Everton 3 Leeds 0: Five ways Toffees lifted the Goodison gloom

Everton (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) /

Out of favour players deliver inspirational performances

2. Iwobi and Kenny

The two surprises that Lampard sprung in his line up would normally deliver dread and fear into the Everton fans. But as we have just explained, things were a little different at Goodison Park against Leeds on Saturday.

We all knew someone would have to cover at left back and Lampard chose this to be Kenny, not a massive surprise with the managers admission that Nathan Patterson is still adjusting to getting involved with the first team.

However against Leeds this would mean the task of tackling and shackling the dangerman Raphinha on Leeds’ right hand side. This is more dangerous with Luke Ayling overlapping from behind.

From minute one with the crowd possessed to will an Everton tackle, never mind a goal, this suited Kenny’s all action defensive play. Against Aston Villa three weeks ago Kenny was abject and conservative in his forward movements especially. Here in the first ten minutes he had already visited the Leeds byline and been in the opposition half more than he did against Villa.

Tactically I think Kenny is suited to a wing back role better than a normal full back role and in the first half with Everton pushed up he was playing more in this type of role. Also if Kenny is given a specific role like shackling Raphinha then he does apply himself more. Against Villa he looked a bit lost as they only play the full backs in a wide role.

Kenny hassled, tackled, got involved in the forward play and even roamed into midfield at one point with the ball. It was an all action display and one worthy of Lampard entrusting him with this key role.

Iwobi was even more of a surprise on the team sheet at 2pm, most would have thought Lampard would stick with Townsend in a more forward role than Tuesday or play Dele Alli in an inside forward role.

Iwobi last started a Premier League in December and in a game at Wolves in November he was woeful despite getting Everton’s goal, hence why Gordon has had a great opportunity to show what he can do.

At the African Nations Cup, which Iwobi was away for most of the last month, hardly helped his confidence with not much football time and then a sending off which cost Nigeria in the Last 16 game as they went out.

However with Lampard at the helm and more front foot positive football, unlike under Rafa Benitez and to an extent Carlo Ancelotti, Iwobi actually revelled in a more free role down the right but able to move inside at will.

Everton fans would question his work rate however, not in this game, but why he couldn’t produce that in previous games.

He worked and ran as much as anyone, created chances and produced more tackles than I can ever remember in an Everton shirt. Even a late tackle and a yellow card was cheered by the crowd as it was nearing the end of the game and showed desire to break up a possible Leeds breakaway.

Linking up with the forwards in front and pivoting play with Van De Beek and Allan in midfield, Iwobi was key to this victory. Also his hold up play enabled play to develop and give time to Seamus Coleman to join the attack and get the all important first goal.

Iwobi’s stats were by far the best he has produced for Everton, which are in the tweet below:

For both Iwobi and Kenny it is a massive shot of confidence for them and brings them into contention to assist the fight to stay up for the rest of the season.

Certainly, even with other players fit again soon on this form, they would be trusted more with say a start in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup against Boreham Wood, than you would have thought a month ago.

Credit to them both for getting into the spirit of the occasion and Lampard’s instructions. They have set a bar for future performances now, if they can keep this up then maybe they have a future at Goodison Park.