Incredibly in this helter-skelter season of game scheduling, October saw the Blues only play in three games that yielded one win, one draw and sadly, our first loss of the season.
Brighton and Hove Albion provided our first opposition of the month and another three points were secured courtesy of a 4-2 win that saw another goal for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a towering header from Yerry Mina and a brace from our Colombian star James Rodriguez. It wasn’t entirely plain sailing as Brighton scored the goal of the game late on to remind the Blues that not everyone will lie down and roll over this season.
Next up, after the international break, was the visit of our neighbours and in a tumultuous ‘derby’ the challenge by Jordan Pickford on Dick van Dijk drew more vilification from the media than many latter day mass murderers have. It wasn’t a great challenge by any stretch of the imagination, but the furore that followed it was, to say the least, completely over the top. It goes without saying though that all self-respecting Blues wish van Dijk a successful recovery from the injury he suffered.
Mane gave the visitors an early lead and the Blues hit back before the break with a James Rodriguez corner perfectly flighted for Michael Keane to level. After the break, the game saw more unpalatable challenges with Mane and Robertson both lucky not to have received at least yellow cards for unsavoury, nasty tackles. Salah fired the visitors back in front with – lets be honest – a peach of a finish however, the Blues didn’t let their heads drop and a superb ball from James found Digne out wide and his perfect cross saw Calvert-Lewin power an archetypal centre-forward header well beyond the reach of Adrian to tie the game up. The game ended in controversy as Richarlison saw red for a mistimed tackle and ‘they’ had a ‘winner’ from Henderson ruled out for a clear offside against the elbow of Mane – oh how sweet VAR is when it goes your way.
But it was the aftermath of the derby that will be long, long remembered not the actual game itself. The media reaction was sickly but almost paled into insignificance compared to the usual reaction from some of their ‘fans’ that culminated in Jordan Pickford employing security staff to guard his family from the faceless threats against him and them via social media.
The long trip to Southampton was truly a disappointing day for Blues as the team that took to the pitch, save for a Gylfi Sigurdsson effort that hit the Saints crossbar, largely didn’t perform. We looked leggy and tired, and with Ben Godfrey enduring a difficult full debut, DCL game but isolated up front, Southampton took full advantage with strikes from Ward-Prowse and Adams that JP had little chance to save.
So a month of mixed results, but a month that still saw Everton sitting atop the Premier League table with thirteen points from a possible eighteen – and who wouldn’t have taken that ahead of the opening day trip to Tottenham??
The three games saw nineteen players used, with nine appearing in all three games and four – Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Dominic Calvert-Lewin – playing every minute. Lucas Digne would have made it five ever-presents but for a hastily brandished red card at Southampton for an accidental challenge on Walker-Peters.
To the three Man of the Match awards as voted by the fans on the GrandOldTeam.com forum, we have three different winners. Not just for his goal against Brighton but a superb second half of defending, Yerry Mina claimed victory with James Rodriguez a worthy second following his brace of goals against the Seagulls. Voting for the MoTM in the derby was nip and tuck and went right to the wire before Jordan Pickford narrowly edged Michael Keane into second place. JP may have taken excessive attention for one challenge, but two impressive saves in particular help earn the Blues a point from the game. The Southampton game wasn’t a great performance ans the result one very much to forget but, we vote every game and in understandably the lowest poll of the season so far, Michael Keane prevailed with Anthony Gordon mentioned in dispatches for his second half role.
As we always say, GrandOldTeam.com takes pride in offering the quickest match report service and we encourage all Blues to vote in our Man of the Match polls. Every vote goes towards these Player of the Month awards and the ultimate accolade at seasons end, the awarding of the GrandOldTeam.com Player of the Season trophy.
So, if you’re reading this via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform and you’re not a GOT member but want to vote each game, simply register to join the Forum – http://www.grandoldteam.com/forum/ – and cast your vote every game… and join in the myriad of discussions on the award-winning, biggest and best Everton Forum on the internet.
Having dispensed with the ubiquitous plug for GOT, the forum and polls, let’s get to the golden envelope business and on with the top three vote recipients and the PotM result, and in time honoured fashion, here’s the result in ascending order of the votes cast… with not a great deal to separate the top four vote winners.
In third place, largely on the back of arguably his best performance to date for the club… Yerry Mina.
With more sublime football, terrific goals and for the second month on the trot, second place goes to… James Rodriguez.
With that all-important first equaliser in the ‘derby’ and playing his best in the Royal Blue and with just under 20% of the total votes cast, our winner, the congratulations go to the GOT Player of the Month for October… Michael Keane.