99 Problems

For all the acknowledged mitigating circumstances surrounding what Marco Silva inherited, there is little question that Everton have regressed under his leadership. The Blues have a multitude of issues which the manager has time to fix. Now he has to prove he can.

Lyndon Lloyd 24/02/2019 207comments  |  Jump to last
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Even by Everton standards, the rapidity with which Blues fans have been plunged back into despair at the situation concerning their club has been quite something. With hindsight, the burgeoning optimism at the perceived momentum that Silva was building prior to last December might have been a little mis-placed but, having been seen false dawn after false dawn and then been subjected to six months of Sam Allardyce, Evertonians could be forgiven for regarding their collective glass as something approaching half full rather than half empty.

Then came the now infamous Merseyside derby and the “Everton, that!” circumstances behind Divock Origi's stoppage-time winner that extended a horrendous run in the Anfield derby to 20 years. A “Kevin Brock” moment in reverse, it knocked six bells out of the confidence of a group of Everton players that was just starting to form an identity and some mental fortitude.

The aftermath has thrown up a run of just three wins in 13 further Premier League games and, after a wholly unconvincing third-round victory over League Two Lincoln City, seen the Blues dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship strugglers Millwall. It means that this is now the longest stretch in the club's history without a trophy, a galling milestone that can only partially be explained away by the increasingly uneven playing field that plagues the top flight of English football.

Again, it was only two months ago that Evertonians were approaching the derby with optimism that this might finally be the year that the painful significance of Kevin Campbell's solo strike in September 1999 would be eased with a rare win across Stanley Park.

It was based on bolder displays at the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in the preceding weeks, games on “big six” grounds that yielded just one point but which seemed to point to a more potent and undaunted Everton who were ready to start rubbing shoulders with their former peers who have progressively left them behind since the glory days of the 1980s when Howard Kendall's Toffees, at times, swept all before them.

They weren't ready, of course. The fact that they failed to score at either the Emirates or Stamford Bridge despite deserving to, only registered via the penalty spot at Old Trafford and failed to beat any of Wolves, Bournemouth, Huddersfield or West Ham in the opening weeks of the season was evidence enough of that. But when weighed against the shambolic nature of Ronald Koeman's second season in charge and the tedious, unadventurous Allardyce spell, progress was evidently being made.

Richarlison was making buffoons of pundits like Paul Merson, André Gomes was looking like the coup of the summer transfer window, Bernard was hinting at being a hugely astute free transfer acquisition, and in Lucas Digne, Marcel Brands had answered one of the biggest looming questions of modern Everton history — how to replace Leighton Baines. Combined with the dead wood that was off-loaded on loan, the summer business, bar the need for a striker, had been pretty impressive and things were looking up.

Some of the alarming results since Anfield have brought the debate over Silva's suitability for the Everton post into sharp focus a lot sooner than most of us envisaged. After so much upheaval at Goodison since the end of a decade of relative stability under David Moyes, there was a natural inclination to plead for patience among the fanbase as a new Director of Football and manager duo settled into the posts. But for many Evertonians, on the back of 10 defeats in 16 games in all competitions, the situation has already moved beyond the realms of wait-and-see.

Had the team continued in a vein of being frustratingly close to breaking the top six this season but obviously not being quite up to it in terms of personnel, that would be one thing. There was an acceptance that not everything could be fixed in one transfer window and that Brands and Silva might need to two or three before they could assemble a team capable of challenging near the top of the Premier League.

Put simply, if Everton were pressing along in seventh, in touch with the “big six” but evidently short of a signing or two — my kingdom for a striker! — before they could viably capitalise on any slip by those teams above us then the majority of fans would be on board and prepared, however restlessly, to see how things played out.

The problem is that the team has regressed over the past two months; defensive problems that were intermittent and seemingly fixable over the short term persist to a maddening degree; the exciting, forward-thinking football that we thought we were developing under Silva has disappeared; confidence has been destroyed; and Everton have been in relegation form since the derby.

At the final whistle at Millwall and against Wolves, you were left with the feeling that, from the boardroom to the dugout and onto the pitch, the Blues have a multitude of problems.

It is, perhaps, too soon to fully assess the effects of the reshuffle at boardroom level last year and the club's commercial performance may still be stunted in comparison to the rest of the Premier League's ever-present clubs and Manchester City but it's the incremental progress with regard to Bramley-Moore Dock that is providing the beacon towards which Everton FC and its supporters are navigating. They do so with hope that everything will come together by the time the first ball is kicked in that brand new stadium in a few years' time but, unfortunately, it's on the field where we feel as far away as ever.

Mitigating circumstances

No one of a Blue persuasion need be reminded of just how flawed was the transfer strategy employed by Everton prior to the arrivals of Brands and Silva last year. The hiring of Steve Walsh and Ronald Koeman in 2016 promised so much based on their respective reputations but the scattergun and profligate approach to recruitment undertaken by that regime is a significant factor behind the Blues' current travails on the pitch.

What they built on top of what was inherited from Roberto Martinez was an expensively-acquired hodge-podge that ran the gamut from astute, in the case of Idrissa Gueye's acquisition from Aston Villa for just £7.1m to misguidedly sentimental, in the form of Wayne Rooney; calculated (but ultimately costly) gamble where Sandro Ramirez was concerned to simply improvident, in the cases of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgan Schneiderlin, and it left a bloated squad for Brands to sift through. The further passage of time since last August has also exposed January 2018's arrivals, Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun, as further misfires in the market.

That the Dutchman was able to offload part or all of the wages of 10 players signed under Roberto Martinez and Koeman and free up room in the squad and the payroll was no mean feat and while the jury hasn't returned a full verdict of Brands's acquisitions, there is reason, on the whole, to feel confident that the recruitment side of things is in good hands.

However, the team still lacks leadership, a general in midfield, a reliable striker and genuine creativity, factors that would limit what the Blues could achieve this season even in the best of circumstances.

Multi-Million Pound Misfits

Again, not all of these conundrums were of Silva's making and he inherited a number of problems that don't have easy solutions. For one thing, some of those players acquired under the previous regime were done so for big money and signed to expensive contracts which has made them very difficult to shift.

Even if Sandro had managed to score a goal in either of his loan spells back in La Liga, it would be difficult to persuade any suitor to pay a fee for him and take on his reported £120,000-a-week salary as well. The fact that he has drawn a blank in every appearance for all three of the teams he has represented since leaving Malaga for Goodison in 2017 apart from the consolation goal he scored in the Europa League drubbing at the hands of Atalanta, has diminished the prospects of selling him even further.

He may be out of sight, out of mind at Real Sociedad for now but the club has to count on the Spaniard returning in the summer along with the full amount of that massive wage taking up space on the payroll.

Meanwhile, Morgan Schneiderlin, on paper an attractive option if not for a lower-half Premier League side then at least a club in Spain, Italy or his native France, was signed by Everton for £20m and is earning around £100,000 a week, far too rich for most teams to consider. Since his last appearance as a substitute before Christmas, the Frenchman has cost the club £800,000 without kicking a ball in anger so you would imagine Mr Brands would be weighing up how much of a loss he would be prepared to take by offloading Schneiderlin for below market value but it would still require the player accepting a pay cut elsewhere in order to keep playing.

Walcott, acquired for the same fee as Schneiderlin, is another that falls into the category of players who sounded good in theory but whose Everton career to date has merely served to underline why they failed to consistently pass muster with their previous team. Still possessing decent pace despite closing in on 30 and with a highly respectable goalscoring record at Arsenal, the former Southampton man seemed like just the kind of signing a shot- and goal-shy Allardyce was desperately in need of a year ago but now, with his impact limited and his commitment being questioned, he feels like another £100,000-plus-a-week millstone around the club's neck.

Then there is Gylfi Sigurdsson, simultaneously the club's record signing and, arguably, its most vexing enigma. It's debatable whether Messers Silva and Brands would have made the Icelandic man their top transfer target in the manner in which Koeman and Walsh did — the £45m price tag alone might have warded the Dutchman off from a player approaching his 28th birthday and it's not clear that he really fits the system that Silva has tried to employ at Everton. Having inherited, however, the Portuguese has done his best to fashion an attacking midfield unit around him with mixed results.

While he is capable of scoring or conjuring a goal out of nothing, he has been largely unproductive for weeks now but the investment the club made in him, coupled with the fact that he is the team's second highest goalscorer this season, means that Sigurdsson is essentially undroppable. The result is that as the manager has tried to tinker with the formation, he has felt compelled to repeat the errors of previous Everton regimes by deploying the Nordic star wide on the left, a position that both his time at Goodison and his spell at Tottenham have demonstrated to be wholly unsuited to his talents.

Sigurdsson ingratiated himself with the Everton faithful early in the campaign with a tireless work-rate, some memorable goals and a few valuable assists but as results have fallen away, general fatigue seems to have taken its toll on Silva's high pressing game and he has been less and less influential, the former Swansea man has become a lightning rod for fan frustration.

Part of that is a perceived lack of leadership from Sigurdsson who has often cut a subdued figure on the field when things haven't been going Everton's way and the team is desperately in need of someone to take a game by the scruff of the neck. He is by no means alone but his stature in an underdog Iceland team, his leadership through deed at Swansea, combined with his enormous transfer fee perhaps gave Evertonians a false impression of the kind of player they were signing when Koeman pursued him so doggedly.

Sigurdsson was successful on a personal level in South Wales but ultimately disappointing during his spell at Tottenham, suggesting perhaps that he can really only thrive as the focal point of the team or in a particular system. And while he will point to the fact that he is in double figures for goals in all competitions this season, there is no question that the neither system that Silva has been trying to use at Everton nor the general conditions in the team are providing the environment for Sigurdsson to thrive.

And yet, given all of the above, Silva and his charges demonstrated earlier in the season that there is enough talent in the team to have sustained a challenge on the fringes of the top six; the next pieces of the puzzle that could push Everton to the next level would then be added in the summer.

That, after all, was the over-arching plan. Spurious comparisons between the current regime and the distasteful Allardyce interlude have been made, with many Blues pointing out that the team is actually worse off than it was under the journeyman Dudleyite — as if that is an argument that we should have retained him as manager. That his successor has failed to date to progress the side in terms of results and league position does not mean we should have kept a manager without any demonstrable, sustained success at the right end of the Premier League any more than it supports the notion that the return of Moyes would make any sense.

The decision to install Marco Silva as Koeman's permanent successor was based on the belief that Everton would be getting a progressive, forward-thinking manager; a young Mourinho or new Pochettino. All managerial appointments are gambles to a certain extent and, unfortunately, on the evidence of the past few months, Moshiri has crapped out. The final 11 games of the season should provide a clearer indication whether or not that is the case.

This horrible run since the derby has, however, called into serious question a number of key facets of the current Everton team and its coaching staff, most notably the motivational, inspirational and tactical powers of the manager and the character and resilience of his players.

Regression

If the early indications in Silva's first season in charge were largely positive, there was one glaring issue that Blues fans feared might become an intractable problem under the new manager, particularly after he expressed his adamance that he wasn't for changing over the issue. Zonal marking, or whatever hybrid version of it that Everton currently employ, was exposed as an early vulnerability for the team but the hope was that either the initial teething troubles would get worked out or Silva and his staff would end up abandoning it altogether.

Six months later, the problem persists to a maddening and, in the case of the defeat at Millwall, embarrassing degree. Former defenders among television pundits have expounded on the virtues of the zonal marking system when deployed effectively but it has become clear that, at Everton, the practice is either being mis-applied or Silva simply doesn't have the players capable of playing in it. And the problem is exacerbated by a goalkeeper in Jordan Pickford who used to be far more apt to dominate his six-yard box but who now seems to be under instruction to stay on his line at set-pieces.

Whatever work is being done on the training ground to perfect it, it isn't working and it's leading, on a worryingly regular basis, to galling mis-matches in the penalty area, with fullbacks (some of the smallest players in the Everton side) ending up marking the opposition's biggest or most aerially dangerous personnel at corners and free-kicks.

Defending is the indispensable fundamental in football — it's why back-to-basics managers start there and why Allardyce was able to steady the ship last season — but in English football especially, being able to deal with dead-ball situations is an absolute essential and Everton are among the worst teams in the Premier League at it. Unfortunately, Silva's previous clubs, Hull City and Watford, betrayed similar susceptibility to conceding from set-pieces, suggesting that it's a problem that won't be easily solved and there is a growing plea from Evertonians for the manager to just ditch it.

Unfortunately, like Martinez before him, the Portuguese appears to have a stubborn streak when it comes to his methods. Cheap free kicks and set-piece vulnerability will end up being the epitaph of Everton's 2018-19 season and, unless he can rectify it, probably Silva's tenure as well.

The problems aren't confined to defence, either, of course. Like Martinez, Silva has displayed a fondness for trying to play out from the back but engineering coherent passing moves to cut through opposition lines is a problem all over the pitch. It's why so many of the Blues' completed passes are sideways or backwards and why so many moves falter in the final third.

Evertonians have always looked at teams of Manchester City and Arsenal's ilk with envy because of the slick way they move the ball but when the likes of Wolves come to Goodison Park and play the home team off the pitch, it makes one wonder why if Nuno Espirito Santo can achieve it at Molineux, why can an Everton boss not come anywhere close to instituting a passing game.

The arrival of André Gomes, heralded as a masterstroke after his first few appearances, hasn't had the desired effect of making Everton any more effective at moving the ball forward with any threat over the course of the season. In fact, the on-loan Barcelona man has looked as lost as anyone in recent weeks, a consequence, perhaps of playing his first season in the Premier League having not had a pre-season due to the hamstring injury he suffered in July, one that sidelined him until September.

Richarlison, unquestionably a successful signing who is repaying the £35m outlay the club undertook last summer in goals and his healthy market value, has scored goals but hasn't emerged as the kind of player who can create goals for team-mates. Indeed, in 25 league appearances thus far, the Brazilian has just one assist and at a time when Bernard is still finding his feet in a foreign country, Walcott has been so disappointing and Ademola Lookman has flitted in and out of the side, it's left the team with precious little in the way of genuine and consistent creativity.

Add in the fact that the gamble that between Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison hasn't worked, you have a side that can't reliably defend and can't score enough goals. The fact that the Blues go into their next game against Cardiff sitting in 11th, seven points off seventh place and a massive 17 away from the top six tells you everything you need to know — 2018-19 has been a massive disappointment and it has manifested itself in a mounting crisis of belief that afflicts this Everton squad at the moment.

Confidence. Consistency. Character.

It's a precedent that's been raised a lot in football over the past three years but as much of a black swan event as Leicester City's utterly remarkable Premier League title win was, it was the embodiment of the notion that confidence is the currency of the game of football (distinct, of course, from the actual hard currency that now runs the sport).

The latest of Everton's collapses has also seen how a desperate shortage of that currency can impact performances and once you get stuck in a rut like that, it can be incredibly hard to get out. Every team goes through spells of self doubt to varying degrees and it is the strength of their collective character coupled with the motivating powers of the managerial staff that usually gets them out over the hump.

At different times during his tenure, Moyes used team-bonding events to rekindle a sense of camaraderie and focus in his charges, often with a degree of success that enabled them to re-find some belief and continue to consistently finish in the top eight of the Premier League.

He was aided to an extent by the fact that there were natural leaders in the group — either through voice, deed or both — like Phil Neville and Tim Cahill who exhibited an unquestioned commitment to the cause and helped foster unity and once results started to turn around, confidence returned and with it, a measure of consistency.

A lack of desire and commitment is a criticism that has often been levelled at the current Everton squad this season but it's harsh one where certain players are concerned. Seamus Coleman's waning form is one thing but the Irishman has never really lacked for determination to his best for the club; Idrissa Gueye had every reason to take the collapse of his “dream” move to Paris St Germain badly but he has been on top form since (whether his efforts are for our benefit or in the interests of securing that transfer to France in the summer is irrelevant; the net result is a player wanting to do his best); Cenk Tosun has, though friends, expressed his determination to stay at Goodison to fight for his place; and both Kurt Zouma and Lucas Digne have demonstrated passion and fight in bucketloads this season, with the former earning two yellow cards for dissent at Watford because of his indignation at a poor refereeing decision.

There is scope, perhaps, for speculating that rather than not caring, the team appears to be at a collective loss as to how to go about changing their circumstances and finding a way out of their current streak of bad form. It's rather damning, however, that Everton have earned just two points from losing positions this season and, in that respect, the notion that a team is a reflection of their manager rings true because Silva seems to be as lost and powerless as they are. Ultimately, the buck stops with the manager and the onus is on him to find the solutions from a holistic point of view where individual players can't.

Progress imperative

One of the most disappointing aspects of where Everton find themselves at this juncture of Silva's maiden season is that we were sold the idea from some of his former charges that we were getting a “meticulous, dynamic, flexible” manager — part young Mourinho (in terms of his intensity and focus), part Pochettino. The reality has been quite different; Silva has shown himself to be rigid in many respects, inconsistent in others and lacking in true imagination when it comes to fashioning a way out of his team's current doldrums.

With the benefit of a 17-day break in which to take stock of the situation and with the final weeks of a campaign that is now essentially a bust ahead of him, he now faces a hugely important period where has to prove he has what it takes to lead this club forward over the long term.

He has the opportunity to experiment with personnel and the way he sets the team out in a way that has been either unwilling or unable to do so to this point. Only in recent games has he dared stray from the 4-2-2-1-1 formation (with Sigurdsson usually too far off the striker du jour) on which he has relied for so much of the season, introducing a third central midfielder to help shore up that part of the pitch, and one would hope that he will feel compelled to think further outside of his hitherto small box. Walcott, for instance, has failed as a winger but has shown he can operate as a second striker yet hasn't been tried there. Bernard, meanwhile, has the tools to operate as a “No.10” instead of Sigurdsson and it would be interesting to see if he can provide something different in that role.

Within the context of giving a manager time, allowances can be made for teething problems and the requirement to bed in new players and systems but Everton under Silva have been lacking in the bare basics since early December. There need to be concrete signs of a plan now, of the potential for gradual improvement, of problem-solving, of some of those qualities that Moshiri believed he was getting when he first tried to lure Silva away from Watford and proof that the pattern established at Hull then Vicarage Road and now Goodison Park, that of instant impact followed by a drop-off in form, can be reversed.

The majority shareholder has publicly backed the idea that his appointee was installed to craft and lead a young team and that will take time but it's hard to see how a continuation of what is essentially relegation form between now and mid-May would leave Moshiri confident in keeping Silva in the hot-seat for next season.

The pressure is, therefore, on the manager. The next few weeks are important in terms of his standing with the players, the fans and the hierarchy. Again, progress can — and really would be expected to — be incremental but progress has to be demonstrated and there are some big occasions coming up against some top sides at Goodison where the crowd will be behind him if he can get his charges organised and up for it. Marco Silva has been afforded the time, now he has to deliver, starting at Cardiff on Tuesday evening.


Reader Comments (207)

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Derek Knox
2 Posted 24/02/2019 at 08:13:39
Good synopsis of our season, players and Manager, Lyndon. Sadly too, a true reflection of the depths our Club has been reduced to.

While it can be very loosely argued that Silva is not the lone architect of our plummet towards the ' Slough of Despond ' (to use Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress analogical reference) it is neither a consolation, to acknowledge that the rot was started by the Koeman/Walsh profligacy.

It is hard to see, where this will eventually leave us, and with all the hope in the World, which is gradually wearing very thin, short of escaping being in the relegation scrap, I can see no other option than hoping for Silva's resignation, but to dispense with his services altogether.

Paul Birmingham
3 Posted 24/02/2019 at 08:41:51
Concise summary Lyndon and spot on. The club is a prisoner of the now distant past, spent record sums of money on players, and this squad is worse than ever, and the torment in my view doesn’t look like stopping soon.

I honestly have no idea where the next win is coming from, and the abject mediocrity on the park, this season, is going to take a miracle for MS to turn around. I hope he does find one soon.

This is the reality and as thick skinned and proud as we are, in my life time, seeing us beat the RS, and the rest of the so called big 6 on a regular basis, looks as likely as me winning the lotto.

If only the team would show the basic attributes for any good football team consistently, but this squad hasn’t dominated games over 95 minutes, this season nor previous squads the last 3 seasons.

There must be some thing in the water at FF, as most of the players bar a handful, don’t seem to care any more .

Bobby Thomas
4 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:01:58
The away form is abysmal and has been for years. And when they concede the first goal that's usually it. They never come back.

2 aways next - Cardiff and Newcastle - and Liverpool at home in between. The club we have a total complex about, from boardroom, to dressing room to fan base.

The management team has had 17 days to get a grip. If things continue as they have been and we lose all three then Newcastle away, and they have their tails up, could be the end.

There are deep seated and fundamental problems in the dressing room that I believe any manager needs time to resolve. However if we reach 13 defeats in 19 it would be a completely justified sacking.

David Pearl
5 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:11:34
Well for all the anti-,Allardyce musings, he went to Anfield last season and drew 1-1 with a back four of Kenny, Holgate, Williams and Cuco. Yes the football was dire at times but how else could it be with the squad he had to work with?

Silva had momentum, lost it... and hasn't the ability to get it back. Does he really deserve another shot and transfer window if he fails for so long in addressing any slips in form? Maybe he's so full of information to the players they cant process it... ha.

We have some good players in that squad and we should be doing better. I really cant see him lasting another month. Hope I'm wrong and he turns it around. I've not seen any of this possession-based football either that's been talked about

Any of Man Utd's attackers, even those on the fringes, would walk into our team. Too many players here with something to prove. It will only get better with a huge clear out, some actual quality additions... but firstly deciding on our manager. Our best striker could possibly be Walcott, possibly not... but give him a go and start from there.

Let's get some movement, some confidence and possession, some shots on target and some aggressive defending. Stop switching off for the second phase... come on, Marco. If you see it's not working, don't just throw on all your forwards, change the mofo formation and tactics, ffs... I'm going back to bed.

Ken Kneale
6 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:17:54
Lyndon. A very comprehensive assessment of our woes.

I really fear our regression is so severe, we are looking much more like Aston Villa as opposed to a slumbering giant capable of returning to previous footballing heights. It hurts daily to feel that way and the pain intensifies with each woeful performance and seeming lack of clarity and purpose at almost all levels of Everton FC, as you suggest.

Here's hoping Tuesday evening then subsequent games elevate my hopes and someone, somewhere has a plan.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:18:12
A good and true assessment of where the club is at present and it is as absolutely depressing as you show it to be. I, along with thousands of Evertonians, just cannot see where the next win is coming from.

Maybe after 17 days to assess the players, after watching them for the last 8 months, Mr Silva can come up with a minor miracle to change our fortunes.

I'm off to church to pray for one of those miracles.

Eddie Dunn
8 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:22:14
Lyndon- that is an excellent appraisal of our recent problems, but the solutions are a elusive as ever.

Our form is awful and many of the teams below us are winning games and already the gap to the relegation places is reducing. A defeat in Cardiff will underline the peril we are in. A position that is totally unacceptable considering the money that has been spent. At the end of the day I think our squad is of a reasonabe quality but it is the inability of the coach to find his best team and organise a reliable defensive strategy that is letting us down. For all of the complaints about personnel we still have the components to make a decent side.

The game in Cardiff is the tipping point. A win would move us to a position of some safety but as they are the team currently in danger, to lose to them will cause panic throughout our team. It would be a psychological blow that I fear we won't recover from. I have no confidence in this leader to galvanise this group, especially without Zouma, who has been our best defender.

Billy Roberts
9 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:23:58
Great article, Lyndon, to write so clearly and concisely about so many issues and factors is a skill I wish someone at our club could use to help give us direction out of this fucken swamp of inertia (stick that in your pipe, Bunyan).

I understand why Paul @3 feels like we are a prisoner of the past but every new manager and therefore every football club will be handicapped by certain personnel (players, coaches, physios etc). We can't have a Year Zero — we need to inspire and motivate what we have and that of course is what Silva is paid to do.

I believe we have a squad barring a striker (please buy one some time) that could punch well harder than this but knowing whether Silva is the man to achieve it is starting to look depressingly familiar.
99 problems but a pitch ain't one... Sorry, couldn't resist.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:25:34
Reading through this very thorough piece, I can only come to the opinion that this is something that has become ingrained into the very culture of Everton FC.

We were doing okay trying to go toe to toe with the better teams and one little fluke seems to have destroyed everything.

The zonal thing seemed to be going away with Mina in the team at this stage, but it's been even worse since Pickford dropped that ball.

The longest we have ever gone without winning a cup, throws me back to the biggest jinx on Everton since that gypsy stopped us winning at Elland Road for years!

Moshiri, might be his own man, but if Everton, is in danger of becoming a museum, then please get rid of the jinx, who looks after his “old favourites” and has held us back forever?

Same with some of the players at the club, because we are getting crippled by some serious and ridiculous amounts of money being paid for people to do absolutely nothing, and if this doesn't create bad eggs, then I would be very surprised.

Finally, I know loads want him gone, but let's get behind the team in the next few games, especially when we play Liverpool next week, with even that patronising cunt Klopp, now saying it is our World Cup final.

I'm not asking anyone to stone their coach, but let's make Goodison Park a nasty place for our opponents, instead of a horrible place for our own players, although I'm obviously aware that it takes two to tango, which is why the Cardiff game is so important right now.

Jerome Shields
11 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:28:16
A good assessment of Everton and the position they are in. I am concerned that they are dependent on this now annual mid-term break to get things right.

Going by past mini-breaks, there is no guarantee that this will happen. It appears that this annual mid-term break is considered a holiday and has been so in the past, unfortunately.

Peter Warren
12 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:41:36
99 problems and unfortunately the manager seems one of them.
Kunal Desai
13 Posted 24/02/2019 at 09:54:22
The club made consistently poor decisions on and off the playing field over the last couple of decades which is why we are nothing but a mediocre club under the stewardship of Kenwright.

I felt that, with Moshiri coming in, we might get a lot more decisions correct; sadly there appears very little evidence the club knows what it's doing. (Koeman, Allardyce and Silva...)

At some point, you eventually get caught out with poor decision making. Just ask Aston Villa and Sunderland. We have all the characteristics of Aston Villa. An owner who spent big, backfired, saddled with huge wages.

Yes, there is a stadium to be built which is still a long way off, will the club be committed to building this if we get relegated? I doubt it.

Sam Hoare
14 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:00:04
Fortunes can and do change very quickly. I would not be that surprised to scrap a win at Cardiff and then see us compete with RS and get a point with another 1 or 3 coming at Newcastle.

But equally I’d not be surprised to see us concede a last minute winner at Cardiff and then flop against RS and Newcastle.

The margins are small and I do feel we’ve not had much luck this season. If our form improves I’d like Silva to get more time. If it doesn’t I don’t see how he could stay.

Andy Riley
15 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:02:04
I think, if we fail to beat Cardiff, he has to go immediately. Unsworth would at least galvanise things going into the derby game. We'd probably still get beat but there is at least a chance we'd go down fighting.
Derek Thomas
16 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:09:25
Baring a miracle, the best Silva can expect at the end of May is to be allowed to put his case to be able to re-apply for his job – aka, tell us why we shouldn't let you go.

If the next two games go really badly... and they could. Then only thing keeping him here is the lack of a suitable caretaker manager to replace him.

He is in effect his own caretaker manager until the end of the season... and after that? Who knows.

Tony Hill
17 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:17:05
No Premier League side can hope to do anything without at least one, and usually two, good quality strikers. There are many other issues, but if you don’t score goals then confidence eventually collapses.

I wish Watford hadn’t thumped Cardiff, Warnock will have his team right up for it on Tuesday. We must expect our lot at least to match them in the basics.

I always think the basics are a good place to start, actually, but this club and too many of its players and fans have imagined for too long that we don’t need to trouble ourselves with the grubby nuts and bolts, and that we can just float along on our sense of entitlement.

Dave Lynch
18 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:24:17
I'm at a loss with the club at the moment, as are a lot of the fans.

IMO we need a full clear out of the old boys network, those who accept premiership survival as acceptable, we all know who they are and they have to go if we are to progress.

As for Klopp. I wasn't aware he said this was our World Cup final, if he did then Silva should come straight out and remind the arrogant twat that he has lost every cup final he has played in.

That's the type of attitude we need at the club.

John G Davies
19 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:36:51
Back in our amateur football days, you invariably got a big mouth from one of your rivals giving it large if they beat you. I would store that and remind the lads of it in the return game. That got the teeth bared.

I would print that World Cup Final quote and put it up all over Finch Farm and the dressing room next week.

Jimmy Hogan
20 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:44:39
The title of this piece reminded me of Nena's 99 Red Balloons song and the apposite lyric "Panic bells, it's red alert".
Trevor Peers
21 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:49:05
We should easily beat Cardiff they are truly awful, if Silva can't inspire us to victory after a 17 day break then he never had any right to be our manager in the first place.

More worrying, according to Lyndon, Sigurdsson has become a 'lightening rod' for the fans frustration, if this is true heaven help him. His goals are into double figures and if they dry up completely it would be disastrous. Bernard doesn't do goals and the suggestion he is an adequate replacement is bizzare.

Recent suggestions that the youngsters are the target of abuse pales into insignificance when you compare the abuse meated out to Howard and more recently Schniederlin who were totally destroyed by the current trend to pick out a figure of hate when things turn ugly. A totally self destructive reaction that it is very hard to understand.

No doubt Sigurdsson will be wanting away in the summer if this happens leaving us with even less of a goal threat next season, which Moshiri has already promised to Silva to give him more time with the youngsters, which would be funny if it wasn't so seriously flawed.

James Hughes
22 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:51:04
I see Lyndon has been hanging with Jay Z... ;p
Stewart Lowe
23 Posted 24/02/2019 at 10:53:58
You say we should beat Cardiff and you're right, but I can't see us getting more than a point. They are gritty and playing for Sala at the moment, so don't be surprised if they turn us over at home.
Anthony Murphy
24 Posted 24/02/2019 at 11:03:19
Great article – although I fear many other problems exist not mentioned here!

As the derby in December is seen as pivotal in relation to this season and our slump in form, why aren't we up in arms about Klopp's recent comment that ‘for them (the derby next month) is like a World Cup final'?

Cheeky twat. Let's erase one of those 99 problems on March 3rd, eh lads, ffs!!

Neil Copeland
25 Posted 24/02/2019 at 11:17:27
John #19, spot on. I would also have pics if that twat running on the pitch at Anfield like a demented Shetland pony – whose Cup Final is it again?
Dick Fearon
26 Posted 24/02/2019 at 11:33:37
When Unsy produces at least a one world beater, I'd give him a go at managing.
Brian Murray
27 Posted 24/02/2019 at 11:44:38
John 19'. In a normal feisty never say die dressing room putting a cutting of Klopp's comments would fire up our team to produce a memorable win. Unfortunately, from the manager to the players, they are all kittens with no balls whatsoever.
Steve Hogan
28 Posted 24/02/2019 at 11:51:20
Leaving aside the circus which has been the recruitment policy of Koeman and Walsh, just one question needs to be asked:

Does Silva have the capability to turn this thing around, and stop the reverse?

If not, unfortunately we need to start looking around for another new manager come the end of May. We simply cannot afford another wasted season.

Pablo Brown
29 Posted 24/02/2019 at 12:06:17
Leicester have just sacked Puel, what are we waiting for?

I'm starting to worry... if we don't get a result against Cardiff, I think we'll get dragged into the relegation scrap.

Whenever Wolves and West Ham played the teams at the bottom half of the league, I wanted the likes of Fulham to win, because Wolves were sitting around mid-table like us; now I want them to win. The gap between us and the bottom 3 is too close for comfort.

Brian Harrison
30 Posted 24/02/2019 at 12:15:10
Well, whether we like it or not, the next 2 games may have a huge say in whether Marco Silva has any future in charge. I like the guy; even though things have gone horribly wrong since the derby game, he hasn't resorted to having a go at individual players, unlike Sarri has done at Chelsea. We have had a few players come out in the last few days saying they believe in Silva, but results will determine his future not kind words from players.

I have just as many concerns over the ability of the owner to appoint a manager who is capable of fashioning a team who can compete with the top 6. So far his choices have ended up as grossly ineffective, and rather than move the club forward has actually had the reverse effect.

I know some have suggested that Brands may be the person as DOF who will have a major say in our next manager should Silva be sacked. But that would make him more important than the owner and what track record of appointing successful managers does Brands have?

Finally I think it will be very difficult to appoint the sort of manager who could turn this club around. Yes, Pochettino came from relative obscurity to turn Spurs into a top 4 side, but this happens very rarely. Abramovich has spent over a billion on players since he took over, thats why he can get away with sacking top managers, as other top managers still want to manage Chelsea. Man City when Mansoor took over they threw a shedload of money at the problem and although winning trophies they have now got the Worlds best manager.

Now even with Moshiri's wealth, he hasn't got the wealth to attract the World's best managers and, even though he has spent in excess of £250 million, we are still way off the pace of the top 6. which also leaves him in a position were we cant attract a top manager either.

So it will be more of the same if we sack Silva, take another gamble on another manager. Hoping with a bit more money than there used to will build us the side we all crave for.

Wes Ray
31 Posted 24/02/2019 at 12:29:24
Cool and comprehensive analysis by Lyndon.

Right from the start, it was obvious that Silva didn't have any clear tactical approach or, if he did, was unable to sell it to the players. As a result, it has cost him the respect of players, clearly evidenced in the threadbare confidence they have shown for months now.

A new manager must accept the players he has got and only with time he can start to implement the master plan. Silva has not had this humility nor has had enough tactical understanding to cope with the opposition.

As we saw at the start of the season, this team and players do have potential. Therefore the regression we have seen is just unacceptable. And barring a miracle in the last 17 days, Silva's time is simply over.

Christy Ring
32 Posted 24/02/2019 at 12:43:40
Lyndon, excellent assessment of our problems. Cardiff on Tuesday, and after Watford's hammering, it shows how poor they are, anything less than a win will definitely put pressure on Silva.

Just checking the Wigan website, Baningime wasn't in the squad for the last two games, and no mention of him being injured?

Tony Everan
33 Posted 24/02/2019 at 12:55:16
Super article and bang on the money Lyndon, as usual.

Tells it as it is, Silva is on an 11-match job interview now.

If there is no signs of consistent progression his contract will be terminated. I still want him to succeed, I want some stability!

But without proving he is capable with facts on the ground, how can anyone argue we continue with him for more of the same next season?

Andrew Cunningham
34 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:00:58
We need to and will beat Cardiff. Hopefully the confidence will return and then, who knows? We definitely don't want this to go down to the last roll of the dice.
Bobby Thomas
35 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:06:59
Trevor #21

Cardiff might be truly awful but currently they are a better and more effective side than us.

Also, I feel its inevitable that Niasse will net!

Eddie Dunn
36 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:07:32
Well, Leicester City have sacked Puell. They have one point less than us.

It speaks volumes that (despite their Premier League title) a team we would normally consider of lesser importance should decide to dispense with their coach while our board sit on their hands allowing the inertia to continue.

They will pull clear of the abyss but I worry that we are drifting into the undertow and will soon won't just be treading water but will be clinging on to an upturned hull.

We go to Cardiff without Kurt Zouma, so who knows whether jags will be brought in or if Mina is fit enough. We struggled to get a lucky win at Goodison against these cloggers and after they were humiliated by Watford, they will be determined not to bear gifts on Tuesday.

Our pampered pets will have had 17 days to prepare, and some warm weather training to boot, so there really will be no excuse if we succumb a la Milwall.

Anything less than a win and we should give Silva his cards. Better that than him getting sacked after a Liverpool defeat at Goodison.

Rob Halligan
37 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:13:58
Bobby # 35.

"It's almost inevitable that Niasse will net"

Well I don't know what game you mean, but it certainly won't be against us because he can't play, seeing as he only on loan to Cardiff.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

38 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:15:35
Lyndon lays out in detail the '99 (and counting) problems' we have.

I think the overwhelming majority of Blues understand and acknowledge Brands and Silva inherited a dog's dinner of a squad which needs slimming down, but given the profile, the age, the contract of some of those players that need cutting loose, that is no easy task.

I think it is also recognized and understood that Moshiri has not shown himself to be particularly astute on football matters, given some of his pronouncements and appointments.

That said, the bottom line for long-suffering fans are the performances and results on match day. And as Lyndon writes, we have regressed as the season has progressed.

The Cardiff game on Tuesday constitutes our 28th PL game of the season. The 96th minute defeat at Analfield (after which our season unravelled) was our 14th game. So the form of those two 'halves' make for interesting reading.

We garnered 22 points in the first 14 games in a very testing run of fixtures. Even with the defeat across the park, there was a majority good feel factor on TW at how things were going.

Since then, in arguably a far more benevolent run of fixtures, we have taken just 11 more points. It is only the early season harvesting of points that sees us bunched in mid-table, rather than hovering above the relegation zone.

That the manager, the players, the team are under pressure going into Tuesday's game is unquestionable. Equally unquestionable for me is that that pressure has been the making of the self-same manager, players and team for not arresting this dramatic fall-off of form.

Neither the manager, the players, nor the team can offer any excuses for not getting a result at Cardiff. They have had a near-perfect scenario to prepare, with an almost unheard of 17 match-free days in mid-season.

Add to that, our opposition got twatted 5-1 at home by the last opponents we played, Watford, with a MoTM performance from a former Everton player.

There is irony upon irony stacked up in all this.

Astonishingly, as dreadful as our form has been since early December, as this link shows, besides Fulham and Huddersfield, two other teams are also in as poor a form as we are: Leicester and Brighton.

Link

It is not lost on me that those two teams have both beaten us in this poor run. Leicester has just dismissed Puel. All managers know the score: it's a results-driven business.

Arguably, Silva has 11 more games to determine if Everton stick or twist on him.

He simply has to start getting points on the board, any which way he can. The other 98 (and counting) problems can then take care of themselves.

Matthew Williams
39 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:19:49
And our League Cup record makes it an even 💯!!!

It only takes six out of seven games to glory... pity our board can just never see it!

Only then our long road back to glory begins; as it is, we have no plan, nothing to aim for or build on, so we'll just plod on to our new ground and just hope and pray that things can improve.

Brian Williams
40 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:30:40
Oumar off fishing is he Bobby? :-)
Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:32:29
Niasse will score, and Everton's players have just come back from some warm weather training? Klopp, says we treat the derby like a World Cup final, after celebrating like he had done just that, after Liverpool beat us in December!

Let's get behind the team, let's not listen to the lies or the untruths, and let's remember that when we get behind the players, that they usually play better.

Alan Bodell
42 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:34:08
I think it would soften the supporters' view of him a little if he showed a little more emotion in games but he just stands there expressionless. So we have no leaders on the pitch or in the dugout; not a good mix in the most competitive league in the world.
John G Davies
44 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:39:43
Tony,

Silva can get himself out of gaol next week. He beats them, or even a spirited draw to halt their league challenge, and he will get a walkover for the rest of the season.

First thing on the agenda for me is he has to match their three in midfield. A like-for-like formation.

Second thing on the agenda, play the players who will leave one on their players: Kenny, Keane, Davies. Calvert-Lewin to compete in the air with Matip. And 100 mph from the word go.

Bobby Thomas
45 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:41:57
Rob #37,

Ha!! True!!

I'm so desperate to get rid of Niasse and some of the other dross that in my head I'd moved him on permanently!

Frank Crewe
46 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:43:30
I see Leicester have binned Puel after 7 losses in 9 games. Remind you of anyone?
Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:49:19
I hope Silva does get himself out of jail, John G, but only if he starts to iron out some of our more concerning deficiencies.

Lyndon talks about the importance of confidence; Sam talks about the very small margins... so, if we can sort out the obvious, then hopefully things can improve. But Cardiff is the first massive game and then we can start thinking about Sheargar's team after that.

John G Davies
49 Posted 24/02/2019 at 13:53:41
Me too Tony, I'm sticking by him until he has his own players to work with.
Saying that I can't deny the evidence of what I'm watching and it's not good.

Anyways, I'm just ironing my Man Utd scarf so get back to you later.

Darren Hind
50 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:05:35
Yep

Many nails hit firmly on the head.

Ray Smith
51 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:06:36
Several TW's are commenting about the lack of a leader on the pitch.

When Coleman doesn't play, I would give the armband to Digne. He has passion a plenty and would get into anybody slacking, he would also be my choice for captain next season.

With Puel getting the sack, what happens to Silva if (god forbid) we lose on Tuesday?

Before I get slaughtered, are we a top 6 side? No. Are we going to attract top 6 players? No. We need a manager short-term (2 seasons) to get us into Europe via 7th place or better, then we can attract better players.

Our current squad have the ability on paper to get us to 6th or 7th. So I'm putting my tin hat on and suggest we bring David Moyes back to get us there, then bring in a top-flight manager who could take us on. Moyes worked on a shoestring, so what could he do with our current squad? Better than 11th, that's for sure.

Waiting for the missiles!!

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:06:36
Is right, John G, let's hope your United boys treat today like it's a World Cup final!
Derek Knox
53 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:07:50
Brian @40, it is the only net that he will be bulging, but you know how these fishermen like to exaggerate, mate!
Joe Corgan
54 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:13:33
The old “the derby ruined our season” myth cropping up again.

I'm sure some people only check the results and don't watch the games.

We were just as bad before the derby as we have been since. We had a little bit more confidence maybe, but the chips fell our way. Of the five wins (from ten) we picked up between September and the derby, only the home match against Fulham was convincing (and only in the second half.) Any of the other four could easily have gone the other way.

Yes, it is ultimately only the results that matter but it's a fallacy to believe that we have been anything other than shite since the day Silva walked through the door.

Ray Smith
55 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:30:07
Joe @54,

You are so right. I haven't really seen a decent 90-minute performance at home all season.

We sneaked it against Southampton.
Huddersfield came for a point and got it.
Fulham could have been 2 up at half-time.
West Ham thrashed us.
I didn't go to Palace game so can't comment.
Brighton didn't turn up and made us look good.
Newcastle, total crap.
Watford at home, total crap.
I missed the Bournemouth game so can't comment.

I'm not renewing my season ticket with the rubbish that is currently being served up. I have until the 4th April to change my mind, but extremely unlikely after 55 years. I'll watch from my armchair in future.

Alan McGuffog
56 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:46:24
Sick of this stuff about the defeat (and manner of it) at Anfield knocking the stuffing out of us. If any of those shirkers, masquerading as Everton players, had a pair of cojones, they would have picked themselves up and made every other team pay.

They should have been itching to put things right. Could you have seem Gabriel, Kay, Reid going into their shells? Oh dear, we got beat... boo feckin hoo. Not too upset to forget to draw their vastly inflated pay, I note.

Paul Tran
57 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:47:24
Confidence is an issue. Fine margins are an issue.

One big issue is a set of players appearing like complete strangers, bereft of purpose and confidence.

The biggest issue is the manager who has brought in half the team, yet appears unable to get the players to understand his instructions.

There is no curse at Everton. We keep hiring managers who can't communicate clearly with the players. That's the thing that has to change.

Derek Knox
58 Posted 24/02/2019 at 14:51:48
Jimmy @20, 99 (Blue) can't mention the other colour, balloons is right, can't quite figure out whether all of them are burst, or are in need of blowing up!
Steavey Buckley
59 Posted 24/02/2019 at 15:10:24
Everton's problems began when Moyes left, because he was able to run the club on a tight budget with an eye to detail when it came to defending as a disciplined team.

Defending became Martinez's Achilles heel. But at least when he left, when sacked, he left a talented squad of players that Koeman was able to break up with expensive and ineffective misfits. Even though Silva's acquisitions this season have acquitted themselves well in their first season, the team has not blended together, and have become shot-shy as the season has progressed.

Although not helped by not having a recognised striker for a second season in a row – teams are usually relegated by not scoring enough goals.

Peter Mills
60 Posted 24/02/2019 at 15:13:58
Klopp, in an interview in today’s Observer, said (in relation to this week’s fixtures) “then Everton away. They will be approaching the game like a World Cup Final after we won at Anfield in the 96th minute”.

That’s hardly an inflammatory thing to say, in fact I hope it’s a statement of fact.

Silva has the opportunity in the next two games to buy himself some time and a bagful of goodwill. If he doesn’t, I’m afraid he will simply be confirming the doubts many of us have about him.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 24/02/2019 at 15:16:11
I watch the games, Joe @54, and think the only time the chips fell our way was when Pickford “saved” that penalty against Palace and Leicester got a player sent off.

I thought we were starting to improve, but we lack quality in reserve, and also real quality in attack. If you see how many points we had after 14 games (Jay@38), then it's obvious this defeat really affected the team?

The zonal marking has killed us, alongside at times a very wide open formation, but they've had a break, the manager is still here, so let's hope we can improve in our last remaining games?

Mike Kehoe
62 Posted 24/02/2019 at 15:30:53
I think sometimes that because of the obscene amount of money paid to managers and players, some people feel these professionals have special gifts, that they see profound truths beyond our reckoning and deserve the fortunes they amass.

Fact is football is a simple game, and if something is not working then change it. If Silva is unable to fashion an effective zonal defensive unit out of the players at his disposal then try something else. Simple as that, really. His defences have been consistently shite at his previous premier league clubs so I fear he will stay true to his defensive principles and skulk off into obscurity with a generous payoff.

I can't imagine what the interview must have been like for the post, probably like a one-legged Dudley Moore auditioning for the role of Tarzan: of course with Kenwright saying ‘I've nothing against your right leg, it's a lovely leg for the part. Can you start Monday?'

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

63 Posted 24/02/2019 at 15:42:26
Joe @ 54.

"The old “the derby ruined our season” myth cropping up again".

Contestable comment, Joe.

I don't see anyone making that claim, so calling it a 'myth' is a myth of your invention.

As is your next line: "I'm sure some people only check the results and don't watch the games."

And I'm sure that is most certainly not the case.

What is legitimate to observe is that up to and including the game at Analfield, the form, the results and the points return was more than acceptable for a manager in his first season inheriting the mess he did. Not always fluent. Not always maintained over a full 90 minutes. But there was an identifiable - and encouraging - style of play acceptable to many.

To claim as you do "it's a fallacy to believe that we have been anything other than shite since the day Silva walked through the door", as with your 'myth' claim, is the actual fallacy, not the one you attempt.

The evidence of results before and after the game across the park in early December couldn't be starker. We were on schedule for a 60-66 point season. That does not equate as 'shite'. Now we will be lucky to hit 40. That does.

The legitimate and sensible discussion to be had is not to invent 'myths' and 'fallacies', but to discuss why this stark contrast in form, style and results, and what are the consequences for all concerned if things don't improve before the season ends.

James Stewart
64 Posted 24/02/2019 at 15:47:25
If we had any self respect as a club Silva would have gone after the Millwall disaster. For me that was a hanging offence. We will never have a better chance of going on a good cup run, and the way we lost, was shameful and just embarrassing.

Moshiri is obviously giving Silva as much rope as possible as he's his man, but that only goes so far. Unfortunately we have appointed a man with a horrible EPL track record, which shows no sign of improving. We are drifting dangerously back into our 90's malaise. A proven manager with premier league experience is now an absolute necessity. I have been ardently against it every time he has been mentioned previously, but Benitez is the obvious and outstanding candidate to steady a rapidly sinking ship.

Tony McNulty
65 Posted 24/02/2019 at 16:08:47
Since the start of Silva's reign, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that he is the manager to bring back success to EFC. I fear that the players feel the same way. Maybe one of you on here can point to something?

Even if we were to have a storming few months now, I can't see him becoming any sort of managerial maestro.

To pick two immediate weaknesses: (1) he seems to suffer from the Roberto disease of trying to fit his system to the players, rather than finding a system which suits them; and (2) the birds in the trees have known for months that we find difficulty in defending set pieces, yet he remains unable to organise/train the defence to cope.

Paul Tran
66 Posted 24/02/2019 at 16:08:51
Good comprehensive piece as ever, Lyndon. I'd like Silva to explain the reasons behind the marked difference in form & results between the periods before and after Anfield. I can only hope that Brands & Moshiri have done this and are judging Silva's response and monitoring the teams response to his management.

I want a manager who can coach and explain what he wants to the players clearly, concisely and in a way that instils belief into the players. That's the job. I hope Silva starts doing it. If he doesn't, find someone who can.

Tony Abrahams
67 Posted 24/02/2019 at 16:27:12
What do you think Silva would say, if he has been asked this question Paul?
Paul Tran
68 Posted 24/02/2019 at 16:41:47
I'm clueless about that one, Tony. It's starting to look like conscious incompetence to me. I'd love to ask him it and listen to his answer. And I'd love to hear him justifying keeping his job in the summer as well.
Rob Marsh
70 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:03:36
Kunal Desai #13,

Bill Kenwright has not impressed me with many of his decisions of over the years, but he did secure our Premier League status, by bringing in David Moyes, and he never got us in debt.

He could have easily got us relegated by choosing the wrong managers and starting a sack/hire culture, he also did not do a "Leeds" by trying to buy our way to success.

Things could have been a lot worse for us now and – for all the things Kenwright got wrong – I'll remember him for the things he got right.

Ray Smith
71 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:09:04
I posted 51 & 55

I guess I’m not part of the clique on TW, hence the response or lack of response.

I’ve been a blue for 55 yrs but regardless of that my post don’t warrant a response good or bad.

Bye bye

John Keating
72 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:34:15
Joe 54, I fully agree. Apart from a couple of half decent performances our football prior to the derby was abysmal.

I just wonder if those that say otherwise actually were at the games. Even Lyndon that doyen of positives alludes to that fact.

I fully accept that Silva inherited a shambles of a squad; however, he has added to it and yet made it as bad if not worse.

We have had all the excuse known to man why we have regressed. the most ridiculous being transition and fatigue. Unbelievable. If you cannot coach even the most low-level players to defend and pass to each other then nothing else can be said.

I have no doubt Silva will rightly be given until the end of the season to show the bosses he can recover this situation he has got himself into. He has had 17 days to plot and plan a win at Cardiff and take us on to the end of the season. Hopefully he can achieve this.

The bosses have a major decision to make at the end of the season. If they decide he has to go then they have to have someone lined up early in order to give him a full pre season. If they decide to stick with Silva they have to be ready after 10-12 games to either stick or twist

Tony Hill
73 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:40:42
Ray@71, don't be upset about being "ignored" on here. People read without commenting, either because they agree with you but don't think they need to tell you, or because they think you're talking bollocks and are too polite to say so. Or because they don't like you as a contributor and don't read you at all, or read what you say and fume in silence.

Who cares? We're all shooting our mouths off because we think the world needs to hear us, but it doesn't. Plus, people are probably watching the footy. I'm forever flouncing off this site but the editors graciously accept me back despite all the nonsense.

For older supporters like us it's salutary.


Derek Knox
74 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:50:01
Ray @71, 51 & 55, I would imagine we are around the same age, and have supported Everton for roughly about the same length of time.

Ray I am not aware of any sort of clique on TW that you imply, I regularly post on TW myself, but do not expect to get a response, other than people agreeing and in some cases disagreeing, which is to be expected.

We all have different opinions and different tolerances, and our Club, Team are not what we would ideally like, especially after spending a much awaited windfall, which has subsequently been squandered, through no fault of the fans or TW for that matter.

So we are all a bit fractious at the moment mate, and don't take anything too personal for the wrong reasons.

Paul Richards
75 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:50:58
Oooo... Snowflake Alert, eh Ray @71?

Nobody bothered to reply? Well if you come out with unmitigated shite, like Moyes as your suggested solution to any of our 99 problems, quite honestly it does not merit a response.

Not as if it's even original. Plenty of the Ginger Twat's old acolytes on TW have been spouting this one these last few weeks. But you just haven't been reading or responding to their posts, have you???

Mike Gaynes
76 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:56:41
Ray #71, you've been here quite a while, so you should know there are no "cliques" here... anybody who writes something can get a response, or not get one, depending on a whole bunch of factors. Not getting a response certainly shouldn't hurt your feelings.

Paul #75, what a pleasant fellow you are.

Mike Gaynes
77 Posted 24/02/2019 at 17:59:25
DK #74, you ALWAYS get responses!
Mike Gaynes
78 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:04:32
Off-topic, Leon Osman doing a great job as the color commentator on the ESPN+ coverage of the Carabao Cup final.
Derek Knox
79 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:08:15
Mike G, how very diplomatic of you sir to Paul @75, and to myself, so thankyou you have been missed in recent debates, but with there being no Football, well not by us to be more precise, I suppose it is understandable.

Tony Twist
80 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:17:27
I think we will be dicing with death this season with relegation with the next match the most critical game in years. Win it and let's hope that brings some more heart to our performances from then on but if we draw or lose then this Charlie of a coach could seriously send us down.

Silva has been even worse than I thought he was going to be. Being a hands-on coach I thought he would stamp out all our defensive frailties as soon as they became apparent but no. I also thought the flair players and the youth would flourish but no.

I just don't see any positives with having him as a coach. I will get on the prayer mat nice and early Tuesday evening in the hope of the re-emergence of the team that put Burnley to the sword but I am not confident that will happen. I am confident though that Silva is not the coach for us, he is just lightweight.

Kunal Desai
81 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:21:53
Sorry Rob but Kenwright epitomises this club in many aspects which is mediocrity.

We should not have been talking about staying in the Premier League under Moyes; instead, we should have already moved into a stadium when he had the chance – the Kings Dock stadium back in 2004.

Let's not reel off all his other major fuck-ups like the Fortress Sports Fund investment, moving to Kirkby or kitbags deals.

We have fallen so badly behind better sides and it is down to Kenwright, I don't want to be thankful for staying the Premier League and having eleven years of Moyes as a safe pair of hands.

Kenwright has never had any ambition to move the club forward, the teary-eyed one was all about himself and boys pen rubbish.

Tony Abrahams
82 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:23:08
I watched both Arsenal and Chelsea away games on the telly, and I thought we played well in both, John K, especially the Arsenal game where I don't think I've ever seen an Everton team create that many chances at the Emirates. I also thought we were very unlucky to lose at Anfield.

We played well at Leicester, but we were lucky they went to ten men, and although Everton got praised by some for the way they played at Man Utd, I was disappointed that we never attacked them a lot more because I felt they were there for the taking that day.

I haven't seen us play that well at Goodison though, but I haven't seen us play well at Goodison for years. I think Silva adding to the squad has made it better, but unless his team improves, then I'm sure he will be the next manager to get his marching orders.

If he does go, I just hope Everton's next manager can play with a style that can really engage the crowd.

Kunal Desai
83 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:25:03
He never got us into debt? Remind me how much Moshiri cleared the debts when he came onboard. Less said about Kenwright the better.
Tony Abrahams
84 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:32:32
Kunai @81, that's exactly the problem with the Kenwright years mate, with loads of Evertonians just thankful for our Premier League existence, whilst forgetting that our once great club used to exist to win trophies.
Brian Williams
85 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:35:44
Jay Wood, can you explain to Tony @80 please with regard to relegation this season?

I know you like to... :-)

John Keating
86 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:57:13
Tony 82
You are right we did play ok at Arsenal, Chelsea and United and we came away with one, one single point.

That's 3 games mentioned out of 27 Premier League games plus League Cup and FA Cup matches. Wouldn't we expect to say how well we played against Huddersfield, West Ham, Cardiff, Palace, Wolves etc at home and all the 3 points we got. We can't. Most of these games were before the derby.

We had a dire pre-season and to all intents and purposes nothing really much has changed. Our football and results are not really that different. We are still seeing the same problems and mistakes.

Like last season if it wasn't for our young lads we'd be deep in the shit.

Silva has had 17 days to reflect on his, not our, season so far. If he hasn't seen what most of us have and changed things then we are truly knackered.

If Silva succeeds, we as a team and Club succeed, so I want him to do well. So much hinges on the Cardiff game for everyone.

Mike Kehoe
87 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:59:26
Ray @ 71.

I have said on a number of threads that I would not object to Moyes returning as he represents a safe pair of hands who built a strong team on a tight budget: It is usually welcomed like a french kiss at a family reunion by those who demand Simeone or Ancelotti.

Tony Abrahams
88 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:14:39
Agree, John, but how many points have we gained at these grounds over the last 15 years? I think I said on this thread that it's something ingrained into the club, and the players that wear the shirt.

I also see the same player power at Chelsea, but at least they seem to be able to turn it on when they want to, so I think you're right when you say very little has changed.

Derek Knox
89 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:30:13
Just watched the City v Chelsea final of the Carabao Cup, it's always a bad way to go out of any Cup which is decided by penalties. However I think the best team won in the end.

How many Losers Medals has Silva got, or is he just an out and out undecorated loser?

Anthony Murphy
90 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:55:30
That situation with Sarri and Kepa at the end of the Carabou Cup Final was incredible.
Pat Kelly
91 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:06:59
Silva is not up to the Premier League and no amount of time will change that. It will only further delay progress at Everton.
Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:09:59
Everton haven't won a cup for 25 years, and you call a man who has been here for 9 months an undecorated loser, Derek.

You might be right, but I think he's won a few things as a manager, so you might also be wrong.

Robert Williams
93 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:21:04
RS 51, 55 & 71, Why bye bye, mate?

There sure is a clique but why would you want out – say what you have to say and sod the rebuttals and the lack of responses. I never wanted to be part of the herd instinct. Just say it as you see it and get it off your chest.

If it makes you feel and better, I too have thought long and hard about renewing my ST. In the end I did so in the hope – did I say hope? – of finding all of a sudden that the past 20 years have just been a bad dream and that we are sitting in the top four and filling the Bramley-Moore Dock with 60k howling fans watching us competing on an even footing with the 'Sky Sick'.

If you think this is a 'clique', you should get on the 'Live Forum' – that will cheer you up!!

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:25:25
I won’t be renewing till April, Robert, and hope everyone else does the same because it might just help us find out a bit more about our new ground!
Derek Knox
95 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:35:41
Tony @92, I was referring to what he has won in this country with 3 Premier League stints as Manager, what he has won in Portugal or Greece doesn't really compare, or matter to a degree.
Martin Berry
96 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:38:40
If we don't play a three-man midfield and drop zonal marking, we will continue to lose and Silva will be out; it's as simple as that
Paul Burns
97 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:46:42
The failure to even attempt to remedy the glaring defensive weaknesses week after week indicates either a suicidal mental blockage akin to Alzheimer's disease or total inability to be a football coach.

It's as simple as that.

Ken Kneale
98 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:50:36
Kumasi and Tony. Dead right. Kenwright loved the status and the opportunity to parade but brought worse than nothing to the club. He sold assets, failed to invest in the team at critical moments and ultimately contributed to the malaise we suffer now. The fact Moshiri keeps him aboard speaks volumes for his judgement too.

However we have passed the tipping point now and it will take years to get back to where we were for a period under Moyes where with some more adventurous thinking and football from him AND Kenwright backing him with a centre forward and midfield general we could have gained a trophy.

Andy Crooks
99 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:50:55
Brian @85, cracking post.

Jay, we will not be relegated; I bow to no-one in my pessimism, but I know it.

However, will you do Brian and me a favour and put this one to bed so that we can view our remaining games in a positive light. That is, view the remainder of the season as a chance for Silva to build.

Andy Crooks
100 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:54:36
Also, I meant to say that there are articles on the site at present, this one, Paul's and Darren's which are way beyond what other fansites offer. The standard on here is special.
Jerome Shields
101 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:56:24
Ray #51,

For me Moyes is too close to the old regime. I also think he would have difficulty with the mess that the two managers prior to Silva have made. He also would not be able to work with Brands. Unfortunately, after leaving Everton and the experience he has had, he would not be anything like the Manager that left.

I have supported Everton for 50 years.

Laurie Hartley
102 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:31:57
I am bemused why our results have fallen away since the Anfield 96-minute debacle. I thought this team had it in them to feed off that but it didn't happen.

I can only put it down to lack of a real leader on the pitch. Ray # 51 alluded to this, while I was sound asleep in bed In the opposite side of the globe, Ray. ;)

There are plenty of them who have got a bit of fight in them, like Digne, Kenny, and Bernard, but the only two I can see who would make premier league captains are both on loan – Zouma and Gomes.

It's a real conundrum for me.

Bobby Mallon
103 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:41:00
Lyndon, Stop winging about players wages. It's up to the manager to play his squad. It's not Schneiderlin's fault, he played well in the games he had at the beginning of the season. Oh, and why has Jagielka been ostracised since he got sent off? Our defence has been pants.

I keep saying and will keep on saying it. The manager should be getting more out of this squad. Big Sam got a tune out of a worse squad last season. He needs to start dropping players who don't perform.

Eddie Dunn
104 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:48:08
Ray, mate, don't take it personally, many on here don't even read the previous comments but just jump in and get their own grievances off their chests. There are no cliques here, just some people who post more than others, and so have more responses, and some who post things a little more provocative than others.
Keep them coming lad.
Dale Rose
105 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:49:49
Funny one all of this. Bit like an old car, you spend and you spend until one day, you just have to get rid. This is a simplified version of what's happening at this club. We are carrying too much expensive dead wood. The wage bill must be like a small countries debt.

We seem to have players that were deemed to be quality buys, and have turned out to be like the cars I always buy Crap. Schneiderlin, Sandro, Vlasic, Niasse just to mention a few must be a couple of million there alone what are the directors thinking. I think Moshiri has come in with good faith, and has been handed a poisoned chalice.

The club needs a clear out, of all the old dead wood at senior management level and player level and we need to start again. Brands has the ideas, and the know how. Like many on here I thought Silva might have been the right choice and the players we bought, the ones to start to deliver the rewards the club needs. This hasn't happened.

The main reason for this is the lack of a striker. Zonal marking has played the part as well, we are easy prey now on set pieces. Silva needs to steady the back line the old fashioned way. This should be perfect for Mina, who sadly has turned into a sick note. Him and Zouma in a back line defending should be impenetrable. Digne on the other hand has been worth every penny.

Where do we go from here ?, We plough on until the end of the season, get all these young loan players back and start playing them along with our experienced players, and start to fight again.

We are not a top six club, nowhere near at the present, I don't think we are relegation fodder just yet, but it's looking like squeaky bum time until the end.

Bobby Mallon
106 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:55:03
Paul Richards @ 75 the best post I have read this week brilliant. Ray 😓
Andy Crooks
107 Posted 24/02/2019 at 22:04:54
God almighty, Bobby, what tune did Allardyce get out of this squad? His appointment was unnecessary and a blight on our club. I really cannot believe that we employed that money grabbing shameless fraudster. Whose toes do not curl at his comments on Roy Hodgson? A vastly superior coach and an infinitely superior man.

Allardyce.... fucking Sam Allardyce managed our club and he made a fortune from it. Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce. I would suggest that few clubs, ever, have landed a hat-trick of such appalling duds.

Bobby Mallon
108 Posted 24/02/2019 at 22:14:37
Andy Crooks to you, he was a bad managerial signing and most Evertonians will agree. But I won't because we finished 8th with a poorer squad than we have now. He came in and did a job, do you think Silva would have gotten us 8th, I think he'd have relegated us.

Big Sam for all the baggage he came with would have had us sitting in 7 or 8 now with at least 1 big team scalp on the record. His team last season played some dire footy but not as bad as some of this rubbish being served up.

Rob Marsh
109 Posted 24/02/2019 at 22:34:11
Kunal Desai #81
Tony Abrahams #84
Ken Kneale #98

I am not a happy camper with the present state of EFC, mediocrity is not what the club should be doing or exist as. I was there in the 80s glory time and know what the club is like when it's fully energised and to see its current feeble efforts on the pitch pisses me off.

Kenwright is no Warren Buffet when it comes to high finance and bringing such projects to fruition, you'll get no arguments from me on that score. I find him slightly egotistical and an annoyingly emotional type. That march/celebration he initiated around Goodison for Bobby Brown shoes when he first arrived, treating him like a Champions League winner with us, irritated me.

The debts Kenwright got EFC into were not as serious compared to other clubs, all clubs were in varying degrees of debt back then. Yes, the kitbag deal must have been done after a glass or ten of sherry or whatever him and his poncey actor friends drink.

Fortress Sports Fund and dodgy millionares, it sounds a bit like the position we're in now, but then again the Premier League is afloat with dodgy money.

Kirby, he made an attempt at a stadium we the fans didn't want, he was doing his job with a bit too much spin and not enough frankness on that one, it was doomed from the start.

Having said everything I've said above, we really could have been a Sunderland, Leeds or Aston Villa, it was that easy and we were vulnerable, I can't take credit away from him for keeping us up.

Andy Crooks
110 Posted 24/02/2019 at 22:56:50
Overall, I disagree with you, Bobby. However, you make some fair enough points. If we were in dire straits, well, I'd take Allardyce. We weren't, though, at least in my view. Had we had the nerve to stick with Unsworth I truly believe we would be looking good now. But as you know, it's all opinion and conjecture.

I just find it hard to see how the wheels have fallen off. Silva will not relegate us. We are safe this season and if he does not show some promise, he will be gone.

Bill Watson
111 Posted 24/02/2019 at 23:29:54
Excellent review of the state of play, so far, Lyndon.

The alarming thing is that 27 games in and Silva still doesn't know his best team, or formation, and seems unable to change when things are (all to often) going awry. His usual tactic of throwing on attackers in a futile attempt to save the game smacks of a man out of ideas.

The last 13 games, if transposed over a season, would have us firmly entrenched in the bottom three which is totally unacceptable considering the players at his disposal. Something hardly mentioned is we've been very, very, lucky with injuries so he usually has a fullish squad to choose from.

Thankfully, Southampton lost today so we still have a 9 point buffer and, at the moment at least, a better goal difference which is worth a point. Put simply, we have to match them for 8 out of the remaining 11 games.

Defeat, on Tuesday, would surely signal the end for Silva.

Mike Gaynes
112 Posted 25/02/2019 at 01:12:39
Laurie #102, agree wholeheartedly that on-the-pitch leadership is perhaps this club's biggest flaw, but a "bit of fight" does not a leader make. And certainly Gomes, a timid man with a history of swiftly losing confidence, would not be one to inspire those around him.

I believe the only player in the gameday squad with the personality to be an inspirational Prem captain is Coleman, and his own performance struggles have made it difficult for him to gather the other players around him and say "follow me, lads!"

Conundrum indeed.

Harry Hockley
113 Posted 25/02/2019 at 01:23:49
One of the hardest reads I've had to endure for a long time, but a very true and accurate assessment of our season thus far though and I agree with all of your points, Lyndon.

I do think Silva deserves more time, another season to hopefully revitalize and rejuvenate the players. I'm hoping his stubbornness subsides, and quickly regarding his tactics, the biggest concern being the defensive aspect of our game which has everyone scratching their heads; if not, I'm afraid it will cost him his job.

Silva in for now until next season.

Laurie Hartley
114 Posted 25/02/2019 at 02:59:40
Mike # 112 - I was actually trying to make the point in my post that we probably have enough fighters in the squad but that I didn't think any of them are leaders. That's two out of three points we agree on which - "aint bad".

With Gomes - call it intuition if you like but I saw something in him a couple of matches ago which struck a chord with me. I have a saying that I think is original (but it might not be) - men follow men.

There are no stereotypes in my opinion. They don't have to be the meanest, nastiest or toughest - they just have to have that certain something that when you are with them you think - yeah he's running this show - I'll follow his lead.

Gomes as we know has been through the fire - that will either make or break him. I think I saw the switch flick on a couple of games ago.

I could be totally wrong of course but for the time being lets put this one in the "to be reviewed folder"

Lee Brownlie
115 Posted 25/02/2019 at 04:06:35
Great piece!!!

Its all there, every thought I've also had on our current situation and manager, including what might come next (hopefully for the better!), but stated with a clarity its often hard to elucidate fully with such passions, moreover frustrations, as we Blues fans too often find ourselves boiling over with.

Considering this current break in play, I'm just hoping on hope - half-believing? - that we'll at least get something of a re-focused, re-impassioned, restart, with fresh impetus, from our team and its manager once we kick off again, against Cardiff. No more damp squibs please!!!

COYTs!!!!!!!

Mike Gaynes
116 Posted 25/02/2019 at 04:45:24
Works for me, Laurie. Just be aware that one year ago this is a guy who couldn't come out of his house for weeks because he couldn't face the Barca fans. He lost the respect of everybody in the club at that point. So it would certainly be a remarkable turnaround if he somehow turned out to be armband material.
Ken Kneale
117 Posted 25/02/2019 at 07:33:16
Rob

Are you forgetting the Rooney sale, the Kings Dock which had as much support as any move from Goodison would ever have had and the Arteta money as starters on any charge sheet. The Kitbag deal outlines his lack of nouse, acumen and examples where we should have been bringing money in actually sending it to to others who did not give a fig for the club. Add in the lack of incoming business partners during his tenure and when he does find one, he stays centre stage. I could go on but for me he is guilty as charged on those counts alone and should be drummed out along with all the false messiahs such as Ferguson he has brought back to the club

John G Davies
118 Posted 25/02/2019 at 08:58:22
Be hard getting shut of him given Uncle Bills power of recovery.
He was down and out according to reports a few years ago, he's still bouncing around centre stage.
The mountain of ackers he earned from the sale has obviously engineered a miraculous restoration of health.
Tony Abrahams
119 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:27:30
Rob@109, you can’t take credit away from him for keeping us up, says it all really because we are talking about Everton of course, the team that’s played more top flight football, than any other club in England, they even used to exist to win things, until the saviour, saved our lives!
Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:38:14
Once Jonjo Kenny has played a hundred times for Everton, which he will, he will be captain of this club, he has to hold back at the moment because of his age, but couldn’t help himself versus Wolves when he was screaming at some of the useless gormless lazy bastards who didn’t have the wit to do the simple basic things, like moving and playing forward passes, give Jonjo more time and he’ll let the shirkers and dumb fuckers know what’ what.
Mike Hayes
122 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:08:48
Wasn’t uncle blue arse Bill responsible for Mansur walking away as he wouldn’t let go of the club - he conned his way into buying the club (shat on the Greggs in the process) and has let it rot ever since and trousered a few grand with his shit friends
Trevor Peers
123 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:13:49
No pressure on Jon Joe there then Dave wow.
James Hughes
124 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:47:08
Marco Has just had his presser, Stating he does not feel the need to make radical changes to his approach.

“I’m not doing anything radically different. No.

“If you try to change everything that means nothing we did makes sense.

Yes mate your zonal marking doesn't make any sense at all.

Derek Knox
125 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:51:25
Mike @116, with reference to your post, regarding the suitability of Captain on the field of play.

" Just be aware that one year ago this is a guy who couldn't come out of his house for weeks because he couldn't face the Barca fans ".

Would he be eligible for Captain Snowflake?

Laurie Hartley
126 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:09:18
Sometimes in life you have an “I’ve had enough of this” moment - and it changes you - for the better.

Like I said - to be reviewed.

Derek Knox
127 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:12:40
James @124, I watched that too, I don't know whether he is arrogantly stubborn, or stubbornly arrogant but he came across to me at any rate as if he thinks we are doing well, and all is rosy in the garden.

Or is this just an act, where he knows his days are numbered and he will yet again get another bumper pay-off for serial failure?

James Hughes
128 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:46:01
Derek it beggars belief, just burying his head in the sand
David Midgley
129 Posted 25/02/2019 at 12:05:25
Perseverance with Zonal. It's like trying a size 8 shoe
but you've got a size 10 foot . I'll keep trying because
I like the colour and the style.
Dave Abrahams
130 Posted 25/02/2019 at 12:16:44
Trevor (123), Trevor Jonjo is a Scouser and an Evertonianwho is proud to play for the club, there will be no pressure on Jonjo because he gives his all and expects his team mates to do exactly the same, the only pressure will be on the players he will be telling to simply do their job.
Trevor Peers
131 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:12:40
Understand all that Dave and I'm impressed with Kenny myself, he seems about the most likely of our youngsters to have a really successful career.

Admire your enthusiasm as well, it is early days though in his development, I'd hate to put too much pressure on the lad, as we have in the past, so many things can go wrong.

Dave Abrahams
132 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:17:19
Trevor (131), yes fair enough about the pressure and maybe I'd have been better not boosting him up so much but I think Jonjoe will take it in his stride.
Kieran Kinsella
133 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:00:14
Relegation is possible though unlikely. Anyone remember Ipswich town in 1993 4th placed in January, in the Euro places mix by Easter. Ended up 16th one win about relegation.

It looks as if the bottom two have been cast adrift but the third spot is a bit more worrying. Burnley and Palace were miles behind us but now they are breathing down our necks. Yes, it is unlikely that Cardiff and Soton will both make up the 8- or 9-point gap on us... but it is possible.

Rob Marsh
134 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:16:31
Kieran #133,

A loss against Cardiff in terms of effect on morale should not be underestimated, especially with the derby just days later.

I think the bookies are being extremely generous with their relegation odds (200/1), I just can't bring myself to take a punt against the team I've supported all my life.

Jay Harris
135 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:23:13
Rob @109,

I would vehemently disagree. Kenwright is better then Warren Buffet because he has used other people's money to make himself Millions while still presiding over his prize possession.

As for Kirkby, that was Bill's opportunity to pay back his cronies and make himself a few bob. Most supporters and the council thankfully saw through this project which would have turned Everton FC into a non entity.

I will never forget Kenwright's blatant lie that "Goodison Park would fail its next safety certificate" in an effort to get fans' support for Destination Kirkby.

If he tells such blatant lies to supporters, imagine the deceit that has gone on with managers and players in the corridors of Goodison Park. Is it then any wonder that the place is so divisive?

The sooner Moshiri sees through this fraud (as Paul Gregg did) and gets him out of the place, the sooner we can recover from his cancer.

Danny Baily
136 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:36:15
Very important match against Cardiff. Win and it's s big step towards safety. Can't see that happening though.

I'd love to have seen us sack Silva after the last match to give the caretaker some time to work with the squad ahead of a winnable game. There won't be another opportunity to do that for a while.

Also, watching Burnley's transformation after dropping Hart has me thinking it's time to drop Pickford, shame we moved Robles on.

Raymond Fox
137 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:36:31
Well summed up Lyndon.

The club has a loser's mentality, has for years. What's the answer, we need a manager that's 'been there done that' such as Benitez. Then we need to supply him with top-six quality players, simple isn't it?

Well... not really, the hard part is getting them to the club. One thing we can do is give the team and the manager support, because they need all the help they can get at this time.

Joe McMahon
138 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:58:50
Danny @ 136, I agree about Joel Robles.

Burnley's better form has also coincided with Sam Vokes moving on, his lack of pace held attacks up. Chris Wood is the better option and he links up with Barnes.

Clive Mitchell
140 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:54:30
Lyndon, as ever a balanced and reasoned piece; a response on a few points.

First, you say at the close "Marco Silva has been afforded the time". I'm not sure you really believe that. And it's simply not true, is it? Another manager went through a patch almost as bad as Silva's current W3 D2 L9 – but even though he'd already had two full seasons at the club, he wasn't sacked. It was 1984 and his name was Howard Kendall. Silva deserves more time.

Secondly, the description of the purchase of Sigurdsson as "improvident" just doesn't bear scrutiny. Other clubs' fans who see Everton at the ground say "Sigurdsson's obviously your best player." And so he has been, throughout last season and for the first 20 games of this. Not just our most talented and productive player, but our hardest working. I said when we signed him "He's not worth £45m". How wrong I was.

Improvident? Step forward Michael Keane, Ashley Williams, Theo Walcott, Morgan Schneiderlin, Sandro Ramirez, Davy Klaassen, Cenk Tosun. Not one of those players was brought to the club in Silva's time.

Finally, zonal marking. I have no idea which of the following is true:

(a) Everton's players are incompetent;
(b) Everton's manager and coaches are incompetent;
(c) almost all clubs deploy zonal marking, Everton's season of bad set piece outcomes has just been unlucky - somebody always will be;
(d) all of the above.

But what I do feel sure about is that Michael Keane and Yerry Mina are not top-level central defenders. Anyone who saw Atletico Madrid v Juventus last week was privileged to see four of the finest defenders you'll ever see; but we don't need Godin and Chiellini as benchmarks: we all know Keane and Mina aren't in the same league as Jagielka, Distin, Stubbs, Heitinga, Gough. Perhaps Silva needs to sign Zouma and give Holgate his head next season.

Frank Sheppard
141 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:24:20
I have always seen Sigurdsson as part of the solution and not part of the problem. He was probably over-priced, but that's not the players fault. He has many more plusses than negatives imo.

No players are perfect, and too many on this site over-dwell on the negatives on this site. We have a good squad, and they are not all shit. However too many are under performing and not delivering, which is different.

Bobby Mallon
142 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:27:39
"Whisper it quietly, but Werder Bremen's signing of Davy Klaassen from Everton could prove to be one of the most inspired transfers of the summer." That's just one quote from bundeslige.com.

Did we get rid of some of our players too hastily??? Klaassen, Besic, Vlasic. I will leave it out there...

Bill Watson
143 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:45:15
Jay #135

Which council was that then? West Lancs opposed it and Knowsley, obviously, supported it. Liverpool didn't have any direct involvement.

It didn't proceed because it was called in and the government pulled the plug on the grounds it would be detrimental to other shopping centres in Skelmersdale and Aintree.

Your thoughts on Kenwright would carry greater weight if they were factually correct.

Tony Everan
144 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:10:09
Managers need to inspire players and be natural motivators of men.

When the manager has achieved little as a player and little as a manager, from time to time you'll get multi-millionaire internationals doubting that manager's every action when anything goes wrong.

''Why should I listen to that fucker? I am an international player, what the fuck did he ever do? Fucker hasn't got a clue'' or words to that effect.

It's easy to undermine such a manager. Such mutinous behaviour is rife... It is an easy justification for a player to pass the buck. It is toxic within a club and causes long term damage.

So you either get a manager who is inspirational and respected, or root out the poisonous elements of the squad and ship them out.

I don't know the extent that Marco Silva is being undermined, but I think there is some of it. It affects morale and team spirit and then results. In some respects, I feel a bit sorry for Marco and the state of affairs that he inherited. Would a better manager get more out of this squad? Or would any great manager be under the cosh in a very similar circumstance.

One thing I do know is that any great manager wouldn't start a season in the toughest league in the world (with an expected top-7 club) without a top-class proven striker. The madness goes on. It's 2 years now since we've had one and we have done nothing since .

Clive Mitchell
145 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:23:44
Bobby, @142,

I agree seasoned fans can be wrong about a player on the evidence of a couple of games. I once saw a young player at Southampton and could not believe how out of his depth he looked: always in the wrong place, always making the wrong decision on and off the ball. He'll never make a player.

That was Andy Townsend, and he did alright! But we all saw Klaassen a number of times at Goodison; and we all knew from that evidence he could never crack it. Too slow, too weak, too lightweight for the super athletic Premier League.

Mike Connolly
146 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:23:56
Change that to 100 Problems.

Just read on the official site. "Everton are one of the best places to work".

Looking at some of our signings, the players are happy to be here picking up massive wages for doing fuck-all. They would be first to acknowledge how good it is to work here.

Mike Hayes
147 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:39:28
Bill Watson,

If you don't know the truth about Kenwright by now, after near 25 (trophyless) years, you never will. Try:

Kings Dock: £30M ring-fenced? – gone!
Try the mortgage on his house? – never found.
Arterta money? – standing joke.
Refusing to hand over the train set when Mansur wanted to buy in;
The gobshite is still here after supposedly having a terminal illness and the YNWA on FB published on their page sending their sincerest wishes to him.
No-one from his PR or the club confirmed or denied this: he was supposed to be stepping down last August but they'd have to close the free buffet at Goodison Park for that to happen.

He's a fecken leech that needs prising off — and quick.

Mike Gaynes
148 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:47:27
Clive #140, excellent, well-written post. I agree with most of it.

However, I think you're being harsh with Keane and Mina. We now know that Keane played most of last season on a savagely infected foot, so I throw that out, and his play this season after returning from the skull fracture was quite good for a while. He's had a stretch of lesser performances recently but I am not yet ready to write him off as sub-Heitinga level.

And Mina is raw and inexperienced -- just 15 appearances combined at Barca and Everton since leaving Brazil -- but I believe he has the size, speed and talent to be a truly top-class central defender, and the three goals at the World Cup speak to his fearlessness. When he becomes a starter for this club, he will inevitably make gut-wrenching mistakes that we will just have to live with, but I think giving up on him so early would be a monumental, massive error. There is quality in him.

Rob Marsh
149 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:14:41
Ken Kneale #117
Tony Abrahams #119
Jay Harris #135

Do you all think that the monied toe rags that own/run the other clubs are all saints?

What do you think Moshiri, who's made a fortune being around a Kazak gangster is in this for, do you think he loves EFC? The Glazers love Man Utd? Once Billy and his mates got their hands on the loot they were always going to develop the club in a way that suited them. What did you want Billy to do freeze all ticket prices, half food and drink prices, then declare a socialist paradise that would benefit all?

Where ever there's money, there's corruption! If corruption is kept to respectable levels, effective business can still take place; if it's not kept to respectable levels you've got yourself a banana republic.

Any realist reading the statement immediately above, will agree.

When Kenwright ascended to the throne, who else was there to contest him? No one wanted to own EFC, Kenwright didn't have the folding to buy the club and had to beg, steal and borrow. Any modestly wealthy millionaire could have bought EFC back then - nobody wanted us!

We were stuck with a theatre ponce and his lovies, the club was very vulnerable and if Kenwright managed to get anything right, it was keeping us in the Prem and relatively low debt.

Tony, that top-flight games stat is a crutch I refuse to lean upon, there's far too much dust in the trophy cabinet. You've used the word saviour, not I. We might have ended up with a Ken Bates, the things he got right I will not strip away from him.

Bobby Thomas
150 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:17:08
Mike #148

On Mina, I'd love to know why we more than doubled Barcelona's money after about 15 appearances and a goal at a World Cup.

We've been had off.

He'd barely played any football for a year or more and that's showing in the amount of injuries he's picking up. And he's slow and poor on the turn. He's too tall. Too leggy.

He's 25 and on that basis, we can get most of our cash back. We should sell him back to Spain and get what we actually needed. Someone, big, strong and most importantly pacey.

Mina's face on the bench at Millwall said it all to me. He possibly thinks he's made a massive mistake, and I couldn't blame him. Let's get someone in that knows the score and can hit the ground running.

Nothing South American and inherently more risky. Someone that knows the drill and can make an immediate impact.

Jay Harris
151 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:20:33
Bill,

Would you care to explain which thoughts on Kenwright are factually incorrect?

Steve Ferns
152 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:24:36
Bobby, he scored THREE goals at the last World Cup, not one. All headers. He was immense in the air for Colombia.

And he's not slow. He's actually quick. He might take time to sort his legs out and get into his stride, and all men of his size are slow on the turn. I think he'll make you eat your words next season.

There is definitely a player there and a player who will thrive more in the Premier League than the more technical leagues like Spain and Italy.

Jay Harris
153 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:41:38
Rob,

Let me correct you once again. Peter Johnson did not put the club up for sale. He got death threats from a section of supporters and decided to sell his shareholding and only asked £20M which allegedly (I cannot prove or disprove) came from the club.

Kenwright asked his longtime friend Paul Gregg to help fund his venture and the deal was done.

To the best of my knowledge, it was never offered outside the club's inner circle, so we will never know who we could have got.

What we do know is that long-time friend Paul Gregg became so concerned with Bill that he asked him to step down as Chairman and then the artful dodger came up with Fortress Sports Fund which was even more deceit.

We also know that Bill's conditions of sale when he did put the club up for sale were so onerous and limiting that most potential investors, including Sheik Mansour, were put off.

While I agree with you about dodgy money, I am sure if there was any illegal money going on, the authorities would act as they did with Shiniwatra or whatever his name was.

My point was never about "other" dodgy investors – it was purely to point out that Kewnwright is not the saint he professes to be and is, in fact, responsible for the mediocrity we have had to put up with for over 20 years.

Ian Hollingworth
154 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:52:54
I think 99 problems is a bit generous. But why are we surprised?

We keep doing the same things such as hiring managers with poor premier league records including relegation.
Kenwright is still Chairman and presiding over our worst ever period. Worse still our new owner and hope for the future allows this to continue.
We don't beat the top 6 sides.

Personally I can't see much changing for the foreseeable future so we will just plod on, keep changing shit manager to shit manager, overpay for duds, and just be glad we are in the Premier League.

Seb Niemand
155 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:02:53
I think it is safe to say that of all the managers we have had since Saint Moyesy, the whole deal has turned into a steaming pile of poo quicker for Silva than any other hot seat occupant. The man may well be the literal King Midas in Reverse. Time to cut our losses.
Tony Abrahams
156 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:06:43
Rob @149, any realist reading everything you print below that sentence will be ever so glad we got Bill.
Rob Marsh
157 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:18:07
Jay Harris #153

Money talks, Gregg was/is a businessman, if Bill offers £20m and digs further into his very long pockets to pull out a few brass washers and some fluff further, I then come along and slam £25m on the table, I'll be the new owner of EFC. The club was available, it was publicly known, but no-one came in other than Kenwright.

Fortress Sports Funds were symptomatic of Everton's general financial health at the time before Kenwright took over, we were struggling and finding investment hard to find.

You've said it, we don't know what conditions Kenwright and the board stipulated, let's not point a guilty finger, they might have been genuinely protecting the club.

If you look back through my posts, you'll find nothing that paints Billy as whiter than white, In fact, I've stated the opposite.

Mediocrity, we were a club going through hard times – not all the club's malaise can be put on his shoulders. I'm looking at this as objectively as possible.

Ken Kneale
158 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:33:44
Hi Rob,

I think you're getting your history timelines messed up. It was Kenwright who made all the promises long before he should to keep people off his back as he 'searched' for his investor – only to find everyone pulled clear because of his lack of transparency with them or because they were the sharks you suggest. The latter begs the question: Why did he negotiate in the first place and why did he announce before he carried out due diligence?

I suggest you read Lyndon's and Paul the Esk's columns again. You are well out of step with reality.

I note you don't answer any of my earlier questions about Kings Dock, Rooney and Arteta money, Phillip Green et al. Kenwright is by a country mile our worst chairman in history, failing to bring money in when the game was awash with the stuff.

I am happy to stand by earlier comments and am confident history will be on my side. How much money has he lost or pumped into Everton? – nil. How much has he gained? – millions!! Where is the club's standing relative to our history? – lowest ever ebb. What is there left to debate?

ps: Jay is correct. If you look why Gregg pulled out, it was not money – it as the conduct and character of Kenwright. Gregg's plan at the time would have improved the Club but Kenwright would not let go.

Rob Marsh
159 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:36:33
Tony Abrahams #156

If you read back through my post, you'll see we didn't have any choice; it was Kenwright and that was it.

It could have been a lot worse, Ken Bates?

You may have a dislike of the man (for whatever reason?), but it shouldn't get in the way of objectivity.

Len Hawkins
160 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:43:12
Dave #130 Kieran Dowell is getting rave reviews off the Sheff Utd manager and scored the only goal away at West Brom last night.
Len Hawkins
161 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:43:12
Dave #130,

Kieran Dowell is getting rave reviews off the Sheff Utd manager and scored the only goal away at West Brom last night.

Chris Hockenhull
162 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:50:46
Len... correct level achieved Nottm Forest proved it... sadly.
Jay Tee
163 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:51:09
Excellent article.

Probably more questions than answers in my text below.

Does anyone know if we have all the same coaches running through from Moyes, Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce and Silva; apart from their own right-hand man?

If so are these coaches able to teach and encourage or just going through the motions. Are they specialists in any areas?

Can they translate Silva's thoughts into workable routines of play that the players can understand.

Do we have a Sports Psychologist trained to boost confidence etc? Many teams employ them and it does appear to give players the edge. It might improve their brain response to thinking a step ahead, we always seem too slow and waiting for a ball to feet.

Does no-one question the poor defense against set-pieces, the poor level of marking in the box?

Billy Roberts
164 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:55:36
Rob Marsh @149, we could pontificate all day about Kenwright's suitability to hold any position at EFC but – despite not getting relegated, which in itself is plainly not an achievement, however you want to cook it – what again are Kenwright's achievements as the Chairman of one of the founder members of the Premier League?
Bobby Thomas
165 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:13:50
Steve #152

I don't care how many Mina scored in the summer. What I saw didn't overly impress me. He was okay, decent. He was also, at times, cumbersome and clumsy. And I'm talking about his defending. That's what I'm bothered about.

We've overpaid. Again. Plain & simple. For yet another player that isn't contributing.

And if he's poor on the turn, then he's just that – poor on the turn. Not exactly what you need from a centre back really.

The long and short of it is he's too tall, too leggy, poor on the turn and if I was a front man I'd fancy moving him about, or dragging him wide and exposing him. When we took a South American centre-back that hadn't played much regular football I thought it was risky.

He played FIVE GAMES for Barca, Steve, and we doubled their money. It's a risky signing when we badly need something in there we can rely on. The best ones on loan ffs.

We could have got Evans in for a fraction and we'd have been much better off.

Rob Marsh
166 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:19:22
Billy Roberts #164,

The players who line up against us (and probably most of our own players) couldn't give a toss about us being Premier League founders. They're all there to earn a fortune and will try to beat us based on earning more.

It's only the odd fan with an historical perspective who will care.

As for avoiding relegation, we have a new chairman who's just sunk £250m into the club and may well find his new toy in a relegation battle. Money didn't help and three managers also didn't help.

The problems we have were there before Kenwright and are still there after Kenwright.

Don Alexander
167 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:29:23
Rob Marsh (various postings).

Please don't think I'm taking you to task personally but your insistence that "nobody wanted to buy Everton" is way wide of the mark. The truth is that nobody wanted to buy Everton at the price demanded by Kenwright and those he financially sold out to, such as his so-called "Mozart of Money" Phillip Green.

Not content with that, he then managed to co-opt the "support" of the USA's most penniless billionaire, Robert Earl, and the numerous potential buyers who were allowed to examine the club's books during these many years, under the terms of "due diligence", have one thing in common in that they all departed well before the period of due diligence expired.

Give Kenwright credit though, as we floundered from decade to decade under his grasp he eventually chanced upon a billionaire with an ego even bigger than his own and completely hoodwinked him to his own personal advantage after selling out to him.

Kenwright = The Mozart of Murk.

Billy Roberts
168 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:32:56
Rob @166, you didn't answer my question about Kenwright's achievements.

That's understandable: it's a very hard question to answer.

As for before Kenwright, do you mean when we actually won things?

As for life after Kenwright?? The sooner that day comes, the better for this club.

Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:36:49
I honestly thought your post had no real substance, Rob, especially when you start plucking names like Ken Bates out of thin air.

Thin air? Isn't that how Kenwright described his mate the magician, but just like you say that nobody really wanted Everton, I will say that there is no genuine proof that Green, was ever involved.

Billy Roberts
170 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:41:28
Question for the editors? Where do my missing posts go to? Some purgatory?

My post contained nothing offensive or red shite accusations but disappeared?? Is it something I said?

I doesn't help with the flow...

Rob Marsh
171 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:49:14
Don Alexander #167

When I said nobody wanted to buy us, this means at the time Billy boy bought EFC, it was a no contest. I said this in one of my posts.

Others have enquired since then, yes absolutely.

Hope this clears things up.

Tony Abrahams
172 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:52:11
Clear things up, Rob? ... Wouldn't it be better if we could just get him to clear off!
Brian Porter
173 Posted 25/02/2019 at 23:06:45
Coming back to Silva for a moment but I know many posters, like myself, were hoping he would use the long break before the Cardiff game to reassess his tactics, his game plan and his team structure and hopefully come up with a new and more effective defensive strategy and a plan to help our offensive players actually score more goals.

Instead, today he's quoted as saying he sees no need to change what we're already doing. We just seem to need some luck in these 'moments' he habitually raves on about. (For 'moments' read 'phenomenal'), which have become so boring to hear about.

If this is Silva's Plan B, he can stuff it,.. He says, we were doing okay at the start of the season before these 'moments' turned against us. Doesn't he have the sense to realise that the reason his 'moments' have turned against us is because every other manager in the league has worked out his single-minded (or should that be 'simple-minded') game plan and now knows exactly how to set up against us and surprise, surprise, in most cases since December, beat our arses.

After their latest thrashing, I'm sure Cardiff will be all out to renew their fight for survival, knowing that they couldn't have a more charitable opponent than Everton to face tomorrow. I hope we win, but if not could this be the 'moment' that marks the beginning of the end for Marco (man of the moment) Silva?

Jay Harris
174 Posted 25/02/2019 at 23:18:18
Rob
Outside of the Liverpool echo nobody knew Peter Johnson's shares were up for sale.

They were not placed with an agent, it was a shake hands in the boardroom deal or over a pint in the Shrewsbury arms.

All Johnson wanted was his £20m and he was off and, contrary to Kenwright's musings, we were NOT in a financial crisis – in fact, the balance sheet showed a strong net asset position when Kenwright took over and, 2 years later, the balance sheet showed a net liability of £30m. Does that ring any bells for you?

Why were unexplained operating costs running at £1m a year and a few years after Kenwright took over rose to over £20m a year.

Why did we make profits in the Johnson era and suddenly start making losses almost every year since Kenwright took over despite record sums coming into the Premier League after Kenwright took over.

Why did Trevor Birch leave after only a few weeks in the post of CEO. Why was Keith Wyness paid hush money to keep him quiet about Everton's financial dealings.

Why before Moshiri arrived were we paying almost £10m a year in interest to an offshore company associated with Earle and Green.

The list of shame is endless where Kenwright is involved and you wonder why some People call him a snake oil salesman.

Anyway, I've had enough of putting my position across regarding Kenwright so, if you want to believe what you're posting, that's up to you.

Mike Gaynes
175 Posted 26/02/2019 at 00:10:38
Bobby Thomas #165, stock up on ketchup, because Mina is going to make you eat your words.

And if you really think that 31-year-old Jonny Mediocre Evans would have made us "much better off" – all I can do is laugh, because you obviously haven't seen him play for about three years.

I'll take Mina at 24 all day long, no matter how much he has to learn.

Dave Abrahams
176 Posted 26/02/2019 at 00:30:04
Len (160), I've just come in after a few bevvies in Ned Kelly's ... what has Kieran Dowell's goal and performance for Sheffield Utd on Saturday got to do with my post about Jonjoe Kenny @ 130?
Clive Mitchell
177 Posted 26/02/2019 at 00:37:52
Mike G, 148 – fair points, well made. I hope you're proved right!
Bobby Thomas
178 Posted 26/02/2019 at 00:44:05
Mike #175,

We will see, Mike. Hopefully he will be boss.

Unfashionable as he may be, at the £3.5 million he went for someone like Johnny Evans – on something like a 3-year-deal – would have undoubtedly improved us in the short term and helped stabilise what is a problem position.

Its pretty obvious we need something experienced in there that knows the drill and knows the league. 31 is a good age for a centre back and not everyone has to cost £25 million and be on £100k a week.

I will remind you again that the best performing centre-back, and he's hardly been on fire, is here on loan.

Oh, and by the way, the last time I saw Evans play was in the flesh on New Years Day. He played well, actually.

Rob Marsh
179 Posted 26/02/2019 at 01:33:20
Jay #174,

Concerning who knew when the club was being sold?

Practically every bank or reputable financial establishment in the world would have been able to do a search on all the clubs investors, their wealth, what the club was worth, all it's operational figures and come up with a very accurate evaluation/take over plan and understand it was ripe for the picking without ever contacting the club first.

If such a willing buyer was out there, he would have gone through the above process and simply put in an offer, whether Kenwright was making an offer or not.

Also whenever a PLC/Ltd is sold of this type there is a period of "Due Diligence" served whereby notification is given that the company is under offer, shaking hands in a pub means nothing until the period is served. These things can't be done in secret, the world knew and a counter offer could easily have been registered but it wasn't. The Echo? What do they know?

I don't know if you've read my post 149 or not, but it might be worth another read; if you do it will explain all those "why" questions you've laid out for me.

If you don't understand after you've read it, I'll explain the whole thing in one simple sentence.

Darren Hind
180 Posted 26/02/2019 at 02:59:52
Johnny Evans put in the best defensive performance seen at Goodison Park this year. He's been excellent this season. What a shrewd bit of business that was by Leicester. a far better deal than the one we got signing Mina.

I can't believe Steve saying Mina is fast... but only when he gets into his stride. What good is that ? By the time he gets into his stride most strikers are Long gone.

The referee's clamped down hard on defenders holding and tugging when defending set pieces during the World Cup. People like Mina thought it was Christmas. He's finding it a little tougher in the Premier League.

The best we can hope for is he learns to judge the flight of the ball again and stops running under the fucker. Then he may become a decent stopper. His clumsiness will prevent him ever becoming a footballer.

I think Bobby is on the money. Barca definitely saw us coming...

Bill Gienapp
181 Posted 26/02/2019 at 03:55:14
Bobby (178),

To be fair, that was the exact thinking behind the Ashley Williams signing – bring in a battle-tested Premier League veteran in his early-30s, for a reasonable fee, as a short-term option to provide leadership and stability.

The logic appeared sound, so it just goes to show how nothing is ever guaranteed in this league.

Jay Harris
182 Posted 26/02/2019 at 04:04:37
Rob,

Please stop talking out of your ass.

I am telling you categorically the shares were not offered to anyone else and were not publicised for sale, nor was a broker enlisted to sell the shares for Peter Johnson.

Do you think financial institutions are sat on their computers every day, looking at whether there are shares for sale in EFC or not.

I do not believe there was any due diligence done as Kenwright was already a director and had access to the accounts and the auditors.

Anyway, it's a moot point as it is now academic. However, nobody can deny Kenwright has been an unmitigated disaster as chairman and a liar to boot.

John Pierce
183 Posted 26/02/2019 at 04:22:04
Mina might, I stress might turn out okay but he needs a partner which mitigates his vulnerabilities. Neither Keane or Zouma do that for me. He has force of will, personality, and desire to change a game.

But he's overly physical in the game where that skillet is a growing liability, he's rash and there is very little upside to him on the ball.

VAR will ruin centre backs like him. He's a walking penalty next season.

Lumbering would be apt... but the investment made means he'll be in the team until something better comes along.

He lost me the moment he tried to take the Lincoln lad out after he came on. Utter madness.

On the flip side, he might be worth a go a centre-forward... hehehe

Mike Gaynes
184 Posted 26/02/2019 at 04:46:22
Darren, Evans "excellent this season"? You mean, when he's played? He has spent the majority of the season on the bench, watching Maguire and Morgan. Yes, he had a good game at our place. They've been few and far between.

If you and Bobby T had seen him the other day in the 1-4 home loss to Palace, you would feel otherwise. Batshuayi scored the first goal on him, he wandered around aimlessly on the second, committed a pen for the third and failed to get across to Zaha on the fourth. Obviously it wasn't all his fault (Batshuayi got lucky and Zaha is quick), but he certainly didn't look like the solution to anyone's problems, especially ours.

I couldn't disagree more on Mina. He was outstanding in just his second Prem game, at Chelsea. Despite his mistakes he was immense when I watched him at Anfield – not at all intimidated by the occasion. And he has shown both fine pace and excellent skills – he is a footballer.

Sure he'll make more mistakes, but he's played only 830 minutes for us, less than 700 in the Premier League. If you and Bobby want to write him off after that tiny sample, be my guest, but I think you're both out of your mind.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
185 Posted 26/02/2019 at 05:21:47
We can only see missing posts that were posted and got blocked but I can't see any backed up for you, Billy @170.

Sometimes, you can think you posted on one thread but it was really posted to another... that's how they can "go astray".

The other way is if you get distracted before the end, don't hit Submit, and then inadvertently close the window. Gone.

Bill Watson
186 Posted 26/02/2019 at 05:31:51
Jay; the bit where you said the supporters and the council saw the Kirkby project off. The project was 'called in' after objections from West Lancs Council and the Secretary of State for Housing etc turned it down.

I hold no brief for Kenwright but some of the unsubstantiated allegations made against him are, frankly, libelous.

The club was financially sound when Peter Johnson had it? Really? Ferguson was sold because the club was on the financial brink.

Rob is quite correct when he says there wasn't a queue to buy the club. There wasn't. The claim that nobody outside of the Echo circulation area knew the club was up for sale is ludicrous.

I understand Sheik Monsour actually did due diligence on Everton and the deciding factor was Man City didn't need a new ground.

Alan J Thompson
187 Posted 26/02/2019 at 05:53:41
Jay (#174&182); I think the confusion may arise out of Johnson's business (food hampers?) was not doing well and as I understand it he had to sell his interest in Everton to put money into that business, as you say at the time Everton weren't financially stressed nor that flush.

From an interview with Kenwright at the time, he said he was trying to put together a consortium to raise the £50M asking price which eventually was £20-25M and during which he stated he could have bought the club a few years earlier for £5M. It was that remark which made me think and comment (on Teamtalk, I think) that it didn't give me confidence that he had the foresight for the job.

Michael Kenrick
188 Posted 26/02/2019 at 05:53:51
Jay and Rob (various).

I recall tracking the news pretty closely back then (and posting snippets on here), noting the stories about Kenwright and his courtship of Johnson for his Everton shares at what was ultimately a pittance.

As I recall, the deal dragged on for almost a year, with Johnson initially wanting something like £140M, and finally being beaten down by Kenwright to a paltry £20M.

Jay, you say "I am telling you categorically the shares were not offered to anyone else and were not publicised for sale." — sorry but that is categorically wrong. During that time, it was public knowledge they were for sale, mentioned a number of times in the national papers, and a few other names were rumoured but came to nothing.

As you say, Jay, it's moot now, but it's funny how we can be convinced our memory of events was a certain way, no matter what evidence is presented to the contrary.

John G Davies
189 Posted 26/02/2019 at 06:46:14
Bill 186,

"I hold no brief for Kenwright but some of the unsubstantiated allegations made against him are, frankly, libellous."

Mr William Kenwright has lied on many occasions in matters concerning Everton Football Club.

My brief is ready. I will get a nice few quid out of this. :-)

Ken Kneale
190 Posted 26/02/2019 at 07:35:06
Any chairman running a business the way Kenwright has would be gone. His record is mediocrity and history will judge in years to come. He has run this club aground and now we are all searching for lifebelts.
Tony Abrahams
191 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:12:50
I don't know what changed amongst Evertonians for quite a lot of them to be kidded by Kenwright, Ken, because I can still remember the leaflets going around saying “Kendall & Carter Must Go!” and I don't think that many of the fanbase from the early eighties would have put up with this fraud.

Maybe because the gates were low, and it was only really the genuine die-hards that were still following the blues, but I remember most Everton fans being the same in those days. They seemed full of anger, but full of fight, and definitely not the type to be hood-winked by a phoney actor, but my memory might be playing tricks on me because I was only a child around this time.

John G Davies
192 Posted 26/02/2019 at 08:59:42
Tony,

Most Evertonians have got Kenwright's card marked. A tiny minority are still taken in by his phoney manner but most are right on him.

He sells the remainder of his shares and I don't think you will see him at the ground. Probably due to health problems.

Paul Smith
193 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:18:33
Looks like Rogers is off to Leicester. I would have had him here.
Bill Watson
194 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:21:49
Tony;

"Maybe because the gates were low, and it was only really the genuine die-hards that were still following the blues, but I remember most Everton fans being the same in those days".

My first match was v West Ham in 1958 and my next match will be at Cardiff, tonight!

You mistake criticising wild allegations made against someone with support for that person.

See you at the match, tonight?

Ken Kneale
195 Posted 26/02/2019 at 09:35:41
Tony, I agree. Maybe we are too accepting of failure now.

Bill, I see no wild allegations here, only facts. Kenwright has grossly failed this club in allowing us to drift to obscurity and ridicule.

Rob Marsh
196 Posted 26/02/2019 at 14:05:07
Jay Harris #182

"Please stop talking out of your ass." - You said.

Let's examine your post:

I challenge you to find anywhere on this thread where I've mentioned shares changing hands. You've mentioned shares, not I. Therefore, if I haven't mentioned shares I cannot have said they've been exchanged. All I said was that no one else came in to buy the club.

In my post #179 I said, "If such a willing buyer was out there, he would have gone through the above process". Of course no bank or financial institution would spend all it's time analysing EFC, It's upto the potential buyer to initiate the process?

Are you being facetious?

You said:

"I do not believe there was any due diligence done as Kenwright was already a director and had access to the accounts and the auditors."

That's quite a statement!

Whenever a business such as EFC changes ownership, the relevant government bodies must be informed, the Premier League HQ must be informed and a period of due diligence will begin whether the new owner is a board member or not. This is to ascertain whether the buying party are fit to own and manage the club.

Just imagine at Arsenal if all it took for Usmanov already a shareholder to own the club was a handshake in a pub, do you think the Premier League, the Arsenal fans and the government would accept that? The same rules apply to Billy Boy!

Do you realise how naive what you've said sounds?

I have been accused of talking through my arse, I can only advise you to think it through and be absolutely sure of your facts before you launch another attack on me.

Can we please keep it clean next time and leave the expletives out, it's much more civil.


Michael Kenrick
197 Posted 26/02/2019 at 14:30:54
Sorry Rob, but I think the rules you are applying are for a publicly traded company. Everton are a private limited company.

All they have to do is submit the new ownership details (shareholders and officers) to Companies House. Due diligence (if there was any for Kenwright's group) was not talked about at all. The "right and proper person" rules for the Premier League came in later, I believe. There are no other "relevant government bodies".

There were rumoured to be a number of interested parties at the time back in 1999, The Spirit Group was one, so it was public knowledge that Everton was up for sale.

Anyway, why are you even arguing this?

Tony Abrahams
198 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:02:11
I'm not going to the match, Bill, but I hope Everton, put on a performance that makes it worthwhile both for you and every other Evertonian making the long treck down to Cardiff tonight.

The only thing I really miss is that I've stopped going to many away matches, although I'm sure I will start going again soon. But even if I could have gone for nothing tonight, I would have said "No," Bill, so fair play to you and every other Toffee in the ground tonight because Everton's away support is the best thing about our great club, IMO, so enjoy the game tonight, mate!

Jay Harris
199 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:13:29
Michael,

Thank you for clarifying that.

I did not want to hijack the original thread but you know my feelings regarding Kenwright and his regime and I guess Rob just lit the fuse. I am happy to drop it now and hope Rob and I can get on to more meaningful debates.

Rob Marsh
200 Posted 26/02/2019 at 15:48:51
Micheal Kenrick #197

Why is this being argued?

If you read the first sentence of post 182, this will give you an indication why I've replied to this post. If someone said that to you, there's a good chance you'd reply also.

We're both partially correct in terms of a football LTDs, the League HQ does care where the money comes from (who's behind BK), anyone buying EFC would have entered a period were their funding was scrutinised and the Goverment has the right to investigate any LTD, if it wants to and it does where football is concerned.

The partial correctness (I've mentioned) is that as you've said there's no formal requirement to do "Due Diligence" for a limited company, but in larger aquisitions like EFC, the financial institutions insist upon it, it nearly always happens and so the goverment being content stays out the way. Diligence in one form or another for these aquisitions has probably always been done. If anything is discovered during this period the bodies mentioned below will be contacted.

The relevant goverment bodies are: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, City of London Police and Customs & Excise (There's probably a few others). If you try to buy a football club with wrong money watch them come out from behind the curtains at you.

Mike Dolan
201 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:09:35
A really great article by Lyndon. We are where we are because after years of neglect on the basic infrastructure our new ownership was faced with a massive task of rebuilding whilst being expected to move forward at the same time.

Our current manager or his successor field parts of the last four managers attempts at building a new team. Silva was to incorporate what was the incomplete visions of Moyes, Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce along with the players that he has brought in as part of the project 4.0. Doesn't anybody ever wonder if we would have been a lot further ahead had just sucked it up and allowed any of our managers to steer the ship through the storm instead of heading back to port to change captains every time the wind changes.

It might be that Marco is a terrible coach totally unsuited to leading our once great club but the only thing I would have you consider is that all of our last three coaches plus Silva have improved our results initially only to have the team implode later on. To my mind this points to the problem not being the manager so much as having a squad of players signed to meet the needs of five different managers.

To even suggest that our current managers survival rest on the performances in the next two games is the type of thinking that has created the situation that we are in right now. We need stability from the top down before we can hope to move forward. We need to give one management team 5 years before any changes that are made are made from a position of strength .

Michael Kenrick
202 Posted 26/02/2019 at 16:46:42
Rob (#200), sorry, but if anything, I think you are conflating then with now.

Some of what you say may be true now... but I believe fairly strongly that Kenwright did not do due diligence back in 1999-2000 for the reasons stated above, and that he was under no compunction to do it, either from the banks (not directly involved as TBH was all private money), not from the Premier League (they only cared mildly that Johnson owned two clubs at the same time, if you recall, and were I'm sure overjoyed that Kenwright was resolving that particular problem for them) and certainly not from any of the government bodies you cite. I have never ever heard them mentioned in relation to the Everton takeover, and it is something I followed very closely.

John G Davies
203 Posted 26/02/2019 at 17:32:06
Michael,

Thank you for uncovering an ongoing myth perpetuated by Kenwright and Co.

Rob, spirited defense you are putting up there for someone you have no time for.

Thomas Rigby
204 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:06:36
Tony Abrahams says "one little fluke has destroyed everything ".Yes,exactly right but what a condemnation of the whole squad's lack of character and fight.
It also shows a lack of leadership in the team and management.
It also explains the complete inability to defend set pieces which is nothing to do with systems. Zonal or man marking. Whatever system is used individual players have got to want to win the ball whatever the cost.Remember the way Millwall defenders battered us in their determination to win battles at both ends of the pitch.
Ken Kneale sees a comparison with Villa-- again exactly right. It is a horrible thought but it has the ring of truth about it.
Villa slowly subsided for seasons before finally going down. They also made many poor buys and gave average players long lucrative contracts.Their reward was a group of players who were complacent,selfish and indifferent.
We are all aware of how many Everton players are getting huge sums to do literally nothing apart from draining the life blood from the club .£750.000 out of the club per week!
Trying to be positive.I am searching for quality in the squad.How many players are capable of getting in a squad with "Top Six " ambitions ?
with more confidence in some than others I would suggest Pickford, Zouma, Gomes, Bernard, Lookman, Richarlison, and Sigurdsson.
Then I am hoping that some youngsters mature into top players---Holgate, Kenny, Davies, Calvert Lewis and Dowell.
I still have great hopes for both Bernard and Gomes because both had not been playing before arriving at Goodison and both missed a proper pre season.And they hav had fitness issues.
Having said all that there will be no improvement next season unless Brands is able to bring QUALITY players to the striker and central midfield positions.
Darren Hind
205 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:22:21
Mike

Like Mina, Evans has had problems with niggles, but both are free, both have played similar amount of games. I bet Evans finishes the season having played more than Mina.

BTW I did watch Leicester against Palace on SKY and Motd and I think you are talking nonsense. Evans was in no way to blame for the first and as for being guilty for the fourth ? You really are having a laugh. Watch it again. He blotted his copybook by being conned for the penalty, but he was one of a few Leicester players who came out of it with credit, also scored a goal any striker would have been proud of.

As for Mina. He's been a total lighthouse. He needs to show rapid improvement if your faith is to be repaid

Billy Roberts
206 Posted 26/02/2019 at 18:48:32
Michael Kenrick, thanks for taking the time to explain the potential ways I have sent my post into outer space.
Like your and Lyndons work on this site it's always appreciated.
Rob Marsh
207 Posted 26/02/2019 at 19:13:40
Micheal #202,

It's not Kenwright who does Due Diligence, it's the banks involved in the deal. Kenwright can declare it if he wants to, but its the banks that will investigate and then specify a time period when the deal will become concrete.

Financial Institutions always go through "Due Diligence" when they're about sign off on many tens to hundreds of millions and beyond, if there's seperate banks involved. DD will take place, even if both parties use the same bank, that bank if the new money is unknown to them will want to know where the new money is coming from (a period of DD will ensue).

I'm not conflating them with now, I've made the statement: "Diligence in one form or another for these acquisitions has probably always been done." Banks historically never fund aquisitions without doing DD first. It's always happened.

The kind of people our Billy deals with, Fortress Fund, Philip Greene and Lord knows what other offshore interests were involved, do you really think the financial institution across the table facing Billy on behalf of the other party didn't enter a period of Due Diligence? I'm absolutely certain DD took place.

The goverment bodies will only get involved if any naugtiness is detected by the finance houses or other sources.

Alan J Thompson
208 Posted 27/02/2019 at 05:14:54
Rob (#207); Your last sentence covers what I've always believed "due diligence" was about; making sure the new super-duper lawn mowers are in the condition described and that there is no rent outstanding on the one bedroom flat.
Michael Kenrick
209 Posted 27/02/2019 at 06:34:52
Rob,

There were no banks involved in financing the deal. It was all private money pulled together by Bill and his friends. There was no mention of him doing due diligence back then because he didn't need to. Just saying.

That's if there really even was any money, and it didn't all come from the club itself! Personally, I don't believe they could have pulled that off without the connivance of the accountants auditing the reports.

So no due diligence. Not that it matters a jot.

Gerry Quinn
210 Posted 27/02/2019 at 18:13:03
Interesting thoughts from the other side - Arsenal Supporters' Trust member Nigel Phillips...

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/farhad-moshiri-right-leave-arsenal-15893649

Steve Ferns
211 Posted 01/03/2019 at 15:34:12
Anyone see the Press conference? Marco Silva seems a different man! Anyway, I loved his retort to Klopp:

"They celebrated that lucky goal – that lucky moment they had in the last seconds of the match – (like it) was the final of a World Cup for us and for them."

Tony Hill
212 Posted 01/03/2019 at 16:02:17
The weather forecast is very bad for Sunday. I'm not sure if that matters, but it won't be one for the timid.
Brian Murray
213 Posted 01/03/2019 at 16:46:11
Maybe, just maybe Marco is starting to grow into the job and speak his mind. Also, if he has finally sussed out set-pieces (6 months too late), then he could still have a future with us.

We need a war on Sunday and to get some close calls to go our way. Okay... probably reaching for the stars on that.

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