Signs of progress amid the gloom of another Emirates defeat

By Lyndon Lloyd 24/09/2018 134comments  |  Jump to last
Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton

Inevitability seems to be following Everton around at the moment. If last Sunday’s game, with West Ham picking up their first points and Andriy Yarmolenko scoring his first Premier League goals, was “Everton, that” in a nutshell, so too was the familiar tale of the Toffees losing away at Arsenal.

One day, the curse that sits over Everton and this fixture will be lifted but it wasn’t to be today. However, two aspects of the performance were important in the wider context of the reconstruction project that is underway with Marco Silva at the helm and they point towards future progress even if a run of one win in six to start the league season is a little unsettling.

First, this was vastly different to the pitiful showing under Sam Allardyce back in February when the Blues collapsed in the first half and went into the break 4-0 down, eventually losing 5-1. Indeed, this time it was Everton who should have gone into the dressing room at half-time with the lead but a lack of clinical finishing and a man-of-the-match outing from Petr Cech combined to keep them out.

It was also, both collectively and individually, a much better display than last weekend’s miserable defeat to West Ham at Goodison Park, although much of that owed to the changes Silva made to the side that saw some of the players who struggled the most in that game drop to the bench. For those that survived, however — Idrissa Gueye and Jordan Pickford in particular — there was a noticeable improvement.

Unfortunately, though, the difference in quality between these two teams in the final third was starkly underlined, even if Richarlison made a typically impressive return to the side following his three-match suspension. The wisdom of using Dominic Calvert-Lewin in his natural centre-forward role instead of Cenk Tosun was understandable and appeared to be vindicated by the 21-year-old’s industrious performance.

Together with Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tom Davies and Theo Walcott, the striker ran, pressed and harried the Gunners defence for almost an hour, prompting errors, turnovers in possession and generally trying to prevent them from playing out from the back, as is Unai Emery’s wont.

Calvert-Lewin remains some way short of being the finished article as a natural goalscorer, however, a fact that was illustrated in only the second minute when he sprung the offside trap to race onto Davies’ excellent through-ball. Frustratingly, with Richarlison bearing down on the six-yard box ahead of Hector Bellerin, Calvert-Lewin elected to try and round Cech himself but overran the ball slightly and the goalkeeper dispossessed him at the crucial moment.

Not surprisingly, it was Richarlison who carried the bulk of Everton’s threat in the game. A candidate to be played in the middle up front, the Brazilian was deployed wide on the left where three times he cut in and went close to handing the Toffees what would have been a deserved lead based on the balance of play and chances.

The first came from an excellent deep ball from inside his own half by Walcott that Richarlison trapped expertly as he held off Bellerin before driving towards goal and forcing a parrying save from Cech. The second was an attempt to recreate his lovely curling shot against Wolves but it missed the far post while the third came from Walcott’s deft lay-off that again allowed him to power forward and shoot but Cech was equal to that as well, pushing it over the crossbar.

While Arsenal’s clearest chance in the 12th minute had necessitated a smart save from Pickford to deny Nacho Monreal, Everton had further chances to take the lead. Walcott himself was felled in a dangerous area with half an hour gone and Lucas Digne stepped up to smack a free kick that Cech tipped over before the Arsenal man skipped into the clear again behind Monreal but the keeper was off his line in a flash to divert the winger’s shot away with his leg.

If there was an obvious feeling that Everton would come to rue those missed chances, it came home to roost 11 minutes after half-time and all it took was a moment of brilliance from Alexandre Lacazette that brought into sharp focus the difference in ability in the respective attacks.

The Frenchman had drifted into the space vacated by Jonjoe Kenny who was sucked across to cover Monreal and once he had received a pass inside the penalty area by Aaron Ramsey, he took one touch before whipping a shot home off the inside of the far post.

If this fixture has been a mostly awful one for Everton the 22 years since they last won away at Arsenal, the most memorable in recent years was the 1-1 draw in Roberto Martinez’s first season when they played the Gunners off the park for much of the contest and grabbed a morale-boosting draw through Gerard Deulofeu.

For the first hour or so, this was a fearless Blues performance very much evocative of that game five years ago but Silva’s men were denied the chance to emulate the feat by a moment of horrendous officiating less than three minutes after Arsenal’s opener.

The initial error came from Kurt Zouma (who was otherwise almost faultless on the day) when, in trying to dig the ball out from under his feet, he gave it straight to Lacazette who released Mezut Ozil into acres of space behind the Blues’ defence. Ramsey initially slipped trying to convert the German’s square pass but the Welsh international was able to flick it to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the Gabonese forward, at least a yard offside, knocked it past Pickford. The linesman’s flag stayed down, of course, and referee Jon Moss, exhibiting his usual lack of fitness — both physical and professionally (he had chosen to only book Lucas Torreira in the first half for a challenge worse than that which saw Phil Jagielka sent off at Molineux) — was too far behind the play to be able to make any decision for himself.

That hammer blow had the predictable effect on Everton’s morale and the two-goal cushion allowed a very different, altogether more assured Arsenal to emerge where before there had been hesitation played out in front of a quiet Emirates Stadium featuring a disappointing number of empty seats.

Nevertheless, the Blues retained enough spirit to carve out some chances once they had rediscovered some of their composure, starting in the 71st minute when Sigurdsson found Michael Keane with a free kick that the defender, back in the side for the first time following his skull fracture, headed goal-wards only for Cech to shovel it off his line to safety.

Sigurdsson had another effort from distance deflected over, Tosun came off the bench for Calvert-Lewin and forced another save from Cech, while Digne caught the outside of the post when trying to centre it from the byline as Silva’s side pressed vainly for a way back into the game in the closing stages.

Ultimately, this was a routine result for this particular fixture in scoreline only and 2-0 was harsh on an Everton team that had done more than enough to earn at least a point. The realities of the gulf in quality and resources between the two teams in crucial areas held sway, however.

In general, from corners to crosses from wide areas, the Blues’ deliveries were disappointing, even once Bernard had belatedly come on with 18 minutes to go. And where Arsenal were rescued by the striking instincts and finishing brilliance of Lacazatte, the Toffees squandered good chances that fell to Calvert-Lewin and Walcott but could also count themselves unfortunate to have come up against Cech on a good day for him.

The wait for a win on Arsenal’s turf goes on but there was enough to suggest from the performance that if Silva and Marcel Brands’s rebuilding plans continue in the vein in which they have started, a victory at the Emirates won’t be too long in coming.

It won’t happen until they can add a reliable goal scorer to the side or Silva can find a way to get this team scoring but with dreams if a top-four finish this season already looking more fanciful than they were, it’s time to bed in for the long haul, allow the management team to do their work and hope for a couple of deep cup runs and incremental improvement over the season.

Reader Comments (134)

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Bob Parrington
1 Posted 24/09/2018 at 07:27:07
I believe that, in particular, Jay Wood and Peter Gorman on Michael's article on the subject of this performance were both well-balanced and sensible.

I just watched the Optus recording on my computer and we played quite well overall and still had the chance to get something from the game until the extremely bad decision by the linesman for their second goal. I hope he gets a kick in the arse for being so wrong as it wasn't as if it was anywhere near "close".

Added to this was the fact that, although Lacazette's goal was well taken, they had incredible lucky run of the ball in the seconds preceding his shot.

I think our spirits were not completely knocked by the first but certainly were by the second.

Overall the team performance was much stronger than last week. Good chances were created but, once again, were not taken. Compared with this time last season the team is a lot stronger. Personally, I noted strength in the performances of Richarlison, Keane, Davies, Kenny, Walcott, Digne and Gana .... also Zouma, until the unfortunate slip-up! Sigurdsson dropped his shoulders for the final third of the game and this 'body language' aspect needs to be attended to by the coaching team.

Calvert-Lewin seems to be a little too lightweight as the target man.

I'd like to see Bernard given a proper run as he has good control and movement skills with composure too!

Unlike comments from some on the other thread, I see no reason why one should not be able to take positives out of the game even though it was a loss!

Eddie Dunn
2 Posted 24/09/2018 at 07:55:44
I also took positives that I mentioned on the other thread.

The jury seems split on Gylfi, I thought he put in some incisive passes but he did fade in the closing stages and I have to admit that his set-piece is not as good as he is capable of.

I can only assume that Bernard is not fully match fit as he looks a class act.

Walcott though, is worrying. Even against his old club, where he so wants to impress, he displayed his annoying trait of wasteful finishing, and once he got his shiner, he lost interest. All an opponent needs to do is clout him early and he folds like an origami swan in the rain.

Our record in Highbury/Emirates is dreadful and I had no confidence in this team in transition to break the trend. However, we played some good football and deserved a point. A far cry from the pathetic showing there last season.

Now we just need a bit of composure in front of goal in our next game to settle the nerves and get this season going.

David Foster
4 Posted 24/09/2018 at 09:04:31
We desperately need a box-to-box midfielder, and a striker with genuine pace up front, but, on the whole, the signs are positive.
Tony Everan
5 Posted 24/09/2018 at 10:28:54
I saw enough to suggest we can beat Fulham next week, Leicester, then Crystal Palace.

The team looked more organised and had much better balance with Richarlison back. I thought Michael Keane did very well and, when he has played, we look more stable in defence.

Not playing Gana and Schneiderlin together was a ray of sunlight bursting through the clouds. Schneiderlin doesn't bring enough to the table in any of the midfield disciplines. It's hard to stomach paying £20M+ but he is a squad player.

Goals win games, we have been toothless at centre-forward since Lukaku was sold. We lack top 6 quality in that position and it is costing us every week.

Perhaps the pendulum has now swung back in favour of starting Tosun as centre-forward against Fulham.

We need to put a run of victories together, the signs of coming into some form were there against Arsenal and these three games are ripe for us to start a winning run.

Much will depend on Tosun springing back to top form and taking the chances that will inevitably come his way; failing that, can Mina play centre-forward... He looked ruthless enough in the box for Colombia!!!

Kunal Desai
6 Posted 24/09/2018 at 10:52:03
The way Arsenal play and are setup, they are likely to give the opposition chances, which is why we had a good opening 45 mins.

It will be a different story next Saturday against Fulham. They will set up similar to Huddersfield, two banks of five with Mitrovic upfront and looking to pinch a goal on the break. The worry is breaking down teams like this who will stifle the midfield and flanks just as Huddersfield did. I hope I'm wrong but I think we will struggle in the next few games.

Many of this current Everton side ain't good enough. Silva needs time and will take two to three more windows to clear out a vast amount of garbage still lingering at this football club. One big clearout was done over the summer, January and next summer should see another substantial clearout. Patience will be key here.

John Maxwell
7 Posted 24/09/2018 at 11:28:54
I really liked the way we played in spells yesterday; we took the game to Arsenal and should've scored in the first half.

I can see a decent team coming out of this lot, a few additions are required. Obviously someone to put the ball in the net... I'm just not convinced about Calvert-Lewin, looks the part but just doesn't seem to have that extra quality. Maybe that will come with time, but he missed a sitter even though it was offside.

Another loss, but lots to be positive about. Totally unrecognisable from last year.

How much longer do we have to wait?

Gomes, Mina, Bernard all to get into this team and they must surely be regular starters for the rest of the season.

I think Tosun can still play a part, he just needs a goal or two to get going.


Mark Vivian
8 Posted 24/09/2018 at 11:41:46
Tough to watch yesterday, we showed real attacking threat but again just seemed toothless in the final 3rd. Calvert-Lewin is a back up at best for me. Richarlison loves it, one of the highlights 2 consecutive slide tackles just shows the hunger he has. As much as I like Walcott, I think when either Bernard or Lookman are fully fit I would like to see them have a go.

Gana, different gravy on his day, interceptions, composed with the ball at his feet and looks forward at the right times. Guilty of wayward passes but isn't everyone. Davies showed improvement, he is young and is still rather slight in his physique. I still feel we need someone who is more assured to partner Idrissa and hope Gomes is the answer. Defensively there are still gaps, but remembering this is a new system, new players, I strongly believe we will get it sorted. The less said about zonal marking the better.

Overall, considering the new manager, players and philosophies M&M are trying to instill into the club I have the feeling this going to be a roller coaster season. We will show flashes of what we can be but still have spells of the 17-18 Everton. Keep the faith and get behind them!

Kevin Tully
9 Posted 24/09/2018 at 12:04:42
When was the last time anyone witnessed Everton players trying to press an Arsenal team in their own half? 30 years ago?

The fact is, you could take any half-decent non-League manager to set up their team like Moyes, Allardyce, Hughes, Pardew, Pulis, or any other dinosaur you want to mention. 4-5-1 with long balls galore. The striker pressing from the front. Keep your shape, two banks of four (or 6 & 4) as we've seen in the past. What was the result? Pinch a draw once in every ten. Brilliant, when's the parade?

This wsan't a Martinez 'me to you' Chuckle Brothers routine between the centre half's for ten minutes either, this was properly coached footballers looking like they belonged in the same League. Plus we had three kids on the pitch who aren't even ready for first-team football. The fact that Koeman & Walsh blew the fucking lot on shite last season isn't the fault of this manager, FFS.

Brands's & Silva's signings look good so far. I've seen us played off the park by Arsenal's reserves at Goodison before today, so I'm all in with Silva & his coaching methods. If we ever get to a final of any sort, I'd back this fella to at least have a go. He may fail badly if he doesn't address the defence, and find a striker. But at least let him start with his own signings before calling for his head. I think we'll see a fitter, faster Everton than we've seen for years. Not kick-and-run hoofing – proper footy.

Jamie Crowley
11 Posted 24/09/2018 at 12:09:57
Kevin Tully @9 -

Yup. All of it well said and true to my eyes.

Pat Kelly
12 Posted 24/09/2018 at 12:14:24
We've missed the boat in terms of anything other than a mid-table place this season. No striker and unlikely to get anyone decent in January. Also, three signings we badly needed still struggling to get fit. What's another year?
John Raftery
13 Posted 24/09/2018 at 12:18:13
Yesterday was much better. Richarlison made a huge difference to the team. With him, there is a collective belief we can attack teams. Without him, our players struggle to impose themselves. Digne looks promising going forward but I am not convinced yet about his defensive qualities.

So far our 2018 signings look more useful than the motley class of 2017. They could hardly have been worse. I look forward to seeing what Mina and Gomes can add in the coming weeks.

Liam Reilly
14 Posted 24/09/2018 at 13:20:06
I enjoyed watching us first half (and the majority of the second) yesterday and as Kevin #9 says above; for once the side looked liked it belonged on the same pitch as Arsenal. Other than Martinez, Season 1, I don't remember thinking that too often.

The second goal killed the game and hardly raised an eyebrow from the commentators or the panel on Sky. It was only Souness who called the linesman out with the appalling or perhaps, 'Freudian' miss.

Can't understand the knee-jerk calls for Silva's head. the man is just in the door and is basically fielding the same side as last season bar Charlie, Digne & Zouma (who are all positive additions).

Give him and Brands a chance to get the other signings on the field and to address the weaknesses in the front line and back row before clamoring for his head.

Dick Fearon
15 Posted 24/09/2018 at 13:31:28
Had I been as good with words as you are, Lyndon, I could not have described the game any better.

Bob and Eddie, @1 and 2 also were spot on with their comments. My only contribution, for what its worth, is to add that a decent strike partner for Richarlson is urgently needed.

I say that reluctantly because Tosun, Naise and Calvert-Lewin give their all to the cause but it seems they are not and are never likely to be good enough.

Steve Ferns
16 Posted 24/09/2018 at 14:01:57
Liam, the ones who want him gone are the people who never wanted him in the first place.

I think Moshiri will not make a knee jerk reaction this time. Koeman was the superstar manager he wanted. But he was a big name in football rather than someone who deserved his superstar billing. When it started to go wrong for him, people around Finch Farm were quick to stick the knife in. He rubbed too many up the wrong way.

For me, when things go wrong you knuckle down and work harder. That seems to be the British way (at least). Koeman didn't do that. He was still knocking off early and playing golf, or being out and about in Manchester (never Liverpool). Koeman also made it clear that he was not in it for the long haul. He had a 3 year contract, there was 18 months left, the season was a write off, there was no chance of achieving the aims on the contract by the third year (champions league football).

So, Moshiri acted fast. I believe he probably did tap up Silva. Silva at that time was flying high, and threatening the top 4 with Watford. Moshiri knew about Silva before. He was part of the Arsenal hierarchy when Silva beat Arsenal at the Emirates with Olympiacos. There was reportedly some talk of keeping an eye on the young Portuguese, then only 38, as a potential Wenger replacement. Moshiri was privy to that talk and on seeing Silva performing well at Watford went all in to get him.

Moshiri had no Plan B. Instead, it appears that he had his Director of Football (Steve Walsh) whispering in his ear that Sam Allardce was the way to go, whilst Kenwright was trying to get Moshiri to give Unsworth the job until the end of the season, when they could try to wrench Silva out of Watford.

If we are still struggling by the end of October, then more robust Director of Football in play. Brands is more likely to give Moshiri reassurance that it will all come good. Silva is someone who is working hard, he's not knocking off early, he's training the players hard (too hard according to some reports), and he himself is burning the midnight oil analysing everything trying to get things right. Unlike Koeman he is not looking for the exit door in 18 months time, he's still a young manager and he needs us as much as we need him (if not more so).

Also, Silva just played the youngest Everton side since (I forget the year) the 90s. He's clearly giving youth a chance, he's actually coaching the players, and there is development to be had.

I know it's not the same posters who have run out of patience who were saying to give him patience in the summer, but there seemed to be a general consensus on here that things were so bad under Allardyce, that was long as we stayed up, the key thing was to improve the performances and the way we played, rather than the results.

For me, that's exactly what we have achieved. Performances have improved on last season. Think back to when Allardyce was smashed by West Ham. We were better at the back, but we finished many matches without registering a shot on target. Six games later and he's fixed that.

Sure, he's got a big problem to fix in defence now, but give him time. Balancing attack and defence is the key thing for a manager, and if they find the right balance then that's when a side will achieve great results.

People also need to consider who we have played. Too many are making out we've played shite teams and should have beaten them all.

● Wolves – drew with ten men away. Wolves will be top 10, maybe 7th.

● Saints – beat them, but they look better than the side that only just stayed up last season.

● Bournemouth – drew away, with a man down for a large period (as in 11 v 10), conceded a dodgy penalty. Bournemouth have had some good results and look set for another top-half finish.

● Huddersfield – drew. Very disappointing, but let's remember they parked the bus and hardly threatened us. Only we tried to win that game.

● West Ham – an abysmal performance against the bottom side. Remember though, impartial observers tipped West Ham for 7th and they have three very good attackers in Yarmolenko, Arnautovic, and Felipe Anderson.

● Arsenal. Improved performance and we actually gave a Sky 6 team a game at their own stadium.

We should definitely have won at least 2 of the 3 home games, and I would've expected at least a couple of points away. So we have underperformed, no doubt about it. But there are easier games to play, and performances should get better. We should find that balance, and results should improve.

Lot of 'should's there, I know. But time will tell.

Ray Lappin
17 Posted 24/09/2018 at 14:29:43
Truth of the matter is, if Calvert-Lewin squares the ball to Richarlison instead of trying to round the keeper, we'd have won that game. It's a sacking offence not to pass in that situation, in my opinion.
Charles Barrow
18 Posted 24/09/2018 at 14:31:34
Like many posters here, I believe we need to give Silva time. Although the results have not been great, most (but not all) performances have been a vast improvement on Koeman's or Allardyce's teams.

Silva needs time to impose his ideas and fashion an attractive and winning style of football. He is clearly aware, from his utterances, that defence needs to be looked at. And he does probably need a more clinical finisher than we have now. But overall, I am not too despondent.

Remember, it wasn't too long ago that Klopp got plenty of stick for drawing or losing at home to relegation fodder. With time it looks like (unfortunately) he has improved the RS no end.

I expect us to recover from this trough, but realistically upper mid-table is most likely this season. The real improvements will be seen next season, I hope!

Tommy Surgenor
19 Posted 24/09/2018 at 14:48:54
I feel we are at between 4-6 points worse off than where I hoped we would be.

However, I am 100% on board with Brands and Silva. I cannot believe how anyone can be calling for his head. He has worked miracles in such a short time without the players he requires for his tactics.

Everton look a much better side this season. We get the ball moving forward quickly and at pace. Our youngsters decision making needs to improve but that will come in due time.

People complain about Tom giving the ball away but I actually think there were a few times around the box that he played the right pass – the older pro just didn't read it.

Dave Ganley
20 Posted 24/09/2018 at 15:02:06
It's nice to actually read a thread whereby there's a positive theme running through it and not knee-jerk abusive negativity.

Steve Ferns pretty much hits the nail on the head as do others too. We were in an absolute mess last season and people expect instant miracles. In my opinion, we have seen improvement this season, it's only been the Huddersfield game where I've really been disappointed. The West Ham game was a bit weird really. Individual mistakes, not playing awfully well yet creating enough chances to win the game. This with mainly the same players from last season.

We all know we need a proper striker but we can't do everything at once. I am quite happy with who Silva and Brands have got in to date and I'm sure they will have targets for January too. No matter how long we have been patient, we are going to have to suck it up and be patient for a while longer yet. We can't have a constant revolving door of managers.

Silva didn't particularly blow me away with his appointment but he is winning me over. The team are playing better and there seems to be a more professional attitude from the management team. I am hopeful we will start to see a much better football team come the new year and see consistent play.

I think we will only see Silvas proper team next season after another couple of transfer windows. We still have some passengers that we need to get rid of and we need some reinforcements too like a striker and a proper box to box midfielder. I don't know enough about Gomes to know if he's the answer or not; time will tell.

Onwards and upwards, and nice to have a positive thread for once.

Martin Nicholls
21 Posted 24/09/2018 at 15:04:00
Far more balanced comments on this thread than on that with Michael K's match report. There, we had individuals claiming "not to be arsed anymore" then proving the opposite by following up with multiple posts, others agreeing their every word (step forward Jim and Ian!) and more accusing those who saw some positives as "accepting mediocrity".

I can understand disappointment in the immediate aftermath of the game but much of the criticism on that thread was harsh to say the least. No one "accepts mediocrity" but some, including me, can see a little progress from the depths we have plumbed in recent years.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 24/09/2018 at 15:04:57
Night and day compared to the West Ham game. I just watched the (recorded) game and we were very good, bar the misses, and looked like a team.

I'm not going to analyse or criticise any of the Everton team. I just think we need to give Brands the time to bring in new players and time for Silva to get the team playing his way.

After the last 3-4 years of turmoil and disappointment, we need to start believing in this new management team. They will need our patience as I think they are on the right track.

To finish, yet again I ask that some of you show some faith in our younger players. Under the right coach the likes of Kenny, Davies and Calvert-Lewin can become great players. I know it's popular amongst some to go after Calvert-Lewin in particular but just look at the kid, he's got it all. Strength, speed, skill etc. All he needs is a bit of composure in front of goal and he will then start banging them in.

Harry Hockley
23 Posted 24/09/2018 at 15:18:30
Same excuses every week: missed chances, three main problems we have, we don't have a good striker, no leader and no playmaker at No 10. Until these problems are rectified, it's going to be a long tough season again.

Yeah, the football has improved, we played pretty well first half but we're not clinical; this will probably take a couple seasons to sort out properly but hopefully will be much better off.

It was only Arsenal anyway, even if it was the worst Arsenal I've ever seen for years, we never get anything there anyway. It's the results before, ie Wolves, Huddersfield at home, that are a more serious issue; we're not cohesive enough or strong enough at the back to compete against the big boys away from home. Like I said, a decent striker for Richarlison work with – Tosun and Niasse are not up to it.

Dean Johnson
24 Posted 24/09/2018 at 15:40:17
Just before Arsenal scored, I said to the wife that we'd missed too many and will now be undone by some real quality, and that is what happened. Add one of Aubameyang or Lacazette to our squad and we're winning that game.

So far, Silva's players are impressing me; the fact that he has to get rid of the rest of the dross around him is no easy job. I will give him time but, if we don't get a decent striker in the next 2 transfer windows, we can say goodbye to Charlie, Bernie and Yerry.

Mike Dolan
25 Posted 24/09/2018 at 15:46:33
Great piece of writing Lyndon. Like almost everyone else on this most reasonable of threads I see a vast improvement in the style of football Everton is playing. After the desperately pathetic unambitious chicken shit displays of last season I now enjoy watching Everton again. The amazing thing is is that we are using almost the same players.

The addition of Gomes, exactly what we need in deep midfield along with Mina, Bernard and a little more time for Charlie to fully bed in along with a coach who actually tells his players how he expects them to play and I am convinced that by the end of the year we will be shocking some of our more 'Wet Nellie' fans with not only our performances but also the results which will inevitably follow. The turnaround is happening and you just have to look to see it.

Rob B Williams
26 Posted 24/09/2018 at 16:11:48
TS 19 - I'm with you Boo-Boo!!
David Israel
27 Posted 24/09/2018 at 17:45:29
I agree that there were clear signs of progress, both in overall play and in individual performances. We played like a team that wants to win a game, no bus-parking or any such stuff. I was quite impressed, even if obviously disappointed by the result. This has shown what the current team may be capable of.

Of course, we have the question of fire-power. As I have said elsewhere, I think Tosun's case is one of poor form, as I think he was good enough last season. Calvert-Lewin lacks quality, I regret to say.

Michael Keane is, fortunately, leaving last season's woes behind him. He looks much more decisive and confident.

Finally, a word for the manager. I think he showed his acumen in the way he tried to stop Arsenal from building from the back. It is important to be able to play according to your opponents' preferences.

Brian Murray
28 Posted 24/09/2018 at 17:56:57
Colin Glassar, Unfortunately, Calvert-Lewin can't be coached to finish chances.

You either have it or you don't.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 24/09/2018 at 18:08:32
I'm among those who was generally pleased by what we showed yesterday – a genuine improvement both from the players and the manager over how we had played in the first month of the season. This was a better effort than any of our more successful results.

Silva, whom I excoriated a week ago for his setup and plan against the Hammers, had his side both better prepared and much more intense yesterday. The first half was a pleasure to watch. But, on the flip side, where I complimented Silva last week for his willingness to sub in Bernard early, this time he utterly failed in my view, waiting more than ten minutes after the goals to get the little sparkplug on – and the hopeless Calvert-Lewin off.

I thought some of the individual performances were excellent -- Digne, Richarlison, the very courageous Keane, Kenny (not MotM as Graham Stuart says but a fine effort against Obameyang) and Bernard off the bench.

I think the Davies criticism is unjustified -- this was his best game since probably last December, and he did the armband proud with some confident passes, even if they didn't all come off. And I'm bewildered by the derision towards Gana – did you know he's leading the Prem in tackles?

Sigurdsson had a good first half but again disappointed with his dead ball deliveries several times, and Walcott right now is not producing results despite his best efforts.

That brings us to Calvert-Lewin and Zouma. I know many are talking about patience with Calvert-Lewin and his youth but, in my eyes, he was a disaster yesterday. The simplest pass imaginable would have put us ahead, and he choked, and that wasn't his only wrong decision. I'm coming to the conclusion that he simply hasn't got it.

As for Zouma, sorry, Lyndon, but I saw nothing resembling faultlessness, because virtually every clearance went straight to an Arsenal man and runners went unmarked. Zouma frequently doesn't know what's going on around him (he's a ball-watcher in the extreme). For a player with 85 Premier League appearances – and over 150 at top level, including Ligue 1 – he still looks like a raw rookie to me. When either Jags or Mina is ready, this lad needs to come off the pitch for good.

Brian Dalton
30 Posted 24/09/2018 at 18:11:44
Steve 16,

I don't think he is going to get many easier starts to a season than what he has had.

I want to give him a chance and he needs a few transfer windows to put his real stamp on the team but to try and suggest he hasn't had a very favourable start to the season fixture-wise is a bit far-fetched. Until yesterday, we hadn't played anyone who finished in the top half of the league last season.

Charles Brewer
31 Posted 24/09/2018 at 18:36:59
For those who have forgotten the reason why many of us were glad to see the back of Lukaku, here is his rating from the Manchester Evening News after yesterday's match:

Romelu Lukaku

Admittedly starved of service but did not exactly seek out the ball, either. Guilty of being too immobile too often up front. 2

The Manchester Evening News reckoned him by far the worst player in the pitch.

Everton desperately need a better striker than what is in the current squad. But the answer certainly was not to retain Lukaku.

Steve Ferns
32 Posted 24/09/2018 at 18:43:12
I’d love to have Lukaku back.
Brian Dalton
33 Posted 24/09/2018 at 18:47:16
Yes 20 or more goals in each of the last 4 seasons... who needs him? If we had've had Lukaku on the pitch we would've been two or three up at half-time yesterday.
Mike Gaynes
34 Posted 24/09/2018 at 18:53:35
Oh, Charles.

First, "retaining Lukaku" was not an option. Second, he has scored 31 in 58 for United. Since he left, the long-gone Rooney is still our leading scorer with 11. If you think we're better without him, please share whatever you're smoking.

Yes, he has some lazy/crap games. But he's still the best striker to play for us in the last quarter-century, and nobody else is even a close second.

Mike Allen
35 Posted 24/09/2018 at 19:03:14
Sigurdsson has got to be a big disappointment. An odd flash now and again... not the player we thought he was, or is going to be.

However, I still think we are going in the right direction. I just hope Silva gives the cup games top priority and steals a march on the big boys before they get interested.

Joe McMahon
36 Posted 24/09/2018 at 19:25:20
Sadly, Mike, about 4 of the 11 were pens.

To think he was earning £60k per week more than Salah also brings some perspective.

Stan Schofield
37 Posted 24/09/2018 at 19:25:37
Mike @34: "retaining Lukaku" was, I believe, an option. The contract he had would have finished July 2019. Everton chose to sell him, whilst they could have said "Not for sale, he's going nowhere".
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 24/09/2018 at 19:26:26
We’ve never replaced Lukaku, Charles.
Clive Mitchell
39 Posted 24/09/2018 at 19:41:10
I agree with Lyndon's report and many comments: there were positives in the performance.

I've always been struck by Alan McInally's strong assessment that Walcott has no football brain. He can be so poor. But what you can't deny, and what we've seen in his time here, is that he is a natural and often brilliant finisher.

In a side where Tosun is in contention to play the striker role, we need people like Theo and Richarlison on the pitch, not to mention Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 24/09/2018 at 19:53:48
Stan #37, you're legally correct, but in today's world when a modern footballer absolutely wants to go, he's gonna go.

Waiting another year would have reduced his price significantly, and waiting two would have meant he walked away for nothing, so realistically Everton had no viable alternatives.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 24/09/2018 at 20:06:31
Stan, the story is Lukaku wanted out before Martinez was sacked. In order to try to get at least one more season out of him, he sat down with Moshiri and Koeman and committed himself for one more season, with the promise he could leave if Everton came up short. They did, so he left.

Now, if Everton insisted he stay, Lukaku would have thrown his toys out the pram and would have not played as well as he can. I would actually offer some argument against that point though. Lukaku was very much the only striker in town for Belgium at the World Cup but rewind 18 months before and he was in and out of the side. Benteke got games, as did the the fella from Liverpool, and the guy from Chelsea (Batshuyi or however you spell it). So if we insisted, he'd have had to knuckle down and play his way into the World Cup. But you could rest assured that, come the end of the season, he'd have gone on holiday early (mentally if not physically) and saved himself for the World Cup. Then after the World Cup, we'd have sold for a knock down price faced with losing him for nothing. We'd be gambling on him having a good World Cup and there being a bidding war. Had he been injured then expect a Barkley.

The effect of not keeping our promise to let him go would affect us with future stars though. They'd be advised not to go to Everton as they will not let you leave if you do well. Bear in mind most agents want their players to move often for their own income. Lukaku's agent is also a very powerful one, could he have harmed Everton in the long term by keeping not just his own players away but other players too?

These agents have too much power, and that power needs to be capped. Lookman just got whipped into line this summer by Everton. With 3 years left, we had all the power. It will be a different story next season if he wants to leave, with just 2 years left, and unless things change quickly, he will be off to Leipzig for £25m next summer, if not before.

John Keating
42 Posted 24/09/2018 at 20:11:49
A definite improvement on all the games so far this season, but that wouldn't be too difficult would it?

One of a number of good things that came out of yesterdays game was to kill this myth perpetrated by a few on here, that we have to play Schneiderlin. This overrated professional has had his day at Goodison and now it has been shown he is not irreplaceable; we should continue without him and wave bye-bye in January.

After giving Keane stick for months I thought he did really well yesterday and I hope he now goes on to dominate and improve.

I really think the other undroppable, Sigurdsson, should be given a break out of the team and is replaced by Bernard to see if he can step up in Sigurdsson's role.

It was great to see us finally give Arsenal a good game but moving on, Silva has to address our woeful defensive record and get a few clean sheets on the board, even if we sacrifice a bit of attacking.
I'd like to see a bit more solidity in defence but Silva's Premier League record does not support it.

Finall,y I thought that giving young Tom the armband was brilliant. In my opinion, he takes so much unnecessary flack, mainly on here and not at the game thankfully, it must give his confidence a huge boost.

Gordon White
43 Posted 24/09/2018 at 20:33:53
I've posted this once already but thought it equally relevant here. Hope you don't mind.

Evertonians have had to learn to be patient. It's been a long time since we had something to crow about. A long time indeed.

Right now, we are palpably on the cusp of a new and exciting era in our history. And God willing we will all live to witness it. But now, right now, patience is needed more than ever.

Lest we forget, in 1983 fans were signing petitions to have Howard Kendall sacked. And, arguably the most successful manager of them all, Sir Alex Ferguson, was allegedly a game away from the sack too. It was because they were both given time that they became the most successful mangers in their respective club's history.

Of course time doesn't equal success. But it does give the manager and the club an opportunity. Steve Bruce later said, (in so many words), that it was the patience of the club that facilitated the success.

Marco Silva needs time. And not just 6 games, nor for that matter a season, before fans start airing their natural frustrations. Borne out of the long wait and expectations that weigh heavy on such a big club in world football.

Clubs need patience and a long term plan. Sound decisions are seldom made under intense pressure and for quick results.

And incidentally, during those halcyon days of the 80's, we employed zonal marking. And they were amazing days as I remember them.


Steve Ferns
44 Posted 24/09/2018 at 20:40:52
Good points, John. I would just point out that Schneiderlin is the key to defensive stability. I believe I am correct in saying that Everton conceded only those 2 goals against West Ham from open play in all the time he has been on the pitch.

However, had he played against Arsenal, that performance would have been far less dynamic and the result probably the same. There'd be less positives as well. So, you probably have a point. But Gueye can't be the only defensive minded midfielder, he needs one of Schneiderlin, Davies or McCarthy alongside him.

As for Davies being Captain, I agree. The lad has always been captain, at every level. It is inevitable he will be captain, as long as his performances merit a place in the side.

Once he gets older, he will be the one who performs the duties we all want to see from the captain, based on how he bossed around the players in the age group sides.

John Keating
45 Posted 24/09/2018 at 21:12:33
Fully agree Steve.

I think playing one of the other midfielders you mentioned, or a permutation of any of the two would be more preferable than Schneiderlin and AN Other.

I appreciate your opinion of Schneiderlin but personally I have seen no defensive qualities in him since last season. He goes missing, hardly puts a tackle in and, although a slight improvement upon last season, considering he was a disgrace last season, that improvement doesn't say too much.

We just seemed more balanced yesterday. I will keep my fingers crossed that improvement continues next week and more importantly we keep a clean sheet!!

Andrew James
46 Posted 24/09/2018 at 22:20:13
Hi Steve,

By the way, sorry to hear you've hit the buffers in the grieving process regarding your father. I hope it gets a little brighter each day.

I always read your opinion on the defensive midfielders with interest as I grew up playing in midfield but when you were expected to tackle and attack and create. It's become far more specialized now and I'm not sure that's good.

You've made some valid points about Schneiderlin holding a zone while Gana is the "seek and destroy" player who vacates a spot and cannot be trusted. Well, I just don't like Schneiderlin as a player. He doesn't do enough. Gana can be erratic but I prefer having him and Davies in those positions because they're buzzing around and Davies goes up the pitch and takes the play with him. Ideally I'd have James McCarthy in the Gana role if he can play like he did in 2013-14.

I suspect and please shoot me down in flames if not, our results with Davies in the side last season were far better than with Schneiderlin. Davies might lose the ball or passes might not come off but he goes to try winning it back. Schneiderlin does neither.

Either way, we need to be ultra attacking this Saturday.

Bill Watson
47 Posted 24/09/2018 at 22:48:24
Despite the 2-0 reverse there were lots of positives to take out of yesterday's game. Apart from the Martinez 1-1 it's the first time, for years that I've thought we should have got something out of the game.

One (or maybe it's two) area of concern is crosses. Our fullbacks really must get closer to their men as they allow far too many crosses into the box.

Our own crosses are, far too often, just lofted in making it easy for defenders and goalkeepers to deal with and almost impossible for our attackers to make any meaningful contact with the ball.

Oh for an Andy Hinchcliffe!

Jerome Shields
48 Posted 24/09/2018 at 23:46:49
Silva did implement the same high press tactic as in the West Ham game. This time, Calvert-Lewin was more effective at the head of the press and Sigurdsson did feature a bit more. Gueye was a lot better this game at supporting the high press, supported by Davies whose pace was more like what was needed. Schneiderlin was too slow and allowed gaps between the midfield and forwards, which West Ham exploited to the full. So the high press was maintained and didn't deteriorate into the shambles of the West Ham game.

They faded a bit in the second half and substitutions should have been made earlier, when Arsenal started to take the initiative. Bernard in particular should have been on earlier. The disappointing threat of crosses from the wing was probably the result of lack of link play, which Schneiderlin is good at. Tosun added very little to the high press and, though he had a shot on target, never looked like scoring.

The centre-forward is the focal point of the high press. So they are expected to harry, link, and overlap as well as score. Calvert-Lewin is the only one who can manage this role. He has put a big effort in this Summer. Tosun and Niasse have problems with this role and lack effectiveness as result. Richarlison plays to a consistent level, higher than those around him.

The defence was better but, because of the failure to score, when dominating the tactics, it was inevitable Arsenal would come back as players faded.

Keane was picked because he offered a option coming forward. Silva has shown a improvement, but needs to get wins to show an improvement on last season. After a few more loses, unfavourable comparations will be drawn. . .

David Israel
49 Posted 24/09/2018 at 23:58:47
Possibly, the real reason Silva gave Davies the captaincy was much more prosaic than we think. Back in his home country of Portugal, it is usually the longest-serving player who captains the side, or so I'm told. And, believe it or not, of the eleven that started yesterday, Davies was the longest-serving.
Bob Parrington
50 Posted 24/09/2018 at 00:05:42
Tuesday morning here and just logged on.

Excellent positive reactions from all on this site and thanks for the many really well thought out game/team/player analyses.

Lyndon, clearly a well written article. Thanks!

What shines out of this thread to me is that there is a common feeling that EFC is moving in the right direction. Okay, we all agree it is a "work-in-progress" but we recognise (cliche) 'Rome wasn't built in a day'.

Bill Gienapp
51 Posted 25/09/2018 at 00:58:33
I think Keane has shown a lot of heart this season. His spot was clearly under assault after Mina and Zouma were added in the transfer window, and he's fighting like hell to show he deserves a spot in the starting XI.

I'll be curious to see how the centreback situation shakes out in the coming months. Zouma's been fine, but he's just a band-aid - he won't be here past this season. It'll be far more beneficial to the club if Keane comes good and shows he can successfully partner with Mina.

Derek Thomas
52 Posted 25/09/2018 at 01:42:32
Seems to meBrands & Silva are working from the back four forwards. And have 3 mini projects going in tandem
A) Gettting rid of the deadwood
B) Replacing aging players
C) Sorting out the back four...some players may come under all 3 categories; Williams, Martina.

Then they will do the same to the Mid Field.
Deadwood they couldnt get rid of in the first cull... for instance Schneiderlin.
Decisions will be made on who will and won't...Davies, Bernard, Gomes, Gana...make it in the Premier League
New players will come in.

The theory is that the new Mid Field players will -
A) Better protect the back four and...
B) Provide better and more bullets for our average strikers to fire.

With the long term aim of finding the new Lukaku or Vardy etc, to phase out the attacking journeymen.

Rinse and repeat, and before you know it we'll have been 2 seasons in BMD.

Simple when you say it quick.

Alan J Thompson
53 Posted 25/09/2018 at 05:58:16
David (#49); The same thought crossed my mind, Davies has most probably played the most first team games.

Bill (#51); Any thoughts on Zouma moving to replace, say, Gana as defensive midfield if and when Mina is fit, albeit, I prefer midfielders who can both support the attack and recognize they have defensive duties when the opposition are in possession.

Gareth Clark
54 Posted 25/09/2018 at 06:17:21
We have to build on the last performance - we played very well against Arsenal, created a decent amount of chances. But conceded a cracker from Lacazette and an offsides goal.

That means we should go with the same line up against Fulham. Calvert-Lewin did well, just needs to finish his chances - but creating chances is a big improvement from last season.

I’d only go with one change against Fulham - on the bench:

Kenny Keane Zouma Digne
Davies Gueye
Walcott Sigurdsson Richarlison

Stekelenburg, Mina, Baines, Schneiderlin, Bernard, Lookman, Tosun

Mina in for Holgate - so he can get some match fitness in the second half.

If Coleman is fit - then find a space for him on the bench, Kenny deserves another game.

Lookman needs to be played on the left - so I would move Richarlison up top in a 2, and play the following in the second half for the last 30 odd:

Kenny Keane Mina Digne
Bernard Gueye Sigurdsson Lookman
Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Ajay Gopal
55 Posted 25/09/2018 at 06:24:14
I love these type of threads - where reasonable and well thought out views are put forth instead of knee-jerk reactions. In keeping with the general view here, I thought the team outplayed Arsenal for large parts of the game. I lost count of the number of times we bullied them off the ball - Gueye, Charlie, DCL, Siggy, Davies - hunted in packs and won the ball time and again. We had 9 corners vs 5, 6 shots on goal vs 5, 6 saves by their GK vs 3 for ours. At the end of the day, we got “zero”, but I am sure Silva will be working with the lads this week. I won’t be surprised to see Fraser Hornby on the bench next week!
Laurie Hartley
56 Posted 25/09/2018 at 07:01:07
Steve # 32 - normally I like to read through all the threads before posting - but Lukaku back? - no way in the world for this Evertonian.

He is the antithesis of a team player.

I like what Silva is doing but I think he got it wrong preferring DCL over Tosun. I would like to see him back with Richarlison and Walcott either side of him and Bernard just behind him. Maybe we will next week.

That Bernard is what we have been missing for many seasons.

Drew O'Neall
57 Posted 25/09/2018 at 07:46:11
I would change Tosun back for DCL tor Fulham.

Tosun is the better finisher, he will get more ball now Richarlison is back in the team to link things up, he works just as hard as DCL and he’s had the proverbial shot across the bow, now.

I’m all for DCL getting chances up front but they can come when we’re not trying to find our best team of which, for the moment, he is not part.

Ian Jones
58 Posted 25/09/2018 at 08:44:56
Enjoyed reading this thread. Just one additional comment to make re Michael Keane and the references about him being courageous and showing heart.

Great example was when both he and Cech went up to challenge for a ball towards the end of the game. Keane didn't seem to flinch as he challenged and looked to have received a glancing blow off Cech. Apart from a rubbing of his head and a re-adjustment of his head gear, he was up and ready again. Given his recent injury, some players may have thought twice about going for it. To Cech's credit, he did check that Keane was OK.

Paul Tran
59 Posted 25/09/2018 at 09:18:59
Disappointing to lose a game we should have at least drawn.

I saw a few signs for optimism. We pressed well, created lots of chances, looked fairly solid defensively. Davies had a good game; I'm not looking for him to be a superstar, being the very good player he will end up will do me.

The only caveat is that Arsenal let us play and gave us space. Will we create against the park the bus teams?

The goalscorer will have to be on hold until at least January. In the meantime, a bit of continuity in selection will help, Mina & Gomes excepted.

My first reaction on Sunday was if we play like that against most of the league, we'll win plenty of games. My second reaction was 'but will we?' Six games have shown a mix of flashes of good attacking play, lapses in both boxes, maddening inconsistency, variable energy levels .and only one win.

While I'm seeing signs for optimism, my jury is still firmly out.

Tony Everan
60 Posted 25/09/2018 at 11:10:10
Levels of progress for me can be measured on how much I am looking forward to the next game. I’m looking forward to watching the team on Saturday. We had a young dynamic Everton against Arsenal. Committed to the cause and playing well, it was exciting to watch and there’s signs of a positive future.

There’s no need for the team to be low on confidence at all . I’m not . If we get the first goal against Fulham I can see us winning well, by 2 or 3 goals.

Clive Rogers
61 Posted 25/09/2018 at 11:28:08
The fact is that Calvert Lewin is no better now than when he first came in. He has not progressed. He is a good athlete but not a good footballer. He has had his chances and his last two games have been shockers. He has made almost 50 appearances. His big asset is speed, but he always makes the wrong decision. His football ability is questionable and he doesn’t have a football brain. He is only a lower division player.
Lee Gorre
62 Posted 25/09/2018 at 11:52:47
I really don’t understand what some supporters see in Davies. I don’t see any long term potential in him at all. I just don’t know what it is he does. Same goes with Calvert-Lewin. Neither are up to it at this level and the sooner we have an 18 man squad available that doesn’t require either of those two the better.
John Hammond
63 Posted 25/09/2018 at 11:56:54
I mentioned this in another post but we've seen improvement with mostly the same team as last season bar 3 players. Suspensions, injuries and a lack of fitness with the new guys have had a big impact. I think this needs to be taken into account before making snap judgements. Had we had a fully fit squad with the new signings ready to go and straight in there and we were garbage then I'd see reasons to be worried.

I'm in two minds whether DCL should start against Fulham. Perhaps giving him another start might be good for him. You'd hope he'd learnt a lot of lessons from the Arsenal game particularly with that huge chance in the first couple of minutes. On the other hand, Tosun was integral to the way the front 3 played in the first 2 or 3 games and he had a chance or 2 at west ham so he's getting in the right positions he just needs that goal.

Clive Rogers
64 Posted 25/09/2018 at 12:06:33
John, DCL cannot be picked after two shockers. If Silva does pick him I will be worried that he is not the right man. It has either to be another chance for Tosun or Richarlison down the middle. We can’t carry on with poor play down the centre and missed chances especially with a lone striker.
John Hammond
65 Posted 25/09/2018 at 12:12:59
Clive, agreed with regards to Richarlison, forgot to mention him.
Sam Hoare
66 Posted 25/09/2018 at 12:13:38
I wouldn't start DCL against Fulham. I wanted him to play against Arsenal as there was always going to be room in behind them which he can and did use his pace and strength to exploit.

I expect Fulham to play deeper and more compact against us at Goodison which I think means Tosun who is better at linking play and putting away any half chances (though that was not the case against Huddersfield).

It's a major issue that none of our strikers are scoring and we cannot keep relying on Richarlison for goals, take him away and we have 5 goals in 6 league games against fairly mediocre opposition. Bernard might help. So might Mina. We are playing a quite attacking and open brand of football so need to take the chances when they come.

I'd be up for seeing this team vs Fulham:

Kenny Keane Mina Digne
Gueye Siggurdsson
Walcott Bernard Richarlison

Only playing Sigurdsson over Davies because he has more goal threat but actually thought the partnership between Gueye and Davies was quite promising.

Jay Wood

67 Posted 25/09/2018 at 12:29:33
Clive @ 61. Methinks you confuse 'fact' with personal opinion.

For me, your post (and others) is heavily influenced by the 'immediacy' of the most recent game, as well as singular examples of failings by players in the Arsenal game.

Did DCL fluff his lines a couple times against Arsenal? Absolutely! Did Davies miscue a couple of simple 5 yard passes? Without doubt! But within the game, they also did some very good things.

Going back one game, I don't agree with you DCL had a 'shocker' against WHU.

And I most certainly do not agree with your 'facts' that DCL is only about speed, that he always makes the wrong decision, that his football ability is questionable, or that he doesn’t have a football brain and is only a lower division player.

Seemingly in your eyes, based on the 'evidence' of the Arsenal game, DCL was shite, has always been shite, and will continue to be shite for all time.

So, forgive me for disputing the 'facts', but I have more faith in his ability and ambition to succeed than you and others are prepared to give him.

Quite clearly, how well he played last season in a woefully struggling side, didn't register with you and a good many others.

Clive Rogers
68 Posted 25/09/2018 at 12:34:36
Jay, no it didn’t in terms of football ability. We will have to agree to disagree.
Jay Wood

69 Posted 25/09/2018 at 12:46:09
Yes, we can certainly agree to disagree on opinions Clive.

Evidently, based on your latest post, you continue to confuse what constitutes 'facts' and what represents 'personal opinion'.

Clive Rogers
70 Posted 25/09/2018 at 13:01:39
Jay, if he was that good last season why did we try to offload him to Bournemouth in June? He refused to go. If you like, my opinion is that he does not have the football ability to become a PL player.
Brian Harrison
71 Posted 25/09/2018 at 13:13:34
I think the arguments of whether it should be DCL or Tosun up top is irrelevant if we want to really challenge top 6 then top 4 these players at present are not good enough. DCL is still young and hopefully will improve but I guess Silva doesnt have a lot of options for that position at present.

But that aside I am delighted with what Marco Silva is doing with this group of players. Cant remember the last time we went to Arsenal and dominated the game for so long. Slowly but surely these players are learning how he wants them to play, there was plenty of high pressing and more shots on goal than I can remember in an away game at Arsenal. Obviously confidence is a bit low so when Arsenals 2nd was allowed to stand for the next 10 minutes you could see the confidence have an effect but they came back strongly after that.

I wouldnt believe a word that is written in the --- newspaper but if their reports are right and some players reckon they are given to much information and also complaining about how hard the training is GOOD. I know some of the older posters will remember Don Revie who was manager of Leeds he had a dosier on every player they played against.

I think Silva in the short time he has been here he has definitely improved players. I thought Keane and Davies have benefited from his coaching, last season I was very worried about Keanes form and under Allardyce Davies seemed to be going backwards. But I thought Sunday Davies gave his most assured performance to date, away from home against a top 6 side. I thought for 55 minutes he and Gana Gueye ran the show.

Do I still think Silva needs to sort certain things out yes of course, but the first time in decades I look forward to see Everton playing away. Knowing they wont cower away from the challenge under this manager, and will try and take the game to the opposition. I would remind people that wonderful defensive coach we had before Silva who quite openly tells other coaches they need to work on the defensive side of the game lost 5-0 at Arsenal last season.

So I would say to my fellow supporters embrace the change, will there be disappointments along the way for sure, but maybe very early days I know but maybe we may have a coach who will make going home and away with the blues a more pleasurable experience than it has been for the last 20 odd years. I am sure some will deem this post as blowing smoke up Silva s arse, I know its a results business and I am sure nobody needs to tell Silva what he needs to do, but I am excited with what he is trying to do. Now if it all goes pear shaped I am sure many posters will remind me of this post.

Alan McGuffog
72 Posted 25/09/2018 at 13:18:41
Dean 24. Any idea when we might get to say HELLO to Terry?
Alan McGuffog
73 Posted 25/09/2018 at 13:19:35
Apologies Yerry
Jay Wood

74 Posted 25/09/2018 at 13:45:30
Clive @ 70.

DCL to Bournemouth? Really?

This is the very first time - seriously, the very first time - I have heard of this.

Care to share 'proof' of even as much as a rumour on this?

Nor do you state if this 'breaking news' was a loan or permanent.

Either way, if true or not, the kind of invented 'so there!' argument you offer here proves and offers nothing, nothing at all.

Good to see you now acknowledge your earlier post cannot be considered 'fact', but just your personal opinion. Well done.

Steavey Buckley
75 Posted 25/09/2018 at 14:24:34
Just like last season, defenders can't defend properly, no quality in midfield and no striker upfront, and the 4-3-3 system is proving to be a liability with so many goals conceded.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
76 Posted 25/09/2018 at 15:20:10
This did get missed by most of you in another thread.

None of us realise that against Arsenal this was the 10th youngest team Everton have sent onto the field since the Premier League started, and the youngest this century.

This is a young team. They will get better. They are still learning.

Yes, the 10th youngest team in the last 25 years.

Oh for the days of Ginola, Gascoigne et. al.

Jim Burns
77 Posted 25/09/2018 at 15:45:18
Steavey @75 - the vast majority of posts on here are cautiously optimistic and measured - and rightly point out also there is still work to be done. Coming away on Sunday I felt the same - though clearly disappointed - and in complete contrast to last season's humiliating capitulation.

Your view seems totally negative and devoid of grounds for hope - can you not see any green shoots?

Still - at least you haven't flagged us up as potential relegation candidates as you have on the other thread.

Come on - the football is clearly better than last seasons and then we still finished 8th. If - as you maintain- there has been no improvement so far this season - then 8th is the least we can expect?

Steavey Buckley
78 Posted 25/09/2018 at 16:41:11
Jim #77 Everton have played 6 matches, averaged a point a game, won just one game unconvincingly, conceded nearly 2 goals a game, mostly against very moderate opposition, Everton don't have a centre forward of any note and players are short on confidence. Yet, you have declared most fans are cautiously optimistic. But relegation can't be discussed with giving offence even though form says something completely different.
Jerome Shields
79 Posted 25/09/2018 at 16:46:42
A lot of the posts miss that Silva is demands players fulfil more than one role. The bases of Silvas system is the high press. It means that the team operates as a offensive unit in defending and attack. Every player has a dual role.

The forwards are to tackle and try to achieve turnover as well as overlaps and a threat to goal. The midfield is to tackle , provide overlap and attacking play. The West Ham midfield trio are the best example of this, with interchanging roles and always at the same distance from one another in the trio. Has well as effective in the high press and turnovers, it also provides passing movements. Wingers are to tackle , overlap and attack. Wing play to defend, overlap and attack, either by providing crosses, overlap and shots on goal. Centre Backs are to defend, provide support to midfield in the high press and a extra attacking option.

Against Arsenal the Centre Forwards where effective in the high press, but final shot was poor. Sigurdsson was a bit better that the West Ham, but still goes missing in the midfield trio, Tonsun is use to playing part of a attacking movement, rather than the leader of the high press and is having difficulty adapting. Sigurdsson isn’t mobile enough in the mid field trio and fails to provide deep tracking turnovers and be available for overlap. Gueye was excellent and Davies with his pace was able to provide support to the high press, overlapped well, but passing accuracy wasn’t as good as Schernalin. Richarlison was excellent a tackling, beating his man and overlap, but final ball and supporting player position awareness needs to improve, Walcott blew hot and cold. Kenny was functional. Keane provides a attacking option and defended well. Zouma was functional, needs more awareness, hence the goal against. Digne played well, but suffered a bit from the lack of the missing Schernalin link play and was limited getting forward, because of extra attention from Arsenal(a bonus), which created opportunities in the middle for Everton.

Some players fell short on their required role. Bernard would be better in the midfield trio than Sigurdsson But is still going through a rehablition period. If Big Sam was in charge he would be on for a distructive 90 minutes. Gomez may be in answer rather Davies or Schernalin. Tosun may never get use to the demands of the dual role, not helped by the lack of a midfield trio passing movement. Richarlison is not the finished article, Walcott is with us, because he hasn’t been able to fulfil a dual role in the past. Davies lacks quality in passing. Kenny is not as good will be a fully fit Coleman. Keane has regained some confidence, but Mina can fulfil the role better. Zouma has more pace than Jags and Digne is a consistent quality player in his role. Niasse in my opinion didn’t bother his ass during the Summer, getting up to speed on the required role, which I find very disappointing.

Brands has had a talk with Silva hence the better implementation of tactics, which where offensive based. Some players are not going to fulfil their dual roles in the Brands/Silva system, replacements are already being lined up. Lukuku may have had problems as well fulfilling the dual role exspected, but the odd goal would have kept him in the team.

Michael Lynch
80 Posted 25/09/2018 at 16:49:34
Just watched the highlights again and there's little doubt we were the better side and should have won, but looking at the way Arsenal set up, this was a game we should expect to win every time with the pace we have up front.

Calvert Lewin looks worse every time I watch him. He's got everything except the important stuff - decision making, and finishing. Tosun looks like he'll never score double figures in a PL season. Sure, we were chaotic in defence for their second goal (offside or not), but up front we were scintillating at times, but never really looked like scoring somehow.

If we can't score against a wide open team like Arsenal, how can we do it when teams park the bus at Goodison? Silva's got some job on his hands, but if he can solve the striker problem, we could have an interesting season. In 2019/20 that is.

Chris Gould
81 Posted 25/09/2018 at 16:58:02
Clive #70,
You're re-writing history there.
Reports suggested that Bournemouth were interested in DCL. The same reports stated that he had no interest, and he then signed a new contract with us. Absolutely nothing to suggest that we were interested in selling him.
Lawrence Green
82 Posted 25/09/2018 at 16:58:03
Jerome # 79
I am curious to know, whether your two most interesting snippets within your post are merely your own opinion or if you have access to inside information?

'Brands has had a talk with Silva hence the better implementation of tactics '

' and replacements are already being lined up.'

Tony Everan
83 Posted 25/09/2018 at 18:10:26

Fulham will need breaking down on Saturday, they will have seen Huddersfield snuff our threat out . Mitrovic will be left on his own and there will be large numbers behind the ball. The game has Huddersfield mk2 written all over it.

To overcome it I would, for this and similar games, play Richarlison through the middle. Bernard has to start on the left, Theo on the right.

To break them down we need guile and skill, players who can ghost past a player or two or do their defence for pace. Players who can destroy their defensive shape , get a yard and whip a snapshot in or get reverse crosses in from the bylines.This is where the goals will come from against the bus parkers.

This match and ones similar don't need the target man or the hold up man so much. They are matches where Bernard can shine and unlock the door for us. I am really hoping Silva starts him on a Saturday.

I think it would be wrong to use Richarlison as a CF all the time. In the majority of matches he is better played on the left for now .

Jerome Shields
84 Posted 25/09/2018 at 18:33:12
Lawrence #82. Of course Brands had a meeting with Silva after the West Ham defeat. Brands had a input into the tactics from the start and the sourcing of replacement players, who fit into the system that has been decided on. The players are been continuing appraised as regard their role. All the player bought in and that have played look like they can adapt to the system. How is Silva getting on coaching them? And why was the tactical plan not working?What is going to be done to change things around.

In one transfer window they could only do so much, so there will be work to do in the next two transfer window. Players that could not be moved on are still in the squad and players who where assessed as having potiential to adapt to the system where kept on and continually appraised.

Therefore Brands in working away parallel with Silva to find replacements . He probably partly working on a list drawn up in the Summer, which time put a limit on and looking at new players all the time.

The Everton we are seeing is a collaboration between Brands and Silva. Silva himself is being assessed and accountable to Brands, as Brands is to the board.
This is a far more professional outfit than the Cosy Moyes era or the Walsh scouting, not quite making it football director era.

There where signs of improvement in tactics and selection against Arsenal, but questions to be answered still exist.

Bill Gienapp
85 Posted 25/09/2018 at 18:43:13
Jay (74) - this was news to me as well, so I googled it.

To echo what Chris (81) said, Bournemouth did indeed express interest, but Calvert-Lewin quickly nipped it in the bud, making it clear he wanted to stay. There was no indication that we were pushing for a deal or had any intention of listening to an offer.

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 25/09/2018 at 19:08:22
When you say Keane, provides us with an attacking option Jerome, does this mean when we try and play out from the back, or do you mean from set pieces?
Jack Convery
87 Posted 25/09/2018 at 19:41:26
Well balanced and thoughtful article. I was disappointed we didn't get something from the game, which makes a real change as I am usually fuming after a defeat at the Emirates, due to the lack of effort of the players and management to at least try and get something.

With regards to the Fulham game I reckon they will come and try and give us a game and try to take 3 points. I hope so as this will give us a real opportunity to show how much progress we are really making. Keep Mitrovic and Schurlle quiet must be the game plan. I am interested to see how Seri goes against us as he was another we are supposed to have watched last summer.

Keep the faith as things are on the up - its what my gut tells me anyway !

Jerome Shields
88 Posted 25/09/2018 at 22:03:43
Tony #86 – Set pieces.
Jerome Shields
89 Posted 25/09/2018 at 22:58:34
Tony #86,

There needs to be more composure round the box, with passes laid off to other better positioned forwards. I think Cenk had an easy game, with little switch of play in front of him in the box. It was easy for him to be able to position himself. Silva should be coaching this more into the forwards.

The Everton side against Arsenal was a young side and it showed in the choices made by players in the opposition penalty area.

Simon Smith
90 Posted 25/09/2018 at 00:00:27

That's the whole story of this game.

Give us a player like Lacezette and we win or at least draw that game.

Fact is none of Tosun, Calvert-Lewin and Niasse would get anywhere near the Arsenal team and at best there only 5th best team in the league.

We have to find a way to get Tosun into form, atm he's our beat bet of anything like a decent forward.

We need to bid for something special, a match winner, a guy who has 20 goals in him.

Batchuai, Walbeck, Morata, Rashford, Marshall or whoever Silva and Brands decide on need moving in as early as poss in Jan.

Stephen Davies
91 Posted 26/09/2018 at 00:22:25
Simon (#90),

I fond this fascinating... where do we find this mythical 20 goal striker from? Will we get a name from nowhere that turns out to be diamond? A Payet or Tavez type etc, given Brands's connection with South America?

Or someone under the radar in one of the European Leagues: Germany, Holland, Portugal, France... I suspect there are such players out there and I'm confident that someone of Brands's calibre can find them (and I'm sure he's researching now).

Simon Smith
92 Posted 26/09/2018 at 00:40:26
That's just it Stephen, there must be a worldy out there somewhere, Liverpool found Suarez, Torres and Salah, Spurs developed Kane, back in the day someone else's 2nd choice winger turned out to be Arsenals very own Henry, they found Anelka too from nowhere.

There's Teves like you rightly said, Jesus at City, Rashford coming through at Utd.

Is it Hornby who we need to develop within the first team, Do we go with Walcott down the centre or can we find a hidden gem out there somewhere.

A few seasons back we were briefly linked with Dolberg from Ajax, he looked quality to me at a very young age before moving to Italy, would be interesting to see how he is finding life there.

Morata isn't being played at Chelsea, so maybe his value has lowered, he's young enough to become a huge player like Lukaku did at us, same with man uniteds Marshal.

We are mearly football fans, we know what we want but it's up to the highly paid proffesionals at the club to come up with the answers.

Sometimes there isn't a world beater, but then it's about finding a player who fits into your system well enough to bag them 20+ goals as Yakubu did a while back under Moyes before his bad injury.

One thing I do know is the world is huge and with the South American league, the USA, China and even middle eastern leagues all spending money there must be a player out there that suits our style who fancies a go at the big league. There's also the lower English leagues, who would have thought Vardy would have done what he's done, or Mitrovic would have hit the ground running the way he has this year after just one season in the championship.

Again sometimes it's about finding a player who wants a big opportunity and in the huge world of football, opportunities like we can present players are few and far between.

The leagues the world's number one, the wagers are substantial, the country is as safe as you can find and at Everton our strikers are idolized for doing there job.

Fingers crossed we can find our own gem very soon.

Steve Ferns
93 Posted 26/09/2018 at 02:06:35
Simon, Kasper Dolberg is still at Ajax. He was terrible last season.

As for finding a future world class player, it is easier said than done. It's not a case of finding someone scoring 20 a season in a lower league and taking a chance on them, it's a case of finding someone who fits the Silva "profile" (to use his buzz word) and to work out how that player will fit into the side and to make sure the player's strengths will be maximised without his weaknesses holding him back.

The perfect player to consider is Andy (Andrew to his mates) Cole. I used to watch him and laugh, openly mock him. He missed so many sitters. He seemed a bang average player, considering just how wasteful he was in front of goal. However, he scored 121 goals in 275 games for Man Utd and 68 in 85 for Newcastle. He was clearly a player, but never world class. But someone for Newcastle saw this striker who was very wasteful and realised that in their side he would get a lot of opportunities and he would convert enough of them to become prolific.

Harry Kane is another. He averages just under a goal a game in the last few seasons. However, he averages 5 shots on target a game. So that's a low conversion rate. He's struggling this season and the shots on target has dropped to 2 per game, and perhaps this shows why.

My point is, should Calvert-Lewin never develop a clinical instinct in front of goal, as long as he gets chances he will score. He got more chances against Arsenal, the toughest team we have played, than Tosun has in god knows how many games. Like Cole, he gets himself continuously into positions. He is still very young and can score. If we can get him getting 5 shots on target each game, easier said than done, then perhaps he can become prolific.

Graeme Sharp was still complimentary about DCL on the Legends show on Radio City. He said he needs Silva to show faith now, and he needs 5 games in a row (as the central striker), at least, and then he can show what he can do. Judge him after those 5 games Sharpy said. So come on guys, who are we to argue with Sharp?

Patrick Ross
94 Posted 26/09/2018 at 04:29:38

I have seen the best and worst of this team. I do not know what all of the fuss is about. We have no top class striker, two needed at least; the defence needs at least two good centre-backs; the midfield needs at least three attacking midfielders and four defensive holding midfielders. Wingbacks, or whatever you want to call them, yes, three needed, preferably two who are left-footed.

I am sure that, whoever the decent players left in the squad are, after the massive clearout, could make up the missing positions to form a really good squad with a good bench for all the matches.

The importance of a good academy for the youth team is of the utmost importance as well. Let's cut stamina training in half and concentrate on kicking, passing and generally using the ball. Keeping the ball, flicking over an opponent's head, yes, showboating but it works.

There is not enough skill in this team compared to the top-quality teams in the Premier League and Europe. How much? Possibly with shrewd buying, £350m. But who the fuck wants to play for Everton???

A sad day, week, month, and god knows how many years.

Ash Moore
95 Posted 26/09/2018 at 07:28:27
Have to agree with Steve Ferns. Andy Cole was absolute rubbish on the eye. Rush was another one that always looked a bit cack. But these guys - like our very own Oumar Niasse - had the most important skill that any striker would want. The ability to be in the right place at the right time.

I remember my Dad getting a bit bladdered as we got rolled by Leeds in the FA Cup at Goodison. Leeds were terrible but somehow we were even worse. He must have been about 47 but Rushy came on and got the only goal of the game with a miskick. I believe it was the only senior goal he ever got for them, a nap.

As Rushy limbered up the arl fella said to me – "Bet it hits his arse and goes in." Well done that man!

It's better to be lucky than to be good; of course it's better again to be both.

Jim Harrison
96 Posted 26/09/2018 at 09:37:00
Yeah, what Steve Ferns says!!

And backing up his point about giving DCL a run in the team, isn’t this the first time he started up front this season? The first time in that case he has played with Richalison in that role? He did fluff his lines, no doubt. But he got chances and kept trying

Steve Ferns
97 Posted 26/09/2018 at 09:38:40
Ash, you bring back a painful memory for me. Rush runs on, in the same game, and I turned to my Dad and said, "what they bringing that old fool on for?" And as you said, famous last words. I'll never forget that look my Dad gave me after he scored, like it was all my fault!

Hey Jim, I'm passing the blame onto Graeme Sharp, it was him who said give him 5 games in a row!

Tony Everan
98 Posted 26/09/2018 at 10:12:03
It is easy for Graeme to say, If Silva starts Calvert-Lewin against Fulham and he fluffs his lines, misses a couple of sitters and makes poor decisions he won’t be given more time.

I would not be disappointed if he did start against Fulham, but he needs to improve and take his chance starting now if he doesn’t want to be dropped.

For these matches where we have to break down organised defenders we have to start Bernard. Quality wins the day against bus parking teams all other things being equal. Who gets dropped and where he plays in what formation is debatable.

Paul Cherrington
99 Posted 26/09/2018 at 10:55:12
So 1 win from 6 games. For all the talk of improvement and signs of progress, they are the facts. Most of those 6 games were very winnable too – lord only knows what hysteria we would have seen on here if someone like Moyes or Allardyce had messed it up like Silva has.

Some Everton fans need to come down from Cloud Cuckoo Land and into the Real World... We lost against Arsenal and didn't pick up any points. Anyone who thinks that is okay because we attacked and created a couple more chances is deluded.

If we continue to do this (which is highly likely with the current manager and tactics), then we will be relegated. There have been plenty of teams who have gone down playing nice, attacking football – I would rather we were not one of them. Losing pretty is not better than winning ugly – anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand football or how it works.

Yes, we would all like to win pretty but, with the players we have, this is not an option as the current situation and the Martinez debacle shows. Instead, we need to become hard to play against again, hard to beat and start picking up some wins. If that means some fairly dull 1-0 games where we get 3 points, who cares?

Before anyone asks: yes, I do go to watch a fair few games each season at Goodison Park. I can tell you now that I much prefer watching a team win than lose, regardless of playing style.

Please can people also stop asking for Silva to be given time? The people asking this are mostly the same who wanted Allardyce out before he had taken charge for even one game! And the same people who wanted him out when he had picked up 3 points! You can't have it both ways and ask for more time because it is your favourite in the hot seat.

Sam Hoare
100 Posted 26/09/2018 at 11:29:05
Finding reliable goalscorers is one of the hardest scouting jobs in the game. We had one and plenty on here wanted him out!

Tosun has started the season in rather mediocre fashion and I worry that Calvert-Lewin will never develop far beyond his obvious athletic abilities, his touch and finishing not quite up to the standard required (though Steve F is right that if he keeps making chances for himself that is half the battle).

There aren't that many options. Even the goal records for the likes of Rashford and Martial are not impressive (like Calvert-Lewin they have been played on the wing a lot). And most Arsenal fans would give Welbeck away.

Persuading risk-free, reliable goal-scorers to Everton is going to be hard work especially with no European platform. You can take a shot on some upcoming youth; Cutrone at Milan, Werner at Leipzig, Gomez ant Celta Vigo, Martinez at Inter, Sanabria at Betis but firstly they are sought after players and secondly we have already seen in Sandro a young player who scored a lot of goals abroad fail to make an impression for us (so far). It's tough!

Tony Everan
102 Posted 26/09/2018 at 12:59:33
When we sold Lukaku, I thought Batyshui was replacement material. He looked sharp when Chelsea used him. He's gone to Valencia on loan and I read he has had a difficult start. As you say Sam, it's a minefield.
Jim Harrison
103 Posted 26/09/2018 at 13:16:03
Tony 102

If he could score 10 % of the chances he gets he would be amazing!! But he doesn’t.

Saw a game with him playing at the World Cup, looks electric, gets into good positions and gets chances, but finishes like Stuart Barlow.

Still, as Steve said, get enough chances you will score eventually.

At least now if we do get a decent striker there is some service. We have decent options on the left, when Walcott plays on the right as well. All 4 of our wide back players get forwards well and the current two have been getting crosses in with a decent degree of frequency. Siggy is yet to really shine, but if I think it’s a matter of time before he hits his groove, perhaps when the midfield behind him improves?

Michael Lynch
104 Posted 26/09/2018 at 14:14:53
This idea that Calvert-Lewin will score goals is completely refuted by the stats. He scores once every ten million minutes on the pitch, or something equally ridiculous. He should be nowhere near our first team at his stage of development. His positioning is not good, it's terrible, and his finishing worse. Perfect example was when Tosun fluffed a shot against West Ham.

Any instinctive striker, whatever their age, would have been following in for the rebound off the keeper, but Calvert-Lewin was back on his heels. Their goalie palmed the ball out into exactly the place where a real striker would have been. His decision making also shows that he's not ready he misses the obvious ball almost every time, for example in the first minute on Sunday when he should have squared it to Richarlison.

He's had enough chances, stick him out on loan or back in the reserves til he's ready. Harry Kane went out on loan a couple of times before he got a good run in the Spurs team.

I'd rather play Niasse up front than Calvert-Lewin right now. At least he confuses the opposition with his general shitness and is more likely to score.

Bob Parrington
105 Posted 26/09/2018 at 14:30:26
Tony #98. Agree with you ref Bernard starting. We have to make "plays" to make true goal scoring opportunities. This guys seems to have the skills and the composure to use them, sending opposition players off balance.

As for which option to use as key striker hmmm! I wish I had a crystal ball. Of the 3 "accepted" contenders I'd likely go for Tosun. But never having seen Hornby I'd be interested to hear views from others.

Jay Wood

106 Posted 26/09/2018 at 15:38:16
Michael @ 104.

"Harry Kane went out on loan a couple of times before he got a good run in the Spurs team."

Do your research. At the same age Kane was 'learning his trade' in the Championship and League One (and not being a regular pick), Calvert-Lewin has played exclusively for Everton in the Premier League... and bettered what Kane was doing in a lower league, at the same age.

By season's end last year Calvert-Lewin wasn't even featuring regularly, but still nobody - but NOBODY - contributed more (accumulatively) than the goals he scored and assisted in a woeful Everton team.

You might also like to do a similar comparison by age, goals scored and assisted and a ratio against minutes played with England's other player who went to the World Cup and how they shape up against Calvert-Lewin. Namely, Wellbeck, Rashford and Lingard.

As with the Kane comparison, you might be pleasantly surprised. Or not, as the case may be...

Jim Burns
107 Posted 26/09/2018 at 15:55:28
Hi Steavey @ 78 . A couple of points – I didn't claim most fans are cautiously optimistic – I've no way of knowing that without talking to them all. I did say the majority of posts in response to this well balanced article were cautiously optimistic.

Also - I haven't taken offence at the fact relegation is being mentioned - I simply believe that talk of potential relegation favourites at this early stage is silly and an over-reaction given we are only 6 games into a new regime tasked with repairing serious damage inflicted over our club over the previous two seasons.

Some of us believe there is enough evidence so far – and particularly on Saturday – that there is improvement in our general play over last season and therefore the results will come and the stats will even out. This – for some of us at least – is room for cautious optimism not blind faith, and certainly not pessimism.

So if you want to continue to peddle the ' we are doomed ' scenario so early in the season – that's fine – no offence taken.

Raymond Fox
108 Posted 26/09/2018 at 16:55:53
I think we have to give Cech some credit in preventing possible goals. He was out of his goal like a shot at least twice, once when Calvert-Lewin was clean through.

Yes, in hindsight, Calvert-Lewin should have squared it before Cech tackled him but we are talking about split-second decisions, are we not?
I know one thing: berating Calvert-Lewin, Toson and Niasse wont help them to score, I don't think anyone expected them to be on par with the best strikers in the Premier League?

When you watch MotD, half the goals scored are rebounds, in-offs, or the scorer just being in the right place at the right time for a tap-in. They need some of the above to get them up and running.

Steavey Buckley
109 Posted 26/09/2018 at 17:41:18
Jim #107 Expectations were raised when Silva was signed as manager. Yet, after Everton have played 6 games and gained only 6 points against relatively modest opposition but conceding 2 goals a game, alarm bells should be ringing. If Everton gain another 6 points from another 6 games, Silva will be on his way. Good football is good to watch when winning, but not much good if Everton are not winning
Rob Halligan
110 Posted 26/09/2018 at 17:49:34
Clearly Pickford can see signs of things to come. He has just signed a new 6 year contract.
Jim Burns
111 Posted 26/09/2018 at 18:02:55
Steavey - time will tell. I for one remain cautiously ( and realistically ) optimistic.
Jim Burns
112 Posted 26/09/2018 at 18:07:25
Steavey - by the way 11 goals conceded just two less than Man Utd and Arsenal. We really are doomed aren't we?

Come on - let's look at it again around Christmas and draw our conclusions then.


David Barks
113 Posted 26/09/2018 at 18:10:27
No Steavey,

Expectations weren’t raised for this season. Expectations were raised for the coming years, as Brands has repeatedly said in public. This site was filled with articles saying it is going to take time, that patience is required, before the season started. The reason for that is everyone knew that overhauling this squad and changing the club was going to take years, not 6 games.

That “modest” competition that you stated included Arsenal away and Wolves away, where we had to go nearly he entire match with 10 men. It also included 3 of the 6 games without Richarlison, with Bernard yet to be able to start and only available in the past few matches, and Gomes yet to be fit.

It also included having to play nearly every match with a different backpine due to suspensions and injuries (Jagielka suspended then injured, Keane fractured skull, Holgate injured to start the year, Mina injured all 6 games, Coleman fractured foot last couple of games). Yeah, that’s a real simple start, playing 2 of 6 matches with 10 men and having to chop and change the lineups every match because of suspension and injuries. Whatever you say.

Steavey Buckley
114 Posted 26/09/2018 at 18:52:34
David, that maybe your assessment on your expectations, but many Everton fans were expecting better than 6 points from 6 games. What will happen if Everton gain 6 points or less from the next 6 games?

I do believe going another season without any improvement on 8th place gained last season will make Everton fans frustrated and wishing for improvement on the next season. That's the problem of supporting a team – not just wanting to remain in the Premier League.

Tony Abrahams
115 Posted 26/09/2018 at 18:58:42
Speak for yourself Steavey mate because I would sooner see us win some and lose some, and improve along the way, rather than watch the shite football We've had to really endure over the last couple of seasons.

I never watched Everton play away from home under Koeman or Allardyce, didn't see the point because it was bad enough going to Goodson Park, but I'm hoping to go to Leicester next week though.

We all want to win, I'm not fuckin stupid, but at least we are starting to get entertainment again, so let's just give Silva a little chance, and hope results improve.

My mate said he was sitting next to Silva's press officer at Arsenal, and this fella was trying to pick his brains, and gauge the views of the fans. He said even Marco didn't realise how big the Everton job was, but he loves it, and although a few of the squad aren't quite up to it, he knows things will get better once everyone is fit.

Steve Ferns
116 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:04:19
Steavey, for me the goal is to win the Premier League. That's what we have to work towards. If it is to take 10 years, so be it. We have to aim for that height and claw our way up to it.

I don't judge the progression on points or league placing, but on performances. Say Silva builds a team this season, but it's toothless (as we don't have a top striker) but with a top striker added we are clearly challenging top four the next season, is that not better, regardless of position? Then say we come short on that but we add a better Number 10 than Sigurdsson and now we are even better and can challenge the top 4 properly, is that not progress?

Steavey Buckley
117 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:11:02
Tony, watching Everton without any goals, is like watching Lewis Hamilton not caring if he finishes last or 1st, just as long as he finishes the race in style.
Tony Everan
118 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:11:35
Ray Fox #108

I have been thinking that our strikers have come in for too much premature criticism.

There is too much “not good enough” “championship player” “5 goals a season striker” .and not enough encouragement from the fans for the strikers to stick at it and force themselves to improve and come good.

I want goals too, I just don’t like the throw in the towel attitude of “ They are shite we need a proper striker now” .

For the next few months I want to back Tosun and Dominic to come good. By not accepting the criticism that they are not good enough, but fighting through it and finding goal scoring form. If they do they will be all the more stronger for it.

David Barks
119 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:12:43

You're literally panicking about “not being in the Premier League” after 6 games. That's you, not me. I have no fear about us staying in the Premier League or improving as the season grinds on and players that have yet to kick a ball for us or start matches will be in the team.

I don't care about 6 games, I care about building a foundation to compete at the very top over the course of the next few seasons. Your hypothetical is meaningless. What will happen? Nothing. Nobody is relegated or crowned champion after 12 matches.

What's important is to get the new players integrated with the team, identify which of those already here are able to kick on and play the style and quality of football needed. Then continue building the team with more and more quality.

Steavey Buckley
120 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:14:39
To win the league, Steve, Everton need players capable of landing that prize. So far, the jury is out, on who are good enough and who are not. Including the manager.
Steve Ferns
121 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:17:32
I don’t like all this pressure on the number 9 either. Football has moved on from the days of Robbie Fowler. You couldn’t have a player who’s job is just to score and he does nothing else now.

Calvert-Lewin and Tosun play as the tip of an attacking trio. Richarlison plays upfront already. He is exactly where he should be. Walcott could come a little more central for my liking though.

To compensate, we could push Sigurdsson a little deeper, more into midfield and become more of an 8. Otherwise known as the position that Gomes will play.

We should require 40 goals from the front 3, and not care about the breakdown. If Walcott and Richarlison score them all and Tosun scores none, so be it, if he’s doing his part to help them score.

Steavey Buckley
122 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:18:04
David, I watch Everton to win, not going through the motions of just playing pretty football just to satisfy the purists.
Steve Ferns
123 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:20:51
Steavey, Everton have long had a history of playing with style, the school of science and all that.

I read plenty of stuff that said with a little less style and a bit more substance and we’d have won even more. Maybe John McFarlane would elaborate on that.

For me, it’s not satisfying the football purists, it’s who we are.

Mike Gwyer
124 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:20:52

Steavey Buckley #115.

You can expect what you like, but bottom line Evertonians are going home knowing that we are giving the opposition a game. Everton went to Arsenal to win, they didn't, but their keeper and manager spoke of Arsenal hanging on rather than just giving us our usual annual beating.

I agree, we all wanted more than 6 points but supporting Everton is not just about frustrations and expectations. You go to Goodison to support Everton and when they are playing as they did at the Emirates, then believe me we are going to win games.

Steve Ferns
125 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:24:45
Steavey, Silva is playing a way that with the any of the top 6, he’d challenge for the title. It’s a winners brand of football.

Some are asking him not to try to win and defend more and settle for a draw by avoiding defeat.

A win and a loss gets you three points. Two draws gets you two points. Being cavalier pays off in the long run, as long as you actually win enough games.

Tony Abrahams
126 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:33:41
Steavey, Lewis Hamilton, is a winner mate, and he knows that the only way he can finish a race in style, is if he gets over the chequered flag first.

Everton haven’t won a cup for 23 very long years, won at Anfield since 1999, and you want to give the new manager 12 games, unless things really improve?

Steavey Buckley
127 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:45:43
Tony, Koeman got about 12 games last season to prove himself. Oh, he is not here anymore, even though he steered Everton to 7th in his previous first season.
Peter Gorman
128 Posted 26/09/2018 at 19:53:48
Funny Steavey, I thought Koeman had an entire season before that, and was found wanting despite that 7th.

Koeman's football was dire, Silva's so far isn't.

Paul Tran
129 Posted 26/09/2018 at 20:01:38
Koeman's results were poor, Steavey. Mind you, if he hadn't spunked millions on players in similar positions, had a toxic relationship with Walsh and the board, moaned about the 'lack' of players he'd wanted, shown an inability to communicate his ideas to the players and walked round like he was sleeping rough, he'd have probably got a bit longer.

Not a fair comparison my view.

Steve Ferns
130 Posted 26/09/2018 at 20:02:01
Steavey, Koeman steered Everton to a solid 7th. He laid foundations to build something. He had a side comprising of:

Coleman Jagielka Williams Baines
Gueye Davies Schneiderlin
Barkley Lukaku Miralllas

Then he had delusions about how great a manager he was and changed too many players. Instead of buying a goalie, a centre-back, and replacing Lukaku he tried to change everything about that side and royally messed things up.

we didn't just get beat a few times, we were getting battered game after game. 3 or 4 goal hammerings. The Dutchman didn't have an answer other than "But of course, that's football", before slipping off at 4.00pm sharp to go golfing.

Walsh and Koeman made a hash of the summer and replaced everything but the one position that they had to replace as well as contriving to lose our next best player as well. Koeman had no plan to fix things. Something had to be done.

Now if you wind back the clock and say we have a choice between Koeman and Allardyce to the end of last season, I'd have stuck with Koeman, but that's only because my levels of hatred for Allardyce cannot be measured.

Moshiri has acted to make sure the colossal transfer fuck-up doesn't happen again by getting in a proper director of football. So, I fail to see how you can compare Koeman and Silva. One had a whole season and then self-destructed and was the architect of his own downfall.

Tony Abrahams
131 Posted 26/09/2018 at 20:27:52
Seventh Steavey? And you talk about wanting a winning team. Each to his own mate, but even though times have changed, and 4th now offers massive rewards, it’s still first or nowhere to me mate.
Rob B Williams
132 Posted 26/09/2018 at 20:49:04
The success of this great club of ours depends on three,. They are interdependent, each one of them must play their part to the best of their ability. There must be 'chemistry' between the three of them.

I am not talking of players on the pitch, of course they are important, as were our famed 'Holy Trinity'.

No, our future now lies firmly in a totally new "Holy Trinity' or if you prefer- the "Three Ms' - led by our leader and benefactor, Moshiri. Here we have a man with a plan and a vision and hopefully the determination to see fruition.

We then have Marcel who has been brought in to 'sort out the mess' and inject stability to a floundering ship - I am familiar with that job - and from what I have seen hitherto I have confidence in the man and can see we are heading on a fair course.

Marco, is no Marco Polo, there have been many before him, many have failed. He is young, he is a new broom with new ideas. He is yet to prove himself to the masses but given the support of the other members of his tripartite he may well succeed in getting this once great club back into some semblance of respectability.

Laurie Hartley
133 Posted 27/09/2018 at 03:50:57
Rob, as a teenager I had the great priveledge and pleasure of watching the greatest midfield Everton have ever had in my lifetime - Ball, Harvey and Kendal.

I am an old man now, but I feel compelled to say this - they are only men - like you and I. While I wish them every success - so are Moshiri, Brands and Silva.

I would prefer that we stick with the Three M's.

Paul Cherrington
135 Posted 27/09/2018 at 09:57:31
Some Everton fans really baffle me with what they come out with. It's fine because everyone is entitled to their opinion but I just don't get it. We have people saying they don't mind losing games as long as we win some now & then. Others who say it doesn't matter that we got beat because we played in a more cavalier way. Others asking for time and no criticism for Silva as he needs years to build the club before he can be judged.

Did the same fans give the last manager years to build the club? No, they made snap judgements before a ball was kicked and hounded him out despite him doing a good job. And now we are told we must give a serial loser like Silva years to reveal his masterplan as we leak goals and points every week. it really is beyond belief.

I just cannot believe how easily some fans are fooled by a foreign accent, a sharp suit and some pretty passing patterns. It doesn't matter – winning matters; picking up points matters; staying in the Premier League matters.

This attitude of not minding if we lose as long as we are good to watch is crazy. Surely we should be wanting to win every game? Not accepting defeat as long as it is a 10-goal thriller that 'entertained' us. How entertaining is getting beat or drawing week after week?

We will see how attitudes change when we are miles adrift at the bottom of the table come Xmas. But by then it will be too late to pull it around or find a manager capable of doing so. Anyone who says it is too early to think like this is wrong: teams do and have got in big trouble early in seasons and then it is very very hard to get out of it. How long do we allow Silva to throw points away and make us a soft touch to play against?

But hey, for those who support the current manager, there is another game coming up soon where you can admire the apparent progress as we lose or draw again...

Merle Urquart
136 Posted 27/09/2018 at 11:12:13
I would be the first to put the boot into a failing manager and I was with Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce; however, Silva has had a mess to sort out instead of just getting on with the job so he needs a little support and dare I say patience (if we have any left). If we had had a top-notch striker, things this season so far might have looked a little different as unfortunately our three strikers are going to be lucky to score 10 goals between them. You could say this has been a bit remiss as hindsight was clearly not required with this one.

Our football, however, has been better but the fundamental problems that have existed for years still persist, namely not scoring when on top, conceding when on top, piss-poor passing and piss-poor control especially in the middle of the park.

The special Finch Farm Everton pass still exists, you know the one, straight to or a yard behind a forward-moving player, which I find infuriating. We laugh at them across the park with their throw-in coach, but have you seen our throw-ins? Arsenal must have had three or four breaks off these last weekend.

So we are going to have to grind out results until January when we are going to have to pull off a coup and get someone to score goals regularly and this means spending big and more importantly doing our homework before spending big. If we don't, Silva will be gone and we will start the whole cycle again.

Barry Jones
137 Posted 29/09/2018 at 19:01:24
Charles #31.

I totally agree with your assessment. Lukaku is not the answer and never was. As for the rest of you quoting stats, that does not make Lukaku a better player. I wonder how many of you actually paid attention to his full contribution, or lack of it.

You should watch a Man Utd game now and again to refresh the memory. His own midfielders (Pogba) are screaming at him to move. Mitrovic would be a better option. He moves, he scores and he is a handful.

Rick Tarleton
138 Posted 29/09/2018 at 20:40:57
Read the Opta statistics about Lukaku. In one season there were 503 Premier players covered. Lukaku was 503rd for movement! Every time Barkley moved forward Lukaku was static, he never ran the channels, he never made a dummy run to open up a space.

Who got the blame from ToffeeWeb posters? Not Lukaku. He was a great finisher if you slipped it inside the defence and he could run on to it, preferably on his left side.

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