Everton’s performance against Leicester will worry relegation rivals, Nottingham Forest and Leeds. Jamie Carragher says that Leeds is considering replacing Javi Gracia with Sam Allardyce because of Everton’s “outstanding” performance in their 2-2 draw with Leicester on Monday Night Football. Alex Iwobi’s equalizer in the second half gave Sean Dyche’s team a point at the King Power Stadium. If Leicester goalkeeper Daniel Iversen hadn’t made a string of good saves, they might have won all three.
Everton’s performance against Leicester will worry relegation rivals
In an exciting experience, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s punishment put Everton ahead yet Leicester retaliated through objectives from Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy, with Iwobi then, at that point, leveling for the guests after Jordan Pickford saved James Maddison’s spot kick. The attraction keeps Everton’s nineteenth spot, a point behind Nottingham Woods, Leeds, and Leicester, and stretches out their winless rush to seven Chief Association games, however, Carragher feels their significantly better presentation shows they may yet have the stuff to beat the drop.
“I think they were outstanding in the game. Yes, Leicester had the chance to make it 3-1, but that performance from Everton, we saw the reaction of the fans.
“They were by far the better team and I actually think Everton’s performance will worry Leeds and Nottingham Forest.
“If Everton can continue performing like that, they will get out of trouble.”
However, Carragher acknowledged their poor away form this season and emphasized the importance of achieving success in their upcoming matches against Brighton and Wolves.
“The big problem for Everton is still that they’ve got two more away games out of the next three and they’ve won one away game all season,” he added.
“The one home game, before you get to the last weekend of the season, is against Man City.
“You’ve just got to hope from Everton’s perspective that they are still in with a shout at that point. But I’ve never felt Everton will go down at any stage really.
“I think if they had lost [at Leicester], most people would have been really fearful for them, but I just look at the form Leeds are in.”
Leeds is only one goal away from the drop zone and has lost four of their last five games, giving up 17 goals. Head coach Gracia’s job is in serious jeopardy just three months after he was hired. Carragher thinks Allardyce, a former Bolton, Blackburn Rovers, and West Ham manager who has been out of work since leaving West Brom in 2021, would be a good choice to take over at Elland Road.
“It sounds crazy and we never used to think this could happen in our league, but the stakes are so high I think I could probably understand it,” Carragher said of the potential that Gracia could be axed.
“There is such an ill feeling at the club right now in terms of the connection between him and the supporters. They’re not happy. They showed that frustration to him at Bournemouth.”
He added: “I don’t think Sam Allardyce has ever come in this late. He’s normally come in with a January transfer window to bring his own players in and have time to change it.
“But I think it would be a decent appointment. Whether the crowd gets behind it, I’m not so sure. I don’t know how Leeds supporters would react to Sam Allardyce.
“But in terms of trying to make them more solid and better defensively, there’s probably no one better out there.”
With overwhelming installations remaining, including home games against Newcastle and Tottenham, Carragher accepts a late difference in supervisor could be their main possibility come by the outcomes they need to keep awake.
“They’ve got to try to create some sort of feel-good factor in the home games they’ve got, to bring some kind of energy and a performance to get them over the line, so I would not be surprised at all if they made that change,” he said.
“It’s very difficult to instil that [a clear style of play]. The only thing I believe the board and hierarchy will be thinking is, ‘Can we make Elland Road a fortress in these last couple of games at home?’
“I think that’s the only thing they can do. Bring someone in where it becomes a tough game for the teams going there, where there’s an atmosphere, there’s an energy, because right now that has vanished completely.”
Dyche salutes Everton’s improvement
In contrast, Everton manager Sean Dyche lauded his team’s improvement after last season’s 4-1 loss to Newcastle and their comeback to earn a point against Leicester.
“It’s a big improvement,” the Everton manager said. “There was more consistency to the performance, obviously a few mistakes – we know we have to eradicate those.
“But 23 efforts away from home and I think we had nearly 50 entries into their box. It shows the way the team is trying to progress and a much better general and consistent performance, which I asked for.
“Against Newcastle, we were at least decent for 70 minutes and went under too quickly. [On Monday] we didn’t. We held our nerve, kept trying to create things, and kept trying to create chances.”
Dyche also welcomed a goal for his No 9, saying Calvert-Lewin could be a major asset for his side in the weeks ahead.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks sharper, he looks fitter and stronger again,” he added. “So he will be a weapon for us over the next four games.
“He looked a threat and his true fitness, which I spoke about when I got here, is coming back.
“He looks stronger and a lot more alert.”