By Ell Bretland
It may have been a seismic summer as Everton spent a huge £140million on players but the big names have been put to shame.
Bereft of ideas, laboured in their play and severely lacking form, it has not been a good start for the new arrivals and senior pros already at Goodison.
Instead, the youngsters have outdone and outfought them and shown the big boys how it’s done.
However, the problem remains, Ronald Koeman is still relucatant to give them the starts they deserve.
That must change. Now. Tipped as the future of Everton Football Club, Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jonjoe Kenny need to be the present. They have to be starting week-in, week-out.
Koeman needs to ignore reputations and price tags and pick the players who are delivering, the ones making the vital contributions to arrest the fall.
Against Bournemouth on Saturday, Oumar Niasse wrote his name into Everton folklore with a brace following his well-documented struggles and ostricisation but it was Davies, Calvert-Lewin and Kenny who dragged the Toffees over the line to victory when the more experienced heads proved a massive let down.
They did the basics well and showed the guile and ingenuity needed to win a Premier League football match.
These boys are men.
They’ve excelled this month and should be among the first names on the teamsheet, guaranteed starters.
Without them, the team lacks substance, balance and cohesion. It’s no coincidnce things clicked for Everton when all three were on the pitch.
Davies is bold and creative, the only midfielder currently able to pass forwards and make things happen.
He boasts a swagger and tenactiy that can not be wasted on the bench at a time when the team is lacking such confidence.
Calvert-Lewin, based on sheer determination and desire, put in a fine centre-forward display and was only lacking a goal to top off a stunning display. Well-liked by Koeman, it’s only now he is growing in stature, deployed in his best position having been shunted out wide.
Always an outlet, he’s strong, puts himself about and never stops running. Lost cause or not, DCL leaves it all out there on the field and is a battler of growing quality.
Kenny, meanwhile, is doing and saying things captains of this great football club have not for years.
The biggest victim of Koeman’s reluctance to start these lads from minute one, his brief cameos have caught the eye and shown us exactly what he is about.
‘We’re Everton, we shouldn’t be fearing no-one’ said the Scouser, the Evertonian, after we were paired with Chelsea in the next round of the Carabao Cup.
Three days later, he’s telling The Paddock to keep the ball with time ticking away and an important three points edging closer. Kenny has plenty of nous. There’s a leader in there. And a player, too. He can pass, cross, get forward, defend. He needs to play until Seamus Coleman’s return for sure.
The second goal against the Cherries, the winner, showed the young guns at their best.
Kenny, always positive and clever with the ball, played a diagonal pass into the feet of Calvert-Lewin who perfectly layed it to Davies who shot before it looped onto the head of the expectant Niasse.
Later, Calvert-Lewin and Davies expertly shielded the ball in the corner to run the clock down. They are clever players who know what to do. They can be trusted.
Football is all about relationshps, and having played together through the ranks, there are ready-made partnerships all over the pitch. As Davies and Niasse, who spent a spell in the reserves, alluded to, they know each others games inside out.
As well, they boast a winning mentality – Kenny and Calvert-Lewin lifted the Under-20 World Cup in the summer while the former captained Everton to the Premier League 2 title.
Forgot the level or standard, they know what it means to win silverware, which some of their more experienced team-mates do not.
Make no mistake though, Saturday was a victory for Under 23 boss David Unsworth. He has guided these lads and equipped them to be ready for Koeman’s team. Unsy himself is a future Everton manager in the making and deserves immense credit for preparing the young players for their first-team journey.
It is now upto Koeman to see what is infront of him and give these lads the reins to steer us back in the right direction. They are good enough so old enough.
Stars of the future for sure but their time should start now.