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Everton must share the goals to help Lukaku
If Everton have real aspirations of breaking into the top four for the first time since 2005 then the reliance on Romelu Lukaku must lessen.
This season is the Chelsea man’s second successive season on-loan away from Stamford Bridge, but again he is performing brightly.
Lukaku is showing Jose Mourinho, just like he did Rafael Benitez last season at West Brom, that he is a Premier League quality striker with his efforts at Goodison Park.
The Belgian’s five goals have played a part in three victories over West Ham United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa, with his other goal coming in a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City.
In the three games Lukaku has misfired in, Everton have only won one – drawing a blank twice – and therein lies the problem.
As the 20-year-old is usually deployed as a lone-striker, it’s not so much down to his strike partners as his midfielders to be lessening his burden, but so far that has not ignited.
Ross Barkley has scored two, but not since September and it’s fair to say pinpointing such a young player as Everton’s secondary goal source is putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on a future star.
Leighton Baines has also scored two, but they were both in the game at West Ham and free-kicks; there’s a feeling Baines used up half of his goal-quota in one game there.
Osman has played in 12 games, Barry eight and Pienaar seven yet each player only has one league goal to their name this season.
Even the more attacking “midfielders” like Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas have one goal each in the league.
It’s not really good enough for Everton’s aspirations; although the flip-side to this seemingly gloomy coin is that there are goals all over the pitch.
For Everton, it is just about maximising those goals and bringing each player’s tally up.
The defence can be a bit leaky (scored 14 conceded 10), so there’s room for improvement there too.
For players like Naismith and Mirallas though, natural attackers, a ten-goal tally each season should be a realistic aim.
That would help Everton’s Champions League place claims no-end, not to mention de-pressurize Lukaku, who is often criticised unfairly when Everton fail to find the net.
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