Silva: This was a good lesson for us

Monday, 17 September, 2018 133comments  |  Jump to last

Marco Silva bemoaned a lack of focus and finishing after his first defeat as Everton manager yesterday.

The Blues succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to West Ham as the Hammers exploited the home side's errors and disorganised defence to halt their four-game losing streak under new boss Manuel Pellegrini at four games.

Andriy Yarmolenko banged home the opener after Cenk Tosun had lost the ball in West Ham's half and the ball was knocked over the top for Marko Arnautovic to tee the Ukranian winger up for his first Premier League goal.

Then, after Jordan Pickford had gifted the ball to Mark Noble, Yarmolenko doubled his tally after cutting in from the right and curling a shot around the keeper.

Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled one back in first-half stoppage time but while Tosun squandered three good chances substitute Oumar Niasse rattled the crossbar with a late volley, Arnautovic's goal in the 61st minute killed the contest.

“We didn't perform in our level to win,” Silva said afterwards. “In this level you cannot make mistakes like we made. When you create chances you have to score.

“There is something about our focus that we have to do something about in important moments of the game.

“We scored to make it 2-1 but in the second-half, even without a good performance and playing more with our heart and mind, they create three or four chances and score three goals and we create four or five clear chances and score just one goal.

"We created enough chances to achieve a different result."

Silva admitted that regardless of the result, he saw plenty of room for improvement in his team. At the back, the pairing of Mason Holgate and Kurt Zouma struggled, while the twin defensive midfielders of Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin also had afternoons to forget, the Frenchman having elected to play despite the recent death of his father.

“I have told the players, this is a good lesson for us; a good lesson to learn fast what has happened this afternoon,” SIlva continued.

“We have many things to improve. Even if we had achieved a good result I would have told you the same.

“Even without pressure, we made some mistakes when you don't expect a mistake. If you concede a goal because the other team is organised or created a chance … but the first two goals were nothing like that.”


Reader Comments (133)

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Jim Potter
1 Posted 17/09/2018 at 17:24:03
If you're a team with a terrible run, or a player who hasn't scored in ages – never fear because, if we're your next opponent, everything will come up rosy!

James Power
2 Posted 17/09/2018 at 18:33:48
I'm not happy with that response. He has basically said what we already know and what unfolded before us (although that's an improvement in Martinez, I suppose, who used to see something entirely different).

We were woeful, we were worse than woeful. Jesus we were sloppy, second to most balls, hesitant, disorganised, distracted and uncertain. We attacked at times individually and not as a team and yet with some of the talent we had (Digne in particular but also ‘wee bee' when he came on), we could have drawn or won the game.

Niasse and Tosun worked hard but are way below Premier League Standard. They are not the centre-forwards of a top 6 Club (or even top ten).

So we wait and we hope it comes together, we hope Mina, Keane, Gomez and Richarlison make a huge difference, however we need more steel in the middle and we need to sharpen up!

John Keating
3 Posted 17/09/2018 at 18:49:17
Well, at least he said it was a good lesson for us.

I hope he has a good look at himself and rectifies his faults...

Sam Hoare
4 Posted 17/09/2018 at 18:54:10
James, what did you want him to say?

I think he calls it spot on. We were not ‘worse than woeful' but equally we were not good enough. Despite underperforming, we created more chances than them and if Tosun and Niasse had finished their chances from 5 yards we might have drawn.

Too many individual mistakes and poor finishing the only difference between the teams yesterday.

James Stewart
5 Posted 17/09/2018 at 18:58:08
I've been disappointed by Silva so far, I was expecting a more dynamic pragmatic manager. Seen little evidence of that so far.

Will give him the benefit of the doubt until he has his signings available and fit. That said our squad is still overloaded with sub-standard players. Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Tosun, Gana, Schneiderlin, Niasse, I could go on, all need showing the door.

John Pierce
6 Posted 17/09/2018 at 19:10:37
I've seen little tactical nuance from Silva. Both Huddersfield and West Ham funneled us down the middle. They let us keep our full backs high and blocked the route to them.

To date, most of our attacking has come down the flanks and our best players are also wide. Forcing us down the middle played directly to their tactics and focused on where Everton are weakest.

The focus on Tosun's control is way over hyped for the first goal. With every route blocked wide, Gana forced the pass. The pass itself was technically sound but ill-judged and exactly what West Ham wanted.

Coughing the ball up there left us with most of the team up-field. To what end? High risk, low reward. Maybe Tosun spins his marker but has a lot to do, more likely Gana gets it back. Such a low percentage play, and it exposed the poor passing options we have.

West Ham let Gana, Schniederlin, Zouma & Holgate have it knowing they couldn't be hurt.

With little access wide Sigurdsson was reduced to a spectator until Bernard came on. He at least put his foot on the ball.

So both Huddersfield & West have nullified us with similar tactics yet Silva has shown little response to it. Bernard was enforced at 2-0 down and the selection of both Calvert-Lewin wide and Walcott half fit both erroneous.

Lookman, despite the tantrums, is closer to Richarlison than any other, a dribbler and attracts players to him. Creating the space we needed.

This defeat is squarely on the manager, for me.

Tom Bowers
7 Posted 17/09/2018 at 19:14:23
He is only stating the obvious! However, he is the only one who put it right and we all hope it is sooner rather than later.

They put themselves behind the eight ball early on and, unlike the Huddersfield game, couldn't get an equalizer when it mattered.

There are still weaknesses in the team and the set-up so we will have to be patient until the whole squad is fit, up and running to see what they are really made of.

It may well take until halfway through the season to make a fair assessment but any more days like yesterday, particularly at home against teams like West Ham, will not bode well for Silva.

Steve Ferns
8 Posted 17/09/2018 at 19:26:42
It doesn't matter so much what he says. The important thing is that he noted things are wrong and seeks to change it. People say he's Martinez Mk II. Martinez didn't acknowledge problems and didn't change things. Unlike Martinez he has more than one way of playing.

Also, don't forget when he first came to the UK he was (lazily) known as “mini-Mourinho” due to his emphasis on a strong defence and counter-attacking philosophy. He will adapt, just not with zonal marking on corners.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 17/09/2018 at 19:29:40
Jim (#1)

Everton are the football doctor. I've always said the same: anytime a team/player is in awful confidence – fear not: Everton are here to cure your woes.

If Silva thinks yesterday was a lesson, I don't know what next Sunday at our graveyard fixture, Arsenal away, will be?

If we defend like yesterday, I fear for another 5-, 6- or 7-goal trouncing.

Martin Berry
10 Posted 17/09/2018 at 19:47:31
Good to see Marco calling it as it was and not glossing over the team's faults.

It's early days and we will do well, we have a lot of talent to create up front and the defence will be fine but the engine room is a concern — not gone unnoticed by Marco, I feel.

Gareth Clark
11 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:01:49
Shocking performance...

Although we dominated possession – we made so many basic errors & our chance-creating and finishing was dreadful.

I think it all starts with the back four... they need to stick to the basics and do their job of defending first, instead of trying to be extravagant from the back.

The fullbacks are bombing on far too much & far too high up the pitch – it leaves us exposed at the back. If one full back goes, then the other needs to drop back to cover. Or maybe we need to look at a back three when everyone is fit.

Holgate was trying to force the long pass far too much! Defend, gain possession, pass to Schneiderlin or Sigurdsson, or Digne or Kenny. Simple passes, foward passes... Lastly – the players need to move more, look for the ball, everything is so static.

We have the players – and I believe Marco is the right man for the long term... But players need to start improving.

I'd go with this line up for Arsenal:

Kenny Holgate Zouma Digne
Gueye Schneiderlin
Walcott Sigurdsson Bernard

Subs: Stekelenburg, Mina, Baines, Davies, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun

In the future, maybe we should play a back three for solidity, which would also suit Holgate much more if he makes the team:

Mina Keane Zouma
Coleman Schneiderlin Sigurdsson Digne
Walcott Richarlison Bernard

Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Gueye, Gomes, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun

Tony Everan
12 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:02:55
I spoke to a a gentleman today who is a Man City supporter. He always asks me about Everton in a kind, concerned type of way.

I told him our finishing was dire and we could have scored more with more composed finishing.

He said Yeah, Man City were very wasteful in front of goal too, but they still managed to score three.

He wasn’t gloating, just highlighting the fact if the striker there is having an off day the quality is there in abundance to make up for it.

Nick Lacey
13 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:12:50
It has been pretty hard watching Everton over the last few years. The last time that I enjoyed watching us was the February & March of Martinez's first season, ever since then it has been very hard, boring, frustrating and I hate to say upsetting to watch.

I have been watching Everton since the early 90s and even in the dark days of the 'Dogs of War', even though the quality was poor, there was a definite 'Never say die attitude'.

When Moyes was in charge, although he was too much of a pragmatist at times, he did get us playing some very good football. The partnership of Baines and Pienaar is some of the best I've ever seen and not just for Everton. The magical Spaniard of Arteta in midfield, the warrior of Cahill, even the bald twins of Gravesen and Carsley really were a joy to watch, that one season of the Yak smashing in the goals at will. I even loved watching the ToffeeWeb-hated Osman.

I just hate how you can physically see our heads drop when we let in a goal.

There is quality in the team (not a lot) but I've never seen such a deflated and non-confident group of players.

Although I don't want him back, I'd love to see the fight Moyes's team showed (most of the time) and the skill and determination that these players can play.

We NEED to win a trophy. I find it amazing that I am 34 years old and support one of the most successful teams in the country and I only have one memory of us winning the '95 FA Cup, when l was 11. That's not good enough.

Emotional rant over.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:18:13
Gareth@11 makes the best and most logical point because, if we keep pushing the fullbacks so far up the pitch and continue to only play two with centre-backs, then it really is going to be too easy to play against us, which is a major concern.
Steve Ferns
15 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:19:18
Tony, we did that in the first four games but Schniedelrin sat in for Baines and Gueye for Coleman. The question is: Why didn't we do it yesterday?
Joe McMahon
16 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:28:12
Nick (13) it's easy to remember the better days of Moyes's 11 years. But people also forget we were awful many times in the 11 years... such as:

Everton 1 Blackburn Rovers 4
Everton 1 West Brom 4
Everton 1 Arsenal 6

If that's not bad enough, how about 11 years of trips to Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal — and not one single win in any a Premier League match.

John Kavanagh
17 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:28:17
I remember one of our many statisticians once posted a list of all the instances where teams ended losing runs, got their first points or finally kept a clean sheet against Everton. He also listed players who ended long runs without scoring, scored on their debut or even scored their very first goal against Everton. It was about 18 months ago and the list filled a page.


I expected nothing other than a West Ham win given their woeful start and having a player making his debut. More than enough to overcome their awful record against us. Forget EitC, our first team is our biggest charity.

That said, Silva himself played a part in our downfall by continuing with the Schneiderlin - Gana pairing against all the previous evidence. As a pair, they can neither defend or create. We need a real leader. The lack of one is shown by the captaincy being passed around like the Black Spot.

He also should have put Calvert-Lewin in the middle in place of Tosun and brought Lookman (or Dowell) on playing on the left in his place at half time. Calvert-Lewin will score goals if played in his proper position. Tosun on current form clearly won't. Our new manager is repeating the mistakes of previous incumbents by bashing square pegs into round holes and we all know how that turned out.

Nick Lacey
19 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:48:23
Joe 16, you are correct, nostalgia can be a tricky thing. We were absolutely rubbish against the top teams but I never went into a game against the lower or equal teams thinking we'd lose.

If you look at how long I've supported Everton, I can't talk about the magical days of the '80 as I don't remember them. We had one good 6th-place finish season after the FA Cup with Royle and 6 fantastic months of Martinez, but most of the football in-between was shit, so I can only talk about the continuity, stability and confidence (not against the top teams) with Moyes because, baring a trophy, it is unfortunately the most successful period that I can remember.

And it is all 'If's and Buts' but, if Chelsea and Man City didn't have their sugar-daddies, we'd have been getting into the Champions League more regularly.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:57:50

You forgot 7-0 at Arsenal

5-1 at City (when they finished 15th themselves ) 2004.

0-4 to Bolton 2005

0-4 to West Brom 2005

Moyes did some good things as you'd expect with 11 years in any job — such as ending the Elland Road and White Hart Lane hoodoos 2002 and 2006 respectively, but he also produced some absolute shockers.

Joe McMahon
21 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:57:59
Nick, I do remember the '80s, but we can't keep looking back decades ago. I remember when Gray scored the 2 headers vs Sunderland, one of the best matches I've seen at Goodison, but I was 15 then, and I turned 49 last week. So most of my years following Everton have also been dire.

I do have to disagree though, even if Chelsa and Man City found money, I couldn't see him mastering the Champions League, he wasn't good at managing a match over 2 legs. We will never know, unless he ends up at Celtic or Galatasaray.

Kieran Kinsella
22 Posted 17/09/2018 at 20:59:59
Jim Bennings,

Moyes also helped us end our Old Trafford hoodoo — though not in the way he might have expected.

Nick Lacey
23 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:10:40
Joe 21,

I am not so much looking back and reminiscing — just stating that unfortunately that is probably the best football that we have played in 25 years which simply isn't good enough for a team the size of Everton.

On a different note, I do think that those who experienced the joys of the '80s do put down what Moyes achieves (I DO NOT want him back) we needed him at the time. It is just a shame that, since he left, we have gone backwards.

I was also trying to show that it is disappointing that the best Everton football that I have ever seen was a period when we won nothing and the best that we finished in the Premier League was 4th and knocked out in the first round of the Champions League (admittedly by a dodgy refereeing decision).

Sorry, I should have clarified and not have been so emotive.

Joe McMahon
24 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:11:13
Jim, Kieran and Nick, the Dinamo Bucharest 5 - Everton 1 came to my mind many times last season with our performances in the Europa League and qualifiers. My wife is convinced there is some kind of Hex on Everton; as every season passes, by I find myself agreeing.
Joe McMahon
25 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:18:16
No worries, Nick. It's also interesting that Moyes's time at Everton was probably the best for him: 11 years with us... less than a year at each of 4 clubs since.
Lev Vellene
26 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:25:34
Which team suffers from bad results lately? Do they come to Goodison for their next game? How will their season develop positively from there if they win?

So often, every time, we are there for them! It makes me cry!!!

Nick Lacey
27 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:28:53
Joe, all of your posts seem to be very negative about that period. At least I enjoyed a lot of it to a point — which must mean that you haven't enjoyed any Everton football for about 25 years as there wasn't much good with Walter Smith, Koeman or Sam.
Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:35:19
Steve, so if your “two fullbacks” push up, your “two midfielders” should drop into their positions?

Suicide that, mate, absolute suicide, in fact, one ball over the top, or just play through Everton's midfield whilst they are both trying to cover their bombing on fullbacks, “both” at the same time?

I will give anyone time, but if a team is not defensively compact, then that team will always concede daft stupid goals. Goals that you shouldn't even concede during training.

I'm going to give Silva, more time than most, more time even, than Everton gave West Ham yesterday, but if we continue to make the pitch that big for our opponents, then we will continue to become exposed.

Everyone gets exposed by their opponents sometimes, but we just look like we are exposing ourselves. It's a major concern, but let's just see what the future holds, because we haven't seen how we're going to play when everyone is fit yet, and it's still very early days.

Pat Kelly
29 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:36:03
"There is something about our focus that we have to do something about in important moments in the game."

Hopefully he can find out what those somethings are because, at this moment, we're in the bottom half.

Matt Hicks
30 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:39:50
I watched to game on NBC in the US, the match commentator mentioned that he hadn't seen much of Gylfi Sigurdsson, he appeared briefly to score 47 minutes into the first half and disappeared again for the entire second half. Ademola Lookman came on for 15 minutes made one or two back passes and disappeared. Give Kieran Dowell a chance next time, I doubt he could play any worse.

Kudos to our full-backs who ran their asses off playing as wing-backs, they deserved a better reward for their efforts.

Steve Ferns
31 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:48:38
Tony, Joe Parkinson always did it back in the day. Early in the season, only one of the fullbacks was pushing on. If you look the midfielders didn't suddenly go and play fullback, but they had themselves in such a position that a danger area was coverable.

Against West Ham, we seemed to be playing Kamikaze football. There seemed to be no caution at all.

Gordon White
32 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:49:31
I agree with many of the comments already made. Especially, but not solely, James (#2).

I also think patience is needed. Nick #13 I understand your frustrations, (we all do). I've been watching since the 60's. And that was dire on Sunday. I don't know what I felt more — angry or upset. I hated it.

The problem I've got is I don't know how many of the individual displays were due to the team performance. By which I mean I'm convinced that, when a team is playing well, most players in the team raise their game. And that the same is true the other way round. Top 6 teams have choices such that if one player is having an off day, they have others that can make a difference. And that lifts the team and individual performances improve. Having said that, I do think there are a number of players in our current squad who are just not good enough for a team with Champions L aspirations.

IMHO that includes Niasse, Tosun and Calvert-Lewin. It's not just their finishing, it's their whole game. I'M not sure about Holgate. But, in my view, he and Gana had an awful game. Pickford – a silly mistake and Walcott has such talent but he too had a less than perfect day at the office. Ditto Sigurdsson. I've seen Kenny play a lot better too. But this lends credence to my theory. On the subject of Sigurdsson, I still believe he's a good player in the right position and with good players around him, despite his detractors on here.

It's important to remember that Brands warned it was longer than a one-season project. Perhaps 3 seasons? Hence the need for patience.

On a brighter note we do have quality in the side and the promise of more with the backing of an owner.

Richarlison, Bernard and Digne look good. The latter 2 were inventive going forward and created chances, only for them to be spurned. If Mina is everything we hope for, then he should be a good pairing with Keane. And a threat in the opposition box. He also showed during the World Cup that he wasn't afraid to run at players with the ball, something a lot of our players seem to find hard. Another player with pedigree and a lot of promise is Gomes.

I think we have to reserve judgement on our progress along that project Brands referred to until we have a fit squad and all our summer signings have bedded in.

At least Richarlison is back for the trip to the Arse. I see him and Digne having a similar relationship to Baines and Pienaar.

Steve Ferns
33 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:53:10
Caution with Gomes, Gordon. He's one who plays slightly deeper than Sigurdsson. If we drop Sigurdsson and one of the two defensive midfielders and played a box-to-box midfielder with him, then you'd see a quality player.

He can't take Schneiderlin's place as he lacks the defensive nous, he lacks Gueye's energy and mobility. He needs defensive cover and then he will provide the craft, vision and precision we've been lacking.

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:55:54
I'm going to take the same view as you, Gordon, it's going to take a whole lot of precious time mate, just as long as we don't keep beating ourselves, even if it was only our first defeat!
Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:58:37
Three centre-backs, with Gueye in front of them, still leaves half a team to attack?
Jim Bennings
36 Posted 17/09/2018 at 21:58:40
Glenn Murray showing us tonight with Brighton that you don't need brilliant service or be a massive name to do a decent job up front.

34 years old but compare his performance with that of Tosun, Murray a striker who gets involved, a big strong handful of a man.

Allardyce pays £27 million for Tosun and tells us that he was the best available in January; for a fraction of that wad of cash we could have had any decent Premier League toiler do what Tosun has done.

Maybe Silva's biggest lesson yet could be from previous Everton managers mistakes; just because there's all that money there nowadays doesn't mean we just have to piss it away on players no better than the ones that could do a job at bargain prices – it just needs a little more careful thought and planning.

Gordon White
37 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:02:26
Good point, Steve (#33). But it does give Silva options.

I agree, Tony (#34)!

Pat Kelly
38 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:03:53
After so many false dawns, it feels like one step forward and two steps back all the time. And we all know where that leads.

The problem is, most of the players can't be arsed to put a proper shift in. Hopefully Silva has a tough side we haven't seen and can get something out of them.

Tony Twist
39 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:04:06
There is definitely a distinct lack of focus on defending. Another bullshit manager, We have seen this type of result coming since he arrived. He has had plenty of warning pre-season and hasn't produced the goods from his work on the training pitch.

At the moment, we are easy prey and relying too much on our Brazilian superstar to win us the points with a bit of magic.

I look at our players and just see spoilt individuals who don't have the stomach and nouse to do the necessary to beat teams when plan A isn't working. That fire to succeed must be instilled by the manager and I just don't see any change with Silva's arrival.

John Keating
40 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:04:13
Tony, I can't argue with that. We are playing gung-ho football.

I can understand one full-back going forward on the side we are attacking but Sunday both were up. Now if 39,000 in the ground can see it and the millions watching on telly, how can't Silva ?

I really must be old fashioned but to me there is offense and defence and me, well I reckon if we get the defensive side sorted, we can then look forward.

Seems to me, like Martinez, Silva doesn't do defence. Though we can't complain as we knew what to expect before he was appointed.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:04:50
I hate three centrebacks, Tony, why not have Schneiderlin instead because at least he's better on the ball than any of our centre-backs.

First three games that defensive box we had of 2 DMs and 2 CBs was very solid. Nothing much got through it. With the fullbacks narrow, teams couldn't get at our centrebacks. The last two home games we've not been as narrow and that box was gone without Schneiderlin.

Sure, it's defensive but it leaves you secure that the front four can attack and can press, and the fullbacks can go forwards (though with less reckless abandon). This also was a good base for the pressing game that seems to have broken down in the last couple of games.

Silva needs to go back to basics and show his mini-Mourinho side. Attacking Arsenal will only result in a heavy defeat.

Mike Doyle
42 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:06:17
I'm amazed that quite a few posters here are – or seem – desperate for Tosun to be a success, when it's blindingly obvious that he's a 5- to 10-goals-a-season forward.

Yes, he works hard, but so would most of us on this forum given the chance... but we all know that wouldn't be good enough for a team with top 6 aspirations.

I expect that Silva & Brands have already sussed this.

Pat Kelly
43 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:11:52
Tosun already is a success. He's made it to the Premier League despite not being good enough for the Championship.
Terry White
44 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:12:25
Gordon (#32) and Steve (#33), I believe our new unseen player is named Gomes, not Gomez who plays for that lot across the park. Let's try to start off by getting the names of our players spelled correctly.
Ed Prytherch
45 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:17:11
Did we really give up those goals because the full backs were too far up the field? One was a brain fart by Pickford and the other 2 were down the middle.

We would have created far fewer chances without the crosses from Digne and Kenny.

All of our players make mistakes but some do their level best to correct them – Coleman, Kenny, Digne, Jagielka, Gana, and others just watch their teammates try to recover – Holgate, Schneiderlin, sometimes Baines. It looks like a difference in commitment to me.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:21:54
It was an iPhone autocorrection, Terry. I know exactly how to spell Gomes. But we support a club where our own announcer cannot pronounce the name of our French left-back (sounds like Dean, as in Dixie) or Bernard (who the announcer thinks is a stock broker from Surrey).
Gordon White
47 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:22:55
I couldn't agree more, John #40.

Of course gung-ho football definitely doesn't work when you're relying on players like Niasse and Tosun to tuck them away. And yesterday's conceded goals, they started with poor passes.

Tony #39. Confidence plays such a big part in professional sport. I think players get frustrated as well as fans. If I had been Digne or Bernard I sure as hell would have been frustrated.

I think a lack of confidence leading to mistakes and poor performance is partly to blame, rather than most of the team being simply lazy. But I do understand. You should have heard what I was calling them during the game! Can't be any good for my blood pressure.

Gordon White
48 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:23:57
Terry (#44). Point taken, thank you.
Jerome Shields
49 Posted 17/09/2018 at 22:38:34
I think it is easy for him to blame the players but, if you don't have the players coached properly and the right tactics, you can't expect anything else.

The tactics regarding the back four were poor, there was no cover for players going forward, and backs where easily pulled out of position. The midfield was clueless and totally out-played by the midfield trio of West Ham who kept a tight pattern throughout the game.

The wingers stayed wide and the attack was toothless. If players are not coached to know what they are doing and clear tactics aren't given, players are going to get caught out by a team who is coached properly and is aware of a good tactical plan.

The difference between West Ham and Everton is that Pelligrini has set out tactics and kept coaching the players to play them. Through trial and error, he has fine-tuned the team and ironed out the problems. He was even able to go back to Argentina knowing that the team and the coaching staff knew what they had to work on and improve.

This has not been the case with Everton. The tactics have been set, but no adjustments have been made or players have not been coached properly. Everton where beaten by the superior implementation of a tactical plan, with players coached to deliver.

Don Alexander
50 Posted 17/09/2018 at 23:06:02
Silva has had only 5 games in the Premeir League, with several new signings yet to play, a boatful of never-were's and never-will-be's mercifully shipped out, and a remaining inherited squad stuffed full of mental inadequacy in terms of being professional enough to win games.

I've said from the start that Silva deserves a minimum of three windows in order to assemble the squad he needs. Unfortunately for him, and us, if we plunge to the relegation threatening position of last season, he will be cut short, to cue another aspiring manager with no credentials in ever having won anything here.

But the state of the club as he inherited it, and the players all so well versed in the mediocrity that's been endemic to Finch Farm for many years, will need time and our patience to expunge, if it can be expunged. We'll only know how confident to be, or not, by next Christmas I suggest.

Rob Halligan
51 Posted 17/09/2018 at 23:07:07
Troy Deeney talking on the Monday night football has high praise for Marco Silva, saying he's the best coach he's ever played under. Deeney also thinks Silva will do well for us, and can certainly take us up to the next level.

So I think it's time everyone gives Silva the time he needs to build the team he wants. There are still two players he signed in the summer we have yet to see, who I'm sure will make a big difference to the team.

I find it hard to believe people can criticise a manager who can persuade three players from Barcelona to join us, and even more, criticise him five games into his tenure. Okay, the three from Barcelona weren't regular first-team players, otherwise we probably wouldn't have got them, but they aren't exactly unknown players either.

When we have Mina, Digne, Gomes, Bernard, Richarlison and Zouma all playing in the same team we will be flying.

The amount of trophies Guardiola won with Barcelona and then Bayern Munich, I bet all Man city fans thought he would just stroll into the Etihad in his first season and they would sweep the board. City never won a thing yet City fans weren't calling for his head.

Time and patience is required by everyone, and we all need to support Silva, and hopefully, when everyone is fit and available, we can go on a mega run and push up towards the top of the table in the next few weeks.

John Davies
52 Posted 17/09/2018 at 23:47:09
Can Marco Silva go and get us Troy Deeney? I'd take him every day of the week over Niasse, Tosun and Calvert-Lewin.

Having said that, I hope he plays Richarlison up top for us – as Brazil did the other day.

Tom McEwan
53 Posted 17/09/2018 at 00:11:31
Steve @33, what the fuck is this obsession with putting midfielders in a 'straightjacket'? As some others have espoused on here on different threads at various times, a midfielder should be able to do all things: attack, defend, cover, tackle, pass, shoot, create and nullify.

'He can't take Schneiderlin's place because he lacks the defensive nous'. He also, 'lacks Gueye's energy and mobility'. Wtf did we sign Gomes for then?

I am imagining the scouting report based on the above statements: "Well Guv, he can't defend, he has very little energy and doesn't run around like a blue-arse fly. Also he has a long-term injury." And the response, "Well, let's get him in then."

The thing is, Schneiderlin has thus far shown very little defensive nous (look at the results) and likewise Gueye's blue-arse fly impression has hardly been successful for us has it?

So, the midfielder you advise caution on and state has none of Schneiderlin's or Gueye's 'attributes' will, 'provided he has defensive cover', give us, 'the craft, vision and precision we have been lacking'.

I struggle to understand this nonsense. It has no rhyme or reason and absolutely no logic. You so-called modern-day 'tacticians' need to stop trying to re-invent the wheel and more importantly stop giving ready made excuses to piss-poor players who rob a living from our club.

Phillip Warrington
54 Posted 18/09/2018 at 06:40:16
The scary thing is we haven't played any of the big teams yet. I'm not looking forward to Liverpool, Man City, or Chelsea. If teams like Huddersfield and West Ham can expose us, what are these teams going to do to us???
Jim Bennings
55 Posted 18/09/2018 at 07:58:10
John Davies (#52),

Agree with every word of that post!

Deeney very limited (a bit like Calvert-Lewin, Tosun and Niasse) but is ten times the handful of those three, puts his body on the line and always sends defenders away knowing they have been in a game.

Kevin Prytherch
56 Posted 18/09/2018 at 08:16:38
Steve 15 (and others),

I think you're imagining the first 4 games if you think that Schneiderlin and Gueye filled in for the fullbacks in these games...

Here's the midfield for those games:
Wolves – Schneiderlin Gueye
Southampton – Davies Gueye (Schneiderlin off after 24 minutes)
Bournemouth – Davies Gueye
Rotherham – Davies Gueye
Huddersfield – Schneiderlin Davies
West Ham – Schneiderlin Gueye

I think what it does show is that many of our best performances happen when Schneiderlin is not in the side.

Mark Pringle
57 Posted 18/09/2018 at 09:21:06
Tom @53, I get your point in terms of a midfielder should be able to do everything and I agree to a point. If we play 3 midfielders though, they should all compliment each other. I think you should have a tackler, a runner and a passer. Doesn't mean they can't do all of these things but they should excel in these areas in order to make an effective midfield work.

Personally I would have Schneiderlin or Gueye as the tackler, depending on form and definitely not both in the team as evidence for the past two years shows they don't work together. My runner and box-to-box player would be McCarthy when fit with Davies as back-up. My passer would then be Gomes or Sigurdsson depending on form.

I would completely do away with this No 10 myth. For me it is a phantom position. By all means have a midfielder who excels at passing and getting between the lines but when we don't have the ball we should have 3 midfielders behind it, especially when we have 3 players up top, no team can afford to have 4 players goal side of the ball and expect to defend properly in this league, as evidenced by the game on Sunday.

My front 3 would, without doubt, be Walcott, Richarlison & Bernard, all lacy, direct and capable of scoring. Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and Tosun as back up for me.

I do think Silva will get it right when he has his players to pick from, it's just frustrating trying to hold our nerves as fans as we have been here so many times before and seen so many false dawns. Keep the faith lads, I genuinely think Marco will get it right!

Martin Clark
58 Posted 18/09/2018 at 09:27:38
I think we try to hard in attacking rather than a patient game. It's nice to have full backs who can get forward but we don't have to do it at every opportunity. Be more selective and give our creative players the responsibility of carving out the opportunities.

I would like to keep a clean sheet by looking solid and moving the ball to our wingers and Siggy to hopefully open up teams. Most best teams are often built on solid defences and having players who can deliver the little moments of magic that can win a game.

Justin Doone
59 Posted 18/09/2018 at 09:30:56
We got beat because of some individual errors, not taking our chances and by a team who came set up to counter-attack.

We played into their hands and had no answers. As always its a collective issue, players and manager who didn't get it right on the day.

There will be plenty more days like that (or worse, ie, Arsenal) but I'm confident there will be plenty of good performances and wins too.

We now have genuine pace in the team and some very talented players. Silva needs to find the balance and players need to take responsibility.

Defenders defend, they shouldn't rely on cover all the time but as a team they need to show more willingness to keep battling for each other and when to close down and stay on a man as an organised press not leaving it to a few individuals to do all the running. West Ham's defenders were afforded far too much time and space on the ball.

Jim Bennings
60 Posted 18/09/2018 at 10:24:16
The concern for us is we cannot allow the form at Goodison to start going wayward.

We are a weak meek team away from home and have been for a good three seasons now but at least in that time we have been solid at home. Recently, however, the home form has become patchy going back to the last few of last season as well.

We need to get back on track and start winning games ASAP.

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 18/09/2018 at 12:56:54
Tom, Gomes is a completely different player. He will change the whole composition of the midfield.

What he can't do is slot into Schneiderlin's or Gueye's exact position. He doesn't play there. He plays between Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin's position.

Now I know you'll say great, that's what you want. And you'll be demanding he's playing that position when you see what he can do. What he can do is sublime passes, shooting from distance, through balls, go past people. The reason for the caution is he's the type that can be considered to be “not up for a fight” and he often goes missing.

I believe Silva envisages a single DM and 2 MCs in the middle. One of which is Gomes. The problem is Schneiderlin and Gueye are too flawed to be the single DM. They need each over to overcome their respective limitations. This is why I thought we'd have signed Carvalho in the summer. He only cost £20m after his “release” from Sporting was sorted out.

We really need a Fernandinho / Jorginho type. These players are worth a fortune. I think we could have got Serri in to do this job. He looks a bargain and a few on here were really pushing for him in the summer. Neves would be a dream, but he's destined for one of the top 4 or a big European move. We need to identify such a player as they would transform the side.

In my opinion, it's the most important position on the pitch, if not, it's second to the goalscorer. The right player can make a weak defence solid and make a team transition into attack quicker. Just look at the RS, they signed Van Dijk and Keita and suddenly they really do look a side and all those question marks are gone. I hope Mina can be our Van Dijk, we just need that central defensive midfielder to shield the back four and knit everything together by speeding up the transition times.

Dennis Stevens
62 Posted 18/09/2018 at 13:10:09
Absotively, Steve! I was amazed that we didn't see a signing for such a critical position, perhaps they're hoping McCarthy can be that player, when fit – if that should ever come to pass.
Sam Hoare
63 Posted 18/09/2018 at 13:46:25
Steve, certainly we are lacking in the middle of the park. The dynamic is not right there.

Keita is not the same type of player as Jorginho though is he? Keita is surely more of a box-to-box player whilst Jorginho like Schneiderlin sits deep and dictates play and tempo.

I'm not sure which of Schneiderlin, Gueye and Sigurdsson needs replacing most badly. My instinct is that Gueye is capable of doing his job (box-to-box energy, pressing people, making interceptions and tackles, playing simple passes) better than the others though less so against West Ham.

Schneiderlin had started the season well but obviously had his own issues this weekend. Sigurdsson scored and yet does not seem to be in the game enough for a No 10. Lots of questions as Lyndon alluded to.

Gomes will have to be some player to make that midfield work well. More movement will help everyone and to that end having Richarlison back and Bernard up to speed will surely help.

Bobby Mallon
64 Posted 18/09/2018 at 14:23:35
Steve @41, we just don't have the players to play Silva's system yet. We are better suited to a counter-attacking system, with Walcott and Richarlison as our outlets. Until we sign better individual central midfielders, then a more Mourinho pragmatic approach would serve us better, IMO.
Bobby Mallon
65 Posted 18/09/2018 at 14:26:20
I also think the next lot of recruits need to be more mobile and fit. Fitness is a big worry.
John Daley
66 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:10:10
Steady on, Steve (@62),

If we get the Gomes of Barcelona, rather than Valencia, then we will be watching a player very similar to Schneiderlin.

During his time at Barca, Gomes may have found his man 9 times out of 10 when on the ball, but that man was usually whoever was nearest to him whenever his hiding spot happened to have been rumbled. He was rarely ever a threat to the opposition, he didn't score often, he didn't create often, he didn't run often and he didn't disrupt the opposition. The low number of passes he was actually attempting in a game compared to the much loftier number his teammates were totting up tells it's own sorry tale, especially bearing in mind the position he was deployed in, for a side who could knock it about for shits and giggles.

The very reason the Barca supporters began to get on his back (leading their manager to publicly have a pop at the fans for booing a player whose enfeebled confidence was already edging toward 'John Merrick approaching a Victorian prostitute, mere seconds after a passing street urchin has viciously snatched his potato sack and screamed "WATCH OUT FOR WHEELIE BIN HEAD!! EE'S ONLY SHUFFLING TOWARD SLAPPER ALLEY WITH A FISTFUL OF SLUMMY. DIRTY BASTARD!" like levels of self-belief) was because, like Schneiderlin, he was, consistently, a barely peripheral figure whose lack of running, allied to a lethargic, cautious, seemingly disinterested style, gave the impression he didn't give a flying one.

Of course, Gomes could put such poor form behind him and find himself completely rejuvenated now he has a fresh start at a brand new club but, then again, he may not. Either way, I would defo be holding back from heralding him as a game changing acquisition who can single handedly transform a seriously gash midfield into something... sort of...similar to good. At least until he actually gets to set foot on the pitch, anyway.

Jim Bennings
67 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:21:23
Maybe everyone is putting too much onus and impetus on Gomes.

He’s not even training yet, hasn’t had any experience of the pace and frenetic nature of British football and when he does start, it’s in the most hotly contested physically demanding area of the pitch central midfield so he’s not going to instantly be the solution to our woes I’m afraid.

I believe our midfield problems are deeper than just one man anyway.
The static nature of how our players move dictates the game too often and it’s more than one man that we need moving that ball around quicker.

Steve Ferns
68 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:21:52
John, either you skipped the part where I explained he goes missing or is accused of not being up for the fight or I forgot to put it. It must be my fault so my apologies.

The point is, Gomes comes in for Sigurdsson. I’m ok with that because I’m happy to see Schniederlin and Gueye play deep and hold it it results in us being more solid and gives us a defensive base to build on.

Sam, the point was two players have transformed the RS. As regards Keita, don’t forget they have DMs who now have less attacking responsibility and so can sit in more.

I think Silva wants an entirely different system of play in the middle, but we don’t have the players. Gomes fits in with what he wants, but I think he needs Schneiderlin behind him and McCarthy or Davies alongside him or schneiderlin and gueye both behind him and him (Gomes) as more of a number 10 than an 8.

We’ve scored enough goals this season, scoring in every game. The biggest problems for me are in defence and we need to sort that out more than trying to score more. So I can’t understand why you’d alter the midfield to make us less defensive and throw Bernard in there with Sigurdsson and gueye behind like some suggest. For me, that just does not work.

Edit: Jim, there’s big question marks over Gomes. I don’t think we really were after him for that long. I think Barca gave him to us, after no one wanted to buy him. They offered him to Man Utd and clubs of that level all round Europe. Clubs of that level declined and then he came to us on loan.

I didn’t really watch him for Valencia. I saw him for Benfica, I’m surprised how few games he played for them as he had a great season that year and seemed to be the star of the show every game. That’s the Gomes I know. Clearly there was bug issues at Barca, but the clips of him for Barca still show him to be a sublime passer. He’s only young, he’s not had a bad injury so the pace must still be there (he looked very slow) as well as the ability to beat a man (which he didn’t show much of at Barca).

Steve Ferns
69 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:33:54
Here’s a question for you guys. Do you think we’ve tried to be a possession based side or a counter attacking side, so far this season?
Kieran Kinsella
70 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:45:46
Steve Ferns 71

Neither. To use a Martinez phrase I think we're trying to be a "possession with progression side." Kind of like Germany, only we haven't been doing it that well. Although, we looked quite a bit like Germany in the recent world cup every time the Hammers hit us on the break as we had one man on the halfway line. All we lacked was Pickford surging into the other half.

Andy Meighan
71 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:51:24
Tom (#53),

Brilliant post — and I couldn't agree more.

Lawrence Green
72 Posted 18/09/2018 at 15:51:44
No system can overcome the lack of ability that some of our players display all too regularly. Some can't pass, some can't tackle, some can't track opponents and some can't control the ball.

Until they improve those basic skills or the club replaces those who can't or won't improve, we are stuck with what we have. When the team isn't playing well and not gaining enough wins, there is a temptation to retreat to the Big Sam school of thought and go all out defensive – but that's the reason we got rid of Big Sam, isn't it?

It has been easy street for too many players at Everton for nearly a decade and in a small way that was reflected by Holgate's comments after Sunday's game when he said something along the lines that the team deserved more from the first five games than they had.

Until the staff and squad begin to understand that they only get the points that they deserve when they earn them, we will be stuck with this loser's mentalitly. It's understood that players and staff want to keep a positive mind-set whenever and wherever possible but they should react to lost points by being more committed and determined in the next match – unfortunately Arsenal at the Emirates isn't exactly the easiest fixture for us to see such a reaction.

As fans, we should cherish any point or three that the team put on the board, and waive away any silly notions of being top six or four for at least this season. The team should move heaven and earth to progress in the cup competitions to help keep whatever feel-good factor that remains but the imperative as with most clubs is for Everton to stay in the Premier League.

There are still 99 points to play for and, given that this is a season of transition, we will probably end up with circa 50 points at the end of the season. But those points will only be won by the players putting in the requisite amount of hard-work to earn them. If the team gains much more than fifty points it will mean that the players and team have improved; less than 50 points and it will be as difficult a season as the previous few.

Jim Bennings
73 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:28:48
Gueye and Schneiderlin should never be a duo and certainly not in place of Sigurdsson.

Neither player offers the slightest thing going forward or defensively and neither can use the ball with anywhere near the efficiency needed at Premier League standard.

Steve Ferns
74 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:44:52
The best we defended this season in my opinion was Wolves. That was the game where we played counter-attacking football the most. Wolves are evidently a quality side, so a draw with 10 men is a good result. We were undone by a great free kick (with yards stolen) and poor marking from another free-kick. Other than that, Wolves struggled to break us down, even with only 10 men. That side even had Holgate in it defending well.

It seems that when our backs were to the wall, against Wolves and that spell when it was 11v10 against Bournemouth, then our players dug deep and showed how good they can be with maximum effort.

There's been flashes of high energy, organised and concentrated pressing, and solid defending. Silva needs to work out why those flashes cannot be harnessed into a solid performance for 90 minutes. Even against Saints, there was a wobble for a good 30 minutes or so.

Everyone needs to give their all against Arsenal, and we can't just rely on a 21-year-old kid. He can't beat sides singlehanded.

Steve Ferns
75 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:47:01
Jim, they're in to play defensively. Who else can provide that defensive shield to stop the goals going in, and teams like West Ham just waltzing through our middle? I thought Davies, but he didn't step up against Huddersfield. Maybe counter attacking better opposition is better suited to his style of play, then trying to force things against a supposedly weaker side.
Kieran Kinsella
76 Posted 18/09/2018 at 16:58:40

In theory, yes, they're there to defend but I just don't see that Schneiderlin offers anything. Sunday apart, I don't see him doing a lot of tackles, I don't seem him doing much of anything except sort of hanging around the center circle and exchanging six-yards passes with Gueye.

McCarthy on the other hand, if and when he is fit, can do what Gueye does and chase down everything, cover the surging fullbacks etc. His injury record is horrendous but ideally I would like to see:

Coleman, Mina, (best of the rest), Digne
McCarthy, Gueye
Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Waclott

If we play a "weaker" team then drop McCarthy or Gueye for Gomes. I realize Calvert-Lewin isn't the greatest finisher but at least he gets some assists, which is more than can be said for Tosun.

Steve Ferns
77 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:12:58
Kieran, he doesn't need to make tackles, or race 20 yards to make an interception.

Against Wolves and to start with against Southampton, we had a defensive block of four. Schneiderlin, Gueye, Jagielka / Holgate and Keane. You can draw a box around the four and see how well they kept that shape. The opposition could not really get the ball to the bottom of that box, ie to run at the two centre-backs.

Defensively they did the job. Gueye played really well and was much more disciplined. The pair of them didn't sit in the full-backs positions, but they had the full-backs positioned covered when they went forwards.

Against Southampton, there was a good few occasions where Schniederlin got the ball forwards quickly, for the chance where Baines ran into the box and almost got it to Tosun unmarked in the middle, the one where he strode forwards and put Tosun in on goal, and of course Walcott's goal. All this in 30 minutes, which is far more than any examples you could give over the whole of last season.

Watch 2017 Schneiderlin and you'll see a player who can also ping 50-yard passes with accuracy. So he does have that skillset, but for some reason he is not trying it. Clearly, Koeman, Allardyce and now Silva cannot be telling him NOT to hit these passes. So why is he not doing it?

Schneiderlin has a long list of faults. If this was a computer game, you'd trade him out and buy someone else. But it's not, and it's not that easy. Therefore, we need to go back to what has worked, because it can work again, and then build on top of it.

The problem with Gueye is that when he charges out and they just pass it around him. If he sits in, you can't do that. If they try to go past him, others can crowd out the man on the ball and the next blue shirt will make the tackle. It's clearly a matter of taste, but I prefer my defensive midfielders like Carsley, Parkinson, and now Schneiderlin to sit in and protect, not to get sucked out and leave gaping holes.

I want to see that solid block of 4, 2 DMs 2 CBs, with full backs pushing up, one at a time, high intensity, high tempo, organised and concentrated pressing, and quick passing into space with the passes hit with pace, moving the ball quickly about the pitch until it can find the feet of someone like Richarlison, Walcott, or Bernard in position to hurt the opposition.

James Hughes
78 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:26:46

At one point during the game I saw Holgate struggling with one of their forwards. He had won a 50/50 and Holgate was slightly behind and to the Attackers left-hand side.

Schneiderlin then moved to the left and out of the way, Holgate pulled him down, end result free kick in our half. This man had a very brief time when he shone, like a mayfly, all over very quickly. Since then, all of us have been wishing we could have that Morgan Schneiderlin back again.

As for your post at #71 neither a possession or counter-attacking side, mainly this season. a shite team with the odd glimpse of something good on the horizon, eventually, hopefully, yet again.

Steve Ferns
79 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:35:06
He didn't have a good game against West Ham, James. There's no doubt about that. I don't think he was any worse than Gueye when he got hauled off just before half time. I thought that was a harsh move and Silva could have just made a change at the interval, but that change led directly to a goal before halftime, and that was one of the few positive effects Silva had on the game.
Steve Ferns
80 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:40:50
For those that didn't see it:

Troy Deeney on Silva.

Steve Ferns
81 Posted 18/09/2018 at 17:49:32
Kim Vivian
82 Posted 18/09/2018 at 18:56:19
Hypothetical and not wanting to oversimplify things – but, same game, if two of those four very good chances had been converted and Pickford had not ballsed up with that ball out, what would be the general tone on here?
John Keating
83 Posted 18/09/2018 at 19:10:59

Ifs do not count or can be considered:

If Arnautovic had pulled a muscle in the warm-up.... If we had signed Yarmalenko.... If, if ??

The thing is, we had what we had and it was a disgrace. The team, including management, were piss poor.

Eddie Dunn
84 Posted 18/09/2018 at 19:14:25
kim, exactly. We did create some chances, which is good news.
Jim Bennings
85 Posted 18/09/2018 at 19:15:28

If me auntie had a willy, she'd be my uncle!

It's all what-ifs and could-have-beens with Everton.

Kim Vivian
86 Posted 18/09/2018 at 19:36:47
Thanks, Jim, you answered the question about your Aunty, I appreciate that... but not my hypothetical.

John – that was not the question at all. What I am asking is if that same game had turned out a 3-2 win would there still be the same amount of ranting and raving on here? As Eddie says – that was actually not so far from a win as people are making out. And we played badly!

I am not happy by any means but there was some cause for at least a little optimism.

John Keating
87 Posted 18/09/2018 at 19:48:13
Fair enough, Kim.

If we had scored with 2 chances we would have drawn 3-3 against the worse team in the league. Again shipped in goals so to me unacceptable.

If we had won 3-2 again shipping goals, the win would have masked over the piss-poor midfield and defensive frailties.

A welcome 3 points but any real improvement??

Mike Allison
88 Posted 18/09/2018 at 21:38:29
Kim, I was advised around a month ago to ignore all posts within about 48hrs of an actual result.

You won’t get any sense. If we lose we’re awful and everything at the club is rotten, top to bottom, left to right, manager, players, youth teams, Moshiri, the tea lady, everything.

If we win they’re all doing a great job and the future is bright. That is, apart from a few doom mongers who keep going for the ‘awful’ line in the knowledge that at some point we’ll lose again and they can claim that (a) they were ‘right’ all along and (b) at least they’re consistent.

The truth, as always, is that things are never as good as they seem when you’re winning and never as bad as they seem when you’re losing.

Yeah, Sunday could’ve been very different and on another day would have been, but as it was, we were pretty awful. The only real option is to not read all the angry, venting posts that inevitably follow and wait until talking about Everton can be enjoyable again.

Brian Dalton
89 Posted 18/09/2018 at 22:46:10
Kim 88, please can you clarify what the cause for a little optimism was from losing 3 - 1 at home to the bottom team in the league who had previously not picked up a single point so far this season.
Brian Wilkinson
90 Posted 19/09/2018 at 01:44:25
Mike@90, I will give you an interesting stat on here I have picked up on.

When we lose a game to an average team, the comments counts are much more than when we beat an average team.

Next time we beat an also ran team the comments will normally be between a hundred to maximum 200 comments, check out when we lose it’s closer to the 400 mark.

Brian Wilkinson
91 Posted 19/09/2018 at 01:46:41
The current one is 138, baring in mind that was updated and a new thread to the one that was posted just after the game ended with a different heading.
Phil Lewis
92 Posted 19/09/2018 at 02:01:41
The only spark of optimism to come from Sunday's performance, was Bernard. He looks the real deal. My only hope is that Mina and Gomez shape as well when fit, the sooner the better. How ironic that on Neville Southall's 60th birthday, our 'Wonder-Boy' Pickford gave another inept display. His mistakes are recurring far too often. His positional sense is poor and his command of the box weak. I am willing to give him time, but I continue to be unconvinced, regardless of his World Cup penalty save. Every successful team that I can recall in fifty five years watching professional football has had a great keeper. We are a long long way from having either success or a great keeper at present. Personally I would have retained Robiles to give Pickford competition. For all his faults, he was enjoying arguably his best spell at Everton just prior to Pickford's arrival. keeping several clean sheets. I certainly thought him to be a far better option than Skelenberg.
I am definitely not laying all the blame for Sunday's defeat at Pickford's door. We were appalling all over the park. I find it hard to make a case for either striker, both Calvert-Lewin and Tosun were awful. However for me the biggest culprits in this latest humiliation were in midfield. Schneiderlin and Sigurrdson were totally anonymous. Walcott played well in snatches early on but faded badly. He is capable of much more. The so called dead ball specialist Sigurrdson couldn't even lift his free kicks above the wall, let alone curl them or get them on target. Guyye covered a lot of ground, but his distribution and tackling was sloppy to say the least. The defence was pulled all over the show. We were a complete shambles.
So, where do we go from here? Perhaps when the whole squad is fit, changes will be made for the better. In the mean time, do we really know better than the Brazilian National Team selectors? Judging from Richarlsons recent goalscoring exploits at centre forward, perhaps that is where we should play him, at least for the time being. Witnessing Bernard's impressive performance down the left on Sunday, suggested to me that in a 4-3-3 formation, given certain individuals present lacklustre form, it may pay to try playing Digne behind Bernard and recall Baines to left full back. I believe it might sort the left flank out at least, playing neat one-touch triangles. Hopefully with a fully fit Coleman and Walcott operating down the right flank and the incoming Mina at the back and Gomez centre midfield, things might improve. Surely, whatever the combination, it must improve on Sundays abysmal mess. Yes, all if's and but's, but on current showing, it is extremely difficult to come up with anything other than speculation.
Victor Yu
93 Posted 19/09/2018 at 04:56:05
If Pochettino is fired, then should we go after him?
Alan J Thompson
94 Posted 19/09/2018 at 05:42:51
And what do you think we should do in the intervening years, Victor?
Mike Allison
95 Posted 19/09/2018 at 07:24:47
Brian, I’m not surprised. I seem to be in a minority in that I much prefer to talk about positives and I’m much more active on ToffeeWeb when there’s cause for optimism. When things are depressing I tend to stay off it rather than wallow in misery and self pity. Many others seem to have little to say when things are going well but like to vent when there are problems. I guess it just plays different roles for different people, but one of those options seems to me to be consciously choosing to be miserable.

I stick to my football mantra: things are never as good as they seem when you’re winning and never as bad as they seem when you’re losing.

Dick Fearon
96 Posted 19/09/2018 at 08:07:56
If it is lessons to be learned it really hurts to suggest watching a video of any recent RS games would be the answer.

They would see no frills football but at the same time a damn hard working team.
A minimum of backward passing and at least 3 hard running strikers using well rehearsed training ground tactics.
In other words, the direct opposite of what our lot produce.

Whatever takes place at Finch Farm. A key mantra often said at coaching courses goes like this,
Never expect players to produce what is not practiced at training.

Jim Bennings
97 Posted 19/09/2018 at 08:32:18

That’s because they train their players to be super fit athletes, just take a look at the engine on James Milner, does anyone even remotely think he would be that fit if he was playing for Everton now?

Jordan Henderson has come on so much under Klopp, a captain and leader of men and look how lean he is, he’s ripped!

Their young players are so much physically stronger and fitter than our young lads, Trent Alexander-Arnold compared to Jonjo Kenny?
Fitter, stronger more assured on the ball, everything.

I hate to have to admire what Klopp is doing because it’s more than just have money to spend, you can have lots of money and still not look any better as a team (take Manchester United) but Klopp has got his team so fit and they can last 95 minutes.

Firminho is now one of the best attackers in the league but how good was he when Klopp first took over, he was ordinary.

Klopp basically took three months to get them so super fit as we seen with the Europa League run in 2016 the same season he arrived there.
His progress has been really steady on a month by month basis and it’s a fact that sooner or later he’s going to win something.

Take us for example, does anyone feel that come the end of this season we will still be talking about the same mistakes being made as we did on Sunday and losing cheap goals/games?

I’d put good money on it because nothing ever seems to progress at Everton and learning seems to be by the decade it’s so slow (hence one of the reasons why we haven’t worked out how to win at Arsenal since 96, Chelsea since 94 and Liverpool since 99).

Club just makes the same mistakes year in year out regardless of who manages it or who the players are.

Mike Doyle
98 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:08:24
Painful as it is, have to agree with Dick & Jim.
The RS have progressed every year under Klopp. I thought they’d struggle without Coutinho but they’ve got better.
They have quality all over their squad too and have fixed their defence. They won’t concede many goals this season which will be big boost.
It’s taken Klopp 3 years to get to this point and he started with a better squad than Brands/Silva have inherited... which gives an indication of the task our management team faces.
Jim Bennings
99 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:13:07
That’s it Mike.

The most noticeable thing about Klopp’s early months was it didn’t take more than a few weeks to get the team super fit with that pressing game “gegen pressing” or something it was called wasn’t it?

That didn’t take years for him to apply, it was there after a month or two it’s a fabled myth that it takes three years to get professional athletes fit.

There were some bad moments which you’d expect but the emphasis was quickly on getting his team into far greater shape physically, it’s not all about money and quality it helps yes but look at the Leicester team that won the League?

Good management and maximising players fitness levels should be paramount.

Our players look so unfit and frankly like they all suffer from chronic fatigue half the time, even our young lads run like grannies.

Kevin Prytherch
100 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:37:46
Klopp so far has finished 8th, 4th, 4th with Liverpool.

They only won 16 times in his first season (admittedly after Rodgers), finished with 60 points and were a place below West Ham.

Rodgers managed to finish 2nd.

Give Silva and the squad some time - this can’t be done in 5 games.

Brian Murray
101 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:37:50
A prerequisite for any Premier League club is to act and run like athletes. So why can't we even get that right?

Sad times... again!

Steve Brown
102 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:44:45
Jim, Klopp took over on 8th October 2015 but only got the team to 8th in the league that season. It took him a while to build the fitness of the team and implement the pressing methodology that requires superb levels of cardio. He has also recruited excellently but only brought in better players who can work within his gameplan.

I actually find Liverpool's style very effective but not as stylish as under Rodgers with Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge. They get the ball forward quickly and at pace, put a lot of crosses in the box and are willing to play long balls when it makes sense.

Sticking with a top manager who has a clear footballing philosophy, recruiting well for that style, setting high standards and bringing in stability leads to being league contenders within three years. A good blue print for us given the instability in the last three years.

Sam Hoare
103 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:53:56
I think our players have looked pretty sharp and fit for the most part except against West Ham where we had a few players who have had knocks (Walcott, Gueye) and a few players who have had almost no game time this season (Kenny, Bernard, Lookman) plus Schneiderlin carrying some heavy emotional baggage. Plus heads went down a bit when we conceded against the run of play; there's still a definite mental fragility to this team.

We've also played two matches this season with 10 men vs 11 and yet coped pretty well both times.

We may not have RS fitness and intensity but i'd say (bar west Ham) we look sharper and fitter than we have for a while.

Russell Jones
104 Posted 19/09/2018 at 09:55:43
I agree with most people's evaluation of the individual player performances; however, there are worrying trends from the last two games that I believe should be highlighted.

Firstly, both Huddersfield (5-4-1) and West Ham (4-5-1) set up to hold and then break with pace. Tactically we seemed incapable of, (1) breaking down a defensive formation and (2) countering tactics that were having such success against us.

Secondly, people may have been expecting to be outfought against Huddersfield, but it was more of a surprise against West Ham. For a team – who we are told – are much fitter, we consistently seem to be second to loose balls and very rarely win 50:50 challenges.

Paul Tran
105 Posted 19/09/2018 at 11:01:33
The problem with our team over the past few years is that we have too many half-players. Gueye is an excellent tackler with poor passing and positional lapses. Schneiderlin has passing ability, doesn't often show it and has poor concentration. Siguurdson needs everything around him to be right for him to shine. Full backs good going forwards but poor at preventing crosses. And so on.

That's the bad news. Good news is that I think Silva knows this and we are now buying players who are footballers, comfortable with the ball, comfortable moving it forwards, quickly. We've seen this with Richarlison, Digne & Bernard. I hope we see it with Gomes and that Mina is the physical authority and presence we badly need at the back.

Everybody says change needs time. Everybody says we need patience and continuity. Too many panic when things aren't all brilliant after five games.

Jim Bennings
106 Posted 19/09/2018 at 11:09:57

I don’t think it’s a case of panicking, more a case of we have seen it all before!

We should never be outfought and our battles at home to eest Ham regardless of how many new players are in or new management, it’s a basic thing you learn as a schoolboy, work hard and run.

On Sunday we did neither!

Lenny Kingman
107 Posted 19/09/2018 at 11:20:39
Something tells me there will be a lot of "good" lessons coming Silva's and Everton's way soon enough.

The previously winless West Ham victory will send a message out to the rest of the league that our heads are up our arse with all that is going on, on and off the field. A very soft touch.

Fortress Goodison could become Fortress-less Goodison.

Michael Lynch
108 Posted 19/09/2018 at 11:39:02
We may well never have the intensity that a RS side has under Klopp, but I'm surprised at just how little pressing we've done so far this season. Is that Silva's style, not to press? West Ham had so much time on the ball and they were first to everything that came loose.

I'm still optimistic that this team can come good once we get the likes of Holgate, DCL, Gueye, Tosun, Schneids, and even Siggi back on the bench where they belong, and the new guys up and running. But I am concerned at how easy our system seems to be to disrupt, particularly in midfield.

Tom Bowers
109 Posted 19/09/2018 at 11:56:02
You need to have speed to get a team that will succeed.

Many top teams and none more so than RS have speed all over the field.

The idea is that out high press your opponents once they get possession and keep them out of a passing comfort zone basically forcing them to make a poor pass or use the long ball.

If they do try the long ball or get a quick break then your speedy defenders can deal with the situation competently.

Of course you need big money to lure the best defenders and big money to pay ''happy'' wages.

Everton, like many other average teams do not have this all around ability and will look poor and boring in possession just passing the ball around without looking able to penetrate the opponents rearguard.

If Everton press and don't force the opposition into an error then with the players they currently have, they get caught out and look very vulnerable when not in possession.

As I see it, there will be no change in the top six until some of the other clubs can get to a level playing field by having the same big investors, which we know isn't likely to happen.

John Keating
110 Posted 19/09/2018 at 11:59:08
Paul 107

Jim's reply is spot on.

It is not a case of panicking at all. As Jim says some thing's are basic and should be the absolute minimum we should expect on any player, regardless, of his level, who puts on our shirt.

I don't know anyone who is not prepared to give Silva time to turn this club around, and he should be applauded for improving us in the attacking mode, however, while he's doing this we should not expect us to stand still elsewhere, or as we see defensively, actually go backward.

We will no doubt get the usual master tacticians to show us who was at fault, what was at fault, how we can rectify it, how it's not Sivas fault etc etc etc. If you have the 3 hours free to read these fantastic contributions then all well and good. However, if, like a few of us, you just watch it on the day and see the shambles then that's well and good too, and doesn't mean we know less than the experts.

We have thrown away points so far due to poor game management, made questionable substitutions that have resulted in nothing and continue to play players either out of position or out of form.

Surely small changes to rectify some of these issues is not panic but just good management. Should we not expect at least that ?

Brian Harrison
111 Posted 19/09/2018 at 12:30:56
I think some of our posters just love to moan, some are perennial moaners who never have anything positive to say. I am not saying everything is wonderful but for Gods sake give Silva some time. He has taken over a team who have failed to put together anything better than 7th for the last couple of seasons, yet some expect him within weeks to be up there challenging the top 6.

Silva and Brands have brought in 6 players, so far we have only seen 3 play 90 minutes. He has also played 2 away games with only 10 men for half the game, yet in both games playing 10 v 11 we have taken the lead, the manager acknowledged we should have taken all 3 points against Bournemouth. Now does anybody really believe that with either of our last 2 managers we would have been so positive in that situation and were unlucky to only draw both games. So for some posters to say nothing has changed is to ignore how positive we have been in most games.

Just to go back to the new players Richarlison looks the real deal, as does Digne and Zouma is better than Jags who has been a great servant and I would argue better than Keane although under Silva he looks a better player.
We only saw Bernard for half the game but again he looks a quality player. So lets not asses whether Silva is a good manager by how he improves existing players alone but also how is signings work out. So far I havent seen any negatives with the ones we have seen. So again another positive. Also I believe if we had been able to play Richarlison in our last 2 games the results would have been different. I look forward to seeing this team with all 6 of our new signings then when they have played 15/20 games together then you can start to make judgments about Silva.

Finally when did it become OK to boo the substitutions the manager made in only his second home game. Is that how low Everton fans have sunk, maybe supporting the team might get us better results than booing at the first opportunity.

Jay Wood

112 Posted 19/09/2018 at 13:42:45
I know there is a legal concept about 'immediacy', but I would like to propose a new 'law of immediacy' that relates specifically to football fans.

You can see and hear it during and following every game. It goes like this:

What a footy fan comments on live in the moment, or discusses post-match, is largely determined by the 'immediacy' of what they have just seen (or indeed, believe they have seen) and that becomes primary in their thinking of the player in question, the manager, the tactics employed. Everything.

Forgotten, or even fabricated, are the events and performances of the previous 2-3-4-5 games - go back as far as you like.

Let's take some examples from this season alone, Silva's first.

In the wake of the WHU game, it is now presumed by some that ALL SEASON TO DATE:

* Our defence is a shambles
* The goalkeeper is a liability
* Holgate is easily bullied and a poor man marker
* Digne and Kenny are great in attack, awful at defending
* Gueye cannot pass
* The players are not match fit
* The manager hasn't got a clue

The above are but a few of the opinions being presented as unalterable, unchallengeable 'truth'.

Sticking to just our meagre five PL games played to date, rather than basing opinion solely on the 'immediacy' of the last game, a fairer alternative assessment of some of the condemnation of the above is:

* Our defence coped admirably - superbly! - in the face of adversity in the two away games, playing both with 10 men for 55 minutes. Rather than shut up shop, as previous managers may well have done, Silva effectively re-organized the side and kept us on the front foot so we took the lead in both those games.

Yes, we were ultimately pegged back in both games, but people have very short memories if they cannot recognize there was much to admire in both those performances.

Sunday against WHU was defensively a shambles. It was not typical of how Everton has played under Silva when chances from open play for the opposition have been very limited.

* Jordan Pickford is a gem of a goalkeeper. His distribution for Everton this season has gone up a notch again. Sunday's gaff was very much a one-off. Suggesting Robles should have been retained as our #1 conveniently ignores he has played the grand total of zero games for his new club, Getafe. There is a reason for that.

* Holgate got schooled against WHU. Before that, he has looked as good as anyone this season at centre back. This is a player with a bit of nark and attitude about him which many cry out for in Everton teams. He has already demonstrated his strength, coolness and technique under pressure. Plenty more to come from this lad.

* Digne and Kenny were are shining lights against WHU. Neither as yet, in ALL their games for Everton, ever show less than full commitment to the cause and no little skill. They will have bad games. It will never ever be for lack of effort. Again, lots more to come from this pair.

* If anything, time and again on Sunday, Gueye was the best exponent of swiftly and accurately switching play with raking long balls to either flank or down the middle. He has also been one of our more consistent players this season under Silva.

* The players are not match fit. That may have been the case last season. I see no evidence - none whatsover - that it is the case this season, as the two games playing with 10 men amply demonstrated.

* The manager hasn't got a clue. The shuffling of the pack when going down to 10 against Wolves and Bournemouth and still being the superior team playing on the front foot; the wonderfully worked free kick vs Southampton; the type and quality of the players he and Brands have recruited, rather suggest he does have a clue.

Nowt wrong in anyone and everyone having the liberty to express their opinion on all things Everton.

But IMO it is wrong to make sweeping statements, as per the examples above, based primarily on the most recent game only when there is ample recent evidence to counter some of the more extreme and groundless claims some make.

Lawrence Green
113 Posted 19/09/2018 at 13:49:20
Brian I believe that most of the 'moaning' comes from sheer frustration and the sense that nobody at the club seems to appreciate what the 'moaners' want to see from their team.

Plus there is the added pressure of being in the same city as a club who appear to do no wrong, which constantly plays entertaining football - or so I'm told - win matches by merely turning up at any ground in the country and have fans who don't acknowledge defeat even when they do on the all too rare occasions lose football matches.

This leads to what I call 'little brother' syndrome that affects many Evertonians always believing that it will be their turn to dish out some stick to their elders but knowing deep down that the elder will always have the upper hand as long as their elder siblings have deeper pockets.

I've just read Catcher-in-the-rye's assesment (linked below) and there is very little to argue with and if you take his most pessimistic forecast based on this season's results compared to previous ones there is a reason why the 'moaners' have become more voiciferous since Sunday. Few Evertonians that I know personally are asking for much more than an improvement in performance by the players and for those same players to look like a team, that didn't happen on Sunday and hopefuly that was a one-off.

I also believe that fans of all clubs outside of the elite ones are aware of how much finance plays a part in the modern game, romanticism has been replaced by pragmatism, but most fans want to see their team play attractive football, but that. for any club outside of the very rich is taking a gamble.

Therefore, we have the 'dreams' of fans being offset by the pragmatism of many managers. Allardyce and Moyes were pragmatic to a painful degree, Martinez and perhaps, but hopefully not, Silva are romantic to a similar degree. Somewhere inbetween is what we would hope for, but that will cost time and money and even more patience from beleaguered blues.

Some fans at Goodison sit on their hands and remain quiet when things aren't going well, some voice their disaproval loudly when they witness things they disagree with, it was ever thus and I don't expect it to change in my lifetime.


Steve Ferns
114 Posted 19/09/2018 at 14:04:08
Michael @110. In order to press we need a coherent plan understood by the players and then the players giving it everything they have.

I thought I saw that against Wolves and then Southampton. Against Bournemouth we were misifiring up to the sending off, and then it was backs to the wall, all hands to the pump, and we closed down very well without actually pressing, up and until the numbers were evened out and then we seemed to lose all intensity.

Against Huddersfield at home, we were never going to have a pressing game against a team that didn't actually attack us. Then West Ham at home, and we started off sluggish but it looked like we were pressing, but then suddenly we were 2-0 and a formation and system change happened and then there was a lot of effort from some, but no actual planned pressing.

Something else I would like to raise though is this. I did express one doubt over Silva prior to his appointment and it was this. Silva has never had any sustained period of pressure where his decisions are being questioned and not everyone is behind him. It happens to all Everton managers at some point, and this is when you see what the manager is really made of.

Some managers can come in, have a Midas touch and win stuff. then, next season they have a bad start, the pressure is on and suddenly this can't-do-wrong manager suddenly can't-do-right and he's gone. One extreme example is Roberto Di Matteo. He got the Chelsea job and won the Champions League. Then the next season you may say he got "found out". Regardless of what went wrong, he was under pressure, he couldn't fix it and he got sacked. He then went to Schalke and Aston Villa and was sacked b the latter and jumped before he was pushed by the former. His career is effectively over and he's dismissed as crap manager despite the Champions League on his CV.

Silva got a great start at Estoril and everyone there loved him. He was never under pressure and he did not have any difficult periods. At Sporting, he similarly got a good start, and finished the season well. He was never under any real pressure and there was no difficult periods. He did get sacked by the mad Sporting owner, but this was not for on the field issues. At Olympiacos he won 28 of 30 games, the fans loved him and it was all plain sailing. At Hull, he gave them hope with a relatively good start, and the fans stayed with him to the end and were disappointed when he left.

Which brings us on to Watford. He got sacked in a difficult period whilst under pressure. Watford sacked him and blamed us. The question is, had Silva had that difficult period and if there was no Everton issue, would Watford have let him have to the end of the season to sort things out? I reckon so, because Walter Mazzarri did, and he finished 16th or 17th. So, how he would have handled that difficult period would have shown us what Silva is really made of.

So, perhaps, one way to look at it, is this. Silva is now under pressure with that defeat. We now get to see what he is made of. Can he dig deep, and turn things around? When results are not going his way, can he still persuade the players that he knows best? Will they still come on the journey with him?

If Silva is just a good coach, a good tactician, a good analyst, and even a good man-manager, but lacks the resilience that managers need, then it's best we find out now, and he can be replaced before any damage is done.

Just look at Moyes. if we forget the black and white, Moyes is great or Moyes is shite, and allow Moyes to be what his results showed and that is the 6th to 8th best manager in the league at the time, then we can say that Moyes had two very difficult periods. First off, Rooney's only full season when we dropped from a 6th (or maybe 7th?) position to finish 17th, before finishing 4th the next season. Then also the season after that were we started appalling and rallied to finish 11th. Moyes, for all his faults, was a very resilient and robust manager who was able to weather those storms and take us back to 6th to 8th.

Silva can have all the qualities in the world but if he lacks this resilience to cope under pressure, to fight when the chips are down, then he's not the right man for the job. There's no real way back for Silva if he fails at Everton. His entire career rests on this job. Failure means a crap job in Portugal and he'd need to do something special there to ever get a top job outside of Portugal. He knows this.

When the chips were down with Koeman, he went golfing. Fair enough. If he went and blew off steam on the golf course, and then came in to work and got the players sorted and his approach was such that he turned it around, then that would be great. I didn't like it. I'm very British, in that I think if things are not going well, then you fix them by working harder, and working longer. Which means when I see the manager knocking off early to play golf, then I am immediately doubting him.

Many have made reference to Martinez Mark II. Martinez is someone who was an excellent coach but he only coached attacking and possession based football. The teams did "defensive" training by defenders defending in the attacking drills. He did not work on set pieces. Martinez also had less time in the video room, watching tape, and figuring out the opposition.

Silva is cut from the same cloth as Mourinho. They are friends and they talk. Go back to the articles on Silva when he first came. He was "mini-Mourinho". He was a counter attacking manager whose teams conceded few goals. 1 per game to be precise. Mourinho's strengths lie in his analysis and his man management. He doesn't do much on the training pitch, that is not his forte. He leaves that to his staff.

We all know Silva's supposed prowess on the training pitch. You've all seen the former player accolades. We should not forget Silva's analytical qualities though. Silva lives and breathes football, namely Everton. He is a workaholic. After training he will watch tapes, he will be analysing the opposition, and he will be compiling short DVDs for the players to watch so they can know more about their immediate opponents and some things to work on their own games. He has a specific analyst for this.

Fitness is something that has been questioned. Silva is big on fitness. He will get this right. He also brought in the Benfica Lab guy to oversee this, as well as having his own fitness coach he takes everywhere. If we aren't fit enough for his tactics, then we will be addressing this.

One thing that's surprised me is that every game we have come out in 4231. This is not what he did at Watford. He only tended to stick to formation if the team was always better than the opponent (Olympiacos). At Hull he made changes to try to exploit deficiencies in the opposition. At Watford he seemed to change it dramatically from game to game. Back 3, back 4, back 5, 4231, 433, 451, 442, 4132. Constantly tweaking the formation to get an edge.

So, why the constant 4231? I think it's because we have not set a base yet. I think that he wants a default formation. A 4231 that he knows that the players know inside out and that works. It doesn't work at present, and so he is trying to perfect it. Or maybe he is still trying to bed it in because the team has had so many enforced changes, and we have yet to have the same back 4 for any game. Maybe once he settles the side, then he can try to tweak the system and exploit things, knowing that he can flick the 4231 switch mid match and gain an advantage like he has done in the past. What I don't think is that he is wanting to play 4231 and only 4231. I think there's issues there and he's searching to settle the side, to fix a base.

It's been a poor start to the season. We have 2 less points than we did from the corresponding fixtures last season. But Arsenal is up next. In so many ways this is the perfect game for Silva. There is pressure off in a lot of ways because Everton always lose there, we're expected to lose by everyone, and last season we got battered. Arsenal will have all of the ball and Arsenal will attack us, and will probably try to blow us away early.

Well, that's what Silva likes. Here he can go full counter-attack, he can sit deep and he can look to play those lightning breaks, relying on players like Richarlison, Bernard and Walcott. I think this is the turning point game where we see him pull a rabbit out of a hat and show what his side is all about. Expect to see 4231 once more, sitting deep like against Wolves, and getting that solid shape in play. Hopefully Keane is fit and he can pull Holgate out of the firing line. I'd also like to see the pace of Calvert-Lewin up top, at the tip of the attacking spear, with Richarlison and Walcott narrow. I'd love to see Bernard play the number 10 role and withdraw Sigurdsson to the bench. And yes, sorry guys, Gueye and Schneiderlin as the DMs. After Arsenal, it's Fulham at home, no easy match, then Leicester away, a tough one against the team I thought would be our main rivals for "best of the rest", and then home against Palace before going to Old Trafford. Some winnable games there, but some big tests of Silva's mettle. Hopefully, he shows what he is made of, that he is resilient, that the players are on board with his tactics and starts to put victories on the board and get us back up that table.

Steve Ferns
115 Posted 19/09/2018 at 14:05:53
Good post Jay, I agree with a lot of what you said.
David Barks
116 Posted 19/09/2018 at 14:08:29
Jesus Christ. Five games in and we’re already talking about replacing the manager? What the hell has happened to us? If that’s where we are as club then I want nothing to do with it.
Steve Barr
117 Posted 19/09/2018 at 15:01:10

I don't think the negative posts are just based on our most recent poor performances, rather they are the outpourings of long suffering fans who have not seen any tangible improvement over many years now. Well that's my view!

Since the mid 1980s, and some periods during Moyes' reign I honestly can't remember the last time I have been satisfied watching Everton over a sustained period of time.

Obviously there have been the occasional good performance(s) but never any sustained level of good and improving play. The positive examples you cite e.g. how well we performed when we were down to 10 men etc. are so far fleeting and can only be judged if they are converted to "business as usual" performances, which is the least we should expect from highly paid professional footballers.

I suspect for a lot of readers and posters, ToffeeWeb has taken the place of a therapist and serves as a way of venting!

Having a positive disposition, as far as supporting Everton is concerned, has not delivered the style of play and success we expect from a club of our stature and resources.

Trevor Peers
118 Posted 19/09/2018 at 15:22:33
Glad to read something more realistic from Steve Ferns @116, of course we all want Silva to succeed but even his most ardent admirer on TW has had to admit he might not make it.

If Silva doesn't have the mental toughness or tactical know how to produce a winning team of course he will be blown away by Xmas or by the end of the season at the very latest.

Management is about winning football matches maybe that's why Moshiri is only paying him £3 million a season, he knows there's a high risk of failure with Silva.

Frank Wade
119 Posted 19/09/2018 at 15:29:15
Jay @114,

Excellent post. I find it depressing that fans turn on the team so much if things are not going well. Usually someone comes up with a scapegoat and all the woes are placed at his door. Last time it was Gana as you say.

If anything, time and again on Sunday, Gueye was the best exponent of swiftly and accurately switching play with raking long balls to either flank or down the middle. He has also been one of our more consistent players this season under Silva.

I am a big fan of Gana and appreciate he is trying to take responsibility and get us moving forward, never hiding, but crucially not now having a Gareth Barry or Ross Barkley readily available for a pass. I checked out his Stats in the Match Centre on the official site, looking for evidence to support the 'he can't pass' theory. I counted 59 successful and 10 unsuccessful. Most of these were forward as well and the 59 included just 12 back. So we can add the 'Gueye can't pass' to the ever growing 'fake news' bundle.

Hard to compare others in different roles but Schneiderlin in his 42 mins had 32 successful and 1 off target. Sigurdsson had 16/9, Kenny 37/17, Digne 34/11, Calvert-Lewin 9/11, Tosun 9/2, Walcott 21/11, Holgate 43/14, Zouma 45/9, Bernard 11/4.

I might be slightly off on some counts but not by much. I didn't find the obvious evidence of Gana's passing letting us all down. In fact, 5 players had more mis-placed passes from far less possessions. Our Fab 4 of Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun and Walcott had a combined 55/33 compared to Gana's 59/10.

I picked up the stats from the Stats link on the ribbon here: Link

WE have to be patient. I saw one post on Sunday bemoaning the fact that we are not likely to finish top 4 this season! We have a new manager, new ideas, new players, it takes time.

Steve (#116), Thanks so much for sharing your insight on Silva and your tactical knowledge. Brilliant post.

John Keating
120 Posted 19/09/2018 at 15:45:26
Frank @121,

Don't you think the stats you have kindly produced is what gets on a lot of supporters backs ??

Martinez was the great exponent of the thought that if you have more possession and have more passes you win the game. How wrong he was.

Maybe this applies to Barcelona and Man City but not many other teams. Possession and passes do not win games. In fact, they don't mean you are playing good football at all. It's not just what players do when in possession, in fact it's more what they do when they don't have possession.

I am not particularly picking on Gana and Schneiderlin but as you mentioned them specifically how many times last season and this have we seen opposition attackers and midfielders waltz past them without hardly a challenge going in?

We look good going forward, and good on Silva for that, the problem is when we lose the ball, we become a shambles. Saturday's gung-ho football just emphasised what we have been watching not just from the Wolves game but also pre-season.

We all want the best for our team but Silva has to adjust his style to suit the players he presently has at his disposal. Change it when he gets his players in but, right now, he needs to wise up as he is bringing pressure on himself and the team.

Kevin Prytherch
121 Posted 19/09/2018 at 16:00:42
Whilst I agree with most of Steve (#116), I think it would be a mistake to try and repeat the Schneiderlin - Gueye partnership again. Schneiderlin is simply too slow and doesn't get about enough to disrupt play.

Davies and Gueye would provide the energy needed to get at Arsenal's central midfield and stop them playing their natural game. Their energy will lead to mistakes in Arsenal's attack and should provide the basis for a counter-attack.

The Schneiderlin - Gueye partnership has been tried too much. It simply does not work.

Jamie Crowley
122 Posted 19/09/2018 at 16:13:28
Steve @ 119 -

The entirety of Roberto's first season was an extended period of watching gleefully.

For me at least.

But that's one season out of a hell of a lot admittedly.

Dave Abrahams
123 Posted 19/09/2018 at 16:20:27
John (#122) I have got to agree with you re stats, they do not tell you how good a player has performed, take Schniederlin's from the Frank's post: 32 passes and only one poor one, how many were 5 yard and less passes, he had another poor game, IMO, had an excuse because of his fathers demise.

I like Gana, but never mind the stats, my eyes told me different. he had a bad day. The stats don't tell how poor and laboured we were getting from one end of the pitch to the other, a great deal of the game.

Yes, we created chances but my eyes told me, again only my opinion, most of the players had a very off game and
people can produce as many stats as they want it will not alter my opinion of how we played.

By the way, who sits and watches the game and produces these pieces of information, is it someone from the club or elsewhere? Because every day the government rolls out hundreds of stats which tell us what a healthy state each part of the services is in; I just don't see it.

Frank Wade
124 Posted 19/09/2018 at 16:35:52
John (#122), we are actually in agreement here. I agree with what you say and would go further and say that a player could make a huge contribution to a team effort and not touch the ball at all, closing down, covering gaps, contesting high balls, marking and making runs to take opponents out of position.

I should have explained myself a bit more thoroughly. I am not saying that the completion ratio stats are the only indicator of success. I have been critical of these in the past and you mention the Martinez era. A feature of this was the occasional stats love-in between McCarthy and Barkley where they could pass to each other completing up to 10 'completed' 5-yard passes in 20 seconds.

Barcelona could also pass a team to death, until one or two of their opponents just nodded off. I was trying to use the stats to show that Gana in particular did complete a high number of passes and most of these were not the 4- or 5-yard meaningless variety that get us nowhere.

I was amazed at the high number of passes that went astray for the rest of the team. You will agree that passing is important when our hard earned possession is given away so cheaply as it was on Sunday. One of my old coaches used to say "The ball is your friend. Don't give it away."

Frank Wade
125 Posted 19/09/2018 at 17:01:34
Dave (#125). Hope you're keeping well this breezy afternoon. I think I have explained myself a bit better above.

I did a bit of counting and Schneiderlin hit about 6 passes that were 5 or less and 7 over 20 yards forward, rest were back or sideways. His role is to protect the back 4 and keep the ball moving, I'm not expecting huge creativity.

Gana is our ball winner in midfield and this season is trying to take more on in terms of starting moves, assumably encouraged to do so by Silva. Granted, he hit some bad passes but others were more culpable in losing possession. That's the point I was making.

I think it's a company called Opta Stats that compile the statistics. I used pick them up on a site named FourFourTwo but now I see they are on the official site at the link I posted above. They don't tell the whole story but are useful to get an overall view on contributions of players we may have missed in the live game.

By the way, Gana hit one delicious 30- or 40-yard ball over the top to create a gilt-edged chanced for Dominic but his control let him down. The stats show me that was 9:08 into the first half, just before the first West Ham goal, so they have their uses. Just watched that pass again on the extended highlights and it was a peach. A better player might have put us one up there and put Gana in the spotlight for his pass.

Matthew Williams
126 Posted 19/09/2018 at 17:42:51
For me, there are three options as it stands:

1) We improve and win a Trophy and build on it.

2) We get relegated and start again from scratch.

3) We, along with 13 other Premier League teams, start a new League when the Sky Six leave for Euro League greed.

Unlikely for the first. Unthinkable for the second. As for the third ?... Probably.

Dave Abrahams
127 Posted 19/09/2018 at 18:18:01
Frank (127), yes, I'm fine thanks, apart from nearly getting blown under a bus when I ventured out to put a bet on!!!

You know I wasn't having a go at you over stats, just that stats in general do my head in, but each to his own... except to me they can give a very misleading view in how a player has performed.

Anyway, Frank, please keep giving ToffeeWeb your reports on how the young teams are playing. Now I always take full notice of those, they are always worth reading.

Don't put any stats in them though!!!

David Israel
128 Posted 19/09/2018 at 18:55:49
Silva seems to know what went wrong, as has to be expected of any coach. I'm confident he'll sort things out eventually, especially when he has a fully-fit squad (or close: it's difficult for a team not have any players injured, of course).

The issue of both full-backs going forward at the same time clamours for a three-man defence, as some have pointed out, or for proper cover from the central midfielders. I'm not excessively worried with the zonal marking; I'm sure that with time and practice, that will sort itself out. It's Tosun's poor form that I worry about. And yes, I stress poor form, as I think he showed enough quality last season. I try not to think of Jelavic, though.

For those of you going on about famous drubbings, I would recall Atalanta at Goodison last season...

James Power
129 Posted 19/09/2018 at 07:37:06
I think that, contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few trying to be positive on here which is a good thing. Someone referred to it as a therapy substitute and they are right.

I do think there is room for optimism and I also hold my view that we were woeful. We created chances and could have drawn or maybe even won but West Ham were defensively poor too.

Our full-backs attacked well but Kenny and Digne quite often were caught in attacking positions and couldn't get back to cover. Kenny had a hard time defending towards the end as their attack focus pressurised our right flank.

Our centre-back's had a bad game, Gana appeared sloppy to me and not his usual snappy self and Morgan was second to most balls. Tosun and Niasse got into good positions but were bad in front of goal and Pickford shat the bed and gifted them a goal. Bernard looked lively and Walcott put in a solid 6.5 out of 10.

To me, at home v West Ham, that is woeful. It's not the end of the world but most of our boys had a game to forget. I am not sure what I want Marco to say but it all seemed a bit vague which frustrated me. I'm 48, I was born and we were Champions soon after, then we were second best until my teens (when the other lot were also very fucking good) then all too soon we were poor again.

My dad is 82 and he had had enough even when we were good! I'm tired of waiting, I want Marco to come up with something to say that is more incisive than all of us on TW to give me confidence that all will be well. An answer to a question from the start of the thread really but here I am.

Cause for hope? Yes, will it take time? Yes, should we be patient? If we can, why? Because that is all we have. ‘Patience' and ‘Hope', the two boring guys you have to hang around with while ‘Success' and ‘Style' are shagging all the women.

James Marshall
130 Posted 21/09/2018 at 12:37:55
Marco Silva = Martinez Mk II

He stood there looking lost like Bobby used to when we were getting turned over.

I'll have a plastic tenner we get turned over something rotten on Sunday at Arsenal. We've been crap in every game and won one, played loads of the so-called lesser teams and been useless in every game.

Nothing has changed, and yeah, he needs time, but it's the same crap as it's been the last few years just with a different voice.

We have loads of second-rate players, and in my view, a second-rate manager. Again.

Harry Johnston
131 Posted 21/09/2018 at 14:29:22
Having watched our back four getting overstretched and leaving ominous gaps, particularly through the middle of the two centre-backs, I'd like to suggest trying three centre-backs which should plug this problem.

Both Digne and Kenny bomb down the wings, which is great, but we become exposed by counter-attacks or clearances into the gaps they have left. I think Zouma and Holgate could better cover these by having Mina, Keene, and Jagielka central.

John Keating
132 Posted 21/09/2018 at 14:41:30

We would have 3 at the back if only one full-back went forward and the other stayed back.

It would also help if Schneiderlin could track back and make a tackle now and again.

Against West Ham, Everton reminded me of watching an under-7s team. Someone booted it upfield and all the outfield players ran after the ball. At least the under-7s all run back when the ball was booted the other way.

Ed Fitzgerald
133 Posted 21/09/2018 at 16:48:41
James Marshall

Crap in every game? I don't think so – poor in the last two? Definitely.

I will take the bet for a tenner — I assume I get the draw as well?

Paul Birmingham
134 Posted 21/09/2018 at 17:09:11
This has been a War & Peace, but very good positioned read and honest feedback..

If and when MS gets his first select 11 available, hopefully soon, we will see how the team shapes up.

Let’s hope and pray the hoodoo of the Emirates is lifted, and the whole team puts a full shift in for 95 minutes.

Interesting watching some of the European games this week, and not the RS. Food for thought and hope for the next few games. Surely after the last 2 home results the team will toughen up and battle.

Looks so far this season the team plays better or is more effective, away from GP, but that’s only my humble view and I hope there’s a good performance every game, but I’m realistic.

Let’s hope Mina and co in the injury room are back soon and the team can build on this season.

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