After chatting to him for our Opposition Opinion piece over the weekend, we’ve gained the thoughts of Everton fan Will Proud following our 2-1 win over the Toffees on Sunday.
Here’s what he had to say during out post-match chat, praising Wilson, Almiron and Murphy’s displays and explaining Pickford’s absence in a game he believes we deserved to win :
1) Thoughts on the game as a whole? Did the right team win?
“I definitely thought you created the better chances. We didn’t perform at anywhere near the standard we have set ourselves over the first 6 games of the season.
“Despite having 5 centre midfielders on the pitch, we seemed to find a way to lose the ball in the middle of the park an awful lot.
“We got it very wrong tactically whereas you seemed to execute your game plan very well.“
2) Give us the names of a few NUFC players who impressed you and why?
“Wilson was good, he took his chance well, created a lot and did well to win the penalty too.
“Almiron was better than I’ve seen him play too. He often seems to go missing in games that I’ve seen him but he caused problems for Kenny and the midfield.
“Jacob Murphy also played well out of position against Nkounkou.”
3) On the flip side, who in a black and white shirt didn’t impress you and why?
“I thought most of your players contributed to be fair, Saint-Maximin was quiet but Wilson and Almiron created enough going forward.
“I don’t think anyone didn’t impress, you had a game plan, executed it well and we didn’t do enough to cause anyone many problems.”
4) The penalty decision – Do you feel hard done by or did the referee / VAR make the right call?
“It would seem cheeky to have a dig at VAR after the breaks we got against Palace and Liverpool already this season!
“Wilson has bought the penalty little and I don’t think he was necessarily going to control the ball, but at end the end of the day, Gomes has kicked him in the penalty area.
“These days it’s always going to given as a penalty.“
5) Jordan Pickford was a big pre-match talking point on his return to the North-East. What did you make of him being dropped for the first time as an Everton player?
“I’m a little surprised that it didn’t come against Southampton last week, but I firmly believe that it was NOT due to the recent mistakes.
“The main factors in this are the death threats etc coming at his on social media, and the scrutiny from the papers following the Van Dijk tackle.
“He’s had to hire a bodyguard and I think Ancelotti has attempted to protect Pickford here, as shown by the fact he said before the game that Pickford would return in our next game vs Man Utd.
“He’s gone on to say since the game that it was just a matter of rotation.”
A fair assessment from Will, who clearly feels the better team won on Sunday, with us punishing a depleted Everton side in all areas.
His comments also shed some light on Pickford’s absence and some of the horrific abuse he’s faced since that Van Dijk incident.
The ex-Sunderland star deserved to be dropped based on his awful performances of late, however I’m sure we’ll all agree that death threats and the need for a personal bodyguard shows how toxic and ugly football can turn in this day and age.