He was lauded by Sam Allardyce as one of only two players to come out of the 5-1 drubbing to Arsenal with any shred of dignity.
Tom Davies’ battling second half display, after he emerged from the bench at half-time, was praised by his Everton manager after a first 45 to forget for everyone associated in Royal Blue.
It was a performance that belied his tender years and once again showed off the qualities that Davies has in abundance, but has often failed to produce this term as the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ set in.
With his boss’ words ringing delightfully in his ears then, will last Saturday’s display prove to be a turning point in Davies’ 2017/18 campaign?
The 19-year-old wonderkid midfielder himself admitted on Thursday that things had not been going well for him at Goodison this term and, given the amount of upheaval on Merseyside that has seen Davies work under three different managers, it’s not difficult to see why.
Differing advice, tactical plans and inconsistent use of Davies will have resulted in muddied thoughts and indecisive actions on the pitch as the centre midfielder tried to get to grips with what was asked of him.
Good on ya Tom.More performances like the second half at Arsenal and you will be starting plenty of games.@1TomDavies— Charles Jones (@ChazJ) February 8, 2018
He may have featured in 32 matches in all competitions already this season but, with no goals and only two assists to his name, it’s clear that a changing of the managerial guard hasn’t helped Davies settle this season.
Compare that to the brace of goals and trio of assists he bagged 12 months ago, it’s a lack of end product that has weighed on Davies’ mind despite him not being far off those breakout campaign numbers.
The England Under-21 international remarked that he needed to weigh in with more strikes and assists for his teammates – his comments certainly having an air of frustration about them.
One way to staying in the team is keep driving forward with ball be positive 👍👍— Alec Phillips (@Phillips10Alec) February 8, 2018
He said: “It has been a tough season for me so far but I have been getting back into the team and getting some games under my belt.
“The aim for me now is to try to cement myself in the team. We have got a lot of games still go and I am just looking to try and keep my place. I would like to add more goals to my game, as well as creating more chances. That’s what I’m working hard to do.”
Evertonians will rightly stick with ‘one of their own’ as he battles to recapture the form that saw him labelled as a leading light for the Toffees for the next 10 to 15 years to come.
If his performance against Arsenal was anything to go by, they may not have long to wait to see Davies refind his confidence and form and become the midfield star Blues fans expect him to be.