And three of these decisions meant that Alex Iwobi did not come back out for the start of the second half.
In 30 games as Everton manager, Carlo Ancelotti felt the need to change on eight occasions.
Alex Iwobi was put in charge of Everton in Richarlison’s absence over the weekend, but was replaced in the first half.
The Everton boss didn’t talk about the decision after the game, there were bigger, more important issues in his mind and you wouldn’t expect him to discuss them, at least in great detail, in front of the cameras on Friday.
Iwobi was not only the reason why a sub-par Blues was 2-0 below, but it was part of the problem. And also for Ancelotti, apparently it was not part of the solution.
The last one came on Sunday, at St Mary’s Stadium, when Ancelotti tried to shake things up in the hope of making up a two goal deficit, replacing the 24-year-old with Bernard, who was sent to warm up as soon as the Everton players came back on break.
Earlier this week, Iwobi shared a saying on his social media pages. “When some things go wrong, take a moment to be grateful for the many things that go well.
There was not even a hint of an injury or a knock, we must emphasize.
Discussing people about it tends not to be his style, but maybe he doesn’t need it. Assuming there hasn’t been an injury, then his actions have talked a lot. And not for the first time with Iwobi.
Perhaps this was not related to his chastised afternoon on the South Coast, but if it was not, then it was certainly appropriate.
The other two occasions he was “hooked” in the interval? At Tottenham Hotspur during the resumption of the Premier League last season and again in the next game against Southampton at Goodison.
Iwobi’s first start to the Premier League season was in the absence of the suspended Richarlison, but his elimination from the game was so abrupt that his prospects for Sunday’s match against Newcastle United do not look great at this stage.
Perhaps it will not surprise you to know that Bernard is at the top of the list of players submitted at halftime under Ancelotti, after doing so twice.
If you add the fact that Ancelotti replaced him with Bernard, a player who has a similar profile and style – and didn’t choose the more direct run than Anthony Gordon – the decision seems even more painful for Iwobi.
For every three starts passed to Iwobi, Ancelotti takes him off once at the break. It is not the kind of one out of three record that a player should have.
The Everton boss estimates the wing at £28 million. In private and in public, he speaks very well of the former Arsenal man – he does so in preparation for the match against Southampton – but in Premier League matches, he will begin to wonder if he can count on him from the start.
And in addition to these three half-time substitutions, Iwobi has been substituted between 60 and 70 minutes on four occasions in the league under Ancelotti and only twice – in 14 front row appearances under the Italian – he has played over.
In his entire Premier League career, with 130 appearances, he has been replaced 68 times. Is a young player, who is part of the competitive teams, still finding his way? Or a trend to correct?
Entering the game, off the bench against Brighton recently, has been one of Iwobi’s best performances since he joined the club, but when he starts in hand he tends to have less impact….