Ben Crawford, a contributor to the Everton-based podcast Gwladys Street (February 24, 19:37), says that Andre Gomes could struggle to play in the club’s 4-4-2 system preferred by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Ancelotti was appointed manager on December 21 and has, thus far, taken charge of nine games as manager.
He has played a 4-4-2 system in seven of those, with the exceptions coming against Burnley and Manchester City, when he played 5-4-1 and 3-5-2, per Transfermarkt.
Gomes, of course, has just returned from a horrific ankle break sustained against Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of November.
And Crawford is concerned that both he and Gylfi Sigurdsson could struggle to reach their peak in such a formation.
He said: “It doesn’t suit Sigurdsson but you know, all I’d say is I don’t think it actually suits Gomes that much, but great players will still thrive in a different system.”
Everton began the season playing a 4-2-3-1 system that allowed Gomes the chance to play the ball into the attacking midfielder behind the striker.
Indeed, the former Barcelona man played in that formation on seven occasions, while he played in a 4-1-4-1 system once.
4-1-4-1 is more of a variation on 4-5-1 than 4-4-2 and it will be interesting to see how Gomes adapts.
He is a technical player and placing too much defensive responsibility on his shoulders will only end badly and leave the defence exposed.
In such a system, though, he will need to provide support to the strikers and also shield the defence.
It is a tall task.