Admit it, around 3:45pm ET this past Monday you thought to yourself, ‘Holy crap, I had no idea Everton was this good.’
How could you not?
The Toffees were positively throttling Newcastle 3-0 at halftime. And yes, as an American Evertonian, I was in delirium.
From opening kickoff the Toffees always looked the more dangerous side so when Romelu Lukaku finessed home the first goal, I shrieked like a 12 year old girl on her birthday.
Classy? Not really. But I didn’t care.
Well aware of my allegiance, the outburst gave the men inside the NBC Sports tape room a good chuckle. Realizing my biased gaff, I thereafter collected myself and played the following two goals cooly, as if expecting Everton to be up three nil at halftime.
Overall, it was a dominant performance for the Toffees and a crap display from Newcastle. Two worlds colliding in a bliss of blue. The Magpies managed to get themselves together in the second half but by then it was too late. No thanks to you, Alan Pardew.
While I could wax poetic about many a man in the royal blue kits for now I’ll muse about just one – Romelu Lukaku.
The guy looked like Iron Man 3 out there.
Ginormous in stature with excellent speed, Lukaku has all types of goals in him – breakaways, close-range poaches, headers, blasts from distance, instinctive stabs – you name it, he’s got it. Fluent in six languages, the Belgian international also possesses a formidable creative intelligence, which helps him not only finish but create, as he did on Ross Barkley’s goal.
But for me, Lukaku’s most impressive trait is his foot skills. It’s highly unusual for a man of such stature to maintain such silk off the dribble. Is he Zlatan-esque? Not quite. But someday he very well may be.
The media’s favorite comparison isn’t Zlatan, however, it’s former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. Being labeled ‘The Next Drogba,’ is quite a nice complement but one that the Belgian politely declines, noting that ‘Lukaku will be Lukaku.’
The perfect response. Modest yet confident.
So how, exactly, will the end Lukaku product look?
We’ll have to wait and see over the next 3-10 years. After all, he’s still only 20 years old. But one thing is for sure, Lukaku is going to be a special, special footballer.
Everton, Chelsea, Belgium, the Premier League – heck, the entire footballing world – are lucky to have him.