Punishment for Jack Harrison is postponed as Sean Dyche contradicts Frank Lampard

Following Everton’s League Cup matchup with Aston Villa, Chris Beesley provided analysis.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton celebrates his goal with Jack Harrison during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on September 27, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images)

There must have been a certain degree of vindication from both player and club as Jack Harrison came in to make a long-awaited but winning debut for Everton at Aston Villa. by TaboolaSponsored Link

Aston Villa allegedly hijacked the contract and forced Harrison to transfer to the West Midlands instead in August, shortly after it was reported that he had traveled to Finch Farm for a medical. Nerves were jangling again as the downtrodden Blues were still stinging from losing Arnaut Danjuma to Tottenham Hotspur at the eleventh hour in January, as the Dutchman got off his train at Crewe, even if he would eventually sign with Everton a second time this summer.

In the end, it turned out to be a false alarm because Unai Emery allegedly was unaware that Harrison was still injured at the time. However, after making his Blues debut, the 26-year-old will be motivated to prove that patience pays off now that he is healthy. Because there were wing-backs, Harrison was a little more tucked inside than we’ve seen him in the past, but he was still able to show off his skillful passing range as he adapted to playing with his new teammates.

Just six days after Harrison joined Everton, they lost 4-0 to Villa, and he might have wondered what he had gotten himself into. However, five weeks later, things are looking much better for Sean Dyche’s team, and he is one of their growing number of options.

Given their personal responsibility for the self-inflicted wounds that led to Everton’s defeat that day, Michael Keane and Ashley Young, two team members who have had long histories of heroism in these parts, will have had additional reasons to reflect on Calvert-Lewin’s swift return to Villa Park with regret. However, both of them can leave this game with their sanity intact.

Despite the scrutiny Keane, who is currently in his seventh season at Goodison Park, has endured due to the ups and downs of his career at Everton, his unwavering commitment to risking his life for the team will always be in question. This resulted in him unintentionally deflecting substitute Boubacar Kamara’s shot past his own goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, giving Villa a fortunate lifeline.

However, that shouldn’t take away from the way he returned to the location of his recent misfortunes and this time put on a professional performance.Young has the same situation. A 38-year-old making his outfield debut for the Blues may not be expected to cover every blade of grass, but it would be reasonable to hope that he wouldn’t commit the same kind of careless mistakes that Dyche’s former Watford teammate did with his careless throw-in that resulted in a Villa goal back in August.

A left wing-back replacement for Vitalii Mykolenko in the second half, Young instead put on a performance that showed why he has been competing at the top of football for 20 years. Given his advanced age, Young unsurprisingly started this game on the bench after walking a disciplinary tightrope for 89 minutes at Brentford on Saturday after receiving an early booking.

From the moment the game began, Everton was ‘up for the cup’ and just want this more than Aston Villa, both on and off the field.

The 4,436-strong traveling support was behind the goal in both tiers of the North Stand and drowned out their hosts from the outset, as opposed to being tucked into the corner of the Doug Ellis Stand where they were placed for the Premier League thrashing here five weeks ago. A more lasting memory of the home supporters from this night will be the booing that erupted against their team when the halftime whistle blew, despite the fact that they momentarily rallied after a stunning stroke of luck allowed them to cut the Blues’ lead in half.

Because of their superiority, Dyche’s team absolutely ought to have been up by more than just one goal, and Villa’s fans knew it. The Everton manager’s strategy for the match contrasted sharply with that of his predecessor Frank Lampard at the same point in the competition the previous year.

Back then, the Londoner – who like this term had seen his side achieve a single-goal victory against lower division opposition in the previous round (a 1-0 win at Fleetwood Town) – chose to make an unprecedented 11 changes for the Blues trip to a fellow Premier League side. Not only did such a disrespectful and naïve move ensure he got his just deserts with a 4-1 spanking against Bournemouth’s second string but the result set the tone for the team’s return to the Vitality Stadium four days later as they suffered another 3-0 thrashing in what was their final pre-World Cup fixture.

The 7-1 “aggregate” scores proved to be the beginning of Lampard’s downfall as he was unable to stop the alarming downward spiral that began once domestic action resumed. Experienced operator Dyche, however, proved to be much cannier and although he made five changes – as did opposite number Unai Emery – this was an Everton team go for it.

The fact that the Blues manager was still able to use the bench players Young, Dwight McNeil, Beto, Idrissa Gueye, and Abdoulaye Doucoure was further indication of the real choices he now has. Everton earned its first consecutive victories away from home against Premier League opposition since Roberto Martinez’s cavaliers won 3-0 at Newcastle United and 3-1 at Fulham in March 2014.

Therefore, it was also their first victories of this nature during Farhad Moshiri’s ownership, a further indictment of his wasteful and disorderly administration. Curiously, they occurred in the club’s first two away games following the announcement that he had reached an agreement to sell all of his 94.1% ownership stake. How odd that it required a manager that the renegade majority shareholder didn’t even fancy to achieve such achievements after eight incumbents in the dugout in seven years.



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