New Year, Same Old Problems

By Lyndon Lloyd 01/01/2019 146comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 1 Leicester City

If 2019 is to be the year where the latest Everton project begins to bear fruit, there was precious little evidence of it during this dire New Year’s Day lunchtime kick-off.

Everton could have played until New Year’s Day 2020 and they probably wouldn’t have scored. They dominated possession but managed just two efforts on target all game, the latest indictment of the dearth of quality in the side and, crucially, in their approach play.

Unable to pick teams apart through the middle, Silva’s team work the ball wide as a matter of course and try to make the breakthrough by slinging crosses into the box but, as was the case at Brighton three days ago, they are routinely repelled by a stubborn opposition back line.

The one time that they did deliver a cross today that eluded Leicester’s centre-halves, as Bernard did with a terrific piece of individual skill late on, his teasing centre flew across the six-yard box with neither of the three Blues forwards on the pitch in attendance.

And that largely sums up a team that, apart from the fluke result at Burnley on Boxing Day, is struggling to score goals, averaging a shade over one per game since the 3-1 win over Brighton 10 matches ago. But when your nominal strikers are an England U21 international still learning his trade, a player trying unconvincingly to make the step up from the Turkish league, and Oumar Niasse, should that come as any surprise?

Marcel Brands has suggested that he doesn’t see the club making any signings in January — that may change if some money comes in from player sales or results continue in the current vein — which would mean a continuation of this frustrating grind without a reliable goalscoring alternative to Richarlison until the end of the season.

The Brazilian started in a central position in the reverse fixture against Leicester in early October and he appeared to be an interim answer to Silva’s striking conundrum. Since then, the debate has oscillated over whether he suits the role or whether he is more productive wide on the left.

Today probably won’t have done much to resolve the conundrum. Richarlison can make things happen and he has a knack for scoring goals but he isn’t a traditional, tricky, take-on-the-defender wide man, his passing is erratic and he frequently holds onto the ball too long, allowing promising openings to break down.

He isn’t a conventional target man either. Dominic Calvert-Lewin fits that description more naturally but when, like today, he isn’t popping up with important headed goals, both his short-comings and Everton’s desperate lack of cutting edge are exposed.

What you have then is team that is easy to read and easy to nullify if you can throttle Richarlison and mark André Gomes out the game, something that Claude Puel did very effectively with a strategy more or less based around suffocating the midfield hoping that Jamie Vardy could nick one.

Which is precisely what he did shortly before the hour mark. Michael Keane made a mess of trying to control Theo Walcott’s wayward header, Ricardo Pereira quickly knocked the loose ball through to Vardy who fired it across Jordan Pickford and inside the far post.

It was all so depressingly familiar from an Everton side that once again failed to rouse themselves for a decent second-half performance. They had shaded the first period that eventually settled down after a frenetic opening that belied the early start but were still largely poor apart from Idrissa Gueye who, from a defensive point of view, tackled everything that moved in midfield.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had provided Richarlison with his first sight of goal in the 12th minute with a cross from the right but the Brazilian fired his shot into the covering defender and Kurt Zouma had a header comfortably gathered around the half hour.

In between, Jonjoe Kenny would go closer than anyone else in a Blue shirt to making the breakthrough with a sweetly-struck 20-yard effort that he hammered off of the post with 18 minutes gone. It would have been his first Everton goal and a nice reward for a decent enough performance at right back in place of Seamus Coleman.

The frustration was that Leicester were barely in the game from an attacking point of view. Vardy ballooning an early effort towards the corner flag, Rachid Ghezzal drifting a volley well over and Pereira slicing one high and wide of Pickford’s goal was their sum contribution before they scored.

But they only needed one because their hosts were so abject going forward. Sigurdsson came close to levelling within four minutes of Vardy’s strike but his volley crashed over the crossbar before Cenk Tosun, on for the willing but ineffective Walcott, forced a parried save from Kasper Schmeichel with 15 minutes left.

That led to Jonny Evans fouling Richarlison just outside the box but Sigurdsson’s free-kick hit the defensive wall before another defensive slip by Keane went unpunished by Vardy whose shot was saved by Pickford.

It was desperate and uninspiring stuff from Silva’s men in the closing stages, however, with Zouma often leading the charge from the back trying to make something happen while the Blues struggled for any idea that didn’t involve lashing the ball in from the flanks.

Tosun had one last chance to rescue the one point that Everton ever looked capable of earning on the day when he won a stoppage time corner and popped up with a header at the back post but Schmeichel had it covered and made the blocking save to ensure another defeat for the sinking Toffees.

There was so much about this laboured, guileless display that recalled countless games over the years where Goodison Park has been frustrated by a team looking like it’s going nowhere under another manager; one exhibiting the same, tired lack of creativity, ideas, penetration and goal threat.

On the one hand, with the exception of Gomes today (who hasn’t looked right since he took that knock against Spurs) you can point to each of the new signings as being an upgrade on the other options previously available and, in the context of the longer-term project which we must constantly try to do even on days like this, that is a positive.

Brands will be formulating his strategy for the summer and lining up his targets but, without an injection of some genuine quality this month, it’s looking like a tortuous grind through the rest of the season as many players more or less play for their Goodison futures.

On the other hand, the gruelling Festive fixture programme notwithstanding, the fact that Silva appears to be powerless to address this post-derby slump that has made even improving on last season’s eighth-place berth less and less likely is of growing concern.

He is still unsure of his best formation and line-up, remains too reactive rather proactive in his substitutions, and the collapse in form that eventually cost him his job at Watford a year ago is in danger of playing out again if he can't find a way to arrest it.

Unless true disaster unfolds at Goodison on Saturday, the cup game should give all concerned at Everton a respite and a chance to refocus before the visit of Bournemouth, a team that will ask many more questions offensively than Leicester did today.

Unsettlingly, it’s hard to muster much confidence that things will be vastly different against the Cherries but they will have to be.

Follow @Everton1an

Reader Comments (146)

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Jimmy Hogan
1 Posted 01/01/2019 at 17:04:10
It's a bit of a worry, isn't it?
Brent Stephens
2 Posted 01/01/2019 at 17:11:59
They fuck you up, your manager and team. They may not mean to but they do. Man hands on misery to man (apologies to Mrs Larkin's boy).

What a rotten empty feeling and a felt need to lash out. It's the players, the manager, Moshiri, Kenwright, Brexit.

We're all agreed that we can't agree whose fault it is nor which other manager we should bring in – assuming he's available and tempted. How can things go so tits up in the short time since Anfield minute 96?

I doubt Silva is going anywhere fast (in any sense, sadly), so I'm accepting he'll be here beyond next summer.

And I doubt the January window, like every other January window, is going to bring opportunities to buy quality players, so I'm resigned to looking forward to the summer window and looking out of the winter window for now (god, I wish it would at least snow).

Tony Everan
3 Posted 01/01/2019 at 17:39:30
It's a sorry day when we are whittling about the arrival of Bournemouth in 2 weeks time.

The murmurings of unrest are already surfacing. There will be an eruption of sorts if we get more of this ineffective play against Bournemouth.

I want the project to get back on track, the last thing the club needs is more upheaval.

Kunal Desai
4 Posted 01/01/2019 at 17:46:25
I can see things getting very very ugly over the coming months — especially at Goodison Park.
Paul Birmingham
5 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:14:38
It's gonna be a tough road ahead.

The overhaul of this squad and bring in 6-7, proven, players means seeing this season out will be the tough.

The manager has only been here 6 months and must be judged on the results at the end of this season and this time next year.

The only positives I take is that the last 6 weeks games have highlighted there's no strength in depth in this squad. The players must decide if they want to fight and play for EFC or go elsewhere.

It won't be easy off-loading and attracting top players to the club. Is the rebuild supposed to be a roller coaster ride? I'd say there's bound to be plenty of bumps in the road.

Of late, this team look ready for the knackers yard, as every team seems faster and fitter than ours.

I've not felt so disillusioned with EFC for a long time. Farhad's millions will be more than needed, but how Brands will find replacements – new forwards, RW, RB, AM, player maker –will be interesting. Hopefully he's gonna unearth some stars from somewhere.

Lincoln will have no fear, and it's the type of game where you sense more self-inflicted mistakes giving away chances and goals. Simple things like keeping position from Pickford'ss kicks, due to his haphazard kicks needs working on. How many times do our corners and wide free kicks fail to beat the first man???

Every aspect of the game needs working on, and so it makes you think what goes on at Finch Farm. Today, it looked like the team had been out on the ale last night, based on the total lack of drive and belief from most of the team. Gana, Zouma, and Kenny are the only ones who can take some credit.

They weren't; why is it EFC fail to deceive and are the most certain nap to screw up my fixed odds? Shocking day, too many days like this.

Here's to a good night TWrs.🍺

Gareth Williams
6 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:14:55
I don't know why they appointed Marco Silva in the first place. What has he ever done?

I can't see him lasting in the job the way the results are going...

Chris Watts
7 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:23:06
I've supported Silva over the course of the season and really thought it has been better than last season – we've created way more chances and it's been mostly good to watch.

But this was back to the levels of last season and something doesn't look right in the squad. Silva looks like a rabbit in the headlights. We seem to come out worse in the 2nd half every game, this match mirrored Brighton in that it was 0-0 at half-time, they came out better in the first 15 mins and score and we never look like equalising.

It is worrying that we have only got 2 points all season when we've gone 1-0 down. In fact, as soon as we concede, it hasn't once looked like we'd come back all season and this is starting to look like a major issue. I'm still in the keeping Silva camp but an improvement is needed – and 3 top players in January

Gary Fenton
8 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:33:18
Someone pinch me so, when I wake, we can actually pass to each other keep possession and even hit the target with the odd goal or few, not dropping down the table each week. One good win every few weeks is not good enough.

They train each day to play 90 minutes but, for some reason, whatever they do at Finch Farm is a mystery – do they pass to each other at Finch Farm or just sit and drink their special drinks and go through the motions?

Over 60 now and I've never been this disillusioned with our beloved Everton. Something is rotten at our club, this can not keep happening again and again with all these managers and players coming in and out.

If someone can enlighten me as to what they think is going wrong and why what do we need to do? Suggestions on a postcard to Everton Football (?) Club...

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:37:42
When is the last time we won a game that we fell behind in? I can't recall it and I'd like to know if anyone has the answer, it certainly isn't this season.

So that tells you everything about the lack of character and leadership out on the pitch. When we concede the first goal we are literally dead-men walking.

I can't see any game being easy from here on in and I never subscribed anyway to that club that, once we had played the top six away from home in December, it would be points galore.

It doesn't work like that and truth be told we are not as good as Wolves right this minute nor Leicester so why should we finish 7th or 8th.

Both those sides seem to have greater leadership and better in game management with players doing the simple things right.

Yet again today we conceded another goal that you wouldn't even see on a school playground.

It's pathetic.

Simon Dalzell
10 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:49:10
Utter garbage. Let's hope we can sign a player or two and turn this around soon.

A big thanks to Lyndon, Michael, and all the good people working hard to make ToffeeWeb possible, and best wishes to Evertonians everywhere.

Mark Tanton
11 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:50:45
Oh how we could have done with a Moyes comeback today (quite rare too), but I remember Radzinski scoring two goals against Southampton, and Yakubu blasting us back into the game against Portsmouth.
Marcus Taylor
12 Posted 01/01/2019 at 18:58:19
Jim #9

It could well be Swansea at home last season. It was a Monday night game near to Christmas. Leroy Fer opened the scoring for the Swans and then Rooney and Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin scored to give us a 3-1 win.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:01:48

You are right, I've just searched it and found out the last time we came from behind to win was Swansea, December 2017 under Allardyce.

It just proves really that we are a team with no alternative plan once the initial one doesn't work... and also that we are quite weak mentally.

Jamie Carroll
14 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:05:56
Well, what do people expect when Everton keep selling their best players and buying players from relegated and Championship teams?

Everton have had hammerings under Harvey, Kendall Mk 2, Walker, Royle, Kendall Mk 3, Smith, Moyes, Martinez, Koeman and now Silva.

Everton need to start buying players that are good enough for the top 4 clubs – not from relegated teams.

Marcus Taylor
15 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:12:49
Jim #13

I remember a couple of other games we managed it last season. Once under Koeman and once with Unsworth: Niasse came off the bench at 0-1 and scored twice to win the game against Bournemouth. And then the 0-2 down, 3-2 win against Watford. No prizes for guessing who managed them that day...

Last time we did it in an away game? I reckon it was August 2016 vs West Brom. Barry and Mirallas scored after we conceded early on. It was Koeman's first win as Everton manager.

John Raftery
16 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:18:49
At the start of the season, I thought we would do well to match last season's points total of 49 and a finishing position of 7th. That is looking increasingly unlikely.

I do believe the 2018 signings, improved the team initially but now that Richarlison and Gomes have suffered a dip in form we are compelled to address the fundamentals of defensive play. That was sadly lacking today with Keane, who has improved dramatically on last season's poor form, letting himself and the team down with a lack of concentration. Vardy punishes mistakes like that as a matter of course.

So, for the next few games at least, a pragmatic manager would batten down the hatches, instruct the team to keep clean sheets and be prepared to settle for a point if they cannot eke out a win. We do not possess enough attacking strength at present to be able to go into games against mid-table teams thinking we must score at least two goals in order to win.

Keeping the opposition out is a first step in halting a run of defeats. Is Silva willing or able to do that? Will the fans accept it if he does?

Pat Kelly
17 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:30:11
Football is as much about mentality as it is about skill. There is no confidence, self-belief or desire in the team at present.

Unfortunately, Silva doesn't strike me as someone who can instil these qualities in the team when they hit a bad patch. Nor is he a tactical genius by any means.

I really don't know what he offers. Can anyone suggest what he brings to the club?

Kevin Harnan
18 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:36:26
You can push this around as much as you like. The problem is deadwood. This is what this manager has been left with. Offload asap and go out and buy two bog-standard centre-forwards, Charlie Austin or Connor of Burnley wont cost the world... Otherwise, we're in trouble.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:36:52
What churns me most is that Everton no longer seem to be able to eek out a win when not really playing well.

We did it against Cardiff in November and it was actually very satisfying to get a narrow 1-0 win and a clean sheet despite not really being at it.

Under Moyes, we had that knack of pinching at least half a dozen 1-0 wins per season, it was granite defending and high energy pressing at its best.

We just don't stretch games enough and,because we can't eek out or grind out enough wins, when it's not happening up front, then you wonder how this can ever be much better than it currently is.

I get sick of hearing about strikers not getting service. Do fans not ask whether one of the reasons our strikers don't get service is because, whenever our midfielders get on the ball, none of our forwards ever seem to make a run and make themselves available?

It's not about a lack of service, as a striker, you should be constantly moving and looking to work the defence that you are up against not stand there like a mannequin in a shop window. Our players just don't do it, they don't do it anywhere near enough.

Talk about a lack of service, how much of the ball did Vardy see? What he does though is sniff out opportunities and he's constantly smelling a goal-scoring chance, he got one and he scored it.

There is the difference and there is why I said 18 months ago we needed to break the bank for Jamie Vardy and we might have seen this frustrating club we support a little bit further down the line by now instead of banging our heads against a brick wall.

John Graham
20 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:43:02
Not good at the moment. Hopefully just a little dip and lack of confidence, especially with our home form.

We just need a couple of things to go our way so we can get back on track. I don't think it's helping changing the formation from game to game. We've got to stick with the same team and tactics for a couple of games.

I still believe we will get it right, but it will take time and, even though January isn't a good time to get a good signing, I think we just need to liven things up a bit.


Joe McMahon
21 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:48:14
Mark @11, yes; twice in 11 years.
Neil Cremin
22 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:02:16
We wanted a team playing attacking football. We got it, however, we also got a team who leak goals. Result now losing more games than we win and are no better than this time last year.

Be careful for what we wish for. I for one would take a couple of boring Moyes type 1-0 wins for the moment.

Chris Watts
23 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:03:29
Jim, I agree about the movement of the forwards. Comparing Calvert-Lewin's movement to Mane Salah or Aguero is a non-starter.

Unfortunately, he's not aggressive and powerful, like Costa; in the place at the right time, like Shearer, Fowler, or Lineker; doesn't hold up play, like Sheringham; or have terrifying pace, like Owen. He's just not a top striker – think of what Michael Owen was like at 21. And 3 years earlier, he had set the World Cup on fire.

The debate about whether he's good enough is so false, there is little point in responding to it anymore.

I wonder if our lack of strikers is what has unsettled the team? I imagine having a proven goal scorer like Shearer would instill confidence in the team when not playing well.

Think about how many games this season we've had multiple chances and lost. Arsenal springs to mind. It must have dissolved the confidence of the rest of the team.

Anthony A Hughes
24 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:07:49
What attacking football are we're playing though? We're barely scoring goals, creating chances, or having shots on target.

There seems to be this mantra being repeating over and over that we have this new style of entertaining football under Silva — I'm just not seeing it myself, no matter how much it gets repeated.

Paul Swan
25 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:13:56
I thought, after the Burnley game, this match would be a yardstick. What a completely flat gutless performance. It was almost expected by the crowd, optimism and noise extinguished within five minutes of the kick-off.

The parallels with the previous managers are stark. He is now even gibberish incoherently like Martinez in interviews. No Plan A or B. Pointless ineffective substitutions which had no effect on the pattern of the game. A complete lack of motivation.

Silva continually pisses about with formation and personnel at the back but continues to use the same car-crash players in certain critical positions. Walcott is abysmal but is in good company with Sigurdsson, Keane, Richarlison, Tosun. Too many players who have zero influence on games and are stealing a living hiding in plain sight on the pitch week after week.

Week-in & week-out you can almost write the match report before the game starts. “A critical mistake was made by Keane*, Mina*, Pickford*, Coleman*, Kenny*” *= delete as appropriate

Calls to bring in younger players are deluded. Yes, we have an U23 team which compete well in their competition. Go to their games and see the football they play – lovely stuff. All look comfortable on the ball and can play the ball around nicely but put any one of them in front of players who close down space and compete at any level comparable with first team football and they fall flat on their face.

We need more leadership, both on and off the field.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:14:31
I see better football, Anthony, but I see players in key forward positions also not being quite good enough.

Richarlison, good player, but getting pushed from pillar to post, when it's obvious he needs both a rest, and a change in attitude.

Calvert-Lewin, I think he's got a chance, but we need better right now... and Walcott, who I find myself uttering under my breath every game, "You haven't got enough desire, Theo, lad."

Ian Riley
27 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:28:21
Those individuals questioning the appointment of Silva. Well, Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce were apparently not good enough. Sorry to say it but, unless we stay with Silva, we will be back to square one next season. Who is next for the golden hot seat? Who is out there looking for a payout?

Sorry but Walcott was done before he arrived. If Tosun can't get ahead of Calvert-Lewin. Time to go. Sorry, our defence has no composure.

My worry with Silva is he has no Plan B. Are these players up for a fight? We are dripping with no confidence. My belief is Silva needs time. Players need to go and come in. Success takes time.

Realistically did we expect big things this season?

Michael Lynch
28 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:31:07
We're all parroting this line about how Silva is producing better attacking football, but we look absolutely fucking dreadful up front, and at the same time we're shocking in defence.

A bunch of headless chickens whose best chance of intimidating the opposition is to make them fall on their arses laughing at our incompetence, does not make a great attacking side.

To be fair, Silva's brand of football has got us up on our feet, but only so we can get out of the ground early to end our fucking misery at the shite we're watching.

Ralph Basnett
29 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:35:44
So what is the answer?

We are all potential managers so I will start with my team:

Pickford, Kenny, Mina, Zouma, Digne, McCarthy, Gomes, Gueye, Richarlison, Lookman, Bernard.

Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Walcott, Kean, Davies, two kids.

Training should be on formations, set pieces, drills.

As professional athletes they have to manage their own levels, we look tired so it will not help feasting them on training sessions.

This is a team low on confidence, low on ability and no sense of direction, I'm old school and don't believe in hugs. They are earning a lot of money and now need to start producing.


Wes Ray
30 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:58:43
Pat @17 said it all. What Silva has brought to us? A system? Identity? Inspiration? Ideology? Belief?

The team is fragile as anything and nothing has improved. It is obvious that players don't believe in, trust or understand what he is asking from them. There is no system in place to revert into when under pressure.

All tactical changes come out from the previous match, reactively. Meaning that we don't have any real idea in our play or any direction we are supposed to be heading. Silva is just winging it and hoping for the best. We do have players who can make a difference, in a good day. But that can't be the way forward.

Silva didn't have a real pedigree coming into this job. But, like many, I was ready to support him, hoping that with a financial backing he would be able to bring on a clear system and determination to follow it through. It has not worked out, which in my mind is not that dramatic.

Time to move on and make a clear, determined statement with our next manager, before we turn into a permanent laughing stock. The manager is still the most important factor in any team; we can't fantasize that by buying better and better players a top manager is somehow born. We will end up with an incompetent manager and worst kind of mercenaries as players. Recipe for success?

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 01/01/2019 at 21:11:02
Lyndon, unfortunately, team selection has come too late, as Silva's inconsistency is demotivating the team.

The players that have been brought in have added to the team and some of the inherited squad have improved, largely because of the new players they now play with. The poor transfer policy of Walsh, aided by Koeman and Allardyce, still haunts us and Brands is continuing his plan sorting it out as he will in the future.

The problem I have is with Silva's inconsistent team selection and tactics, the poor coaching of players, and no coaching at all. I was hoping that Silva would be able to develop Everton's existing players. As stated above, some have improved, because of the new additions, but others haven't due to inconsistent selection, tactics, and lack of coaching, particularly in defence and the forward line.

The amount of crosses from the right wing is too high. Though the obvious fading of Coleman is part of the reason, the problem has never been addressed. The coaching of players to deal with such crosses in, cutting them out and defending against them, does not seem to take place. Kenny improved things today. This also translated into defending set pieces.

The other problem is, when things are not going right, Everton's players can be caught in two minds, resulting in the proverbial Everton defensive mistake, as with Keane today.

The play in the final third looks as if it is never coached, Silva's attitude seems to be "You're a forward, score!" Making space, getting into position, overlapping, one-twos, retaining possession, drawing defenders out of position, interchanging play seem uncoached and ignored. High press in word, not deed seems to be the order of the day; the players are not being coached to maintain it.

Credit to Calvert-Lewin, he has worked it out. . . but – with no midfield support, blind-alley Richarlison, and touchless Walcott – he stands little chance. Their play shows they are not aware where the emphasise should be.

Bernard should play before Richarlison and Lookman (if he did anything he would be an improvement) before Walcott. Even Davies before Walcott. Anyone before Walcott.

Silva's inconsistency in selection: changing players in positions, playing players out of position, and playing players who are not performing, doesn't help. How he encourages players and takes the carpet from under them will never build anything. How he can show favouritism to certain players is detrimental to the team and motivation. There is no evidence of any coaching from the so-called loyal backroom staff.

Finally, Silva's lack of understanding of midfield and its importance in the Premier League is now apparent. It took a while for Silva to come up with a midfield trio that operated as they should, but it appears that this happened by accident rather than design, because, during the festive fixtures, opposition teams can easily set up and nullify it and its influence on the team. In the last game, he did away with it all together.

This lack of understanding or awareness has been the main reason for recent loses. In today's game, Puel instructed his midfield to spoil play, by breathing down Gomes's neck and sticking the foot in just to knock the ball. (I use to do this very effectively myself. ) It worked, breaking up the midfield trio play and nullifying any central attack, forcing Everton down the channels.

All very predictable and easy defended. A real confidence boost for the opposition defence. Just like herding sheep. Gomes's Rioja-fuelled passing was diabolical today, anyway. Silva didn't react and his substitution showed he hadn't a clue what was going wrong and didn't understand the importance of the midfield trio. Puel did.

Though Everton are in transition, consistency will never be achieved if the manager is inconsistent. The Everton team reeks of inconsistency: player selection, tactics and coaching. Silva now sprouts inconsistency in his press outings.

There will be no transfers in, because, in the Summer, Silva was given a budget which he has spent. Serious movement out hasn't taken place yet for any movement in. Value has not been added to potiential movers anyway. The panic buy of Walcott and Tosun last January is a lesson learnt.

Silva's main problem now is that his words ring hollow when he doesn't appear to carry them out. His inability to address recurring problems is becoming a hallmark of his tenure. Transition is a general movement in the right direction, there has to be evidence of addressing such problems or even evidence of knowledge of them. Other teams have worked out the weaknesses. They are not in the top six. Of course this is their survival bread and butter, but it won't take long for the top six to cop on as well.

After today's game, the chickens have come home to roost for Silva and they are perched in the dressing room.

Dick Fearon
32 Posted 01/01/2019 at 21:15:06
Basics, basics and then more basics.

We lose possession too often from our own goal clearances, throw-ins, free-kicks and corners.

We are poor at defending corners and free-kicks. Too many of our attacks end up in 'dead' areas near corner flags.

We urgently need a striker with a bit of presence.

I could list other weaknesses but I wonder what good it would do.?

Peter Jansson
33 Posted 01/01/2019 at 21:27:17
You can all say what you want but we need to change formation since our 4-2-3-1 formation does not work. The offense through the midfield is dead with this formation that limits our offensive to the left and right wing. This is just too easy for opponents to deal with, resulting in us not creating enough chances and goals.

We need a formation and strategy that can help us to create more chances through the central midfield. Since we lack quality players in the central midfield, we need to have a formation that adapt to this and add a player in the central location to not get run over.

John Boon
34 Posted 01/01/2019 at 21:31:39
It's difficult to agree with those who feel that we don't have good enough players. I think we have good players who are generally playing badly, Getting the best out of players is considered to be the manager's job. For whatever reasons, Silva seems to have lost his players.

I think what has happened at Man Utd of late shows how Mourino had lost the support of the good players that he had. I don't think we should even consider getting rid of Silva but someone needs to let him know that this is just not good enough.

I think today's players are spoiled and overpaid but so are the Managers. They should not get ridiculous settlements when they are fired. It should be made clear that, when you come to a Club, you are expected to succeed and if you don't, you are gone and don't get anything for being a bad manager.

We have so many examples of lousy managers who are hired and are quite happy to be fired, get a huge pay off, and then move to another club to screw one more team before they are fired once again. It is a ridiculous roundabout that never seems to end.

For some illogical reasoning on my part it is the main reason that I don't want to see Silva fired. I just don't want to see him pick up a huge settlement and then move on, while naive Everton introduce one more "Dickhead" destined to promise everything and produce nothing.

I really don't know why it should bother me. It's not my money. However, after supporting my beloved team for many many years I have probably become irrational, I am sure there must be a high incidence of mental instability amongst frustrated Evertonians.

Andy Meighan
35 Posted 01/01/2019 at 21:44:46
There is no better football. That is a total myth and a fallacy. The football is no better or worse than what it was under Koeman and Allardyce. And people saying it is are only kidding themselves.

Like the Brighton game, once they scored, everyone in that ground knew it was game over today We created nothing and Schmeichel didn't have a save to make.

We've got players who hide when we go behind and players who don't have the ability to create opportunities. Bernard put a lovely ball in there today but not one of our strikers gambled. Shocking! The likes of Vardy would have gobbled that up all day long. A sad performance from a sad side.

Frank McGregor
36 Posted 01/01/2019 at 22:02:17
Where does one start after the last several games of poor performances, I guess, as the saying goes, focus on the next game coming up.

As Everton supporters we must be ready to accept a loss to Lincoln in the FA Cup.

The next 16 weeks will determine whether we achieve the 40 points required to stay in the Premier League or get relegated to the Championship which is a distinct possibility the supporters have to face up to.

The discussions about the manager and support staff will be a moot point at that stage.

Andy Crooks
37 Posted 01/01/2019 at 22:28:17
Poor stuff again. Confidence is so fragile in this team that we have some players hiding. Frankly, it takes a strong character to take chances and risk the wrath of the crowd and we lack one. The team seems permeated with fear and only the coach can address that.

Not long ago, this looked like a team. Now it is not a team I would be happy to have a young player in. Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and even Keane need to see confidence and will around them. Not the delicate Gomes, the lamentable Walcott, the diving Richarlison, or the in-and-out Sigurdsson. We need some anger and passion.

But please, let know one mention Duncan "the legend" Ferguson as a provider. He should have been booted out with the previous failures.

It seems to me that too many at the club GET Everton... They GET, that there is a pay-day for life.

Peter Laing
38 Posted 01/01/2019 at 22:38:16
Silva is coming in for criticism due to the recent poor run. Comparing his stats to his spells at Hull and Watford do not make pretty reading with a % win rate of around 30% at each of the Premier League clubs that he's managed.

It begs the question why Everton keep appointing Managers that have presided over relegation? We've tried the busted flush of a Manager with international pedigree in the shape of Koeman – although this was based upon his name as opposed to his Managerial achievement.

Personally, I think Moshiri should have been looking to get somebody in like Ancelotti who has a proven track record

Danny Broderick
39 Posted 01/01/2019 at 23:12:35
Our problem is the final third in a nutshell. The last 2 games have shown that the defence is generally doing okay. In centre mid, Gueye and Gomes are potentially a good partnership, although Gomes has been crap in the last 2 games and needs a rest. But whoever plays in front of this lot is simply not doing it.

Sigurdsson has been the best of a bad lot. But Richarlison is way out of form and has been a passenger for the last month or so. Walcott and Bernard the same. Calvert-Lewin has flashes but they are rare and he needs a loan spell to see if he can cut it before he is ready for our first team. Tosun and Niasse aren't the answer, while Lookman is too raw in my opinion.

The biggest worry I have is that these players are not without ability. Any player can have a bad game or run of games, but they all seem off the pace at the same time. They have forgotten how to link up collectively. Their form has gone off a cliff. They don't seem to know how to attack any more.

The sight of Gueye or Zouma striding forward forcing the issue is a worry, because they are having to do it because the creative players have gone missing. I have to say that we lack a leader also. Seeing Sigurdsson wearing the armband doesn't inspire confidence. Where are our leaders?

I think we need a talisman striker again. Someone who doesn't give a fuck who can get the players and fans going again. Trouble is, where do you find him now?

Bob Parrington
40 Posted 01/01/2019 at 23:14:06
Not much to add to others on this. Frustrating to watch us play worse than even parts of last season. We need a player who can set the pace of the game.

Leicester set the pace and we had nobody in the team who could slow it down at times. We were rushed in to everything and hence possibly the worst number of failed passes/receipts of the ball recorded over the past 2 seasons.

Another suggestion – we are in desperate need of a proper Captain!

Jerome Shields
41 Posted 01/01/2019 at 23:35:22
Peter #38,

Silva was the only candidate for the job, no-one else wanted it. Brands was asked to talk to Silva, though the Board had already agreed terms.

Brands was not involved in employing Silva or the 3-year contract, since Brands himself was not under contract till the following week.

Though, with Brands in place, Everton are at least getting suitable players, who previously would have not come to Everton. The only hope is that Brands has a suitable manager in mind, who is prepared to take Everton on, with a complete clean out of the backroom staff.

Silva has made Brands job – getting rid of the deadwood –more difficult and it would take a different manager to hold on to Lookman and get the better on-loan players back and willing play for Everton.

It's unlikely that any risks will be taken in the January transfer window; they wouldn't want to make the same mistake of signing a Walcott or a Tosun. . . which is a real danger based on Silva's current performance. Silva's three new players is a pipe dream.

At least we have Brands; before this, we had no-one. The problems in Everton were as deep as the Mersey. . . and stank a lot more!

Jim Bennings
42 Posted 01/01/2019 at 23:46:52
Out of our 11 games at Goodison Park this season in the Premier League, we have only kept 3 clean sheets. It's not enough and the bedrock for any successful season needs to be getting a steeliness back at Goodison Park.

It's been too easy for the likes of Leicester, Watford and Newcastle to come and damage us and obviously we allowed Spurs the freedom of the town to run riot.

Things need to start changing and fast. Bournemouth at home next... another free-scoring team and one that regularly punishes our defence. Fail to win that one then we are probably staring at a bottom-half finish.

Mark Testrow
43 Posted 01/01/2019 at 00:02:57
Jim, if we have another month like December, then we will be sucked into a relegation fight – never mind just below the top half.
Dave Bowen
44 Posted 02/01/2019 at 00:25:11
Jose Mourinho isn’t busy. Can he come & park the bus? Discuss?
Laurie Hartley
45 Posted 01/01/2019 at 00:28:48
Danny # 39 - you have got to the heart of the problem - we haven’t got a leader in the middle of the park.

This is not just a question of ability, it is also about temperament. That is the player we have to sign in January

Zouma is playing his heart out for us. Gueye doesn’t know how to do anything else but give 110%. Bernard is a very clever footballer - how Walcott can start before him baffles me.

But we lack that midfield general to get the best out of Bernard, Richarlison and whoever is selected as striker.

If you went on yesterday’s game that would be Tosun who at least had three attempts on goal in his short time on the pitch.

When will it end? It will won’t it?

Graeme Beresford
46 Posted 02/01/2019 at 00:51:58
I'm sick to death of this now; if we can't win our home games, then the simple fact of the matter is we aren't going to improve. That's now Watford, Newcastle and Leicester who have taken points off us at home, being frank it just isn't good enough. Losers mentality and clueless tactics from what is looking like a clueless tactician in Mr Silva.

I don't know where to start. Instead of pussy-footing around week after week, bringing different players in – why don't we just find out best team and play it, week-in & week-out.

Also, find a tactic that seems to work for that team. Not playing 5-3-2 or the crap we have to endure. Why not just rip off Liverpool's tactics, having the players running in training all week, encourage the full-backs to bomb up the pitch, and tell the midfielders when you get to the edge of the area, if there's no way through, lift a cross in, and then mess up the clearance out and worst comes to worst have a bloody shot.

I thought I was frustrated under Koeman and Allardyce but my patience is already gone with Silva. I want him gone, in a heartbeat. He again, is simply not good enough to manage our club. We have all said it time and time again. We need a winner, proven winner, who can come and not manage but LEAD the team to victory.

For all the pain of watching Klopp running onto the pitch to celebrate the derby goal, at least the guy wants to win; what do we get? A slight smile when we're winning and a shake of the head when we're not.

The passion has gone from the club. Morishi and Kenwright have appointed some terrible managers since Moyes and I wonder who else has applied for the job in our laughing stock merry go round manager search.

We aren't even becoming a joke – we are one. I'm almost done with supporting this nonsense, too many players not good enough, coaches not good enough, managers not good enough, tactics and formations not good enough. It really is just a sorry state of affairs. Supporting Everton, you are just about to enter Loserville... sorry —you're in it.

Mark Testrow
47 Posted 02/01/2019 at 01:23:55
Graeme, you missed out West Ham and Huddersfield at home also.
Jerome Shields
48 Posted 02/01/2019 at 03:46:39
John #34. I agree that Everton and Brands are heading in the right direction; it's Silva's management inconsistencies that are coming under scrutiny.
Henry Lloyd
49 Posted 02/01/2019 at 07:09:03
Well... I have said it on every thread possible so here goes again..

Marco Silva is a Manager who has achieved and more importantly won fuck all... Just to clarify that is nothing.

I have read some fantastic posts about you cannot keep changing the Manager... Newsflash!! Yes, you can. It is the only way to find the right one especially in our clubs Position because as a lot of people have said... "its cheaper than buying shit Players!! Get rid of him his coaching staff and all the shit players HE brought in!!!

Lets let this twat run to the end of the Season and ( I personally believe he will be sacked or resign before then) in my most humble opinion...

And then wait for someone with a solitary brain cell to give the job to someone at least with experience. (Fat Sam not included... but, let's face it, he did the fucking job he was asked to do, did he not???)

Sick of Everton and the people that run Everton — they are making a mockery of the Most Famous Club in the world: My Everton!!

Gary Fenton
50 Posted 02/01/2019 at 07:51:28
Henry (49),

I fully agree – I could not have put it better myself.

We need a winner, not a 30% sort of guy who has not proved nothing.

Henry Lloyd
51 Posted 02/01/2019 at 07:59:25
Gary @50

Thanks, mate, not many people agree with me!

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:02:38
Especially for a club in our position? Henry, you talk like we are in the midst of a relegation battle, and which player/players who we signed this summer do you think are shite?
Henry Lloyd
53 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:08:51
Well, Tony, where do I begin?

Let me just say, I don't think we will enter any kind of relegation battle.

Gomes, Bernard and Mina – Silva can take them with him, to answer your question; the jury is out on Digne... good player in a shit team.

Richarlison is without a doubt the most overrated Premier League player in history. That alone tells me that Silva is useless.

Would you like me to go on??

Mike Kehoe
54 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:21:33
It seems like lots of people's heads have fallen off on here. Did they expect us suddenly to be pushing for a Champion's League place with Tosun, Niasse and up front?

There must be a reason why Walcott keeps getting games but he clearly isn't up for the challenge, which would be exactly the reason Wenger let him go.

I'm no cheerleader for Silva and some of his choices are strange and there doesn't seem to be a Plan B. We are terribly predictable and teams can suss us out and easily nullify our potential dangers: this is exactly where a top striker makes all the difference.

We lack movement and guile in the final third that is where big changes are needed urgently. And who is the manager people feel is the right man for the job? It is ridiculous to be calling for his head so soon into his tenure with only one transfer window in.

The football is much better than under Koeman or Allardyce but even Jacob Rees Mogg could have achieved that: as much as people get pissed off about it, this is a transition period and we need to behave like adults: it wouldn't surprise me to see people start flapping about the spectre of relegation and talking about the halcyon days of Allardyce.

The squad is littered with the shite buys of previous managers and clubs aren't lining up to take these expensive misfits off our hands. We need to have some faith in Brands and Silva as the recruitment side looks good: getting actual money for Klaassen is little short of miraculous.

A decent FA Cup run is the best we can realistically expect this season and the meek exit against Southampton was piss poor management: he should have taken that competition seriously. It must be very difficult to motivate millionaire players who have no emotional connection to Everton: we see players from an ability side but we can't have much insight into their characters.

This season will hurt us a lot more than it will hurt them.

Henry Lloyd
55 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:23:23
Obviously, Tony, you have been around for a long time on this site and you have posted some very agreeable and also very sensible material.

I am extremely angry, and that may well be reflected in some of the things I have said and I don't mean to offend anyone.

But I am sticking by everything I have said about this manager because I am right.

The players he has brought in are average at best. That is not to say an experienced manager cannot make them better.

Deep Breath... Exhale... Relax... COYB.

Henry Lloyd
56 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:26:15
Mike @54,

Every single word you just said was directed towards the manager...

What am I missing here???

Henry Lloyd
57 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:43:18

You Said...

"It seems like lots of people's heads have fallen off on here. Did they expect us suddenly to be pushing for a champion's league place with Tosun, Niasse and Calvert-Lewin up front? There must be a reason why Walcott keeps getting games but he clearly isn't up for the challenge, which would be exactly the reason Wenger let him go. I'm no cheerleader for Silva and some of his choices are strange and there doesn't seem to be a Plan B. We are terribly predictable and teams can suss us out and easily nullify our potential dangers."

No Evertonian on the planet thought we would Make top 4 and pushing For Top 6 was the best we could hope for in any serious supporters minds.

This doesn't mean you can lose at Brighton and then lose at Home to fucking Leicester!!!! That is the manager's fault 100%.

Mike Kehoe
58 Posted 02/01/2019 at 08:57:46
Henry, I'm not sure what you mean ‘every single word about the manager' it isn't. I asked the question ‘What do people expect?' Which is to say the club has been in the doldrums for an very long time and that progress will not be instant; and expecting an immediate upturn is unreasonable.

I asked who is the identified manager that will come in and suddenly be getting those forwards banging in goals and keeping clean sheets? It's a well-trodden path talking about how Kevin Brock's back pass saved Kendall and the success that followed and the campaign against Ferguson (Out Before Easter) and the game has changed so much in years between.

Everton has stagnated for many years and catching up to sides who are regularly in the Champions League will, in my humble opinion, take more than one transfer window.

I can't imagine many experienced successful managers wanting to come to Everton at the moment, same as top players may not fancy us to deliver the success they crave. The Everton brand needs work and that will take years to achieve as the gulf between us and top four is there for all to see.

I have heard some saying Rome wasn't built in a day. Now I'm not suggesting Silva is Michelangelo but, if the Cistene Chapel was being supervised by a small section of ToffeeWeb the cry would be to ‘Stop fucking about and hit it with magnolia'.

Jim Bennings
59 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:02:41
When all is said and done, we are a club in a mess if this managerial appointment doesn't work out.

This is Moshiri's baby, he headhunted Silva for so long 14 months ago and was clearly so desperate to get his man that he had to pay off Allardyce and throw more money away on him to bring the out-of-work Marco Silva here.

This from Moshiri's point of view more than most, simply has to work.

How long he gives Silva is anyone's guess because he was quick on the trigger when it came to Koeman and Allardyce and also wasn't willing to give Martinez the summer of 2016 to sort out the mess he was in.

The next 10 games are really big at this club.

Henry Lloyd
60 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:03:04
I appreciate your humour Mike at the end there, it did make me smile for the first time in a few days!

Look, none of us are experts but as passionate fans we know where we are and we all know that Silva is NOT the future no matter how many "windows" he gets.

That in essence is my point it has been while we were considering getting him... My cry then was Why??

We have to start again from scratch – get rid of Silva and start again. Nobody can see that??

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:03:09
I understand your frustration, Henry, although I don't agree with you just yet.

Richarlson has got the jury out, with me. Still very young, he does some stupid things, and his antics won't wash for much longer, or have we become a different fan-base now? He's getting pushed from pillar to post, he needs a rest, but the kid can definitely play though IMO.

Gomes can play, but again the jury is out. Same with Mina, again the jury being out.

Digne, looks a very good player, so does Zouma, who unfortunately is only on loan, and I personally think Bernard has the ability to become our best signing.

All these players are better than what was already at the club, bar a very little minority, and this seems to be the biggest problem right now.

Play a few games without a recognised centre-forward, and you might get away with it, but once you get used to playing without one, then it's only going to have a negative effect.

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:12:13
Funny, Mike, but it would deffo be “Paint it Black”.
Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:20:16
One of your more sensible posts Jim B, but if you start looking too far ahead, then you usually get lost, so I'd just keep it to a very, very, very, fucking important game on Saturday.

When did Watford dismiss Silva? He might have managed three clubs in England now, but I'm just wondering if this is the first time he's managed over the Christmas period?

James Byrne
64 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:22:25
It's no surprise that we get on these forums and start to criticise or scrutinise the Manager after a poor run of games, particularly at home. This time of year totally exposes the teams that are shite in this average league, and we are one of those teams! So why are we so bad or inconsistent?

The easy option will be to pinpoint the manager and, in some ways, quite rightly so. The continued playing of Walcott alone (IMO) will see the downfall of Silva. Walcott wouldn't make the bench at most clubs and he doesn't even look interested most of the time. Yet he is always selected.

Over the past few months, some key areas have highlighted the issues we see now. 1) Our attacking ability. 2) Our fitness and 3) the goalkeeping set up.

If you look at the backroom staff under Silva you might find some of the weaknesses from behind the scenes. We have Duncan Ferguson as the First Team Coach! Does Fergie really have the credentials to be a First Team Coach at a club this size. Both the fitness coach and goalkeeper coach are brought in by Silva and are Portuguese. No disrespect to either but they read quite limited CVs after coming from the Portugal football leagues. Again IMO, the Portuguese leagues are some of the weakest in quality in all of European football. Both of these mentioned backroom members have been with Silva while at Watford and Hull, together with the rest of his core staff.

The confidence and recent performances by Pickford is at an all-time low, so again What the Fuck are the goalkeeping staff doing with one of the brightest goalkeeping prospects in the Premier League.

I think the overall outcome for Silva looks gloomy. His downfall however could be brought on by a backroom team lacking experience and the credentials at this level of football.

Jim Bennings
65 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:24:19

Silva was at Watford until January 2018 when he was then sacked after a poor run and they blamed our unsettling him as the factor.

Surely to God we will beat Lincoln on Saturday, I mean it's not a contest really, is it, to manage to look good against them?

Famous last words!

Dave Abrahams
66 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:24:30
The player I felt sorry for yesterday was Jonjoe Kenny, not that he had a bad game – I thought he was one of the few players who played well – but once again, as in last season, he was brought into a team that has lost its way, a team with no confidence at the moment.

You could see his frustration with some of the players around him, but he has to bite his tongue, grin and bear it, when he wants to tell them to liven up and get a grip of their game, like Keane, an English international who went to pieces once he had made his monumental cock-up.

Then you have Richarlison who is the most wasteful player, after Walcott, even in his good games, watching him make a pass with the outside of his foot, straight to a Leicester player. Fuck the useless clever stuff like that, just make a simple pass to one of your own players.

I could go on and on about individual players and their mistakes in the last few games, ridiculous errors... football is a very simple and easy game to play, it's not chess, just play the game, slow down and look to make a pass to a player with the same coloured shirt as yourself.

Yesterday was a very frustrating game to watch, even for any neutral supporter. It was pityful for every Everton supporter and the quicker it is sorted out, the better it will be for everyone's blood pressure.

Rick Tarleton
67 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:28:25
A few of our correspondents are pointing out how we need a good striker, and believe me they are right, but that isn't our main problem. If we were having stats that said ten shots and no goals, then a striker would be our main problem.

We aren't having any shots, because our midfield creates nothing for a striker. Dean, Lawton, Young, Vernon, Latchford, Royle, Sharp, Gray et alia would have been useless with this midfield.

Gueye does a good job as the defensive cog, but the rest of the midfield is simply lacking in the energy required for this job. Sigurdsson, basically takes corners, some free kicks and penalties, but he rarely makes penetrating runs or defence-splitting passes. His marking, pressing and tackling are a joke. Gomes is clever, but in the parlance of today, he lacks an engine and games seem to pass him by.

So often our defenders are left exposed by this midfield, so often our strikers are left unsupported. Our wide men are luxuries we can't afford: Bernard has god feet, but actually has cameo moments rather than excellent matches; Richarlison goes to ground so quickly and shows little awareness of other players round him. nd as for Walcott, his header yesterday that skewed off sideways and surprised Keane who really ought to have dealt with it, tells you what he contributes to the team effort. Blind runs are Walcott's speciality, that and misdirected passes.

No, I wouldn't want to be a striker in this team, nor a defender.

Jim Bennings
68 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:37:04

I understand what you are saying but hold back for a moment and think logically. Perhaps if our strikers ever made a forward run in behind defences then midfielders would have a ball to play creatively?

Sigurdsson has played numerous great forward defence-splitting passes lately (Richarlisons goal at Burnley?). All I hear where I sit at Goodison when our midfielders are in possession is shouts of “Give him a fuckin ball”.

Meaning strikers should be moving their arse rather than running aimlessly down blind alleys to the corner or more often than not just standing there static getting marked by some 6ft-5in grock defender.

Calvert-Lewin just doesn't possess a strikers brain and doesn't make runs to make himself readily available to get given the ball, he wins a few headers but that's his sum total.

Richarlison has the ability but he again isn't a natural in that position. Tosun has the mobility of an unplugged washing machine and well Niasse is just a comedy act. Maybe our midfielders would pass forwards more if our forwards would “Give them a fuckin ball”.

Derek Taylor
69 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:37:19
Well, Jim, I can't think that any club is likely to be unsettling him now.

I bet Moshiri thinks 'If only!'

Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:40:02
Interesting post, James, I've often wondered how a man who walked away from football, ended up back as a first-team coach at Everton?

No disrespect to Duncan Ferguson, but he must have some fucking ability, to keep keeping his job, every time a manager gets the sack, with my only logical assumption being that he's getting groomed for the job himself?

The point you make about the inexperience of the back-room staff is also a very valid point, especially because of the difference in culture, which we are witnessing right now every week.

A culture that makes me think that Duncan is no more than a patsy because his input does look very limited, although Calvert-Lewin did get across his marker a couple of times yesterday, but couldn't quite direct his headers on target.

Tony Everan
71 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:44:17
Tosun and Niasse need to go for the good of their careers. Calvert-Lewin should be kept as a reserve to the main striker and given the opportunity to develop.

Now we need to buy or even loan a striker. We have nobody who can do the business week in week out at Premier League level. Tosun has been found out in this league, Niasse the same [what were our scouts thinking?] .

The truth is we have not had a focal point at centre-forward for nearly two years.

There is no striker on the agenda. Do they think what we have got is adequate for an expected median of a 7th place finish?

Think again, what we have got at centre-forward is no such thing. Tosun and Niasse wouldn't cut it at Huddersfield, Burnley and certainly wouldn't dislodge Mitrovic at Fulham, Arnautovic at West Ham or Zaha at Crystal Palace.

What I am trying to say is that nearly all Premier League teams have more quality than us at centre-forward.

Since the Lukaku debacle and the total ineptitude of failing to replace quality with quality in the affected position is killing us slowly.

Yes, there is a plethora of other issues but, for me, the single biggest one for 2 years is that we have got no threat at centre-forward. Teams are just not stressed by what we have got there. Average teams are very comfortable against us.

Until Mr Brands sorts this out, I don't see any possibility of any real and consistent improvement. It needs to be addressed or we will continue to struggle.

Tony Abrahams
72 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:51:13
Fair point, Rick, but you don't have to run that far to create space in football, especially if you are a centre-forward who really wants to get involved.

I agree about Walcott, looking good running into blind space, and that's why I'd give him a game up front, but anyone who has been round Arsenal Wenger for all those years, and shows such little nouse, then I personally think there is something in Theo's make-up that is not quite right?

Brian Harrison
73 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:51:47
There is no doubt we are in a very poor run of form and the results in December and yesterday would be classed as relegation form. Thankfully, there are quite a few teams worst than us so I don't see us getting dragged into that scenario.

I would like Marco to tell me what he thinks has changed so much in just a few short weeks. We went into the derby match confident we would give them a game and we matched them in all departments. If it hadn't been for Pickford's cock-up in the last minute would have come away with a draw. Now I know confidence is a big thing especially in sport, but has that 1 game changed our confidence and belief.

Prior to the derby we had been playing really well, albeit missing to many chances to turn draws into victories. But now you can see this is now a team playing with very little confidence, which seems to have effected the form of quite a few of our players.

I can understand why Marco would change the team from time to time to see what works and what doesn't. But probably too many changes in personnel and formations. I am sure he is well aware that this is his big chance in the Premier League at a club with 40,000 fans at every home game and an owner who has already backed him and Brands in the transfer market.

I am as frustrated as every other fan, but Marco had us playing some good stuff when he first came which, if we are all honest, excited even the sceptical ones amongst us. So we need to get behind the team in this tough time and hope we return to playing like we were before the derby game.

Henry Lloyd
74 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:54:43

If Everton lose to Lincoln will Silva get the Sack??

Henry Lloyd
75 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:56:28
Answers on a postcard, please.
Tony Everan
76 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:01:01
Henry @74,

No but he will be on death row, being in the Premier League is the be-all and en- all. If we lose at home against Bournemouth a week later as well Moshiri may think our Premier League status is jeopardised and take action. He will want to give Silva every chance in the world to prove he can do it.

A massive 2 weeks coming up for Marco. If he can get back to our form pre-96th min Liverpool, we can and should win our next four matches, and get the project back on track.

It's all to play for.

Tommy Carter
77 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:03:34
I'm not too dissatisfied with Silva just yet. My observations are:

We have lost a lot of games not through a lack of quality but because of very simple mistakes. A lot of these players seem to lack self-belief. We are ponderous and not ruthless. Time and again, I see our players waiting for something to happen instead of taking charge and making it happen. The derby defeat, which typified this attitude knocked the stuffing out of us.

Otherwise, I'm happy that between Silva and Brands there is a capability of bringing in players who will add quality to what we have. Still plenty of deadwood to move on. Tosun and Niasse will have to go. You can add Lookman to that list too. If we could get any kind of money back for Walcott then I'd take it, his heart just doesn't seem in it any more.

Slightly disappointed that Holgate has been pushed out. Personally, I think he has lots of ability and would have liked to have seen him paired with Mina. Mina to dominate in the air and Holgate to compliment with pace and ability.

Keane is playing because of a hefty price tag. Zouma is a bit hit and miss for me. Great physical attributes but he's like a Distin in that respect. His pace and power are often highlighted as brilliance, when in fact they are an insurance policy for an accident of his own making through poor reading of the game, positioning and first touch.

I'm not panicking yet, but we could do with picking up some points.

Henry Lloyd
78 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:06:49
Tony @76

I disagree, if we lose to Lincoln (as shite as we are, that is not going to happen), Silva would be sacked almost immediately and everyone knows it!

So let's keep our fingers crossed for Marco — surely we don't need a manager to play Lincoln do we?? No disrespect.

Henry Lloyd
79 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:09:08
Tommy @77,

Why on the earth would you "add Lookman to the list"???

Sam Hoare
80 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:15:20
Could it be that the mental fragility in the fans is being reflected in the players? We talk a lot about resilience and character and bravery but there's not much of that on here. Just a lot of capitulation.

Admittedly none of us are being paid thousands per week! Even so, I feel like there is a gloom among the entire club after this bad run whereas only 6 weeks ago there seemed genuine optimism. It seems we won't be getting a new manager (unless things really deteriorate which is not impossible) or new players till the summer at least. We're stuck with what we have.

I think (hope) that this team and manager are capable of a lot better (we've seen brief glimpses); if the fans can find a bit more bravery and resilience, perhaps the players might follow suit.

Brian Patrick
81 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:15:50
Cast a cold eye on life and death and football. The horror...The horror...
John Hughes
82 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:20:12
Spot on for me, Tommy Carter. We all know where we need to improve but, above all, for me, we need a horrible, niggly, committed-to-the-cause bastard sitting in the middle of the park. And make him Captain.
Allan Board
83 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:21:47
Hi everyone and Happy New Year. I have not posted for 2 years or so, my own coaching has taken me out of the Everton loop so to speak.

Whilst I have noticed results and some games, not much seems to have changed on the pitch. After an okay start under the new manager, it now seems that the pattern of previous years has returned once again, sadly.

I think I may have identified the issue causing this continual melee, fudge, rut. When a new man comes in, he will have his own way and ethos of playing the game. He will also have his own preferred coaches and staff who should replace the entire existing 1st team staff. This is the only way to achieve continuity of ethos for the new manager.

At Everton this doesn't happen. Too many of the previous regime are kept, as some sort of mate's rates scenario takes place. This comes from the very top, to me completely unprofessional, lacking ambition and so risk-averse.

This will leave the new man with certain staff he doesn't want (it's not personal, it's how ambitious clubs work) and the continuity is lost from the start. So, okay everyone will pull together for a while and the new way implemented, but very quickly it will unravel because the old regime (which can't have worked or you wouldn't have a new manager) will revert to type and the regression resumes at Finch Farm.

New players see this, realise they've made a mistake signing; old players are happy with it as it keeps the cliques going and the team has nil continuity.

It's of no use whatsoever hiring ambitious coaches with new ideas and an ethos if Everton FC do not match that ambition. For it to change, the club needs to get current and ruthless.

Laurie Hartley
84 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:24:27
Sarri wants a winger – we have got plenty of them. I would be in the blower to ask him if he wants to do a swap – Drinkwater for Walcott.
Rick Tarleton
85 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:31:40
Jim Benning, I'm not disputing for a moment that we need a half decent striker, but my point is that Harry Kane is made by the service he gets from Eriksen, and the runs made by Son. He is also a great worker. If he played in front of our midfield, he'd be lucky to get ten goals a season.

It's the lack of energy (Gueye excepted) of our midfielders that worries me. I don't want headless chickens, but the best midfields are balanced. I don't know how old you are, Jim, but think Ball, Kendall and Harvey. Ball's energy allowed Harvey the space to make those exquisite passes. Our present midfield has skill, but where is the energy to complement that skill?

Our strikers are distinctly second-rate, no doubt, but this obsession with widemen leaves us exposed in midfield and lacking in midfield energy. Gomes and Sigurdsson have many gifts, but a great engine,as they now say, is not amongst their gifts.

Henry Lloyd
86 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:44:26
Sam @80,

Could you please elaborate on this genuine Optimism? I have felt no optimism under Silva at any time. Do you know who we have won against? Who we have drawn against and who has beaten us?

I will tell you: up until being stuffed at home by Leicester yesterday, we were exactly the same as we were this time last season!!

And now... we are worse off!

Do you really want to give Silva more time? Are you serious?? The Money we have spent on his contract alone demands better than that!! No more nonsense please! Silva out; shit players out – simple.

Start again – that is the way forward. Silva will be sacked, mark my words. I hope he resigns that would be the best all round. But I would sack him now!!

Brent Stephens
87 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:48:01
Brian #81, is that a pointer to more of this eternal suffering for us? Or a plea to let our own artist do his work and craft a better future for us?
Charles Brewer
88 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:49:32
We were invited out for lunch on New Year's Day and spent a pleasant time at a restaurant on the south coast. I knew Everton were playing but just wasn't very interested. At around 3:30 I had a look at my phone and found they had lost. Again, 1-0 and had played without energy, competence or spirit.

I didn't care.

Last night, I watched the BBC summary of American Football and found it enjoyable, engaging, spirited and very well planned with brilliant plays (obviously not all successful).

I think I am bored with false dawns, couldn't-care-less players and insipid low-quality "entertainment". For the next few weeks, I shall be watching more American Football, and less annoying dross.

Christopher Timmins
89 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:56:30
I promised after the West Ham game earlier in the season to take a break from posting until the New Year. Well, after a four-month break not a lot has changed really. Indeed, the trend is downwards.

We still have problems all over the park and yesterday we had trouble putting two passes together. Harry Kane would struggle to score goals for us the way we have been playing. We are still making errors at the back and our midfield is too light-weight. If we play three in the central area and three up top then we need players with more energy in the central area.

If the previous manager was presiding over performances like Watford, Spurs and yesterday, there would be a revolution. Silva has until the rest of the season to turn things around and I can't believe Brands would allow him another summer transfer window unless things improve in the next four months.

Tony Abrahams
90 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:08:54
Mostly I agree with Tommy, but think Sam makes a great point. We used to be defiant bastards us Evertonians; it's the only thing good I've ever learnt, because of that other crowd.

We are playing terrible, with a lack of belief beginning to filter through the club again. But, up until the end of the Liverpool game (one month ago), I think most people were a lot happier with Everton.

Tony Abrahams
91 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:15:20
Sigurdsson hasn't got a great engine, Rick?
Brian Patrick
92 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:15:23
Brent, it's a circle of suffering... with the hope you may break out into Nirvana if you win the title but, for most Evertonians, it's endless night.
Sam Hoare
93 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:18:36
Henry @86,

I can tell you that after 13 games we were on 22 points which would have had us on course for around 65 points for the season which would have been a huge improvement on last season. Some of our signings were looking very astute and we were playing some attractive football.

Have a look back on this site and you'll see a fair deal of optimism. Of course some (such as yourself?) will be immune to the feeling until there are trophies in the cabinet but even you can surely see that things were looking a little better before the derby. Since then, it's been hard.

You want to start again. Again. Finding these better managers and players who are desperate to come to us. Moshiri's money is not endless. I suspect you'll have to wait a bit longer, like it or not.

Dick Fearon
94 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:21:02
For the kind of money Silva is paid, we should expect someone on top of his job — not a bloke on a learning curve.

Jim Bennings
95 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:36:02
It's a fair point, Rick.

But when making reference to Harry Kane for example, he's always looking for the next move before the ball comes to him. It's a double edged sword is service.

Midfielders can only be as good as what's in front of them as much as a striker needs the ball. My point is, Sigurdsson can play a forward pass but so often our strikers wait for things to come to them.

Take Calvert-Lewin for a clear example. He's meant to have this pace but when does he ever stretch a defence and get behind defences? He wins some flick-ons as he's a big enough lad but he doesn't utilise his pace, never has and that should be his greatest attribute. He doesn't get in clear one v one opportunities because he doesn't run in behind.

Look at recent past strikers like Yakubu and Lukaku, they scored goals because they made central runs and got many one-vs-one chances because of their movements.

Brian Williams
96 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:37:22
You can't blame Silva for there being nobody on the s6-yard line to tap in a low cross fizzed in by Bernard.

You can't blame Silva for ball after ball into the box being played behind any of our payers that ARE in the box meaning a clearance is generally the outcome.

You also can't blame Silva for inheriting Walcott (gets worse by the game), Tosun (sorry just not good enough) and several other squad/team members who just aren't good enough.

Lastly, you can't blame Silva for an error by the otherwise (this season) very good Michael Keane.

Tactics, formation and substitutions yes he can be blamed for those but none of the above, in my opinion.

He, and Brands have had one transfer window and the players brought in have been of a much superior quality to what we had.

Zouma has been excellent in the main (I know he's only temporary "at the moment"); Gomes, temporary at the moment and suffering from a dip in form over the last two games; Bernard, once he stops having a dickie fit when he sees a net, will come good; Richarlison is a quality player; and Mina, who I think will come good too – though I wish it was Zouma on a permanent and Mina on a temporary with an option. Lastly, Digne, who is, imo, a cracking player (not without his faults but cracking all the same).

A certain other manager, a German with a love of cosmetic dentistry, has had six transfer windows and he inherited a much better quality squad than we had/have.

So as frustrating as it is trudging out of Goodison on a complete downer (again) calling for the managers head is IMHO ridiculous.

Just my opinion, and like arseholes, everybody has one :-)
Happy New Year.

Brent Stephens
97 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:40:22
Brian #92,

Yeats was never the same once he signed for Liverpool.

Trevor Peers
98 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:40:49
I doubt any of us wants to start again, Sam @93.

Silva looks like the wrong choice despite having had a good start at the Blues. The guy has a history of doing this, he did the same at Hull and Watford.

Once he losses confidence he never seems to regain it, we'll see how he goes in the next 5 games then it might become critical to remove him. It's all up to the owner, but everyone's agreed: it's not looking good at all.

Tommy Carter
99 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:42:42
Henry @79,

Silva clearly doesn't rate him. He's done nothing for our club in 3 seasons being here. He wants to go elsewhere and play first-team football. He's 21.

There seems to have been this deluded fascination amongst Evertonians that ‘young' players who've not been playing are going to be the answer. He's 21. Kenny is 21. Dowell is 21. These lads aren't going to get any better than they are now.

Realistically, is Lookman going to do anything for us between now and the time he turns 22? No, he's not. So, if someone is willing to pay £20M for him, then it's good bye and good luck from me.

Tony Abrahams
100 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:46:49
Sam Allardyce has spoken; he must be really willing the next man to fail but, as he said, “Football is all about clean sheets”.

To think that he managed Everton, Allardyce, says his predecessors, played better football than him, and then names ”Ronald Koeman” alongside Martinez?

I'm casting my mind back to the Koeman regime, and it shows you how many lies or half-truths are told in football, because if Silva hasn't got a plan, then I feel Koeman's must have been to try and destroy us... but then I feel that he had too much apathy to even consider this.

Tony Abrahams
101 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:51:56
Finished articles at 21, Tommy? I suppose it must be all down-hill once you win a World Cup — even if it was only for the Under-20s.
Rennie Smith
102 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:52:33
I completely agree Brian @96, blame for Silva for some things but not for individual mistakes.

Most people seem to think the players Brands and Silva have bought in are superior to previous signings, so why not give them a chance to keep that trend going – surely that's one positive in the post-defeat gloom?

Also, why do people get hung-up on how much we pay our managers? So many comments on here about "we're paying him X", so what? That's just the market; don't try and compare football to any other profession. If you want a manager that gets paid peanuts, we'll be in a whole lot more shit than we are now.

Tommy Carter
103 Posted 02/01/2019 at 11:56:36
Tony @101,

Solanke was the star performer at that tournament. LFC are currently seeking to loan him out and, let's face it, a permanent transfer out of there probably isn't far away.

The fact is, he's not been good enough to make a place for himself in their side. They have higher standards and he will leave.

Rennie Smith
104 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:01:23
Tommy @99 - what a ridiculous statement:

"He's 21. Kenny is 21. Dowell is 21. These lads aren't going to get any better than they are now."

So players don't improve as they go through their career? Might as well fix a price on all players when they're 21 then?

Tommy Carter
105 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:19:42
Rennie @104

Look I'm not saying it is an absolute rule. But usually by 21, players who are good enough to play at international level, and champions league level, which is where we aspire to be, have revealed themselves. They will have already shown they have what it takes. None of these players looks like this.

The more Kenny plays, the more I see of a player that is well out of his depth. Dowell doesn't even play. Neither does Lookman.

It serves neither the player nor the club for them to remain Everton players.

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:30:16
Fine, Tommy, just like it's probably a fact that Solanke joined Liverpool, for loads of money.

If you don't play, you don't improve, and this is the biggest problem facing these kids imo?

All the German Under-21s get a lot more experience during these very important years of development; not all of them play top-flight football but they all play competitive football which is the only way to really learn.

But to say a 21-year-old is not going to get any better doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Steve Brown
107 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:34:15
Tommy @105, someone should have told Trevor Steven, Kevin Ratcliffe, Adrian Heath, Gary Stevens, Graeme Sharp and Neville Southall your theory. They needn't have worked so hard to become the great players they became – the jury was out on all of them at the age of 21.
Henry Lloyd
108 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:50:43
Tommy @99,

Who gives a shit If Silva rates Lookman!! Are you deliberately ignoring my question??

Lookman is far better than half the side we have been playing with. Did you see the deft little flick he produced to give Calvert-Lewin a Goal a short while ago?

He hasn't had any kind of chance is my point; in complete contrast, Silva has had all the chances anyone should be willing to give him!!

"Add Lookman to that list" — Get a grip, man!

Brian Harrison
109 Posted 02/01/2019 at 13:07:38
I see the Echo is suggesting that West Ham would like to take McCarthy on loan; he still has 18 months left on his contract. He has been injured for long periods over the last couple of seasons, so surely now he is fit is not the time to loan him out.

The Echo are also suggesting that Borussia Dortmund and Valencia are interested in signing Onyekuru in the January window. Surely he was bought with the future in mind and hopefully he will get clearance to play for us next season.

Andy Bonner
110 Posted 02/01/2019 at 13:21:03
Cut Silva some slack. He's been here since the beginning of the season and had as his first priority to sort out the deadwood and loan deals for experience. During this period, no real formations could be finalized. Transactions like the following:

Loans: Garbutt, Oneykuru, Tarashaj, Williams, Robinson, Mirallas, Connolly, Vlasic, Bolasie, Besic.

Sales: Rooney, Funes Mori, Baxter, Byrne, Dyson, Grant, Gray, Henen, Robles, Klaassen.

Purchases and Loans-In: Richarlison, Digne, Virginia, Bernard, Mina, Gomes, Zouma.

Further Loans: Dowell, Holgate.

That's 28 players — not an easy task... Again, give him time.

Marcus Taylor
111 Posted 02/01/2019 at 13:36:48
Andy #110,

Isn't it Marcel Brands's job to do all that? That's why we have a Director of Football. I doubt Marco Silva is on the blower to Oxford United to see if they want Luke Garbutt on loan.

Tommy Carter
112 Posted 02/01/2019 at 13:55:05
@ Steve 101

Mate. It's not 1982 any more. Most you mentioned had made over 100 first team appearances at the age of 21. Only of those could Southall and Steven be billed as top class. As amazing as Steven was, he failed to do anything at international level of real quality.

Sharp was a 15-goal-a-season kind of striker with minimal International caps. Heath was never international standard.

It came together for us as a team between 1984 - 1987 based on an amazing team spirit, a brilliant balanced team, an inspirational manager. After 1987, most of these players, including Ratcliffe and Stevens, fell off a cliff whilst in their peak.

It's a typical TW response to throw up this team and these names. But let's face it, as amazing as Derek Mountfield performed, he was Derek Mountfield and a bang average player.

Lineker and Southall were the only world-class players to represent Everton during this period. Steven and Sheedy for a brief period were the only ones staking a claim to being word class performers.

Tommy Carter
113 Posted 02/01/2019 at 13:58:24
Henry @108,

He's not, pal. He'll go onto have an average career I will guarantee you that.

You're just frustrated and think he's better because he's not playing and you think ‘he must be better than Walcott'.

He's had chances and the fact is that, when he starts a game, and the game is even, he offers you absolutely nothing.

When he's substituted on, chasing a game where the opposition sit back and allow time and space for a player like Lookman around the centre circle, then he may look okay.

Andy Bonner
114 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:00:49
Hi, Marcus # 111

Based on your comment, should we then be blaming Brands for our present situation. My feeling this is a shared responsibility. But nevertheless, 28 players have come and gone which can't be helpful for Silva, who appears to be the scapegoat.

Team selection is based on loads of different factors (injuries, niggles in particular) and we never truly find this out as other teams can prepare in advance if they suspect certain players are not available.

Darren Hind
115 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:08:16
Rick Tarleton,

Good posts. We were totally bereft of creativity, half of them couldn't even find unmarked men from a few yards without making them check back to collect it.

Certain individuals are hell bent on singling out Calvert-Lewin (happens on virtually every thread); they are totally oblivious to the rest of the game. How could anybody excuse the performances of Richarlison, Sigurdsson and Walcott?

Leicester simply camped deep, they knew they could trouble us on the break, so they simply challenged us to break them down. They chased down everything. Our creative players were clueless, bereft of any ideas.

Johnny Evans, who was excellent yesterday, knew he simply had to drop deep and deal with those awful balls into the box. He played most of the game on Schmeichel's toes.

"Run in behind them"? Anyone wanting to run in behind the Leicester defence yesterday would have found themselves playing in Gwladys Street.

Tommy Carter
116 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:11:27
Typical Evertonians!!

Absence makes you a better player.

Young players who get a chance such as Davies and Calvert-Lewin get slated and scapegoated constantly.

Players who aren't good enough to even make a matchday squad, such as Dowell, Lookman and Kenny, are seen as the heroes in waiting.

Christy Ring
117 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:13:14
Let's be honest, our biggest problem goes back to Koeman selling, and not replacing Lukaku. He scored 25 goals in the league, in his last season, and that's a huge void that hasn't been replaced.

Sam brought in Tosun, which has been a disaster, and as for Niasse... Big Dunc, even now, would do better.

Steve Brown
118 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:16:01
All the players brought in during the summer are a big improvement on what we had. Problem is that, as soon as they need a rest or lose a bit of form, the poor quality of the rest of the squad screams out. I don't mean the players under 23 who need development time regardless of what Tommy says.

The players who continually fail to step up are experienced and well paid pros like Walcott, Schneiderlin, Tosun, Stecklenburg. That doesn't even include the dross we sent out on loan who we don't want back like Martina, Williams, Mirallas and Garbutt. Add in the valued Blues like Jagielka, Baines and Coleman who are showing signs of decline and I count 11 senior pros we will likely need to get off the books permanently and replace with 5-6 younger players of the quality Brands and Silva recruited in the summer (hopefully including a bloody striker).

The people responsible for this calamity are messrs Kenwright, Moshiri, Walsh, Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce. To hear Lardiola pontificating about what Everton need when he caused a significant part of it almost made me puke in my own mouth today.

Silva has made a few team and tactical mistakes since he took over, but the last few games apart I have actually been able to watch Everton without feeling ashamed and embarrassed. It is going to be bumpy to the end of the season but I do feel that Brands will improve the squad over time. Then let's see what Silva can really do with a balanced, better quality squad.

Matthew Williams
119 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:18:01
Why does it seem that every Blue on these hallowed pages wants to play our Samba Softie on the wrong wing?

He has pace, yes... but he's also right-footed!

Play him on the right side, move Digne up to left-wing and let Bainsey return at left-back, play two up top... Lookman and Tosun with Bernard and Gana in the middle of the park and revert back to a simple 4-4-2 formation.

At least fucking try it, Marco! I can't see how it could possibly fuck up our season any more... sigh.

Steve Brown
120 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:33:37
Tommy 112, its best not to make things up to prove a point. Trevor Steven signed for when he was 20 after playing 74 games for Burnley; he played for us 210 times in his career. Gary Stevens played his first match for us at the age of 19 and played 205 games us in total. Rats made his debut at 20 and amassed 359 games in total for us. Sharpy signed for us at the age of 20 having played 40 odd games for Dumbarton.

So you are frankly talking nonsense in claiming that most had 100 or more first team appearances at the age of 21. I don't mind you making a passionate argument but if you are too lazy to do some basic fact checking before you post then I don't have much sympathy for you.

Steve Brown
121 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:37:54
And who the hell is expecting us to sign world class players? Good players would be acceptable to most of us; good players who can give the young players like Calvert-Lewin and Lookman a stable team to develop in.
Tommy Carter
122 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:43:26
Steve @118,

Spot on for me, 100%.

I think Silva is a very capable manager.

Most of the time this season I have seen a team that is structured to go out and win games, and take it to the opposition. I genuinely believe he sets his teams up to win every game

What he can't legislate for is the lack of belief, bottle, guts, spine and ruthlessness that his players show. That translates itself into ridiculous and costly mistakes.

The game at Anfield was there for us to take but we were so hesitant in the vital moments and I'm wondering if these players even believe they could get the result.

The players perform with a burden and have done for years now.

Tommy Carter
123 Posted 02/01/2019 at 14:48:09
Steve @120,

Check your facts. Not Wikipedia.

First team games includes cup competitions. Which you'll not find contributes towards the tallies you have totted up.

If you think Gary's Stevens only played 205 games for us, well... I don't know what to say.

Danny Broderick
124 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:32:41
There’s no doubt in my mind that a certain amount of progress has been made this season. We were all feeling much better up to and including the derby. I think the majority of the new signings have been an improvement. Just to be clear:
Digne - I think he is a cracking left back.
Zouma- has been playing well.
Mina - still adjusting and learning the language. But he has done ok in general.
Gomes - started off like a house on fire. His form has dropped off and he needs a rest, but he could be a good signing.
Bernard - still adjusting, and may be a bit lightweight. But he showed his talent away at Leicester and Burnley. Jury is out for me.
Richarlison - up until the derby, he was doing brilliantly. His form has collapsed. Needs to stop rolling around and get on with playing football, but he has generally done ok.

In my opinion, the answer is not to sack Silva. We have hit a sticky patch. We’ve had a bad month. That’s it.

We need to understand why these players - generally the creative ones - have gone missing. I’ve got my own theory, it’s that some of these players go missing when the going gets tough. No doubt some of these games have been tough, and some of these players are crying out for a rest. Some of them are still adapting to life in England, and will never have played matches of this intensity so close together before over Christmas.

Silva is learning about some of these players himself. Fair enough, he has signed some of the underperforming players. But surely he was expecting more from some of the players who were already here when he joined? Like Sigurdsson, Walcott and Coleman? I’m sure he expected some of the foreign lads to struggle a bit over the Xmas period, and that one or two of them would need a rest, but what about the players who are established here? They should be doing better.

The answer is not to sack the manager now as he comes across some of our team’s failings which have plagued the last few managers. He is seeing now what we have all seen in previous seasons. He has addressed some of our weaker positions from last season by replacing Jags, Baines and Schneiderlin. Give him a chance to address the striker issue, and one or two others if they don’t buck their ideas up.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Replacing the manager would be insane. We’d be back to square one again. A new manager would come in again and at the first sticky patch he encountered, there’d be calls for his head as well!

Ben Attwood
125 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:33:45
I agree with a lot of the comments posted. Silva is a wannabe and looks completely out of his depth. EFC needs a proven manager with an excellent track record. A winner. Silva does not fit the bill.

Are we better than last season? I seriously question this. The performances over the last 2 games were as bad as I have seen.

All this talk about needing a striker... Would a striker have stopped us shipping in 6 v Spurs, 5 v Arsenal twice last season and all the other defeats. Being hard to beat with lots of 0-0s suggest we need a striker.

Serious changes to the team are required as individual performances have not been good enough for some time - Pickford, Siggurdsson, Walcott, Richarlison the main culprits. I omit Coleman as he did not play yesterday.

Hoping (not expecting ) for a win on Saturday...

Mike Gaynes
126 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:48:09
Steve Brown #120, your numbers are way off, and you should step very lightly about accusing other people of making things up.

According to the Everton website, Gary Stevens made 293 appearances, Trevor Steven made 294, Rats made 489.

To quote Steve Brown himself, "...if you are too lazy to do some basic fact checking before you post then I don't have much sympathy for you."

Mike Gaynes
127 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:57:12
Tommy #122, must partly disagree with you. I was at Anfield and I saw no hesitancy at all. I saw commitment, passion and a superb execution of a fine Silva game plan. And I saw certainty that they were going to get a result. They were shocked and devastated by what happened at the finish.

And while I understand your view that the "lack of belief, bottle, guts, spine and ruthlessness" (aren't they all the same thing??) are responsible for our woes, I continue to hold that lack of talent is the biggest factor. Yes, some of our new acquisitions are improvements, but we still don't have the pace and skill of many of our opponents. Leicester was faster at every position.

John Hammond
128 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:14:49
Jesus, it's been 6 months and people want the manager sacked. What the hell where you expecting this season to be like? We replaced half the outfield players in our first choice starting 11 and they've mostly performed well but we have nowhere near a good enough squad to be able to rotate players effectively. The players looked dead over December. Before and including the Liverpool game we were excellent at times especially against the top 6 teams and there's no denying the improvement on last year.

I'm an advocate of us fielding a strong team in cup competitions but I think I'd rather we rest as many of the first choice 11 as possible against Lincoln. That'll give them a 2 week break ready for a big home game.

Tommy Carter
129 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:17:07
@127 Mike

I disagree.

Mina should’ve scored his header

Gomes should’ve scored his Tap in

Mina and Pickford should’ve both dealt with the situation at the end

All decisive moments within the game. All were the difference between winning and losing and we got them all wrong.

Every decisive moment in pressure games we seem to get wrong

I add yesterday to that. Bernard showed wonderful ability and put a ball across for the tap in. Nobody there. Nobody with the guts to take the opportunity by the scruff of the neck.

It’s no coincidence that certain types of player seem to score in the big games and in the big moments. You don’t have to have all the ability in the world. But you must have belief and guts. Cahill did this for us on plenty of occasions and apart from his outstanding finishing ability, generally he wasn’t a naturally talented player.

We need more characters. We need players with belief. There are too many happy to accept mediocrity. We had nobody really yesterday who wS willing to bust a gut to make a result out of that game.

The RS keeper ran 40 yards to take a free kick in the last minute against us because they believed they could still win it. In fa t, they believed it a disaster to not be winning it. Yesterday we fizzled out yet again. Ability wise, we have too much for Leicester and we are certainly not far off Arsenal or Man Utd.

Pickford, Mina, Digne, Gomes, Gana, Richarlison, Sigurdsson and Bernard all have plenty of ability

Bobby Thomas
130 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:47:20
If I was the Lincoln City manager I would have my players right up for it and be telling them that Everton are there to be had.

Performances have fallen off a cliff. I thought the improvement was significant and genuine. I had a tenner on us winning at Stamford Bridge and I knew we wouldn't lose. So what's happened?

Up top is a major problem and if anyone thinks that performance from DCL was up to standard yesterday then their standards are pretty low. He isn't up to scratch. He seems a bit like Jack Rodwell, in that he has all the physical tools but not the required personality or character. He seems a thoroughly nice chap. Too nice. There's zero devil in his game and centre backs are smoking reefers.

The front man sets the tone for the side. Think of any quality, talsmanic front man you have watched down the years. Hard working, great movement, occupies defenders, always an option, running channels.

We have none of this, and its really hampering the side. We don't score goals and the goal threat is diminishing. Only 2 players actually net. Like it or not, you can have as many good players as you like but it's all about the man up top. When you've been ropey they bail you out. It's why they cost.

But yes, the whole thing was wrong yesterday and since about half an hour into the Watford games it appears we have been well and truly sussed and don't have another way of playing. We are samey, predictable and becoming easier and easier to play against. Theres no variety to the play. As poor as I thought DCL was yesterday he must have been begging for the odd diagonal ball.

In terms of personel Silva is beginning to find out how limited his options are. Beneath the first 14 or so players there isn't a great deal. For example, in midfield aside from Gomes - who needs a break - and Gana there's just nothing there, so going 4-3-3 doesn't really appear an option.

But the main priority is a front man. We have got to get one in, even on loan as we can't carry in like this. We need someone that can lead the line and provide consistent threat.

Peter Jansson
131 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:58:46
Our problem must be bigger thsn Silva. There seem to be contageous rot somewhere. How come all managers start of good and then do it worse and worse?

I don't know about mich about the staff behind the scenes. But there must be a problem here
Maybe Duncan Feguson should go?

Peter Jansson
132 Posted 02/01/2019 at 18:00:41
Sorry for the misspellings
Neil Copeland
133 Posted 02/01/2019 at 18:13:46

The Lincoln game is absolutely crucial to MS, lose and he will be in serious trouble. If team confidence is low now, it will be non existent with a loss in the cup game and that may even spell the point of non return. A loss will also be a test of Moshiri’s resolve which I imagine is already starting to waiver.

I was seriously pissed off when he played a weakened team against Southampton in the Carabao cup. If he does it against Lincoln and we lose, MS will then be up against a large percentage of the fan base. We must win this game, simply turning up will not be enough - the result is far from being a given. As a supporter I want to see the cups taken seriously but there is more than a good cup run to be gained from winning. A win will at least restore a little confidence.

I fully accept that the Bournemouth game the week after is extremely important also. This is another must win game, lose against Lincoln though and I would almost bet my house on us losing the Bournemouth game also.

Derek Taylor
134 Posted 02/01/2019 at 19:13:28
As I understand it, the' Two Ms' were never a team - just two guys brought together by Moshiri's football advisers who, like him, are mainly London based.

That begs the question as to whether Brands blew a fortune on expensive players whom Silva can't coach into a successful team or whether some/most of them were never much good in the first place. ?

Certainly one or two of them were not good enough for the likes of Barcelona to retain whilst others were no better than those they replaced.

Given that most of us couldn't wait to see Jags, Baines and now Coleman replaced and few had time to see Davies, Holgate and Dowell as up to Premier level, my previous criticism of Silva is possibly misplaced. Has he been dealt a dead hand ?

No point in us calling out the manager, then, if he has only crap to train and select from, eh ? I was the first to call for his head but as someone asked me in the pub today, have I named the wrong party ?

Tony Abrahams
135 Posted 02/01/2019 at 19:49:22
Tommy@129, there are some very good players on your list in that last paragraph. It gives me hope for the future, especially if we can sign a few more.
Martin Mason
136 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:23:30
I believe that the first thing you need to build a successful side is a clear vision of how you want to play and from that a definition of the key type of players that you need to buy. If you don't have them, and no manager does at the start of his tenure, then you will play inconsistently and frustratingly until you get your players. This was true with Klopp at Liverpool and my guess it is true for Silva now.

The key thing is a class "spine", and then, if you see counter attacking as the way you need fast passing and running players who can cover back and break out quickly. Sadly we don't have the forward part of the spine and we'll struggle until we do. Liverpool's massive lift was buying Van Dijk; ours will be Zouma if we can buy him.

We also have a legion of players who just don't fit into Silva's vision of how football needs to be played at the club and they need to be cleared out. We have to have players coming through the academy who also fit the vision of the head coach and we surely don't.

What I'm saying is that there's no point in slagging Silva and his team yet, he knows what he wants but can't achieve it yet and possibly not in the next 3 years.

We will be very lucky if we ever see Silva's vision come to pass but for me he's at the right club to do it and we should be patient. I personally like to see fluid counter attacking football and I'm sure most would.

The reason why we are struggling now, and why Silva has no chance for immediate results, is that we have had no continuity at the club, we've selected the wrong managers and perhaps demanded their replacement just too early. A football club now is a big business and changing manager without understanding the vision and giving time for development is pointless.

Liverpool have the man with Klopp; Man Utd had the players and now have the vision. We don't have the players to fulfil the vision and need first a massive cull and then a careful rebuild. I'd say 3 years at least.

Mike Gaynes
137 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:28:09
Tommy #129, those are all good players. None would be considered outstanding. Not one would be a regular starter in any of the top 6 sides. There is simply not enough quality in the team. Yet.

I agree with you that this team does need a whole lot more Cahill, more guts and belief, and there have been far too many moments like that Bernard pass yesterday. However, you specifically cited Anfield as an example of that frequent lack of "bottle", and that isn't true. None of our guys took a backward step in that game. Mina didn't miss because of a lack of guts, he missed because he was a rookie in his first derby and got overexcited. Gomes didn't score because he never does. Just doesn't have the ability.

One thing for sure, there are no Cahills in the club now except Gueye, and he's not the inspirational type. We have to find players with that drive.

Christy Ring
138 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:55:38
Mike @137,

I know where you're coming from, but a fully fit James McCarthy always has the drive. I know the horrendous injury, and even big Sam, wasn't a fan until he saw his performance against Arsenal and Liverpool.

Hopefully Silva will give him a chance. He's not everyone's favourite, but he gives his all.

Mal van Schaick
140 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:42:48
I don't understand why there is so much inconsistency in our performances?

I thought and I think that most people thought that a new manager and new signings would bring about improved performances and a good team spirit and better results.

I think that the squad has more quality, than under Allardyce, and if the players are not showing consistent performances that can only mean that the problem lies with the manager and coaching staff.Sadly, Moshri and the board must again make decisions based upon what they and the fans see, and that may mean either sacking Silva or buying in the transfer window.

As another commentator has said, Mourinho is available, and although he is not my cup of tea, he may be the manager to see Moshri's project through.

Andy Meighan
141 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:25:43
Ben @125,

Even if we were to sack Silva – and wouldn't that be idiotic at this stage of the season? – what proven manager with an excellent track record would even consider joining us??? That's why we are in for the likes of Silva, Koeman, Martinez, etc.

Let's put it this way: If say Conte, for example, (and that's just a name I've pulled out of mid air) was to say join Bournemouth, Leicester, Watford or any of the sides around us, I'd say most of us would be quite shocked. And most fans of them clubs would be shocked if he joined us.

The harsh cold truth is we are not a draw any more and haven't been for donkey's years We are on par with the sides I've mentioned above and, while that shitehawk Kenwright is still hovering around the club, nothing will change. Unfortunately, his magic seems to be rubbing off on Moshiri who looks like another who wouldn't know how to spot a good manager.

Silva has got to be given at least 3 seasons not 6 months because one window is certainly not enough to be judging any manager. Yes, it's poor at the minute and doesn't look any better than the three manager's I've mentioned... but give him time.

Rick Tarleton
142 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:10:25
Mal (140), inconsistency is easy to explain. Great players have 30 good games a season, good players have 20 plus. Our players have around ten if we are lucky.

All Premier League players are talented and can do things that make us mortals gasp, but doing it like Hazard does, like Kane does, like Aguero does, is the difference. They do it in the majority of games they play, you can rely on them to pull something out of the hat in most games. Andros Townsend can score that goal against Man City, he possibly won't do anything of that quality again all season.

We don't have any great players and as far as the words guts and effort are concerned, I'm with Mike Gaynes, such terms are nebulous, players make mistakes, think Walcott's brilliant flick-on header that opened up our defence for Vardy's goal. That wasn't caused by lack of effort or even lack of guts, but by sheer incompetence.

Mal van Schaick
143 Posted 03/01/2019 at 15:03:40
Liverpool, Man City, Spurs, Chelsea. Their players play as a team with team spirit and some consistency. Even Man Utd with new backroom staff look a team again. Everton look dishevelled and in disarray. One or two players playing well does not make a team. I can accept that players will make mistakes, but I don't see coherent players playing together. To me it looks like a mis-mash of organised confusion. Disjointed and un co-ordinated.
Individuals may play well over a number of games, but that does’nt make good team performances and those not playing well are hindering any progress.
Dave Abrahams
144 Posted 03/01/2019 at 16:12:02
Martin (136), a good post that Martin with lots of sense
in it, nice to see you back.
Rennie Smith
145 Posted 03/01/2019 at 16:33:58
Makes me laugh when some people on here say Mourinho is available while others whinge about how much we're paying Silva.

Andy @141 is right, we're no longer the big draw and we need to give someone (Brands/Silva) a chance to get us there again. Sacking the manager every 6 months will win you shit.

The RS had a £155.4m net spend during the last transfer window, our's was £33.4m, Reality bites. By the way, I'm not looking for more money to be invested, I think the players we brought in are better than the rest of the current squad, and given time, they are the type of players that will improve the team.

Martin Mason
146 Posted 03/01/2019 at 18:23:13
Thank you, Dave @144.
Tommy Carter
147 Posted 03/01/2019 at 22:10:06
Interesting comment from a victorious Kompany just now. What did it take? “Guts”.

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