There was no apparent danger, Dembele lay spread-eagled near the centre circle so Leighton Baines placed the ball and sauntered off, unaware of what was about to take place. To his left Adebayor had already started his run.
Kyle Walker saw him, he had vision, a great vision, and an even greater delivery. The free kick was clipped onto our big Togolese´s chest, control was inch perfect as was the shot, low, powerful and unstoppable.
A sublime moment when seeing and doing came together in absolute harmony.
The great vision of Adebayor to make the run, the great vision of Walker to see it and make the telling pass and, of course, the finish.
It turned out to be enough to win the game and collect all three points – four in total now against Everton this season – no mean feat. We inflicted only their fourth League defeat of the season – and two of them were away to Liverpool and Chelski – and they have conceded fewer goals than anyone else in the Premier League (Chelski apart).
The match turned on that one incident, whereas Everton had enjoyed more of the game and certainly had more attempts up to that point, they failed to impose themselves after the goal. With a three man midfield we did not have the possession we normally have but we did not seem to have any more control.
Mirallas always looked threatening especially when collecting the ball wide right (yet again Erikseon was found wanting in his defensive duties) and driving infield but all his shots were from long range. The one time Everton did get a decent strike on target and Lloris made a fine diving save to deny Osman.
Whilst I do think Eriksen can be a great player, he has to be deployed in the right areas. Expecting him to start wide left and stay there is almost impossible. He drifts infield, agreed this is where he is most dangerous, but it leaves our left flank exposed. Against Everton, Coleman, Mccarthy and Mirallas were all attacking down that side and Rose had no support in front of him.
On the other flank where Baines, Pienaar and Naismith were operating Walker always had Lennon and Bentaleb offering help.
If Eriksen is to play it has to be in the middle in and behind the lone striker, if necessary with two out and out wide men, willing and able, not just to get forward and attack, but to track back and defend. Of course this does mean that we would revert to 188.8.131.52 and the central midfield pairing could be any combination of five players once Sandro is fully fit.
And whilst on the subject of fitness – it was good to see Andros back on the pitch. Whether he will play more regularly and where is still open to question, will he replace Lennon on the right or compliment him by being on the opposite wing? Only time will tell and that is something we do not have much of as the next game is now barely 60 hours away as I write this piece.
Newcastle away has not been a happy hunting ground for us of late but following their rather fortuitous victory at the Lane earlier in the season, we really do need to go there with intent.
At the time of that match they were flying high and with high hopes of a good season. They had just beaten Chelski at home and rose to 6th in the table but the Magpies have seriously stuttered lately, only one win – and five defeats – in the last 7 League fixtures means they have now dropped to 8th in the table (even ManUre have overtaken them). During that spell they have only scored three times – all of them in the victory at WetSpam.
They are certainly down and after their woeful display at Stamford Bridge at the weekend their mood will not have improved.
Let us hope that we simply make it even worse.