Does Hughes Have A Selection Dilemma For The Chelsea Game ?
Wednesday, 3rd Oct 2018 10:42
The win albeit on penalties up at Goodison Park has raised questions as whether the changes Mark Hughes made will make him think about his line up on Sunday against Chelsea, here we take a look.
Speaking after the win on Merseyside Hughes said.
“We restricted a good Everton team to very few chances and kept the crowd quiet, which is always important when you come here. That was a consequence of retaining good control of a game that if you allow Everton a head of steam then it’s difficult to stop them, as we found at the end of the game."
“For the most part there was real determination to what we were trying to do.
“A number of guys came into the team having been out for the start of the season and hadn’t had much game time, certainly the guys at the back, and credit to them.
“It is important to keep your focus and be engaged in what the team’s doing and what information is being given out and be focused on what we are trying to achieve and if you do that you can come in and make an impact and do well for the team.
“Everyone who came in tonight did that.”
“I always have had options. I have always known that but it’s always about getting the options right on the pitch.
“I needed to give good time to good professionals but also be able to look at a number of things that I think might help us. We have been able to tick a lot of boxes, the main one being that we have progressed in the competition.”
Now Hughes has to look at those who came in and question whether they can offer more than those they replaced at Goodison, he also has to take into account that this was also not a full strength Everton side and playing Chelsea will be a lot tougher.
So lets take a look at those who came in and whether they should play on Sunday.
Angus Gunn. Possibly man of the match as he made several smart stops during the game and followed that up with a penalty save in the shoot out, didn't do anything wrong but Alex McCarthy had a good game against Wolves as well, Gunn I think will be first choice sometime this season I don't think it will be just yet, but the competition is good.
Jack Stephens. Nearly scored and this was a game that suited him, however I think he is too down in the pecking order to be picked on Sunday.
Yoshida. This was his chance to show that he can step into the central defence, I don't think he took it, although he was tight for most of the game, he made a poor challenge that led to the Everton goal and also hit a short back pass that Gunn did well to get off his line and clear, an older slower keeper might not have saved Yoshida's blushes, so all in all didn't suggest that he would be better than Hoedt or Vestergaard apart from perhaps in his enthusiasm.
Jan Bednarek. Again like Yoshida this was his chance, for the goal when Everton played the ball he was caught napping and like the poor attempted header the goal had all the hallmarks of our usual sloppily conceded goals, in fairness he is inexperienced and suddenly asked to play alongside those who are not leaders, like Yoshida unless we revert to a back three on Sunday which we might I don't think he will get in, if we do then interesting to see if it will be him or Yoshida get the nod.
Matt Targett. Again showed he has the composure needed at Premier league level and that he can pass a ball, but I think he will be on the bench again on Sunday.
Manolo Gabbiadini. He works hard, but truthfully he is not suited to our style of play, he needs someone to lay balls into the channels for him from the centre of midfield, but we have no one who can do that so he is reliant on scraps in the goalmouth. Those who say Long is not worth a game because as a striker he has scored only twice in the last year conveniently forget that since last October Gabbi has only netted twice himself, the difference is that Long is suited to our style and can battle and hold up balls.
So In conclusion I would not expect much change in the side from the six players who came in last night, I think though that Hughes may consider playing three at the back in which case there will be an opportunity for either Yoshida or Bednarek.
That being the case then we may see a more condensed line up with Lemina, Romeu & Hojbjerg forming a central three flanked by Bertrand and Cedric as Wing backs and an attacking pair of Redmond and Ings.
Hughes is right he has got plenty of options, his problem is that although he has often got the starting line up right, his changes have means that the tempo has changed and that has meant we have conceded late goals, that was the case last night when we took off a striker and brought on a midfielder and lost momentum allowing Everton to push on.
Hard for Hughes in that on paper he is making the sensible substitutions, but it just not working out yet.
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