Everton were a bright light in an otherwise disappointing week for sides in Europe.
Everton were a bright spark in a week where several English sides struggled in European competition.
Everton along with local rivals Liverpool, managed to get their Europa League and Champions League adventures off to winning starts, albeit with very different performances.
Here are five things we learnt about Everton from the 4-1 win against Wolfsburg.
Martinez the Tactician
Roberto Martinez’ tactics last night were spot on. Rather that setting up for a narrow win, he encouraged his side to play their natural game in front of a home crowd. That saw plenty of space exploited with space and good delivery in basic and set pieces situations. It could have cost them more defensively with Wolfsburg having plenty of attempts but there were many encouraging signs.
Baines – Best left-back around?
Leighton Baines was superb. He had a hand in the first two goals and was as reliable as ever from the penalty spot. Defensively he was sound and looked like one of the best left-backs around, defensively and offensively, during the game.
Everton fans deserve a pat on the back this morning for creating an intimidating atmosphere last night. It went a long way to showing that Goodison is still one of the most difficult places to go to in England and will leave sides in no uncertain terms that Everton away is going to be a very difficult game to win. Wolfsburg applied heavy pressure at times but the home support stayed loud and proud.
Coleman is the perfect accompaniment to Baines on the left-hand side. He ran the right side of the pitch perfectly, was rarely troubled defensively and showed the intelligence to utilise space and attack when Wolfsburg went to sleep and invited pressure onto themselves.
Naismith’s Progression Continues
Martinez has previously revealed that he’s using this competition to develop his players and the cast iron case is Steven Naismith. He played well and ran the forward line effectively, looking like one of the best attacking players at the club. You can only measure his performance against the calibre of the opposition but he’s benefiting under the guidance of Martinez.