By Owen Parkes
Last night proved something: Everton are in the middle of a mid-season slump.
It happens. Let’s get over it and realise the positive trajectory the club have been going on under Marco Silva and his men.
Watford dominated proceedings, won the midfield battle with ease, and were physical and extremely difficult to keep the ball against. All of this, is just an indictment of the opponent we were facing as well as our own shaky form.
Watford are the best team to come to Goodison this season bar none. So whilst we critique the lads harshly, we should factor these aspects into the game…
Everton started adequately for me. Watford demonstrated their physical ways from the off, but the Blues seemed to cope respectably, and I though our left hand side in that first half, between Lucas Digne and Bernard, was great.
Bernard had some nice touches and Digne provided width well. Everton, then, broke the habit of a lifetime for the last couple of seasons and got that early goal.
A mile offside, Gomes found Richarlison who put it neatly in the corner. However, even then I felt we should have changed our system slightly.
Watford were having great joy winning the ball aerially and I would have liked Marco Silva at half time at the very least to put Kurt Zouma on to have three men dealing with the physicality of Deeney and Success.
But we never and Watford even in that first period still caused issue for Everton. Idrissa Gueye in particular, struggled to find a blue shirt, often giving it away cheaply to the pouncing Quina or Doucoure, who was magnificent last night.
Word in dispatches for Theo Walcott, whilst his form as well as Everton’s deteriorated in that second period, in the first half I though Walcott earned his place.
Then the dreaded second half. Marco Silva said at half time that it was important for Everton to get the next goal and be bullish fromthe start of the second period. He was right, and was also correct when he said Everton did the opposite.
From the get-go in the second half, Watford I would go as far as to say, bullied Everton. Gomes, who has been superb all season was anonymous. Gana continued his poor first half display, whilst Quina and Doucoure asserted their dominance on proceedings.
Either, we should have put Tom Davies on for additional energy in the centre of the park or Kurt Zouma should have been called upon to again add additional aggression and solidity to the unusually shaky Everton backline.
Pressure continued to pile however, and Watford got their just rewards. I haven’t looked back at these goals but I think it was Pereyra who broke into the box, released a shot, hit the post and Seamus Coleman as a spectator fumbled it in his own goal.
Heads went down and Watford got their second through Doucoure, Goodison was livid. Not long after, Everton earn a penalty. Sigurdsson takes and misses, heads go down further to the extent we become Burnley and start launching aimless long balls into the penalty area.
The last one does come to fruition however, Christian Kabasele drags our man to the floor outside the area where Lucas Digne bends one around the wall to equalise for Everton. Get that man on every set play. Digne has been outstanding for Everton this term and certainly a shout for our player of the year.
The final whistle went and that’s that.
Kevin Friend, may I add, was horrendous. As bad as Jon Moss at Old Trafford this season.
Anyway, I would rather not talk about the clueless refereeing in this country. Everton draw unfairly, the result leaves plenty to ponder, the only thing I can be sure of is that Marco Silva will find the answers, he has been brilliant this season and hopefully he can work his magic so we can gain something from Manchester City on Saturday.