Everton supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side record a third successive Premier League victory at the weekend.
Marco Silva’s men went into their encounter with Crystal Palace off the back of wins over Fulham and Leicester City just prior to the international break, and thus full of confidence ahead of the visit of Roy Hodgson’s lowly Eagles. Yet it took the Toffees until three minutes from time to break the deadlock at Goodison Park, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin heading home before Cenk Tosun added a second soon after to seal a 2-0 success for the home side, in turn moving them up to eighth place in the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many delighted Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been looking back at the excellent substitutions made by manager Silva, what with Calvert-Lewin and Tosun coming on to score, and Ademola Lookman providing the cross for the former to head home.
As such, if Sunday taught us anything about where Everton are at presently, it’s that manager Silva desperately needs to axe Theo Walcott from his starting line-up.
Ultimately, the England international has made a bright start to life at Goodison Park since his move from Arsenal back in January of this year, scoring three goals and laying on three assists in 13 Premier League appearances for the Toffees in the second half of last season.
And he started this season quickly as well with goals against Southampton and Bournemouth back in August, yet things have since tailed off for the 29-year-old to suggest that his place in the side should be under threat.
Since that strike in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth back on August 25, Walcott has failed to score in six league starts and in that time has managed to lay on just one assist – and in a side that were scoring goals for fun during pre-season, that simply isn’t good enough.
What’s more, summer signing Bernard is slowly but surely beginning to find his feet in English football to give Silva another option down the flanks, while Tosun’s second goal in three games could prompt the Everton boss to move Richarlison back out wide having tried him in the number nine position in the last few weeks.
Add in the fact that Lookman did more in his short eight-minute cameo against Palace than Walcott did in the preceding 82, and the latter must surely be vulnerable to losing his starting position against Manchester United next weekend.
Yes, it must be noted that right back Seamus Coleman didn’t help Walcott out too readily over the course of the match, but on the whole the 29-year-old found it difficult to create anything meaningful and really struggled to get into the game.
And his second half miss with the score at 0-0 probably summed up Walcott’s performance, as the winger had just Wayne Hennessey to beat, and probably would have done so a few weeks ago, only to strike it straight at the goalkeeper – it was a strike that lacked conviction.
Thus, while Toffees fans will rightly be praising a fine performance from their side, the sheer fact that it took Silva’s three substitutes to change the game underlines that those that started simply didn’t do enough, with £18 million-rated Walcott (as per Transfermarkt) probably the biggest example of that.
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