Well, that put me back in place at Everton on Saturday. I’d questioned the resistance to keep goals out and with two back-to-back clean sheets, that’s me put back in my box. It was a fantastic win, and we have now picked up a 0-0 against Arsenal and a 1-0 at Everton, and suddenly look more solid without sacrificing the way we play. Koch and Cooper deserve plenty of credit, but you have to look at the protection that Kalvin Phillips is giving everyone. If he doesn’t make it into the England squad for the Euros I’ll be absolutely amazed. I don’t see anyone better. He’s difficult to describe because he makes the role look so easy, and does it in second gear. His football intelligence is massive, as Eddie Gray always used to say, and he’s been the catalyst. His stats were unbelievable at Everton. He didn’t give the ball away. That is a top level performance from a top level player, and he’s from Leeds. People from Leeds love to see one of their own smashing it, and he’s doing that.
As you know, I’m a big fan of Meslier to. What a brilliant find he’s been. Who know where he can go to? Our goal was an absolute belter from Raphinha and what a game he had. He’s quick, he’s got everything you need, and he gave Everton a real tough time. It was an outstanding performance.
Patrick Bamford was outstanding too and the only disappointment was that he couldn’t get a goal to cap it off. Alioski defended well, but it was another of those where you couldn’t fault anyone because they seemed to be perfectly in synch. It was a real team effort. Bielsa’s tactics were also spot on against a real good Everton side.
I think maybe they’ve got together as a group after the two 4-1s. They’ve said they’ve got to get tighter and keep it clean. Chelsea next will be a real difficult game, but we could beat them. Leeds don’t look scared of anyone. Being brutally honest,. I wasn’t sure some of them could handle this level, but they’ve made me eat my words and long may it continue. We can all take some bumps in the road when you see a response like we’ve seen these past few weeks.