Everton may have defeated Hull City 4-0 on Saturday, but the Toffees suffered a blow when they lost January signing Morgan Schneiderlin 30 minutes in due to a calf injury.
While the Frenchman’s enforced absence did not have a negative impact on that result, his replacement on the day drew plenty of criticism among the Everton faithful who felt Gareth Barry was not the answer for the challenges ahead.
Schneiderlin now has the international break to recover, but with Everton manager Ronald Koeman suggesting to Sky Sports that he could be without the player for “several weeks”, Toffees fans may be fearful.
Next up for Everton is the Merseyside derby before the Toffees head to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United just three days later.
Schneiderlin’s tenacity and driving force would be ideal for those matches, rather than the slow play of Barry as he approaches the end of his career.
If Everton want to take points from their next two matches they will need to win the midfield battles and the inclusion of Barry is unlikely to help in that regard.
These decisions are what Koeman is paid for, but few Everton fans will be happy to see Barry start the next time Everton kick off.