January was something of a mixed bag with six games instead of seven, thanks to the Covid-19 postponement of the game away at Aston Villa, in that the month began poorly, improved and then sadly tailed off.
Two wins in the FA Cup were most welcome, even if the first game against Rotherham proved much more of a struggle then we envisaged it might be, whilst there was no repeat of the 1966 Cup Final excitement as Sheffield Wednesday were brushed aside with relatively consummate ease – South Yorkshire opposition in both outings sent back across the Pennines with the Blues going forward to face Spurs in the fifth round, also at Goodison.
In the Premier League, we had decidedly mixed fortunes as West Ham came on New Years Day and took the points with a late winner having successfully nullified everything Everton could muster on the day, a classic David Moyes awayday performance. We bounced back with a good team showing at Wolves with Michael Keane topping another solid game at the back with a crunching header up front to secure the points. Leicester saw a point earned on a largely rearguard action as the midfield area was depleted with the absence of Allan injured and Doucoure suspended, James Rodriguez with a sublime strike with his weaker foot (does he have a weaker foot?) before an error from Jordan Pickford saw the Foxes draw level… and James Rodriguez apart, who was the victim of some agricultural attention from the Magpies, the less said about the home loss to Newcastle the better.
Consider the December victories over Chelsea and Arsenal where Everton had two thousand fans inside Goodison to support the team visa-vie the January games with fans missing due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions – even Carlo Ancelotti referred to this being a potential factor in only one point from nine at home to start the New Year.
January saw twenty players enjoy game time with five featuring in all six games, although due to the squad rotation for the FA Cup ties and a suspension, no player completed every minute. We bagged eight goals in those six games and also picked up nine bookings, Ben Godfrey and James Rodriguez with two apiece.
To the individual Man of the Match poll winners and the disappointing loss to West Ham saw Andre Gomes top the poll with Abdoulaye Doucoure taking pride of place after the struggle to dispose of Rotherham in the Cup. Mr.Consistency so far this season Michael Keane was a landslide winner of the poll for the win at Wolves, his game-winning header a terrific strike. With the Aston Villa fixture postponed due to Covid, the week off was put to good use for the remaining three games of January as James Rodriguez took centre stage with a completely one-sided vote for the comfortable Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday, he then edged out Keane and Godfrey for the Leicester game and was the only serious contender from the home loss to Newcastle – giving him a MotM three-peat.
As we always say, GrandOldTeam.com takes great pride in offering the quickest match report service and we encourage all Blues, everywhere to sign up to the forum and 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 – https://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 a very clear and we’ve no doubt at all, extremely popular winner.
In third place and maintaining his place in the top three for a second month… Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Continuing his excellent form forward for yet another month, second place goes to… Michael Keane.
After two runners-up places in earlier monthly vote totals, our runaway vote winner with over 32% for the month, the congratulations go to the GOT Player of the Month for January… James Rodriguez.