Sensible management and settled team is everything

by   |   29/01/2019  10 Comments  [Jump to last]

It's absolutely unbelievable what goes on at Everton, on and off the pitch.

All the talk of getting the structure of the club right, all the talk of buying the right players, getting team tactics right, having a cull, the ground move etc.

But the one thing nearly everyone seems to omit is getting the basics right.

Focusing on Silva, I am sure he has some good ideas and he has a positive, attacking, good football outlook. He has also signed some good players. But it all falls down because – like our previous managers – he seems to be oblivious to getting the basics right.

And the first basic is keeping a settled team whenever possible.

If Silva doesn't know this, then all the great insightful tactics in the world are rendered useless.

In the run-up to the Anfield derby, things had settled down and we were bumping along okay. We played well in the derby and we were very unlucky not to get a draw.

After the massive blow of losing this game, it was essential to then keep an unchanged team but immediately the manager made the huge mistake of making unnecessary changes to the team, especially the defence, which he's continued to do, and the wheels have fallen off.

A settled team helps players build up their confidence and understanding with each other, helps cohesion and spirit between players. The passing gets quicker and slicker and everyone knows their job. Make constant changes and the understanding breaks up, mistakes happen, confidence is drained... which is one of the reasons for the Spurs disaster.

We have brought in Zouma, Mina, Digne – players everyone said were really good, yet the defence is far worse now than when we had Jagielka & Baines in there at the back end of last season. We keep bringing in players, making changes, but don't improve... and the reason is we have no continuity. Change can only be gradual. Other clubs know this, why don't we?

A settled team will work wonders, we won't win the league, but it will settle us down. The Millwall defensive disaster was a direct result of all the constant changes Silva has made to the team and the defence since the derby; if Silva doesn't recognise this, he must go.

I point to the first half of Martinez's first season with us. He made a couple of good signings and let a balanced team go out and play to their strengths. It worked wonders and the wheels only started to fall off when he introduced his 'freshening up the team' nonsense with continual changes.

I am fed up of listening to people slagging off good players, saying we must have another clear-out, we need to buy another 6 players. The main thing we need is a sensible manager and a settled team — notwithstanding that the one signing we have desperately needed for a long time now is a mobile goal-scoring striker!

We've had the déjà vu of the cup exit to a lower-league club... and the déjà déjà vu of yet another home hammering (this time by Spurs); if Silva doesn't get his act together and settle things down by the time of the Goodison derby, we will have yet another derby humiliation on our hands and Siva would then have to go.

And if we don't get a couple of wins under our belts soon, we could, yet again, be in relegation trouble. But long-term, a sensible manager and a settled team is a must. We have had loads of excellent players over the last 20 years but we have not had a common-sense manager good enough to consistently get the best out of them.

And please no reference to Moyes; he presided over more cup defeats to lower-league teams and hammerings than anyone, and he was the main architect of the current horrendous Anfield/Liverpool hoodoo (when we were up against a very ordinary Liverpool team most of the time).

He also had an extraordinary knack of falling out with our better players. His treachery at the end of his tenure was just unbelievable and his record since leaving Everton only proves Everton were good for him and not the other way around.

If we get to the stage of interviewing for yet another new manager, the first question should be: "Do you promise to keep a settled balanced team?!"

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Reader Comments (10)

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Paul Richards
1 Posted 30/01/2019 at 04:37:59
Hey, that's good, Jim. Surprised no-one has thought of it before.

Oh wait... FIVE changes — and look: and away win!
That's half the line-up! So much for a settled team... not too good if they are settled on losing!!

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 30/01/2019 at 12:48:06
Jim, I think you'll find that Silva has also changed the side less than most. He's been operating from 14 or 15 players for ages now. If anything, he stood by his favourites too long. For example was almost unanimous amongst the faithful that Lookman should play, but Silva kept Walcott in. There's other examples where fans demanded changes, yet he kept more settled side.

I think the side being settled is well down the list of complaints. There's far more pressing matters to query and to fix.

Jim Wilson
3 Posted 30/01/2019 at 13:22:30
Hey Paul
You are a funny guy
Yes we won after making changes against the bottom club
The point is for long term not a one off game
Of course plenty of people know about it but it needs to be the Everton manager
Jim Wilson
4 Posted 30/01/2019 at 13:28:40
Steve - Silva has messed around with the defence constantly since the derby, completely destroying the understanding between the defenders and Pickford hence the constant bad marking and mistakes at the back.

Of course there were changes the manager should have made a while ago and, once made, stuck by. Lookman was one

Totally relieved by the win last night!

Steve Ferns
5 Posted 30/01/2019 at 13:42:02
Jim, it's clear that Silva wanted to get Yerry Mina into the defence. The changes he made was to go with his favoured back four. Which combination was to be his favoured back four I am not sure. I suspect it was Digne-Mina-Keane-Coleman, but perhaps Zouma instead of Keane. If he had shifted into that and they played well, I suspect the back four would have been settled. It was unsettled because of injury and "better" players returning. Mina has not convinced, yet. Keane and Zouma have played well, but with some very poor games or very big mistakes in some games. Coleman is having the worst season of his career, and after being our best player this season, Digne has suddenly had a loss of form.

I can understand the changes at the back as Silva tries to get the back four sorted. I do agree with you that really he should pick what he thinks is best and stick with it. I'd throw Kenny in at right back (despite a better game from Coleman) and leave Coleman on the bench. It'll be interesting to see who lines up at left back against Wolves. It's either a patched up Baines or a wrong-footed Kenny. Unless Coco the Clown is recalled. What about Ryan Astley, isn't he a left footed centre-back? They often get a run out a full-back first, is he worth a go (providing he is left footed).

As an aside, on the subject of recalling left backs, Gaynes, I know you read everything on here, any news on your favourite player? I've not heard a thing all season, is he still injured? Don't tell me he's caught Galloway and Garbutt disease and is coming back older but worse?

Pat Kelly
6 Posted 30/01/2019 at 15:33:43
I don't see Silva getting sacked if we have a humiliation in the next derby game. You can't run a club based on what your neighbours do.
Jim Wilson
7 Posted 30/01/2019 at 16:05:08
Pat - that's exactly what we should be doing!!!
Daniel A Johnson
8 Posted 30/01/2019 at 16:25:31
I would argue if anything Silva has been hesitant to change the team at times. the fact Siggy and Gomes needed resting has been obvious but he cant/wont as we have no decent options to replace them. Even Digne has been over played when you consider his replacement is Baines.

Out biggest problem is lack of on pitch leadership and not working hard enough when we don't have the ball. The effort last night was a welcome change to our usual passive strolls.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 30/01/2019 at 16:55:02
Stability is a good thing but you cant build on sand.

Defensively we have never recovered from the "Martinez" era except for 1 season under Koeman and Allardyce anti football.

Keane and Zouma look to be our best CB pairing but Mina seems to not want to be here and looks a liability when he plays. Silva's tactics and coaching look suspect defensively rather than the players.

Rotation as its called is a necessary evil of the modern game as few players seem able to play a full season of games without a rest or suspension so it is nigh on impossible to keep the same 11 week in week out which is why its now a "squad" game.

I would also take issue with your version of Moyes.

He took us to a cup final and semis and also got us CL with a pittance for player acquisitions and engendered team spirit throughout the club.

He did the dirty when he decided to go but I cant imagine what 11 years under the snake oil salesman would do for anybody.

I would also take issue with him "falling out" with our best players.

Jerome Shields
10 Posted 01/02/2019 at 10:41:28
I totally agree with you, Jim.

Getting the the basics right and having a settled team is the way forward. The problem has been both on and off the pitch. It has been before Silva's time in the making.

The likelihood is that Silva is likely to finish this season 6th or 7th. As Lyndon has said, it may be more to do with the standard in the Premier League, rather than by design. But this is glass-ceiling territory, as with Moyes, and we put up with it for year, with only a glimmer of hope that Everton would progress, often dashed by disappointing and inconsistent team displays under Moyes.

Silva is a young manager on a high learning curve, but the flaws are obvious and can be rectified. In other words, get the basics right and have a settled team.

What is really holding Everton back is the complete mess the Board and Management made before Silva's arrival. That regime off the field is largely intact: Moshiri was the goose with the golden egg and his owner in the case of Everton is called Bill Kenwright. Furthermore, since Moshiri has arrived, the management team off the field is full of luvvies.

Brands is Band-Aiding Everton at the moment with his policy of reducing the wage bill, which was his number one job on being appointed. He has largely done this by loaning out players. Extra money was belatedly provided in the Summer to bring in players, because it was obvious that unwanted overpriced players where not going to sell or be wanted by other clubs.

The mess of the transfer policy prior to Silva meant that, in January, there were restrictions on transferring players in, meaning that players had to be sold and no extra money could be provided, because of regulations. Ditto the problem of the Summer transfer window with overpriced untransferable players.

Silva and Brands took the view to go for the squad with the most potiential and not play fringe players to increase their value. They also hoped that loaned-out players would facilitate their transfer out of the club, but that didn't happen to the players they wanted rid off.

Hopfully the January transfer window is not a pointer to the Summer transfer window. Because of this, 'Evertexit' it is going to take a minimum of 3 years to run down contracts and get rid of players. It's going to take 3 years also to sort out the Board and the backroom management of Everton.

The appointment of Brands to the Board, whilst having weaknesses regarding accountability in transfer policy, may mean that Moshiri has at last got someone at Board level who knows about football and is not a Luvvie.

I have been a critic of Silva's weaknesses in organisation and coaching but, because he is having to deal with the result of years of Board mismanagement and a culture of Luvies which Moshiri allowed to continue and possibly added to, I would keep Silva on as Manager for the foreseeable future.

The fact that Silva didn't let the Board sort out their problems by selling Gueye means, in my opinion, that Silva has started the process of putting the necessary pressure on the Board and Backroom staff for change at that level.

I expect we will begin to see an improvement in basics and a more settled team from now on. Next season, we will hope to see a more consistent Everton, but there is a big gap between the top five and the other end of the Premier League and it will take Everton longer to bridge the gap, for the above reasons.

A really good article at this time, Jim.

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