We Need to Talk About Marco

by   |   03/02/2019  87 Comments  [Jump to last]

After the latest debacle yesterday, the general consensus amongst fans is should the club 'stick or twist'.

Realistically, does the manager have it within him come next August, to have a realistic push for top four/six? I'm not sure he does. He doesn't help himself with his passive demeanour, often looking bemused on the touchline by the chain of events unfolding before him.

But the most alarming feature is ironically, one of the traits which I presume attracted the senior management of the club to him in the first place. His tactics so far this season have been pretty much appalling.

The criminal defensive lapses including the eleven goals conceded from set-pieces, means we have become the laughing stock of football.

We thought we had appointed a bright young tactically astute manager, well versed in modern day football, not a stubborn 'Martinezesq' clone of a previous regime, convinced that his way is absolutely right.

Opponents must be overjoyed to find out they're playing Everton next week with a defence almost gifting them goals, week-in & week-out, and a manager and his coaching staff unable to fix the leak?

One of the most alarming features of yesterday's performance was the ease in which a fast slick Wolves team was able to cut through the Everton defence with ease, leaving them totally exposed. Not helped by the bizarre decision to risk a clearly unfit Leighton Baines at fullback, when a fit Jonjoe Kenny was on the bench!!

So how much of the current mess can be blamed on the manager? Clearly just one full transfer window is not enough to rectify the horrible mess left behind by Koeman and Walsh. An over-bloated squad full of obscenely paid average players is not his fault, and I believe we will still be feeling the effects of that a couple of years from now... Sandro — two goals in nearly two years — on a reputed £100k a week; not many takers there, I think.

But it's his inability to utilise the players at his disposal that worries me. Surely he should at least be able to make them 'hard to beat' as a minimum requirement? The slow ponderous tactic of moving the ball between the two centre-halves who then look for a non -existent creative midfielder to unlock a defense that must be laughing their collective heads off at the snail's pace at which we move the ball around.

In terms of team selection, it's now reached the stage where the manager is swapping player's around almost on a weekly basis hoping almost by accident he stumbles upon the winning formulae.

Why on earth select a hopelessly out-of-form Walcott for Lookman, who needs to be given a run of games, and not dropped at the first sign of having a below average game.

There were massive gaps all over the field yesterday and no sign of a 'plan' whatsoever. We would be in deep shit if we hadn't have had a decent start to the season, with just three wins in twelve games, that's relegation form, make no bones about it.

The fact that Cardiff and Huddersfield are almost 'dead men walking' at least provides something of a safety net.

Finally, how much is Moshiri to blame for the current predicament? He certainly must have sanctioned the choice of Silva and approved the length of contract etc, but who else aided and abetted him?

The problem Everton have is we simply don't have the status or the stature as a club to attract any of the top six managers in Europe. At some stage, we need to take a chance, rather like Southampton did with Poccechino a few years ago, and appoint a manager with CLEAR evidence that he knows how to at least set a team up, the minimum requirement.

The question is now, do we stick with Silva to the end of May, and then look to appoint someone else, or do we persevere with him in the knowledge that he will recruit HIS own player's in the summer that will be able to execute the game plan that HE wants.

If he gets it wrong again in season 2019-20, we face another 12 months of stagnation.

Over to you, Farhad.

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Anthony Murphy
1 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:11:46
After watching Man City just now, I reckon we could be on the receiving end of a midweek massacre.

No-one expects much on Wednesday night, but we may end up going to Watford with confidence in tatters and Silva knowing another defeat (at Watford of all clubs) could see the Grim Reaper in the crowd near the dugout at the next home game.

I reckon we will probably give him the summer to buy a few players and will allow him to start the new season, but I'm not convinced Brands is convinced he is the man, so who knows. Maybe Brands has identified his replacement and we will see a change as soon as the season finishes.

John Raftery
2 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:12:41
Those home wins against Southampton, Fulham, Palace, Brighton and Cardiff during the first half of the season were absolutely vital. None of those victories were totally convincing and we have yet to play four of them on their own pitch, having lost at Southampton just over a fortnight ago. If we fail to pick up a few points from those games and lose all the games against the top six, I believe Silva will be out in May.

Steve – You use the word 'ponderous' to describe the passing between our centre-backs. You could add the word 'pedestrian' to describe our play in midfield and the word 'pathetic' for our play up front.

In mitigation regarding the latter, even if we had the best set of forwards in the league, they would struggle in our team because we create so little.

Jay Harris
3 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:23:14
John, under Silva's formation we hardly have a midfield. Gueye has enabled us to paper over the cracks in a lot of games but it is quite clear our midfield is our soft centre instead of being a hard nut.
Clive Rogers
4 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:27:37
Lookman doesn’t warrant a run of games in his current form, he has been woeful. In fact in his last few appearances he hasn’t looked interested to me, even on his home territory at Milwall.
Derek Taylor
5 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:31:34
Steve, just three or four wins from our remaining games will ensure Everton will be playing Premier League football next season. I may have read it wrong but I strongly believe that is all that is being asked of our manager at this time.

Farhad will not want egg all over his face if he sacks his third manager within two years, particularly as he went out on a limb to recruit the genius he saw in Silva. Sure, he has stopped throwing money at the prospect of buying 7th position as any finish in the low teens will do just as nicely.

From now on, our club is a major construction project with football a secondary consideration. Our benefactor lived through the same dilemma as a shareholder at Arsenal so he knows what has to take priority. Who knows, though, he might well bring in his old ally Arsene Wenger to help him though the rough times ahead !

Brian Patrick
6 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:33:24
We would get Cocu if Silva was sacked. And Cocu's just been sacked. Nightmare!
Don Alexander
7 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:21:12
Derek (#5), we'll be safe with another six points and there's the rub for fans of football. Six points from a possible 39 equals "Easy Street" for our "stars". The shite squad we have will comfortably end up midway despite hardly ever having shown a glimmer of enterprise or entertainment from start to finish. That's how poor the lower clubs are - poor that is in product on the pitch, not in the least poor with regard to the players' millionaire wages for displaying the square root of diddly squat for those morons, whoever they are, who pay right through the nose to turn up every single match regardless of the shite on offer.

The Premier League has long since become, Leicester City excepted, as predictable as the days of the week, and it's getting worse.

Frank McGregor
8 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:29:24
Steve, If Marco Silva is in place for the 2019-20 season it won't be stagnation it will be RELEGATION to the Championship.
Kevin Prytherch
9 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:43:25
At some point, we need to take a chance, like Southampton did...

That's what we've done here isn't it?

Koeman and Allardyce were the safe appointments, Unsworth (who I think should have been given more time) and Sílva were the managers that we've taken a chance on. This one hasn't worked.

If we get shut of Sílva – it should be written into the new manager's contract that, if they play 4-2-3-1, they get fined a month's wages.

Jon Withey
10 Posted 03/02/2019 at 22:34:11
Assuming that the rest of the season will *only* be as bad as this run then I guess we will be safe for now.

If it continues into the next season, we will be relegated — that is not even an opinion, it is mathematics as others have pointed out.

We are pretty bad but It's interesting looking down the table.

Surely Burnley have an organised defence? Cardiff? Not doing much for them, is it?

West Ham have a top-drawer manager and are just about below us for now.

We are in amongst the average this season at the moment, with Watford, Bournemouth, Leicester, West Ham. Wolves seem to have nailed it for now and are looking like the best of the rest.

We spent far too much on average players like Keane, Pickford (on current performance), Walcott, Tosun, Schneiderlin – this squad has no automatic right to be any higher – would a different manager have done so much better? Maybe, but it isn't a top four squad, is it? We are currently about where you would expect.

Silva still has time – but he has a lot of doubters to prove wrong – it's not looking good.

Kevin Dale
11 Posted 04/02/2019 at 13:22:01
It is worrying, on the one hand you think its too soon to change the manager, plus most of us agreed at the start of the season the new manager/coach needs to be given time.

On the other hand, he's not showing any signs of being the manager/coach with the technical knowledge the club needs, his inability to motivate and change systems is worrying, he only ever seems to change players not tactics to suit the players!

His instance with playing his system of play with Sigurdsson as the No 10, two wingers and just two midfielders is baffling. Playing Walcott who hasn't played well for months is just as baffling! His defensive strategy is clearly not working and his inability to change tactics during games is not good!

These are all worrying signs of a manager who doesn't have the coaching/management skills required at this level, the question is do we wait to see if he can turn things around? Or make the change now and give a new manager/coach the rest of the season to look at what he has got to work with?

I remember Howard Kendall's first stint as Manager; different times I know... Financially the club was struggling, he had to get rid of a lots of players to cut the wage bill, but he started to bring in players from the lower leagues and it took nearly two season before he started to get the results and the rest is history.

But my reason for mentioning this, during those early games of Kendall's management you could see what he was trying to do. A strong midfield and sound defence and he brought in youngsters and coached them... Can we see that happening with this manager?

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 04/02/2019 at 20:29:32
Some fans need to question where loyalties lie.

I've heard some wanting us to get tonked on Wednesday night so it keeps Man City in the race for the title and is another nail in Silva's coffin.

One, I can't possibly see Liverpool dropping enough points now anyway for Man City to catch them, so we just get ass-kicked for nothing.

Two, it's easy to lay all the blame on Silva but what about the underperforming players that couldn't be arsed running in the last half-hour on Saturday in front of their own fans?

Mark Murphy
13 Posted 04/02/2019 at 20:37:31
John #2,

Three left – we also got beat at Brighton. I was unlucky enough to be at both and we played exactly the same turgid shite in both of them.

I'm going to Watford on Saturday – if it's the same again, I may just spend the 2nd half in the bar!

Steve Ferns
14 Posted 04/02/2019 at 20:39:57
Well said Jim. I support Everton, not anyone but Liverpool. My dad always told me to cheer on the reds, indeed his last ever club game was the Champions League final (from the armchair of course) and he was fully behind them.

It’s my birthday on Friday and I’ll be one of three blues on a table of reds. It’ll be doubly painful for me, but it’s all character building eh? At least they can never label me bitter.

Phil Sammon
15 Posted 04/02/2019 at 20:40:39
Never mind Keane, Pickford, Tosun etc, the biggest flop is Mina. At least Krøldrup only cost £5M.

What kind of a deal was that? £30M or whatever it was. If he's shit, we can keep him. If he's any good, Barca have the option to buy him back. They must be pissing themselves at us.

It was worth it with Deulofeu, when the outlay was small for a player with so much potential. The Mina deal is an outright joke on Everton FC.

Moshiri is probably a hero over in Catalonia.

Bill Watson
16 Posted 05/02/2019 at 02:00:01
I've always believed a manager needs at least two seasons to bed his team in and the third season will tell us how good, or bad, he is.

Unfortunately, Silva keeps on showing us how bad his tactical set up, player selection and reaction to falling behind is. After virtually a third of a season of shambolic performances he shows little, or no, sign that he can pull us out of our tailspin.

Like Mark #13 I was also unfortunate to have been at Brighton, Southampton and Millwall and agree the side was absolutely as shocking as they were last Saturday. My huge concern is that Silva seems incapable of changing it.

As for Wednesday night, another defeat will make little, or no, difference to us and it's one we wouldn't expect much from even if we were half decent.

For me, the rest of the season starts at Watford. Silva may not be there but I will.

Jay Woods
17 Posted 05/02/2019 at 02:36:57
I would happily accept a hiding at home to City of it kept LFC from winning the title. Being a Toffeeman is not just about supporting Everton; it's equally about wishing to see LFC win nothing.
Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 05/02/2019 at 04:32:28
I'm going to wade, in a very elementary way, into "tactics".

This is a seriously ill-advised thing for an American to do, who clearly can't know the game as well as his overseas cousins.


We're too damn "wide".

I get the concept of width. It's vitally important.

But when we turn the ball over, I see Coleman 2/3s up the pitch, Digne the same, and usually one midfielder back with the CBs. But the CBs are spread out wider on the pitch, and not compact.

As I've said previously, you can drive a Mack truck through our midfield.

We are so, so exposed when we turn the ball over.

I don't want to watch a compact, stuff 5 guys in a narrow midfield to not concede approach. No one really wants that? Do they?

But we are just asking for pain the way we set up currently. If we make a mistake - and ALL players will at some point - we are punished for it in the extreme. It's like a wide-open ten lane highway in the middle of the pitch for the opposition to barnstorm us.

Does anyone else see this? Or is this the American missing the intricacies and nuances of a larger picture?

To my eyes, this is Silva's big problem and one he's not addressing or is too stubborn to change.

That's my personal "We Need to Talk About Marco" beef. He needs to change this approach and quickly! We could buy 4 new players, offload 20 "deadwood" players, and we'd STILL be leaking goals and not winning games because any opposition manager with any brain would say, "Patience boys. Contain them. When they "spread" out and turn it over, punish them."

Am I missing something? Quite seriously is there anyone out there who sees this too?

Darren Hind
19 Posted 05/02/2019 at 05:15:27

Football (the real type) is no different from any of the games you grew up playing. Its all about players Mate.

If you have the players to execute your plan you are laughing. If you don't, you either change the players or changed your tactics.

Marco's "plan" isn't the problem, Its his inability to get his team to defend crosses and cut out howling mistakes which will be his undoing.

With Regards to the City game; We're Evertonians FFS.
Contrary to the daft predictions above, The Shite will and are dropping points. we have to ensure they drop more when they come here.

We desperately need to show up and beat City. Of course everyone knows the odds are against it, but Newcastle were recently EIGHTEEN to one to beat them at home . . I bet the Big Market was busy that night

John G Davies
20 Posted 05/02/2019 at 06:03:10
Jim, 12

I reckon there will be at least 35,000 City fans in Goodison on Wednesday.

Darryl Ritchie
21 Posted 05/02/2019 at 06:20:02
What we need is a defensive specialist to come in and coach the rear guard, and an offensive specialist to come in to coach the forwards.

That would leave Marco free to stand on the sidelines, and look pensive.

Bill Watson
23 Posted 05/02/2019 at 09:41:13
Just heard that Jim White has been talking to Moshiri, again. 11am.
James Marshall
24 Posted 05/02/2019 at 09:49:42
I've been fairly vocal in my scathing of Silva from day one, but someone posted on here yesterday that he was prepared to give Silva a pass this season since he inherited such a shit-show.

As a result I've revised my opinion as above. He does deserve time, in no small part due to the need for some stability at Everton - we can't keep chopping & changing managers once or twice a year, it simply doesn't do us any favours. We have a lot of players who are simply not good enough, or simply don't care enough - we have bugger all to play for this season now, so motivation will be difficult and perhaps controversially, I'd like us to lose tomorrow night against City (for obvious reasons).

I've made my peace with Silva overnight, and happy to let him ride it out this season - next season though, his work really begins...

Bill Watson
25 Posted 05/02/2019 at 10:10:38
Moshiri, quoted by Jim White. "You have to hold your nerve".

Looks like Silva's here for a bit longer.

Steve Brown
26 Posted 05/02/2019 at 10:30:26
Moshiri backed him publically now, which given our run of home games is timely. There is simply no point in sacking managers every 6-7 months with the squad overhaul that takes place with each change.

Silva has to listen and learn to get the defensive shape of the team right, particularly at set-pieces. Players who make repeated errors should be dropped. If he shows the same obstinacy as Martinez and Koeman, them he will go the same way as them. But let's remember that he has made 4 permanent signings since he took over - Digne, Mina, Virginia and Richarlison.

He needs time with Brands to clear out the demotivated, second rate dross we have in the squad from our disastrous recruitment and selling policy over the last four years. If he is still struggling, by the middle of next season with a squad that is much more his own, then that will be the time to step up the criticism.

Jay Wood

27 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:15:17
Welcome back, Jay Wood(s) @ 17!

But...speak for yourself, Jay, speak for yourself.

Similar message to John G @ 20.

I would rather hope there will be considerably more Blues in attendance at Goodison tomorrow less prepared to be surrender monkies than you suggest.

Here's a novel idea: let's beat BOTH Shitteh and the 'poo in the next two home games, get an adrenalin lift for all by doing so and let them sort out the title in their remaining games whilst we take care of our fixture list.

John G Davies
28 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:31:44
Jay 27,

Short memory?

In 1994 they cheered the Sheffield Utd goals against them as it enhanced the chance of us being related.

They had Royal Blue coffins made ready for our relegation same year.

In 1998 they did the same thing cheering Barnsley goals when it enhanced our chances of us being relegated.

To this day, there is a Steua. Bucharest flag flown on the kop celebrating the fact that Steua won the European Cup the year their fans got us banned after Heysel.

Make no mistake, if the situation was reversed they would want themselves to be beaten. For them reasons I am sincerely hoping for a defeat on Wednesday.

Me bitter? You betcha

Andy Riley
29 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:42:36
I remember the title run in 1985. Spurs were our rivals for the title and hadn't won at Anfield since 1912... but guess what happened?
Brian Harrison
30 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:44:36
John G Davies

I always think these situations are more poignant to those of us who live in the city, and who have to listen to them day after day. Their manager players and fans are showing signs of pressure, so if Man City win tomorrow that pressure will increase.

Likewise if we beat Man City tomorrow, the pressure is lifted and if they win their game in hand they would go 6 points clear. Even a good team like Man City might find that gap in insurmountable.

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:53:00
Jay (27), I will have a small wager on that Everton double: winning against Liverpool and Man.City, when I collect my winnings I'll split it with you, don't be in too much of a hurry to send me your bank details so you can collect.

Jay, you are from Liverpool so you know how it works, the Everton / Liverpool dislike, to put it mildly.

I had a small debate with a genuine Liverpool fan, ie, one who actually goes to the game home and away, and he mentioned to me about “bitter blues”. l replied “For every bitter Blue there is at least one bitter Red” and that is just the ones who live in the city.

I also hope Everton lose, with this team they don”t even have to slacken off, trying their very best will be enough, but I'll get a lot of satisfaction of them trying their best and having a good go.

Jay Wood

32 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:59:27
John G and Brian Harrison.

This type of discussion always pops up in this kind of scenario, as it did when the 'poo ran City close in the 'Slippy Gerrard' season.

Then, as now, the line is trotted out (as used by Brian) that it is more 'poignant to those of us who live in the City, and who have to listen to them day after day.'

Liverpool born myself, I can relate to that.

However, as was the case at the time of the Everton 2 City 3 result a few years back, and as is evident across different threads in recent days, the city-based support is clearly not as unanimous in this as John G's earlier claim (that there will be 35,000 City supporters at Goodison tomorrow) implies.

There are plenty also saying, like me, let Shitteh and the 'poo sort out their own shit and let us win both games.

I firmly believe, as is beginning to show, that the neighbours don't have the strength in depth to cover for their injuries and that they will crack and City will overhaul them, irrespective of our result against the two of them.

Alternative opinions allowed, of course, but To use a Trumpism, 'Everton First' for me, EVERY time, in EVERY situation.

It's just the way I am.

Jay Wood

33 Posted 05/02/2019 at 13:09:05
Dave, just seen your post after posting my previous one.

I'd love to know the odds you got on that double!!!

Looking forward to splitting the winnings with you!

As I said in my reply to John G and Brian H, I do indeed know how it works.

Back in the day, when we had total ascendency over them, we pitied them and didn't even both with cruel banter. Then there was equilibrium when it was tit-for-tat, but now we have little or nothing to get back at them. It's tough for city-based Blues. I get it.

But I can't and never will wish for an Everton defeat before a ball has even been kicked, whatever the situation.

I just can't.

All teams play 38 games over 10 months in a season. It's just illogical and nonsensical to me to believe Everton's four games home and away to Man City and Liverpool will determine the destiny of the title.

Let's go out and beat both the feckers and enjoy the 'good feel factor' and bounce that will give us.

David Graves
34 Posted 05/02/2019 at 13:13:20
Little bit premature with that prediction, Jim Bennings! They will certainly drop more points and I won't be too disappointed if City close the gap on Wednesday.

We've been here before haven't we when City beat us in 2014. Most people sat near me jumped up when we thought Deulofeu had scored late on but the press coverage was all about how everyone in the ground wanted Man City to win.

I expect that it will be a subdued start until they get the usual 50:50 decisions going their way and start singing about us "signing-on" then we'll be wanting to win. However, it won't be too disappointing if we get beat for reasons such as John highlights above.

I hate them.

David Graves
35 Posted 05/02/2019 at 13:28:36
Jay, I posted before your most recent ones came up. I don't believe that many match going blues really want us to loose before a ball is kicked and no one I know wants us to get battered to speed up Silva's demise.

However a loss will be easier to take given that it stops that lot extending the gap over Man City. I honestly think they are going to blow. The thought of us beating City but then them beating us with that idiot running on to the Goodison pitch is too horrible to contemplate.

Bill Watson
36 Posted 05/02/2019 at 13:31:06
To me it's just another match and will only be a footnote in the analysis of an appalling season. To the neighbours it's hugely important and, like the Anfield derby, could kickstart their stuttering run in or really deflate them.

If they win the Premier League that puts even more pressure on both us as fans and Everton as a club.

I'll be over a defeat to Man City within days; our run in starts at Watford, on Saturday.

Jay Wood

37 Posted 05/02/2019 at 13:36:23
David @ 35.

I would hope very much hope what you write about the home support remains true, David.

For me (like many, I suspect) it's a win-win-win situation. A win against this City side the way the two teams are playing right now would be orgasmic!

I would really have to question the commitment or allegiance of any Blue who resented or regretted such a victory for us.

A draw would also be a good result.

Finally, the disappointment of a defeat would be softened by the fact that it impacts negatively on the neighbours, but it still remains the least favoured result of the three for me.

Frank McGregor
38 Posted 05/02/2019 at 13:37:42
On Wednesday I am just hoping we can keep the score down to a 5-0 defeat. It really is that bad that, every time Man City get near the Everton goal, they will score.

We just have to keep our nerve.

Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 05/02/2019 at 14:52:56
Are you still betting with “Tanners” Dave?

Jamie C, I have been saying this about Silva's team all season, but nothing seems to change. I hope it does though because I would love to see him come good, but he's got to change our formation right now, because we are just too easy to play against.

I watched Liverpool play last night, and they also play something similar at times. Fabinio, lost the ball last night when both fullbacks were pushed on, and they were very lucky not to lose a goal from West Ham's quick break.

If I was Silva, I wouldn't even start with a proper centre-forward tomorrow night, especially because I don't think any of them are good enough, although this will hopefully change in the future with Calvert-Lewin.

Dave Evans
40 Posted 05/02/2019 at 14:53:27
Jamie @18 You are right.

We have had a central midfield like custard for a long time now. Defenders have made mistakes but central strip between penalty areas, is key for defensive solidity and in maintaining attacking momentum.

The solution? 4-4-2? 4-4-1-1? 4-5-1? Three dogs of war joined at the hip? New players? Who knows.

But if we continue to be rolled over in central midfield we will continue to lose many games.

Jay Wood

41 Posted 05/02/2019 at 15:11:59
Dave Abrahams.

I see with the mention of money that Tony has come a-sniffifing.

I want to make it clear now: if your double comes in, I'm not splitting my take of the winnings with him!

Steve Ferns
42 Posted 05/02/2019 at 16:05:04
Tony, it can only change in the future with Calvert-Lewin if he starts a run of games. We need to play a team like the following:

Kenny Keane Zouma Digne
Gueye Gomes Davies
Lookman Calvert-Lewin Richarlison


By simply taking Sigurdsson out of the team, we can push one man back behind the ball when we are in possession. This means in transition, when we lose the ball whilst in possession, we can be less open to the counter-attacks as we have an extra man in place to defend.

The other point is that when we win the ball, Sigurdsson is too far up the pitch to get involved. He is at least two passes away from being in possession. By withdrawing the player to a deeper role there is more options for the man on the ball. We can increase the likelihood of a successful pass. By doing so the ball has moved more quickly. This initial pass can be followed up with another short pass in midfield as we try to move the ball and create an angle for a more effective pass.

One thing that was a hallmark of Silva sides was a defensive midfielder winning the ball and then the same player would move the ball wide quickly, setting pacey wingers away. We have not seen enough of this.

Gomes is playing deep to try to effect such tactics, but we are just moving the ball too slowly. The wingers do not expect anything to come wide quickly, and so they aren't racing to break away. There is a lack of movement. We are very much in a vicious circle here of can't pass, won't move, which makes passing even harder, and just slows us down.

Marco Silva does work on this. He works on it excessively. Silva might have the players doing everything in training correctly, and this could include zonal marking. With the pressure off the players could knock it round nicely and run play after play in attacking perfection.

However, if the players do indeed have a problem with the pressure cooker of matchday, then this could all go out the window. I believe we see evidence of this every match. frequently, as we did against Wolves, the players come out and have a good opening. They knock the ball about and they press. Then something happens and it all goes to shit.

The zonal marking issue is a very real one. There's no hiding or deflecting on that. Silva's got to take that on the chin, and he has to do something about it. I believe he's modified his tactics and is trying to play more of a hybrid system. I would say, that if we went man-to-man, I think we would still be suffering. We are shite in the air. Keane is a big lad but he's far from dominant. Mina has yet to get going. Zouma cannot do it all on his own. Gomes has the size but is not effective in the air, which means we do need Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison back there. We are simply a poor side in the air, you only need to look at how poor we are in the opposition box.

Man City presents a real opportunity. They will be the side with the ball. They will attack us. This means we will be able to get back to breaking on teams at pace. Every game we have done well in this season has seen us hit teams on the break at pace. I am cautiously optimistic of getting three points.

I also believe that the fixtures coming up are ones we can attack. We have the big sides at home and the weaker sides away. We should be able to beat those sides away, if we were playing well. And we could beat the good sides at home, if we play well.

For sure, we are the exact opposite of playing well, and things could get even worse. We only sit in 9th, but we could well drop to 12th in a few games.

I believe you can achieve things if you work hard and go about things the right way. For me, Silva does do that. The tide will turn. His luck will change. We will climb the table. I also believe Moshiri will give him time, and another window, to really stamp his authority on the club.

Darren Hind
43 Posted 05/02/2019 at 18:21:51
I know how it works in Liverpool too. The overwhelming majority of Evertonians want Everton to win every single game they play.

You'll be left in no doubt about that if we happen to take the lead or score an equalizer. You'll hear the roar for miles...

Darren Hind
44 Posted 05/02/2019 at 18:39:42
9/1 to win tomorrow
John G Davies
45 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:19:28

Overwhelming majority Darren? 😁

I have spoken to many home and away Blues over the last few days.
To a man they are hoping for a City win.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:34:18
Not this man John G, and not my mates.
Jay Wood

47 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:36:58

John G, your link is not particularly supportive of your claims.

The overwhelming majority in that very narrow canvas didn't hesitate:

"An Everton win first - always!"

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:37:07
I assume a lot of those fans who want Everton to lose, are of the mindset that we are going to lose anyway. Consequently, they have convinced themselves that somehow hurting Liverpool will make them feel better. For all the talk, I would be amazed if any Everton fan experiences joy if we are on the wrong end of a hammering.
Jay Woods
49 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:45:12
I would happily take a hammering if it expedites the end of Silva's woeful tenure and, just as I said earlier, it torpedoes Liverpool's chances of becoming champions.
Rob Halligan
50 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:49:08
For all RS who are calling us bitter because some want us to lose to Man City tomorrow, let's just remind them about 1995 when they wanted to lose at home to Blackburn on the final day of the season, and so prevent Man Utd winning the league. FFS, some of the gobshites were even wearing Blackburn shirts or scarves on the day. Even the same season, the ones I know wanted Man Utd to beat us in the FA Cup final.

The one big difference between tomorrow and the 2013-14 season is that, after tomorrow Man City will still have 12 games to play, (RS 13) while back in 13-14 season that game against Man City was played on 3rd May, so probably city only had 2 or 3 games left.

A win for us tomorrow will not really affect their chances of winning the league as there will still be plenty of points to be won and lost by both teams. I hate losing matches, I want us to win every game we play, and do want us to win tomorrow. I just won't be upset as much if we do get beat.

Kieran Kinsella
51 Posted 05/02/2019 at 19:50:06
Jay Woods 49

I feel like you're a broken man. Everton have driven you to the point of being like Mankind on the WWF where you'll happily die if you can bring someone else down with you. I am not criticizing you. I just think it's sad to see another Blue crack up like that.

John G Davies
52 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:04:04
Jay 47,

Four picked Everton.
Three picked City.

If that's an overwhelming majority in your eyes you have been studying Brazilian politics to closely.

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:18:22
Jay Wood from Brazil (41) not Jay Woods (49), Jay, your winnings are ring-fenced, as a certain pseudo Evertonian once said.

I'll let you know the odds tomorrow after I put this bet on.

Jay Wood

54 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:24:20
John G, those who went for a City win were the following:

One awl fellah that they kept cutting back to who, when asked in his final cut, "So you'll be cheering every City goal tomorrow night..?" clearly hesitated and realised it was a step too far to answer in the affirmative.

Another lad who in answer to the question answered one word "City" and scurried away immediately, rather than be caught on camera.

Then another awl fellah, bless his heart, who represented a bygone age of the city when we genuinely did celebrate the other lots trophies as it brought glory to the city.

Those who voted for an Everton win were unwavering. Another lad who was torn couldn't bring himself to vote against Everton and settled for the draw.

The 'Ayes' have it then and with far more conviction then the 'nays'.

And as an aside as you mention it, Brazil has a far more sophisticated digital-age voting system than most developed western democracies. Certainly far more advanced than the antiquated system still used in the UK.

Yes, peoples' votes are bought by corrupt politicians especially among the poor and illiterate, but fraud at the ballot box itself with 'dead men voters' and the like cannot happen.

Perhaps it's you that needs to study Brazilian politics a bit more closely before offering such glib throwaway stereotyping lines, eh?

Danny Baily
55 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:24:33
I'd be more tempted to pull the trigger and fire Silva if we somehow manage to win tomorrow night.

Send them on their way with three points and a healthy addition to their goal difference.

Jay Wood

56 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:27:32
Dave @ 53.

'Ring-fenced' eh?


Even if your double comes off, that's my winnings floating down the Mersey to some offshore fund that I'll never get to see again, then!

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:35:27
Jay (56) “ Even if your double comes off” come on Jay
you’re jinxing this bet before I even put it on.
John G Davies
58 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:37:47
I'm too busy studying the body language of the people who clearly said they wanted a City win but didn't really mean it Jay.
Oliver Molloy
59 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:55:26
Darren Hind is of course correct. Adrenaline will kick in when we get stuck in and score.

It's Murphy's Law time, folks, and when we put in a performance against Man City, we MUST follow this and beat the Red Shite at our place, Karma for the German!

Brian Williams
60 Posted 05/02/2019 at 20:58:21
I was sent something earlier on Whatsapp, which due to my ignorance, I am unable to transfer to here. It highlights the times when the RS wanted to lose their games to get us relegated, even cheering their opponents' goals.

It also mentions the Steaua Bucharest flags they take to the derby games and their joy at getting us banned from Europe while not stopping for a minute to consider the circumstances. Now not all of them are like that but lots of them are.

I want Everton to win every remaining game of this season except for tomorrow night's. If that makes me sad, bitter, twisted whatever, so be it. But the pain of a loss tomorrow will fade after a few days.

The pain of those horrible bastards winning this season's Premier League will be in the records forever and they'll not let us forget it should a win tomorrow help them to do it.

Laurie Hartley
61 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:13:42
Despite the fact that, in recent seasons, I have expected defeats I could never go into a game wanting us to loose. I can't stand the other lot but the only time I think about them is when we are about to play them. Maybe it's because I live in Australia now.

What I would like is for us to beat Man City then them. Six points for us and they can sort the title out between themselves.

Having said that, I wouldn't right Tottenham off yet. They are playing well and have Kane still to come back.

Jay Wood

62 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:15:49
John @ 58.

"I'm too busy studying the body language of the people who clearly said they wanted a Man City win but didn't really mean it, Jay."

Why would you resort to that when no-one else has suggested it? Curious.

Keeping with the political theme you introduced, if you take (as I said previously) the very small canvas from the Echo piece and extrapolated the results to the British Parliament that would be only 37.5% in favour of a Man City win, and 62.5% opposed.

That translates as 406 seats in the House favouring a positive result for Everton, 244 seats against, a majority of 162. That would make it the 3rd biggest majority in the history of British politics, ever.

Landslide victory for the Blues! (As in Everton, not the frigging Tories, ta very much...).

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:18:01
I could live with your team, Steve@42, but only if it played with real width, wide-men protecting the fullbacks, especially if the fullbacks can go and play a few one-twos with them, and with the three men in the middle of the park working their socks off?

Silva's widemen come inside without the ball way too often because he wants his fullbacks to push on, and run into the space that they vacate?

Great when it works, but it's leaving way too much exposure when it doesn't. so I'd keep it much simpler tomorrow; I'd try and get my midfield five, to close the gaps that are appearing right across the pitch, and I'd make Man City work, for every bit of space that they need to play in.

Dermot Byrne
64 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:23:43
Best way Laurie. I think some spend a lot of time scrutinising TV and reading papers looking for reasons to feel more victimised and find so-called evidence that explains why we are pretty average and others like them. It is a route to madness and utterly pointless.

If we are crap and they are favourites for the Premier League title, don't get drawn into the row is my way. As things stand, we have nothing to argue with and just look like Muppets

Dignity; our time will/may come.

Darren Hind
65 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:35:07
I remember we had all this shite when we played Man City a few years ago. Goodison proper exploded when Ross Barkley gave us the lead...

Steve Ferns
66 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:37:33
Sorry Tony. My side is very narrow. Lots of space down the flanks. Wide men are in the channels and trying to get into the box beyond Calvert-Lewin. Sure we will mix it up and go wide from time to time.

Also, they will come wide looking for the ball early in the transition but quickly they get on their bikes and stretch the opposition trying to stop the opposition's wing backs from getting forwards.

My midfield three are the counter-balance and one sits whilst the other two are box-to-box. They have to get back though and I'll be bollocking them if they get caught out too often and would haul them off if they leave gaps like we saw against wolves.

I'd also only allow one full back to attack at a time. With the other tucking in and ready to create a back three in case we get caught out. High tempo, quick passing and high pressing would be essential.

Back to the width though, congest the middle and deny space to play. This always makes it difficult for anyone, even Man City to pass through you. Sure they can murder you down the flanks but then they have to cross it in and I'd be confident my defence can head it away all day long. I'd happily surrender the wings to protect the middle.

Mike Jones
67 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:52:43
I've said it before. I'll say it again. I hope Man City batter us. Give those Red Shite nothing.

I too remember the coffins and relegation parades being prepared as refererenced above. The Steaua flag, Emlyn Hughes at St George's Hall the list is fucking endless. The country is beginning to recognise them as a caricature. Those of us living in the city have always known it.

Read RAWK, no other fan base talks such fucking drivel wrapped up as cutting-edge thought. No other fan base is as theirs; patronising and condescending presented as magnanimous when things go their way; vicious, sly and cynical when reality is exposed...

Listen to Carragher's voice last night after the match...: it was a couple of octaves higher and he could barely contain his anger whilst trying to appear professional. Fuck them all. Man City for me and if not, Spurs. Please.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 05/02/2019 at 21:55:29
If you understood me a little bit more Steve, I wouldn’t surrender anything mate!
Brent Stephens
69 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:01:52
Mike, at least RAWK last night was honest about the RS failings against West Ham.
Jay Wood

70 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:04:18
Mick @ 67.

And I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Here's a novel idea: let's beat both Man City and Liverpool and leave them to sort things out in their remaining fixtures.

Job done.

Andy Crooks
71 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:13:54
Darren H, I think 9/1 s remarkably skinny.
Mike Jones
72 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:14:38
Jay the reality is though is that if we beat City, we will inevitably lose to the RS. As predictable as night following day
Jay Wood

73 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:22:55
Or in an alternative 'reality' Mick, we beat Man City which galvanises us anew and, brimming with restored confidence, we go on to twat all before us, including 'them'.

Surrendering games before they've even been played because of an unknown that might happen seems a perverse way to approach matches, IMHO.


Mike Jones
74 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:30:55

You make a compelling argument.

I still hope Man City twat us.

Soz, sorry (private joke, I know you will understand).

Andy Crooks
75 Posted 05/02/2019 at 22:36:55
Jay, I always expect us to win. My wife says, and it is not often she uses such a word, that it is a metaphor for my life. What is the world coming to. I would predict a victory tomorrow but I am a one man jinx. I will not be betting on the match.
Stuart Sharp
76 Posted 05/02/2019 at 23:07:34
So we take our lead on how to behave from redsh*te fans in 1994? Jesus. I don't care whether you live in the city or on the moon, nobody calling themselves a fan should ever be hoping we get twatted.

I admit that the pain of a loss will be eased by the implications for the title, but to care more about them than us is pathetic. Have some dignity and support as loudly as possible. This game decides nothing except our form and confidence.

Mike Jones
77 Posted 05/02/2019 at 23:13:56
Have to disagree Stuart. I admire your passion. It’s what is needed for the future. However, in the present, I want City to twat us. It’s just a difference of opinion. 1994 fans are my peers. I didn’t like them; still don’t. Their offspring don’t make me any more inclined to wish them well.
John G Davies
78 Posted 06/02/2019 at 07:46:10
Jay 62,

Which way did Esther McVey vote?

Dave Abrahams
79 Posted 06/02/2019 at 09:22:27
Mike (77), well done Mike, you are sticking to your guns but saying fair enough to those with an opposite view.
Stuart Sharp
80 Posted 06/02/2019 at 10:31:10
They're my peers too. I was a teenager and went to all home games in those dark days. But I'll never get my head around wanting us to lose. It'll be interesting to see what the atmosphere is like tonight. Whatever happens at least some of us will be happy...
Dave Abrahams
81 Posted 06/02/2019 at 11:03:03
Jay (56), The bet's on, only 13/2 for tonight's game and I couldn't get a price for the Liverpool game so that will go on the day of the match.

£2 double: I took a loan out to get the money!!!

Jason Leung
82 Posted 06/02/2019 at 11:30:32
Should've gone for Pellegrini, look at what he is doing at West Ham, they weren't scared of the Red Shite at all the other night. There's a team playing with passion and fight.
Bill Watson
83 Posted 06/02/2019 at 11:52:09
Mike Jones; I'm Everton through and through since 1958 and still go home and away. I've been to every game this season, home and away, with the exception of Chelsea, so I'll take no questioning on my commitment.

However, I don't think this one game, in isolation, makes a great deal of difference to us, one way or the other. However, a win for City would knock the already faltering stuffing out of the RS. A win for us could kick start them into the run in as Pickford's mistake did after the Derby.

I'm hoping for a good performance from us but a win for City.

Jay Wood

84 Posted 06/02/2019 at 12:15:29
Dave @ 81.

Two quid bet! That's a lot of tanners in that Dave!

I hope the loan didn't come out of the twins' pocket money, bless 'em!

Dave Abrahams
85 Posted 06/02/2019 at 12:22:16
Bill (83), your last line will suit me fine, a good performance is what I'm expecting from Everton, we are surely due one.

Jay(84), don't mention the twins' pocket money, you know our Tony reads ToffeeWeb and I'm already three weeks behind with their pocket money!!!

Jerome Shields
86 Posted 06/02/2019 at 14:41:07
Good article Steve.

Silva has problem all over the pitch and has had them for some time. He has failed to address them and it seems his selection of players is not based on performance. A good performance from Kenny, Lookman, Bernard or Calvert Lewin does not guaranteed that they will be selected in the next game. Tactics and coaching off anybody's guess

It has been the case that Everton is not seen as a good career move for a suitable player or suitable manager for some time This season has not helped either.

Moshiri though he bought Everton, did not change the Management or culture of Evertons off the field positions. Everton have a Chairman who has won nothing in the years he has been there and with his preferred management support around him, won't ever win anything. Moshiri takeover has failed.

Silva has been belatedly been injecting youth into the squad in a no rhyme or reason fashion, with no evidence of coaching. Possibly trying to give the impression he is developing youth. Don't hold your breath for the Summer transfer window.

By the way Silva will be Manager of Everton next year, if he gets the safe number of points.

Are only hope is both Moshiri and Silva may learn and improve.

Harvey Miller
87 Posted 09/02/2019 at 19:23:30
I just can't imagine what was the logic behind trying so hard to get this idiot to manage Everton. Who is the idiot forcing it to happen? Every man, his horse and the dog knew that he was at least "not very reliable". Relegates his team, went on to having a string of one win in ten. But now he is onto a record.
Usually I would tell you I told you so but this is too painful and personal.
It's not fair for the kids to suffer because their dad was daft enough to encourage them to support Everton and of course they finally wilted (free will and all).
We are looking more and more like Newcastle where nobody knows what's happening but they do have an excellent manager, we don't.
Jerome Shields
88 Posted 11/02/2019 at 09:16:36
Obviously, no-one is talking to Marco regarding the glaring weaknesses in his coaching and tactics. Marco is becoming an increasingly isolated figure, who against Watford was influenced by the tactics of fear.

Marco, in my opinion, has effectively given up the ghost. I believe this can be traced back to the AGM and the careless talk that took place. The newly promoted Brands was okay and effectively devoid of any blame.

Nothing about what is happening now is a good omen for Everton's future. The transition plan is effectively dead at the first hurdle.

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