Silva pleased with deserved win over Cardiff

Saturday, 24 November, 2018 20comments  |  Jump to last

Gylfi Sigurdsson's sixth goal of the season proved to be enough for Everton

Marco Silva saluted the maturity of his team as they stuck to their task and saw out a 1-0 win over Cardiff at Goodison Park this afternoon.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the game's only goal when he tucked home after Neil Etheridge had palmed Theo Walcott's shot into his path minutes after Sol Bamba had denied him with a goal-line clearance.

It was a game of few clear chances for a Blues side who enjoyed 71% of the possession overall but struggled to find their rhythm in the final third.

As expected, Neil Warnock's Cardiff made things difficult with a stubborn, defensively-minded display while they looked to try and make an impact at the other end from set-pieces and Aron Gunnarsson's long throws but Silva said that he and his players did their homework and got the job done despite the disruption of late returns from international duty.

“The game was nothing different from what we expected,” Silva said afterwards. “We have had some players working with us only on Thursday and Friday. It is not an excuse but we expected a tough game.

“We didn't score the second goal to kill the game off so it is always open to the end.

“Cardiff are strong at set pieces and from long throws and were getting lots of balls in our box. We worked well in those moments and were very mature.

“I am really happy because we won the match and deserved to win.”

Sigurdsson's strike was his sixth goal in his last eight Premier League games and it came against his former South Wales rivals from his Swansea City days which, perhaps, added a layer of satisfaction to the winning goal.

The Icelandic star said that the result reflected the patience that Everton had to maintain while they stuck to their game plan in an effort to break Cardiff down.

“It was similar to the Brighton game, when it was 1-1 at half-time,” Sigurdsson told “We knew we had to be patient, keep playing the ball, passing it around and eventually we were going to get chances.

“One goal was enough today because we kept another clean sheet.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game. They are very hard to beat, they defend really well, and they are very dangerous when they have throw-ins and corners.

“They have got very strong players in the box, so I thought we dealt with it really well, especially near the end when they could have nicked a goal."


Reader Comments (20)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 24/11/2018 at 19:49:42
A win is a win and no game at Premier League level is a walkover unless you are one of the top two who are operating on a different level to the rest at the minute.

Another clean sheet is pleasing against what can be best described as a rather robust opponent in Cardiff.

Our centre halves look like they won’t take any shit from anyone and Mina is the character and nasty arse we have always needed but it’s sad that Zouma who barely put a foot wrong has to be left out but that’s the benefits of a good squad.

It’s impossible to drop Keane this season because the transformation in that lad this season has been amazing, and we are seeing a confident lean mean slick defender that made us buy him in the first place.

I’m pleased with Silva and his ideas and I feel confident that he knows what he’s doing, it’s going to be another huge test for him next Sunday at the Pit to see if we can get something.

Paul Setter
2 Posted 24/11/2018 at 21:15:28
I absolutely love Silva. I was unsure to start with but the positivity that regularly comes out of this club via players and fans is largely down to him.

Early days but I'm struggling to think of a better manager than this in years. Martinez had a bit of it but he was also a tool and stubborn. I think Silva isn't... which will make him a success. His tactics are spot on his subs are happening at the right time most of the time, and he isn't afraid of the media darlings.

I generally think we have the best chance in a very long time of winning at the sewer next week – mainly down to him.

Colin Metcalfe
3 Posted 24/11/2018 at 23:35:10
I have to hold my hand up and say I posted on TW during the close season that we should sell Keane and said he was an awful player; how wrong could I have been because the lad has been brilliant from the very first game this season. Happily eating my humble...
Bob Parrington
4 Posted 24/11/2018 at 23:46:56
Colin - Just shows that he was being badly managed. Many of us were not happy with his play last season but some were rightly suggesting that he needed to be playing with better playing partners.
Liam Reilly
5 Posted 24/11/2018 at 23:48:44
"It's sad that Zouma, who barely put a foot wrong, has to be left out."

Maybe he'll see that it might be as hard to get into the Everton side as the Chelsea side that he wants to play in next season.

Finally, we have a manager that will pick the best team at his disposal; if Zouma warrants a place, then he'll get it on merit.

Jerome Shields
6 Posted 25/11/2018 at 00:29:04
Everton where effective defensively and the midfield trio where superb. But Walcott is still very peripheral, having another game of lower touches than any other outfield player. Lookman looks a lot better than him and has more touches as a sub.

Richarlison is better on the wing, but his threat keeps the opposition defence from putting their defensive line up. Both Tosun and Calvert-Lewin would be overrun by the defence. The pass-completion rate in the final third is still round 75 percent.

Being positive, Everton are 6th in the table and potientially higher if these areas can be addressed. It will take time but, if I had been told this time last year, that Everton would have a solid defensive capability, which can switch to an effective offensive capability, at this stage, I would have been more than happy.

Simon Smith
7 Posted 25/11/2018 at 00:45:00
At last some much-needed positivity around the blues, everyone seems happy with the manager, happy with Brands as his hand, and most importantly happy with our team.

Good to watch, positive in possession, and becoming increasingly solid by the game.

Imo we wasn't great today, Gana wasn't his usual self, looked a little jaded, the right hand side didn't offer a lot as Theo kept looking for easy backwards passing instead of running at the defence, Bernard was poor, and Richarlison was a shadow of his recent self.

But despite all this we had positives to take away again, the biggest for me was Gomes, he bosses the match and was a million levels ahead of anyone in a Cardiff shirt.

Also Mina and Keane kept another clean sheet, that can only be good for confidence.

Like others have said, the Premier League offers no walkovers; each win needs to be earned and, even with all our possession and set plays, we didn't look at our best today, yet won the game. Go and ask Mark Hughes about his Southampton team today, they were also ahead on every stat but lost their game at Fulham.

Big match next week vs the Red Shite, let's hope the new Everton can play without fear and refuse to bottle it. If we can get Theo and Bernie firing for next week, we can scare the shit out of them and come at them from all over the place with fast creative lads up too.

Now we're up to 6th, we need to set targets like break into the top 4 or 5 before the end of the year. The timing of our form is good if we can keep this up through December, we might surprise a few so-called big sides.

Jim Harrison
8 Posted 25/11/2018 at 00:47:53
Regarding Keane, didn't he come out recently and say he was basically playing half of last season in pain and being expected to play when really he shouldn't have?

Sure Silva may have played a part in getting him back mentally to where he was at Burnley, but just as importantly the management team have ensured there are options in the squad now should they be needed. We now have 5 players capable of playing in central defence

Hopefully they can do some productive work in the transfer market to do the same up front! Richalison is doing a good job but there needs to be a real striker playing. I actually thought Calvert-Lewin should've come on yesterday, not Tosun.

Getting a few more goals out of this team would really have us contending. But what a difference from last season. Fat Sam would have treated Cardiff as if they were Madrid!!

Tom Bowers
9 Posted 25/11/2018 at 01:47:53
Everton have a ways to go and hopefully one or two new additions in January will really cement the squad.

Getting results is the main thing even if some games are proving tougher than expected but then that's the Premier League. No easy games.

Wouldn't it be the icing on the cake for this half of the season if they could inflict the first blot on the RS next week but we need a referee who can be fair and unlike the one who denied Watford a clear penalty when the score was 0-0.

Ed Prytherch
10 Posted 25/11/2018 at 03:15:18
I thought that we should have signed Maguire and last season I felt vindicated. He is a footballer and a leader and I did not see that in Keane when he was at Burnley or after we signed him.

So what a revelation he is now. Confident and assured, great positional sense, and he can pass the ball forwards. Were Koeman and Walsh brilliant or lucky?

David Barks
11 Posted 25/11/2018 at 03:27:07
Regarding the comments about Walcott, his Grandfather had just passed away. In additon, he's been playing through an injury. It's clear the manager has been asking him to provide some senior leadership and he's fighting to play for the team, never lowering his effort.

If you watched when he was subbed today, Silva embraced him and it was more than just a “good job”, it was emotional. I wouldn't be surprised if maybe Lookman was going to be in the starting 11 but Walcott wanted to play after his Grandfather passed and Silva did the thing great man-managers do and let him go out there with the team.

Yes, he's been wasteful in attack yet he also gets into good positions, with his movement leading to the goal today. That said, I think Silva knows that Lookman is taking that spot before the season is over, which is exactly why he and Brands refused to sell him despite the many on this site who called for “bad attitude” Lookman to be sold.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 25/11/2018 at 08:51:06
Silva is a wise man.

I’m sure he would shiny Richarlison back to the left if he was confident that we had a truly top class striker on our books but he probably looks at Tosun, DCL and Niasse and whatever way you dress that up, it’s hardly great options to have, it’s not Harry Kane is it?

So Silva probably feels sticking with Richarlison is his best bet until he can purchase a more clinical striker in a transfer window.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 25/11/2018 at 09:05:32
That’s meant to read “shunt” Richarlison to the left not shiny him, (stupid predictive texting), he could try to shiny him aswell mind you lol.
Ajay Gopal
14 Posted 25/11/2018 at 11:34:03
It was an ugly win, but we will take it. The team is clicking into place:

Pickford inspires a lot of confidence

Our two full backs, Coleman and Digne, are pretty decent, although you get the feeling that we have yet to see them at their best

2 clean sheets in 2 games for our new centre-back pairing, Keane and Mina; I don't see Silva changing that soon.

Our 3G Midfield (Gana, Gylfi and Gomes) is well settled now and complement each other very well.

The Front 3 is the problem area – they haven't clicked together as a unit, although there have been some excellent individual performances. Will Silva stick with Bernard, Richarlison and Walcott or will he give Lookman a look-in?

The glaring problem area for me is our corner conversion. We have converted 0 out of the (I don't know) 50+ corners so far this season? Those are terrible stats, I hope Silva works the corner routines really hard this week, it could mean the difference between Top 6 and out of it.

Marvin Tiebout
15 Posted 25/11/2018 at 11:45:56
Long time reader 1st time posting.

Strange performance against a well organised defensive team. It was the type of game I’ve seen us lose many many times. 3pts and us upto 6th. So content with that today.

Silva’s signings have improved us all over the park. Gomes is getting better game by game, Digne has made me forget last season (Martina), he has settled in very well and moved Baines out on merit. Yerry helped keep 2 clean sheets and is only at 90%. The boys from Brazil both quality but put a shift in when needed and when things aren’t working out for them. I don’t see any of them fearing a visit to Anfield, nor will the manager who has yet to taste defeat against Klopp. (That will soon change as EFC manager, we’ve all suffered long enough to know that unfortunately)

Gana is back to his best as the stats prove, Gylfi is starting to produce on a more consistent level.

So I for one see a lot more positives than negatives about this squad.

David Pearl
16 Posted 25/11/2018 at 12:18:08
Yes it was a funny game yesterday, no bad displays really but when it mattered we made mistakes with the final ball. I can’t remember the last time Bernard and Walcott switched wings to mix things up a bit. I’m nervous now when Coleman is left one on one in the box and thinking about it maybe it’s a good time for all 3 centre backs to play next week. As Ajay said I expect nothing from our corners. Is it the delivery or how we arrange ourselves to attach the ball? Keane has had some chances but taken non... hopefully that will change and he makes up for it in the derby. I will continue with my £10 on Mina first scorer though.
Pat Waine
17 Posted 25/11/2018 at 12:21:37
Some of our fans are starting to understand the mess that Ronald Koeman made out of Everton. The football we play does matter, lots of fans excused Koeman in year one while we were playing muck. We now are playing a decent brand of football and have players that can excite played in their correct positions.

Koeman was rubbish. Silva at least tries to do the correct thing and is tactically better than Koeman and Fat Sam will ever be.

Kevin Prytherch
18 Posted 25/11/2018 at 13:11:20
Ed @10.

Firstly – thanks for the kids' cards every birthday, they love getting cards from America.

Secondly – I was thinking the same about Walsh. We've got Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Sigurdsson, Gueye, Keane and Pickford under his watch, as well as a few promising youngsters such as Bowler and Gibson. Maybe Walsh wasn't as bad as some made out, he just needed a decent manager.

Not saying that I'd have Walsh over Brands, but his track record now is looking a little better.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 25/11/2018 at 15:02:50
The derby will take care of itself.

I've learned over the years to expect letdown and in a funny way I was more nervous about them in the 1990s when we were protecting such a proud unbeaten record for 5 years against them.

These days we have lost so many that whilst I'm not saying defeat hurts less, the likelihood is usually a Liverpool win or a draw (which these days I celebrate like a win).

We go there in reasonable form but I'm not expecting to get anything because that would go against the grain of how things have gone in the last two decades in derbies: they usually turn up for them and we don't.

If we rock up there and play out of our skin on Sunday and get a positive result then great but to do that all, and I mean ALL of our players will need to be bang on it and the attackers will need to be clinical because against their defence chances will be severely limited.

At Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal we were well in the games but spurned some really really good chances, Bernard at Chelsea in the second half springs to mind and Calvert-Lewin at Arsenal.

If we are to win at Anfield, then – when the chance presents itself – a hero needs to be made and the ball needs to be hitting the back of the net.

Jerome Shields
20 Posted 25/11/2018 at 16:30:26
David #11.

I didn't know about Walcott's circumstances. Though he was having problems with the dual role that Silva is demanding of most of the players.

I agree with your thoughts on positioning; he does help Everton to keep their shape defensively and going forward but there will be increased competition for his place down the line.

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