Question marks all over the shop

By Lyndon Lloyd 16/09/2018 92comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 3 West Ham United

Anyone with any knowledge of Everton’s history in the Premier League era would have been hard-pressed to script this one better.

A team, with four successive defeats to start the season with just two goals to their name thus far, desperately seeking their first League victory under a new manager.

Starting for them in his first Premier League game: Andriy Yarmolenko, the subject of arguably the most tortuous on-off, “will he? Won’t he?” Everton transfer saga of the past decade. If ever a player was nailed on to score in these circumstances, it was the mercurial Ukrainian.

And score he did, twice in a first half that stunned an expectant Goodison Park and effectively won the game for the Hammers before half-time; although Marko Arnautovic, another player of unpredictable output, made certain of the points with a goal just past the hour mark to quell a potential revival from the home side made possible by Gylfi Sigurdsson’s header in first-half stoppage time.

On the back of their terrible start to the season, West Ham had been ridiculed for “doing an Everton” based on their expensive summer recruitment which saw the arrival of half a team’s worth of new names for a significant outlay. There were high hopes, therefore, that Marco Silva and his men would be able to capitalise on a lack of confidence in the Hammers’ ranks and the soft centre they had exhibited under Manuel Pellegrini prior to today that had seen them concede 11 goals before today.

Instead, however, Everton came up against Pellegrini’s talented attack at the very moment it clicked into place and it was the Blues’ defence that collapsed while their midfield went AWOL and their own forward line failed to deliver on a number of chances that might have secured a very different outcome. The Hammers’ stars turned up; the Toffees’ were found badly wanting.

The early signs of the first 10 minutes had been good, with Everton showing intensity and a willingness to get forward. In what would prove to be a rare piece of incisive attacking play from Idrissa Gueye, the Senegal international threaded the ball into the box for Dominic Calvert-Lewin but he couldn’t gather it in as Lukas Fabianski advanced to close him down.

When the next attack broke down, however, as Tosun was dispossessed in the West Ham half, Pedro Obiang exchanged passes with Arnautovic before sending the Austrian clear into the box with a ball over the top of Everton’s static defence and he knocked it square to the advancing Yarmolenko to convert from eight yards out. It was the visitors’ first genuine attack of the game and it was a depressingly simple and easy goal.

Everton’s belief was knocked out of them and, having started well enough, they soon found themselves unable to move the ball with any effectiveness. With no-one consistently showing for the ball, there was an over-reliance on angled balls to the flanks — either the holding midfielders or the centre-halves would get as far as the centre circle but then stop in the faced of amassed claret shirts.

Yet, when they were able to get the ball wide to the fullbacks, they did occasionally find some joy. Lucas Digne, one of perhaps just two players to emerge from the debacle with any credit, skipped forward and served up a gilt-edge chance for Tosun from one such move with a lovely cross but the Turk could only guide a cushioned header straight at the goalkeeper.

Any momentum Everton tried to establish was killed just past the hour mark, though, with Jordan Pickford’s inexplicable giveaway from a routine situation. Presumably aiming a pass to Digne in midfield, the England international’s distribution was seized upon by Mark Noble. He got the ball to Yarmolenko under a desperate challenge from the French defender and the Hammers winger did the rest. Cutting inside from the right side of the penalty area, he evaded both the retreating Digne and Kurt Zouma before curling an unstoppable shot to Pickford’s right.

Fabianski had to be alive to Walcott’s cross-cum-shot on the volley shortly afterwards and Tosun scuffed a great chance at the keeper after he’d intercepted the ball outside the Hammers’ box and it looked as though Everton would be heading into the break 2-0 down.

Their best interplay of the game and a superb cross from Jonjoe Kenny served up a lifeline in first-half stoppage time, however. Bernard, the other performer on the day who struck a light for a more positive future after coming on for the off-colour Morgan Schneiderlin, was involved in a move strung across the visitors’ box that ended with Sigurdsson burying Kenny’s cross with an impressive header to make it 2-1.

If that goal represented a potential catalyst for a second-half revival, it proved to be something of a false dawn because the Blues never really took the game by the scruff of the neck after half-time.

In Felipe Anderson, a player who had offered premature signs this season that he might be a £40m flop, West Ham had someone who exhibited calm, intelligent passing and some dazzling movement. If he lacked the more silky elements to his game that Anderson possessed, Everton still looked to Sigurdsson, their own £40m+ acquisition as the nominal No 10, to be the creative or passing engine behind the front two but, his goal aside, he was something of a letdown.

In the absence of the injured Seamus Coleman, the Icelandic international became the fifth player to wear the captain’s armband this season but he appeared to be weighed down by the responsibility. And for those who doubted Sigurdsson’s suitability to that No 10 role, there was at least the consolation that Everton had paid £45m for a dead-ball specialist... but there, too, the former Tottenham and Swansea man disappointed, striking two direct free-kicks into the defensive wall and failing to cause the visitors any undue concern with his corners.

And Everton remained disconcertingly open at the back at times. When Obiang collected the ball 15 yards outside the area with just Arnautovic ahead of him, there should have been almost nothing on for the Spaniard. But he wasn’t tracked as he glided past Gueye and Digne to collect the Austrian’s layoff just inside the 18-yard line where he squared it and Arnautovic, also untracked by Holgate, slid in to steer the ball home to restore West Ham’s two-goal cushion. Once again, all too easy.

Everton’s bid to make a game of it ultimately foundered on poor execution. Crosses routinely found West Ham heads, passes were slightly under-weighted or overhit and Walcott was more susceptible than most to a poor touch, wasting one tempting chance to find blue shirts in the middle by delivering the ball straight into the keeper’s arms.

There were other more glaring examples — Tosun found himself all alone after the ball had bounced to him off a defender but blasted over with just Fabianski to beat — while substitute Oumar Niasse was perhaps merely unfortunate that his side-foot volley off another terrific Digne delivery smacked off the face of the crossbar and away with six minutes to go.

Overall, though, this was very much a story of contrasting individual stories and, for Everton, it throws up a slew of questions about just how strong Silva’s team actually is and whether the system favoured up to this point — not to mention the personnel within it — has any future.

The preference for deploying two holding midfielders by successive Blues managers has often been an uncomfortable one, especially at home, and the limitations of the system were laid bare by two players badly off their game today.

Gueye was a welcome returnee to the starting XI after missing the draw against Huddersfield but he had an utterly dreadful first 45 minutes, littered with stray passes and poor decision-making. He struggled alongside Schneiderlin who elected to play despite the death of his father but battled through 43 sub-par minutes himself before being withdrawn in favour of Bernard.

Up front, Tosun’s profligacy cast further doubt on his long-term viability as the leader of Everton’s attack and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, for all his industry and spirit, still looks below the level required as well. The same could be said of Niasse but the jury has already delivered the verdict that, overall, he just isn’t good enough.

Then there are the more senior members of the team in the form of Walcott and Sigurdsson but they weren’t the only ones to fall well short of expectation. And while Everton were frustrating going forward in a manner that would probably have precluded a victory, the game was essentially lost by shambolic defending at the other end.

Perhaps two of the most important players to the equation were watching from the stands. Richarlison, serving the final game of a three-match ban (one that looks somewhat ridiculous when weighed against the inadequate yellow card that Arthur Masuaku was awarded for a high boot to Walcott’s head), was a massive miss for Everton.

With Bernard showing flashes of a player who looked wasted on the flank and who could be worth a try in the No 10 role, the arguments in favour of playing Richarlison as the central striker (with Digne perhaps pushed into left midfield) were strengthened today.

The debut of Yerry Mina, meanwhile, can’t come soon enough – even if will only marginally improve the Blues at centre-half. Poor Holgate, cruelly exposed by a midfield that just melted away in front of him at times, had an afternoon to forget, while Zouma won’t want to relive much of his second Premier League start either.

The presence of those two new signings won’t begin to address Everton’s issues, though, because this performance shone a harsh light on problems all over the pitch. It’s far too soon to be overly concerned — disappointed, yes — but Silva clearly has plenty of work ahead of him with a difficult assignment at The Emirates next on the fixture list.

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Reader Comments (92)

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Danny Broderick
1 Posted 17/09/2018 at 08:03:25
Question marks indeed. We need a central defensive partnership, a centre-mid partnership, and Tosun, Calvert-Lewin, or Niasse to claim the striker's shirt, or we will need a striker as well. That's the spine of the team!
Rick Tarleton
2 Posted 17/09/2018 at 08:24:53
It's quite simple: we need players that can play the system and a system that suits the players' strengths. Not a system that is alien to the players and totally fails to use their skills effectively. A bad manager insists on playing to his favourite system, even when it manifestly does not suit the players he has at his disposal.

The biggest question mark is, is there a system in which Gueye and Schneiderlin can be used together and in which they are the springboard for our team to attack quickly and in which they get back quickly to provide cover for our defence?

Most of the other question marks are covered in my "Tapped Up" piece which was published last night.

James Highet
3 Posted 17/09/2018 at 08:43:13
I thought Kenny was terrible today, he fell for every trick in the book and gave away needless fouls. Our defence needs to settle, but the tactics of Silva worry me as we concede very simple goals.

Tosun maybe a great finisher but just looks too small to impose himself on the game, being simply a passenger. In the end, we had every forward on the pitch. For me, McCarthy can't get back soon enough, he has better positional ability than Gana, who I feel at times just chases the ball like a kid and leaves gaps all over the midfield.

Morgan is just a waste of time we can't afford his on-off performances and we lack a character like Barry who turned up for every game of the season doing the dirty jobs and plugging the gaps. Its all early doors at the moment but I do worry about Arsenal as, even our on best days, they hammer us.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 17/09/2018 at 09:18:20
Before this game, I was hoping that Silva's team selection and coaching ability would come to the fore as he addressed the issues that were clearly evident from the first four games.

He had addressed some personnel issues, but there were doubts that these changes were the result of necessary replacement and not design. Worringly, other personnel issues had been allowed to continue, game on game. Coaching issues should have been ironed out over the two-week break.

Unfortunately, as soon as I saw the team sheet, I knew that his team selection hadn't improved and, as the team played, that coaching issues had not been addressed. Lucky West Ham where restricted in set-pieces.

The same issues prior to the game in the two above areas are causing doubts to start to arise regarding Silva's ability to address them. More players will be available to Silva next game to mess about with; hopefully he doesn't.

John Keating
5 Posted 17/09/2018 at 09:36:42
Rick 2

Spot on.

A poor manager who refuses to play to a system that suits the present squad. Fair enough when he gets "his" team in play to whatever he wants but, right now, "square pegs into round holes" comes to mind.

The scary thing is, by all accounts and reports, this fool will not change his mind on his tactics.

Ray Puzey
6 Posted 17/09/2018 at 09:45:28
This was a depressing game to watch. Made worse by having to suffer Carragher's commentary.
Liam Reilly
7 Posted 17/09/2018 at 09:54:51
Wow, John, Silva is only a few games into his tenure and he's already a 'Poor Manager' and a 'Fool'.

This is essentially the same team as last season, other than 'Digne, Bernard and Zouma' who bar Zouma came out with some credit.

With Charlie back and Mina joining the fold, plus Gomes, there's surely some cause for optimism.

Give the man some chance before dismissing him.

Jer Kiernan
8 Posted 17/09/2018 at 10:17:50
Very poor fare indeed, I thought Bernard & Kenny looked good but I have given Calvert-Lewin, Oumar and Tosun enough time they just cannot cut it at this level I am sorry.

In fact, they cannot do the basics at this level I am afraid, I forgive them for not being world class but not been able to hold the ball up, missing headers from 3 yards basic first touch etc not acceptable. These guys are "nearly" men hands in the head "hard luck strikers" if you like, With Lukaku its in the fucking net end of story

If that had of been City, Chelsea, or Liverpool, they would have had 3 goals in the bag by half-time, We have not replaced Lukaku (It always amazed me the stick he got on TW at times) a proven goal scorer who should have been ordered to STFU until we get a replacement then he could join his buddy Pogba.

It is a pattern that has been at the club for the last 20+ years but apparently has nothing to do with Kenwright's "leadership"?

I mean there were TWs on here shitting themselves that Pickford would be gone after 1 season, FFS. I am hoping Moshiri's tenure will show more resolve in protecting our assets and not just bending over for Man Utd et al.

In the meantime, we'd better hope and Pray Charlie can keep his discipline and go on a run of bagging us some goals – else it will be another long season. :(

Silva will need time with HIS players in the team before its fair to even begin to judge.

Iain Love
9 Posted 17/09/2018 at 10:19:04
The game was lost in the middle of the park.

Our centre-backs couldn't play the ball out and find a teammate, Gana, for all his industry, appeared to be in the position of deep-lying play-maker and wasted possession time and time again, Tosun isn't big enough, strong enough or quick enough, compare him to Arnautovic in yesterday's game (which we probably would have won if we'd had him instead of Tosun).

Without a viable back-up, Silva has to look at Richarlison in the Number 9 role. We appear to have cover in the wide positions and I'd like to see Bernard make a start.

Gylfi needs to see more of the ball and to my mind should be dropping back to pick up the ball instead of Gana; hopefully Gomes can help in that area, as Mina should help in defence.

Still early days in the Silva tenure, lots of players missing yesterday, and West Ham had a much more potent attack than us.

Sandra Bowen
10 Posted 17/09/2018 at 10:29:15
Gana Gueye is not a holding midfielder, can we please stop referring to him as one. Constantly out of position and forever leaving huge holes in the middle of the park by not, well actually holding.

He's also pretty terrible at tracking his runner. He's good at what he does in terms of chasing and harassing but his defensive discipline is woeful.

He needs to play some kind of free role hassling higher up and giving it simple to our better players. Hoping that Gomes can get fit soon, find some form, and sit alongside Schneiderlin.

John Hammond
11 Posted 17/09/2018 at 10:41:52
Very sad to hear about Schniederlin's father passing away. Surely Silva needs to make the decision for him and not play him. How can anyone's head be in the right place to play football??

These first few months were always going to be a bumpy ride and injuries and a stupid suspension has basically meant we've regressed to the same useless team as last season bar a couple of players.

Tony Everan
12 Posted 17/09/2018 at 10:51:13
We look a far more balanced team with Richarlison on the left, Tosun in the middle and Walcott on the right. Since Richarlison has been out, we have looked like a team with no shape, and no understanding of individual roles within the system.

I think with him back we will put on a better performance. Saying that, Ozil and his mates will be salivating at the prospect of playing us if they watched yesterday. Richarlison's reintroduction would have to improve us 100% to get anything out of the game. I expect a more balanced side and more organisation at the very least.

Lastly, play Calvert-Lewin or Tosun as centre-forward. Let the chosen one know he is the man, and the position is his if he produces. The other must not be wedged into the team, but must be used as a sub as back up.

Kunal Desai
13 Posted 17/09/2018 at 10:59:49
There will be more results like this throughout the season and especially at Goodison where lesser sides will take points of us.

Playing a new system, integrating new players and playing players which ultimately are not good enough or need replacing will take time, as frustrating as it may seem.

We need to back the manager, need continuity if we finish 17th. Silva needs to bring his own players in and needs to be given three windows.

It's clearly evident that there is still another clearout needed. Some players needing a loan move and others simply not good enough. It will take time but we need to get behind Silva and the side.

Laurie Hartley
14 Posted 17/09/2018 at 11:24:02
I'm not really surprised by the result actually. I suspected before the game that Arnautovic would cause us problems.

For their first, as soon as Arnautovic lost Holgate, Zouma spotted the danger and got across to stop him but at the cost of leaving Yarmolenko unmarked.

We will remain vulnerable at the back until Mina achieves fitness and can partner Zouma. I think Mina will also be that "mal hombre" that the team is lacking at the moment. The last one of them we had was Gareth Barry.

We created a lot of chances but I do find myself wondering how many of the 4 clear cut chances that fell to Tosun and Niasse would have been converted by Arnautovic and Yarmolenko.

I am not hitting the panic button yet. Digne looks a good player and there are signs that Bernard will be also.

We also have Richarlison to come back and he will make a big difference. We have to go with Richarlison, Tosun, and Walcott as the front three between now and the next window. By then, we will know if Cenk is going to cut it – personally, I hope he does.

But the defence remains the big issue for me. I think that until we get a settled back four (or three), it will be a roller coaster ride.

Paul Smith
15 Posted 17/09/2018 at 11:35:48
Everything comes from the wings. I was screaming for something through the middle and Walcott was the only one who ran at their defence but alone was going nowhere.

Problems all over & the midfield is the biggest issue for me. Gana was pushed aside, Gylfi nowhere to be seen, Bernard glimpses, and Holgate's distribution and flapping at headers is concerning.

I hope Mina can partner Keane. Zouma was poor at Stoke and I was confused why we loaned him last knockings (unless that explains it).

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 17/09/2018 at 12:16:21
James (3), we all see the game differently but I thought Jonjoe Kenny was just behind Digne in being one of our better players. Only those two and Bernard could take any credit for their performances, in my opinion.
Paul Bernard
17 Posted 17/09/2018 at 12:52:12
I told my work mate Wst Ham would win and Marko to score. Anyone who runs directly at our defence through our midfield has a free shot at Everton. We are weak, some people rightly pointed out that Gareth Barry was the last player to do the dirty work and get stuck in.

What worries me (I'm about to get slated for this again) is that there was so much 'Allardyce' about the last two games. He got slated for it but Silva is okay? I'm sorry but any manager who puts Calvert-Lewin on the left wing should be shown the door.

Again I will also say that Gylfi is better in a free role, either from deep or from the left floating in. He is not a Number 10 for Everton, he is useless when he only has one striker in front of him to choose from.

Using Cenk as a target man to hold the ball up again is big sam's style – at least Sam got him in the box to score the odd goal.

Some serious thinking to be done by Silva; next window, we need a powerful midfielder to give us some muscle.

Early days yet but a steep learning curve this Premier League.

David Pearl
18 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:03:54
Question marks all over the shop, you can't argue with that. Seems that Richarlison is already our talisman. Tosun has lost his confidence but was never good enough, only in glimpses. Calvert-Lewin should be on loan and playing in the centre for experience. We bought in players before the deadline to fit into our first team, not sat in the stands, and it can't come soon enough.
Mike Gaynes
19 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:21:14
Laurie #14, watch that first goal again. Zouma does not spot the danger -- or rather he does not react to it properly. Instead, he makes a brief and rather ridiculous attempt to step up and draw the play offside. That one stutter-step up before heading back ensures that he will never get into position to cover Holgate's error.

He was also slow to step up on Obiang before the third goal.

I have seen little from Zouma so far to suggest that he should be starting when everyone is healthy.

Charles Brewer
20 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:22:11
I should not like to be Richarlison. Every manager and his dog will have worked out by now that Everton with Richarlison offer some threat (though you can probably score 2 or 3 in the last 10 minutes when everyone switches off) and that Richarlison can be provoked.

He will now be kicked from minute 1 by a rotating succession of players until he retaliates (or gets carried off).

I'm no great fan of Zaha, but he is far from wrong in suggesting that he is targeted and some of the treatment he has had should have resulted in immediate red cards, but which at most get a yellow, leading to the next player on the manager's filthy tackle sheet taking over the role of booting him.

I hope that there are a few of the lads in blue who will get really stuck in to defend their teammate (and get in the ref's face) when this starts. However, I suspect that, like Zaha, if you play for the wrong team, you get no protection.

Sam Hoare
21 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:33:51
Paul @17, I would not say there was a lot of Allardyce in the last two games. For starters, we created a lot of chances.

As ever after a loss, there is a strong propensity for over-reaction on here and anyone casting solid judgement on the manager after 4 games needs to take a step or twenty back.

It was a bad day at the office but even though we played poorly we created more chances than West Ham and clinical finishing was the only difference in the end.

Tosun concerns me. He's not quick or strong but at least I figured he's an excellent finisher. The header he missed at 0-1 yesterday and the chances he spurned when we broke on them a few times suggest otherwise. Sadly the options to replace him are uninspiring.

Some have called for Richarlison to play centrally and maybe that might work long term but for now it seems a big ask that will deny him the space to run at opponents, which is what he's best at. Palace played Zaha as a central striker recently and he had one of his quietest games for them. I suspect the same may be true of Richie.

I still have faith in Silva. In all games this season so far, we have played well in patches and been undone at times by a combination of player mistakes, harsh refereeing, and appalling finishing. I see occasional signs of a better future though obviously consistency is crucial.

One of the things that encourages me most is that alot of our most impressive players have been the new ones (Bernard, Digne, Zouma, Richarlison etc) and, if Mina and Gomes follow that pattern, then its a good sign that at least our recruitment is now of a much healthier standard. It will take another 2 or 3 windows at least before the whole squad reflects Silva's and Brands's standards and needs.

We're 10th in the league now. We may well finish the season in such a position and many will be unsatisfied at that. I will be content so long as it seems we are genuinely building a platform for a team to challenge at the top end. Such ambitions may seem far away on yesterday's evidence but transitions can be rough. I remain optimistic. For now.

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:33:57
As regards Morgan Schneiderlin playing on Sunday, We all deal with death differently. I was in work three days after my dad died. I wanted to have some normality in my life. If I was a footballer I'd definitely have played and would have tried everything to have the game of my life, in memory of my beloved father.

Others have done so in similar circumstances, I would assume Morgan's dad is a big football influence (the converse is rare). Also, there's no mention of how sudden it was, how close the relationship was, there's loads of factors at play here.

I'm personally finding it harder after 6 weeks than I was after a few days. Everyone is different.

Brian Dagnall
23 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:39:42
Yeah you are all right. Errors here there and everywhere. I am not a Pickford fan and feel he was responsible for goal 2 and should have saved goal 3. But there you are, everyone makes mistakes.

What gets me is our midfield. A good midfield would nip in the bud pressure on the backs by keeping the ball, maybe not attacking, just keeping. A good midfield would not pass the centre-forward until he has acquired some space not just hopefully punt it forward.

You may not agree, but Bernard can clearly hold the ball and not allow opponents to get it. Personaly, I feel Sigurdsson can do it as well. But Gueye and Schneiderlin seem awkward on the ball, play suicide passes to full-backs and forwards, and will lose the ball. If we could fix that I wonder whether the centre-backs whoever they are, would become more confident and do their job more effectively.

Midfielders need patience, and so do Everton supporters. Give Silva time to sort it.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:43:18
I don't know why people are so dismissive of our opponents.

Wolves – looking a good side and could be 7-10th.<>Southampton – looking better and should be mid tablebr

Bournemouth – riding high at present could finish top half

West Ham – fancied for top 8 by most critics in pre-season. Whilst they've been shite, their attack looks dangerous and they should be at least mid-table by the end of the season.

Obviously Huddersfield will either go down or just stay up.

I think we've played decent sides in the mix around where we will be in the table. In pre-season people wanted performances to improve and were willing to have a poor season in terms of results. We're five games in and performances in attack have improved, but performances in defence have worsened.

Everton aren't allowed to just have “a bad day at the office”. Personally, I think that's all it was. I said we needed to win the last two games to have a good season, so clearly that's gone out the window unless we explode into life and start beating top sides.

For me, a good season is 60+ points. I expect 50+ which is usually good enough for top half these days. Arsenal is a big test for us. If we get ripped apart then people can get angry. I don't understand the need for the baying mob on here wanting a pound of flesh all the time. It's ridiculous. We're only 5 games in. We've only lost one game.

Dick Fearon
25 Posted 17/09/2018 at 13:50:06
Brian @ 23,

So we need to have a bit of patience, eh? Didn't we show enough of it over 30-plus fruitless years with Smith, Moyes, Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce and now Silva? Give us a break.

Brian Dagnall
26 Posted 17/09/2018 at 14:02:40
Dick @25. So you have no patience left, eh? So what do you suggest? Sack Silva and call good old OAP Allardyce?
Steve Brown
27 Posted 17/09/2018 at 14:03:32
We had 16 shots yesterday so there wasn't that much Allardyce about that! We also two open goals which Tosun and Niasse contrived to miss. Under "Big Sam" they wouldn't have even been in the position to score.
Chris Locke
28 Posted 17/09/2018 at 14:15:40
Whatever your opinion of Silva, his tactics and transfers, yesterday's calamity can't be seen as entirely his fault.

For over 2 years now, I've spent nearly every game shouting at the scream begging the players to pass the ball forwards to the feet of a marked player. They're all supposedly some of the best players on the planet and so should be able to control the ball and hold off their marker and find a teammate with a pass.

Unfortunately, some of our players seem unable to understand when it's the right time to play such a ball. Both of the goals came from forward passes into feet, which – if they had been successfully controlled and passed by an Everton player – wouldn't have resulted in us getting any further up the pitch. In fact, as was proved, if they were not controlled they'd put the whole team in trouble.

To be fair to Silva, our passing has been a great deal more positive and so our offensive play has improved. Defensively we are still a shambles but I do feel for them with Morgan "I can't, pass, tackle, or read the game" Schneiderlin supposedly protecting them and offering and outlet.
Like many others I believe that Morgan needs to give up and shouldn't play in the same side as Idrissa.

I don't understand why he played them both yesterday and was pleased when he made the change. The trouble is that chasing a game at 2-0 down will always leave you exposed, especially when you miss so many good chances.

Yesterday was depressing and I'm still in a terrible mood. However, I am trying to stay positive and remember that we are playing much more interesting and attacking football than we have for nearly 3+ years and it even looks like we may have a system and a plan. One day, I'm sure the results will come.

Let's hope we look back at 2017-18 as a shit season during which we humped West Ham and 2018-19 as a good season despite getting humped by them.

Sorry for the ramble but I had to get it off my chest before I slipped into an Everton-induced depression.

Barry Jones
29 Posted 17/09/2018 at 15:45:40
How we can still be talking about Niasse is beyond me. He should have been gone long ago, just before he arrived. We seemed to have a market for him in the summer. How we failed to cash in is also beyond me.

What is also incomprehensible is the way we do business in the first place. Did anyone actually see Niasse play in the flesh before signing him? Is it that easy to access the checkbook, and based on what? If I was to buy a 20-year-old Ford Escort, I would still want some evidence that it functioned and hopefully more efficiently than half of our players.

How on earth did everyone except Leicester miss out on James Maddison. This boy is a real Number 10 and the best I have seen in years. Very young, very influential in the final third (where he makes his passes count) and always involved (unlike Sigurdsson). Our hiring team and policy needs a big shakeup.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 17/09/2018 at 16:16:24
Barry (#29), nobody missed out on Maddison. Everybody knew about him. Only Leicester was willing to pay £24m for him, and he reportedly also preferred Leicester to us because he wanted to be closer to his parents in Coventry.

And as for our "hiring team", I'd say that early indications are they have done their job very well. As Sam Hoare points out, Richarlison, Digne and Bernard look great so far (I disagree with Sam on Zouma but it's early days yet), and from having seen Gomes and Mina play previously, I'm confident they will be excellent contributors as time goes on.

Jim Potter
31 Posted 17/09/2018 at 17:59:48
Another season where optimism is quashed early?

I hate being negative but yesterday's performance was the pits.

Pickford – poor. But will hopefully get back to being classy soon.
Kenny – poor. I actually thought that, due to Seamus's very dodgy early form, that this might be a blessing in disguise. Nope.
Holgate – poor. Not sure if he'll make it, although he's still young.
Zouma – poor. So far, I wouldn't want him permanently. So far.
Digne – I thought he was excellent. His crossing is top class.
Schneiderlin – terrible news about his Dad, but I'm sorry he's lost whatever he once had. He shouldn't be in contention unless he somehow clicks back to his very early days with us.
Gueye – way off what he once was. His passing was woeful, just like his shooting. To play him and Morgan together is a disaster.
Calvert-Lewin – some touches of skill and pace... little else: and zero threat.
Walcott – ditto to Calvert-Lewin. And get rid of the god awful man bun.
Sigurdsson – great header but little else apart from running around a lot. What has happened to the guy who ran games for Swansea? And his free kicks?! He used to be brilliant.
Tosun – runs around a lot also. Poor finishing. Low confidence. Not quick enough. Could still make it (I hope).
Bernard – looks very promising.
Lookman – Nothing to look at. Let the spoilt brat go if he wants at Xmas, if his attitude and performances haven't improved.
Niasse – Ou ma god, he's poor. He tries, but... well that's it.

We desperately need the new guys in. Arsenal away could be embarrassing. McCarthy and Gomes may be an answer when fit?

Marco has a lot of work to do. I always knew I'd have to be patient, and still believe that he can turn us around, but that was soul-destroying.

I have now purged my negativity.


Pat Kelly
32 Posted 17/09/2018 at 18:20:11
Silva has taken on a largely rubbish squad. A good deal of deadwood has been shifted but as much remains.

Some decent signings in Richarlison, Digne and Bernard. Early days with Zouma.

Then there's the walking wounded Silva signed. Maybe they'll play a part later this season... I don't expect McCarthy to last a month if he makes it back.

No striker worth the name. None of them Premier League quality. Tosun hasn't got it. Thanks for that one, Sam.

Avoiding major embarrassment is the name of the game for this season.

Peter Mills
33 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:04:16
Steve (#22), you know that you and I are not quite at one about our manager, I doubt his ability to sort out a defence. But I absolutely want you to be right about him!

More importantly, and since this is the only method I have of getting in touch with you since we met at John McFarlane's birthday bash, give yourself plenty of time and latitude over the loss of your Dad. It's a big deal, you will have good times and bad for a while, roll with them and keep that positive attitude you spoke of.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:06:30
I hope we meet up again, Peter.
Chris Jenkins
35 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:14:58
Silva's managerial record is extremely suspect to put it politely –Martinez and Koeman were total failures; Allardyce no more than a stop gap brought in to preserve Premier League status.

Relegation will once again be back to haunt us unless Moshiri eats humble pie, admits Silva was a mistake and wields the axe sooner rather than later.

The obvious solution is to bring back David Moyes – his record is by far the best of any Everton managers in the last 15 years and achieved with minimal financial resources.

Steve Ferns
36 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:19:47
Yeah, Moyes really deserves the job after what he did at Man Utd, Sunderland and West Ham. That's a manager on the up.

Losing one game in six is a sackable offence now? What if we hired Guardiola and what if he had an injury crisis and lost a couple –would we have to sack him too?

Laurie Hartley
37 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:45:44
Mike (#19) – I had another look at it as you suggested and yes you are right: that step Zouma took cost him a yard.

Dick Fearon
38 Posted 17/09/2018 at 23:36:40
Brian @ 26,

I would not dream of bringing back a single one of my listed ex-managers. At the same time, I refute all suggestions that we should forever be patient of any manager who is incapable of reversing the slide in standards.

Silva could also instill some discipline in his players. A start could be made by bringing Lookman into line instead of pandering to his inflated ego.

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 17/09/2018 at 23:58:56
I swear, at first look I thought post #35 was satirical. Laughed out loud.

But re-reading, I realized... good lord, Chris, you're serious.

As my grandmother used to say, oy vey.

Jim Bennings
40 Posted 18/09/2018 at 08:04:45
Biggest question mark is why the club never seems to make the slightest bit of progress despite annually pissing away millions of quid.

If it doesn't work this season then, regardless of the amount of money available, we need to go back to searching the bargain basement just as Moyes did.

We might just actually stumble across some decent performers and they don't always have to be exotic names either.

A good British Premier League proven striker that puts a shift in but scores more regularly and is more of a handful than the garbage we currently possess would be my first port of call in January.

I'd we are going to get strikers that only get 5-10 goals there's no point paying millions and millions on them.

Dale Rose
41 Posted 18/09/2018 at 08:38:14
This was a game I wasn't confident about in the slightest. West Ham have some very good players and are always capable of doing the business. They had more to lose than we did.

On a positive note, although the defence at long spells looked suspect, we attacked well. If Tosun had taken his chances we would have won.

To swim against the tide here, I will say there were more positives than negatives. When the team is complete with our new signings, I think we will do well.

Jim Bennings
42 Posted 18/09/2018 at 08:53:59
My major concerns about Everton Football Club as a whole not just one individual. Are we going down the right road with all this money?

It has worked with maybe one or two perhaps three maximum players so far, Pickford has years to get better as a goalkeeper, doesn't peak that soon.Richarlison will hopefully produce a great season but it remains to be seen on the other new boys.

I'm concerned about us personally since we have had this money to spend that we seem to be rapidly losing our identity of what made us a stable if not necessarily successful team.

You look at Liverpool and it hasn't taken them years since the signings of Van Dijk, Salah and Mane to produce a super fit team capable of instantly challenging for the major honours again.

The fact they paid less for Mane and Salah than we have for quite a few of our players is a monumental concern. They are just one example I'm making.

Everton need to start showing something on the pitch NOW and stop talking about when everyone is fit.

You have that money there to get yourself a big squad with players capable of filling in and doing a far be eld for that matter.

You can't keep blaming injuries because rarely throughout the season will we, or any team, have their favoured starting eleven to pick, but managers and players must quickly learn to adapt to it.

When it all boils down to it if you sign crocked players (Gomes obviously has some issues there to not even have started training by late September) then you can only reap what you sow.

Sam Hoare
43 Posted 18/09/2018 at 09:10:27
Jim @42. Liverpool have been spending heavily for years without always getting it right. Andy Carroll, Markovic, Benteke, Iaspas, Sakho etc. It's only in recent years that they seem to have been doing consistently better, they were bound to at some point. Klopp has guided them well, no doubt sadly that he's a top class manager.

As far as we are concerned, I think our business this Summer was far better than it has been since Martinez' first season and there are early signs that Digne, Bernard and Richarlison could all be very good players for us. I feel far ore confident about our transfer direction under Brands.

Sometimes getting the players you want means taking a hit and Silva has already said we would not have been able to get Gomes if he was not injured. Mina had clearly been a target from before the world cup and if you want a player for the next 8-10 years then having to wait 4-5 weeks for an injury to clear up does not seem the end of the world. We're thinking about the long-term now and I applaud that.

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 18/09/2018 at 09:19:58
Despite being unbeaten in four games, I think we are lucky to have six points tbh. Nothing has really changed over the last ten years. We are a schizophrenic team who can show moments of magic then collapse and look utterly clueless.

I've been saying for years that failure is now part of our DNA. No matter who the manager is or how much is spent, we always appear to be mentally weak and cowardly on the pitch.

We have no leaders. Our lads are too nice. Smiling in the tunnel, minimum complaints to refs, shrugging off defeats then coming up with empty promises afterwards etc.

We desperately need a Roy Keane. A Patrick Viera. A (forgive me) Steven Gerrard. Leaders on and off the pitch. Born winners who wouldn't accept the kind of shite we saw on Sunday. Who wouldn't only tell the players to buck up but would tell their respective managers to do the same.

Sam Hoare
45 Posted 18/09/2018 at 09:31:53
Colin, that's interesting as I think we are unlucky not to have more points. We've received two red cards which were both fairly debateable whilst seeing a few challenges (such as Masuaku's on Walcott yesterday) against us that have not received reds. We've often conceded against the run of play and of course have had little luck with injuries.

I agree about a lack of leader but funny that all the players you mention are from a previous era. Can't think who the obvious leaders are in the Chelsea or Man City team. The RS have Henderson I guess. I don't see that Arsenal or Man Utd have anyone of that ilk. Seems like a more collective responsibility these days. But certainly there still exists a mental fragility in this Everton team that needs sorting.

Jim Bennings
46 Posted 18/09/2018 at 10:12:49
If we want leaders, we missed a trick not getting John Terry on a one year deal.

I don't give a shit if he's 37 (so was Richard Gough), he's as fit as he was a lot 27 and he is a true leader and vocal skipper.

Tony Everan
47 Posted 18/09/2018 at 10:40:49
Colin (#44),

The players you mention are central midfielders and were the beating heart of their teams. Whatever formation or tactics, they performed.

The beating heart of our central midfield doesn't exist. It isn't Schneiderlin that's for sure and Gana Gueye is not a major organ. More of an appendix.

The closest we have come to it in recent time is with the fantastic professional Gareth Barry. Who was approximately in his mid 50s by the time he came to us but still showed more spirit, professionalism, organisation and determination than what we have got now.

You are damned right this is where the problem is with regards team spirit, organisation and fortitude. Until it is addressed (Gomes? maybe, we can live in hope !) or someone steps up to the plate expect more of the same dysfunction and capitulation on a regular basis.

Jim Bennings
48 Posted 18/09/2018 at 10:59:08
The problem is we have been fascinated (or rather our managers have) by two holding midfielders every week since the first season of Roberto Martinez.

But not one combination has even come close to being as good as Barry and McCarthy were during that 2013-14 campaign, and credit where it's due they were outstanding that season and gave Barkley the licence to be a free spirit in front of them.

Two holding midfielders just hasn't worked at this club since.

Tony Everan
49 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:05:49
Jim, quite right, the dead horse has been flogged every season since. Silva the latest to give it a damned good thrashing. He is smart enough to see it for what it is and hopefully somehow find a solution both for the immediate short-term and with Brands's help a longer-term one.
Brian Harrison
50 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:09:07
I really cant believe some of the suggestions being put forward on this thread.

Jim thinks we missed a trick not getting 37 year old John Terry, really. Obviously a lot of Premier League managers agreed with you as he ended up at Villa and still didnt get them promoted. Also a new manager and DOF come in and want to promote youth, so what message would signing a 37-year-old centre back say to the young players.

if our patience has got so short that some are suggesting already changing the manager after 5 games and 1 defeat. What message does that send to any prospective manager either come and start winning straight away or you will be gone in weeks. I can well imagine the list of candidates that would be interested in the Everton job if that happened.

Surely if we have learned nothing its if you keep changing your manager then how do you get any continuity. And Yes some will remind me the number of managers Chelsea have had in the last 10 years and that didn't stop them winning trophies. But there is a massive difference sadly between the 2 clubs in the quality of players they have and what we have. Also because of their record since Abramovic took over always competing for the league always in Europe so that type of club can attract the best players and managers in the world.

Now look at Everton, who rarely qualify for the Europa League and you have to go back decades since they last got into the knockout stages of the Champions League as its now called; the last time we qualified, it was the European Cup.

Jim Bennings
51 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:10:50

Was Richard Gough a poor signing then?

So a fit athletic man has nothing to offer at 37 then!?

I thought life began at 40?

Tony Everan
52 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:16:18
Come on, Jim – we are not Barnstoneworth United.

Defenders close to 40 will get roasted by pace in today's Premier League, they would be vilified and lynched the first time it happened.

Jim Bennings
53 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:18:17

Same as defenders getting roasted at the age of 22?

Watching Holgate playing there is like watching a weak little boy against men getting physically owned every week.

Hopefully Mina is an absolute monster; otherwise, we are stuck with Jags or Keane as Zouma's partner and they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory have they?

You want a leader in the team but not one of our players is vocal or barks orders, again that was evident when West Ham scored their third goal. There was still half an hour to play but not one of our players went around clapping hands and trying to whip our boys up for a rally.

Brian Harrison
54 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:18:51

Richard Gough was a very decent player but remember we didn't have any money to buy a younger centre-back. And as I remember I cant remember any other clubs forming a queue for him.

But let's go with your idea of signing Terry what happens in a years time when you have to replace him. So why do something so short term when you are trying to go from 7th or 8th in the Premier League to break into the top 6 then top 4. This doesn't happen overnight it takes a few seasons, but buying players past their best is not going to give us the time to build a side around.

Sam Hoare
55 Posted 18/09/2018 at 11:56:34
Jim, I think being a truly effective leader requires you to be one of the better players in the team. Otherwise, their respect will be for what you have done rather than what you can do. No good shouting at other people if you're the one letting people down.

Terry would not be one of the better players in our team. He certainly would not fit well for a team playing a high line. If you think Holgate is slow then Terry would be glacial. There's a reason he was playing in the Championship last season.

Tony Everan
56 Posted 18/09/2018 at 12:03:44
Jim, I totally agree, the need for a vocal leader, motivator and organiser is glaring.

I just can't see that any of the top 6 teams we are hoping to compete with being in the market for a 37- to 40-year-old defender. Mina seems like he has a bit of character about him so all is not yet lost. I am looking forward to seeing if he can embrace the club and command the defence.

Ciaran O'Brien
57 Posted 18/09/2018 at 12:06:03
Again there are way too many people living in the past on here.

Richard Gough was a good player at 37 but the Everton squad back then was utter shite. We were relegation candidates every year and hadn't a pot to piss in. Football has changed a lot.

Older players can't keep up with the speed and athleticism of the game unless they were never athletic players to begin with who play or played in specialist positions like at holding midfield such as Gareth Barry.

Terry would get mauled every single game, just because he was a great player doesn't mean he still has it now. Evra last season at West Ham was a joke and Rooney faded badly for us in the second half of the season.

Too many Toffees want Moyes back when his ideas are completely outdated and only suit lower half teams.

Silva may not be the answer but I don't get where the Martinez comparisons come from other than he is too from the Iberian Peninsula. Silva's personality is the exact opposite and is not full of the overwhelming positive hyperbole spoken by Bobby Brown Shoes.

Yes, we look are leaking goals but that happens in more expansive teams unless if they have a strong core, particularly in central defense.
Look at the Red Shite, before Van Dijk was brought in they looked like conceding at every chance for the opposition; since he came in they've had one of the strongest defensive records in the league.

The main problem with us is the core of the team is mediocre. Tosun and Niasse aren't good enough while Calvert-Lewin will never be a prolific finisher. Our midfield is weak while our defense is weak and constantly changing.

Here's hoping Mina and Gomes rectify the problem areas of Central defense and central midfield. It's good signs that Richarlison, Bernard and Digne look good which shows our recruitment is looking better than Big Sam's and Koeman's reigns.

Also it's only early in the season in Silva's first season as coach so we need to stop with the knee jerk reactions of “getting rid”. The players are getting used to a brand new style of play and management style.

If we're doing shite by Christmas then we should start getting worried but remember Brands did say it would take a few seasons to see a quality squad that can compete regularly with the “Sky Six”.

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:52:36
Colin #44, you hit on a key point I've been making for years about vocal leadership on the pitch, and you've started a good string with it.

We do have one such player in my opinion, and that's Coleman, but he won't be able to truly assume that role until he's back to his best.

As for John Terry, what an abhorrent idea that is. Never mind the fact that his career is done (he's without a club for a reason). I would have been utterly sickened by the sight of that disgusting human being in an Everton shirt. It would have been an insult to everything this club represents.

Winston Williamson
59 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:05:39
Those who mention our midfield is the problem... absolutely correct!

Gutless, guileless, clueless!

I'd actually tear-up the whole center midfield and start again. Gomes has not played obviously, so we await evidence he is an upgrade, but Gana, Schneiderlin, Davies (was my favourite player a year ago, with Seamus)?? I'm sick to the back teeth of seeing their shite performances each week!!

You can add Sig to that list too! He's been an utter waste too!

Brian Murray
60 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:17:35
Spot on Winston. Even the goalie needs some serious competition. He like Howard probably just shrugs his shoulders and says to himself "I'll do better next week". Them six players should turn into 13 in the next two windows. No more old favourite losers... like Coleman, Jagielka, and Baines.

As for Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun, Schneiderlin, and Gueye... thanks, but no thanks.

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:27:36
Mike, do you really think Coleman is a leader? I would agree he has personality, he gives everything, and he has the talent to set and example, but I just do not believe him to be vocal enough, and to have the organisational skills.

I think too much is made of the "captain". The don't even have "exclusivity" with the ref anymore. Anyone can go up and have a word with the ref now. I don't really care who has the armband, and neither should the players. A leader leads, and not just because he has the armband. Peter Reid is often cited as a leader, how often did he actually wear the armband?

We really need someone with some fire in their belly who will go out and die for the cause. I believe Tom Davies can be the man. But too many don't think he's good enough. There's a lad who doesn't give up, doesn't stop running, doesn't let his head go down, he keeps showing for and demanding the ball. There's your leader. And the kid has only just turned 20. if he develops like I think (or is it hope?) he will, I would be surprised if he's not our captain in a few years.

Jim Bennings
62 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:32:35
I don't think Coleman is a leader either, if he is I've never really seen it in 8 years.

People mistake Coleman's “bull in a china shop” type of running as he's some kind of self-styled vocal hard case, he isn't!

We haven't really had vocal leaders since the days Stubbs and Weir left.

For anyone needing to see a team of leaders in a blue shirt just look at the 1995 FA Cup winners, limited in terms of fantastic playing ability but we had eleven big characters not scared to bark orders and dish out a good old-fashioned bollocking.

Tony Everan
63 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:40:55
No, Seamus isn't vocal enough, I prefer the leaders to be centre of the park, not essential but preferable. Centre Backs or Centre Midfield are the prime positions to have a vocal organiser and motivator.

Is Mina's or Gomes's personality suited to captaincy? It is wishful thinking that we could already have one, but not impossible.

Ray Said
64 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:47:04
I want my leader type to know what the manager is setting out to do and is strong enough to get the other players in line on the pitch. We have players who let their oppo run past them and then they then stroll back. I don't see any one on the pitch give them a bollocking or even a harsh word-not a leader amongst the lot of them.
Steve Ferns
65 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:48:50
Tony, Gomes is not vocal at all. Don't look at him. Mina is a massive personality. That's what the Everton unseen videos show. Now is that off-the-field personality only, we will have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, we cannot have a captain who barely speaks English!
John Pierce
66 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:50:50
The captain is an out-moded concept. The arm band gets tossed around by most clubs like a dog toy. Worthless.

Modern sports teams, now, are collectives, some teams have a group of players who act as a go-between management & squad.

Many bemoan the lack of a captain at Everton as a symptom of our poor mental approach to games. It’s not that, just a lack of good players with high professional standards.

Five different captains this season, no one has stood out as a leader. It means nothing.

An English obsession with a by-gone image of a Moore or Robson et al.

Jim Bennings
67 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:50:58
Tony #63

I’m not sure what Mina or Gomes are like in personality but from the interview Mina had it could be a while before we see him as captain or leader because he can’t speak English!

I think not being fluent or speaking in English would surely compromise that at the moment?

Steve Ferns
68 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:51:53
Ray, I did see Holgate and Kenny bollocking people on Sunday. It seemed more like Holgate trying to justify his mistakes though. Kenny is not afraid to give it to players, no matter who they are. He's miles down the captain list though, he's not quite a first team player (yet?).
Tony Everan
69 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:56:58
Sounds like Mina is our best hope, even if the instructions are in Spanish! A few of our boys could get jobs in libraries when they're finished they are so quiet.

Can someone teach Yerry some basic one-liners?

Alan J Thompson
70 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:16:28
Brian (#50); Is it a case that people want to change the manager or want the manager to change? We seem to have the same problems that we've had under Martinez, Koeman, Unsworth and Allardyce although the last mentioned sorted out the defence but at the expense of all other areas of the game, and that may well be the problem we have with the present manager.

Too many seem to be of the opinion that, once those newly signed players who are injured recover, then all the manager's plans will fall into place. Or perhaps we thought that we had a coach who, with his staff, could sort out all areas of the game simultaneously but appears to be making those same mistakes of his predecessors.

Should we be more patient or is it a case that, with all the changes to the non-playing side, we expected something to have been learned from previous experience. On this side of things, it is not just five games, even ignoring pre-season, and we may yet find from the Watford debacle that it may have been a lot longer.

Brian Harrison
71 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:18:43
John 66

Spot on, John, the days of a captain rallying his troops have long gone. Yes you will still see players have a go at one another for what they deem as individual mistakes.

Players in the Premier League these days are multi millionaires, the days were a manager could leave him out which would have financial implications are gone. They have so much power they rule the roost so if they don't care what actions the manager takes they are hardly going to take any notice of a player because he has an armband on.

Now when players are left out for a couple of games they ring their agent and tell him "I want out of here, make it happen" and they usually do.

I see Sterling's talks with Man City have broken down, this is a young man who plays for arguably the best manager in the World in a team that has just romped away with the league, but the overriding business is how much more he wants. Can you really see him taking any notice of Vincent Kompany who is probably on about £50,000 per week less than Sterling.

Brian Harrison
72 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:29:37
Alan 70

As you point out yourself these mistakes happened under the last 3 permanent managers — a bit harsh to put Unsworth in that group. Maybe because most of this team made those same mistakes under the 3 previous managers there still making them.

So maybe the problem is with those players more so than the new manager at this point of his tenure as Everton manager. Seems that its not a coincidence that bye and large this group of players have managed to get 3 managers the sack.

So maybe Silva and Brands realized that and have started to change the personnel at the club. So lets asses what they have bought Richarlison a very big plus there.

Digne another plus, Zouma looks as good if not better than what Keane and Jagielka produced of late. Bernard when he came on looked a quality player but early days yet. Then we have yet to see Mina or Gomes but if, as I suspect, they are anywhere near the other buys, I think we will have a decent squad.

Alan J Thompson
73 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:47:56
Until then, Brian, I would have thought the manager would have come up with something to improve on a bad position made worse with sendings-off and injuries but instead we seem just to be hoping for the best. Have the players got those managers the sack or is it that they, and this one, keep doing the same things with the same players?

Under Martinez we bought better players but it was that lack of attention to detail and insistence on sticking with his "philosophy" which started the slide under him.

Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 18/09/2018 at 20:07:12
Steve, yes, I do believe Coleman has excellent leadership qualities. He's been unafraid to get up on his teammates when necessary even without the armband, and he's shown the same fire with Ireland.

I agree that the armband neither bestows leadership nor necessarily delivers it, but team leaders do tend to wind up with the armband eventually out of sheer respect. I still expect Seamus to assume that role before the end of this season.

Agreed that Gomes and Mina are not leadership material – Gomes is a quiet, retiring sort and Mina is still just a kid – but no way Davies will be either. "Never gives up" is admirable, but it's not leadership. That's all about an imposing personality that demands respect, and that will never be Davies.

Andy Crooks
75 Posted 18/09/2018 at 21:00:02
Mike Gaynes, I saw Seamus at Sligo, was so pleased he came to us. I have championed him since. He is a top man and a fine player. He is also a quiet man who I believe to incapable of berating, cajoling or rounding on his team mates. That is not a criticism. He leads by example: we need a ferocious sergeant major. Unless Mina is such a beast, we do not have a captain other than a simple armband wearer.

Nice guy Phil was a fine player but he was never a captain in a million years. His pre kickoff tunnel antics were toe curling.

Jack Convery
76 Posted 18/09/2018 at 22:24:12
Its not Captains its big personalities who have respect amongst their piers. Southall, Ratcliffe, Watson, Reid, Gray, no one at EFC, these days, comes close to those guys personality wise. They effected games, they got in the faces of the opposition and the referee. We have been lambs for far too long. Hence the numerous maulings we get every season ! and will continue to do so till players with real balls arrive in the squad.
Mike Doyle
77 Posted 18/09/2018 at 22:56:51
Sadly Brian #71 is spot on. The world has moved on from the days when Reidy et al could rally the troops who would tug the forelock and fall in line... and when you have youngsters on contacts that guarantee them millionaire/ multi-millionaire status can you blame them!
On another point, have to agree with another of our former “not to be messed with” players - Andy Gray - who observed that neither Tosun or Niasse are good enough for a team with top 6 aspirations.
On another point - hope Derek Mountfield is recovering well from today’s knee op.

Dick Fearon
78 Posted 18/09/2018 at 23:06:07
I hate to say it but watching the RS dish it out to PSG was a lesson on how a team should play a pressing game.
It had hardly any of our lot of fraudsters bullshit slow motion two backward passes for each one forward. I wonder how any of the top six managers would deal with our type of mind numbing boring negativity with its two defensive midfielders.

Players will respond positively to the enthusiasm of their managers. We on the other hand have for 30 years been lumbered with managers who showed all the attributes of a lump of wood.

Lawrence Green
79 Posted 18/09/2018 at 23:15:39
Very true Dick but I suspect they react far more to the amount of money that they are paid for their services, Everton's wage bill is still around half of what the other lot pay to their players. Lukaku should have been kept I hear so many cry - but would Everton be paying him £200k per week? Unless and until Everton FC get their act together on the commercial side, we will never be able to compete with those clubs we aspire to match. That doesn't excuse the lack of ability or effort by our players but it does sort of make sense that the top players join the top clubs because of the wages they tend to pay. We are still in the second tier of clubs in the Premier League and not much will change unless a) Silva is a footballing genius or b) we have some huge slices of luck in the coming months and years.
Brian Dalton
80 Posted 18/09/2018 at 23:19:56
Steve 61. I desperately hope you are not proven right in a few years because if someone of the quality of Davies is still in and around the team let alone captain in a few years then the club won’t have moved forward at all in fact in my opinion it will have taken huge strides backwards. If we have any true ambition of eventually competing with the top 6 again consistently the likes of Tom Davies etc can’t be allowed to amass hundreds of appearances for us like osman and hibbert etc.
Si Cooper
81 Posted 19/09/2018 at 00:48:48
“For over 2 years now I’ve spent nearly every shouting at the scream begging the players to pass the ball forwards to the feet of a marked player.”- post number 28.
This is pretty much the opposite of what I want the players to do. I mean, you have to tempt defenders at times to move them out of position (as West Ham showed too easily with some of our players), but surely you don’t intentionally ping a 15 - 20 yard pass to a man with the defender basically attached to him at the hip and expect him to kill it dead whilst holding off the defender do you? All it takes is the slightest of nudges at the right time from the defender and you’ve got very little chance.
I’d be interested to know how popular this view is, because it’s basically contrary to everything I’ve been taught about football / team sports in general.
In regards to West Ham’s first goal, what options did Tosun have if he had controlled it? There was no one within 15 yards who wasn’t similarly closely marked.
Laurie Hartley
82 Posted 19/09/2018 at 05:59:39
Regardless of the business or sport, leadership is the key ingredient for success.

I can't really put my finger on what it is but leadership has something to do with personality. Leaders for some reason or other just automatically command the respect of the group. And the group look to them for leadership.

I have a favourite saying on this subject - if you put a gang of men together they will find their leader. If there isn't a leader in the group they will be a rabble.

The leader in a group doesn't necessarily have to be the hard man (but in football you need at least one hard man) but they do have to command the respect of the hard man. They are looking for intelligence, courage, and guile from their leader.

The difference between Everton and West Ham on Saturday was that the Hammers had two leaders on the pitch - Noble and Arnautovic. Everton didn't have one.

What I would like to see in an Everton team is a leader in the back 4 and one pulling the strings in midfield. Along the lines of Kompany and Silva at City.

My hope is that we will see this when Mina and Bernard are fit and up to speed. I thing they have the qualities that are sadly lacking at the moment. If they have we will see a big improvement in the form of the rest of the players.

Paul Smith
83 Posted 19/09/2018 at 06:34:30
Si good players recieve a ball to feet when tightly marked and still keep it alive. Watch the good teams they can do it.

There is little space these days until fatigue sets in or a team sets up wrong or plays shite. Yes its the job of the recieving plsyer to make space but I believe we must work from thr assumption if I'm pressured on the ball can I still make it happen.

Barnard even though small might be able to do this, Rich can the rest I have my doubts.

Anthony A Hughes
84 Posted 19/09/2018 at 07:21:54
It's interesting to read all the different comments about this formation or that formation, play this player here or play that player there. More comments about styles of play or give the so called "kids" a chance.
Unless we have £500 million to spend (and we're allowed to spend it and not be restricted by FFP) then we are never going to be able to compete with the top clubs. We need a complete squad of world class players, we don't have any. Place whatever manager you want in charge of this ream and you will still get roughly the same league position. Money talks, money wins trophies.
Tony Abrahams
85 Posted 19/09/2018 at 08:22:02
There are no rules Si@81, but I also like to see the ball played into the centre-forwards feet as much as possible. When Silva, talked about focus, then I’m sure this also alludes to awareness, and I thought Tosun, was badly lacking on both counts the way he gave up possession so easily, allowing West Ham, to exploit us even easier, when they scored that first goal?

Paul Bernard
86 Posted 19/09/2018 at 10:11:17
I wouldn't go for John Terry myself but I do share the sentiments of what Jim Bennings has tried to allude to.

We do need a leader, I'm not even bothered about footballing ability on the ball, I want a centre half and a midfielder who can drag us through games like WHU and Huddersfield Town when we have a long injury list or we aren't playing our best football.

I have always secretly admired Steven Gerrard the footballer, as much as he was a total t*t, he dragged them to some success with Carragher behind him marshalling the defence - Sammy Hyypia too.

It seems that as we have spent money, we have spent it on some flair players, players with better technical ability. We should of realised that for every Arteta you need a cahill. For every Lukaku you need a Naismith. Gravesen to Carsley etc hopefully brands will learn this too, bring in some solid no nonsense players.

Victor Yu
87 Posted 19/09/2018 at 10:32:22
John Terry no.

Again, agility and speed is very important for modern centre-backs. The traditional centre-backs like Terry and Keane would struggle in today's game.

Ray Said
88 Posted 19/09/2018 at 18:26:24
Steve (68) fair point about Kenny – he was vocal unlike most. It's a character thing with people, some who are quiet have steel and determination and won't let themselves be dominated but would lead by example in their approach; others are vocal but only to point the finger and whinge and offer no example.

Thinking back to our great team Reid would offer both steel and cajole or bollock those who were not doing the job but Bracewell alongside him would be quieter but just as steely and hard to beat. We need both sorts to prosper.

Tony Everan
89 Posted 20/09/2018 at 10:51:48
After this week of ToffeeWeb meltdown last Sunday we will beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

Richarlison tearing into them and Tosun showing off his clinical finishing skills. We will be tight at the back, full-backs more conservative, Schneiderlin will get man of the match. Pickford will make a world class save.

You may think I have taken leave of my senses or I am on the turps again, and you would be spot on.

But there is some part of me that thinks we can do it. Arsenal have vulnerabilities and we have potential to exploit them. Defensive discipline and effective pressing will be the order of the day. There is a goal threat in this Everton side; if the defence tightens up we will get back on track.

Si Cooper
91 Posted 20/09/2018 at 21:08:07
Paul and Tony, I fully understand the ability to be to able control a ball in tight situations and the necessity of getting the ball into areas where you can threaten the opposition goal, but surely there are limits on when and where that are dependent on the exact positioning of the attacker and his marker, and the movement of supporting players?

In my book, banging a straight ball to a man with his back to goal and the defender touch tight is generally poor play, and especially if he has no options to play the ball instantaneously, because you are massively increasing the odds in favour of the defender. It's called forcing the play.

In my view, the best play is when the defenders don't realistically get anywhere near the ball, which can be achieved with rapid accurate passing and good movement off the ball.

Dick Fearon
92 Posted 21/09/2018 at 07:40:58
A receiver with a defender on his back has these options:

1. Return pass to teammate who is now in a better position;
2. Spin his opponent while shielding the ball;
3. Side-foot the ball beyond the opponent;
4. Draw a free kick.

The man in possession has the advantage, the defender does not have control of the situation and can only react to whatever the attacker does.

Si Cooper
93 Posted 21/09/2018 at 16:44:48
Dick, if you look at the first goal we conceded, Tosun had only one option, which was to try to control it and wriggle away from his marker which just isn't as easy to do as some are making out when the defender is already leaning into your back. Gana, who passed it to him, was still 15 yards back and there was no one either in space or moving into it.

As a defender, I'd love it if that was the option the attacking team kept choosing.

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