Seamus Coleman’s horror show of an afternoon in defeat to Newcastle United let Carlo Ancelotti down on Saturday.
The Republic of Ireland international was gifted a return to the Toffees starting line-up for the visit of Steve Bruce’s Toon to Goodison Park, but struggled to match the pace of the game as he continues to find his way back from a hamstring injury.
Coleman had only started one of the Blues’ last five top-flight fixtures and played just five minutes in their last two, as Mason Holgate held down the role having excelled over the festive period as cover at full-back.
Newcastle continually looked the side in control at Goodison Park throughout Saturday’s meeting, despite travelling to Merseyside without a win in 11 games across all competitions, with Everton void of ideas in a flat performance from Ancelotti’s side.
The result sees Everton remain seventh in the table and fail to capitalise on a chance to move ahead of Liverpool in fourth, while now only winning just two of their last eight home league fixtures this season.
Coleman’s presence rarely looked likely to yield a route into the game for Everton, with it not until after Callum Wilson broke the deadlock for the visitors that the £70,000-per-week gem delivered a threatening ball into the Magpies box.
Not long after and it was from Coleman’s side of the field that Newcastle were able to double their advantage, with Jamal Lewis able to hit on the counter and find Wilson alone in the box to fire past Jordan Pickford again.
Coleman never seemed to have Lewis or any of his opponent’s numbers on Saturday, as he ended the game with a miserable return of success in just one of five duels having been beaten on the ground in each of his three contests and once in the air, per SofaScore.
Lewis, for Newcastle, won two of his three ground duels and was able to deliver five crosses into the box, which could have proved to be more dangerous on another day with four failing to find a teammate in black and white.
Outside of the duel, Coleman could only offer three clearances as he sought to keep things simple in efforts to protect Pickford’s goal, having failed to record a single successful tackle or an interception, with United regularly able to find a way around the 32-year-old.
Ancelotti never saw Coleman successfully bring possession out from the back or down the wing, either, with the defender failing to complete his only attempted dribble. Helping to see that he only produced two crosses into Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin and earn SofaScore’s lowest match rating out of anyone on the pitch at 6.2 out of 10.
Holgate will have been frustrated to see Coleman struggle in his place, with the 24-year-old having recorded one tackle, interception and four clearances while winning two of five ground duels in last week’s 1-1 draw with Leicester.
Ancelotti will now have to debate his options when Everton visit Leeds on Wednesday night, hoping to extend the Toffees run of form on the road with a fourth-straight win.
AND in other news, a £120k-p/w Everton maestro has been tipped to secure a £4.5m move this month…