View: Gomes must do more to reach Doucoure levels after Everton cling on to 1-1 Leicester draw
Andre Gomes deputised for the suspended Abdoulaye Doucoure against Leicester City on Wednesday but a mixed display showed the difference in quality between the two Everton midfielders.
The Blues earned a respectable point against the Foxes as James Rodriguez opened the scoring at Goodison Park before a Leicester onslaught brought a Youri Tielemans equaliser, with the visitors racking up a 68% possession total in the second half.
Here at Goodison News we have analysed Gomes’ performance against Leicester to determine whether he is a viable candidate for the midfield role for the rest of the campaign and the future.
Below you can see an early opportunity for Gomes to stride forward in the Everton attack much like Doucoure would.
Ben Godfrey has the ball in the left channel just outside the edge of the penalty area with three men around him.
There are two opportunities for Gomes to receive the ball here.
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The first one is to stay where he is in the picture or the second would be to run into the open space ahead of him and burst into the box.
Godfrey instead opts to look for the more difficult option of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the box and could be blamed for recognising Gomes’ position but there are also two faults from the Portuguese midfielder here.
Firstly as the senior figure in the Everto midfield he should be demanding the ball and placing greater urgency on Godfrey to offload it.
However, he remains passive in his quest for the ball but we would also expect him to recognise the most dangerous move he could make is to make a driving run into the box which would give him a one-on-one opportunity with Kasper Schmeichel in goal.
Even if Godfrey looked for Calvert-Lewin Gomes would have the chance to intercept it and convert it for himself.
In the clip below the ball is played into his feet with space in front of him to drive into.
What happens next is he rather dithers on the ball which allows the two Leicester midfielders either side of him recover to make a foul on him which results in a free kick.
While this might have been a valuable chance to regroup higher up the pitch what it actually did was deprive Everton of a counter-attacking opportunity.
If Gomes adopts a more positive body angle to receive the ball then he would be able to turn away and give his side a three-on-two attack with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison ahead of him.
The below images show the difference compared to Doucoure in a similar role.
Albeit against lesser opposition in the FA Cup against Rotherham United on January 9, Doucoure showed what he is all about with a terrific bursting run right through the heart of the Championship strugglers defence.
He sees Rodriguez with the ball and immediately sets off on his dart forward.
Rodriguez spots the run and plays it into the path of Doucoure who slots it into the back of the net to win the game in extra-time for Everton.
It was an example of the dynamism that Doucoure has brought to the side since his summer switch from Watford.
This is in sharp contrast to the languid style of play adopted by Gomes.
However there were moments against Leicester where he showed there are elements of this that he can bring to the side.
Below he spots an opportunity to press and does so to good effect, closing down the defender and winning the ball back before Calvert-Lewin gains advantage of it.
This is exactly the sort of defensive determination that Gomes needs to be bringing to the side in the absence of Doucoure and especially Allan.
Per WhoScored no outfield player makes less interceptions per game than Gomes (0.1) while 1.4 tackles per game is also significantly less than Allan (3.4) and Doucoure (1.9).
He might not be the most dynamic player in the Premier League but there is certainly more in his locker than he lets on.
The above images show Gomes receiving the ball deep in his own half with company before accelerating and bursting to Leicester’s final third before getting fouled with his team gaining the advantage.
It was a quick snapshot of what he can deliver and showed what the Blues had been missing in Doucoure for the first hour or so.
These are the sort of things Gomes has to be doing more if he wants to stay at Goodison Park for the inevitable good times in the near future.
Ancelotti is building something here and he will not wait around for players to grab the bull by the horns.
In other Everton news, Tosun talks up Turkey loan exit.