Everton player ratings vs Watford: Lukaku struggles, Barkley shines

Ross Barkley

Everton drew 2-2 with Watford on the opening day, with a number of players failing to impress.

Tim Howard 6/10 – Had very little to do but was okay when called upon. Not much he could do about either goal as his defence let him down.

Seamus Coleman 6/10 – An up and down performance from the full-back, who didn’t turn up in the first half but then was a big part of the second half. This Everton side struggles if he is isolated.

John Stones 8/10 – Everton’s star man again, the young defender is absolutely solid defensively while he also consistently shows his quality when bringing the ball out. No doubt a star in the making.

Phil Jagielka – 5/10 – A poor performance from the captain, who failed to clear the cross properly for Layun’s goal, putting it on a plate for the Mexican. Looked well off the pace throughout the game.

Brendan Galloway 8/10 – Another good performance from the youngster in the absence of Leighton Baines, full of pace and tries to get forward when he can. Doesn’t have the quality of Baines, but impressive nonetheless.

Gareth Barry 5/10 – A poor display from the midfielder, who was often caught out by Watford and failed to protect his defenders properly. Passing was off also as he seemed to just be hitting them anywhere, with too many long balls proving aimless.

James McCarthy 6/10 – Anonymous from the midfielder, whose passing is a big issue. Can be the driving force in the Everton midfield, but too often doesn’t do enough going forward.

Tom Cleverley 7/10 – Stuck out in a wide left position, which isn’t a good fit for him, there was very little the summer signing could do to influence proceedings. A solid debut nonetheless though.

Ross Barkley 8/10 – The pressure is firmly on Barkley to prove himself after a disappointing campaign last year, and his goal will do a lot to silence his critics. However, he often still tries too much and questions remain over his ability as a number ten.

Kevin Mirallas 6/10 – Left frustrated by a solid Watford defence, but Everton’s brightest spark when he gets the ball. Another one who can try to do too much at times.

Romelu Lukaku 6/10 – Frustrating for the Belgian who was left isolated by the rest of his side against a resolute Watford defence. Everton need to learn he is not good with his back to goal.


Arouna Kone 8/10 - A star appearance from the subs bench - and that comment is a big surprise to everyone. A lovely piece of control to set up Barkley for his wonder goal and a fantastic finish for his own makes him probably Everton’s star man on the day.

Bryan Oviedo 7/10 - Didn't have much to do but was solid at left-back and provided enough going forward. 

Steven Naismith 6/10 - Brought on too late to make a difference, should have been used earlier as he could have been useful against a very competitive Watford back line. 

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch