Michael Ball: Everton must play to the strengths of this player
By Emma Sanders
Michael Ball claims Everton must play to the strengths of Romelu Lukaku, even if that means producing a style of football that is unattractive.
The former Everton star hailed the Blues’ second half performance against Leicester and stated they played to the strengths of the team in the final 45 minutes.
Everton have struggled to demonstrate consistency this season but have shown progression in the last few games, recording victories against Arsenal and Leicester.
“In the second half, we [Everton] started to play to our strengths, and in particular those of Romelu Lukaku,” Ball wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo. “There is nothing wrong with playing the ball down the channels, not least when you have someone with the pace and power of Rom to go chasing the ball.”
Everton had success on the counter-attack against Leicester and used Lukaku’s pace by playing the long ball on occasions, which proved to be effective.
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They were much more direct than usual and it paid off so Ball believes they should continue to play in that style because it will bring positive results.
Lukaku has been touted as the club’s best player in recent seasons and the 23-year-old has already scored 10 goals and provided three assists for the Blues in the Premier League since the start of the 2016-17 season.
Everton currently sit in seventh place in the league table, 14 points behind their Merseyside rivals Liverpool and 11 points off a Champions League qualification spot.
The Blues’ next clash is against Hull City on Friday evening and they will kick-start the new year with a home fixture against Southampton.
Everton have picked up two victories in their last five games after suffering a disappointing defeat when they conceded a late goal against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby a week after losing to Watford.
In other Everton news, Joel Robles states the role he had against Leicester.