How Everton Can Carry the Momentum into the Merseyside Derby

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during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England.

In one of the more exciting games of the season, Everton defeated Arsenal 2-1 at Goodison Park. After that thrilling victory, Eveton need to figure out how to take that momentum into the Merseyside Derby. Liverpool are a strong side, but they are dealing with a lot of injuries and goalkeeper Loris Karius is going through a bad run of form, so Everton will need to test him often. This game is available for the taking, only if they play it right.

Enner Valencia needs to play

Adding Enner Valencia to the side completely changed the way Everton played. He gave Romelu Lukaku a break in terms of winning aerial duels, and constantly bothered the defence with his energetic runs throughout his time on the pitch. Keeping him in the team could help Lukaku to become even more productive then he already is. Ronald Koeman would be smart to utilise more of a striker on the winger, preferably Valencia, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin would work too.

Integrate More Youth

Calvert-Lewin had some shaky moments, but overall it was a good debut. After all, him drawing two Arsenal defenders to mark him allowed Ashley Williams to score the winner. The youngster showed with his performance that he belongs in the squad, but Koeman shouldn’t stop with him. There are many more promising youngsters, like Tom Davies, ready to be integrated into the first team.

Start James McCarthy

The Arsenal game was James McCarthy’s best game in an Everton shirt in a long time, and maybe even in his career. If he can keep up those performances, there is no reason why he can’t be a great partner to Idrissa Gana Gueye and eventual Gareth Barry replacement. However, if Everton do get Morgan Schneiderlin he will find have to fight for his place in the squad. Still, he is a good place holder until they get Schneiderlin.

Phase Gareth Barry out of the team

Barry has been a dedicated player for Everton. While he still has plenty of mileage in his legs, he has lost a step. Barry just can’t keep up with the younger, athletic players. However, he can still play a vital role in mentoring Tom Davies and filling in in midfield when needed. That way, when he plays he will be ready to cope with everything thrown at him.

Semaus Coleman deserves the captain’s armband

When Everton were pressing for the goal, there was one player clearly urging his side to score. It wasn’t the current captain Phil Jagielka; it wasn’t the other captains Leighton Baines or Gareth Barry. It was right-back and Republic of Ireland skipper, Seamus Coleman. Especially with Jagielka missing the derby, he deserves the armband, even with Baines on the pitch. He is a model for the rest of the team, and has the attitude and determination managers dream of.

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