Everton take on Bolton today at 3 pm ET. Mid-week games are a pain here when you are driving a desk, so I’ll be checking in with the BBC’s text commentary occasionally for the score in this and the Man Utd game. When United are playing, why would I blog about Everton, the perenial mid-table, competent outfit.
Because their left back, Leighton Baines, is their joint top scorer at present! Three goals in half a season is a respectable tally for a full back, but it is pitiful that none of Everton’s striking options have surpassed this number. Louis Saha has been shouldering the burden… though not particularly well. He has one league goal and one in the cup. Understudy Apostolos Vellios has fared better with three goals in 11 league matches. Everton have scored just 19 goals this season in the BPL! This puts them on a par with West Brom and QPR, and only slightly ahead of Wigan. Yet, thanks to the tight ship Moyes is running in other areas of the field, they are comfortably mid-table. Win their two games in hand and they’ll go 8th and be back in the hunt for a European berth.
Goals are a massive problem for the Toffees. It can’t all be blamed on the stirkers of course, they’ve lost significant creativity in the middle of the park. Losing Mikel Arteta as a chief architect of attacking play has not helped, and Tim Cahill, who brings boundless energy to the midfield and a fox in the box himself, has had some injury problems that he seems to be playing through.
Enter Landon Donovan, fresh from his title clinching goal in last year’s MLS Cup Final. Last time out for Everton he weighed in with just two goals in 13 appearances but they got bags more from him in link-up play and general work ethic. He’s an all-round forward per se as opposed to an out and out goal scorer – a grafter, but also a playmaker, and the U.S. all-time leader in assists. But this time around, with no striker amassing a meaningful count, David Moyes will be hoping Donovan can not just oil the cogs for Saha and co, but improve his own goal tally from his last stint as well.
It will be interesting to see if he can start with a bang against Bolton today.