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Thomas Lennon
1 Posted 20/03/2019 at 15:18:28
Mostly agree – we are finally seeing a platform emerging from which we can build. The fact that weaknesses are obvious is helpful as it is obvious where we need to improve, and unlike any time over the last 30 years, we have the money to do it.

Moyes built a team to be best of the rest, we are now building a team to break into the top 6 – fundamentally different purposes and styles.

We are seeing young players growing into the team. That is clearly the intent of Brands. Money is available for youth and potential, not for expensive talent & experience off the shelf.

There is a clear blind spot over Christmas when we try to play two-three games a week, squad depth is sorely needed, as is mental toughness.

Note that Brands has explicitly come from a background of developing talent that is for sale as long as the money is right. This is very much treating the club as a money business rather than trying to build a dynasty (what did PSV win other than in a relatively weak Dutch league?), though the same can be said of any team, not in the top few – even the likes of Liverpool will sell first and foremost if the offer is good.

Paul Cherrington
2 Posted 21/03/2019 at 12:21:44
What concerns me a bit after the fine win against Chelsea was the poor first-half display that could have seen us go in 2 or 3 down at half-time. If this had happened and we hadn't been a bit lucky, the result would have been very different. As you say, though, if we can play the whole game as we did after the break, we will be onto something good.
Derek Knox
3 Posted 21/03/2019 at 17:54:22
Good article, Matthew, but let's see if that template is indeed emulated, and if possible improved upon.

I say 'improved upon' in the respect, as Paul @2 so succinctly mentioned, we could have been 2-3 goals down at half-time.

Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 22/03/2019 at 01:34:15
Correct, Paul and Derek. The "template" for victory was a massive dose of luck in the pathetic first half – hardly something you'd want to repeat time after time in the expectation of victory.

Full marks to the Goodison crowd for its second-half energy – it responded to the players' increased commitment and in turn pulled them to higher levels – but consistent victory requires a full game of passion like what the team showed in both derby games.

And Matthew, I strongly disagree with your sentiments on Coleman. I said here many times that his was a two-year injury, and that he would return to his previous level by spring of 2019. And I believe he has. The pace and strength are back, and he need only tighten his always-sloppy crossing technique to be fully returned.

Also, your history is erroneous – Seamus has been our full-time right back for only about six seasons, not ten. He returned from Blackpool for the 2010-11 season and played almost exclusively midfield that year and the next. He didn't become right-back until 2012-13. That's seven years ago. And he lost more than a full season to the injury. So that's six.

David Ellis
5 Posted 22/03/2019 at 04:08:03
I'd be inclined to give Silva at least another year. Even Klopp and Guardiola had underwhelming first seasons, or longer (not to mention Kendall, Ferguson etc). Patience. Green shoots are occasionally visible.
Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 22/03/2019 at 07:40:30
The thing that people always look at is results, which is reflected in how happy everyone was on Sunday night.

I was happier after the Newcastle game, because I saw a much greater “footballing display” until the manager really messed things up. (I Honestly don't want Europe next season.)

I'd sooner Silva learn, than some of the players, who are never going to be good enough to take us to the next level; although we won last Sunday, this manager still has a very long way to go.

The biggest positives were Calvert-Lewin and the crowd, because they stayed behind the team, despite a very poor first half, and this must have really helped the players as the game wore on.

I've said the biggest job for any manager who wants to be successful at Everton is to engage the crowd; hopefully, we are seeing this begin to gradually happen?

This is Massive!

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 22/03/2019 at 09:47:49
I have posted before on ToffeeWeb that this Everton side under Silva and Brands in the last month remind me of the Nottingham Forest side of the late seventies. They where a good footballing side, but got relegated. Clough and Taylor then took over.

Everton are now a good footballing side but there are problem areas. Because of being only 9 months into the Brands - Silva tenure and the constraints of the legacy of the old regime and previous managers, there has been limited progress and the necessity to make do with what is available. Also, players haven't had time to adapt to the new culture and there has been little change in the backroom Management.

I agree that some players, namely Coleman and Walcott, are not of the standard required and that Gomes and Schneiderlin are not the finished article. But I don't think that a saviour striker will make the difference you expect. Lukaku would not be selected consistently by Silva, because he is weak tracking back, implementing a high press and maintaining an offensive shape. As Brands stated, Everton need to be able to score from all positions.

The inconsistent selection of Lookman and Kenny is because they are not as good as Coleman and Walcott in maintaining offensive shape. Though Kenny is way better than Lookman.

The current improvement in Everton is in supporting and play in the final third and being able to maintain that. Silva has made tactical mistakes in defensive tactics, has difficulty dealing with a swamped midfield, and there are areas where poor or no coaching is evident. But there is an overall sense of improvement as a team, though it can feel a bit like a roller-coaster ride.

Silva will see out his contract and the Summer will see a further attempt by Brands to continue to sort out the mess, Money will be limited in transfers, but the winding down of contracts should leave some room for manoeuvre.

Next season with Silva will be less of a roller-coaster ride as it was with Nottingham Forest. I am beginning to think the 3-year plan is back on course and a template is beginning to emerge. The fans do help, but the template has to be in place.

Paul Cherrington
8 Posted 22/03/2019 at 13:03:44
I still don't understand why Silva cannot get them playing well in both halves and not just one. I know some of that will be down to the players once they cross the line but there must be a way of sorting it out. The problem is that if we don't do as well in our good half then the couple of goals, we score are undone by the 3 or 4 we then go on to let in.

I don't want to be too down after a good win and 3 points against a top 6 team but I think it has papered over the cracks somewhat again. Some fans are even claiming Silva deliberately had them playing rubbish in the first half to 'lure' Chelsea onto us?!

I would be more inclined to give Silva time if he actually showed progress or that he is learning from what isn't working. For me, though, I think next season will be more of the same and a bit of a lottery in terms of wins and where we finish. I worry, like this season, that a few results the other way and we would be in a relegation battle that he wouldn't be able to handle.

Stan Schofield
9 Posted 22/03/2019 at 14:24:27
I agree there are good signs. However, a template might be the first half against Newcastle plus the second half against Chelsea. If we could do that for whole games, we'd be going places.
Tony Everan
10 Posted 22/03/2019 at 17:17:06
Agree with Stan above, the Chelsea game was half a template.

We need to start having consistent performances before we can say we are building off solid foundations.

Our players have a lot of talent, I think we need to get mentally stronger.

We need to be able to keep focused during spells of adversity instead of losing the plot . We need to learn to keep mentally strong, focused and weather the storm, come off the ropes and fight back.

The second half against Newcastle a couple of weeks ago was painful for any Evertonian.

Newcastle [2nd half] seems an aberration as since Cardiff we have been better. Marco is slowly recovering some trust and will be here next season . I am hoping these green shoots we are seeing now mean that next season we will be a force again.

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