Goodison Park favourites Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith reasserted their claims for a spot in Everton’s starting line-up with first-class performances on the international stage over the weekend.
Yet when Roberto Martinez has his entire squad available to him, neither is remotely close to being guaranteed a spot in the XI – a status quo there’s a case for turning upside down.
As it stands Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas bar the Republic of Ireland man’s access to a berth on either flank, while his Scottish colleague is enjoying a rare and prolific run of outings from the off thanks entirely to Ross Barkley’s injury absence.
However, both McGeady and Naismith’s showings this term highlight the fact they each offer something to Martinez above and beyond the men they understudy and should be included from the off as Everton attempt to land odds of 23/20 about beating West Brom this weekend.
The former Celtic and Spartak Moscow man’s double against Georgia for his homeland underlined the fact that he is hitting his stride after his January switch form the Russian capital.
His last-gasp winner has been the subject of vines galore, an exhibition of the nifty footwork and expert marksmanship under pressure he had previously advertised with his inch-perfect goal against Leicester on the season’s opening day.
It paraded access to a plane of inspiration not available to the more blood and thunder Mirallas.
Yet, in it’s own way, his earlier strike did just as much for his claims of usurping the Belgian on the Toffees’ eastern seaboard, illustrating as it did his harmonious relationship with assister and Goodison mucker James McCarthy.
Meanwhile, Naismith was not able to add to his three strikes in as many Premier League games this term against Germany despite turning in another performance of admirable attitude.
It’s the Scot’s admirable dedication to closing down opponents and regaining the ball high up the park which gives him the edge on the prodigiously talented but less defensively-useful Barkley.
In a Martinez system based upon familiar Spanish principles of possession retention and pressing he is arguably of more use than the English starlet, while providing easily as many goals.