Andre Gomes capped off a fine debut performance for Everton last weekend by being the first Everton midfielder in just over a year and a half to successfully play a forward pass.
Morgan Schneiderlin Mark I was the last player to achieve such a feat, though his pass was possibly accidental. It was also an act never to be repeated, as the pre-season upgrade to the Schneiderlin Mark II model disabled the forward pass feature along with the settings for effort, desire and ability.
This weekend’s trip to Manchester will give the bearded Portuguese heartthrob a chance to repeat the feat, and the apathetic Frenchman a slim chance of warming the bench – if that also isn’t too much trouble for him.
It’s been revealed that ‘fear of being loaned to Stoke’ is the key reason behind Everton’s apparent upturn in form.
Several of last seasons under-performers, including Morgan Schneiderlin, have put in noticeably better performances so far this season. The Frenchman confirmed:
“I was putting in a shift in against Southampton. Thankfully, I got injured after 20 minutes so I didn’t have to do it for the whole game – but for at least 20 minutes I was almost jogging about. The thought of having to play in front of Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina for another season terrified me.”
It’s rumoured that Marco Silva and Marcel Brands intend to put even more pressure on some of the fringe players this week. Talk that they’re prepared to go as far as threatening them with having to play under Tony Pulis at Middlesbrough should not be taken lightly by anyone on the clubs’ books.
Kevin Mirallas is trying to force his way into Marco Silva’s plans by putting in a series of good pre-season performances.
The Belgian snake (30) has also been muscling his way onto free-kick duties, and is relishing stealing the next penalty kick, whilst our spineless captain watches on in silence.
The pattern of a handful of decent performances followed by a period of sulking and down-tooling, is of course textbook Mirallas. However, it is not clear this time what his motivation is. Having arrived in Athens to a returning hero’s welcome, only to be chased back to the airport a few months later by a mob of seething Greeks, another dream-move to Olympiakos is no longer on the cards. Whilst Everton themselves are already well-stocked in the non-prolific striker and inconsistent winger departments.
Rumours around Finch Farm suggest that his motivation relates to a wager he is having with the equally ophidian Morgan Schneiderlin.