18 January 2012 FC Porto 1 Estoril 0, (Taca de Liga)
The history here is that Silva had come in to the struggling provincial club and turned things around. He had a spectacular and instant impact and had the team flying and by the 12th game they had climbed to the top of the table where they would remain. We are past Silva's 9th league game and he's unbeaten since tasting defeat in his first game. In the cups, they'd qualified for the group in the League Cup (which this is) but had lost the first group game, and now they went to Vitor Pereira's fearsome Porto side.
Estoril lined up in a 4-3-1-2. That's a flat back four, with fullbacks pushing on, 3 midfielders sitting deep, number 10 sitting deep and two strikers who appear to run the channels and wait for long balls up the pitch. Estoril are under the cosh for most of the game. Estoril seem to be defending quite comfortably, save for a wicked deflection hitting the post. However, the highlights are only going one way. The goal arrives in the 65th minute. Alvaro Pereira runs down the left tries to play in a pass to Varela, but it takes a deflection and loops a ball into the middle, where Silvestre Varela brings it down well with his right, knocking it inside for his left, and then he smashes a bobbling shot down low to the keeper's left. The keeper gets at least a hand to it, but he can't keep it out. He will surely have thought he should have saved it. Porto keep coming forwards, but Estoril defend well. They have a half chance late on, then a typically fast counter attack sees a triangle down the Estoril right with the full back playing it quickly inside to the central midfielder and the right winger galloping away towards the byline. He plays in a low cross behind Gerso, and the balls comes to an unmarked Pedro Moreira who skies it over the bar when he had a free shot on goal. Estoril were setup to defend and counter. The defending part they did well, only really beaten by a deflection onto the post and shot the keeper should have kept out. They spurned their best chance.
NB there was a spectacular 4-6 defeat that season in the actual Cup, but sadly it's not on youtube for assessment.
6 May 2013 – Benfica 1 Estoril 1 (Liga NOS)
If I picked the first game because there was little choice on YouTube, I picked this game because it is of massive significance. Clearly this is Silva's second season with Estoril, but his first in the top flight. Estoril got off to a shaky start in the league and come into this game in 6th position, on their way to an eventual 5th position. However, Benfica are top and on their way to the title. The gap to Porto in 2nd is 4 points, but three games left. They do have to go to Porto in the game after this, but if they beat Estoril, and helpfully I read that 93% believe Benfica will beat Estoril, then they only need to win their last game and the result in Porto is irrelevant. Manager of Benfica is Jorge Jesus the respected Portguese coach who you will recognise (Portuguese Barry Manilow?) and he is also the guy that Sporting sacked Silva to get him into Sporting. The consequence of this result is more for Benfica who allow Porto to catch ground on them and then lose the winner takes all game in Porto. Estoril are finishing like a train, they come into this game having just snatched 5th from Braga, upsetting them by snatching a 2-1 comeback win. The pre-game vote had 90% in favour of a Braga win.
So onto this game. Silva lines his men up in a 4-4-2. It's a diamond shape. Of note is Evandro on the right of the midfield 3. Estoril play a very narrow back 4. The left back, Jefferson gets forward well and his a decent left peg. Estoril demonstrate some of the counter-attacking flair we hope to see, but this is not vintage Silva. His outclassed side are under the cosh but they are well drilled defensively and stand firm. They go ahead due to a flukey goal scored by Jefferson who whips in a left footed free-kick which misses everyone and bounces underneath the hapless keeper who should never have conceded that. Sure he was unsighted by Lica who missed his head, but that should not have slipped under him like it did. Lica then went very close to double the lead, before the Benfica right back Maxi Pereira popped up unmarked on the edge of the box and smashed a super shot past Vagner. Carlos Martins is then sent off for a second yellow on 78 minutes, to give Estoril a man advantage, which they use to press for the winner, bringing a decent save from the Benfica keeper. We can see a nice compact narrow defence. Estoril look solid for a side heavily outclassed by Portugal's traditionally biggest club. Silva's counter-attacking tactics appear to be working and they get a good point that swings the title race away from Benfica, whilst allowing themselves to seize 5th back from Vitoria Guimaraes.
23 February 2014 – FC Porto 0 Estoril 1 (Liga NOS)
There was only one game to do for this season. 2nd at home to 4th. Silva did extremely well to get 4th last season, but he was overshadowed by Paulo Fonseca. In Silva's first season he had won the league and got promoted, whilst Fonseca was 3rd and didn't. But Fonseca did enough to get the Pacos de Ferreira job and took perennial relegation battlers to third. As a result it was he, not Silva, who got the Porto job, replacing the Olympiacos bound Vitor Pereira. Going into this game Fonseca was 2nd, he had recently lost to Benfica and so the lead had stretched to 4 points. After he drew his next game (after being 2-0 up), he was sacked. This defeat saw Porto slip to 3rd and 7 points back on Benfica, and when that grew to 9, he was gone. The damage was really done by this defeat, which saw Porto lose their 5 and a half year unbeaten home record. For added spice, Porto had 3 former Estoril players in their squad!
Both sides line up in a 4-2-3-1. Evandro is the Estoril number 10, playing further forward than he was in game 2. The game saw Estoril defending for their lives. Wave after wave of Porto players attack, but the first half ended with no clear cut chance for either side. In the second half Porto continue to huff and puff, but Estoril are defending deep, narrow and compact, and Porto can only find space down the outside. Their crossing is poor and they can't find a man in space in the box. The one occasion they do, out races Vagner and smothers it. As the game gets to the hour mark, Estoril start to have joy on the counter, and come more into the game. There's a chance that's headed very narrowly over from a corner (set pieces are a big thing for Silva and the year before Steven Vitoria of Canada was top scorer with 11 despite being a centre back, he then got a big move to Benfica, which didn't come off well and he's now in oblivion). Javier Balboa then had a decent chance but pulled it wide of the post. Silva went mad at something and was sent to the stands on 67th minute. On 76 minutes, a great ball is played through the lines and into the box, Evandro gets there ahead of Mangala (yes the same one) who clumsily clips Evandro's foot and gives away a penalty and gets sent off. Sure Evandro made a lot of it, but there was silly contact and it's yet another example of why Mangala is not as good as some think he is (Man City for one), Evandro would not have been able to get a shot off before the keeper closed the distance. Quaresma thumps a couple of free-kicks in a way that Vagner spectacularly saves, but they make the keeper look good rather than the keeper pulling off a worldy. So yet another good defensive action. Narrow back 4, compact and congesting the centre and forcing the opposition down the flanks, and the opposition could not get the space they needed to get a decent chance.
5 November 2014 – Sporting 4 Schalke 2 (Champions League Group G)
I could have picked Sporting getting knocked out of the Europa League by Wolfsburg. The same season we beat them at Goodison, when they had de Bruyne. The two goal hero was future Sporting striker Bas Dost (big yard dog!). I could also have gone for the cup final when Sporting rescued the game after trailing 2-0 with 6 minutes to go, with goals from Slimani and Fredy Montero. Instead I've gone Champions League. After draw away at Maribor, defeat at home to Chelsea, and then a defeat against Schalke, Sporting were left bottom of the group. Incidentally after this win, and then beating Maribor, Sporting needed only a point at Stamford Bridge to qualify but lost 3-1, and missed out by a single point, if only they'd won at Maribor in the first game.
For this must-win game, both sides lined up in a 4-2-3-1. Remember the Estoril left back Jefferson, he's now at Sporting. Right back is Southampton's Cedric. The midfield is set up with Carvalho sitting, Adrien Silva on the right and Joao Mario on the left. Slimani is up top. Nani (yes him) and Mané (no, not him) are wide. Schalke have Fuchs (Leicester), Choupo Moting (Stoke), Huntelaar, Howedes (Juventus) and their current hero Meyer in the no10 position.
The first two goals are set pieces, Schalke go ahead after Slimani gets the last touch to send it past his own keeper. Sporting take the lead from a great hit from Jefferson's sweet left foot, just outside the box. Nani's goal highlights the Silva trademark counter attack. Everyone goes down the right where Andre Carrillo (Silva took him to Watford) is, and after he beats his man and sends in a low cross, there's Nani on the far end to tap home into an empty net. Agogo gives Di Matteo's men hope with a good touch past the defender and then put it past the keeper. Can't blame tactics for this goal as he had two men closing him down, they let him bring it down with a great touch, he was forced wide and smashed it powerfully through the keeper. The fourth goal was a Hull style counter. Schalke are going all out for the goal they need to secure qualification, Sporting punt it forwards to Slimani who is too fast and too strong and races in on the keeper and puts it past him from the edge of the box. That's the Silmani Leicester wanted playing for them.
Sporting finished 3rd that season and won the Cup. Sporting were a lot more open than Estoril. They couldn’t play Silva's brand of countering from deep with rapid attacks. Instead they had to play a more possession based game, with opponents in Portugal sitting back and defending. Silva did quite well at that, but not well enough as he came 3rd in what some would call a 3 horse race. But you need to look closer at the results. Sporting lost 7 games that year: Chelsea (Champions League), Schalke (Champions League), Vitori Guinares (League), Chelsea (Champions League), Belenenses (League Cup), Wolfsburg (Europa League), Porto (League). Only 2 in the league, one shock defeat in November (immediately before the game above), and the Porto away game that everyone loses. After that Porto defeat in March, they win 9 and draw 2 in the league finishing like a train, and so the mood amongst the actual fans of Sporting was that this was a bedding in season, that Silva had won his first trophy (and theirs for 7 years or so), and that he had Sporting playing well and that next season would be better. Instead Jorge Jesus was poached from the Champions and Silva was dispatched for a load of ridiculous reasons.
29 September 2015 – Arsenal 2 Olympiacos 3 (Champions League Group F)
There's no other game to pick. Olympiacos walk the league by 30 points, losing just once (AEK), and losing in the cup final (AEK again). In Europe, they're in with Bayern, Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb. They lose to Bayern, beat Arsenal here, beat Zagreb home and away and leave themselves in a great position, only for Bayern to beat them again (7-0 over the two games) and for Arsenal to thump them at home to ensure the gunners went through at their expense. This game though shows their best qualities.
Fortunous is the standout player for Olymiacos. The Greeks are playing 4-2-3-1 with Fortuitous in the no.10 position. They take the lead from a set-piece before Theo easily beats the Greek keeper to level. The second goal is memorable, Ospina drops it / takes it over the line and the goal is given by the ref behind the goal, and Sol Campbell in commentary reckoned it was not over the line. Sanchez draws the gunners level with a free header from a cross. Slovas closes down, with Cambiasso dropping behind him, Botia is in position to his right. When Slovas drops back Cambiasso is playing in between the two centre backs, and Botia has drifted too far away. Cambiasso leaves Sanchez, Solvas can't recover any ground, Botia is caught in no man's land between Sanchez and Ozil, and Sanchez has a free header. Terrible defending. Finbogasson pops up with the winner straight from kickoff. It's a famous win, their first on English soil in the Champions League. They ended the campaign with 9 points, the same as Arsenal and going out on head-to-head. Having won the League, Silva was tempted home with the Porto job and resigned to get it. Instead they appointed the Wolves manager, and he was left waiting before popping up at Hull.
4 February 2017 - Hull 2 Liverpool 0 (Premier League)
Hull have picked up some wins already and this lifts them to 18th. I won't set the scene any further as you all know the score.
Hull play a 4-4-2, but with the CMs dropped deep and the wingers pushed on so more of a 4-2-4, but in a defensive counter-attacking way. Evandro of Estoril is on the right wing, Niasse is on the bench. Huddlestone is the deep passer, critical to the tactics. Hull get a lucky goal from a corner. Then Liverpool pound them. There's then a great counter where Robinson races forwards from left back and hits a long diagonal to Grosicki, who quickly plays Hernandez through on goal but he can't beat the keeper. Niasse scores after Ranocchia plays a great ball over the top, Niasse outpaces the centre backs who allow him between them, and unlike Hernandez, Niasse just slips it slightly wide of, and just under the keeper. Great finish. That was on 84 minutes and Liverpool were beaten.
Silva used a variety of tactics and formations for Hull, but mainly sat them deep and tried to play on the break.
21 October 2017, Chelsea 4 Watford 2 (Premier League)
After beating Arsenal in the last game, Watford had gone 4th. Koeman was sacked 3 days after this game. But here on ToffeeWeb some of us had our eye on Silva and used this game to scout him. This game encapsulates Watford's time under Silva. So much promise, so close to glory, but ultimately defeat.
Tactically, Silva lined his side up in a 5-4-1 or a 5-2-3. Not a 3-4-3, this was a back 5. I'll let MotD do the analysis:
I would like to conclude by pulling it all together. If you bothered to watch them all, you'll form your own opinions. Mine is that Silva is a pragmatist. He learnt counter attacking football and used it to great effect for Estoril. It was a case of needs must and the underdog overachieved. Then at Sporting, for once he had a slower start, a good finish and landed a trophy. Perhaps the slower start can be explained at having to adapt to possession based tactics and less of the counter attacking game. It was more of this at Olympiacos, they dominated in Greece, and won 3 of 6 champions league matches (the same as Arsenal). They counter attacked well, but three heavy defeats (Arsenal and Bayern x 2) showed hoa badly wrong it goes when it does indeed go wrong. At Hull it was back to Estoril tactics and they almost helped him pull off the impossible. At Watford he was more adventurous going between different tactics (4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-1-4-1, 5-2-3 / 5-4-1, 3-4-3, 3-5-2) as he tried to out-think the opponent and he got things working early on. We can all guess what went wrong after we came calling. Was it his head was turned? Or was it a horrific injury list? Or a mixture of factors.
Silva is a pragmatist, that's for sure. And he's not scared to experiment tactically. I expect his tactics to be built around Sigurdsson and expect him to work with a 4-2-3-1, but one thing this article might teach you, he's not predictable.
Reader Comments (32)
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1 Posted 05/06/2018 at 07:43:14
2 Posted 05/06/2018 at 07:51:33
3 Posted 05/06/2018 at 09:57:47
If I may make one comment – your article is so professional and enlightening I just hope opposition coaches aren't readers of TW!!
4 Posted 05/06/2018 at 12:04:55
I still have my reservations but he's got me interested in Everton again after being bored under Koeman and Allardyce. The last time I felt we were on to something was during Martinez's first season.
I'm interested to know what fellow TWers think would constitute success for Silva in his first season. Personally, I'd be happy with an attacking style, some results against the so-called top 6, improved away performances and a decent league position. The biggest thing for me is to actually look forward to the games again with a belief that we might actually see winning and entertaining football.
5 Posted 05/06/2018 at 12:33:01
6 Posted 05/06/2018 at 12:45:25
I really look forward to your tactical analysing posts.
7 Posted 05/06/2018 at 13:42:42
8 Posted 05/06/2018 at 13:45:09
9 Posted 05/06/2018 at 13:53:28
10 Posted 05/06/2018 at 14:06:47
I hope Silva's half as good as you think he is, otherwise it's going to be fun watching you deal with the flack from those who are waiting.
11 Posted 05/06/2018 at 14:20:52
It's easy to say appoint Ancelotti, he's won 3 champions leagues. That's in the past, how can Ancelotti win trophies at Everton? No one else put forward an actual case for anyone else. Mostly for fear of being shot down.
I argued for Bielsa when we got Martinez. Bielsa has been crap since, clearly he has lost his energy, which is unsurprising now he's 62. When we appointed Koeman, I wanted de Boer. I doubt he'd have done as badly with us as he did at Palace, but there's no propositioning him for any job now.
So clearly I've been wrong before, I'll be wrong again in the future. But everyone will hope I'm right about Silva.
13 Posted 05/06/2018 at 14:35:35
14 Posted 05/06/2018 at 14:36:57
Personally, I'm more excited by Brands' arrival than by Silva's, but I think it's instructive that Brands approved Silva's hiring even though Silva had been approached months before Brands joined Everton.
It would have been perfectly predictable for a new DOF to come in and say nah, forget that guy, it's my call and I want my guy. But apparently Brands doesn't have that kind of egotistical need to mark his territory. He looked at the choices available and said yup, Silva's the best choice.
Under the circumstances, that's a strong endorsement.
15 Posted 05/06/2018 at 15:29:33
Don't get me wrong, as he is a shrewd negotiator he can always use this argument the other way around. He can't lose. If Silva succeeds, Brands is the team player who didn't mind his own ego and assessed Silva on his worth, not on the fact that Brands himself did not choose him. If Silva flops, Brands can always say Silva was not the guy he wanted and was a done deal when he arrived. The thing is, as far as I know Brands from the few interviews he gave, he does not want to comment on the matter any way it goes.
16 Posted 05/06/2018 at 16:04:02
17 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:10:06
I too struggle with Steve's stats, I think they are highly selective and don't believe they will register with those who see the whole picture and are not so readily impressed.
I will say this though: Steve has put his heart, soul and balls on the line. If he is right, everyone is happy and little will be said. If he is wrong, then he won't be the first and he won't be the last. We have all been in there – some more than most.
Steve has made the close season more interesting than it would have been and I would give absolutely no credence to anybody waiting to see what happens and giving him plenty of "flack" if it goes tits up.
I would take a balls-on-the-line Steve Ferns over a wise-after-the-event smartarse all day long.
18 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:18:16
No doubt he will turn up in Washington advocating that Rooney needs a new dynamic coach. Silva?
I think you might just be right, Steve. I have a good feeling.
19 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:22:03
It would just be nice to see us play for a full 90 minutes rather than hands on hips after half an hour !
Since Moyes did the dirty on us the squads fitness has been atrocious.
20 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:22:37
Frustration has built up to boiling point with a lot of supporters. Let's hope this is the start of a beautiful relationship.
21 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:40:28
7th is realistic for us in his first season but with no Europa league we can aim higher.
If a couple of top signings come in and Silva starts us well we could get in amongst the top six. They all have midweek Europe games fatigue and injuries could play a part. Especially with most of their players involved in the World Cup too.
We have quality young players on an upward curve who could become more influential as the season progresses. They could help us finish the season very strongly. It will be very interesting if we are in with a shout of a top four place next January.
Im being overly optimistic, I know, but after last season its time for a bit of it.
22 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:47:31
All I will say is any appointment is a leap of faith. Silva is young, hungry and,unlike Koeman, genuinely wants to be here – so that will do me.
23 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:52:21
24 Posted 05/06/2018 at 20:56:50
It would be great Karma for Silva to strike Silverware in his first season with us. I dare to dream. The League Cup? COYB.
25 Posted 05/06/2018 at 21:41:45
27 Posted 06/06/2018 at 23:51:42
Steve I wonder if you could enlighten us all on how you view the idea that Everton will set up in a 4-3-3 formation and whether you believe we have the necessary quality to utilise that formation?
I fear that Sam wasn't far from the truth when he said that his preferred formation was the best way for this current squad to play, although his emphasis on defence mostly made the team look toothless. It will be interesting if not downright scary to see Everton lining up in this more open, adventurous way and particularly as we only really have Tosun who can find the net often enough.
28 Posted 07/06/2018 at 13:39:52
29 Posted 07/06/2018 at 16:59:25
30 Posted 10/06/2018 at 13:44:25
Incidentally, I didn't have it with either Allardyce or Martinez, though I did have it with David Moyes; make of that, what you will!
31 Posted 11/06/2018 at 22:54:28
Our new head coach is a very shrewd, confident, adventurous, ambitious and tactically astute leader.
Forget all this nonsense about taking Hull City down. They were hopeless castaways when he was surprisingly announced as their new manager and he completely transformed them. But for a fluke defeat in the final stages against Sunderland, he would have achieved the greatest of great escapes.
Don't judge him by the second half of his tenure at Watford either. Prior to being courted by Everton, he had transformed them too, into a dynamic, confident, cavalier team who appeared full of pace and frightened of no-one.
Then there's his record at Estoril: relegation candidates in the second division to promotion, European competition and top five/top four finishes.
That was followed by a cup win at Sporting and a record championship winning season with Olympiacos.
So, three impressively successful spells in Europe and equally importantly, two impressive seasons in the (so-called) Premier League.
In short, he has massively improved every club he has been at. Immediately. Watch us come out of the traps next season.
Time we reminded people who we are – and Silva seems like the perfect man to take us back where we belong. I cannot wait for the first game.
32 Posted 12/06/2018 at 08:47:13
33 Posted 12/06/2018 at 12:53:03
You've just given us hope for the forthcoming season — and we all know where that leads...
34 Posted 22/06/2018 at 07:52:52
However it turns out though, at this moment I feel genuinely optimistic.
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