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Why Aiden McGeady Is Under Most Pressure for Everton Following Draw at Leicester

Everton's Aidan McGeady  during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium, in Leicester, England, Saturday, Aug 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press
Matt CheethamCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2014

Aiden McGeady played reasonably well during Everton's 2-2 draw with Leicester City.

He contributed some typical flashes of skill and, of course, opened the scoring with arguably the Premier League's best finish of Week 1.

Whether that's enough for the Irishman to keep his place, however, seems unlikely.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16:  Aidan McGeady (C) of Everton celebrates his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at the King Power Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Mi
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Unfortunately for McGeady, he is one of seven options for Roberto Martinez to use in three attacking berths behind the striker.

Ross Barkley's current injury status reduces that to six, but any one of Kevin Mirallas, Christian Atsu and Leon Osman are likely to come in to face Arsenal.

But why axe McGeady, he scored, right? Why not Steven Pienaar or Steven Naismith?

In truth, every attacker will be looked at and those three positions will be regularly rotated throughout the season, regardless of form. 

As a creative unit, though, Everton underperformed in this game, leaving Pienaar, Naismith and McGeady all a little vulnerable.

The team created just six chances in total and Martinez will look for another combination to be far more effective against Arsenal next week.

To put that production into context, ranked against last season, those six chances would count as the joint-36th most creative performance (out of 39); against the 2012/13 season, it would be joint 38th.

Everton Lowest Creative Totals
2014/152013/142012/13
6—vs. Leicester (a)5—vs. Man City (a)5—vs. Man City (a)
5—vs. Tottenham (h)6—vs. Man United (a)
5—vs. Swansea (h)6—vs. Tottenham (a)
6—vs. West Ham (a)7—vs. Newcastle (a)
6—vs. Aston Villa (h)7—vs. Southampton (a)
Stats via WhoScored.com

In short, it was a pretty poor return against a newly promoted outfit.

What hurts McGeady is that every chance Everton did create came down the leftthree from Pienaar and three from Baineswhile Naismith was heavily involved in the combinations on that flank.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16: Aidan McGeady (R) of Everton celebrates his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at the King Power Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Mic
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Playing on the right, and hindered by Seamus Coleman's absence, McGeady failed to create anything. He beat a man once from four attempts and delivered just one unsuccessful cross into the area.

Everton's initial joy down the left is reflected by the shot count. While Naismith, Pienaar and Baines were finding a way through Leicester, the Irishman was then regularly found at the end of these moves, played in with a chance to score.

In the opening 37 minutes, McGeady registered five shots, more than double that of any Everton player in the entire game; yet, aside from his excellent goal, he failed to test Kasper Schmeichel.

As Leicester began to cover the Toffees' left-sided threat, Everton found no joy from McGeady on the right and became completely nullified going forward. Having mustered 11 shots (five for McGeady) in the first half, they were unable to register a single shot in the opening 43 minutes after the break.

This will clearly lead to attacking changes against Arsenal. While he caught the eye with an impressive individual strike, and a few sharp tricks and turns, McGeady's inability to create anything for his team leaves his place under most threat.

Against Arsenal, the Irishman will almost certainly miss out as Mirallas, or a debutant Atsu, come in.

 

Statistics via WhoScored.com.

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