Everton: Full Report Card for Every Position for August

Matt CheethamCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2014

Everton: Full Report Card for Every Position for August

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    Roberto Martinez's second season at Everton has started much like his first, without a win in three unconvincing performances.

    The Toffees have squandered leads against Leicester City and Arsenal, and suffered an embarrassing 6-3 mauling at the hands of Chelsea.

    Much like last year, Martinez will hope his squad can find their fluency after the international break, and accelerate what's been a pedestrian-paced start to the season.

    Here's a look back at every Everton players' contribution in August, graded A+ (excellent) down to E (awful) and only including those to take the field.

Goalkeepers

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    Tim Howard

    Appearances: 3

    Saves/Conceded: 4/10

    Grade: D+

    Tim Howard's exceptional form during Martinez's first season at Everton was generally understated. He made several key saves to preserve narrow leads and carried that form on to the World Cup. So far, he seems to have left that high level in Brazil.

    While the American hasn't made any glaring errors, he's been passed far too easily, conceding 10 of 14 shots on target—a far cry from his remarkable 15 saves in the World Cup Round of 16.

    He was also fortunate to avoid a red card against Chelsea.

Full-Backs

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    Seamus Coleman

    Appearances: 2 (+1 sub)

    Goals/Assists: 1/1

    Grade: C+

    Seamus Coleman sat out most of the 2-2 draw with Leicester, returning to full fitness to face Arsenal. After a sloppy first few touches, Everton's reigning Player of the Year opened the scoring with a back-post header and added an assist in the defeat to Chelsea.

    Goals can often inflate a defender's rating and Coleman will be disappointed with his defensive showings thus far. Both Arsenal goals came from his flank and, as with most of Everton's back line, he was unusually inconsistent against Chelsea.

     

    Leighton Baines

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 0/1

    Grade: B

    As with Coleman, Baines added an assist against Chelsea and has been typically prominent in attack, causing Leicester particular problems down Everton's left. He grades slightly higher than Coleman for his defensive work, which has been marginally more reliable.

    Everton's left has been less porous than the right-hand side and Baines kept Willian, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain relatively quiet during his individual match ups.

     

    John Stones

    Appearances: 1

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: D

    A 'D' may seem harsh but Stones' only involvement was against Leicester. Initially playing out of position at right-back, the youngster struggled to add any threat in attack and seemed hesitant in his positioning at the back.

    He finished the game as part of a three-man defence and was caught out for Leicester's winner, leaving Chris Wood free to slot home an equaliser.

Centre-Backs

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    Phil Jagielka

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: E

    Phil Jagielka has been a shadow of his best during Everton's opening three games. He was repeatedly torn apart by Chelsea's Diego Costa and failed to rouse his defence against either Leicester or Arsenal.

    He has undoubtedly been Everton's worst player in August, but any notion that the England man is past it or has lost his legs is far too much of a knee-jerk reaction.

    He's in miserable form, undoubtedly, and may need a spell on the sidelines to recuperate; doubting his class, however, seems overly premature.

     

    Sylvain Distin

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: E+

    As with Jagielka, Sylvain Distin has started the season in surprisingly poor form, as part of a defensive line that's shipped 10 goals in just three games.

    The Frenchman was not as dire as Jagielka was against Chelsea, but found himself badly beaten by Olivier Giroud as Arsenal scored their equaliser. He also cleared poorly to gift Leicester their opening goal.

Central Midfielders

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    Gareth Barry

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 0/1

    Grade: C

    The Toffees' Mr Reliable from last season is yet to find his feet in his first season as an official Everton player. He was unable to get anywhere near Cesc Fabregas against Chelsea, as the former Arsenal man repeatedly found openings in front of the defence.

    While his side attacked well in that match, Barry is yet to bring the control he added to Everton's possession game last season.

     

    James McCarthy

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: B

    James McCarthy was one of Everton's better players during the opening two games but drops a grade for a woeful display against Chelsea.

    He was uncharacteristically exposed by the Londoners' midfield on regular occasions: overpowered by Nemanja Matic and frequently bypassed by Eden Hazard's runs or Fabregas' passes.

     

    Leon Osman

    Appearances: 0 (1)

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: C+

    After being the only Everton player to feature in every game last season, Leon Osman has struggled for minutes this campaign.

    His only appearance came as an early substitute against Arsenal, where he was solid if unspectacular.

     

    Muhamed Besic

    Appearances: 0 (1)

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: E

    This will seem harsh but Muhamed Besic will still be cringing about his minute-long appearance this season.

    One overly ambitious back-heel played in Diego Costa for Chelsea's sixth and left the Bosnian red faced on debut. There will be far better to come

Wide Midfielders/Attackers

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    Steven Pienaar

    Appearances: 2

    Goals/Assists: 0/1

    Grade: B+

    Following a disrupted previous campaign, Steven Pienaar reintroduced himself to Evertonians against Leicester.

    Anyone that had forgotten his influence was quickly reminded as he linked up well with Baines and organised most of the Toffees' attacking interplay. The fact he was injured early on against Arsenal and unavailable to face Chelsea was a huge blow to his manager.

     

    Aiden McGeady

    Appearances: 2 (1)

    Goals/Assists: 1/1

    Grade: B

    Aiden McGeady has been typically hot and cold this season, scoring the Toffees' opening goal of the season with a sublime strike against Leicester.

    He was a little frustrating for the rest of that match and was then subdued against Arsenal before making his strongest and most complete contribution against Chelsea, which included a clever assist.

     

    Kevin Mirallas

    Appearances: 2 (1)

    Goals/Assists: 1/0

    Grade: B+

    Having missed every summer friendly, Kevin Mirallas started the season on the bench against Leicester. He appeared late on, presumably preserved for the crunch games with Arsenal and Chelsea, where he was one of Martinez's leading performers.

    The Catalan predominately used Mirallas on the left in both games, and he's seemed far more dangerous cutting in on his right foot.

     

    Christian Atsu

    Appearances: 0 (1)

    Goals/Assists: 0/0

    Grade: C

    Everton's Chelsea loanee made just a fleeting appearance against Arsenal, coming on moments before the Gunners equalised.

Forwards

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    Romelu Lukaku

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 0/1

    Grade: C+

    As with Mirallas, Lukaku missed all of pre-season and was hurried back for the Toffees' opening game with Leicester.

    The Belgian is yet to look anything like as sharp as he did last season but still laid off an impressive assist for Steven Naismith's goal against Arsenal. He will benefit from opting to stay at Everton instead of traipsing off on international duty.

     


    Steven Naismith

    Appearances: 3

    Goals/Assists: 3/0

    Grade: A+

    Naismith has been Everton's best player in August. The Scotland international has scored in every game and has combined well with his side's attacking midfielders.

    Playing as a striker (against Arsenal) or just behind the front man, Naismith has compensated for the loss of Ross Barkley and is in the best form of his Everton career, appearing lethal in front of goal.

     

    Samuel Eto'o

    Appearances: 0 (1)

    Goals/Assists: 1/0

    Grade: A

    While it's a very small sample size, it's impossible to fault Samuel Eto'o's 20 minutes as an Everton player.

    He strode onto the pitch to score after six minutes against Chelsea and showed his class with some neat touches and intelligent runs.

     

    Statistics via WhoScored.com.