Lukaku’s life in Manchester has been set at a blistering pace so far. 8 goals from 8 games (5 from 6 in the Premier League, making him joint top scorer) and a chant not everyone is happy with has rather overshadowed his form at his old club and his old club’s form without him. So, how are The Toffees? Mediocre. Their results against the ‘Big 6’ aren’t particularly surprising when compared with last year and their horrible run of fixtures at the beginning of the season is coming towards its end. But the performances are worrying. They were obliterated by Spurs in a game which could have been anywhere from the 3-0 it was to 10-0. They collapsed late on against United, allowing their former main man to score. They were comfortably beaten by a Chelsea who were recovering from a shock defeat to Burnley. They did muster a draw against City, but the light blue side of Manchester’s football misfired all day and hadn’t hit the ridiculous form they are becoming known for yet.
The long and short of it is that the money spent on improving the squad everywhere, but the striking role didn’t work. Sandro was proficient in La Liga and a steal at £5.5m, but he will never replace Lukaku or allow Everton to mimic the football they played last season. The youngster they got ripped off for from Hajduk Split (I can’t even remember his name) cost £10m, but will likely not come good for 2-3 seasons. Players at the club already are making their claims and whilst, Calvert-Lewin is a player with huge potential, he isn’t Lukaku in strength and can’t fulfil his role. Niasse is undoubtedly the closest thing at the club that Everton have to a replacement, but I’ve seen very little of him and can’t sufficiently judge. Probably, because the man’s been shafted by Koeman until just this week, where he scored 2.
So, as it stands what is the problem for Everton? Pace, or rather a lack of it. Rooney and Sigurdsson can perform as the technical masters they are, but without a reliable, pacey target to target on the counter or a strong man to aim for, then they’re basically useless. And that’s what Lukaku gave them in one player. Everton were so busy improving the rest of their squad with the Lukaku money, that they kind of just forgot to replace him sufficiently. Honestly, the reason I’m writing this is, because Everton’s situation is so intriguing. They spent a lot of money and were meant to be catching the Big 6. This was to be a year of progress. Instead, they have been massacred by most of the 6 they have faced and their wins over Stoke and Bournemouth weren’t convincing. Combined with what can only be a disaster return to Europe against Atalanta and the future looks gloomy without the large presence of Lukaku. Who knows though? Niasse could fix their problems partially and they may make it to January without their chances of retaining their 7th placed trophy being too badly damaged.
Let me know what you think of Everton so far this season. Can they improve or are they destined for the promised land of mid-table mediocrity? Is anyone at the club good enough to even partially fill Lukaku’s shoes? And who’s at fault for their poor start to the season?