Everton left-back Leighton Baines was singled out by his manager David Moyes after his two goals in the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Baines’ first goal was a stunning effort from outside the penalty area, which flew into the top corner, giving Everton the lead in the 29th minute, and the 28-year-old notched a second from the spot in first-half stoppage time.
Everton held on for victory despite West Brom scoring in the second half through Shane Long and Moyes claimed Baines continues to inspire his side in different ways.
“I thought he played really well. He keeps getting better,” Moyes said.
“When teams try to stop him he tries to work on ways to alter doing things.
“He’s great for a manager because he wants to get better himself and he wants to keep improving so we’re very fortunate to have him here.
“The last couple of games I’ve been thinking ‘he needs another challenge’ and he’s got to rise to it a bit more and he’s done that.
“He’s got a lot of things going for him and he’s turning out to be as good a left-back as there is.”
West Brom manager Steve Clarke bemoaned his team’s defensive fragility after Wednesday’s loss, which continues their poor start to 2013.
Clarke’s team have not won across all competitions since Boxing Day including three defeats in their past four outings.
“Disappointing. It’s not been a good start to the year for us,” Clarke said.
“We’re scratching a little bit for performances and the results are not coming.
“We’re conceding goals and when you concede two goals in the Premier League and try to chase it to get back…we managed to do it against (Aston) Villa but it was a little too much for us today.”
Clarke added that midfielder George Thorne, who was subbed off in the first half against Everton, faces a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury and claimed West Brom may need to sign a new player as cover.
“He’ll (Thorne) go for a scan and we’ll find out the scale of the damage,” Clarke said.
“Fingers crossed for the player himself it’s not too much but at the moment it doesn’t look very good.
“We’ve only got tomorrow to do it (sign players).
“It was never in our plans to bring new faces in this window, we wanted to keep the squad we’ve got (but) it’s something we’ll have to discuss and hopefully we can get a late night meeting or early morning and sit down and discuss it and decide what’s best for the club.”