By Callum O'Connell

20th Sep, 2023 | 9:10am

James Garner must feature in midfield for Everton v Brentford with star men at risk

Idrissa Gana Gueye has failed to impress at Goodison Park so far this season, and after an abject display against Arsenal, James Garner should be brought in to fill his place when Everton visit Brentford.

The Senegalese midfielder hasn’t been especially bad this season, but his defensive outlook and role in the side have not been enough to contribute effectively to the Toffees’ results so far, and now is the time for change.

Garner, on the other hand, has been made to wait for an opportunity in his preferred position. He was deployed as a right-midfielder before the return of Dwight McNeil saw him drop to the bench, but he is ideally a central player.

Garner’s composure, technique, and how comfortable he is in possession would all provide more to Everton’s game if they are looking to gain a foothold. His presence in the side would give Everton an outlet for the defence to play into and move forward from there.

His ability to receive the ball from the defence, before turning and moving it on to the attacking players quickly and accurately could prove vital if Everton look to hit teams on the break.

Against Arsenal, Gueye gave the ball away on 13 occasions from the centre of the park as Everton failed to play their way out of trouble, with his lack of composure and awareness on the ball meaning the Senegal international was only able to complete 13 passes in the entire 90 minutes from midfield [Sofascore].

Similarly, if Garner is brought into the side in place of Abdoulaye Doucoure, it would lend Dyche’s side more of a stable base in midfield to create a screen in front of the defence and allow the winger to push further upfield, to provide more attacking pressure on the opposition’s back line.

Doucuoure’s role in behind the striker as support has not been particularly successful, with the Toffees still struggling for goals, so a calmer presence in midfield may be what is necessary to allow more freedom up front.

Whoever he comes in for, playing Garner in his preferred central position would allow Everton the chance to change the course of their season, as well as Dyche’s ineffective recent tactics.

In other Everton news, one pundit has named the man Everton must move quickly to replace Sean Dyche with.