Swansea vs. Everton: 6 Things We Learned
Everton stunned Swansea on Saturday with a 3-0 victory to send the Toffees to second in the league.
David Moyes pointed out, "the performance was fabulous it really was," which has not always been something one can say about Everton at their best (via BBC).
Normally, Everton, at their best, tend to be dogged and committed, usually outworking the opposition, but this season is different as Moyes has developed an attractive, versatile side.
This match finally proved some things that many suspected after the opening couple of matches. Here are six of them.
Fellaini Holds the Biggest Attacking Aerial Threat in the League
Marouane Fellaini proved, against Swansea, why he should be considered the most potent aerial threat in the Premier League.
The Belgian scored, with a brilliant header, to ice the match in the second half, preventing Swansea from mounting a spirited comeback, which seemed inevitable, even with 10 men.
It was not so much the difficulty of the header that was so amazing, at the moment of contact Ashley Williams had afforded him half a yard of space, but it is how the former Standard Liege star moves in the area to find this space.
For such a big man, standing at 1.94 meters, Fellaini holds a significant advantage from the get-go.
The most impressive thing about Fellaini in the air is his ability to realign his body when the cross is not perfect.
Look for Fellaini to score plenty more headers this season.
Everton Can Qualify for Europe
Goodison Park is always a tough ground for the away side, often hostile with their boisterous fans, it can be a real fortress for the Toffees.
This match added something more to Everton—a newfound belief that they can pick up points on the road, something that has regularly troubled them.
When you combine these two on a team that already possesses significant talent, it feels like European qualification is an achievable target this year.
David Moyes pointed out that this good start can be a trigger for Everton's form for the rest of the season, the Scotsman explained (per BBC), "the one year we got off to a good start we qualified for the Champions League."
Kevin Mirallas Will Be a Real Bargain for the Toffees
Kevin Mirallas might feel a little aggrieved that he didn't pick up the man of the match award, with Marouane Fellaini edging him out on this occasion.
The former Olympiakos star has hit the ground running with Everton, providing a versatile attacking threat to fit into David Moyes' plans seamlessly.
Due to being able to play in any advanced position, wide or centrally, Mirallas will be given plenty of opportunities this season.
The Belgian international scored a tremendous goal against Swansea, and although the final finish was simple, the movement to find the space and stay onside was impressive.
Moreover, Mirallas was unfortunate not to have finished the match much earlier than his compatriot Fellaini did, when he curled a beautiful shot from the edge of the area onto the bar, with Michel Vorm helpless.
At £5.3 million and considering he is just 24 years old, Moyes has found himself a real bargain, and he knows it.
Laudrup Must Provide Competition for Williams
Michael Laudrup might have a problem on his hands, as Ashley Williams' form is beginning to become more than a concern.
The Welsh international enjoyed a superb season under Brendan Rodgers last year but has stuttered since the Dane took over as manager, making a series of calamitous errors.
On several occasions, Williams has under hit back-passes to his goalkeeper, leaving Michel Vorm completely exposed.
Moreover, Williams has shown his reactions are not what they were, failing to react quick enough to a poor Wayne Routledge pass and allowing Victor Anichebe a clean run at goal, eventually fouling the Nigerian forward before he could get a shot on goal.
Kyle Bartley, Alan Tate and Gary Monk are simply not going to threaten his position in the side, and it feels like Williams has entered a comfort zone at the club.
It would not surprise me if Swansea dip into the transfer market in January to reinforce this position and provide greater competition.
Alan Tate Is a Contender for the Worst Player in the Premier League
Alan Tate had a miserable Saturday afternoon as Victor Anichebe single-handedly destroyed the Swansea veteran.
Filling in for the suspended Chico Flores, Tate was unable to successfully mark Everton's Nigerian striker, either getting too close or allowing him too much space.
Tate, who was injured for much of last season, might have to wait a while for his next opportunity in the first team if Michael Laudrup knows what is good for the Swans.
The former Manchester United player was put out of his misery after 54 minutes, probably to his relief.
Jelavic Might Struggle to Win His Place Back from Anichebe
Victor Anichebe has enjoyed a remarkable week, scoring twice in five days.
The Nigerian was unfortunate not to have scored another goal when his header was not adjudged to have crossed the line against Newcastle, despite replays proving the opposite was true.
Anichebe is so powerful and dominant when he is motivated, but David Moyes has often struggled to bring out the best of him on a regular basis.
This week has shown us a glimpse of the potential that Anichebe holds, after two sensational displays against solid Premier League opponents which led to many comparing him to Didier Drogba.
The Toffees look most effective when they are deployed in a 4-3-3 formation, allowing Stephan Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas the freedom to drift where they please.
With this in mind, it appears unlikely that Moyes would use both Jelavic and Anichebe from the start, so if the Nigerian can continue this remarkable form, Jelavic will have to wait for his chance to start again.
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