With all of us having a generally quiet New Year’s Eve, forcing a few ales down us wasn’t much of a chore at 11am on New Year’s Day. On the contrary, it preceded the actual chore of the 12:30pm kick off for Everton vs Leicester City. You hoped Everton would seize the opportunity to arrest a worrying run of results and begin 2019 with a win, but alas it wasn’t to be, and Leicester City ultimately ran out deserving winners.
I think Gaz was saying in the pub that we would benefit from competition for position for Seamus Coleman, and were therefore all a little surprised to see that Jonjo Kenny had instead got the nod at right-back for this game. Having been rested for most of the defeat at Brighton, Gylfi Sigurdsson was back in the starting line up, as too was Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Martin Atkinson (groan) officiated.
I’d checked ahead with the weather and it looked like we had a bit of sun and cloud so I grabbed my sunglasses on the way out of the house just on the off-chance that I’d need them. It was just as well that I did, as in our seat low in the Lower Gwladys Street stand, that sun is right in your face so seeing what was happening in the game, especially in the first half, was rather difficult.
It’s just as well then that there’s precious little to report on. Dominic Calvert-Lewin flashed a header wide; Kurt Zouma speculatively let fly from distance; and, Jonjo Kenny hit a great effort at goal but was a tad unfortunate to see it crash away off the upright. However, there was not a lot else from us, while Leicester City didn’t retaliate with much as Everton held firm at the back from some corner kicks. It’s good that we’ve learnt how to at least attack the first ball from corners as we began the season catastrophically in that department.
With the atmosphere decidedly flat, what struck me was how much you could hear the players talking to each other. Jordan Pickford is particularly vocal out there.
So the first half came and went and the second half wrestled all our current frustrations into one. Michael Keane punished for a mistake and Jamie Vardy scored with the Foxes' only meaningful opportunity up until that point. Fair play to Vardy though, he put it away well to put Leicester City ahead just shy of the hour mark.
Marco Silva didn’t wait around to get Bernard on the pitch but he, like all around him, couldn’t conjure a leveller in what was a lethargic, flat, jaded and ultimately disappointing effort from Everton. Bernard did put one dream of a ball across the 6-yard box but, despite having two strikers on the pitch, nobody seemed to anticipate and Harry Maguire was able to hook clear.
Everton, if playing poorly, were at least trying to force the issue and in doing so Leicester City did have further openings but with the game still at 0-1, substitute Cenk Tosun did have an opportunity late on but his header was saved by Kasper Schmeichel. However, as time frittered away we lost our discipline and gave away some unnecessary free kicks and surrendered possession too easily, all of which played right in to Leicester City’s hands.
We could have played all night and not scored, and Martin Atkinson let play go on as long as he could, but we made no in-roads and trudged off disappointed.
While the performance was by no means good enough, I felt the lads looked fatigued. A lot has been made of ourselves being the team playing the most games in the shortest time, and the players certainly looked tired today. Also, with so many games so quickly, it lessens the preparation time between games and offers limited time to work on correcting mistakes and trying new ideas. If it is the same time between games for everyone then fair enough, but it isn’t. Take the team that plays their games in the longest period of time, which would only be Liverpool of course. Which of these gives you better preparation time between games?
Now Liverpool are light-years ahead of us obviously but I know I’d prefer to have the two days rest either side of the two opening festive games. Also, why the back to back home or away games during this period? Personally I’d do away with the festive football, or at least make it less gruelling. I know Boxing Day games are important to people so that’s fair enough but could we live without the New Year’s Day game or even the Saturday one in between? Or, if it must remain so gruelling can it not be the same for everyone?
I’m relieved the festive games are now over and I hope we can rest as many players as we have to against Lincoln City (without compromising our competition advance, of course). We then, mercifully, have time between games again. Time to analyse, time to practice, time to fix mistakes, time to nail down a winning team.
We were in 6th position and playing well up to and including 96 minutes of the Merseyside derby and have been dire in many games since. Marco isn’t blameless. He has to find a way of getting them playing, but I hope that finally getting some time at Finch Farm with the players can help get us back on track this campaign.
Get behind Marco and the players. Do we really want to sack another manager and piss away yet more money again?
Pickford: I haven’t seen the goal again since so couldn’t say if he was at fault or not but he looked relatively helpless. Not much else to judge him on. He really didn’t have much to do. 6
Digne: Not at his best. Might have been an opportunity to give Leighton Baines a game. 5
Zouma: He was fabulous at the back and was one of few who took responsibility on the ball. My man of the match. 7
Keane: He will be remembered for the mistake but otherwise did quite well. While he undoubtedly should have done better with the error, I don’t think it was the kindest of headers into him from Theo. 6
Kenny: Had a good first half and was a bit unlucky not to score, but he struggled in the second. His mis-hit cross into touch was particularly embarrassing. 5
Gueye: He did well in there and accompanied his tackling and intercepting with taking responsibility on the ball. 7Gomes: Hardly got going. Looks shot. Give him the Lincoln City game off and let’s have him raring to go against The Cherries. 4
Sigurdsson: Also a bit fatigued, I would wager, but his effort was there. He came quite close to equalising with a snap half-volley in the second half but struggled to find his passing and set-piece range once Gomes was removed and he had to drop deeper into midfield. 5
Richarlison: Very poor, I thought, and he is frustrating me as he blows so hot and cold. A mate of mine who is a Watford fan warned me that he’s talented but that he may start well and then fade. Well, unless this is also a bit of fatigue, this seems to be the case here. I’d be getting him as rested as possible for the Bournemouth match now as he is one of our best players and we need him firing. 3
Walcott: He’s the one who gets the flack from the crowd and he does do some things that frustrate, but I would say he’s disciplined and at least, unlike some of his teammates, always shows for the ball. Given his injury record, I’m amazed he’s began all four games this festive period. 5
Calvert-Lewin: Poor but it was always going to be tough for him on his own up there against Maguire and Evans. I’d persevere with him up there. It seems highly unlikely we’ll be getting another striker in before the January deadline so we might as well give him that run of games as he is the most likely of our strikers to come good. 3
Bernard (for Gomes): got involved and will be disappointed that nobody got on the end of his excellent ball into the box. 7Tosun (for Walcott): tried but couldn’t really get the better of the defenders. 6
Reader Comments (116)
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1 Posted 02/01/2019 at 15:55:09
2 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:06:28
Other clubs play loads of games and it didnt stop Leicester taking 9 points from 12 available, and bear in mind on December 18th they also had a Carabao Cup Quarter Final to play against Manchester City.
We complain when we have Europa League exploits to contend with and thats not even been on the agenda this season.
We havent played a single Cup match since October 2nd.
The rot set in long long before the festive period, we were diabolically bad at home to Newcastle and were fortunate to scrape a draw at home to Watford.
The Pickford error in the derby has simply blown away any kind of positive feeling and momentum, I had that sinking feeling in the immediate aftermath that would be the case and the players have proven my feelings right.
We are mentally fragile and fail to respond to setbacks and that loss in the derby has had astronomical effects on the fragility of that mentality.
If we go to Anfield and hold out for a 0-0 we then had a month that started in November reading
Brighton 3-1 W
Chelsea 0-0 D
Cardiff 1-0 W
Liverpool 0-0 D
It would have kept a real foundation in place and the spirits high going into two very winnable home games against Newcastle and Watford but in many ways now it would have been better to have had a routine 2-0 or 3-1 loss to Liverpool because the way we lost that has just messed up everyones heads.
Can we even respond?
Im not so sure right now if we have what it takes.
At the moment Silva looks as clueless as the players and stands on the touch line looking like a man deep in thought and quite dishevelled.
3 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:13:56
4 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:34:24
Most on ToffeeWeb were in high spirits going into the Derby, and us and the team would have been in even higher spirits subsequently if that mistake hadn't happened. Although it was a random mistake (shit happens), I suppose it takes mental toughness to keep going regardless, otherwise top sportspeople wouldn't need mental conditioning and sports psychology to keep their heads in the right place.
I always think of tennis for example, where it seems to be the mental attitude that helps separate the winners from second placed, the winners being the ones who will just carry on playing the same steady game even when they're three match points down.
In our case, although we might not have the players to be in the top-6, we certainly do have the quality of player to be far more consistent and to at least compete better against the top. The Derby seemed to show we were perhaps finally there, but as often happens with Everton, we just seem to have collapsed.
5 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:46:27
6 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:55:02
I had some faith in him but, with regards to his history with other teams, we now see same problems here.
I am sorry to say this, but I guess he will be gone in the summer.
7 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:56:40
The Lincoln game is a free pass that even we cant fail win and any failures in that tie would be a sackable offence for everyone at the club.
8 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:08:13
Zouma fell asleep for a second half free-kick that Maguire should've scored from. How do you fall asleep at a free-kick? There's a good indicator of when the balls going to come in.
Walcott is quite disciplined but it's amazing how such a player can have "earned" so much money. Running into players rather than around them and, as mentioned above, what was he at with the header for their goal?
Agree on Gomes (just a terrible performance) and Richarlison has been annoying me with his moaning and falling to the ground for a while now. Toughen up lad.
And finally Pickford, not at fault for the goal but regardless of how cool he might think it looks, driving the ball up in the air at any of our front line results in .well exactly what happened, possession being surrendered.
4-4-2 v Lincoln. Stek, Kenny, Jags, Mina, Baines,Lookman,McCarthy, Davies, Tosun and Niasse. I'm missing someone to play on the wing but you get the gist.
9 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:16:11
10 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:24:56
11 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:34:32
However we were told by those in the know that Silvas main asset was his coaching ability.
I am still trying to be positive so I am hoping that back at Finch farm he starts putting his coaching skills into good practice.
It does ask the question though as to what have they been doing at Finch Farm up until now?
12 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:44:19
13 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:19:04
We were fitter when we were at Bellefield.
14 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:27:59
15 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:30:45
Every team we play, seems mentally and physically sharper than our first team squad, by a long way.
Yes it does make you wonder what, they do at FF.
16 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:40:15
I noticed that against Huddersfield and West Ham in September, how knackered we looked after 45 minutes.
It hasnt got any better, in fact its actually worse now so I suppose its no surprise that the festive period took more out of us than most other teams.
We look wrecked and our powers of recovery are poor, one of the reasons why we havent won after going behind since December 2017.
17 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:46:20
We too plenty of hidings in his time but the fitness was better.
Now it seems against many teams the players are transfixed, still in the tunnel or dressing room, or on the coach, train, or plane, and with no leaders on the pitch and fighting team spirit, the problems worsens.
Back to basics.
18 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:47:48
19 Posted 02/01/2019 at 20:55:48
20 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:02:08
21 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:03:39
Surely if you need coaching in this you should give up and get a job in a call centre ( apologies to call centre folk )
22 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:03:49
Interesting what Pochettino said about Spurs and Everton both suffering over the festive period as teams that cover alot of ground.
By mid November we had covered the third most ground in the league after Arsenal and Spurs. And had done so with relatively little rotation.
I do think we have struggled in the last month with not being able to exact the high press and successfully. Not that this is an excuse. It's up to the manager to work out other ways to play and win or to rotate the squad when tired. I do think though the results and performances may improve when we go back to one game a week. Let's see.
23 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:09:14
There only blip was against Wolves which came late in the game.
The club throughout is mentally weak, really need to stop with the excuses. It sounds very amaturish.
24 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:16:24
Thats true, and Spurs also had to contend a North London Derby in the Carabao Cup a week after traveling to Barcelona.
It feels like theres always an excuse with Everton for failure.
When we are in the Europa League its always the cry that it has had a negative impact on the league form blah blah.
When we arent in Europe we still hear the same cry come early December that we are tired yadda yadda.
When players get knocked out the FA Cup the reward is off on a weeks long warm weather trip to Dubai (which has no use at all).
Now weve heard Silva blaming anxiety and nerves for yesterdays loss.
Surely Leicester whos manager Claude Puel is under constant daily scrutiny over losing his job should have been more anxious playing at Goodison?
Then last month we hear Jordan Pickford going on about “Everton luck at Anfield” after he made a woeful mistake?
Its just a joke, its pathetic that we drag out the same excuses for failure on a yearly basis and then despite spending millions are brainwashed into just writing off each and every season as one in transition.
I just dont know where we are going anymore, it feels rudderless right this moment.
25 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:23:02
The fact of the matter is team after team have played the same way against us. Solid back line, compact midfield and sit in compact and tight. Just wait for Everton to huff and puff and for us to lose our composure and be ready for us to make a mistake and capitalise on it. Newcastle didnt get one, so they got a draw. But every team bar spurs has played this way and weve failed do something about it. The only time was when we got an early goal against Burnley and so they couldnt keep it tight and so we blew them away. Spurs didnt need to, they have better players and happily slugged it out with us and blew us away once our heads had gone at 3-1.
Dont give up hope though. Silvas comments show he sees this. Id like to see him be a bit more Moyesian and say hed try to eradicate the mistakes but maybe thats from Moyes being manager for over 25% of my life.
Silva aint Martinez. Portuguese are happy to find a way to win, rather than to win in style. Silva will adjust his tactics. I just thought hed have done so already. Leicester was a game we needed to win, but we needed not to lose more. Moyes would have taken the 0-0 if hed have been in charge. But maybe thats why Moyes had a ceiling where he did. Silva can get above that ceiling, because of how he can get us playing. Were a long way off that.
Rest assured, silva will put the long hours in at finch farm, unlike Koeman whod shrug his shoulders, and utter “but thats football”, and make sure he was early for his 4.00pm tee off time.
26 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:24:11
I expect us to thrash Lincoln in the cup and we'll see if that can be a springboard for some success in the league, heaven help Silva if we lose though.
27 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:37:40
Just listen to Gomes. He was a nervous wreck at Barca and couldnt pass to a teammate. Hes been a revalation with us, as a confident player, last couple of matches aside (hes clearly injured).
28 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:39:22
13 matches unbeaten before Christmas which included a run in the UEFA Cup (as it was then)
That was the same year Moyes had them running up hills in the Lake District and riding bikes through mud and rain.
Seems to me we are too mollycoddled these days and the fitness has suffered.
29 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:40:19
They, as a squad are just not playing as a tight knit unit particularly in the middle third when not in possession.
When they are in possession they make too many poor passes and when a pass does get to the ''offensive'' line then it breaks down with a poor cross or finish particularly by Walcott who is now showing why he was left out of the Arsenal team for so long. by Wenger.
A lot of hard rethinking by the coaches and players has to be done soon to stop this trend.
By the way does anyone agree that Carragher and Neville are awful to listen to as co-commentators on the box ?
30 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:42:58
31 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:43:11
It's when you're struggling that you are frightened to do anything difficult in case you mess it up, and it's then that you misplace 5 yard passes. The groans from the crowd don't help you then either.
32 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:43:28
Yes, other teams have played as many games (or more) but perhaps they don't press so much. Also its a fact that we had the most congested festive period of any team.
As Steve Ferns points out tiredness is much more likely to impact upon teams that are losing rather than winning. When Spurs went down late on to Wolves they certainly started to look very tired all of a sudden.
33 Posted 02/01/2019 at 21:51:59
Leicester only won that game because of Keane's mistake, up until this point they had done nothing. They were happy to get a point. Keep it tight and pinch one from the French Moyes. An excellent, but dour and boring manager. He knew we'd gift them a chance and with Vardy they always had a good chance of capitalising.
Leicester are a very good side, and they will be in the mix for 7th for sure.
34 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:30:57
However, I have listened to the opinions of people who know more than me and I know that it can have a devastating effect under certain circumstances. Lack of confidence, fear of failure, and the howls of derision after a mistake, just drains the muscles. It is a physical manifestation of mental stress. And you know what, all the money in the world, all the intensive, punishing training that can be endured will not cure it.
A lucky goal, a scrappy win might help. This team is shot of confidence and full of fear. The Burnley win should have helped and I am disappointed that it didn't. This is where we are and I hope and believe that Silva has it in him to change it soon.
35 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:42:59
Early in the season before even all of his acquisitions had gotten to start a game, the team looked so much better than last season.
So what went wrong when the team was strengthened by the appearances of Mina, Bernard and Gomes?
Th cup-tie is a great opportunity to rest all these ''tired'' players.
36 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:46:01
Fatigue and loss of confidence are probably factors too given the run we've been on recently. Why focus on the defence and bring that inadequate tit Moyes into your argument? How would you go about eradicating human error? By making sure the entire side is camped in it's own half and there's at least 2 other players within 6 yards of anyone at all times to pounce on the mistake and rectify it when it occurs?
Your damn right that Moyes probably taking a nil-nil at home to Leicester was causative in our failure to ever get anywhere under his leadership. So much so we only improved by 4 points between his first full season and his last one, 11 years later. It would have taken him another half a century to mount a serious title challenge at the rate he was going.
Things must be bad if Moyes is being eulogised on these pages.
37 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:51:03
Hull were a losing side and he turned it round for a time, but there was no real pressure on him as the fans all thought they were down. At Watford he was sacked in such form without getting the opportunity to show it. For me it's the big question mark over Silva. Is he just a sunny day manager, or can he turn it around.
The only thing I do know for sure is that he will put the effort in, especially the hours. There's no doubt about that.
Unlike Koeman, of course. And unlike Koeman, there's no where else for him to go if he fails here. Only back to Portugal, and to a smaller club. Everything rests on him turning this around.
38 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:54:27
I would add that Moyes had a ceiling, and his desire to churn out 0-0s when the going got tough is perhaps the reason he had this ceiling. I believe Silva has a higher ceiling and it's his desire to win every game that makes it so.
39 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:01:33
I really hope that Silva and the players don't think they simply need to turn up to win.
40 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:03:32
Got it right? By what standard? He won absolutely nothing in 11 years. He is the most unsuccessful manager in the entire history of the club. No-one failed for as long as he did.
Our last successful manager was sacked less than two years after winning the FA Cup. The club still had ambition back in the 90s. Luckily for Moyes, he wasn't in charge during this time.
41 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:03:34
Throughout the game, Leicester's small following made more noise than 36,000 home fans. That is not unusual. Our home support is the quietest in the league, which I guess is a product of mid-table mediocrity.
42 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:07:14
If you've got the years on me that you actually enjoyed those games in the 80s I was too young to appreciate, then you're a lucky man.
43 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:10:09
44 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:11:22
It was a total fluke anyway. He never did it again and the total of points, 61, wouldn't get you anywhere near 4th place, 90-odd percent of the time.
45 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:11:47
Going into Xmas, we were above them in the placings; we are now 11 points behind. They suffered months of turmoil, strife and loss of confidence under Mourinho but what a difference a change of manager has brought.
Silva has had a lot more time to line up his ducks but, so far, is no better than Big Sam.
46 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:13:37
47 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:21:43
Perhaps he was here for too long but that wasn't his fault.
And no, I don't want him back, thanks – but he should receive some credit.
48 Posted 02/01/2019 at 23:42:52
Under Moyes, we went from being relegation candidates every fucking year, with dire teams and worse playing styles, to being a regular top-7 or top-6 team. We were always battling either Villa, or Spurs for 6th, we played in Europe, we dreamed of making the next step.
We signed rough diamonds at bargain prices, like Pienaar, Baines, Arteta, Cahill; we got the absolute best out of average players like Carsley, Neville, Kilbane, Osman, and Hibbert.
Before Moyes, our wingers were players like Alexandersson and Naysmith, with Steve Watson leading the line and a back 5. His time has gone, the game has moved on and all. But he is, like it or not, the best manager we've had since the 80s.
He got the best he could with very little, unlike our last 4 managers who've had resources but only ever manage to underperform. The reason we have ambitions for top6 is Moyes, because take away the Moyes years from our history books and we are a bottom half team with the occasional visit to the top half.
49 Posted 03/01/2019 at 00:44:01
Four fucking managers in three years have made no difference to this miasma. God knows how many signings, transfers, and loanees have similarly failed to cure the problem because, as exemplified over the Crimbo matches (and, yes, even including the bizarre result at Burnley), we've looked shite.
So, just might the problem be with Finch Farm's ex-Everton player coaches, the guys appointed aeons ago by Uncle Bill, unqualified in any way as some were? They've been the one constant throughout the deplorable past four seasons – not the managers, not the squads, not the ownership, and not the boards.
Answers on a postcard, please.
50 Posted 03/01/2019 at 00:51:51
51 Posted 03/01/2019 at 01:15:23
52 Posted 03/01/2019 at 01:28:48
Target man, big nasty narky mouthy vocal bastard to play against, I reckon defenders would know they'd been in a game up against him.
Well, if you can't get the best, just pick from the rest! And I need to get back to sleep!
53 Posted 03/01/2019 at 02:31:15
You can have the best manager in the world but regardless of talent, if the players haven't got the will to win, he won't get results. Have a look up the road.
Silva and his coaching staff need our support now. It is the players' responsibility to give the fans something to get worked up about – each one of them has to find the will to win and express it on the pitch.
Fortunately I see that quality in quite a few of our players. If the manager identifies a player that hasn't got that quality, he should bench them, regardless of price tag, reputation or what they do in training.
If I was the manager I would revert to 4-4-2 because with my limited knowledge of the game that looks the simplest formation to play to me.
Kenny, Mina, Zouma, Digne
Sigurdsson, Davies, Gueye, Gomes
And I would play that team against Lincoln City.
54 Posted 03/01/2019 at 03:46:09
Watch Kane from the weekends games and you see a striker busting a gut to get into the box when he has laid the ball off.
Ours seem to meander and stroll around in non-threatening positions, giving defenders nothing to fear or worry about.
All good strikers score a myriad of goals but the vast majority of them are straight-forward tap in's or scruffy 6-yard box scrambles; good strikers are opportunists, preying on bad defensive errors or decent balls into them.
Ours... Bluntly do fuck all.
55 Posted 03/01/2019 at 04:48:23
Paul Birmingham @ 17-ish; Sounds like we need a PE Instructor... but it's too late now; all this needs doing in July. Hard work in July is like money in the fitness bank – "Train hard, Play easy" we used to get told.
We have all these highly qualified fitness gurus and sports scientists and we seem to be going backwards. I can't bring myself to write the name of he who must not be named ever again in connection with EFC, but who's the best Scottish PE Instructor we know??? Just for 6 weeks from 1 July or whenever training starts, and throw in a couple of mini vans to Ainsdale sandhills as well.
I can't believe I'm even thinking this... just keep him away from the teamsheet.
56 Posted 03/01/2019 at 05:55:13
It comes across as random motion for the bulk of this season's games. When good, it's fine but why can't good be consistent and very good and consistent and aim for the next level of excellence and reliability?
The club is currently mid-table and this season; at this rate if we make top 7, that will be a recovery from where we are now, but won't meet aspirations of most fans and the board. After all the money spent, it will be interesting to see any war chest funds for this summer.
If we make top 8, it's another season in no-man's land. The place monies for position finished probably may be required elsewhere, to support the Bramley-Moore Dock project.
If there was an esprit de corp shown every game, even in defeat, and the players have given their all, that's what you want to see, but that's not been the case.
We live in hope, but the FA Cup must be taken seriously by the manager. Let's take Lincoln and beat them and build. They will fancy their chances.
It's been a frustrating first half-season, let's hope the second half improves and the team gets the basics right, every game. Is that too much to hope for?
57 Posted 03/01/2019 at 06:49:24
Steve F is bang on the money... it not an excuse its a reason. Leicester saw far less of the ball, but they were able to play with an intensity we couldn't match.
There are lots of reasons why this happens, but the "Get them running along Formby beach" mentality isn't the answer. That's too simplistic, it's also prehistoric and would only compound the situation and draw more from energy levels.
I don't believe other managers have better methods of getting players fit than Silva does; that again is a tad naïve. The sports scientist and modern methods for testing a players energy levels have taken much of that responsibility away from the manager.
We need to sign more naturally athletic players, Gana is the only player we have who can match the athletes. Unfortunately he may save you games, but he will very rarely win them for you. Gomes is a decent player, but more athletic opposition will run him into the ground – no amount of training will alter that. Players like Bernard may be able to dazzle for 15-20 minutes, but players like Hazzard and Silva are just as menacing in the 90th minute as they are in the 1st. They don't just have skill they are natural athletes. That's the sort of player you require to break into the top group.
I'm no longer worried about the best, we are now really struggling against the rest. We've been sussed. They may not have players as skilful as ours, but most of them have better athletes and they know that our players will struggle against a defiant two banks. They also know we will give them at least one good chance.
If Silva is to be a top manager he needs to come up with ways to combat this. It's good to sign a Bernard now and again, but you also need to sign the occasional Sissoko. No amount of training will turn one into the other.
58 Posted 03/01/2019 at 07:52:10
In hindsight now, Sissoko looks like he would have been a tremendous signing under Koeman. We need more meat and less fruit and veg in our team, there are too many players made out of puff pastry and far too flakey.
Give me some athleticism and some proper brute force.
59 Posted 03/01/2019 at 08:45:11
You don't see them like Ratty used to put the fear of god into the others if they weren't performing, someone to shout, praise, organise... None of those above are capable and, until we get a real leader, I'm afraid we will still see abject performances like the last 2 weeks (and more).
60 Posted 03/01/2019 at 09:31:43
There is talent in this team but there are some big holes too. I'd say that an all-round athletic central midfielder, a dynamic right-back (the old Coleman or a right-footed Digne) and a striker capable of linking play and scoring goals are top of the list.
Doucoure, Wan-Bissaka and Wilson would be the premiership options but I suspect those three would likely cost around £120m and that's where Brands must come in and maybe find more affordable options.
61 Posted 03/01/2019 at 09:32:08
I get that players are just human but the level that they play at surely they should be able to pick themselves up and take positives out of the derby as we all did and not just retreat into their shells. As to all those wishing Silva sacked saying we've been rubbish all season, how many were saying right after the derby game that they wanted Liverpool in the FA Cup? Plenty!
As to the game, well I feel a bit sorry for Keane as he had a decent game but was his mistake that gave away the goal. What really annoys me is how we manage to play our way into trouble at the back. I get we want to play football but sometimes that's not possible due to pressure. When that happens, it's okay just to put your foot through the ball not give it to another player under pressure.
We did that 4 or 5 times without seeing to learn from it. That's the frustration. Teams are able to beat us by us making mistakes not the opposition outplaying us. Even Spurs benefited by generous mistakes by us.
Gana, much maligned on here for being not "a game changer" is a game changer every game. He does exactly what he's meant to, break up play, win tackles, get possession back, pass to better ball players, what do people want? He's not the playmaker, he's not the goalscorer he's a defensive midfielder who does his job very well in the Carsley mode.
The rest need to take responsibility. Gana along with Keane (mistake notwithstanding), Kenny and maybe Digne, played okay, the rest were creatively shocking. No movement, no ideas and no heart. Effort seemed to be there but no end product. Silva does have his work cut out. There was no-one angry after the goal, no Cahill or Arteta or someone like that telling teammates it's not good enough and to step it up, that's what we really miss, players who inspire.
Steve F, I completely agree regarding Moyes. We did see some good football let down by limited ambition. 2007 to 09 he built a great little team with very limited funds and, if we had upgraded with a proven ambitious manager after the '09 FA Cup Final, then who knows what may have happened? What we do know is that, when Moyes had bedded in, then his teams would never have constantly capitulated. But you have to let a manager bed in.
We are probably only just better off now than when Moyes first came in. It took him around 3 years to get proper consistency (I accept that, when we finished 4th, the rest of the league wasn't very good) and the 07 to 09 team was very good. Only Moyes's cautious nature held us back. We have to give Silva time to sort out the mess he walked into.
62 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:16:21
63 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:52:09
Many hate those stats, but if your prospective player is struggling to run 4 km in a 45 min half (Lukaku?) it may not matter in a goal hanger, but in a supposedly semi-mobile mid-fielder (Gomes?) its a bit of a worry.
Does anybody know if players are put on the aerobic treadmill measuring thingy, or is it just count limbs and cough... you'd like to think the former. I know you can put stamina on to sprint, but not the other way around.
So what is it? Can't Run? if so, whoever sanctioned the signing want sacking. Or Won't Run, if not why not... that's the manager's job. This then becomes a sort of contest, the loser, depending, either gets moved on or sacked... I'm sure it's not that simple, but is it actually that hard?
The basics have been known since the days of Bannister and before and improved on by Arthur Lydiate and others. In the AFL, they play 4 x 20 min quarters and the top guys run 15 km, the record is 17.2 km.
I ask again wtf do they actually do (wrong, if anything??) at FF that teams can out-run and out-muscle us in a game.
Short version: Can't run or won't run? That is the question.
64 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:17:10
I'm not so sure it is necessarily a fitness issue in itself. Up to the derby game we competed well in games. The RS, supposedly the fittest team in the league, well we more than matched it, as we did at Arsenal, the Chavs and Mancs. What we have seen is a distinct lack of intensity since the derby.
Also we do not have the quality in the squad at the moment to replace players when they lose some intensity. What I saw against Leicester wasn't a lack of effort but a team bereft of confidence. They didn't stop trying, it wasn't a carbon copy of Allardyce or Koeman whereby we couldn't push ourselves over the half way line, we just had a severe lack of ideas.
After the derby the RS changed 7 players in their team for their game against Burnley and won comfortably. We can't do that and not lose out in quality. Since Moyes left the fitness levels have dipped alarmingly. Silva has got them fitter to the point that they will compete for the 90 minutes but mentally is a different kettle of fish.
The top teams have a ready made selection of replacements without losing cohesion;, we don't. As to the rest of the trams in the division, we are all much of a muchness. Peaks and troughs. Look at the table, we are all about the same. Teams go on half decent runs then bad runs, like ourselves. Leicester boss Puel has been under pressure but 3 wins from 4 has alleviated that, same if we went on a run.
We need a better squad to get better. Players to come in to do as good as those they replace. It will get better. The ones who have arrived since summer have done well for most part. The team needs freshening up but we don't have that luxury at present.
We will get better fitness wise. We are playing catch up in that department after probably 4 years of neglect. Shouting and screaming about what they do at Finch Farm isn't going to change that. I think some people feel like Silva took over a decent squad who were flying. He didn't; he took over a mess. Give him a chance to change that.
65 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:18:24
I have read the match programmes from our visits to every Premier League ground over the past decade. A constant is that club academies are stuffed with former players. The players produced by our academy at Finch Farm perform better than most. Both Under-18s and Under-23s are currently top of their league. We consistently produce players considered the best in their age groups and worthy of international recognition. Some of those players indeed have won a World Cup in their age group.
Where progress starts to level off is when players progress to first team level. The one constant at that level in recent seasons has been a merry-go-round of change. Each new manager brings his own entourage of coaches, fitness gurus etc.
So we had Martinez accompanied by Jones, Bergara and others. We had Koeman with his brother and others. We had Allardyce, Sammy Lee, Craig Shakespeare and others. This season we have Silva, Joao Pedro Sousa, Hugo Oliveira, Gonçalo Pedro, Bruno Mendes, Antonios Lemonakis and Dr Aboul Shaheir.
None of these exotic names had any previous connections with Everton or Bill Kenwright.
66 Posted 03/01/2019 at 11:47:33
Calvert-Lewin; Sheff Utd
Keane; Man Utd
Kenny; one of ours...
Then again, I suppose one through our Academy every 2 or 3 years is as much as we should hope.
67 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:12:00
We can't find or afford a Mbappe, but fitness can be improved... not too sure on the correct attitude required to work on the fitness can ever be taught willingly – and there's the problem.
How fast, for how long, and how hard Lincoln will run... and for how much less money.
68 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:41:37
Now at least we can have a go up until the final whistle. Now Moyes was a very strict disciplinarian and trained the squad very hard as I'm sure you know. He didn't get the necessary fitness levels right away, it took time. As much as I don't like comparing with across the park, the RS struggled with Klopp's fitness demands when he first arrived and it's only really this season, his third, for the change to be noticeable.
Now attitude is another matter. For me, I thought it was very unprofessional for the players over the last 4 years to let themselves get so lazy. I get the point that players get away with what they can and the manager should push them but also it should be a basic staple of a professional sportsman to be as fit as the can be regardless if the manager thinks it's necessary.
I would be ashamed if I was a top-level professional and I couldn't last a full 90 minutes. I think Silva is getting rid of those kind of players. Same players don't generally seem to be good team players either. Lincoln players will run and run but whatever team we put out should be good enough to get past them (famous last words).
As I said, I think the effort has been there but it's come as a kind of huff and puff with no guile. We didn't give up but we just had no ideas. Mentally fatigued imo. We still need to be fitter and sharper but that will come. It's the silly things we need to concentrate on, passing, decision-making and being cool under pressure. Up front, there just seems to be panic whenever we have a chance on goal at the moment. Snatching at a chance instead of cooly burying it. Lack of quality I guess.
I could be totally wrong about Silva, and time will tell but we still need to give him a chance. Whilst it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, we are much better on the eye and fitter than we have been for a while so let's see if he can carry on improving.
69 Posted 03/01/2019 at 13:13:41
70 Posted 03/01/2019 at 13:57:26
71 Posted 03/01/2019 at 16:44:54
Siggi has had a lot of football including the WC and rushed back from injury for that.
At the halfway mark, Gomes needs resting and we need Lookman fit to give Walcott and Richarlison some competition.
72 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:12:13
Silvas decision to pick largely from the same 14/15 players has compounded the situation.
Why when we were doing well did he not select or rest one players or two?
His decision to continually select Walcott & Coleman over Lookman & Kenny looks a very poor decision. So when you are pleading that the players are fatigued, remember Silva had choices and has largely chosen to stick with the same core.
Lack of squad depth you say? Again true and probably a decent shout, yet Leicester & Brighton have tough schedules like all teams at Christmas and have poorer squads than us.
That tiredness and lack of depth surely work in our favour? We have better players?
But we barely laid a glove on either side.
So how about Burnley? Arguably the most physical game we had over the festive period and we breezed past a poor but very direct team. Must have been the turkey dinner the day before!
Look Ive watched a stack of football over the holidays and its not been great but teams much lesser than ourselves have found a way. The fitness thing for me cancels itself out to a point, tactics however play a much greater role and theyve been lacking. Further more when we go behind it becomes confused, and our shape is punctured as Silva lashes forward after forward on.
At Brighton when Niasse came on I saw a coach who has lost sight of what he was doing. It was desperate.
I hope we see a more controlled Everton in the next month and Silva tempers his gun-ho approach and starts beating the teams we should beat rather than lauding losing performances at the big boys.
73 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:02:39
Would it be expecting too much for him to figure that out himself? He hasn't figured out that if he worked harder he would do better for the team. Maybe he is due huge credit as he's now up to 5th worst in the league for average ground covered from last in the league when he was parked up front for Everton. 2 of those he has overtaken are Cardiff full backs.
74 Posted 03/01/2019 at 22:04:50
75 Posted 03/01/2019 at 23:03:05
76 Posted 03/01/2019 at 23:27:53
77 Posted 04/01/2019 at 01:48:22
78 Posted 04/01/2019 at 07:11:57
The technology is there to monitor fitness levels etc it does not do the hard work of actually getting fit.
79 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:03:07
Without Moyes we wouldn't have top 6 ambitions? We've won 9 league titles, beaten only by 3 clubs.
We were 6th under Royle in 1996. We were briefly in 6th until March 2000 under Smith. Look it up. 6th Isn't success.
Naysmith was a left back not a winger. Steve Watson seldom if ever 'lead the line'. He did get a hat trick under Moyes though, ironically, and didn't look any worse as a goal threat than the millions of pounds worth of strikers he signed and misused during his tenure.
There was no money bags City during most of Moyes time in charge. Spurs were a shambles and other clubs that spent money like West Ham and Newcastle were so mismanaged they could only achieve relegation. If anything Moyes benefited enormously from continuity and the lack of funds that could have been wasted on drastic and catastrophic changes to his team. The few times he was given decent money he misused it and bought players like Bilyanetdinov and Van Der Meyde.
Martinez wasn't really backed. He brought money in through the sales of Fellaini, Jelevic, Anichebe, Naismith, etc. and the only big purchase was Lukaku. He beat Moyes 65 points with 72 of his own and beat Moyes 1 final and the 3rd round of the league cup in 2009 with 2 semi's in 2015/16. His best signing is also our record premier league goal scorer. Moyes best signing, according to himself anyway, averaged 7 goals a year playing as the main goal threat of his team and made a name for himself by punching corner flags.
80 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:29:45
Thats the level we were at when Moyes took over. History doesnt mean squat when youve got a crap team and no money to spend.
Moyes was far from perfect but he left the club in a much better state than when he found it. Thats a success in my book.
81 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:35:18
We didn't get to the Champions League. We got to the Champions League third qualifying round. Big difference.
82 Posted 04/01/2019 at 23:40:59
83 Posted 04/01/2019 at 00:00:21
Hahah you're not wrong there!
84 Posted 05/01/2019 at 10:22:15
85 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:27:06
The club had under-achieved since 1987 to 2002 and Moyes had 11 years so I would expect to see some level of improvement given those 2 facts. So what?
He was beaten in terms of both best season premier league points total and one season cup record by Martinez. Fact.
86 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:27:53
87 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:39:27
Martinez had one good season. With a team mostly built by Moyes.
88 Posted 05/01/2019 at 11:40:54
Yeah it's a fact that Martinez in his first season of taking over Moyes team got more points but look how he left it. If you're championing Martinez then no wonder some supporters have such a low expectation level. Yeah did well initially but created dull to boring football and left a toxic legacy. Yeah excellent stuff.
89 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:03:35
90 Posted 05/01/2019 at 12:15:59
I know we shouldnt mention the other crowd, but they are full of speed, rather than full of strength Laurie, which proves the adage that speed is strength, especially if you can keep up the intensity for long periods?
I loved that clip on the zig-zag run, because I used to take my team training on the hills on Netherfield Rd, and I remember an old clever boxing coach telling me anyone will get up the hills, in there own time, and he was correct.
Thats why they didnt mind doing the hills, but they fuckin hated doing those zig-zags!
91 Posted 06/01/2019 at 06:51:32
I reckon we should send our lads and our coach off to Fiji as part of their pre season next year. They could learn a lot from these lads.
If you want a heartwarming 20 minutes have a look at this clip about their preparation for and return from the 2016 Olympics which they won defeating Great Britain 43-7. Not a treadmill in site.
Maybe we should send Eitc there too - these people would make great Evertonians - they are a happy lot.
92 Posted 06/01/2019 at 08:32:56
But then again, Moyes was labelled a 'dinosaur' as a trainer.
93 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:03:53
I can't really be bothered arguing with people that rate David Moyes. All I will say is 4 jobs, 3 sackings, 1 relegation.
Total laughing stock after his time at Manchester United.
94 Posted 06/01/2019 at 16:17:27
Yes, there was a response early in the season, as so often happens when a new man takes over, but what problems were visible on a small scale then have become a full-blown manifestation to the point that any team that gets the ball in Everton's half looks dangerous.
They need some more signings now but, in the absence of anything happening, they should at least use some of the young lads to give them the experience.
Of the senior players, they do have some misfits who should be let go – even if they haven't been here long.
I suspect, however, that the powers to be are just willing to wing it with Silva and the current squad, at least until season's end, when it's almost certain Everton will finish mid-table.
95 Posted 06/01/2019 at 18:29:26
96 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:55:18
Fact of the matter is regardless of any opinion, Moyes left the club in a far better state than any of the last half dozen managers — even if he did stay 5 years too long. To say otherwise is just highlighting your own hatred against what he did.
I'm not interested in what he has subsequently done, it's irrelevant. I also haven't suggested that he should come back either.
You obviously dislike any kind of achievement and given the shit state of the club when he arrived I think he did a pretty decent job given the lack of resources. He made us competitive and gave us back some pride.
I can only assume that you missed a lot of the games like the mancs, Fiorentina, RS games etc where the atmosphere was electric due to your inherent dislike of everything Moyes. Let's not rewrite history eh. Guess the reason you can't be bothered arguing is that you have no argument.
97 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:09:53
Are you really glorying in the fact that, given over a decade in charge and starting from a position of being utter garbage, that he 'left the club in a better state than he found it'?
98 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:42:26
He didn't nail it. He doesn't deserve glory. But equally he wasn't a failure. There's plenty of room in between.
I don't ‘rate' Moyes. But he clearly did a very decent job with us even though he overstayed.
99 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:47:07
So, going by the 'he won nothin' approach to valuing success, Pochettino was/is a failure, and Ramos was a resounding success?
Also, Kenny Dalglish's recent spell as manager was obviously far more successful than anything that failure Jurgen Klopp has done. I mean, Dalglish won something while the hapless Klopp is just failing his way to no silverware.
Moyes was manager of a team that had an almost zero net-spend during his time as manager, and in all my 32 years supporting the Blues, my best memories of with him at the helm, the European nights, Fergies winner against Man Utd, Bainaar, Arteta, Timmy Cahill. We were always 6th/7th, we regularly played in Europe ( and were desperately unlucky vs Fiorentina). And yes, the game has passed him now, and I'd never have him back. But I won't rewrite history to suit an agenda.
If we had hired the right man after Moyes, we could well be where Spurs are today. But no, we have failed desperately to replace him, and are sat around mid-table and Goodison is a rather easy place for other teams to come and play.
And 6th under Smith? I was young, but I largely remember Smith taking us to 17th/16th and forever being miserable having spent my paper-round money to attend the game. Paul Gerrard in goal. Naysmith playing as a winger (I know he was a left back, but that was how I remember those woeful days), Scott Gemmil and Mark Pembridge the midfield gems, Mikel Madar and Joe-Max Moore doing god knows what up front.
They were dark times. Moyes took us away from that, and made us over-perform.
Since Moyes has left, and this is the key point, apart from Martinez's first season, we have been a team that has under-performed.
Silva has the task of at least making us play to our level (7th), but a good manager should make us play above our level (5th or above)
100 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:49:02
101 Posted 11/01/2019 at 21:59:45
The crowd were buzzing, the ground was rocking, the atmosphere was electric. Who gives a fuck?! We lost!!!
They are small time thinkers idolising a small time man who has been well and truly found out in every club he has managed since leaving us. This tit actually left here believing he was a top coach for doing the sort of job an Allardyce or a Pulis could do. He made no progress in 10 years. The immediate improvement back in 2003 was due to how bad we were when he arrived.
At least Martinez tried to actually achieve something and got within a whisker of both finals in his last season here.
102 Posted 11/01/2019 at 22:01:03
You make a lot of salient points and I agree with so much of what you say but I can't agree about this 'level' we're supposed to be at. Where does that come from? Who sets it?
Regarding Moshiri and his comments this week about our museum. I'm sick and tired of 'Grand Old Team' and 'Forever Everton' as an intro to 'Z-Cars' every home game. No wonder we're a joke. Ditch them. Keep 'Z-Cars' and ditch all that shitty yesteryear pre-amble to every home game and fucking move on!!!
103 Posted 11/01/2019 at 22:08:22
Pochettino is a failure if he doesn't win anything and Dalglish was more successful than Klopp.
What is your point?
104 Posted 11/01/2019 at 22:18:33
However, it would be churlish indeed not to admire the good things he did. He stopped us from being called "crisis club Everton", he made some fine signings and at times played some fine football. Just stayed far too long.
105 Posted 12/01/2019 at 08:06:19
Andy @104, spot on.
106 Posted 12/01/2019 at 13:30:08
You think Pochettino has been a success at Spurs? He has had over 3 times as long as his predecessor. Had the benefit of continuity and continual building. Saw players like Kane come through the youth set-up and still he hasn't won anything or improved their game-by-game success by any big degree.
107 Posted 12/01/2019 at 13:54:42
108 Posted 12/01/2019 at 14:32:11
Yet scraping a League Cup title you consider success? Total bullshit.
And as for Moyes: from 2006-07 to 2012-13: 6th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th.
Since: 5th, 11th, 11th, 7th, 8th
Moyes had a net spend of £5.6 million over his 11 years.
The managers since, apart from Martinez's first season with a £12million profit (Fellaini sale), have had net spends of: £34M, £34M, £69M, £22,6M, £68,4M.
Again, I believe Moyes stagnated; I believe the game has passed Moyes by... I'd never suggeet having him back. But a failure he wasn't. Fact.
109 Posted 12/01/2019 at 14:43:09
Perhaps you define failure as not winning trophies but can you at least admit that there are other definitions and criteria?
I'm guessing that you'll never concede an inch in this (or any) argument.
110 Posted 12/01/2019 at 15:23:19
Before I respond to the rest of your post could you define what you mean by 'perennial under-achievers' in the case of Spurs? You clearly don't mean not winning anything as that would be a strange definition for you to use given the nature of your position in this debate. So what do you mean?
Sam @109. 'Success' = winning things. Pochettino hasn't won anything therefore he hasn't had any 'success'. Fact? Or should I 'look it up'?
111 Posted 12/01/2019 at 15:34:24
You honestly believe Klopp and Pochettino have been 'failures'? Serious? Jesus wept...
Spurs before Pochettino were perennially below their neighbours, would flip between 4th and 8th (in recent years) whilst before even more inconsistent with finishes of 11th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 14th.
Under Pochettino, they have had finishes of 5th, 3rd, 2nd and currently sit 3rd. Yet, according to your wisdom, their period of success in all these years was when they finished 11th and won the League Cup.
112 Posted 12/01/2019 at 16:15:12
113 Posted 12/01/2019 at 16:27:07
That for example is an opinion, not a fact. Success can arguably take many different forms. Depends on the situation and expectations. If a League Two manager took his club through successive promotions and then finished second in the Premier League, you'd claim he'd had no success without a trophy?
So I guess you'd say No to Pochettino for Everton? Once again, you'd be in the minority.
114 Posted 12/01/2019 at 16:42:16
115 Posted 12/01/2019 at 17:06:53
If David Wagner took Huddersfield to second in the Premier League and the final of the FA Cup, you'd say his season was a failure?!
116 Posted 12/01/2019 at 17:17:32
How did a discussion about Pochettino and Klopp become a conversation about hypothetic lower league teams getting promoted anyway?
Top clubs win trophies. If they don't then they are not top clubs. Simple.
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