April 13, 2024

Everton, were it not for their points deduction, would be just three points off seventh place after 17 Premier League games.

To have been within touching distance of the European places, and thriving in the form table too, would have had fans genuinely excited about what magic might occur this campaign.

But the toughest decision in the division’s history has robbed them of that potential, and Sean Dyche has done nothing short of amazing to keep a team that would have been shattered by such news motivated.

Since that sanction, if anything, things have really reached previously unheard-of heights; they just defeated Burnley in the Premier League for the fourth time in a row while also maintaining a spotless record in each game.

It was a picture-perfect Dyche show, with each man fighting for his manager. The distinction was demonstrated by two set pieces, the first of which was driven home by Amadou Onana’s head.

Burnley FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

A moment straight from the training ground, pundit Tony Cascarino would take to TalkSPORT (17/12/2023, 6:21 am) to laud the hulking 22-year-old for one special moment.

He noted: ‘Everton with set-pieces are easily one of the best sides. They’ve got a huge physical side.

‘I mean [Jordan] Pickford for one of the goals with a long ball that gets played forward, [James] Tarkowski gets a bit of a flick.

‘But I’m going to go for the corner, [Amadou] Onana’s goal, because what a great leap! Now, Onana’s about six foot two, but the corner delivery was spot on and Onana’s leap, I love a great leap, I love a good header. But anyone who gets off the ground with height, if you can manage to get at least a foot-and-a-half off the ground, fair play.

‘I thought it was a great header from a set piece and Everton beware because they are as good as anybody I’ve seen at set pieces for years.’

How important is Amadou Onana for Everton?

It seems that with each passing week Onana’s importance for Dyche’s system only grows, with their current run massively owed to his fine performances in the engine room.

As a 6 foot 4 enforcer, what makes him truly unique is his quality in possession and penchant for a pass. The deft touch he often executes despite his hulking frame is completely unique, thus explaining the outside interest in him.

To emphasise just how integral the Belgium international is to Everton, his 7.21 average rating is impressively the second-highest of anyone within the squad.

This figure is buoyed by a slew of outstanding statistics, which paint the picture of a midfielder just as confident in possession as he is out of it.

As such, the £100k-per-week superstar is blending 0.7 key passes per game with a further 2.5 tackles, 1.1 clearances and 6.1 ball recoveries per game in the league, via Sofascore.

Burnley FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Not only that, but his 85% pass accuracy is also only matched by Idrissa Gana Gueye within the squad too. A true technical warrior who underpins everything good about Everton at the moment.

Cascarino may have enjoyed his goal, and rightly so, but it is the growing confidence and quality within Onana that will excite supporters at the future he boasts at Goodison Park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *