Garth Crooks has expressed his astonishment at the “dangerous” performances of Everton defenders James Tarkowski and Amadou Onana in the recent clash against Burnley, acknowledging their contributions by including them in his Team of the Week, writes the Goodison.News.
In Sean Dyche’s strategic setup, the team secured their fourth consecutive Premier League victory at Turf Moor on Saturday, defeating the opposition with goals from Onana and Michael Keane. The win propelled Everton seven points clear of the relegation zone, and Crooks was particularly impressed with the defensive duo of Tarkowski and Onana.
While Keane received praise for his goal-scoring display, Crooks chose to spotlight Tarkowski, emphasizing that the defensive partnership of Tarkowski and Onana played a pivotal role in Everton’s success. Writing in his BBC Sport Team of the Week (18 December), Crooks remarked on Tarkowski’s influential performance, stating, “James Tarkowski’s performance made all the difference. Everton are flying.”
Crooks highlighted Everton’s prowess in set-pieces, especially their threat from corners and free-kicks in Burnley’s half. Tarkowski, Keane, Onana, and Abdoulaye Doucoure, all towering figures at six feet and above, consistently posed a significant aerial threat, with Onana’s superb header exemplifying the relentless attack on Burnley’s defense during set-plays.
Whenever Everton had a corner or a free-kick in Burnley’s half, it felt inevitable that the towering Everton players would create scoring opportunities. This aerial dominance is considered a substantial asset in Everton’s fight against relegation this season.
James Tarkowski, in particular, has experienced a rejuvenation under Dyche’s management, showcasing newfound consistency at Goodison Park. While younger talents like Jarrad Branthwaite often capture attention, the 30-year-old Tarkowski has been equally impressive, contributing to Everton’s solid defensive performances.
For Amadou Onana, the challenge has been to make more significant contributions in the final third, and his excellent header at Turf Moor demonstrated his ability to impact the game offensively. With Everton currently in a positive run of form, few Premier League sides will relish the prospect of facing them this season, making them a formidable force under Dyche’s guidance.