by   |   11/02/2019  25 Comments  [Jump to last]

Of all the articles, posts, letters, rants and moans about the current crisis (and it is a crisis) engulfing our great club at the moment, there is feeling that a big problem with the players is confidence. This is very obvious by the lack of assertion displayed in matches especially on the current run we are on.

I think we are all agreed that Marco appears to be limited in tactics, football knowhow formations, coaching etc. All of which may be true. But even a coach with limited ability should be able to get a tune out even a half-decent squad which ours is at the very least. The thing no manager can ever coach is confidence.

But the thing that can bring about a rise in confidence and belief in a squad (hate that expression 'group'!) is morale and, in my opinion, that's the one thing that Marco is sapping from them on a weekly basis.

Everyone has opinions on who or should or should not be playing. I'm sure we've all sat in dressing rooms or at team meetings, albeit mostly as amateurs, heard the team read out and thought, "Why the fuck is he getting a shirt over so and so?" and "Why are we flogging the same system that painfully isn't working???"

Now I'm not saying the boss starts pandering to individual players and egos but start playing people on merit. We all know who the present players are who either won't or can't put a decent shift in for 90 mins. So time for morale boost Marco. System change possibly. Personnel change definitely.

Oh, and cheer the fuck up on interviews!! A little animation (not Conte-like) on the touchline wouldn't go amiss either. Who knows... a personality injection might rub off a bit on the players.

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 11/02/2019 at 17:57:28
I think Silva's touchline style is irrelevant. If the team is gelling as a team, Silva could virtually sit in the stands. All the stuff from the likes of Klopp is theatrical shite.

Until after the Derby, it looked like Silva believed we could beat anyone, and had the players believing it too. That is very unusual for any recent Everton manager.

There are likely a number of factors at play in our drop in form since the Derby, with the 96th minute fuckup possibly being a final straw. These factors are failure to be lethal in front of goal (despite some very good midfield play that took opponents apart, including top-6 sides), individual mistakes at the back, and extremely poor and repeated officiating against us.

I believe the latter has been very significant. It's been like trying to climb a muddy slope, with incompetence and bias pushing us back as soon as we ascend a little.

The problems we're seeing are not unusual for us, for an apparently fragile mental attitude has been evident for some time, well before Silva arrived. But at least Silva had the pre-Derby level of belief that was apparent.

That belief seems to have disappeared, we need to get it back asap, and I think Silva needs an opportunity to make this happen. After all, there's no guarantee that a replacement manager would change things for the better.

Jay Harris
2 Posted 11/02/2019 at 18:24:11
I really think Silva is undermining the players' confidence not enhancing it. We had the same shit with Martinez.

"I will run through the players mistakes on a video with them before the next match".

Players know when they make mistakes and feel badly enough about it at the time.

What the players need is belief and inspiration and Silva seems incapable of instilling that when he is under pressure.

Managers always use the cop-out "It's the players who are on the pitch".

Absolute bullshit. It is top managers who inspire them that gets the performance on the pitch.

Players don't play badly deliberately. They play badly either cos they are crap or cos they are demotivated.

We all have different opinions on the players but we have seen what these players are capable of at their best so tha'ts the tune Silva is paid to produce.

Steve Ferns
3 Posted 11/02/2019 at 18:33:25
If footballers believe the manager is about to be sacked, they go into self-preservation mode. They cease following instructions and play how they want so they can speak to the new manager and put forward their case.

Peter Crouch is one example who admitted not following managers instructions. He was getting slaughtered in the press for not scoring goals; he was being made to play left wing and so was not close to scoring goals. He was being played in a position to support with his aerial ability. He took matters into his own hands and did what he needed to do to score goals.

The secret footballer in The Guardian also discussed examples of players not following instructions and being selfish when they are under pressure. Players can justify this by thinking of their own careers. If their beleaguered manager is sacked then it doesn't bother them. They can persuade the new one that they have value.

The pressure is the thing killing us right now. Sacking the manager would relieve it for a while. If the new guy does as well as Koeman did (which was hardly superb stuff) then the pressure goes completely. But it only took a few games for it all to come back.

The only thing that will resolve things is a sustained period of good form. But to do that we need to snap out of our malaise. We've had the games to do that, but it's not happened so far.

The only positive going is this, we have 2½ weeks to prepare. Silva is giving the players some time off. It's clearly a strategy to try to shift some of that pressure.

Silva is good on the training ground, whatever you guys think, the evidence is from all of his past players who all say so. There's no ex-player slagging off his coaching or his methods. That'll be different when the dust settles on this shambles of a season for sure. If Silva is going to turn the corner, it's having a full 2½ weeks to work on the players. It's only Cardiff after all.

Every manager has bad seasons. Some on here want Moyes back; he followed up 6th with 17th and 4th with 11th. We gave him time. Silva is still 9th. A false position for sure, but we will be 11th / 12th by the time the game is hand is played. If we turn the corner fast we can still get back to 7th or 8th.

Steve Ferns
4 Posted 11/02/2019 at 18:35:52
Jay: “It is top managers who inspire them that gets the performance on the pitch.”

I disagree. That's your Kevin Keegan / Harry Redknapp type manager. Give me a proper coach any day.

Inspiration only takes you so far and for so long.

Brian Williams
5 Posted 11/02/2019 at 18:47:20
Steve, our "proper coach" isn't exactly tearing up trees, mate.

For all your posts on Silva's coaching ability, posts which I admit had me at the time feeling quite positive and excited, it appears he can't even sort out defending set-pieces despite us conceding from them time after time after time.

Some on here have him hung already. For me, the jury's still out... just!
You must be in shock after the build-up you gave him!

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 11/02/2019 at 18:49:47
Everyone has bad seasons. Some are championing my old favourite, Marcelo Bielsa. He took Lille from 6th to bottom last season. He got sacked and now he's back to his best.

Can't a manager, a human, with lots of variables beyond his control, just have an off-period? This off-period for Silva has us still in 9th, not 19th.

Paul Kelly
7 Posted 11/02/2019 at 20:57:23
Silva has had three off periods in his last three jobs; that equals a pattern, not an anomaly.
Steve Ferns
8 Posted 11/02/2019 at 21:06:40
He had Hull in mid table on points pro rata, how’s that an off period?
Dave Ganley
9 Posted 11/02/2019 at 21:14:20
Confidence, loss of consistent form, general malaise at the club, lack of effort, the list goes on; it has been prevalent at the club since Martinez's second season. Apart from a very few brief respite of ok games, for most part it's been pitiful. I wish I knew why this is happening but I don't for sure.

My own opinion, for what it's worth, is poor recruitment. We have a squad full of fairly talented but very fragile bunch of players. We have no proper captain, no leaders, nobody willing to grab a game by the scruff of its neck and change it, no proper winners. Even when we had a real striker in Lukaku we still were no better off.

We don't have players who hate to lose, we don't have players who want to prove everybody wrong, we don't have players who feel proud to wear the blue jersey, we don't have players who will give their all for the fans especially those that travel away. Instead, we have a squad full of players who don't seemingly give a toss whether they win, lose or draw with very few exceptions.

I have sympathy with Silva to an extent because he has to deal with these players. They have let the club and fans down for the last 4 year's really. Yes I know players have come and gone in that period but we still seem to buy the same kind of players who play when they can be bothered.

Having said that, Silva still brought in Richarlison, Gomes, Digne, Zouma, Bernard and Mina, of which only Digne has consistently delivered. Zouma has been okay but the rest have played in fits and starts and all been part of this dreadful run of 10 defeats in 16 games.

It's a common theory that there is something rotten in the club and I would certainly go along with that but it's not responsible for the farce that we currently face. Lack of confidence is just a convenient excuse for very poor performances. Silva will be given time I think and I very much doubt we are in trouble with relegation. The fact that we are in 9th after that shocking run of results as well as finishing 8th last season just shows the poor quality of the Premier League.

Silva though needs to show a lot more than he is currently doing. Yes Steve, managers do have tough periods but I'm not sure this is just a rough period. We are not doing anything differently, we are just doing the same things week after week from making the same play from kick off to making the same mistakes, strange subs and not motivating the players even in spite of the fact that the players are pretty weak and feeble.

We also need to not play the victim card and start going on about decisions going against us. Yeah we've had dodgy decisions against us but that's a poor excuse for not defending properly, not creating or bit closing down. Saturday is a case in point. We are not the only team that gives away an unjustified corner against them but it's an easy excuse for giving away a poor goal.

Silva needs to show much more to convince me that he can handle this job but I feel he will get the time. Time for him to actually start to show he can turn this around.

John Keating
10 Posted 11/02/2019 at 21:21:13

Allardyce had us higher and was slagged to high heaven so league positions surely can't be the be all and end all. My issue is the football we are producing, to say it is poor is being kind.

We had all the excuses after early non-events such as the Huddersfield home game. His players were injured, we are getting used to his style, players hadn't played for ages etc. Surely at this stage of the season, we should expect more from them all especially Silva? How anyone can attempt to condone his tactics, setups, substitutions is beyond me.

I agree we all have off days, even weeks but we are seeing the same things we were seeing preseason

I have no doubt Silva will be here until seasons end when no doubt decisions will be made.

Excuses can be made for people only so long I'm afraid.

Paul Kelly
11 Posted 11/02/2019 at 21:45:21
Steve, he started off well and won only one of his last eight games, sound familiar?
Kase Chow
12 Posted 11/02/2019 at 00:09:04
Most on here saying Brands is a good DoF. Silva being defended by some but most think we should get rid.

Me? I think they've BOTH been incredibly negligent. Between them, they've presided over two transfer windows and failed to buy a proven striker. That's two windows

And the truth is we need a couple of strikers – not just one. So two windows to get two strikers and they've failed each time to get even one in.

So I'm wondering IF Brand really is the real deal? Same with Silva if we don't have a striker then we should be practising set pieces to death to SCORE from them. Instead we concede from them.

It's totally, TOTALLY inept the only reason he's forced to play Sigurdsson, Charlie and Walcott is because they're our most likely sources of gaols — no matter their form or whether they fit the system or not. Over a season, those three will score more than other Everton players so they have to play.

It's incredible ‘management' that we are in this situation. "It's okay, Calvert-Lewin & Tosun will see us through..."

Excellent. Just excellent

Jerome Shields
13 Posted 12/02/2019 at 00:25:05
I would say you are right. But the problem with Silva is that he can't seem to play a player in his suitable position and get him to actually do his job. What is needed at the moment is that a player is selected to play his position and do his job in that position. , Silva can't get players to gel together because he is not selecting players who can combine their play.

I am beginning to think that Unsworth is the only one that can do this. He may lose some games, but he will be able to get us the required points to survive. He would have done it the last time, only Moshiri undermined him. Unsworth is a football man and talks in terms of how the player performs. He is not tactical and this could be an advantage, because the team looks sick and tired of tactics.

Then, in the Summer, a new manager can be found. . . but I still believe the problems are deeper than on the pitch.

Don Alexander
14 Posted 12/02/2019 at 00:59:31
For what it's worth, my theory is that virtually all the players we've signed for top-whack in recent years just couldn't believe their luck in getting such a stonking contract from us. Buoyed by that they then turn up to Finch Farm and see the state of play head-on.

They see "coaches" perfectly happy to accept levels of commitment way below what those at proper clubs deem minimal (as stated by Bainsey on the impact Aaron Leonard had when he first arrived), a food regime more akin to the needs of a docker than a pro footballer (as stated by Vlasic as soon as he got here), "coaches/managers" being phoned several times a day by a clueless chairman (as stated by Unsworth), and a decrepit stadium now filled by fans quite understandably in some sort of coma when it comes to generating an atmosphere.

The players aren't fans or supporters. They're in it for themselves alone. Given what they quickly find they've joined is it any wonder they, "supported" by their fucking agent, then reflect on the stonking contract as the only thing that matters?

Everton won't get a manager we need until they first get an exorcist to purge the club of everything "Kenwright". Just saying ........... again, and again, and again.

Jay Harris
15 Posted 12/02/2019 at 02:18:06

I would love to agree with you but I just can't. His form at Hull was 22 games, 27points hardly midtable and they started with 4 straight wins.

His form at Watford was similar started off like a train and then fell through the floor.

At Everton... well, let's just say a leopard does not change its spots.

I would love to believe in fairy tales but logic tells me this man is out of his depth in the Premier League and the evidence is staring us in the face the same way it was with Martinez.

If we have any ambition to get back among the elite, we need to appoint an elite manager.

Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 12/02/2019 at 04:48:47
Steve Ferns

I love how you write endless volumes trying to argue that Silva is a great coach despite the results. But the other day you abruptly dismissed Keane as “shit.” That was it. No Epic of Gilgamesh length analysis of his career – just one curt remark. So why the special treatment for the jester of Estoril?

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 12/02/2019 at 05:58:37
Don #14.

This is a very accurate assessment of the backroom management of Everton and the attitude that prevails at the club amongst the players. I think would agree that Aaron Lennon being sold was a poor assessment of a player, given the performances of Walcott on the pitch.

It used to be that such players as you described ended up in the lower divisions, as Eamon Dunphy described in his book as his experience of a Fourth Division dressing room in the twilight years of his career. 'I was amongst cheats. ' Nowadays they are in Florida in pubs in the wee small hours or at Everton. In the Fourth Divison now it is different.

I suppose you also remember Koeman's big change of insisting that players arrive on time for training.

Danny Broderick
18 Posted 12/02/2019 at 07:22:02
“Personnel change definitely”?

The one thing that can't be labelled at Silva is that he has given everyone in the squad a chance. He shuffles the pack every week at the moment, and we are still struggling.

What if the manager sees all of the things we are seeing, and that the fault lies with some of the players?

My own belief is that there isn't a manager in world football who could motivate some of this lot. Maybe Silva's not the problem?

Maybe our dressing room is being dragged down by big earners who are happy to not do much and still pick up their wages...

Rob Dolby
19 Posted 12/02/2019 at 08:44:51
I honestly think it's the style of play and limitations of the squad that is our downfall at the moment. Players soon lose confidence in systems if they continually struggle in aspects of the game. Defending set-pieces and not being able to move the ball forward quickly to name just two.

Silva has a style of play that he wants to produce. He obviously hasn't got the squad to do it but carries on regardless. I am not saying his style of play would be fantastic as I couldn't tell you what it is and it probably involves a striker.

Sarri has a style of play. He has a squad of champions. He plays the best centre midfield destroyer in world football out of position to accommodate his style. His team got smashed by Man City not because the players are poor but because his tactics failed against a very good team.

Silva has to learn and adapt to the Premier League; if he carries on doing what isn't working, then he has to expect the sack.

At the start of the season, I was expecting a run at the top 6. That was obviously a pipe-dream looking at the teams in there now. 7th is the realistic aim for next season, regardless of manager.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 12/02/2019 at 08:49:10
Silva started off with a honeymoon period at Hull and Watford with electric starts. I wouldn't say he's ever really had a honeymoon stage at Everton; we started the season with a rather frustrating pattern of sloppy results with draws then a shocking loss at home to West Ham mid September. Let's not forget how poor the preseason form was also.

We had that purple patch in the month before the derby but really that's all it equates as this far, a purple patch. The derby loss was like an earthquake in our season, in many ways it would have been better to have just lost the game 2-0 with the game over by half time.

The way we lost it with soft ollies in goal performing some kind of impossible circus act that he couldn't do again even if he tried 100 times, it was just gut-wrenching.

Let's not forget either, though, the Gomes chance in the first half (absolute sitter in my book) then somehow the rebound bouncing off his face and off Sigurdsson which still didn't go in despite being on the goal line virtually. Most painful derby defeat since 2001 when McAllister killed us with that audacious free kick from 50 yards.

What I wanted though was a really big response in the weeks that followed, players showing that they meant business this season. But, nearly three months, on I've seen literally nothing but meek half cut performances.

John Keating
21 Posted 12/02/2019 at 10:53:56
Jim @20

Spot on. Especially pre-season and pre-derby.

The excuses used during pre-season and prior to the derby were shown to be just excuses when all the injured players, including the unfit ones, were available. In fact, we've been worse since we've had a bigger squad available!

Silva's poor coaching, tactics, subs, and game management have certainly not helped the players' confidence.

Apart from the youngsters, the bloody lot of them need a foot up the arse!

Kase Chow
22 Posted 12/02/2019 at 17:08:12
Jim #20,

Nail on the head.

Darren Hind
23 Posted 12/02/2019 at 20:17:02
The biggest destroyer of confidence is game costing individual errors. They lead to players not trusting each other.

Pickford is being blamed for the season going south, but that was only one game. Time and again we have thrown games away with howling errors at crucial times.

I said after a few games that Silva would be forced to ditch zonal marking, but he hasn't done it and sooner or later it will probably cost him his job.

Soulless fucks like Koeman and Allardyce ruined some of these players by regularly putting 11 behind the ball because they didn't have the bottle to open up and play. There can be no greater confidence sapper than your own manager telling you, that you're not good enough to compete and that you had to spoil the game.

It was always going to take someone special to restore the soul of this club. Silva is going to have to perform a miracle to turn this around.

Andy Crooks
24 Posted 12/02/2019 at 20:53:46
Good post@ 4 Steve. Motivation can do it sometimes. The rally cry and call to arms might get us the win we need. However it is a short term fix and will not build the team and success we need. We need a coach with a long term strategy and who can, vitally, sell it to the players. For a while I thought we had the man.
Paul Birmingham
25 Posted 14/02/2019 at 19:28:16
Don @14, that sums it up, but the coach and his team are accountable for the players attitude, effort, motivation and performance.

It's as bad as it's been over the last 4 years of abject mediocrity and I had more faith in Everton, even in the dark days of Archie and Walter.

The club's got a fine heritage and the effort being put in at Spellow Lane is a lasting testimony, but whatever happens until the football side is taken seriously, the first team football side is now sadly also synonymous with mediocrity and routine failure.

I don't see it changing this season and it could be harder next season.

Will the miracle happen and Silva turns it around?

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