“Excellent” – Sky Sports pundit heaps praise on Everton ace who shone up against two talented Premier League superstars…

Vitalii Mykolenko ‘excellent’ amid Everton resurgence with goals and defence against Liverpool and West Ham stars – Sky Sports pundi

Sue Smith has singled out the “excellent” form of Vitalii Mykolenko as a key part of the reason Everton have improved so much recently.

The Sky Sports pundit spoke live on Soccer Saturday on 11 November after the defender had scored in the 3-2 win at Crystal Palace, having netted the only Toffees goal against Brighton the week before, as she also highlighted his “excellent” defensive work up against Premier League stars Mohamed Salah and Jarrod Bowen in back-to-back weeks against Liverpool and West Ham.

Additionally Smith pointed to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s improved availability as “so key”, along with the “quality” of on-loan Leeds United winger Jack Harrison, as she assessed the strong Toffees form under Sean Dyche, but reserved her strongest praise for Ukrainian international Mykolenko.

Smith told Simon Thomas (5.57pm): “Mykolenko’s been excellent. Obviously two goals, but the way that he performed against Mo Salah, it was always going to be difficult and he was excellent against him. [And] the way that he performed against Bowen.

“So players in form, we spoke about confidence earlier, they just look like a side now that have that confidence that even when Palace equalised they had the belief that they could go on and win the game.”

Shining example

Six wins in nine wouldn’t have been possible without multiple players performing strongly on a fairly regular basis, and that is exactly what Everton have had recently.


Dyche deserves a lot of credit for the recent form, just as he does for allowing Calvert-Lewin to get fully fit, with the striker a vital part of this side when he is playing well.

Abdoulaye Doucouré continues to be a danger in front of goal, Harrison has added an extra dimension since making his debut after injury, and Jarrad Branthwaite has formed an excellent partnership at the back with James Tarkowski.

The young centre-back and his senior teammate were both below their best at Selhurst Park on Saturday but the rest of the side were able to compensate.


Mykolenko’s strong performances are perhaps some of the most surprising of all, given the 24-year-old has been in and out of the starting XI during his time at Goodison Park.


Even this year he started the campaign on the bench as Dyche preferred Ashley Young on the left for the opening four Premier League games, but the manager surely wouldn’t dream of dropping the former Dynamo Kyiv man on current form.

Everton go into a second consecutive international break off the back of an important win having scored three goals, and look far improved from this stage of last season.

In other Everton news, Paul Merson says this side have an “X factor” that spells trouble for rival Premier League sides.

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