Silva: We have to score more goals

Saturday, 15 December, 2018 132comments  |  Jump to last

Marco Silva said that today's result at the Etihad Stadium could have been different had Everton taken some of their clear chances during the game.

The Blues lost in the Premier League on Manchester City's turf for the first time in four matches as a brace by Gabriel Jesus and a goal for substitute Raheem Sterling proved decisive.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had scored to make it 2-1 midway through the second half but Sterling's strike, the second headed City goal scored from a cross from the left despite Silva deploying three centre-halves, effectively killed the game even though Everton had other opportunities in a spirited but ultimately ineffective late push.

Silva no complaints about the result and while he praised his players for not giving up at 2-0, he was disappointed by their finishing and their defending.

“I can tell you City deserved the three points,” the Portuguese said in his post-match press conference. “They were more effective than us. The chances they created, they scored and because of that they deserved the three points.

“Until they scored the first goal, the game was within what we expected and planned. They did not shoot once and Jordan didn't have a save to make until that moment.

“The biggest chance until that moment was Richarlison's chance — a big, big chance. Of course, at this level you need to be more effective.

“We knew before the match they had the quality to command the match and the ball, to have more possession, not just against us but against any team in the world. We had to be strong and almost perfect in our defensive organisation as a bloc.

“We did until that moment, but after one mistake (by Mina) we started to lose some confidence.

“I told my players in the second half in the right moments we take more risks to to the keep the chance open to us to fight to get a good result.

“Of course, they scored two in the second half and we could have [things differently]. We had three against one in our box for that cross and we knew how they can create from the sides and how strong they are [there] with Mahrez and Sané.

“When you have Michael and Mina against Jesus and they scored like they scored, that means we could do better, clearly.

“But we showed strong character as a team and scored to make it 2-1, we kept trying. Even if they score too fast to make it 3-1 after our goal, after we had three clear chances to score more goals.

“When you have chances like Richarlison, Richarlison again in the second half, Theo and Dominic, we have to score more goals to make a different result.”


Reader Comments (132)

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Jimmy Hogan
1 Posted 15/12/2018 at 19:10:45
A fair enough assessment by Silva.
Jim Bennings
2 Posted 15/12/2018 at 19:29:54
“We have to score more goals”

No shit, Marco lad!

We have scored one goal in open play from visits to Arsenal, Man United, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

People might want to cream themselves silly over this better style of play but, let's be honest, Bisto Tits probably would have yielded the same outcome from those away trips but would have been destroyed for his style of play.

Are we really playing sexy football or were we just that turgid last season that we now welcome the Roberto Martinez approach again? Because really that's all we are at present, it's Roberto's third season all over again (minus the goals scored before Christmas).

Anyway, sod it – I'm not going to allow Everton to spoil another Christmas for me so I can't even be arsed.

Benjamin Dyke
3 Posted 15/12/2018 at 19:47:46
There is clearly more to get excited about than under Sam but to spend so much money to stand still or even go backwards is galling right now. Hey, let's spend £200M to be not as consistent or enjoyable as we were 10 years ago under Moyes.
Lyndon Lloyd
4 Posted 15/12/2018 at 19:58:05
Put it this way, I would rather be at the stage where we are now with the likes of Digne, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Pickford, Zouma (if we can sign him), and Gomes (if we can sign him) et al with the potential that exists in Bernard and Lookman while still evolving a style than being in a similar position with a dead-end manager like Allardyce in charge.

We still have plenty of room to develop and grow within the framework of what Silva is putting in place and, frankly, I'd rather go to City, have a go, and come out annoyed we didn't put a clear-cut chance away than go to these top-six grounds and barely muster an attack in 90 minutes.

Write this season off (the FA Cup aside) as a season of transition and growth. We're not finishing in the top six this season but we're putting the foundations in place for being able to challenge next season Until then... patience.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 15/12/2018 at 19:59:18
Good point, Benjamin.

It feels like all we ever hear is “this is a season of transition”. Bloody hell I think Aliens will have taken over the Earth by the time Everton eventually move on from 'transition' because that's all I seem to hear anymore.

Since late October, we have beaten Brighton and Cardiff — that tells you everything really.

I said the season before last, you could arguably write down on paper before every season starts the fixtures we might win and the ones we know we can't win and so far I've seen zero surprises.

We got knocked out of the League Cup in October, no surprises there – nice to keep up appearances. We lost at Anfield and never scored there, surprise surprise,, Cilla! We have had 5 trips away to our hoodoo grounds and failed to gain more than a 0-0 draw, and 4 defeats. We will get knocked out of the FA Cup as soon as we draw one of our big six bogey boys.

People can slate me for being negative but I'd call it decades of watching Everton just bringing about a very predictable outcome of mundane boredom these days. I guess it's better than the relegation battles of the '90s but then again there were some rollercoasters in that era too.

It just feels very unfulfilling watching Everton attempt to convince people that genuine progress is being made.

David Greenwood
6 Posted 15/12/2018 at 20:24:11
There is definite progress being made. For instance, Walcott, Lookman, Bernard are light years ahead of Mirallas, McGeady, Naismith.

Silva vs Sam or Koeman:

We've been to Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Man City and our performances are streets ahead of what they have been for many years.

Results haven't changed but at least we're having a go. Once / if we take our chances and cut out the gifts, we can be a force to be reckoned with.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 15/12/2018 at 20:29:32
Sensible post, Lyndon, and hopefully we will come out of this transitional period a much better team in the long run.
Rob Dolby
8 Posted 15/12/2018 at 20:59:16
Going forward, we create chances; I would be worried if we didn't.

How about stopping 2 headers from players 5ft-7in against our 3 6ft plus defenders. I do think that Zouma should be playing each week not sure about Mina he looks like he has too many mistakes in him.

No doubt we need more quality and better decision making when in possession.

There is a predictability about the Premier League, and has been for 25 years, barring Leicester crashing the party.

Against all of the big boys this season, we have had good spells and decent chances but haven't taken them.

We are a work in progress but so are all of the other teams chasing Man City.

Peter Gorman
9 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:07:36
Jim, with all due respect, your point about 'Bisto Tits' is nonsense.

We've lost to all the big sides this season largely for completely failing to take the chances. There wouldn't have been any chances under our former manager.

I'm happier with the style of football than I am watching our guys spooning shots over the bar from 6 yards.

Dave Evans
10 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:08:34
Well said, Lyndon @ 4.

If anything, today's game away at Man City has confirmed to me that we are two transfer windows away from a top 6 finish.

Jeff Armstrong
11 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:12:46
Lyndon, I notice you didn't mention Mina in your assessment there. I'm starting to believe he may be a bit of a liability. I believe there's mistakes, red cards, and own goals waiting to happen there.

Hope I'm wrong but we were doing better with Keane and Zouma as our centre-back pair. I think Silva needs to go back to what was working 4 or 5 games ago.

Derek Knox
12 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:33:09
As someone mentioned on another post, most teams have a bad period in a season, except City possibly, but there again, they were beaten by Chelsea last week, maybe this is our 'bad spell' and if we can ride it out soon, it will make things better.

Look at the start of the season, West Ham went about 5 or 6 games without a win after spending a lot during the summer, they have improved remarkably since then, and could be potential Europa slot contenders.

Although, while we are not exactly a shambles, it's the passing, and not finishing any chance that is created, coupled with the 'kick it anywhere' defending, (usually back to the opposition).

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:41:55
We talk after these games about getting chances to score against the top sides; it's one thing getting chances, it's another thing scoring them. Our players never seem to be able to rise to the occasion and take opportunities which would give us the chance to win: same at Arsenal; same at Anfield.

Until we get clinical forward players who can get one chance and be certain to score with it, then each season will be transition and we'll always be just competing but not beating the top six.

It's not even really just the top six though that we are struggling against, we failed to kill the Watford game at half-time and we allowed Newcastle to be comfortable.

At the moment the squad looks exposed and like it's hit a wall, the ideas are running thin on the ground, the subs are having little impact and certain players, Pickford, Mina, Bernard and Sigurdsson have struggled for a few games. Seamus Coleman is a massive problem right now also, his form is Marc Hottiger proportions lately.

We are coming into a crucial point of the season when, if we don't start amassing some points (through wins not draws), then we are likely facing an 8th- or 9th-place finish again.

Peter Mills
14 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:48:50
I am not totally convinced by our manager, but it must be as hellish for him as it is for us to see us playing in these tough away games, create many chances, and miss them.

I'm not sure you can coach clinical finishing, the player can either deliver or not — and those who can... they go to the very best clubs.

Stan Schofield
15 Posted 15/12/2018 at 21:54:25
At the moment, with this team, we are able to prize apart the defences of any team, including the 'top' ones, but unfortunately we cannot finish off in the net. This contrasts with what we did when we had a top striker (Lukaku), where we weren't really able to open teams up, but we could nevertheless score a few goals.

This contrast invites the tantalising prospect of what we could do with this team and a top striker like Lukaku. We could no doubt open teams up through our very good midfield, and then finish them off.

It would be nice if Brands could get Lukaku back. Yes, I know that a lot on here would say they don't want him back, etc, but the fact is, there's a very good chance that, with this team and a striker like him, we'd winning a lot more games, including against the 'top' teams.

Lyndon Lloyd
16 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:20:53
Jeff (11), his omission wasn't an accident because the jury is out. It's very early days but he seems to constantly carry the air of "there's a mistake in him" and that worries me along with his positional sense.

If we could work out how to find him with a set-piece (I'm mystified by how few corners we actually pose a threat from), he might be able to compensate for some of those defensive concerns by chipping in with some goals but, until then...

Danny Broderick
17 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:34:09
Jim (13),

You are drawing too many conclusions from what is a team in transition, 4 months into the manager's new reign.

There is no way that Silva and Brands could right all the wrongs of previous regimes in one transfer window.

For the record, I think Silva got his tactics wrong today, but I think that's the only time I could say that so far this season.

We've shown more promise away at the top 6 teams this season than any time in the previous 5 years. We are crying out for a striker, but let's give the manager a few years, not a few months. Things are just beginning to settle down again at the club.

We went down fighting today, admittedly with our flaws exposed. We are definitely heading in the right direction. We won't be the only team taken apart at Man City away.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:35:06

Don't expect much improvement on finding players from corners or set pieces.

I think if Silva was working on this side of the game then, more than six months into the job, we would have started seeing the evidence in it by now but, each passing game, it's just the same shit half-baked cross that none of our players ever win.

Lawrence Green
19 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:39:49
2008-09 was probably the last occasion we had a team capable of competing in most games – think about that 0150 it's ten years ago! The club has been on the decline for most of that period, there have been 'green shoots' of recovery every so often, but due to circumstances, mostly but not exclusively financial, there hasn't been much by way of success and the last five years has seen heavier investment but little reward on the results front, in fact, we have gone backwards.

Since Moshiri clambered aboard in Feb 2016 Everton have played some 105 Premier League games and have lost 36 of those, drawn 28 and won 41. Marco Silva is responsible for six wins, six defeats and five draws, which is roughly the same as the record has been under Moshiri's stewardship.

Sam Allardyce should never ever be the benchmark for Everton Football Club and neither should the last five years; however, that's the situation that Marco inherited and the one he has had to deal with.

I hear and agree up to a point about the lack of tangible progress made on the pitch, in recent times, despite the significant monies invested in the playing squad, but imagine where the club would be without Moshiri's money; it doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

Also, bear in mind that every Premier League club is making significant investment in their playing staff, not only the chosen few. Spurs have been cited as a club that has made less investment since Moshiri arrived at Goodison, but their starting point along with Liverpool's wasn't remotely the same as Everton's.

Even with his financial backing, the club is still too reliant on loan players such as Gomes and Zouma who may or may not become permanent signings in the future. I do think that retaining Mina in defence at the expense of Zouma has backfired in recent weeks, but it's understandable that Silva made that decision as Mina is here for the longer term, unless of course, he can persuade Zouma to remain at Goodison beyond the end of his loan period.

Everton Football Club needs to generate greater revenue from sources outside of the income it receives from the TV broadasters, in order to retain its best players and thus enable it to invest in better recruits. Until it does that, the repetitive nature of the last decade will continue, unless of course Silva and Brands manage to stumble upon a few unknown and relatively inexpensive superstars and create a team that shocks the footballing world.

Money alone won't solve the issues that our players seem to have with controlling and retaining a football, or with their basic decision making, but until the side is packed with consistent performers, we are doomed to suffer such periods of mediocrity. That's the fate for most club's outside of the elite group, it's depressing and frustrating but it's where we are, it's where we've been for too long.

Now is not the time to pick over Silva's tenure, it's still very early days and, like most other managers, he can only work with the players he has available in his squad. I'd liked to have seen Everton a bit closer to the clubs in the top positions in the league this season but, without a recognised and consistent striker, it was never likely to happen.

Jack Convery
20 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:44:59
Buy Vardy - Simples. Not a promising but a proven goal scorer in the Premier League. 2 seasons should do it and turning promising performances into wins will give our promising team the confidence to go from strength to strength.

Howard Kendall's team was promising, making chances but not taking them. Enter Reid and Gray – the rest is history.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:45:28
If you give away three goals like Everton gave away today, you will definitely need to score a lot of goals to win a game.

Mina made the schoolboy error of a defender passing across his own goal. The other two goals where the result of poor marking, with defenders not having a clue about getting in front of their marker. Again, a schoolboy error. Two 6-ft defenders beaten by two of the smallest forwards heading in goals. This is woeful coaching and tactics.

And finishing wasn't part of the training ground routine again. Diabolical.

Jim Bennings
22 Posted 15/12/2018 at 22:51:17

Vardy, Callum Wilson, any proven Premier League centre-forward.

What we don't want in January is another punt on “potential” or another “supposed to great judging from YouTube” straight from some far flung league abroad with no experience of English football.

We need a “here and now” striker.

Alan McGuffog
23 Posted 15/12/2018 at 23:09:32
Have I missed something? Have either Vardy or indeed Leicester City intimated that Vardy is up for sale? And, if so, is L4 a preferred destination?
Jim Bennings
24 Posted 15/12/2018 at 23:14:49

I think he's gone stale at Leicester now, maybe he'd be up for one last challenge in his career; there's nothing left for him to achieve at Leicester following that title win.

He's a super fit lad who's naturally fit and lean and you'd probably get another good two seasons out of him. I'm not one for all this “only buy players with sell on value”.

I want a player doing it in an Everton shirt now – not have people tell me that we've bought a player that might be amazing in five years time.

Paul Hewitt
25 Posted 15/12/2018 at 23:18:25
You can't blame Silva, the strikers have had some glorious chances to score this season, but missed. What's Silva supposed to do?
Jerome Shields
26 Posted 15/12/2018 at 23:52:31
Paul #25. He's supposed to give them time on the training ground to practice, since Everton have had a problem with poor finishing since the start of the season. If Silva wants Everton to score more goals, he needs to do something about it.
Jerome Shields
27 Posted 15/12/2018 at 23:56:14
Jim #18. I couldn't agree more.
Danny Broderick
28 Posted 16/12/2018 at 00:13:42
Err, do you seriously think they don't practice finishing on the training ground, Jerome?!
Martin Berry
29 Posted 16/12/2018 at 00:21:21
We learned today .that three at the back does not work, that we have to work harder to keep possession, that we need to take our chances when they arrive, that Walcott and Lookman can play in the same side, that if we put quality crosses into anyone's box then you can score, even against possibly the best club side in the world.

Today we learnt more than through any other game we have played this season, and it's a benchmark for our aspirations.

The faithful need to have patience as project Everton is in its infancy!!!

David Connor
30 Posted 16/12/2018 at 00:52:42
There's one way for us to score more goals. Buy better fucking players because the majority of ours couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo. They are bloody useless.

Our midfield is shot-shy and our strikers are shite apart from Richarlison. Get ruthless our continue as we have for years as cannon fodder for the big boys. We can't even beat a piss poor Newcastle and Watford at home. Things need to change and bloody fast.

I for one am well and truly pissed off with our limp perfomances of late. Most of that squad need to go between the next 2 transfer windows. That includes some of the untouchables who get their money far too easily.

Nicholas Ryan
31 Posted 16/12/2018 at 01:54:23
Jim [5] 'People can slate me for being negative...' Duly slated.

Yerry Mina is the poor man's Marco Materrazi.

Walcott, is like a fisherman with a £1,000 rod. It all looks great, but nothing ever ends up in the net!

Robert Leigh
32 Posted 16/12/2018 at 07:53:29
Vardy is not what we need – he isn't exactly smashing them in.

Calvert-Lewin will come good but, for now, just someone to knock them in will do, and there's a man wanting to play who fits the bill: Defoe.

I know he's ‘experienced', for want of a less kind word, but he knows how to score and will help the other lads in training.

[*tin hat on*]

Mark Murphy
33 Posted 16/12/2018 at 08:17:28
In the words of my best mate's dad back in early 84 – “Some day soon, this team is gonna click and we'll hammer someone.”

Keep the faith – we're getting there!

Jeff Armstrong
34 Posted 16/12/2018 at 08:32:40
Mark, that '84 team had goal scorers all through it: Sharp, Gray, Heath etc – and that was just up top!

Even if we do click sometime soon, we will not hammer anyone because we do not have enough goal scorers in the team, a click and hammering from this current team would be 3-0 at best! That would do me though.

Jim Bennings
35 Posted 16/12/2018 at 08:34:44

Two years ago I'd have sold my house to bring Defoe here but I don't know if he's going to last much longer, I'm astonished that bigger clubs over the years never went for Defoe, especially before his bizarre move to Sunderland.

We do need a Premier League proven striker though. I believe it's the one area of the pitch where you don't take risks on unknowns from abroad. We've been burned too many times over the years on unknown strikers.

Ajay Gopal
36 Posted 16/12/2018 at 08:51:35
Calvert-Lewin has a decent scoring record; I hope that he will come good like Kane. Marco should persist with Calvert-Lewin and Lookman – I believe they represent more of a possible future Everton strike force than punts on some unknown entities.

And those talking about Lukaku, Immobile, Timo Werner, etc are living in Fantasy World – they won't come to a team that does not play in Europe.

Jeff Armstrong
37 Posted 16/12/2018 at 09:05:01
Defoe in January for 6 months, win the FA Cup, Europa League next season, job done.
Anthony Hawkins
38 Posted 16/12/2018 at 09:05:26
Silva is right but the team are missing a recognised striker who can score 20 goals a season. That's what we need.

Richarlison can move to the wing with Lookman and then Bernard in the middle.

Liam Reilly
39 Posted 16/12/2018 at 09:17:09
Silva is spot on with his assessment and has been with his comment at all the top sides' grounds.

The only stat that matters is the result at the end of the day but Silva can't put the ball in the net for these guys. Richarlison has to head that first opportunity and just get the second on target and it's a different game.

For those too tired of hearing 'transition', even Klippety took 18 months to build his side. Do you remember what we watched last season, being bossed in Europe by minnows and have the worst shots per game in the Premier League. No-one can take the side from that to top 6 in 6 months.

Charlie Dixon
40 Posted 16/12/2018 at 09:20:18
You do occasionally read some utter garbage on here.

Jermaine Defoe is NOT the answer!!!

Pat Kelly
41 Posted 16/12/2018 at 10:11:30
I just don't understand the negativity. This time last season, we were mid-table, didn't have a striker, couldn't score for nuts, were still faffing around about the new stadium... but look at us now.
Stan Schofield
42 Posted 16/12/2018 at 10:50:23
One problem with yesterday was the absence of Gana. The midfield three of Gana, Gomes and Sigurdsson has been very good, particularly against the top sides, opening those sides up, rattling them. This is a MASSIVE improvement over recent years.

I'm no tactician, but I agree with those who question the use of three centre-backs. It simply will not work against the top sides, because it gives them the space they need for their expansive football, and denies us the space we need for OUR expansive football.

This Everton side has the ability to fight fire with fire against the top sides, albeit without the final killer punch in front of goal. But playing three at the back seems to reduce our chances of creating opportunities in front of goal. The less chances you create, the less chance you have of scoring.

It seems that three at the back has never really worked well for us, and I can't understand why it's continued.

Jim Bennings
43 Posted 16/12/2018 at 10:57:46

I can't see Calvert-Lewin being anything other than a present-day Cadamarteri, Barlow, or Vaughan.

He's a substitute that fluffs or mis-hits the odd goal here and there and those talking about the goals he's scored, well 5 of his goals have come against Rotherham, Sunderland (when a Championship club) and Ruzemberok (a dog-and-duck team). I just don't see how he'll be any better at 25 than he is now.

There's no way we can move forward with the belief that Calvert-Lewin will be a long-term answer and when has Ademola Lookman really looked like scoring many league goals? (And he's played more minutes than people think.)

Our strike force is frankly shit for a team wanting to challenge the top six.

Peter Gorman
44 Posted 16/12/2018 at 12:05:40
"I just don’t see how he’ll be any better at 25 than he is now."

Seriously, Jim?

Jim Bennings
45 Posted 16/12/2018 at 12:22:44
Seriously, Peter, yes!

Was Cadamarteri, Anichebe, Barlow any better at 25 than 21?

Not every young player is going to be great.

Peter Gorman
46 Posted 16/12/2018 at 12:26:35
Jim, there is no comparison between Calvert-Lewin and those guys. His attitude is so different.

Have you seen any improvement in him at all since he broke into the team at 19? You think he has peaked at 21?

Each to their own but the odds are not in your favour.

George Cumiskey
47 Posted 16/12/2018 at 13:13:42
Jim @ 43 — spot on, mate.
Jim Bennings
48 Posted 16/12/2018 at 13:17:30

Calvert-Lewin has a better attitude than James Vaughan, the lad who ruined his body through basically running through brick walls playing for us?

If you really think he's going to be that good at the age of 25, then we'll await the big offers from Manchester United or Tottenham, eh, when he's had two or three seasons of scoring 20 Premier League goals... I can't wait!

Dave Bowen
49 Posted 16/12/2018 at 13:31:23
None of our forwards can do anything as old-fashioned as hold the ball up, which is what we needed against Man City. Tosun would probably have been better than Calvert-Lewin for this, but the rest of his game is awful.

Out of our so-called strikers, only Niasse can be called a goal-scorer but has other obvious limitations. Maybe play Walcott centrally as he always wanted to at Arsenal.

Calvert-Lewin should probably go on loan to a Championship club. I think he has a future but he's definitely not ready yet. Bin Tosun back to Turkey asap.

Lawrence Green
50 Posted 16/12/2018 at 13:37:42
According to the BBC:

'Since the start of last season, no Everton player has scored more goals than Calvert-Lewin (13, level with Sigurdsson).'

I don't know whether this includes cup goals but it tells a sorry tale as far as Everton are concerned; it also makes me think that Calvert-Lewin deserves a place in the starting line-up as our main striker – until we purchase one better than we have.

Jim Bennings
51 Posted 16/12/2018 at 13:41:31
If Calvert-Lewin was this answer to the striking woes, then we'd have probably won at Arsenal in September and won the Merseyside derby at Goodison in April last season.

He's scored 13 goals which have all been scuffed or bounced 20 times before hitting the net; the least tidy striker of a ball I've seen since the Arouna Kone days. (Even Kone scored a hat-trick in one game but that doesn't mean he was the answer.)

Paul Tran
52 Posted 16/12/2018 at 13:55:14
The difference this season is that we have a semblance of a strategy on and off the pitch.

After binning the Koeman -Walsh regime, Allardyce was appointed to 'save' us. After we were clearly going to finish in the top half, Allardyce managed as if nothing beyond the next game mattered. Moshiri clearly saw this and made the changes on and off the pitch.

If we're going to get near the top five, we won't do it in 4 months. We've bought footballers, we're starting to look half-decent on our better days without the quality finisher we desperately need.

A proven scorer would make a huge difference to this team, as would a strong, passing midfielder.

I think we're nearly there.

Jim Bennings
53 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:03:19

I thought we already had a strong passing midfielder in Gomes?

We've got a goal-scoring midfielder in Sigurdsson so that's not a pressing issue either?

I'm not too sure I'm as positive as where I see us heading right this moment; I think, if we are still languishing behind the likes of Wolves by the Spring, then it's not even a case of challenging the top 6 but not being good enough to fend off the teams we should see off.

If we don't get our act together then, come New Year, it's quite possible we could be 12th in the table and that's not part of the plan, even short-term.

I get what people say about things taking time but it seems like it's the same shit every year with a slightly different dressing.

Regardless of the style of football (we've had sexy under Roberto and then had dire under Allardyce), at the end of the day, it's a results business.

Dan Davies
55 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:10:49
I understand your frustration, Jim, I'm pissed off too but we must give Brands and Silva a fair crack of the whip – they're still finding their way around Finch Farm and Goodison Park probably!
Brian Murray
56 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:11:02
What we have so far found out is we have no-one in the squad who can finish at the chance-per-goal ratio we need to win big games. A shot in the dark but maybe young Simms might be the answer? If not, all our good work will be in vain.

Plus, in Silva's defense, his subs as game-changers are very limited; whether he's a bit indecisive or not, I hope that's all it is... otherwise, the hunt for a winning mentality and manager continues.

Paul Tran
57 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:12:14
Jim, my idea of a strong centre-mid is the hard bastard who runs through the opposition, keeps the ball and protects the back four. Gomes would be his softer, cultured partner.

I think that kind of midfielder, with a proven finisher up top, would make a huge difference to this team.

Of course it's a results business, but I think the way we're building, if we get the recruitment right, it is the way to get lasting improvement.

You don't need to be a blind optimist to notice the improvements this season; you don't need to be a curmudgeon to see the two types of player we need to start bridging the gap.

Peter Gorman
58 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:23:55
Jim, are you drunk? Where did James Vaughan come from all of a sudden? Re-read your posts, for Christ's sake.

Also, yeah, I do think Vaughan was better at 25 than 21; he was banging goals in at Huddersfield. Something to do with more experience.

"He's scored 13 goals which have all been scuffed" — Bullshit of the highest order.

I get that you don't rate him, but stop constantly shifting the goalposts (now big offers from Man Utd need to vindicate him!) and recognise that the chances really are that he will be an improved striker in four years time.

Jay Wood

59 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:25:07
Jim @ 51.

"Calvert-Lewin ...scored 13 goals which have all been scuffed or bounced 20 times before hitting the net, the least tidy striker of a ball I've seen since the Arouna Kone days."

Garbage. Pure invention. Back up that claim with a detailed description of his goals, Jim.

The facts are, based on this season alone when many are demanding we add more goals to the team, Richarlison leads with 8 with a goals-per-minutes-played rate of one every 161 minutes; Sigurdson is 2nd with 7 with a goal every 213 minutes; Calvert-Lewin is 3rd with 5 and a goal every 114 minutes. Add to that tally another 5 goals he has scored with England U-21s in 192 minutes – a goal every 38 minutes played.

Those stats alone might suggest to some we need to give Calvert-Lewin more game time, not less... or, even worse, pack him off to a Championship side so someone else can benefit from him.

In the meantime, do what you always do, Jim: promote the flavour of the month, week, weekend or day you randomly pick up on as the solution to our striker issues.

Jim Bennings
60 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:27:15
Doucoure and Callum Wilson? Two proven players pretty much free of risk because they have proved they can play in this league.

I also suggest a genuine serious contender to replace Seamus Coleman at some point. No matter what way you look at it, Seamus is 30 and his particular position is all about running up and down the flank; I don't think he can do that well anymore.

Jay Wood

61 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:31:08
Annnddd... right on cue, Jim. You nominate a couple of flavour-of-the-moment players.
Iain Johnston
62 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:32:31
I dunno why there's so much angst about the Man City game. If you can't beat the likes of Huddersfield, Newcastle and Watford at home, plus only manage a 1-0 against Cardiff, what other outcome did many of you expect?

We were outplayed by a struggling West Ham at Goodison; same can be said for Watford, so you think travelling to clubs in the recognised top 5 or 6 and losing is a surprise?

Those who have said we are no better than a decade ago are right; so too are those saying we've reverted back to the Bobby Brown Shoes style of Chuckle Brothers back-five passing – not to mention the same around the opposition's penalty box.

Pre Moshiri, many of us said that Lukaku would be replaced by an aged Rooney; yep. Pre Moshiri, many of us said that, when Lukaku leaves, we'll not replace him; yep.

The only thing that's changed is the price you pay for mediocrity. Oh, and maybe the polish — we've replaced the Brasso for Goddards.

George Cumiskey
63 Posted 16/12/2018 at 14:58:01
Jim Benning — keep it up, mate; you're spot on. Let all these others bang on about stats. The only stats that matter are how many goals they score in the Premier League.
Jay Wood

64 Posted 16/12/2018 at 15:15:05
George @ 64.

There are two types of evidence people can usefully bring to any debate: statistical and empirical evidence. The latter refers to that which is seen, which is more open to dispute and varied qualification determined by each individual beholder, oft times heavily influenced by their own preconceived notion of a player.

Jim doesn't 'do' either. He makes wild unsubstantiated claims which are easily disproved by both statistical and empirical evidence.

He will not, for example, be able to back up his earlier claim that all of Calvert-Lewin's goals have been 'scuffed or bounced 20 times before hitting the net [and that he is] the least tidy striker of a ball I've seen since the Arouna Kone days.'

Any 'Rant Radio' station would love a contributor like Jim to boost their ratings, who brings a scatter-gun approach to all things Everton, but seldom, if ever, hits the target.

George Cumiskey
65 Posted 16/12/2018 at 15:43:09
Jay, you post page after page of in-depth analysis and statistics, but the only evidence I need is that of my eyesight. Because, bar for a few games, we have been really poor.

The manager doesn't seem to be learning from past mistakes. I really hope he starts to; if you think we are making progress, then you're watching a different match to me.

And please don't say we're a work in progress as you don't get time for that in the Premier League.

Dan Davies
66 Posted 16/12/2018 at 15:51:22
With regard to Calvert-Lewin, if anyone came in with a bid of say £15 million, do you think we would sell?
Dave Evans
67 Posted 16/12/2018 at 15:58:41
Jay. Your logic and rationalism are wasted.

We all know, if someone feels something to be true, it is... and that – if things always went tits up in the past – they will always go tits up in the future.

Andy Meighan
68 Posted 16/12/2018 at 16:11:35
Jim, I'm afraid to say, is right. As much as Calvert-Lewin is a willing lad and runs his proverbials off, he just doesn't possess the quality at this level. I don't think he 'll score more than 10 league goals all season if given a run in the side.

The one thing I wouldn't agree with Jim on is Vardy, who is 32 and, as someone rightly pointed out, he's hardly banging them in; he has been benched a lot lately. That said, he can take a penalty better than the Icelandic imposter, so maybe that's a reason to sign him.

Wilson I'm not sure on either; he seems to be flavour of the month. I'd have Doucoure in a heartbeat. Big, strong, quick, and will weigh in with the odd goal — something most of our midfielders seem to be lacking.

I think Jim has made some good points because, what I'm watching, the football has been no better under Silva than what it was under the last two clowns. He will get it right, though, I'm certain of it.

Jim Bennings
73 Posted 16/12/2018 at 16:26:43
Yeah, of course, lads let's just be patient and finish 8th every season; win nothing, never turn up for games against the top 6.

The atmosphere is so turgid and silent at Goodison Park these days that even most long-serving fans seem to reflect the malaise about where this club is or is going — excitement and the surprise element is virtually null and void.

But don't worry, we are 'a work in progress' and 'in transition' aren't we?

After all, isn't that what we've been saying the last 10 years?

“We are a work in progress — this time next year, we'll be great.”

I suppose it beats "This Time Next Year, We'll Be Millionaires..." lol.

Jamie Crowley
74 Posted 16/12/2018 at 16:52:01

I've no problem at all with your opinions or analysis – some of which I agree with; some of which I don't.

I would suggest, however, if married, you spend some time with your Mrs and try to get lucky. It'll help the pent-up frustration. If you're not married, hook up or take matters into your own hands.

Laugh, Jim. The second paragraph was a joke.

Frank Sheppard
75 Posted 16/12/2018 at 16:55:03
I would get excited with Vardy in the team: he's fast and a finisher. I think he would make a big difference.
Jamie Crowley
76 Posted 16/12/2018 at 16:55:28
Silva says we need to score more.
William Gall
77 Posted 16/12/2018 at 17:03:00
Why all the negativity about Calvert-Lewin? We are all aware that we need a better striker up front and that we have just been using different players as a stop gap. Calvert-Lewin is no better than other players who have played there except for maybe Richarlison, who has scored a couple of goals from this position.

Surely it would be better, when you have no-one else, to give some encouragement to a player who never stops trying. I doubt if anyone would complain if he scored with the ball deflected, going in off his head while lying on the ground, if it came against Tottenham next weekend.

Brent Stephens
78 Posted 16/12/2018 at 17:03:38
Jim #2 "Anyway, sod it – I'm not going to allow Everton to spoil another Christmas for me so I can't even be arsed".

Jim #5, #13, #18, #22, #24, #35, #43, #45, #48, #51, #53, #60, #75 – please never become arsed!

Jay Wood

79 Posted 16/12/2018 at 17:12:13
George @ 66.

Your post is living proof of what I said about empirical evidence, the most difficult type of evidence to find common consensus on because each and every individual sees the same scenario differently.

You (and evidently Jim Bennings) are not seeing any progress, either by the manager, the team or individuals. Plenty others are.

And everything in life, never mind 22 blokes kicking a bloated pig skin around a field, is always transient.

Everton certainly have been under the ownership of Moshiri. We are already on to our fifth manager (including Unsworth) in less than 3 years; one wedge of a transfer kitty was wastefully blown last year; Brands and Silva inherited a shambles. There was never going to be a quantum leap forward this season, let alone in the first half-season.

But yet again, in his last post, Jim invents an attitude he attributes to the wider Everton support: that we are 'happy' with 8th and always (and only) apologetic and saying 'we are a work in progress.'

There are plenty – but plenty – who want not to just win one-off games against the very best in the Premier League, but to genuinely compete with them for trophies. I am among them.

What I will not do, as way of example of Jim Bennings's very particular mindset (which he laughably mocks and questions in other Blues), is – as he did in the wake of the derby game – wish for some bizarre Faustian pact that would see Liverpool eliminated by Napoli in the Champions League, with the pay off being that Everton wouldn't win a game this side of Christmas. And in the same breath, claiming himself to be a staunch Evertonian.

And he mocks the 'ambition' and 'small-time thinking' of fellow Blues, then posts verbal diarrhoea as per the example above.


Sam Hoare
80 Posted 16/12/2018 at 17:21:57
Brent @80, ha ha, yes I noticed that too.

Jim Bennings, you talk about lack of ambition but then say we should get Vardy, an ageing player who can't get game time for a team below us in the Premier League and who will be 32 in January and relies heavily upon his dwindling pace!

Callum Wilson is a different kettle of fish and I think he would be a good signing, though rumour has it that Chelsea have lined him up. And the notion that we should only buy players with proven Premier League experience is obviously garbage; see Bolasie, Williams, Schneiderlin etc and also Aubemayang, Aguero, Lacazette, Henry, Suarez etc.

Brian Williams
81 Posted 16/12/2018 at 17:29:41
We should look at Lukaku as we'd get two strikers in one because, looking at him at Anfield today, he doesn't so much look like Yakubu — more like he's eaten Yakubu!
Jim Bennings
82 Posted 16/12/2018 at 17:45:32
The same ToffeeWebbers jumped on me when I suggested signing Shaqiri because he's a match winner when he's on his game but was met with.

“Oh, he's a lazy inconsistent nobody — why would we touch Shaqiri?”

Too many Everton fans these days have probably started watching this club when Moyes was here, content to always celebrate finishing 8th, punching above our weight, getting pats on the back from big Pep and Co.

Peter Gorman
83 Posted 16/12/2018 at 18:21:36
"Too many Everton fans these days have probably started watching this club when Moyes was here."

The sheer nerve of people to be born after you, Jim. Wish these young people would all just fuck off.

George Cumiskey
84 Posted 16/12/2018 at 19:34:49
Jay, like I said page after page of posts but actually saying nothing, it's definitely a gift.

Oh, by the way, what does 'empirical' mean? It will save me getting my dictionary out.

Neil Copeland
85 Posted 16/12/2018 at 19:37:19
Not sure if I get it. Are people suggesting that we carry on regardless until we can hopefully bring in a decent striker in January (unlikely, in my opinion, but I'm more than happy to be proven wrong) rather than try something different by giving Calvert-Lewin a run?

What did Einstein say about doing the same thing over and again? Surely we should be giving Calvert-Lewin his chance if only to determine he is not the answer.

As someone identified earlier in the thread, we have only scored once in open play against the top 6 so far this season – yeah and guess who scored it.

Neil Copeland
86 Posted 16/12/2018 at 19:41:35
A bit off topic, I know, but I am trying to get tickets for some of the away games but can't because I only have 2 match credits and need a minimum of 5.

1) How do I get my match credits up if I cannot buy tickets for away fixtures in the first place?

2) If I bought a ticket through StubHub, will I receive the match credit for it?


Phillip Warrington
87 Posted 16/12/2018 at 20:13:21
It is so frustrating to just say the reason we are not doing well is that we don't have a 20 plus goal scorer a season, but that still won't cut out basic errors and gift goals that are starting to creep into our play and its not just the defence that is to blame.

This season started so brightly but the basic fact is we have still not won against the top six and we struggle with teams from six down to 12, and again we have been knocked out early in the cup.

I guess another season of skits and jokes from the Everton - Liverpool banter page from my friends (I live in Melbourne, Australia and have supported Everton for 50 years. I blame me dad – he was a mad Everton supporter who emigrated to Australia when I was 2. Over here, everyone is a Liverpool supporter.

Even when my dad was alive and they started the Merseyside Darts and social club, it was like 50 members, 3 Everton supporters, the rest Liverpool supporters.

So, as a result, when I go into social hibernation due to built-up frustration at never really being in the same league as the big teams, my friends know not to send me or give me any Liverpool banter.

Which really makes me appreciate how frustrating it must be for Everton fans living in Liverpool. My dad always used to say he didn't come from Liverpool, he came from Birkenhead

Kenny Smith
88 Posted 16/12/2018 at 20:16:19
None of our actual centre-forwards are up to it. Calvert-Lewin is the best of a bad bunch. We need to try and bring two in in January.

How we've got to this is beyond me, we've got so many wingers, we've had to loan two out but have got three of the poorest forwards in the Premier League making the matchday squads most weeks.

January can't come quick enough. Saying that, I think Silva's doing a decent job but this is going to take time.

Bill Gienapp
89 Posted 16/12/2018 at 20:28:42
What are these people who rip the "work in progress" mentality even advocating? Sacking Silva and bringing in another manager, then jettisoning him a month later if we aren't top six? Heck, why stop there? Let's bring in a new manager every week and sack him at halftime if we aren't winning by two goals.

I hate to break it to you but, no matter what manager we bring in, no matter what players we sign, no matter how much money we spend, it's going to take time. You have to crawl before you can walk. You have to walk before you can run. That's just the way it is. If you're looking for instant gratification, prepare to be disappointed.

Tony Twist
90 Posted 16/12/2018 at 20:29:35
Martinez Mark 2. We need to not concede and score more goals, Marco.
Brent Stephens
91 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:07:00
Neil #86. Sadly, you don't get the credit.
Neil Copeland
92 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:18:40
Brent, thanks – that's what I assumed but was hoping otherwise. Looks like I need to pray for a good cup run with all home ties then.
Brent Stephens
93 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:24:02
Neil. The Carabao Cup counts... Though no longer this year, sadly.
Neil Copeland
94 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:26:52
Brent, I think that is where my 2 credits have come from. So, the FA Cup doesn’t count?
Jay Wood

95 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:28:21
George @ 84.

You are evidently hard of reading. I gave a clear and simple definition of 'empirical', twice, using one of your own posts as an example – 'what you see with [your] own eyesight'.

And I'd rather have the capacity to express my own opinion than simply echoing another because it resonates with you, as you do without adding anything new. It's definitely not a gift on your part.

Brent Stephens
96 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:39:37
FA Cup counts as well. All games are one credit each.
Neil Copeland
97 Posted 16/12/2018 at 21:40:53
Thanks, looks like I will at least get to 3 then. Appreciate the info.
Mark Andersson
98 Posted 17/12/2018 at 07:38:17
I want to thank all that post on TW; it gives me hours if entertainment. No-one is wrong because you're all right.

If ever Everton were to compete at the top again, it will be in my next life time. I'm just glad I witnessed the 80s although it would have been great for it to have lasted a lot longer than it did.

Man City are still in the shadow of their red neighbours and it will take another 10 years of consistant succsess before they are ever being talked about in the same vein as Man Utd.

Realistically, we need more luck than money... coz money spent so far has seen us swimming against the tide.

Brent Stephens
99 Posted 17/12/2018 at 09:25:17
Neil, today tickets went on sale at 8:00 am for the Brighton game for fans with 5 credits or more. Not yet sold out this morning so my guess is you might get lucky with the next announcement offering tickets to anybody with fewer than 5 credits. You'll need to look out for the next announcement.

Mal van Schaick
100 Posted 17/12/2018 at 09:25:58
Tosun, Calvert-Lewin and Niasse are the only Everton players who are supposed to be recognised goalscorers. We have a good player in Richarlison, but we are asking him to be a makeshift forward. Why?

We sold Lukaku and replaced him with Tosun, and now Tosun doesn't start. Confused? Join the club.

We have to define which players play in which position, and stop this tinkering up front. Either play forwards as forwards and if they're not good enough get rid and buy a recognised goalscorer. Simple.

We have good enough players behind the ball, but we are asking Richarlison to play the striker role. Difficult to understand.

Simon Smith
101 Posted 17/12/2018 at 09:46:33
We need a striker, a goalscoring winger (that may be Lookman, but isn't Walcott), and we need to address the right back situation.

Richalison needs to be joined up top with two goal-getters, this will give us a potent strike force which is something we don't have.

The midfield is strong, the defence has improved, I love Seamus, I really do but he needs to either be given a rest or step up. If Jonjoe Kenny isn't good enough to give Seamus a rest then we need a new right back.

Goals are scored from all over the pitch by top teams; we play good football but we simply don't have enough goals in our squad.

The mentioned players may be out of our reach but, if the Blues were to sign Zaha, Rashford and a right back of the level of Digne then the top 4 would be in trouble. Ignore the names above as genuine targets, I'm more pointing to them as examples in Zaha scores from wide areas while creating chances for a striker, Rashford is a young hard-working forward who scores goals and has a bright future, and again the right back situation needs looking at.

If I'm honest, I'd look at giving Calvert-Lewin a run of games, with Richarlison left and Lookman on the right, this gives us a very mobile forward line with plenty of potential. Tosun and Niasse have no future at the club, I also wouldn't be surprised to see Walcott sold in the summer, so why not give the above three a real go at things between now and the end of the season?

Joe McMahon
102 Posted 17/12/2018 at 09:55:46
Simon @101, I 100% agree – very realistic.
Derek Taylor
103 Posted 17/12/2018 at 10:26:04
I am glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks Everton are going nowhere – at least as far as things on the field are concerned.

A brief glance at the record since Moyes moved on will show that managerial appointments have been a disaster; most signings even more so and the outlook for the future 'top half' at best.

For those who have suffered less years of 'showing patience' than I have, it is their duty to serve their sentence as so many of us have done. I do not begrudge them their optimism nor the opportunity to fiddle around with team selection and formations – I've done it for years – but think not that you can turn this sorry lot into Top Five challengers.

Mid-table or just above is our lot – not just for now but forever.

Brian Harrison
104 Posted 17/12/2018 at 11:06:26

I don't know if your post is the most optimistic or pessimistic post I have ever read on ToffeeWeb.

It's super-optimistic that we will forever be in the top division but no better than mid-table; or it's pessimistic for us never getting better than mid-table.

Jim Bennings
105 Posted 17/12/2018 at 11:07:51
Basically, Derek, you'll get ripped apart for having that opinion, mate, so have a tin hat ready.

What's happened is since Moyes left we have been left behind again (much like in the early '90s with the inception of the Premier League). The last six years have seen Tottenham leave us behind in a trail of dust (Spurs a team who we were regularly finishing above under Moyes).

We are imagining that we are making progress when really we aren't even at the same stage we were in about 2007 when we were finishing 5th.

We have been left behind because, for whatever reason we can't attract big sponsorships, we can't compete off the pitch and it's started showing over the last six years that we can't. It's not Silva's fault because he's just another victim of this clubs inability to properly move forwards.

We can start talking about progress when we are in the Champions League most seasons or have won something noteworthy. Finishing 8th, 9th or 10th and just playing a better style isn't progress — that's just the same shit served with a different dressing.

James Hughes
106 Posted 17/12/2018 at 11:13:40
Derek, c'mon, mate — Mid-table or just above is our lot - not just for now but forever. Must be a struggle to get up in the morning with that much optimism.

Seriously though, I understand where you are coming from. Moshri was supposed to be our knight in shining armour, returning us to the top of the pile. Instead, on board the good ship Everton, we have had a bit of a mess and a broken rudder. We all know the issues, no point in me listing them.

Instead, try looking on the bright side. Man Utd, one of the financially biggest clubs on the planet, are having a great time. Maureen continues to sulk, they have wasted money on Pogba & Fred (£150 mill.) They got hammered at Mordor; at least we gave them a game. We still came away with nothing but... well... erm...

They say Jose has a 3-year cycle with any team, gets bored and loses focus. Well, Marco has a 3-month focus! 3 months of good results at Hull & Watford, then tails off; 3 months with us and he is tailing off, see the pattern? [I ain't being serious with the last bit.]

I still choose to believe we will get it right both on and off the pitch and hopefully Moshri now has the right people to advise him. I also believe the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium will happen as that will give him the returns he seeks.

Brian Harrison
107 Posted 17/12/2018 at 11:22:12
James @106,

Talking about our new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, I saw a tweet yesterday showing a video inside Spurs new ground. The pictures are amazing the concourse inside is brilliant!

I would be super excited if I was Spurs fan. I don't know who designed their stadium, but Dan Meis will have to come up with something very special to top it.

John McFarlane Snr
108 Posted 17/12/2018 at 12:04:38
Hi James [106],

I generally avoid main-stream topics and focus on nostalgia, but I'm informed that there's no future in that now. I am by nature a 'glass half-empty' man but there are some who don't appear to have a glass.

We all know what needs addressing to improve matters on and off the field, and I include Moshiri, Brands, and Silva in that select company. As an 80-year-old supporter, 70 of those years regularly attending matches, I have seen the good, the bad, and the horrible.

I become as disappointed as any other fan when things aren't going well, but I don't beat myself up over it. I realise that I can't rectify the mistakes that have been made over the years. There are certain things that I may express views on (team selection, for example) but I also know that, if my opinion was shared by Marco Silva and Everton lost 3-0, I wouldn't have to face the flak.

I can use the semi-final of the FA Cup as an example: I questioned the selection of Kevin Sheedy, who justified Howard Kendall's choice by playing a major part in the victory. Had the gamble not paid off, Kendall would have no doubt come in for a considerable amount of stick, and I would have escaped scot-free.

I also believe that berating the management, staff, and players relieves the pent-up emotions, but it does nothing to solve the problems. We as supporters are unfortunately in no position to right the perceived wrongs. Apologies for the ramblings, it's my way of letting off steam.

Jason Wilkinson
109 Posted 17/12/2018 at 12:11:42
Time to weigh in with my 2 pence worth.

St Jordan of Pickford needs to be sat down and shown videos of his positional howlers. Don't get me wrong — he is a good goalie, one of the best in the Premier League — but still has an awful lot to learn.

Does anyone at Finch Farm work on corners and set pieces? We must be the easiest team to play against in the division.

We missed Gana against Man City. His break-up play is not replicated by anyone else in a blue shirt.

Bernard is not that good. Playing three at the back doesn't work. Zouma is much better than Mina.

Marco Silva must be given more funds and more time to build a team. ToffeeWebbers would have us relegated by now if we followed through with their suggested buys. Richarlison needs to stay on his feet more and stop complaining every time he is challenged (it's becoming an embarrassment). Lookman must start the next three games on the left.

Half-term report will read. "Improved style, same old results. C+".

Dave Abrahams
110 Posted 17/12/2018 at 12:21:56
Derek (103), good post.

As Sydney Greenstreet, in "The Maltese Falcon", said to Humphrey Bogart: "By gad, sir, I like a man who tells it like it is" — or words to that effect. I have not seen it lately.

Well, Derek, that's what you are doing, telling it as you see it. None of us can say you are wrong but "By gad, sir, I certainly hope you are!"

By the way, I am told that "sad tales" fella in Family at War was named Derek!!!

Fran Mitchell
111 Posted 17/12/2018 at 12:37:32
Looking at the league, it is divided into 4 clear groups.

1) A top-2 on 44/45 points;

2) Then there are 3 teams battling for Champions League football on 39/37/34 points;

3) Then 8 teams from 6th to 13th with between 26 and 21 points, with the winners of this group getting 6th place (and a possible, not certain, Europa League place);

4) Then the bottom 7 on between 16 and 9 points, all of whom are battling against the drop.

Any movement between these groups is unlikely.

In our mini-league of 8, we're now in 3rd. Our aim should be a minimum of 2nd, and a target of 1st (6th place, above Man Utd).

Aspirations to move into one of the groups above us will require patience, money, and luck. To expect it this season, or to have expected it, is unreasonable. A shame, yes, but true. We have a generally new and young team, with a young manager.

Liverpool's attack, for example, as well as being well bedded in, is full of players at 26/27/28 years of age. They are at their peak, and it shows.

Richarilson is still a kid; hopefully we will sign others like him, and in 3 years they'll be reaching their peak together, and we will be a force to be reckoned with.

We are slightly underperforming from what should be our expectations: the 2 home draws, 4 points dropped, pushing us down to 8th, when we should be 6th. But it is no disaster, and we ain't in a crisis. We are improving, but to improve to the level we want will take much longer than many can accept.

Clive Rogers
112 Posted 17/12/2018 at 13:01:12
I am also of the opinion that Silva and Brands need more time but will get it right eventually. They will definitely need another summer window, if not more, before any sort of challenge to the top six is feasible.

Brands said from the start it would be a long-term project. The summer signings definitely took us away from relegation candidates to mid table.

My appraisal of the six signings:

Digne: excellent, would be comfortable in any team. Has pace and good attacking qualities. Occasionally caught too far forward.

Mina: good but not as dominant as I hoped, but early days and should improve with coaching.

Zouma: has improved with each game. We need his pace at the back.

Gomes: excellent, class player but won't give us many goals from midfield.

Richarlison: excellent, but is not as comfortable up front on his own. Should develop into a top player.

Bernard: struggles at times with the physicality of the Premier League, and won't provide many goals.

Brian Harrison
113 Posted 17/12/2018 at 13:20:17
It is going to be very hard to break into the top 6 then top 4. Yes the investment from Moshiri will help but to be able to attract the quality of players that the normal top 6 in the league can attract is impossible. We would need to be able to offer Champions League football on a regular basis for that to happen and, being realistic, that may be an impossible task.

The amount of money the top 6 generate not only swells their coffers it also attracts top players. You only have to look at our neighbours never won the Premier League but because of their history in the Champions League they are still a big draw for players.

Spurs under Pochettino are now starting to get regular Champions League places, so while not having the buying power of the other top 6 getting into the Champions League will attract better players. I would also imagine that their new stadium will bring extra revenue streams.

I think they are definitely the template we need to follow, they appointed a young progressive coach and they buy very well. I think with Brands and Silva, Moshiri is looking to do what Spurs have done. they are probably 3/4 years ahead of us at present.

The worry for Spurs is a lot of what they have achieved is largely down to Pochettino, and should they lose him they might find replacing him extremely hard and it would seriously impact on them. Let's remember things didn't go great for Pochettino when he first went to Spurs and we must show the same patience with Silva.

Ian Bennett
114 Posted 17/12/2018 at 13:27:40
Give Silva and Brands a chance. The squad has gone through a huge change (bloody needed) and he's still got upwards of 12 players to shift, never mind shifting what he doesn't like in the main squad.

Two or three windows I think you can make an assessment of what is possible. It looks a closed shop – but teams like Spurs need to deliver before the squad ages or stars brake up.

Pat Waine
115 Posted 17/12/2018 at 14:01:52
Have people forgotten that Koeman wrecked the club?

It will take time to repair...

Chris Watts
116 Posted 17/12/2018 at 14:37:53
Sorry but Calvert-Lewin does not show any attributes of a great striker and I agree with Jim I can't see it dramatically improving. Yes, he scored on the weekend but he totally missed the ball and it went off the defender. Saying that, I actually think he is a decent header of the ball. It's the rest of his game that is woeful.

He literally never gets to the ball first. It can't be pace, he actually seems to move away from the best position. His shooting is awful; he falls down constantly. When me and the boy are watching we often wonder if he's still on the pitch.

I was watching old footage of Michael Owen goals from 1998. Lad was 18, what amazing goals and pace. How do we uncover one of him, imagine if he didn't get injured in 2001.

Dave Evans
117 Posted 17/12/2018 at 14:38:58
When working in Swindon, I remember going along to watch Man City there when they were in the Championship or equivalent. City were crap. Their supporters the most miserable, cynical, rain-soaked bunch of fuckers imaginable.

Having the means to get the right people in, changed things for them.

Some may choose to believe Everton are 'destined' to be mid-table forever. But, for some of us, the world runs on cause and effect and we put pre-determined future destinies alongside bone-rattling and rune-tossing.

It ain't true.

Brian Furey
118 Posted 17/12/2018 at 14:49:11
Good post Brian @113.

It never ceases to amaze me the shite talk some people constantly come out with. It's so easy to say he's rubbish and she should be sacked and he shouldn't play but it's a lot harder to offer REAL solutions.

It took Man City years and a hell of a lot of wasted money on flops such as Robinho, Balotelli, Jo, Mangala, Bony etc before they started to get near the top. Liverpool have been there for years as nearly men and have spent millions and had some brilliant players who came and left but again never won the title.

The Leicester win was something unique and gives the smaller less wealthy teams hope but it is a bloody tough job to win football titles and trophies and that's why we need to be realistic.

We are not a big club any more, financially or trophy wise. Yes we can dream and believe we can win things but realistically we are probably scrapping with Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs for 4th, 5th and 6th places for the years ahead unless one of them has a bad season or a very good season.

I'd love to see Silva go all out to win the FA Cup as in play their best 11 every game and have a plan. Forget coming 6th or 7th and getting into Europe. We want the excitement of a good cup run.

I see enough progress already to think we are on the right track and it looks like Moshiri is willing to put his money where his mouth is.

If we had a good 20+ goal scorer like Lukaku a few years ago, we could be sitting 4th. I agree, it's hard to be patient though, with the RS sitting top of the Premier League.

Neil Copeland
119 Posted 17/12/2018 at 14:57:17
Brent #99 – thanks for the heads up. Fingers crossed.
Jamie Crowley
120 Posted 17/12/2018 at 15:26:39
Fran @ 111 -

I couldn't agree more with your "mini-league" assessment.

I feel we have to finish first in the mini-league, not second, for the season to be a success.

We're in a season of transition, but need to finish "best of the rest" to poise ourselves for a top 4 run in the next season or two. And Man Utd are simply awful this year.

Finish 6th and I'll look up. Finish 7th or 8th and I'm with Derek Taylor.

Lawrence Green
121 Posted 17/12/2018 at 16:00:49
Jamie #120,

I agree with the mini-league theory but wouldn't be too fed-up if Everton ended the season in 7th, it's where we could reasonably expect to finish given that the current top six is made up of the same clubs that have usually ended in those positions for the last five years or so. The exceptions being in Roberto's first season (2014) when Everton took 5th place at the expense of Manchester United who ended in 7th and when Southampton (2016) ended in 6th with Liverpool finishing the season in 8th.

2018 Burnley (54) 7 points behind 6th
2017 Everton (61) 8 points behind 6th
2016 West Ham (62) 1 point behind 6th
2015 Southampton (60) 2 points behind 6th
2014 Man Utd (64) 5 points behind 6th

If we accept that Burnley's total of 54 points last season was exceptionally low, it would seem that to take 7th place requires circa 57 points and to take 6th place needs a team to achieve more than 60 points.

Man Utd are having a poor season by their standards and Everton should certainly attempt to overhaul them, but that will only happen if the Blues are consistently good from here on in and Man Utd remain erratic or poor.

Everton need to get in excess of 12 victories or the equivalent points from the remaining 63 available, in order to break the sixty points barrier, which is possible, but unfortunately unlikely, given our lack of goalscoring power and our propensity to give stupid goals away.

Jamie Crowley
122 Posted 17/12/2018 at 16:31:56

I hear what you are saying about points totals, and the historical amount needed to finish 6th / 7th.

But right now, at this point in time, we find ourselves only two points off a terrible, terrible Man Utd team. This is a Man Utd team who would have 11 different opinions on how to screw in a light bulb. And one asshole saying the only way to do it is to stop everyone else from screwing it in so you can do it yourself. They're a chemistry nightmare, and they're in free fall this season.

If we're going to start to actually look up, we need to make tangible progress. This season, more than any other, is ripe to pick off one of the bigger Clubs in the standings. It would be a step forward.

I remember everyone saying at the beginning of the season that 7th is about where we should be expected to finish. I agreed. But, I remember saying to myself, "That's where we should finish, where's the progress in that?"

For me, 6th is progress. Silva is a good manager. If we have progress, he'll look to improve the next season. If we finish where we should, it's all kind of "what's the point?" Again!

Hope you understand these ramblings.

Jay Harris
123 Posted 17/12/2018 at 16:58:41
The problem is the same we have had for years: golascoring – and even a blind man can see that. Man Utd for all their issues have goals in them which we do not.

We are playing good stuff but will never get near the top unless we bring in some goalscoring players and I'm not just talking about a CF. Bernard for all his skill couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo. Walcott needs to step up or step out and one of Gomes or Gana needs to be replaced with a goalscoring midfield player of the Yaya Toure kind.

Coleman has also lost his ability to get up and score a few and Digne for all his class is not contributing as much as Bainesy did in his prime. It is nice to have ability in the side but every top team needs goals from at least 5 or 6 players.

We had Miralllas, Barkley, Lukaku and Fellaini who despite their shortcoming contributed valuable goals. Come on, Marcel, find us some goalscorers and not just a centre-forward.

Iain Johnston
124 Posted 17/12/2018 at 17:39:57
If we look at the same fixtures we've played so far and compare them to last, we have 4 points less.

Our goal difference is also markedly poorer. The same fixtures in 17/18 yielded 31 goals for 20 against... This season it's 24-22.

Oh, I replaced West Brom with Wolves, Fulham for Stoke, and Cardiff for Swansea. This seemed to be the most balanced results-wise.

Tom Bowers
125 Posted 17/12/2018 at 18:39:02
It's a no-brainer saying they have to score more goals. Most teams will say the same thing except Liverpool and Man City.

However, you have to have speed. skill, a high-intensity level and the ability to track back as a unit when needed and Everton among many teams don't have it and that's why it's becoming a two horse race.

We can only hope that given time Silva manages to achieve something close to that formation but it won't happen with what he has at his disposal right now.

January may see them turn in the right direction depending on new signings but new signings can take time to settle in so I would expect next season before anything great happens.

Jamie Crowley
126 Posted 17/12/2018 at 18:46:22

How many points did we have after 19 games, and what was our goal differential after 19 games? I would look it up but have no idea how to "filter" that type of information.

We can't be too far off where we were half-way through the season last year.

And one thing should be said before we start looking at the glass not only ½-empty, but ¾-empty. We are so, so, so much better to watch. And there's a style and plan for each game. Silva is doing an excellent job.

I think hopes got up quite a bit when we were in 6th. Everyone could smell a win at Mordor. Coming off **cough-cough** that, and then two pretty crap draws, it's so Everton.

We're close! Nah... reel it in a bit; we're not. Frustrating. But we are moving in the right direction in my opinion. Teams are way, way more concerned about us now than they've been for a few years. Sport is cyclical. We have the right management and team in place to be on the ascendency soon.

My God, what a win against Spurs would do for our confidence.

Neil Copeland
127 Posted 17/12/2018 at 22:45:54
Iain #124, I calculate the goals for and against as being identical at 24-22 for both seasons.

Jamie #126, we had a total of 26 points after 19 games with 24 goals for and 30 against. Based on this, unless, we get hammered in at least one of the next two games, it looks like our goal difference will be better this term at halfway and points very similar, possibly identical.

We definitely need a win to build momentum again.

John Pierce
128 Posted 17/12/2018 at 23:25:27
Silva set up with a back five, of which two, Digne and Keane are good to reasonable on the ball. Granted, Gomes should be picking the ball up but ain't gonna get the chances against Man City. He then expects that back five to bring it out. It exposed Coleman and Mina, Zouma battled through.

I've no problem with them being asked to carry it out as that's what he wants as part of his team's characteristics. But to try it, as a formation, with limited ball carriers, dropped in away, to the best team in the league was definitely an error of judgment. I'd also expect the players to modify that instruction as soon as it's clear the ploy is hurting us, they need to show more game intelligence.

It left us light in midfield and that's where they completely out-numbered us. Swarmed! "Yeah, yeah, it was Man City," I hear you cry. But truly when you look at that game we're they really that good? I didn't think so.

I thought they were pretty average by their standards. Of all the away performances this year I thought this was by some distance the worst.

I hope Silva reflects on it. As long as there's a reaction, then all good. We are in far better shape since we changed the manager.

Stan Schofield
129 Posted 17/12/2018 at 23:42:16
John @128: I agree. A back five has seldom, if ever, really worked, it's always put us on the back foot. If we'd been set up like in the other games against 'top-6' sides (noting that Gana was absent for this one) we might well have got a lot more out of it.

I think this is the one time where Silva has set us up more defensively, and (predictably) it didn't seem to work as effectively as fighting fire with fire against a team that plays attacking football.

John Raftery
130 Posted 17/12/2018 at 23:55:50
It is interesting to compare the first 17 games of this season under Silva with the last 17 games of Sam Allardyce's tenure:


Played 17
Won 6
Draw 6
Lost 5
Goals For 24
Goals Against 22
Goal Difference +2
Points 24

Games played against the top six - 5
Lost 4
Draw 1


Played 17
Won 6
Draw 4
Lost 7
Goals For 19
Goals Against 26
Goal Difference –7
Points 22

Games played against the top six - 5
Lost 4
Draw 1

We have gained two additional points under Silva, scored five more goals and conceded four less. The improvement in the goals tally is largely thanks to the contributions of Richarlison, who has scored a third of our goals, and Sigurdsson. The latter did not feature in the final eight games of Allardyce's reign owing to injury.

The improvement in our defensive performance is mainly due to the improvement in Keane's form and the avoidance of heavy defeats. The 4-0 and 5-1 reversals at Spurs and Arsenal last January and February have thankfully not been repeated in this campaign.

We have improved, albeit marginally, after bringing in six senior players at significant expenditure. Some pundits at the start of the season thought Silva would start well but struggle once teams sussed out how he sets the team up. We must hope that is proved inaccurate or the second half of the season will be hugely disappointing.

The Spurs fixture is already being labelled by some a ‘must-win' game, which is not a good place to be, against opponents we have failed to beat since Moyes departed in 2013. A win on Sunday would do us all a power of good but equally we need to see some victories away from home starting with either Burnley or Brighton, preferably both.

John Pierce
131 Posted 18/12/2018 at 00:22:40
The back five is predicated on players who can organize and pass.

Better teams than us, notably a team like Chelsea have utilized full backs as part of the back three. It's a better way to retain the ball, maybe Digne in there and Baines might be a better way?

Coleman's weakness with the ball rendered him a passenger for the game. Is it coincidence that the goals in part came down that side? But more of a concern, is that conceding goals from crosses is happening again. Two from City, one from Newcastle and Watford in the last three.

The fact we don't stem the actions at source render the defending after that harder to critique and viewed with a deal of sympathy. Three from four down our right...

Fran Mitchell
132 Posted 18/12/2018 at 00:41:46
We have much improved on Allardyce for one reason: much more important than actual points gained, we are actually enjoyable to watch.

Weekend footy, this season, has actually been something of interest, of excitement, of actual entertainment. Maybe some frustrating results but, at the end of the day, entertainment is the reason I watch footy.

Last season was miserable, it was awful. I woke up on weekends and the last thing that I was interested in doing was wasting my Saturdays watching turgid, boring, crap football.

This season is different, and Silva deserves credit for that. We will improve still.

Gary Russell
133 Posted 18/12/2018 at 04:36:12
The ages of the Premier League's top 10 managers, as it stands at the moment:

Guardiola – 47
Klopp – 51
Pochettini – 46
Sarri – 59
Emery – 47
Mourinho – 55
Espirto Santi – 44
Silva – 41
Pelligrini – 65
Graci – 48

I'd suggest experience counts, besides footballing nous and all the other attributes needed to be a successful top-flight manager.

In the whole Premier League, only Eddie Howe is younger — by four-or-so months.

Jim Marray
134 Posted 18/12/2018 at 09:08:10
Interesting views on here but I must admit my own prejudice sits with those who think that progress has been very slow and that, despite the small changes and improvements, Everton have not really moved on from the first Martinez season.

In part, I put that down to the fact that the club continues to suffer from the perennial problem of no goal scorer up front. Moyes never really had a 20 a season striker not Koeman or Allardyce. Martinez had one for a couple of seasons and still managed to take us down the table.

Watching the games, the problems I see are pretty straightforward, Walcott is like Stirling for England: lots of pace but no end product, the odd great forward run as the ball goes backwards, a lack of movement from players particularly up front when we have the ball, people not understanding what the words "get in to space" mean and of course playing the ball from the back when the other team are marking all the defenders.

I was not comfortable with our move for Mina based on a couple of World Cup games – particularly when it was clear that the guy alongside him was by far and away the better centre-half.

I didn't want Silva as manager as I was not convinced and remain hopeful that I will be proved wrong. What I did want was a manager from Germany; perhaps the guy who got goals out of Lookman. And I noticed that one of the managers I thought might be worth a punt managed to beat Arsenal at the weekend.

The Man City game is not the one that worries me most, it is the poor if not dire performances against Newcastle and Watford. Against the former we had all the ball but could not break them down and against the latter had no hunger when compared to the opposition who simply ran over us especially in the second half.

As for the comment about Man City,118 years is a period that implies lots of, yet following the takeover by the oil men of Dubai they had won the cup in two and the league in three years. That is not "years" that is progress. We are nowhere near winning an silverware because our board pick people they like rather than looking at the CV of managers and saying can they win us things.

Silva has shown no evidence to say that he can win things and playing nice football is worthless if the other team in your city is bringing home the silver plate every couple of years (although probably not the Premier League title). I for one want to go to Anfield next season knowing that we stand a chance of winning (scoring would be an improvement but gives no boasting rights) and the same against some of the rest of the top 6.

Joe McMahon
135 Posted 18/12/2018 at 09:30:18
Fran @132, we were not enjoyable to watch even in home games against Huddersfield, West Ham, Newcastle or Watford. Possibly the only 2 games I would use the phrase 'enjoyable' would be Brighton and Leicester.
Jamie Crowley
136 Posted 18/12/2018 at 13:52:33
I agree with Fran. Last season it was akin to an obligation to watch the games. It was awful.

Despite the farts we’ve laid as Joe points out, we’re 1000 times prettier on the eye under Silva. It’s night and day. Even when not at our best, we create some chances. Last season if we mustered a single shot all game we were fortunate.

Last season was summed up, perfectly I might add, by my fellow American on the live forum, Tim Greeley.

He quoted the King of Rohan from Lord of the Rings Before yet another dire Allardyce shit-show.

Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?

I almost wet myself I laughed so hard. The despair was so tragic and so real.

We are MILES better off under Silva, thank you very much.

Iain Johnston
137 Posted 18/12/2018 at 15:33:20
Neil #127. Yeah I see a couple of mistakes I made, the most glaring being that I used the 1-4 stat at St Mary's rather than the 1-1 at our place.

Mind you we're still down on points at home, I think it's 9 when you consider we beat Huddersfield, West Ham, Newcastle & Watford last season, 12 points from a possible 12.

This time it's 3 from 12 which for me is the bigger thing. In 2017-18, we scored 10 and conceded 2. Against these teams at home we've gone from a goal difference of +8 to –2.

I'm not forgetting either that the 3 points we did manage this season we had to salvage, we were behind against Huddersfield, Newcastle and Watford.

It doesn't look a lot but it's a quarter of our home games and I don't think the likes of Wolves and Bournemouth will be pushovers when we now know the opposition play a bit more negatively at our place... and get points.

We've had more of an even spread of fixtures these first 4 months of the season than the previous two starts under Koeman too.

But hey, we're nicer to watch – so it's all okay.

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