Doucoure Reveals Key To Productive Form

Abdoulaye Doucoure says a complete overhaul of his game is responsible for the midfielder’s productive start to the campaign.

Frenchman Doucoure’s angled drive wrapped up victory for Everton over Norwich City on Saturday.

That strike at Goodison Park was the player's second goal in six Premier League matches to equal his tally for the entirety of last term.

Additionally, Doucoure's three assists this season matches the 28-year-old’s total from 2020/21.

The shot that comprehensively defeated Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul essentially secured three points and banished the disappointment of a first league defeat of the campaign at Aston Villa seven days earlier.

Manager Rafa Benitez’s team are fifth in the table ahead of this weekend’s visit to Manchester United.

“I am very happy with the games I’ve played this season and I am learning with the manager every day,” said Doucoure.

“Everything changed in my game and my understanding of the game improved.

“The manager gave me a lot of advice – simple advice that makes a difference – and I try to take that on the pitch and help the team as much as I can.

“It was massive against Norwich for our position in the table and to come back to Goodison and win after a difficult week.

“We had to learn from what happened at Aston Villa. The Premier League is very tough and you have to be 100 per cent in every aspect.

“The margins were really fine in that game but there were things we should have done better.

“It was a setback but it was really important we kept working hard to continue the momentum we built from the start of the season.”

Doucoure talked in advance of his second Everton season of a subtle shift to a more free-running assignment under Benitez.

The player, signed from Watford in the summer of 2020, capitalised on his newly-acquired licence to roam with a burst into the box and explosive strike against Southampton on the opening day.

Abdoulaye Doucoure
I am very happy with the games I’ve played this season and I am learning with the manager every day,. Everything changed in my game and my understanding of the game improved.

He measured a pass for Demarai Gray to score at Leeds United the following week and, against Burnley a fortnight ago, unzipped the visitors’ defence with a tremendous ball to release the same player for a smart finish.

Gray was desperately close to putting Everton in front at Villa 60 seconds before the home team scored to establish a grip they wouldn’t relinquish.

The meeting with Norwich, therefore, qualified as a chance to get back on the horse following a first league defeat and the disappointment of last week’s Carabao Cup penalty shootout loss at QPR.

Andros Townsend scored from the spot in the opening half against Norwich to set Everton on the way to a third straight home win.

“Andros is full of confidence at the moment… we didn’t have our main penalty takers, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, so he took responsibility and put the ball in the net,” said Doucoure.

The rampant Doucoure completed the job with 13 minutes remaining, reversing roles with Gray to stride on to a pass from the forward and clinically finish across Krul.

Everton go to United on Saturday for the final game before October’s international break aiming to add to the 13-point haul that’s a match for champions Manchester City in second.

“It is a very good start, we have a massive game at the weekend and all the focus this week is on having a very good result at United,” added Doucoure.

“We did some good things against Norwich. It was a positive start to the game but for a while after our first goal they pushed us back.

“We worked well as a team and had a strong reaction after our second goal when we could have scored more.

“But the most important thing was to win.

“We feel very good and are happy with the number of points we have but it is only the beginning and we have to keep working to improve.”