Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde and the Pantomime Villain

By Lyndon Lloyd 09/03/2019 107comments  |  Jump to last

They say that 2-0 can be the most dangerous scoreline in football; that uneasy position for the leading side that can be upset so quickly if they allow the other team to shift the momentum by getting a goal back. Add in Everton’s exasperating propensity to shoot themselves in both feet and some typically poor refereeing from Lee Mason and you have the recipe for what unfolded at St James’ Park today.

This was the quintessential game of two halves; the first had one wondering where this imaginative and purposeful Everton has been the past three months while the second left you cursing the mental fragility and abysmal game management that this Blues team under the current manager continues to exhibit.

The winning goal was a travesty of poor officiating and the muddied waters of the modern offside rule but the maddening aspect of this game wasn’t that Everton lost it, it’s the manner in which they tossed away a 2-0 lead and crumbled at the first sign of concerted pressure. A crumb of comfort could have been taken had Ayoze Perez’s winner been chalked off as it should have been but there would have been very little margin between a 2-2 draw and a 3-2 defeat in terms of how deflated Evertonians felt at the final whistle.

It was depressingly reminiscent of the draws at Wolves and Bournemouth and also brought to mind Watford’s defeat by the same scoreline at Goodison Park under Silva in 2017 when David Unsworth was in temporary charge. Injury to Heurelho Gomes in that match was a contributory factor in the Hornets’ collapse but it was a bumbling display by the Portuguese’s current goalkeeper that underpinned part of today’s calamity.

Jeered and booed throughout by the Toon faithful, Jordan Pickford lost his head trying to wind them up and, having escaped punishment for a howler in the first half by saving Matt Ritchie’s penalty, he failed to check himself in the second period and ended up contributing enormously to a damaging defeat.

Had the England international been sent off in the 29th minute for rugby-tackling Salomon Rondon in an attempt to atone for a horrible misjudgement of Ritchie’s cross, it wouldn’t have been all that surprising. Perhaps because he was unsighted, that he and his assistant felt that the ball was going away from goal or that Kurt Zouma was retreating into his goalmouth to cover, the referee elected not to show Pickford a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity but the moment of madness could have cost the Blues their 1-0 lead 11 minutes after Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed them in front.

That 18th-minute goal had been a thing of beauty and exemplified the invention and drive that Everton showed for much of the first 45 minutes. Bernard, whose earlier back-heel to Lucas Digne had carved out an early first half-chance for Gylfi Sigurdsson, combined with the Frenchman again with a lovely reverse pass that Digne chipped into the centre for Calvert-Lewin to glance home in accomplished fashion.

A Magpies goal against the run of play would have been somewhat galling but Pickford, who wasn’t even booked for cleaning out Rondon in his penalty area, would redeem himself by saving what was an admittedly poor spot-kick from Ritchie to preserve the 1-0 advantage.

And when Everton doubled their lead a minute later, it appeared as though the penalty save had provided an irrevocable turning point in the game. Bernard was involved again, threading a pass to Calvert-Lewin whose attempted cross was headed out only as far as André Gomes who showed great strength to hold off his man and ping the ball across goal from wide on the right.

Martin Dubravka could only palm the Portuguese’s cross into Richarlison’s path and the Brazilian, preferred to Theo Walcott following his energetic cameo in the Merseyside derby, was on hand to stab the ball home from close range.

The urgency of their situation and the home fans’ ire at Mason and his officials combined to fuel a flurry of activity late in the half from Newcastle who, apart from an early chance when Pickford punched a clearance straight to Perez and the Spaniard looped a header over the bar, hadn’t really threatened all that much.

Perez was released in behind a somewhat flat-footed Kurt Zouma by a pinged ball over the top from a Magpies defender but Pickford came up big with a smart one-handed save.

2-0 up and coasting at the break, all Everton had to do was continue what they had been doing and that is what Silva claims the instructions were. And initially, it looked as though they would do just that as Bernard popped up in the Newcastle box early in the second half but shot well wide trying to bend a shot on goal.

Rafael Benitez, however, had clearly told his men to up the intensity and increasingly favour longer balls in an effort to unsettle Everton’s infamously erratic defence and it almost paid dividends 11 minutes after the interval when Rondon out-muscled Michael Keane and, with Pickford in “no man’s land”, the big striker bounced a shot a foot wide of the post.

Having ceded much of the impetus to their hosts, Everton tried to break away in the 65th minute but Bernard couldn’t dribble his way past two striped jerseys, Ritchie’s back-heel to Bobby Hayden took the Brazilian out of the game and within seconds the ball had been clipped to the edge of the Blues’ box.

Perez nodded it back to Rondon, he returned it to his strike partner and then made a run to meet Perez’s chipped ball over Jonjoe Kenny where he half-volleyed past Pickford to halve the deficit.

Three minutes later, the otherwise impressive Bernard sent a clearance straight to Ritchie and his cross was back-headed narrowly over by Paul Dummett as Everton wobbled.

Although playing increasingly on the counter-attack, Everton regained their composure somewhat and could have put the game to bed with around 20 minutes to go. First, Calvert-Lewin engineered space for a shot in the Magpies’ area but drilled his effort inches wide; then, Sigurdsson sent Richarlison into the clear for a one-on-one confrontation with Dubravka but an awful first touch from the Brazilian allowed Dummett to get across and slide-tackle the ball out for a throw-in.

Silva had already decided by that point on the “Moyes sub” and he withdrew Richarlison in favour of another centre-half in the form of Yerry Mina but that failed to address the lack of control in midfield where, perhaps, Morgan Schneiderlin would have been a better substitution. Everton failed to register a shot on target in the second 45 minutes and found themselves pushed further backwards.

The result was more Newcastle pressure and, aided by referee Mason becoming ever more lenient on the home side in terms of ignoring a series of apparent fouls on Everton players, they assailed the visitors’ defence and scored twice in the space of three minutes, starting in the 81st.

Miguel Almiron, who had hitherto been mostly contained by Everton despite his pace and movement, unloaded a swerving shot from 25-plus yards and Pickford parried it straight to Perez who had followed it in and had the simple task of stroking it home.

2-2 and there was an air of inevitability of what was to follow given how Everton had gone to pieces as the second half had worn on. Rondon half-volleyed narrowly wide from the angle a minute later and Dummett tested Pickford again with a stinging shot of his own that the keeper finally pushed away from goal rather than in front of it but a minute after that Newcastle grabbed their controversial winner following the resulting corner.

The initial set-piece was cleared but the ball was dinked over the top as the Everton defence moved up, catching four striped shirts offside in the process. The assistant’s flag stayed down, however, and Rondon knocked it on with his thigh to Perez who couldn’t miss in front of goal.

Ademola Lookman was already on for Bernard and Kenny, a late replacement in the line-up for Seamus Coleman who came down with an illness before kick-off, was taken off in favour of Theo Walcott but there would be no last-minute heroics from a Blues side that was mentally defeated. Another sorry capitulation and the question marks over the club’s immediate future reappear.

Just as was the case under Roberto Martinez, the Silva project is only going to succeed if the manager can demonstrate an ability to learn from past mistakes and develop the nous to successfully manage games. That is the gamble in hiring a young, largely unproven manager — you put your faith in a dynamic and progressive coach to evolve.

Silva was let down badly by his goalkeeper who veered like a pendulum from brilliant to ridiculous over the 90 minutes and his outfield players did him few favours by allowing themselves to be bullied and over-whelmed by a team that simply wanted it more in the second half.

The manager has to take his share of the blame, however, for his failure to control the game. The decision to alter the shape by throwing Mina on so early was a poor one and, once again, it revealed a worrying lack of awareness and savvy from Silva who desperately needs to demonstrate clear progress over the final eight matches.

Evertonians have seen this movie before, though; Martinez proved unable to improve and paid for it with his job and Silva appears to be heading in the same direction. After this latest collapse, you find yourself wondering not how long it’s going to take for things to turn around but how long this will all play out before its inevitable conclusion — a few weeks; months; a couple of years?

(The title of this report was changed post-publication – Ed)

Reader Comments (107)

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 09/03/2019 at 21:21:19
Lyndon, a dirty look would unsettle our defence, never mind a long ball. May I ask your view on this, and I know you take a very balanced view; do you believe that Silva is stuck in the no-man's land of placating supporters now or sacrificing now and building for the future? What, in your view should he do?

Or, is this is his best and there is no future?

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 09/03/2019 at 21:38:25
Another afternoon of rank amateur fuckery and dickheadery behaviour from our manager and fuckin dinosaur arms in goal.

Another embarrassing afternoon and weekend of football spoilt by overpaid dicks masquerading as professional footballers.

Oh for the days when there was a bit of pride in supporting Everton.

Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 09/03/2019 at 21:49:23
I’m very disillusioned right now, Andy. I’ve felt for a while now that unless Silva can demonstrate that he is evolving — to rectify the weaknesses that have characterised his time in the Premier League — then his tenure will only end up like Martinez’s.

He isn’t and so it seems like it’s just a question of time before Moshiri decides it’s not working and never will. That’s not a very optimistic outlook but it’s just how I feel at the moment. Maybe I’ll feel differently at the end of the season if he has overseen some genuinely good performances and results against the likes of Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Spurs in the weeks to come but, honestly, as we sit here this evening, who amongst us is confident of that?

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 09/03/2019 at 21:53:55
Lyndon, thank you thank you for giving me strength enough to stagger onward from this awful period of poor management. I am afraid we will be saddled for some time with this latest chancer.

I hope he and his devoted Twebbers learned from the Football Management Master Class handed out by Rafa, but I doubt it.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 09/03/2019 at 21:57:48

I honestly cannot see us laying a glove on Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd or Spurs, we rarely score against the top six let alone beat them, best we will get from those four is one or two goalless draws hanging on grimly.

The season has been a complete disaster that promised briefly in early autumn after a mediocre August and September but finally died on its feet once December came.

Since the start of November, we have beaten Brighton, Cardiff twice, Burnley, Bournemouth and Huddersfield, that pretty says it all.

Any hope of winning the harder fixtures remaining this season, just put it to bed now because it ain't happening.

Geoff Lambert
6 Posted 09/03/2019 at 21:58:35
Has he not been sacked yet?

Move this loser on ASAP.

David Pearl
7 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:03:03
Ridiculous isn't it. How much do these managers make again? I think in Allardyce we had someone experienced enough to manage a game. But, as with Martinez and Koeman, it's not changed. We've gone with the model of a younger manager that we need to grow with a somewhat young team. I don't think the players look up to him.

He got it right earlier in the season bringing on Jagielka against Chelsea in response to their changes. Going 3 at the back to plug a hole. This time, however, we needed to wrestle back control and bring on fresh legs in midfield and up front.

I know Richarlison is young and could improve dramatically in the coming years but my God he is so frustrating. Good to see Calvert-Lewin playing well, he also has his best years ahead of him. Gomes looked okay if not fantastic... but with Gana and Siggy they did well in the first half. Digne also played well to a point, as in giving away sloppy balls and from good positions. Bernard seems to be getting to grips with things and he was my MotM. Keane was weak on a few crosses. Mina needs to play games, he is our player and he will also be better with a run of games. A more possession-based game would help him. I don't think he has the right manager.

It's frustrating because you can see how good we could be with these same players playing with the right attidute and a strong tactical manager. I've a feeling that Silva will be given more time. I'm not sure how l feel about that. If we can sell some players early in the summer we can try to get the striker we know we need. Of course we might have to spend £50M to keep our loan signings. Phew, it's not easy being a blue.

John Pierce
8 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:03:16
Our coach needs to show me he has tactical agility to navigate situations in-game and stop significant runs of poor results. So far, he has no landmark victory, has bunches of games were we lose to sides much less able than the talent we have available.

Because he cannot put together a team which can halt a slide and still pick up points that tells me he isn't good enough for my expectations for the club. The club needs to walk away from this guy and go and spend the money we have on a proven winner. I don't care how hard it is but it will make the difference. If we can make £45M available for a player, we can do it for a coach.

We have never in the club's history invested in a big name manager. Go back through the appointments and our managers even the successful ones come from pretty minor clubs. Norwich, Oldham, Preston, Watford, Southampton, Wigan & Blackburn to name a few.

We have to break the habit of many years and get the best.

John Keating
9 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:05:59
Careful, Lyndon, sounds like you're waving the white flag!

Unfortunately I have to agree with your summation.

The big question is how long do we keep faith in him? Can we really start next season with him if we see no noticeable improvement in this season's remaining games?

Brent Stephens
10 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:11:54
I watched Virginia command his box for the U23s the other night. The penalty box — not just that pocket handkerchief of a 6-yard box that Pickford feels agoraphobic in. A world of difference in confidence with humility.
Tony Hill
11 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:18:13
Do you think he's worth a go now, Brent?
Phil Sammon
12 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:18:53
I'm reluctant to blame the manager for this one. We set up well and had long periods of very good play.

Pickford was absolutely hopeless. It's not a very nice thing to say, but the lad seems completely unhinged. He's weirdly animated. Always laughing when he gets away with a mistake, punching the air when he does something well, overly gesticulating to defenders when they mess up... he's not in charge of his own emotions. The way he throws his entire body into kicking the ball off the ground. He's just a very unusual character and I don't think he has the temperament for the job.

Richarlison, his goal aside, had another stinker. His work ethic is the only thing keeping him in the team. His footballing ability is close to zero. He just cannot do anything right.

Don't want to berate young Kenny too much but I thought he was very poor too. Defensively he looked lost on many occasions. He's a good player but he had a poor game.

I might be delirious here but I did see plenty of positives in the football today, and also in the manager. I feel like we were let down by some of the players.

Gomes, Bernard and Digne were all very good.

Neil Lawson
13 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:23:08
I don't imagine there is anyone out there who will say that Silva was the correct pick and remains the best man for the job. At best it will be said that he needs to be given time and a striker. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

I cannot see much point in clinging on to a vague hope of improvement. Today should be a defining moment in his tenure.

Alan McGuffog
14 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:26:06
Well, should Cardiff go down, then Neil Warnock will be available. I am weary of hearing “ we are Everton”, and we should think big and go for the best.

Two things... With the exception of EitC, the club is a joke. Who is there to make the big decisions? Secondly, these “big” names we should be going for. Why in the name of God would they come here?

We are NOT a big club. It pains me to say this as I remember when we were. But with exception of a few seasons we have been mediocre since the week that Panathanaikos and then Liverpool did us back in 1971.

We are a mid-table side, living in the shadow of a world-renowned club. Yeah we may get a nice little ground on the docks but I don't expect anything to change.

Sorry, fellas, but Neil Warnock is about our level. Nil Satis? Oh please, you're having a Turkish...

Oliver Molloy
15 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:31:43
It seems to me that this team just has to be bullied and eventually they cave in. It was obvious that Newcastle decided to get stuck into us from around the 35-minute mark and see where that got them.

It has been a problem for a long, long time now – we just have no leaders that will willingly get ripped in and give it back if needed, far too many worried about getting hurt.

Like when the Newcastle player just floored Digne, nobody in our team did fucking anything, when they should have been in that guy face big time.

Fair play to Newcastle, because if it was Everton who were trailing by 2 goals I don't think we would have showed the same fight as Newcastle and their manager.

As for Pickford, he is Joe Hart Mk 2, Newcastle's second goal was totally down to him not doing the right thing – fucking pathetic goalkeeping.
It's no good being a good shot stopper, if you keep making stupid mistakes that cost the team.

I would drop him, he totally deserves to be dropped and it makes no difference to our season now anyway, he is a liability and I think that those who have said he unsettles our defence could be right.

Silva similarities with Martinez are all too evident, especially game management. I don't know what the fuck Moshiri is going to do, but I just don't think Silva is the answer.

Daniel A Johnson
16 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:32:38
Phil [12]

I agree Pickford at times almost seems unhinged. His Hollywood kicks into touch and his over exuberant simple saves are indicative of someone who loves the limelight. He believes his own hype way too much. It's almost as if during a quiet match he has to get involved because he's out of the limelight.

He's young and will make mistakes but he's already had around 5-6 genuine howlers this season (that have cost us points). If this was a keeper from our own youth system making these mistakes he would be pillared and dropped.

He now needs dropping pronto – his overall goalkeeping standard and the cocky way he carries himself at the moment is not worthy of being our No 1 keeper.

For me he's a player we can do without there are a lot more robust, sensible and reliable keepers out there. Move him on. Let his faults and development be someone else's problem; he's a massive liability who's more likely to make a gaff than he is a world-class save.

Danny Baily
17 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:35:39
Pickford should absolutely be dropped immediately and sold asap. The more he plays, the less of his transfer fee we will recover.
John Pierce
18 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:44:04
Phil, if Silva deservedly gets credit for the first 55 mins, the selection and tactics, he also gets the flack for the substitutions, change of formation and the mentality which he wanted the players to see out the game.

Pickford undoubtedly had a ‘hand' in the destiny of the result but, up to the Mina (Weird) sub we had largely gotten away with his errors.

If anything is Kenny that was struggling, on a yellow, misplaced passes everywhere and Rondon killing him on the diagonal. The sub was either Davies at right-back, or Mina, moving Zouma to right-back.

The change of shape was pure amateur hour. It let Newcastle out, full-backs who had previously been pinned back now had freedom, we dropped deep and lost 1st & 2nd balls regularly.

Credit Newcastle; shame on Everton.

Andy Crooks
19 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:44:43
Phil, I agree. I think Pickford, like too many others, was capped too soon. He really is poor. He got the chance to stop lots of shots at Sunderland, who wouldn't, but he is a million miles short of being a keeper that a team with any aspiration should have. He has a howler in him in any game and that never goes away. He permeates fear and is the heart of our defensive problems.

He was utterly abject today, has been, and will be again. Robles, with a run, would have saved us some money. We should cash in as soon as he gets another cap.

John Raftery
20 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:49:49
Few of our players distinguished themselves on a really poor afternoon in a season replete with poor afternoons. Pickford, notwithstanding his penalty save and three other saves in open play, was an embarrassment almost from start to finish. His general play in dealing with crosses and distributing the ball was poor while his clownish behaviour spoke of immaturity. It was hard to believe he is an established international keeper. He was 25 this week. At what point do we stop referring to him as a young keeper?

Jonjoe Kenny gave one of his worst displays, apparently disorientated by his late inclusion. Bernard again performed well on the whole but, as always, offered no goal threat and was guilty of losing possession in the build-up to one of the goals.

Gomes who is embarrassingly slow when confronted by opponents with pace did nothing to suggest he will be worth anything like the transfer fee Barcelona are expected to demand for his services.

Sigurdsson did nothing to suggest he is anything other than a tidy finisher in and around the opposition area. Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison took their goals well but lack the maturity and control to link consistently well with those around them.

Not for the first time in this campaign our best players were Zouma, Digne and Gueye with the last named our Man of the Match. It is probable, not to mention worrying, that at least two of those will not be with us next season.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:50:14
Pickford is erratic, at times simply eccentric.

I see things he does and when I'm at the game live I study him closely and his actions and behaviour is frankly bizarre.

The constant hurried kicking in which the ball, 8 times of out of 10, ends up going out of play for opponents throw in does my head in, why can't someone at the club tell him to calm down?

The jack-in-the-box madcap behaviour when we defend corners or set pieces is worrying and you never feel safe because you know he isn't tall enough to command the area needed.

He makes great saves at times, so too did Tim Howard, so too did Richard Wright, Thomas Myhre, Paul Gerrard etc etc but they all had a similarity to Pickford: poor decision making and poor concentration.

Major work needs doing with this goalkeeper if he's not to just become another Joe Hart, Richard Wright, David James – one-time England keeper but eventual lost cause.

Daniel A Johnson
22 Posted 09/03/2019 at 22:57:45
Look at Newcastle's 2nd goal.

The ball is blasted at Pickford and instead of making a calm efficient save, he palms it away. He makes the save but with a weird Hollywood bomb blast over-reaction. It's like he was hit by a bomb. Because he was making this weird theatrical over-reaction to the shot, he doesn't have enough time to get back into position and try and save the follow-up.

He's pure pantomime and an unhinged cocky brain-dead idiot.

David Pearl
23 Posted 09/03/2019 at 23:02:10
Pickford needs to learn to calm down and command his box more. That's obvious maybe a bit more experience will fix that.

I agree with Andy Crooks, in that we should not have allowed Robles to go. He was also young and had improvement in him. He was tall but had a presence. A couple of mistakes here and there but nothing like Pickford... who I think has cost us more points than he has saved us this season.

At any moment he might sprint off his line because he can't read what's happening in front of him. I'm not sure exactly but isn't Pope from Burnley available?

As for manager. Yes, I'd have Arteta; however, I'm not sure our fans would put up with possession-based football again. Maybe even Southgate could do a job. Who else? Ron Burgundy would be my third choice.

Don Alexander
24 Posted 09/03/2019 at 23:04:58
Regarding Kenny, we're told Seamus didn't play because he felt ill during the warm-up.

Hmm. I'm not a doctor but, unless Coleman got a migraine, I know of no other illness can overwhelm you that quickly.

So, if it wasn't a migraine, I suspect Coleman was feeling pretty ropey well before he went out and, being the pro I believe him to be, I expect he'd have told Silva. So how would Kenny feel when he finds out that the manager has more faith in a poorly Coleman than him? Hmm.

And having just watched MotD (glutton for punishment or what?) young master Pickford needs to learn that great goalies don't earn that stature by poking their tongue at opposition fans. There's a bit more to it, Jordan, trust me.

John Boon
25 Posted 09/03/2019 at 23:07:39
Pickford has been a complete liability in many games this season. How a goalie plays affects the entire team. Mistakes by other players do not have the catastrophic outcomes of a lunatic goalkeeper.

I am always nervous just watching Pickford this season. To play in front of him must be very difficult. Anyone who has played as a defender, at any level, will tell you how painful it is to have a nervous keeper – and he is one big bag of nerves.

While I certainly cannot defend Silva for many of his substitutions no manager will ever be a success if he has a keeper who is only a stopper. Pickford cannot decide when to come out, he never moves confidently off his line, and he seems to punch the ball right into the middle of his own penalty area.

Brent Stephens
26 Posted 09/03/2019 at 23:25:31
Tony #11 - I'm not sure about Virginia's overall game yet though I am encouraged. Thing is he's not next in line at the moment. But I love his confidence and command of the box.
Si Cooper
27 Posted 09/03/2019 at 23:41:42
Memes, I think that is what they are called. During our post Anfield slump, there were plenty stating it was ‘obvious' that Silva had lost the support of the players, that they had basically downed tools to get him sacked. I trust no-one really thinks that now?

The meme for today – well it seemed to be trending a few hours ago - was that the manager had contrived to throw away this game with a simply ludicrous tactical switch. Well, I've just watched the whole game and I'm calling that as bollocks too.

As Lyndon states, bringing a midfielder on may have been a better option, with hindsight, but the reality is that over half of the second half had passed without us really looking like we were likely to score that killer third goal, in spite of having plenty of the ball to work with.

What was obvious was that the Barcodes would rally at some stage and so I would say that trying to shut up shop and eke out the last portion of the game was a valid option. Equally, giving Mina a bit of time to settle into the game before the to-be-expected assault doesn't seem outrageous to me.

Would Schneiderlin have been a better option? Lookman for Richarlison, or no substitution at all? It's all guesswork. Can anyone say we have shown any ability to close out games cooly and calmly this season (or even for a fair few seasons)?

That's the crux of the problem. We still lack that midfield general who can pull the strings.

Don't think I'm giving the manager a free pass. We should be able to get that crucial third goal or hold what we have for the final quarter.

Overall, poor defending, calamitous goalkeeping and shocking officiating are fairer targets than alleged tactical ineptitude.

Don Alexander
28 Posted 09/03/2019 at 23:42:58
So we all seem to be saying that, after spunking the best part of £250M on players all Moshiri now needs to begin making progress on his fabled "project" is the addition of a quality 'keeper, a pacey strong centre back, a midfield governor and a striker who gives opposing defenders sleepless nights.

And some of us wonder why next season is so worrying?

Paul Birmingham
29 Posted 10/03/2019 at 00:21:09
It's time to replace a few foundation stones, but a young goalkeeper is rarely a proven and reliable goalkeeper, as they are a work in progress until 27, 28-plus unless they are truely exceptional. In modern times, there's none and Big Nev was, is and always will be, the best goalkeeper.

Pickford needs to rest his demons, as he takes the bait every time, and effectively his concentration in many games is lost.

Incredible how the coaches haven't contained this obvious failing. The more I think about his on-pitch behaviour, the worse my gut feeling is, but it's not for me to decide.

A stinking end to what turned out to be a good start to this last week. Typical EFC.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 10/03/2019 at 02:32:23
The angry, bewildered look on Richarlison's face when he was pulled off for Mina was reflected on all of our faces at that moment.

We lost today because Marco Silva panicked. That's inexcusable.

The barcodes had raised their level – to be expected of a side so hot at home. We'd given up a goal and lost control of the midfield. The manager should have been prepared for that. If the problem's in the midfield, you fix the midfield.

Need more composure in front of the back four? Fine, Schneiderlin for Gomes.
Need more workrate there? Fine, Davies for Gomes.
Richarlison lost the plot or Bernard got tired? Fine, Lookman or Walcott on.

Instead, he brought on Mina to help the two guys who didn't need any help, Zouma and Keane. And in so doing, he waved the white flag, bunkered in, parked the bus, whatever you want to call it. He ceded midfield. And half the guys on the Forum predicted the result.

This manager hasn't got it. There's been no fundamental improvement in the side, no fire added, no real change. I said it on the Forum and I'll say it here – if Silva isn't binned after the season, Brands isn't doing his job.

As for Pickford, today was a tragicomedy. Errant punches, dropped crosses, shanked kicks and a tackle that should have seen red. Yes, he made great saves and was only really responsible for one of the three goals, but he is simply not improving – particularly in the area John #20 and others mentioned, and that's maturity.

Andy #19, sorry, no, Robles couldn't save anything, least of all money. He proved repeatedly that he wasn't good enough. He's now 28 and sitting on the bench at Real Betis behind an unknown free transfer four years younger. He ain't it, never will be.

Steve Brown
31 Posted 10/03/2019 at 02:55:03
I thought Digne, Gomes and Bernard were good, which gives me hope for Brands if not Silva. It was pathetic to watch us collapse when Newcastle went direct.

As many have said, moving to a back three simply invited pressure when we had already lost our nerve.

But Pickford! If he laughs again when he has made a mistake, can one of the centre backs deck him at half time for me? An unprofessional liability who has been up his own arse since the World Cup. Drop him for the rest of the season and play Virginia regardless.

Harry Hockley
32 Posted 10/03/2019 at 04:47:53
I imagine the Watford board laughing their arses off at us, how much for Silva and Richarlison? Two frauds that are getting found out, Richarlison is a terrible player.
Jamie Crowley
33 Posted 10/03/2019 at 05:08:06
Mike @30,

I could not agree more. You summed up my thoughts perfectly and eloquently in your first five paragraphs, better than I could in probably 10+ ranting posts strewn throughout TW.

Thank you, my countryman.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 10/03/2019 at 06:57:10
Steve 31,

Imagine Pickford laughing and arsing around if he had a defender like Dave Watson in front of him?

Watto would have soon put a stop to that let me tell you.

Steve Brown
35 Posted 10/03/2019 at 07:04:48
Problem is, Jim, that we haven't had a player like that for years. Leadership is zero in this team.
Darren Hind
36 Posted 10/03/2019 at 07:08:41
I don't see how Lyndon can be accused of waving a white flag.

He is simply voicing concerns about games where we face vastly superior teams and expressing his lack of confidence in us winning them. That probably sums up the feelings of most. Nowhere is he saying we can't win any of them.

A real white-flag waver will give up on ALL of the games months in advance. He will try to justify his claims by claiming he is merely expressing an opinion to counter the one offered by an imaginary group of people who "think we will win every game" – Total bollocks; if this group exist, where are they?

I feel a little sorry for the defeatists, they seem to have painted themselves into a corner, they can get no pleasure out of victories because they feel they have been proven wrong. Their lack of posts on this website after a victory speaks just as loudly as their numerous posts stating the blindingly obvious after a defeat.

Breaking news: Everton are a poor side. Our defence is simply incapable of dealing with bread-and-butter high balls – that flaw leaves us vulnerable to anybody at any level. We have a record signing up front who acts like a 5-year-old every time he plays.

We have four or five players who are only here for the massive salary and don't give a flying fuck about the club. Our goalkeeper is completely unstable and we have a manager who failing to rectify any of it.

We are likely to lose at any time. Most Evertonians recognise this. but the white-flag waver wants to appear smart. The sole reason for inventing this group of people who think we should win "15-0 every week".

If you know and understand football, you will be aware that results are anything but cut and dried. If they were, we'd all be millionaires. To meekly give up a whole block of games is to go against the very ethos of the game.

They would even be deprived of their desperately sought I-told-you-so. As Lyndon points out, if we were to play the teams he mentions today, we would be second favourites against all of them.

If the roll-over merchants really believe we will lose all our remaining games, why are they still watching? Why are they not lumping on down at the bookies to give themselves a whopping big pay-out with which to console themselves through the summer?

Talk is very cheap – especially when you can just disappear again after a victory.

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 10/03/2019 at 07:36:22
Darren, some of the breed you mention can be readily identified on the Live Forum – popping up when things go bad.

As soon as we lost our lead today, people who hadn't posted a word during the first 75 minutes of the game – some of them names I'd never seen before on TW – were suddenly piling in to gleefully vent their spleens. And had we come back to win, they would have vanished into the mists again.

Some, no doubt, are trolls. But I think most of 'em are Blues who just wallow in whatever goes wrong because they think it's the thing to do. You can see them in this thread and the other game summary, ranging from conspiracy theorists to mind-readers to contributors of blanket statements that are patently ridiculous.

Just makes a bad day worse... which is probably their perverse objective.

Darren Hind
38 Posted 10/03/2019 at 08:10:08
Indeed Mike.

I would give them far more credence if they balanced it up by appearing when we are winning too.

Peter Warren
39 Posted 10/03/2019 at 08:22:33
I watched the game yesterday. We played very well first half but Pickford is very annoying and doesn't do basics well. He could be a good keeper but needs to work on his mental side, training of which appears non-existent at clubs in England.

Getting on to the mental side, I believe it's our biggest problem and goes back to Moyes's times. I don't know what the solution is but we don't have unlimited resources to just get rid of all players and replace. In any event, if we're honest, it's in the psyche of the whole club, including fans.

I would suggest that the only way to change would be by the power and will of a manager. Unfortunately, I can't see how having a director of football allows this to happen and even more concerning, the board still lingers from era of mediocrity.

Sorry to be pessimistic but I don't see anything changing for a long time.

Trevor Peers
40 Posted 10/03/2019 at 08:33:24
In defence of Pickford, he was outstanding before Silva arrived, and had a good World Cup. Okay, he made that howler at Anfield last season. The one this season was a freak of nature but, since Silva arrived, he seems to have been told not to come out for crosses; the manager doesn't trust him and you can see it's destroying his confidence.

Playing in front of a defence that can't stop making horrendous mistakes will do this, he's a great shot-stopper, one of the best, and has saved us many times – the save from Salah in the derby was world class. He probably needs a rest right now but Silva hasn't signed a decent back-up... surprise, surprise.

Christopher Timmins
41 Posted 10/03/2019 at 08:57:24
Lyndon, yesterday was so Martinez-like as to be unbelievable. Do you remember West Ham or Stoke at home a couple of years ago?

We have 8 games left; let us see where we end up points-wise and then make a call on the matter of the manager.

Our Director of Football brought Mina to the club during the summer, stated that he was afraid that he would lose out on the player because of the World Cup. If Mina was the solution to the problem with 20 minutes to go yesterday, then God help us.

Tony Marsh
42 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:08:09
As long as Bill Kenwright is allowed to get in the ear of Farhad Moshiri, bullshitting that survival this season is all that really matters, we will never escape this vicious circle.

As our new, CEO Little Ms Dynamite is whacking out the soup and sleeping bags and building a shelter for the homeless, other CEOs in the Premier League are building football dynasties. You see, at EFC, it is all about being nice. On and off the pitch, we are all so very nice.

Yesterday, up at Newcastle, the Everton we've all come to expect didn't let us down. This shite has now gone way beyond football and has become a shamefull blight on the club and our loyal supporters. The football is infuriating and pityfull to watch but the whole set-up at the club from Kenwright to the players to the stadium is embarrassing and farcical.

What goes on at the top in the boardroom filters down to the management and the players. A clueless ineptitude runs through the club's DNA and it has done for decades. David Moyes brainwashed Bill Kenwright for over 10 years into believing that Everton were merely a mid-table club that should be thankful to compete and just take part and survive. Lose to the big boys and maintain the Status Quo. Don't ever believe we can rise above our level – just be happy to be in this Division. That shit has stuck and Bill has passed it on.

What real chance does this club have of makng progress when all positions of power at the club are held by clueless non-football people? The Big 2 – Farhad Moshiri and Little Ms Dynamite – are fucking useless clueless fuckers when it comes to running a Premier League football club. It's actually quite frightening Kenwright has made these appointments.

As in all business models, the buck stops at the very top. The bosses live and die by their decisions. What you see out on the pitch on a Saturday afternoon is a direct result of decades of boardroom incompetence. Until major changes are made upstairs at EFC, the shit we endure as fans will continue to happen.

If any of these clowns that run Everton FC cannot grasp the enormity of our situation, then I'm afraid, next season, the trap door beckons – it's that serious. Silva should've been fired after Millwall yet here we are again, watching an exact repeat of that shit.

I can't believe what we supporters have to put up with. We deserve better.

Tony Everan
43 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:13:45
VAR needs to come in fast, the level of officiating is embarrassing for a multi-billion-pound league. Clear offside goals are easy for VAR to deal with, as easy as goalline technology. But that shouldn't mask our glaring problems.

Perez should never be winning that header between our 2 defenders for the first goal. Pickford needs a reality check, he has used all his spare credit from the World Cup; he is now officially a dodgy keeper. As has been said, he needs to grow up fast, he looks an immature idiot at times.

He needs to find a way to focus 100%. He is fantastic at some aspects of goalkeeping but his mental ability to manage goalkeeping decisions is looking very suspect. That intelligence issue is very worrying.

Bringing on a rusty Mina for Richarlison at 1-2 was the decision of a frightened coward. Trying to see the game out with 20 mins still to go. Every single Everton fan on here, bar none, could see that was a poor strategy, inviting a rejuvenated Newcastle to attack at home. That was a move that Silva cannot defend. That was a last 5 mins substitution to fend off high balls punted into the box in desperation.

Sometimes I think Marco Silva is learning to ride his first proper bicycle in managing this Everton team. He keeps stuttering and falling off. Then getting back on and trying again and riding for a bit longer. Then, when the path bends and undulates, he falls off again. He will be back in the saddle for the Chelsea game, and probably should put his helmet on for that one.

I really don't know whether this naivety will be ironed out through his experiences of this season.

The jury is still out on him after 30+ games in charge, and the verdict will shift one way or the other before the season's end.

Eddie Dunn
44 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:26:30
It is incredible how psychology in sport plays such a large part in success. Tennis matches regularly hinge on break-points and saved match-points.

Yesterday, we had the bonus of scoring just after the penalty save. After the second goal, Newcastle looked lost. We went into cruise control and slowly let them start to believe. Eventually, even if the offside winner had been chalked off, I think the belief was with one team and they would have still scored again.

It is down to these fine margins but, of course, the manager has to make the right decisions – and Marco did not.

Kevin Prytherch
45 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:27:48
Trevor 40 – I don't believe that Pickford was outstanding before Silva came. He was at fault for around 8 goals last season due to his lack of decision-making skills, his saves just papered over the cracks.

If we could get upwards of £30 million for him, I think a stable experienced keeper would work wonders for the defence.

Even the best defenders (and I don't put any of ours into that category) can look nervous if they don't have confidence in the man behind them.

Mal van Schaick
46 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:31:10
Pickford is still young in goalkeeping terms, but after the ‘derby howler' and now the erratic performance against Newcastle, where he could of been sent off. If I were the manager I would give him a talking to and a rest to reflect on some aspects of his performance with the goalkeeping coach.

Mason should be assessed by the referee panel and dropped down a league, he tried to keep the game flowing after some strong tackling with no retrospective bookings. and the offside goal, well how can a player be inactive and then active from a clearly offside position by putting his hands in the air?

I felt sorry for those players, who put a shift in, but it's worrying if we start crumbling in games from a winning position.

Phil Lewis
47 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:31:17
Brent #10,

I'm yet to see Virginia play, but reports are excellent, both from fans and staff. For God's sake let's give the lad a chance and remove Pickford immediately.

I am not jumping on any bandwagon, I have stated my case against Pickford from the word go. So I say it again: disregard penalty saves and the odd acrobatic leap, his positional sense is atrocious and he has no confidence when dealing with high balls.

His attempts at punches are pathetic and he parries rather than smothers shots delivered with pace. His temperament is erratic and his rapport or lack of it with his defence gives no confidence whatsoever.

We have been ahead so many times this season, only to see good work ruined by his inadequacy. I have been slagged off for daring to criticise Pickford on here many times by fans blinded by his media hype, I am pleased to see that some are finally seeing through it.

He is becoming a Bruce Grobelaar type for me. In fact, I would go as far as saying Grobelaar was more reliable.

There are other areas where we are lacking. Big-money so-called 'Stars' – Richarlison, Sigurdsson and others – fail to consistently impress and flatter to deceive. But, mark my words, we will never progress while Pickford remains first choice.

Jimmy Hogan
48 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:35:16
As soon as Silva brought Mina on, I thought to myself, "Oh no, this is a Moyes like substitution". Whenever Moyes used to being on an extra defender to protect a lead, we would invariably get beaten in the dying moments. I share Lyndon's pessimism I'm afraid

.As for Pickford, I thought it was just me. He's turned into a grinning, gurning clown. Head turned by the World Cup run?

Ken Kneale
50 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:54:44
Darren and Mike,

I suspect many would like to be commenting on wins. The problem is the current clown management and coaches and gutless and guileless players make that difficult.

Steve Little
51 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:55:23
I am as disappointed and concerned for the future as everyone else.

However, we had been playing atrociously unattractive football until the Man City game. Silva had to find a way of making the midfield more competitive and he managed this (until the last half hour yesterday). He had to find a way of creating chances and scoring goals, which again he achieved against Cardiff and Newcastle. Maybe not so many chances against Man City and Liverpool but he managed to keep the games tight and competitive.

He has had to look at how we defend corners. It is now a few games since we conceded from one. Liverpool had about eight corners that were all well defended.

In short, Silva has inherited shite and has had a lot to do. As demonstrated above, he is evolving, just not as quick as we would like.

He now has to focus on managing winning positions but the least every Evertonian can do is to be supportive over the final eight games and at least give him a chance to do what he needs to do.

Darren Hind
52 Posted 10/03/2019 at 09:58:49
MotD highlighted six balls lumped forward yesterday and we failed to deal with any of them. I'm not talking about Pirlo-type passes played with precision. I'm talking about good old-fashioned lump-it-forward Sunday league stuff.

People talk about our main problem being scoring goals, but we will score more than we did last season. However, it defies belief that we can be undone so often, so easily. We have three big defenders and not one of them can judge the flight of the ball.

It doesn't matter how well you play, goals don't come cheaper than those which come about through conceding to a Route One alehouse ball. Lesser teams always have a chance of scoring against us because, like Newcastle, they will persist with it all day.

Neil Cremin
53 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:03:06
Trevor at 40. I disagree completely. I have been questioning his ability since I first started watching him – despite abuse from some posters on TW.

I would ask one question: since we bought Pickford, how have we performed? Koeman lost his job; Rhino didn't get appointed; Big Sam got us over the line; and now, Silva is likely to go. In all cases, defensively we are a mess – despite trying many combinations. The one common denominator in all those combinations is Pickford. Also, don't forget he was Sunderland's goalkeeper when they went down. Coincidence??

Remember last season, Pickford was acting the clown when he clattered into Ashley Williams – and how many goals did we concede from balls parried into play from Pickfords “saves”.

He has only one attribute: he is a good shot-stopper but he lacks all the other qualities a modern goalkeeper needs.

1. Doesn't hold shots or crosses... too often parries back into play;

2. Doesn't command his 6-yard box, hence we are brutal at set pieces;

3. Can't pass the ball — how often does he either put a defender under pressure or kick the ball straight out of play?

4. Doesn't take responsibility; his rationale for the error at Anfield was not credible.

5. He is not a leader or organiser of the defence which is essential for all great keepers.

It is time he was dropped. After all, everybody else has been... so let's see if this gives us more stability.

Trevor Peers
54 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:04:52
Kevin @45,

I did say Pickford needs to be rested; Stekelenburg will probably play against Chelsea.

I think you have a dream Silva will make good if given enough seasons and our bad defending is not his fault, the whole back four are useless and should be replaced by Silva?

Peter Mills
55 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:26:37
Our greatest defensive weakness (and there are quite a few) is in dealing with the “second phase” from a high ball. Whether headed by an opposition attacker or one of our defenders, or punched by Pickford, the ball will usually fall to an unmarked opponent.

It’s been happening all season, our coach has failed to address it.

Brent Stephens
56 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:29:04
I felt sorry for Jonjoe Kenny yesterday. Can't be easy coming into the starting XI at the last moment but he really did have a poor game.

Various factors at play for each of the goals but I think he had a part in the first we conceded: Zouma is on Rondon just outside of the box, loses him but tracks back to try to pick up Perez who is already covered by Keane and, at that point, Kenny also moves towards Perez – 3 men going for one with Kenny having left Rondon free to score.

At the other end, though, I felt Calvert-Lewin again had a decent game, as well as scoring. Slowly but surely he's going to make it??

Mina might not have been directly at fault for any of the goals but the shape killed us (5 at the back as we were pushed back, with depleted resources ahead of them to stop Newcastle attacks). I know defenders should be able to adjust to changes in tactics and formation during the game but I suspect Mina's entry to the back line disrupted things – he was all over the place, and the others have to adjust to, and compensate for, that.

Pat Kelly
57 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:36:07
Many of the comments about Silva are to the effect that he is still learning his trade. Unfortunately, it is at Everton's expense, on and off the field.

When you have, at best, an average squad you need a coach who knows what he's doing and can get the most out of what he has. That, clearly, is not happening. Forget about luring a top class multi-title winning manager, that's not going to happen. They won't come to a now small club.

Look for a manager who already knows how to do the job of coaching, organising, game planning and inspiring his team. Silva hasn't shown any of these characteristics. We can't provide on-the-job training if we want to remain a Premier League Club.

Jerome Shields
58 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:39:04
A very good analysis of what happened.

Benitez persisted with the same tactics that he had employed at Goodison and which were followed by subsequent teams. Silva never seemed to work it out and seemed to apply a type of lottery selection to try to change things. Liverpool, under the Prancing Clown, are not able to employ these tactics, and will never win the Premier League under his tenure.

Against Cardiff, we were plainly hopeful. Ironically, Silva, against a poor Newcastle side, hit on the right selection. Coleman sick before the start and the introduction of Kenny was for the good. The torrid time Kenny had would have been a total collapse for Coleman as Benitez targeted the perceived Everton weakness on the right flank.

It's obvious that Gomes is not at the right level of fitness for a full game and Sigurdsson can be played out of the game by a high defensive line. Gomes needed to be substituted at half-time, the signs where there. . . I would have preferred Schneiderlin on from the start, but Gomes did play well.

The introduction of Scheiderlin at half-time would have been even better. Because of a tiring midfield, the support for the forwards wasn't there and the inevitable loss of possession happened. I thought the introduction if Davies would be ideal for this support, but we get Walcott, who in the circumstances was a very poor substitution.

The introduction of Mina was unbelievable and showed that Silva hadn't a clue about tactics. Pickford was plain awful; Robles would have been better. As for the ref, I believe you can never beat the ref.

The annoying thing is, Everton are capable of good football and have the necessary players, but Silva is in no-man's land as far as tactical management is concerned. I actually think that Benitez is the ideal manager for Everton and would really make a big impact.

I remember way back, watching Nottingham Forest. They got relegated soon afterwards but I really thought they were a good footballing side. Clough and Taylor took over and the rest is history.

That's how I feel about Everton at the moment.

Jack Convery
59 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:40:55
I have just watched the highlights on MotD and I'm wondering why so many people are saying an extra midfielder in front of the back 4 was needed?

Rafa told his team to bombard the centre of the EFC defence with 40-yard long balls, missing the midfield out completely. Rondon was giving Keane and Zouma a real hard time and won most headers and knock-downs. Putting another centre half in there seems to me to be a perfectly good tactic.

Why he chose to take Richarlison off... god knows. Sigurdsson should have been the one to make way – he did sod all from what I've seen and heard.

The tactic was right – the centre-halves we have hate being in a battle. Troy Deeney sorted them out and Rondon did too yesterday – Keane and Zouma are not the answer when played up against brute strength. Mina is the only centre-half on the bench so it's him who has to come on when the other two don't have a grip.

Until we buy two real proper centre-halves... why the fuck did Koeman miss out on Van Dijk, god only knows.

Keeping Richarlison on would have given us a much better chance of getting a third goal.

Pickford was a joke yesterday and Stekelenburg or the young kid, Virginia, should replace him for the next match to teach the overconfident egotist a lesson in humility.

If Silva does not sort the defence out in the summer, he will be another failure in that ever-increasing column of names inside Goodison Park.

A very jaded blue.... Btw, Rafa, who plays long ball now???

Terry Underwood
60 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:41:54
The manager lives or dies on results but the players should take a long, hard, look at themselves.

Some of them get paid more in a week than most fans get in a year and put quite simply they ain't performing. Any other job, they would be looking at a written warning for job performance. They should all donate this weeks salary to charity.

I do like a good rant.

Andy Meighan
61 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:47:01
I've got to agree with Phil @12 — Pickford is a liability... and personally, I don't think he's a full shilling. All he was interested in yesterday was getting involved with them dickhead Geordies.

This clown has cost us a lot of points this season; if the manager had any balls, he'd drop him and give the kid Virginia his place. Let's be honest, he won't do any worse. No, he won't do it, though, because he's a coward.

Pickford always gives me the impression he thinks he's doing us a favour playing for Everton. I've got news for him: he's not – he's a very ordinary keeper who's got a very high opinion of himself. He certainly isn't wired right...

Jack Convery
63 Posted 10/03/2019 at 10:52:28
I meant to add we need a man in goal – not a child. If we did cash in on dear Pickers, I'd go for Heaton at Burnley. He organises and galvanises that defence – his defenders trust him and he'd make a bloody good captain til we get an outfield leader. He is an adult – not an idiot trying to get one over on his former enemies.

If cloning is available, let's clone D Watson and R Gough – they'd sort the likes of Rondon and Deeney out!

Ray Said
64 Posted 10/03/2019 at 11:51:54
The coaching staff must be very poor, as evidenced by the fact that I can't name one single player who has been bought in from other clubs that has not regressed once they have trained at Finch Farm, including the goalie, who has very poor technique and relies on reflexes and instinct. It appears that those players have been coached well enough at their previous clubs to be transfer targets for us... then hit Finch Farm and fall to pieces.

The direction of travel is downwards under Silva and the coaches he has working for him and his previous records indicates he does not have the ability to turn the ship around. He has to go and the entire first-team coaching staff must be reviewed to see if any one of them is up to the task of improving players.

I think the answer will be No and they should follow him out the door — whatever their previous links and standing within the club.

Ken Kneale
65 Posted 10/03/2019 at 12:30:06
Ray. The coaching staff are poor. They have scrounged a living whether brought in by Kenwright on the old pal's act or part of the current manager's sycophants and that is clearly what they are.

If Silva had any character himself, he should have players in today starting with the clown between the sticks. A good goalie gains teams points over a season. This fool has lost us more. He needs to be reminded of that and shown footage of his foolhardiness to the home fans yesterday.

The defence and midfield and forwards should be reminded a team plays together whether going forward or defending. The fact none of this is happening demonstrates the manager is out of his depth, clueless in terms of team set-up and weak in terms of character.

John Keating
66 Posted 10/03/2019 at 12:30:36
Terry @60,

It's far from a rant, it's an extremely valid point. Especially donating to charity or even paying for the away support costs.

The buck stops with the manager but there are a lot more people culpable in the garbage we have witnessed the last few years.

We have played 30 league games (forget the embarrassing cup games); out of the 30 games, we have won 10. Think about those 10. Apart from the results, what positives have or can we take from any of them?

We had decent results against Burnley and Cardiff but what of the other wins? Some were absolutely dire.

We were stupidly hoping to see a more entertaining football under Silva. Has it really significantly improved since say, the Arteta, Baines, Pienaar, Cahill days?

Not that much to shout about really, eh?

Fran Mitchell
67 Posted 10/03/2019 at 12:35:31
Game management clearly done us in.

Our back four (or 5) collectively shit themselves at any high ball in the box, this is our biggest problem. And this is inspite of having, individually at least, good defenders. So it is a combination of coaching and confidence. Silva is failing on both counts.

But, even after the tide had turned, we did look dangerous on the attack. But Bernard, who played well in general, seems to get very clumsy with his passing after 60 mins – whether it is tiredness or the pressure of the game, it is a recurrent theme. It was his stray pass that led to their first goal, and he gave it away a few times trying to do clever passing when what we needed was to keep possession.

And Richarlison's touch seemed to lose him, he could have won it at 3-1 but a miserable touch took it away from him.

So at this stage, we should have brought on Lookman or Walcott (or both), kept the shape, and maybe we could have made it 3-1 and closed the game. But Silva brought on a defender, invided pressure and broke our attacking system and the rest is history.

Positives are Digne, who does look top quality; Bernard for 60 mins, who could develop into a real attacking threat next season; Gomes, who put an imposing midfield display until he tired (a problem.of his he needs to resolve); and Calvert-Lewin, who scored a great goal and played well before being isolated by Silva's suicide tactics.

David Hallwood
68 Posted 10/03/2019 at 12:50:23
Jack (#63): "if we did cash in on dear Pickers" — we should have done that at the start of the season, because everyone was saying how good he was, when all I could remember was his 'performances' around about this time last season (West Ham final game of the season anyone?), and I would've got shut when his stock was high. I think his value's halved since then. BTW Heaton is a good shout, as is Pope from Burnley.

As I was game of the day on Sky I got to watch the entire 90 mins without being caught up in it the way you are when it's live. A few points.

Passing-terrible; If Silva is trying to build a team of pass, pass, pass, then they need to start passing to teammates, it would be helped by movement off the ball being better, and switching play. The amount of times moves broke down because the players run into traffic.

All talk of fancy formations: 4-2-3-1, diamond, 3 at the back etc — we were done by a good old-fashioned hoof up to a target man who knocked it on to a nimble partner. A tactic everyone sniffs at but it's obvious, to quote Corporal Jones, modern centre-backs don't like it up 'em-and this from Benitez a supposedly fancy foreign manager!

Finally the officials; the only thing Lee Mason's got going for him is that he isn't Jon Moss. Surely the FA have got to do something about the appalling standard of refereeing. How did Pickford manage to stay on the field? Couldn't the linesman see that there were 5 barcodes offside for the 3rd goal? Clear penalties on Digne & Sigurdsson missed. This is ineptitude on a grand scale.

And finally back to Pickford — fucking grow up! You're a highly paid footballer, not a Mackem giving it loads to the Barcodes fans; you can only hope he learns from this. It was the equivalent of Rooney's badge kissing, but he was a brilliant player — you, less so.

Paul Swan
69 Posted 10/03/2019 at 13:25:47
I've said it in the past, Pickford has some psychological issues. Week after week, watching him warm up, he seems to delight in blasting the ball at some point into the crowd. His level of concentration is seriously lacking and his misplaced arrogance is becoming a serious issue.

All of the talk about zonal marking forgets that there is one zone which should be owned by the goalkeeper and that is the 6-yard box. Pickford is extremely poor at commanding the box. Too easily beaten and an accident waiting to happen every week.

The defenders must be terrified having this clown behind them even without factoring in the other huge waste of money that is Mina. Not even half a step forward but two back with Silva I'm afraid in recent weeks. I want him out as soon as possible.

Si Cooper
70 Posted 10/03/2019 at 13:41:51
Jack (59) – we seem to be of the same opinion but it appears to be very much a minority one.

I watched the whole game after knowing the result and reading a lot of vilification of Silva's choice of substitution. I failed to see any real capitulation or real wilting in the face of the very-much-to-be-expected late rallying of the Barcodes. The real problem came before that when we failed to actually trouble the goalkeeper for the first half of the second half.

A poor error by Jordan Pickford and a blatant offside undid all of the good work across the majority of the game.

Roger Trenwith
71 Posted 10/03/2019 at 13:54:40
This is a serious question: Does anyone with any experience of these things think Pickford has some sort of medical condition akin to Tourettes or a physical manifestation of it? His behaviour is odd, to say the least. He's 25, not 18, so he should be experienced enough not to react to situations like an over-excited teenager.

That aside, blaming him for the defeat is not really fair as he made a couple of good stops as well as being at fault for at least one of the goals.

What killed this game was the Mina sub. Bizarre. Mina is our player, and should start every game for the rest of the season. His problem is lack of game time. He'll be starting the next game anyway, so why not leave him in there?

John Pierce
72 Posted 10/03/2019 at 13:59:04

It appears my post @18 has been edited. You've change my ‘Weir' sub to Weird. Whilst indeed the substitution was weird that's not what was meant.

‘The Weir sub' - a common reference to when Everton bring on a CB to hold on to a result but never see it through often losing the game as a result.

Just for your delectations

Kim Vivian
73 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:00:45
Ray - 64,

Very fair observation although I would exclude Gana Gueye from the list of regressives. However, I feel that is more to do with Gana, than his coaching team. In my opinion, he is worth more than the £40m being floated. My favourite player by a mile.

If Gana had moved to PSG in January, PSG would still be in the Champions League ... discuss.

A further thought – it looks like Man Utd, languishing below us a few weeks ago, might easily finish 3rd in the league. Who might be our Solskjaer (spelling?)

Steavey Buckley
74 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:00:51
Everton 2-up and half-an-hour to go, they should have strengthened midfield to protect the back 4 by bringing on Davies and Schneiderlin.

Instead, later, when Everton went from 2-0 to 2-1, Silva brought on Mina (not match fit) and the inconsistent Lookman. Then it went to a final score of 2:3.

Conclusion, Silva does not know how to protect a 2-0 lead with proper timely substitutions.

Rob Marsh
75 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:07:14
Taking a look at the larger picture as it applies to Silva's current position.

Marcel Brands has gone very quiet of late, when he joined us he had something to say by the minutes, but now?

Moshiri issued the statement backing silva, not him (Brands), who's actually running the football side of the club?

Ben Attwood
76 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:26:01
Hopefully we only have 8 games left of this Silva nightmare.

It's like we have a self-professed expert at Championship Manager in charge. He proves time and time again he is tactically naive. Several times this season, he has thrown in a 5th defender when we have been in a positive position and it has backfired big time – Anfield, yesterday and Millwall spring to mind.

This is the most disappointing season I remember in 35 years. One to forget. False promises were made and large sums of money spent. We are worse than last season and this will be confirmed come May when we are lower than 8th with a lower points total than last year.

Surely that will mean a new manager next season... Hopefully

Gary Hughes
77 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:30:52
Dick Fearon #4,

Here we go again with the utterly bizarre 'Rafa' worship from some posters which I thought was confined to the gobshites across the park. What exactly did this 'genius' manager do yesterday? His team were comprehensively outplayed at home for an hour by a team as utterly shit as ours.

We lost because our goalkeeper is fucking shite & our manager is a fucking moron who's completely out of his depth. Benitez was nothing more than an impotent observer on the sidelines who's team got lucky, which actually quite nicely sums up his whole fucking career.

Josh Barber
78 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:47:05
2nd goal: Pickford completely at fault. Why is he incapable of either catching the ball or knocking it out of play? Instead, he constantly punches it directly to the opponent in the box.

3rd goal: exactly as written here. 100% offsides. How can a professional official miss that easy fucking call?

Michael Lynch
79 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:49:41
When I was at school, there was this kid who was borderline psycho. We were short of a goalie for a match and some bright spark had the idea of sticking the psycho in goal. He never played footie, not even a kick around in the park, so I don't know why we thought it might work. But in the first minute of the game we gave away a penalty and this kid saved it brilliantly. Even he looked shocked. Had we unearthed a diamond?

We lost 8-1 in the end, the psycho was fucking useless at the basics, but a great penalty stopper. I often wonder where that kid is now. Can't remember his name, Justin Pickman or something like that.

Eddie Dunn
80 Posted 10/03/2019 at 14:53:59

Rafa switched his tactics putting an extra man in midfield. They got hold of the game and their long balls were won by them putting two players in the box.

By that time we had encouraged them to attack us. So Rafa was far from being impotent.

Would you choose Silva over Rafa?

Gary Hughes
81 Posted 10/03/2019 at 15:43:02
Eddie #80,

With a competent goalkeeper & manager we would have cruised to an easy win regardless of the great Rafa, who's own shiteness had been exposed for an hour.

Regarding your question, you might as well ask me would I choose Ted Bundy over Peter Sutcliffe.

Eddie Dunn
82 Posted 10/03/2019 at 16:06:19
Gary, surely Bundy every time.
Dave Abrahams
83 Posted 10/03/2019 at 16:13:41
Eddie (80), Rafa, speaking to a friend, from Liverpool, after the game, said he was surprised, not that Silva brought Mina on but that he brought an attacker off, and that influenced his decision to put an extra man in midfield because he could see Everton tiring there.
Joe Corgan
84 Posted 10/03/2019 at 16:13:42
The problem with Pickford is that he's an arrogant little so-and-so. I don't mean that as an insult but just an as opinion of the attitude he shows on and off the pitch.

You see him ultra-confident in interviews, with the bravado and the chewing gum. He seems to be possessed by the ghost of Joe Hart – who Pickford has repeatedly said is one of his role models.

Like Hart, Pickford is in danger of letting his talent go to waste by believing in his own hype when he really needs to knuckle down and keep improving. Hart should have had another five years at the top but Pep saw through him before most, leading to a sequence of moves culminating with him being unable to hold down a place even at Burnley.

We really need to stop this “England's No 1” bullshit on the screens at Goodison and instead remind him that he's still a young goalkeeper with a lot to learn and a lot to prove.

Gary Hughes
85 Posted 10/03/2019 at 16:29:04
Haha, good call, Eddie!
David Hallwood
86 Posted 10/03/2019 at 17:13:30
Or how about a sly bid for Jeffery Dhama?
Jack Convery
87 Posted 10/03/2019 at 17:20:43
When did Pickford last have a dope test?

Come to think of it... when did we supporters last have a dope test?

John Pierce
88 Posted 10/03/2019 at 17:25:46
Jack, Pickford very much a dope. Doesn’t need a test.
Paul Swan
89 Posted 10/03/2019 at 17:59:16
Jack 87 – I just renewed my season ticket for next year so that's me failed.
Rick Tarleton
91 Posted 10/03/2019 at 19:33:05
Pickford's problem isn't his ability, it is his bi-polar temperament.

Great keepers like Banks or Southall read the game. They anticipated events and reacted accordingly. Pickford will have great games, but consistency will never be his thing.

A Sunderland lad at St. James's Park, he was a time bomb and he reacted as such. Add Pickford to a tactically naive manager who hasn't a clue how to set up a team and can't create a midfield that can control a game, and the disasters keep happening.

Dave Abrahams
92 Posted 10/03/2019 at 19:53:05
Paul (89), I’ll be failing my dope test on 03-04-2019, that’s two’s days before the price goes up.
Peter Mills
93 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:22:49
I’m afraid that I, too, will fail the dope test over the next 3 weeks and renew my season ticket. It will be an irrational decision, based purely on hope, loyalty, tradition, friendship and family.

Kevin Harnan
94 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:26:04
The manager must go – it's not a knee-jerk reaction – asap. The goalkeeper is a clown and makes all the outfielders available. I would ask Coleman if any of his mates are looking for a game.
John McFarlane Snr
95 Posted 10/03/2019 at 20:42:53
Hi Dave [92] and Peter [93] I too will be renewing my season ticket (on Thursday), but I don't regard it as a failure, as I was registered as a lifetime member of the Dope Brigade at the age of 10 in 1948, and there is no Buy-out clause.
Dick Fearon
96 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:25:08
Gary, #77,

Everton were cruising toward a well-deserved win when Rafa made his first successful tactical move, which was bringing on Dummet to tighten his midfield. That was enough to flummox our brain-dead attackers.

Then Rafa negated our fullbacks raids by playing long balls over their heads into space they left behind.

Then he got his twin strikers to play in the faces of our three confused centre-backs. That confusion was created by Silva's stupid decision to bring on loose cannon Mina.

Rafa's managerial master class that I mentioned in #4 has clearly failed to educate commentators other than Silva.

Jerome Shields
97 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:26:29
Jack, #59,

The point tactically is that Newcastle are able to get possession of the ball at 40 yards so as to launch it at the Everton defence.

You are making the same mistake that Silva made: Silva was reactive to the Newcastle tactic by taking a forward off and putting Mina into the defence. The result was to aid the Newcastle tactic, by pushing Everton deeper without any midfield support.

What Silva needed to do was to be proactive. He needed to substitute a tiring Gomes with Schneiderlin, who would have added a second layer to the defence, preventing Newcastle running onto loose balls and providing support to Sigurdsson. The introduction of Davies would have provided support to the forwards, aided maintenance of possession, and the high press.

Basically, what Silva did was to surrender the Everton final third to Newcastle. The final third can only operate with support from midfield. This was brilliantly demonstrated in the first half.

Si Cooper
98 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:29:46
Wonderful how things can change so rapidly in the world of football. Couple of half-decent outings and Morgan Schneiderlin is suddenly our knight in shining armour!

It has already been pointed out that they had been employing the long ball tactic that gave them their first goal throughout the game. It is bizarre that people seem to have seen us retreat into our own half when Mina came on. That didn't happen.

They simply went all out to get back into the game, much as they have done before in the good run they have enjoyed recently, and we failed to deal with situations even these players should be capable of handling.

If Seamus had been playing instead of the erratic Kenny I reckon we would have strolled it yesterday.

Michael Kenrick
99 Posted 10/03/2019 at 23:44:41
Sorry about your Weir(d) sub, John. Had me scratching most hard surfaces within reach...

So a player who racked up 269 appearances for Everton, by coming on as a sub under certain fairly specific circumstances as you describe, thus gave his name to this tactical move?

To even have a chance of establishing such a pattern, you'd expect he would need to be employed in that manner a fair few times, would you not? At least a bit more often than barely 15 times in his 8-year Everton career. So that's not even twice a season? Yet, on this basis, you say we have the commonly referenced "Weir Sub"???

Nah — I think I was right: that's just Weird.

Ben McVeigh
100 Posted 11/03/2019 at 01:40:00
Pickford's antics look to me those of a kid with low self-confidence, trying to cover his mental weakness by smiling, carrying on, over-the-top antics. He doesn't want to portray "weakness" so he is trying to act the complete opposite.

It screams out to me of poor or a lack of effective coaching for him. He needs a coach that he respects, that he will listen to, even when it's a message he doesn't want to hear. He has flaws, and needs to own them so he can work on improving.

If Silva is the man to continue with, and I'm not sure he is (tactical nous is lacking), but the coaching staff seem to be very light on.

This is the test for Brands, get the right backroom staff in, not yes-men to Silva, and not club hangers-on.

Tony Everan
101 Posted 11/03/2019 at 11:31:27
Ben, well put, I fully agree that Pickford needs better coaching. Someone he respects and will give proper attention to.

He is coming across as an arrogant wildcard. He has regressed since the World Cup instead of that being a springboard for him.

Both the coaching staff and Pickford himself need to get a grip of the situation and turn it round fast.

Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:08:17
A good, common-sense post, that, Ben @100.
Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:16:06
We might not have troubled their keeper much in the second half, Si, but, if you think we would have strolled it with Coleman, I think we would have strolled it a lot easier if Bernard got his head up and gave Richarlison a five-a-side goal, or if Richarlson had not overrun the ball when he had a chance to go through on goal.

We might not have been working the keeper, but we were definitely working Newcastle's outfield players and, with a touch more quality, Silva, might not have had to make such a defeatist change, which played right into Rafa Benitez's hands.

Sam Hoare
104 Posted 11/03/2019 at 13:38:32
I don't know if its been mentioned already but we now have exactly the same amount of points that we had last after 30 games last season. This will likely change as we have a harder run-in and will not finish in 8th I expect but who knows.

At least we created a decent amount of chances against Newcastle (who actually have conceded the 6th least goals in the league). And we looked quite sound defensively against Cardiff and Liverpool. We just need to get both aspects right in the same game! Simple... right?

Tony Abrahams
105 Posted 11/03/2019 at 14:14:14
It's the hardest thing to do though, Sam, because once you start to get both things right, then anything is possible.

I would love to see Silva's team become more defensively sound (wouldn't we all?) but I'm not sure it's possible with such an expansive system. This is why I'd love him to employ a more defensive coach alongside him, but I'm not sure this would do anything more than have them both contradicting each other, though.

The manager got it badly wrong on Saturday, and this was more galling because for the first hour his team had got most things right. With 8 games to go, I hope people can concentrate on the positives, but once we make our minds up, it's usually very hard to change it.

Todd McCanter
106 Posted 11/03/2019 at 14:57:55
Defending a 2-0 lead from the 70th minute is asking for trouble.
Eddie Dunn
107 Posted 11/03/2019 at 15:32:43
One aspect that needs to be mentioned is the lack of fitness of Bernard and Gomes. Now I know that they missed a pre-season, but how long should it take to get match fit? It is more difficult for Silva to make good tactical substitutions if it is blindingly obvious that two of his players are blowing for tugs on the hour.

Bernard was great until he suddenly ran out of gas and started coughing-up possession. Gomes too has done this so many times. When you tire, your brain slows down and you make poor decisions as well as your motor skills becoming impaired.

I once boxed a Royal Marine Sergeant in a sparring session. I was 23, playing 4 games of footy a week and training TaeKwondo. I thought I was fit. In the 3rd round he said "Drop your guard and I'm gonna make you see stars". I kept my guard up but it was a long 3 minutes.

Fitness is key to everything in sport.

Tony Everan
108 Posted 11/03/2019 at 16:12:54
Eddie, Bernard has been like that since he got here. Brilliant as he is at times, after 60 mins on the pitch, he looks like a health warning for Capstan smokers.

I'm still not sure whether he is a second-tier luxury player we can't afford to accommodate with the spasmodic frailty within the team.

Tony Abrahams
109 Posted 11/03/2019 at 16:16:02
I thought he was still going against Liverpool, Tony, but he was definitely tiring on Saturday, and I couldn't believe Silva's first sub wasn't a straight swap between Bernard and Lookman.

Paul Cherrington
110 Posted 12/03/2019 at 09:52:10
I think the fitness of Bernard and Gomes (or lack of) shows across the whole team at times. The reason why is simple – not enough fitness training and physical conditioning work at Finch Farm during the week. If this were been done properly, we would not have players running out of steam in the latter half of games.

As when Martinez was here, it seems there is too much time practicing pretty passing triangles and dribbling the ball around. I suspect this is also why our defence is so bad – not enough time spent on drills and defensive shape or organisation.

I don't know but I also suspect it is too easy within the club after losing games like at the weekend... Do the players and staff really hurt enough when this happens?

I'm not talking about feeling a bit disappointed for an hour after the game before then going out with their mates for a night out. I'm talking about old-school reactions to losing where players would be in moods for the whole of the next week, and not even talk to their own families for days after, because they were so mad.

I seem to remember reading that, if the players played badly and lost a game they were expected to win on a Saturday, Moyes would be in a terrible mood until the next Wednesday or Thursday with them all. They wouldn't even try to talk to him or go near him. Can we imagine the same from Silva? I don't think so.

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