Everton: Play Through The Middle, Give Barkley A Free Role And Hit Arsenal On The Break

Everton travel to the capital this afternoon as they look to follow their win at Manchester United in the week with another shock result, a win against Premier League leaders Arsenal. It goes without saying that the Toffees will be up against it when they arrive at the Emirates, so here are a few words of advice for Roberto Martinez. I know you’re listening, Roberto.

Everton need to stick to their strengths, and that’s through the middle. They have a solid spine to them this season, with Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distain in defence, James McCarthy and Gareth Barry in central midfield, with Romelu Lukaku leading the line. Arsenal are also vulnerable from the central areas, as the majority of the goals that they have conceded have come through the middle.

To exploit the lack of pace Arsenal hold in the middle, the Toffees need to look to hit Arsenal on the break at every opportunity. The north London outfit have Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta in the middle, so to hit them with speed is how I would go about things.

To do that, I would give Ross Barkley a free role. I would let him burst forward whenever he likes to support Lukaku while the wide players tuck inside to offer some support.

To conclude, I would play through the middle, hit Arsenal on the break and give Barkley a free role.