Frank Lampard will be delighted with how far his team have come since the difficult relegation scrap at the bottom of the table earlier this year and the eight new signings have certainly contributed to the new-found consistency in the team.
Despite having less possession (46%) and fewer shots on goal, Everton displayed their resilience and quality in the moments when it was needed the most against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side on Saturday afternoon.
It was a quiet first half in the game at St Mary’s with neither side finding the goal needed to break the stalemate. However, in the second half both teams came to life with the Toffees delivering a comeback that has led them to 11th in the Premier League table.
Joe Aribo found the first goal to give the home team the lead in the early stages of the second half, but it wasn’t long before Conor Coady found the equaliser in the 52nd minute quickly followed up by a winner from Dwight McNeil just two minutes later.
There was one player though who proved to the Everton manager that Dominic Calvert-Lewin can’t come back soon enough, as Neal Maupay found life difficult throughout the clash with Southampton.
Over his 89 minute appearance, the former Brighton and Hove Albion striker lost the ball every 2.8 touches, made just 15 passes and failed to complete a single dribble attempt, proving that he didn’t offer enough when in possession of the ball.
The Frenchman has had a tricky start to life at Goodison Park, scoring just once so far in the win over West Ham before the international break. In the two matches either side of that, however, he has been disappointing, winning just 37.5% of his physical duels, a terrible tally for someone usually such a bullish customer up top.
Indeed, one Saints writer summed up his efforts on Saturday quite aptly, taking to Twitter during the game to say: “Maupay for Everton works hard but doesn’t offer much else at forward.”
Everton will take on some difficult fixtures over the month ahead, facing both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur next, so Lampard will be hoping that his team can continue their momentum and confident run in the league by causing upsets in both.
With that being said, Calvert-Lewin’s return could not come at a better time for Lampard, especially as Maupay seems to be lacking threat in front of goal. That said, it remains to be seen if the Englishman will be fit and available for selection as he did not appear on the bench yesterday.