west brom – match report vs everton 19/09/20

In the second game week of the premier league season, Everton hosted West Brom and both teams were unchanged in formation and personnel from the opening weekend. Everton played a 433 formation with their new look midfield, and West Brom lined up in a 541 formation – West Brom played well in this game which was down to being able to get around the outside of Everton’s three man midfield compared to last week against Leicester’s wide five man midfield. New West Brom signing Grady Diangana opened the scoring with a rocket before Everton turned it around before half time; Kieran Gibbs then had a moment of madness and was sent off for violent conduct just after the goal. The baggies equalised just after the break, but the one-man advantage was a huge benefit for Everton who ran out 5-2 winners.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for their level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Grady Diangana

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 19/04/1998
  • Current Club: West Brom
  • Career: West Ham, West Brom
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Diangana signed for West Brom from West Ham this summer and it caused hammers captain Mark Noble to take to twitter and publicly praise Diangana and he said Diangana has a great future. He isn’t wrong. Diangana was electric throughout the game and looked West Brom’s most dangerous attacking threat, his best asset was his dribbling and ball control. Diangana very much suited West Brom’s counter attacking style, he had great pace which was utilised well on the break but when Everton were in their defensive structure he was also useful on the left hand wing, keeping his width well. He was very comfortable on the ball and never panicked when he became surrounded by opposition players as he had the technical skills to play a pass or dribble his way out of danger. The young winger’s close control also enabled him to win fouls when there was no other options on and when there was no teammates around to support him, Diangana used multiple parts of the feet to dribble whether this would be the outside of the boot, instep or sole. Either way his quick feet made it a nightmare for defenders to defend against. Moreover, Diangana’s acceleration was another asset and enabled him to slow down the play, front up the defender 1 v 1, then use his acceleration to skip away from the defender with ease, whilst also speeding up the tempo of the game. Diangana also had a couple of skills in his locker, including a lovely flick over Doucouré when the ball came to him close to his own box which showed his confidence. Diangana also showed great shooting technique; he had a shot with his stronger left foot in the opening minutes when the ball was rolling towards him but he failed to get enough power on the difficult shot. However, his shot for his goal was extremely well hit. Diangana picked the ball up on the counter in his own half and dribbled 40 yards with no defenders closing him down, he was always looking to play a pass to one of the support runners but in the end he shot with his left foot outside of the box and the shot had great pace and dip which left Pickford with not much chance to save it.

Defensively, Diangana was inconsistent. Him and Matheus Pereira had lots of defensive duties during the game, both wingers screened very well and tracked the Everton fullbacks throughout the game but Diangana did fall asleep a couple of times which ended up costing a goal; Diangana failed to follow his man when Everton played a nice one-two around him which led to a goal. Diangana’s defensive lapse in concentration can’t take away from his incredible electric performance. He was the baggies’ biggest threat and they will need him to play well to boost their survival hopes.

Rating – A1

Matheus Pereira

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Brazilian / Portuguese
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 05/05/1996
  • Current Club: West Brom
  • Career: Sporting CP, Chaves (L), Nuremberg (L), West Brom
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Pereira lined up on the right wing for West Brom and he looked like a more mature version of Diangana, they both look like they will cause the opposition problems throughout this season. The majority of the ball for West Brom in the first half was on the opposite side to Pereira, this led to the Brazilian almost playing as a number 10 in the first half as he always wanted the ball and had to come in from his wing to receive it. Pereira looked dangerous when he found small pockets of space in between the lines and it was a shame his teammates didn’t find him more as he showed lots of willingness to try and get on the ball and effect the game. Pereira also had nice close ball control like Diangana and was comfortable whether he released the ball to a teammate or kept hold of the ball. Pereira’s technical skills was clear to see and this was exemplified by his inch perfect free kick which he won himself with some slick nimble footwork that was too quick for the Everton defender to deal with. On the other hand, I did have concerns about Pereira’s weaker right foot, he dribbled mainly with his left foot and avoided passing on his right foot as much as possible which limits his possibilities when coming up against a defender 1 on 1.

Pereira was very impressive on the defensive side of the game. Whenever he or a teammate lost possession, he energetically pressed if he was close to the Everton player in possession which was effective a lot of the time, however it sometimes left his right hand side exposed and was sometimes exploited by Everton – West Brom needed to press more as a team to make Pereira’s efforts worthwhile but Pereira’s defensive willingness was good to see. He kept tabs well on Lucas Digne all game and screened very well during the game. His defensive effort was summed up when he chased back and disposed an Everton player using good strength which led to him winning the freekick for his exceptional goal.

Overall, this was a mature performance from Pereira who would have preferred more of the ball at his feet rather than having to defend, but he showed great work rate and looked dangerous when he was on the ball and is a very similar player to Diangana. His lack of a right foot is worrying and this needs to improve if he is to become more dangerous or move to a better team. Him and Diangana were both taken off on 70 minutes after Everton scored their 5th goal for damage limitation.

Rating – A2

Dara O’Shea

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Irish
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 04/03/1999
  • Current Club: West Brom
  • Career: St. Kevins Boys (Y), West Brom, Hereford (L), Exeter (L), West Brom
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Right / Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

O’Shea lined up as a left centre-back in a back five in the first half of this game but then he switched to left back in the second half due to the West Brom red card and change in formation, despite O’Shea being right footed which shows good versatility. O’Shea has a very tall slim build which helps him aerially and this was his biggest strength, he was very comfortable in the air and didn’t have to put much effort in to win headers. However, O’Shea made a poor headed clearance when Dominic Calvert-Lewin applied pressure to an aerial duel as he failed to get much distance on the header in the penalty box which resulted in an Everton chance. Moreover, O’Shea showed a lack of concentration when he lost his man on a corner and it should have resulted in a goal. He also headed a long ball out for a corner when there was no pressure on him, but this may have been down to a lack of communication from his teammates.

O’Shea’s defensive technique was very good as he had to deal with a lot of 1v1’s in the second half when he was at left back, even 5-2 down he still got out to the attacker quickly and put in maximum effort. Considering his tall frame, O’Shea jockeyed well and managed to stay low when jockeying. He didn’t allow the attacker too much space and when he was retreating into his penalty box he put in a couple of well timed standing challenges; without his good defending Everton would have created a lot more chances. O’Shea grew into the game and seemed more confident and relaxed in his defensive duties when the game was gone. His positioning improved as he headed several long balls back to the keeper and was in good positions to snuff out cross field passes. O’Shea wasn’t afraid to come out of the defensive line and follow his man, applying physical pressure making it hard for the attacker to keep control of the ball.

Overall, O’Shea’s second half performance was very good and his mistakes will hopefully be eliminated from his game as he gains more experience in the premier league. I was surprised he only played 16 time last season in the championship as his second half performance was very mature, he also played a lovely cross field pass that was inch perfect but apart from that pass he didn’t get on the ball much.

Rating – B1

Darnell Furlong

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 31/10/1995
  • Current Club: West Brom
  • Career: QPR, Northampton (L), Cambridge (L), Swindon (L), West Brom
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Similarly to O’Shea, Furlong started nervously to this game and seemed vulnerable defensively. Furlong was bypassed very easily throughout the first half despite having good protection from Pereira. Everton had most of their joy down his side as Furlong applied little pressure to the Everton player on the ball which enabled easy passes to be made around him, on the inside and outside of him. The right back was more solid defensively in the second half, his positioning was better, and he was slightly closer to his man, blocking a cross and making passes around him harder for the Everton players to make.

Furlong was technically poor on the ball. The ball got stuck under his feet due to a poor touch which led to an even poorer pass. His touch let him down again in an attacking position as Furlong had to cross the ball with his weaker left foot due to his poor touch, the cross itself was floated but accurate and led to a chance. Furlong put in another floated cross on his stronger right foot but it was far too deep and inaccurate. In the second half, Furlong had slightly more freedom going forward as his right hand side saw more of the ball, he made a nice overlapping run and put a cross in, he also linked up well with Pereira demonstrating solid passing ability.

Overall, Furlong’s defensive positioning was poor, and his defensive qualities were not Premier League standard. Furlong showed glimpses of attacking potential, he needs to link up better with Pereira which will improve Pereira’s performance as well and will really help West Brom going forward.

Rating – C

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