When Seamus Coleman put Everton 2-1 in front against Brighton at the start of the month, he made a pointed effort to celebrate in front of the club’s fans with his fingers in his ears; as a response to criticism that had come his way after Anthony Martial ran riot against the Irishman the previous week.
While Coleman did not excel himself at Old Trafford, it must be pointed out that Theo Walcott didn’t offer much by way of defensive cover, leaving his team-mate exposed one against one with one of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League.
Everton travel to Anfield to face their bitterest rivals Liverpool on Sunday, where Coleman will come up against yet another tricky customer in Sadio Mane; who is generally joined by the marauding Andy Robertson overlapping down the left.
That means Walcott must be on top of his game defensively – putting in a much improved shift than his Old Trafford effort last month – otherwise Marco Silva’s side will be overrun.
In truth, Walcott has been lucky to keep his place in this exciting Everton side for quite some time now; his experience is one of the few remaining justifications for Silva leaving him in.
He must repay his manager’s faith with a responsible defensive performance to give Everton the springboard to get the Anfield result their recent form suggests they are capable of getting.