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Carlo Ancelotti must mercilessly oust Mason Holgate from Everton’s starting lineup after a sloppy performance by the defender in the loss to Fulham.
The 24-year-old got off to a rare start in the heart of the Toffees’ backline on Sunday, but couldn’t stop Josh Maja from scoring a game-winning double at Goodison Park.
Holgate hadn’t started a Premier League game in central defense since a 1-0 loss at home to West Ham United on New Years Day, winning instead. eight of your prior nine appearances in the top flight as a right back.
Should Holgate start against Man City on Wednesday?
Yes, and in the central
Yes, but only on the right side
No, drop it to the bank
Sunday’s meeting with Fulham threatened by Scott Parker’s relegation was, in fact, only the fourth time this season that Holgate has opened a league game at this position, with Yerry Mina and Michael Keane taking seats on the bench.
Mina had teamed up with Holgate at the rear during the Blues’ loss to West Ham earlier this year, while Keane opened a 3-1 loss to Manchester United alongside 20 million euros (17.5 million pounds) as in November.
Godfrey had also started a league game alongside Holgate since his £ 20 million Norwich City’s summer change, although Everton also fell 1-0 at home to Leeds United on that occasion, while Ancelotti deployed a three-man defense, including Keane.
Holgate never seemed likely to record his first win, or even claim a point, while playing central defense against Fulham, and the Cottagers apparently always had the advantage over the former England Under-21 international.
His performance was criticized by the Echo of Liverpool, who noted how Holgate frequently played lazy passes to invite Fulham to attack and did not perceive the danger once Parker’s team began to put more pressure on their hosts in the second half – they gave him the lowest overall match rating of 4.
Adam Jones wrote: “He played too many lazy passes in the first half to give Fulham chances and was unaware of the danger when the visitors finally made Everton pay in the second half. It is not a performance that he will fondly remember. “
And as if to highlight that lack of composure with the ball, the defender resolved possession 20 times a night, much higher than his season average in the 12.8 Premier League, only left-back Lucas Digne lost more, and that was more due to the Frenchman’s forays later and trying to make things happen with his center.
Ancelotti even saw enough of Holgate after 55 minutes that he took Keane off the bench and moved the Doncaster-born defender to right back, replacing Seamus Coleman shortly after going a goal behind.
It could be argued that Holgate took some blame for Maja’s effort three minutes into the second half which also broke the deadlock.
The center half had the forward in their line of sight, but shifted focus at the wrong moment and allowed the 22-year-old to swerve unchallenged and meet the ball on the back post for an easy touch.
Once Holgate shifted her focus to Ola Aina’s overlapping run to connect with Ademola Lookman, she had to commit to playing the 24-year-old’s center, but decided not to put a foot out and trust that Lucas Digne had made a run. to block Maja. off.
Now, Everton are preparing to face title-chasing Manchester City at Goodison Park on Wednesday night without a win in their last four Premier League home games. And if Ancelotti is going to supervise just a fifth win On blue soil this quarter, the Italian will have to cut Holgate again.
Ancelotti gave Holgate the perfect opportunity to shine and really bet on a genuine place in the first team, but the English ace disappointed his coach with a pitiful showing. The Toffees boss will be furious that the player he showed his confidence in against Fulham cost him and his team as they look to chase a European spot next season.
It would be a ruthless decision to remove him from the starting lineup just one game after putting him back in the squad, but it is the decision Ancelotti simply has to make.
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