Marco Silva chose to drop Gylfi Sigurdsson, Seamus Coleman and Richarlison from the starting XI against Manchester City.
The three under-performing regulars were left out of the XI against the champions as the Toffees lost 2-0, with Silva showing he has the backbone to make big decisions.
Silva opted to play Jonjoe Kenny at right-back in place of Coleman, Tom Davies in attacking midfield instead of Sigurdsson and Bernard on the left flank in place of Richarlison.
Cynics may feel the decisions were taken with the title race in mind – Liverpool, of course, are attempting to win the league along with City.
But the fact remains that none of the trio have been at their best in recent weeks.
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Sigurdsson has not scored or provided an assist in his last three outings, while Richarlison has scored just once in his last six games.
Coleman, too, has appeared prone to lapses of judgement in defence, as Everton continue to struggle to keep clean sheets – they have conceded 38 goals this season, the second-highest of all clubs in the top 10, and only worsened by Bournemouth.
Everton may have lost to City – that was slightly inevitable, given the irrepressible form of Pep Guardiola’s men – but Silva’s tactical decisions deserve respect from the Toffees faithful.
Silva is attempting to make things right.
The Everton boss is under pressure, as they have won just three matches since the end of November, but The Times report that Silva has been told by owner Farhad Moshiri that his job at Goodison Park is safe.
He has not shied away from making the big decisions and his bold starting XI earlier this week may be something of a warning to his under-performing players.
They are ninth in the table, only five points behind seventh-placed Wolves, a berth that holds a Europa League qualification spot.
A turnaround in form could easily see the Toffees overhaul Nuno Espirito Santo’s men between now and the end of the season and Silva has taken the first step in sparking a revival.
It remains to be seen, of course, if his players will now respond.