or trying McCarthy & Besic after the manager praised the Bosnian’s growing influence on the game, saying he is a typical Everton player.
Then of course there’s even more options such as Ross Barkley playing alongside McCarthy or changing the formation around to include Barkley, Besic, Barry and McCarthy.
So, with James McCarthy hopefully returning for the trip to Crystal Palace, fans have had their say on who should be the midfield partnership. One thing that is clear from their response is that it has to include McCarthy.