It’s a strange feeling watching Premier League football without fans in the stadium.
It’s not something many will ever fully get used to, but it can provide some insights which aren’t otherwise available with a full house.
Observers can see and hear who shouts the most on the pitch.
Nigel Martyn was working for Everton’s club media at the recent game with Leeds at Goodison Park.
In an exclusive interview, we asked him who the biggest talkers in the Everton side were – and it seems like much of the noise came from the sidelines.
“You could hear Ancelotti talking more than the players,” said Martyn. “There was some talking but not as much as I would have expected from both teams.
“Holgate, who was captain for the day, was quite vocal. He was shouting at people, trying to get people going. The loudest guy that I heard was Seamus Coleman, who was sitting about 15 rows to my right.
“Shouting his head off, trying to get them going – shouting to the players on the pitch. He was shouting, ‘Mason, get them going!’
“I think he felt a bit embarrassed doing it to start with but as the game went on… I’d have been the same if I was sat on the bench or in the stand.
“They needed to, because there was a spark or something missing. They didn’t get near Leeds when they were passing the ball.
“It needs something at times, you’ve got to put your stamp on the game. It was a bit too nice at times, I think. That’s what he was eluding to, get a bit of a spark here.
“That would’ve been what 40,000 would’ve been demanding. That’s what’s missing, you find the energy from somewhere (with fans in the ground).”
It’s really interesting to get a sense of what’s being said on the pitch at a time when the lucky few in attendance can really get a sense of it.
Carlo Ancelotti is missing Coleman’s defensive capabilities on the pitch, but also his leadership too.
That was evident against Leeds and it’s rare to get the insight into who are the biggest talkers in any team during any given match.
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