Silva realistic about Everton's top-six chances

Tuesday, 1 January, 2019 81comments  |  Jump to last

Marco Silva has intimated that Everton will need further investment in quality players before they can truly be competitive with the top six.

Speaking on the eve of the New Year's Day clash with Leicester, the Portuguese didn't dismiss the Blues' prospects of being able to crack the dominance of the Premier League's six richest clubs this term but he said that the reality of the disparity that exists has to be acknowledged.

"We as a club did not say once that we will challenge for the top six [this season],” Silva told the print media. "It's not a lack of ambition because we have big ambitions as a club but we have to be honest and fair and look at the other clubs, with the budgets they have as well.

"If we can fight for something we will fight. If we have conditions to fight for something we will fight as well. But we have to be smart in these type of things.

"If you are an ambitious club and want to win always, you have to create the conditions so in the future you can fight with this top six like you want.”

Everton are looking to re-establish some momentum to begin 2019 after finishing 2018 with just one win in seven. Much has been made in the media of the fact that the club finished the calendar year with the same number of points as the previous season under Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and then Sam Allardyce but Silva insists things can improve with consistency on the pitch.

“When you are consistent in your performance you are closer to achieving good results. This is my feeling and I am sure about that.

"We didn't achieve one or two results, you can lose some confidence and it's up to us to win again."


Reader Comments (81)

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Tony Twist
1 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:00:25
Win all our remaining games, simples. It's not rocket science, Marco. Stop changing a winning side will help.
Derek Taylor
2 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:18:24
No doubt, just like all football managers, Silva has told his bosses that 'we are just three players away from being a great team.' They would do well not to fall for it. Instead, tell him earn his salt by getting the best out of the very expensive players he's already got at his disposal!
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:22:02
Not good enough to win all our remaining games Tony.

We have players that can’t put the effort in on a regular basis, for whatever reason I don’t know.

Silva picks the team but once they set foot on the pitch it’s down to eleven men in blue shirts to work hard and run hard, can they really hold their hands up and say they do that on a weekly basis?

We need probably six away wins from the remaining games on the road looking at the fixtures, given that there are some really tough home games (when you have a mental block against top six teams like we do).

Over the next two transfer windows we need to work on shaping a new right flank and yes that means Coleman will be a squad player like Baines from there on.

We need a top proven striker that makes a difference in the tight matches and games against the big boys when chances are sparse.

It’s all well and good to say give this player or that player a run in the team, but the squad we currently have is only good enough for 7th at best.

Outside Richarlison and Sigurdsson we have little regular goal threat.

Brands and Silva will know this.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:25:45
‘When you are consistent in your performance you are closer to achieving good results. This is a feeling I am sure about. '

Couldn't agree more Marco, when are you going to start?

Michael Lynch
5 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:42:07
Bearing in mind our illustrious neighbour's squad cost nearly £700m to assemble, and is only the fourth most expensive group of players in the Premier League, it would be unrealistic to expect to challenge yet.

In fact, six of the ten most expensive squads in Europe belong to Premier League clubs, and you won't need more than one attempt to guess which six.

So, in the meantime, we should be looking to finish 7th every season. If we want to challenge the top six, we need to spend a lot more money and, possibly, that would include splashing out on a top six manager.

Chris Gould
6 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:52:18
Tony #1
"Stop changing a winning side will help."

The Brighton games was 3 days after the Burnley win. How do you know which players were carrying knocks, strains, or simply fatigued?
The game has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Players run so much further and complete 50-60 high intensity sprints in a match. It isn't possible for some players to recover sufficiently and perform at their optimum levels. The Christmas period always throws up results that are less likely at other times of the season.

Spurs thrashed us and Bournemouth but then lose at home to Wolves. Leicester beat Chelsea and City but then lose at home to Cardiff. Arsenal beat Burnley easily but then only drew with Brighton and got thrashed by Liverpool. Burnley got stuffed by us and then beat West Ham who had just earned a good win at Southampton.

Teams suffer unlikely results due to fatigue and forced rotation. The amount of games at Christmas is fun but ridiculous. You need real strength in depth to come through the Xmas schedule unscathed. We don't currently have that. Not even close.

Lee Whitehead
7 Posted 01/01/2019 at 10:53:19
All the best for 2019 to all TWers wherever you may be!!!!

Let's hope we start off today (2019) with a positive result.


Geoff Lambert
8 Posted 01/01/2019 at 11:09:22
Chris: "simply fatigued"...

Ahhh, you have got to feel for the poor little darlings — such a hard life to earn their crust. FFS, get real lad.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 01/01/2019 at 11:22:57
After the anger has subsided, I'm just resigned to us being the “best of the rest” for the foreseeable future. We are miles behind ‘the Sky Six' in terms of investment, ambition and infrastructure.

I believe that, in Moshiri and Brands, we have two men at the helm who are determined to bridge that gap. I'm not so sure Marco is the man to fulfill these ambitions; only time will tell I suppose.

George Cumiskey
10 Posted 01/01/2019 at 11:24:24
Why is everyone saying we should be aiming for a top six place, what would that get us?

Surely any manager worth his salt at a club as big as ours should be aiming for the top four and the Champions League.

Pat Kelly
11 Posted 01/01/2019 at 11:40:50
I'll be astonished if we're not in the bottom six
George Cumiskey
12 Posted 01/01/2019 at 11:44:02
Could be right Pat.
Scott Williams
13 Posted 01/01/2019 at 14:34:06
Before we do any challenging we need a striker. And we need to get over the derby result. I truly believe if that was the draw it was heading towards we’d have had a totally different December. We need to really get over it, get to grips and quick or we’ll be sliding down that table like a fireman down his pool on bonfire night!
Warren Bede
14 Posted 01/01/2019 at 15:02:23
Are we now talking relegation battle?
Bobby Mallon
16 Posted 01/01/2019 at 15:31:07
Chris @6 really, I'm sick of hearing players are fatigued. They are athletes and train and feed and drink to be able to play these games.

Calvert-Lewin was dropped and he was not bloody tired. Most can't be arsed that's the problem. We need two more top quality midfielders a striker and a new manager, FACT.

Mancini is a good shout; me personally, I would go for Conti ex-Chelsea boss – that bloke is a winner – pay him a small fortune

Charles McCann
17 Posted 01/01/2019 at 15:39:41
You would think we have some bottomless pit of money to buy all these amazing quality players from. Yes, we need to keep trying to strengthen the squad but we also need to make the best use of the resources we have and Silva is not doing this.

As far as I'm aware, we have not got the financial might of say Manchester City so, Jim Bennings, you might have to get used to seeing Coleman playing in an Everton shirt for a few more years yet!

I actually think Seamus will get back to the heights he was at before his horrific injury not that long ago.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 01/01/2019 at 16:01:46

You clearly don't understand the human body.

Seamus is 30 years old and off the back of a horrendous injury. His game was all about doggies up and down the wing, that's what made him the player we loved.

It's not a case of just “getting back at it”. The body won't allow it anymore and for the amount of time he's been below par now, it's no longer a confidence thing, it's now just simply where he's at.

He's a pretty bang average defender so, when you take away the strengths he once had, you are looking at a pretty average player.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 01/01/2019 at 16:09:12
More like let’s start talking about finishing 10th or lower unless standard and performance on the pitch start improving.
Charles McCann
20 Posted 01/01/2019 at 16:13:06
I have to disagree, Jim. At thirty he has still three or four years at a top level and his progress since coming back from that injury has actually been fairly quick given the severity of the injury. I've no doubts about Seamus getting back to the level he was once at.

Bang average defender?? Think you're well off there. What about Walcott having a mare front of Coleman week in week out leaving Seamus exposed and caught out of position because he wasn't able to keep possession!

If Silva stays, I suspect you'll get your wish to see the back of Coleman starting... but, with the right manager in place, I'll happily enjoy Seamus bomb up the wing for another few years!!!

John Davies
21 Posted 01/01/2019 at 17:35:05
I don't think Silva is the man to get us into the big six regardless of how many signings we make. His own performance over the last month has been inept at times and he really does look like the proverbial "rabbit in the headlights" for long periods.

His substitutions may exchange personnel but the team's style of play remains unchanged and so predictable. Looks like we have yet another dud in the gun barrel. I hope I'm wrong but I fear the worst yet again.

Rob Dolby
22 Posted 01/01/2019 at 17:45:34
Silva needs to go and have a chat to Bielsa. Look at how he is motivating an average Leeds team that runs itself into the ground each and every week.

Top 10 is being optimistic at present.

Chris Gould
23 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:13:57
Geoff #8,

If a player is fatigued, it doesn't make a bit of difference how much money he makes. It's such an ignorant complaint by so many. Are you suggesting that, because they earn lots of money, they shouldn't get tired?

It isn't necessarily the players complaining of fatigue. Often they feel fine and are probably desperate to play. It's the medical team that have 'fatigue monitoring systems', and it will be these experts who assess which players are able to perform at high levels for games in quick succession. Silva and his coaching staff will be made aware of which players have scored poorly during one of a range of 'fatigue monitoring systems'.

Fatigue diminishes and impairs performance, and it doesn't matter how pampered or overpaid these players are.

I believe we are currently witnessing a player struggling with fatigue in Gomes.

Rick Pattinson
24 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:21:01
My mate Willow reckons get Andy Carroll in on a free to boost striking options...I said "Willow... that's a crazy idea... let's get Giroud."
Geoff Lambert
25 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:27:36
"Are you suggesting that because they earn lots of money, they shouldn't get tired?"

No, Chris, I am suggesting that, if they can't play 3 games of football in 10 days, they should find another way to steal a living.

You see it in all walks of life!! "Hey boss, can I have the day off tomorrow, please? I am a bit fatigued today as I have worked 3 times this week."

Brian Patrick
26 Posted 01/01/2019 at 19:36:37
How can the hectic schedule be an excuse; everyone's in the same boat. I think Moshiri knew he would need bigger investment and I believe Usmanov will be on board soon, that's the only way we can get Champions League footie. Usmanov is ruthless and simply won't accept the abject levels of commitment by these players.
Chris Gould
27 Posted 01/01/2019 at 20:20:30

Of course the players can play 3 games in 10 days. Many have just played 3 games in 7 days!

The fact is that they can't play all 3 matches at their optimum levels of fitness. We've just witnessed 3 or 4 players struggling with what was undoubtedly differing levels of fatigue. Whether you want to accept it or not, it will have a negative impact on their performances.

It doesn't excuse our piss-poor recent form, all teams have to deal with it, but it is the reason we have to rotate and sometimes change a winning team. Which was the initial point I was making.

Karl Meighan
28 Posted 01/01/2019 at 21:49:03
Football is a simple game and all players who start games are fit enough to do so. The problem with our players at the moment is they are not good enough.

I'm quite sure teams who are playing in European competitions and who have had longer cup runs than us have players who have played more games than ours. So why have they not won once in seven, is it?

Simon Smith
29 Posted 01/01/2019 at 22:34:19
We knock the ball around well enough most weeks; we usually manage to create more chances than our opponents, but, until we get some goalscorers, we won't do anything.

Watching Calvert-Lewin again today it was clear he doesn't have the movement of a top number 9, he has ability at holding up the ball and flicking on headers, but he's too slow at anticipating were the ball is going to drop in our penalty box.

Theo is poor imo, he's a speedboat with no driver, a headless chicken who runs about at the speed of light, receiving plenty of the ball in attacking areas yet doing nothing with it.

Richalison is our best attacker, but he's only 21, he quite often gets it wrong when he has a decision to make, but he will learn and his desire to do well can't be denied.

Everything else is okay, yes we can improve in other areas, but as long as we're not scoring our chances we won't ever do anything.

Lookman needs chances when he's back, maybe him on the flank with Bernard, and Richarlison back up top.

Sur Jo
30 Posted 02/01/2019 at 01:14:35
Dear Marco,

We cannot get to 7th. We are getting beat by West Ham, Leicester and somehow got out of jail against Watford. Drew against Huddersfield at home and gotten beat by Brighton (all not top-six teams).

Why are you seeking excuses for a top-six then? Nail down the 7th place first; don't we have enough signings for that?

Brian Wilkinson
31 Posted 02/01/2019 at 01:15:55
If that is the case, then can we focus at least of having a go for the FA Cup without multiple changes. Play as close to our strongest 11 as possible and learn from the Carabao Cup game against Southampton.
Jack Cross
32 Posted 02/01/2019 at 02:15:38
Jim Bennings (18).

Coleman, in my opinion was only ever good with rightZZ back cover (Hibbert). His injury had nothing to do with his bad form, he was way off his game well before his injury.

He seems like a nice fella, but I'm afraid there's no room for sentiment if you want a successful team.

I rate Lookman, and think he could slot on to the right wing no problem. And put Walcott, in more an attacking position, Number 9.

I know you rate the lower divisions, Jim, what do you think of Norwood, Tranmere? Only 28, knows were the net is. On BT 1 Friday, FA Cup, playing Spurs, have a look. Remember Vardy? Not long ago, he was playing in Fleetwood.

Phil Sammon
33 Posted 02/01/2019 at 03:07:55
Jack Cross 32

You only rated Coleman as cover for Hibbert?

I don’t think I’ve ever read such crap. He has been an absolutely outstanding player for years.

I think your post is the most annoyingly moronic thing I’ve read in weeks!

Alan J Thompson
34 Posted 02/01/2019 at 05:04:35
The cry of the modern day super-coach who says that bringing through youngsters is important; "Give me £300-400 million for transfers".

And it seems many of us believe all of it some of the time, some of it all the time, but thankfully, we have ToffeeWeb!

Peter Barry
35 Posted 02/01/2019 at 06:24:56
Unless he said 'non-existent' then he is not being realistic at all.
Andy Meighan
36 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:28:03
"If we can fight for something, then we will fight." I didn't see much evidence of that in the Leicester game. What I did see, though, was a bunch of half-arsed, half-hearted, under-fit, overrated prima donnas (bar one or two) just going through the motions.

Silva is right: we are nowhere near good enough for the top 6. We are bad enough for the bottom 6, though – and that's the worry.

And don't anyone harbour any ambitions about winning the FA Cup... because, providing we beat Lincoln – and that won't be easy because he 'll make big changes because our poor players are 'fatigued' [laughs] –the sooner we come up against anyone half decent... we're out!

Simon Smith
37 Posted 02/01/2019 at 09:52:23
Phil Salmon @33.


Spot on.

Joe McMahon
38 Posted 02/01/2019 at 10:03:31
Jack @32. I know we are all pissed off and we all tend to spout off anger and blame in the wrong areas. But Seamus Coleman pre-injury wouldn't have looked out of place in the current Spurs side, by far the best right-back we have had for years, a 1st class footballer.

Your man Hibbert would fit into any Tony Pullis side.

David Pearl
39 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:01:25
I went the game yesterday, Row GG Lower Gwladys Street. Sat next the the most annoying moaner I've ever come across, finger pointing Walcott every chance he got... as if he was any worse than Richarlison. Wally is this seasons Schniderlin.

I'm not blaming the players. I'm pointing my finger at our manager. Pick your formation using our best 11 players. Rotation is fine if they are similar players.

Against Brighton, he completely abandoned the set-up and threw on all forwards instead of just freshening things up and having a game plan. We lacked an intensity in the final 3rd, not fixed just by throwing on 3 forwards. He isn't good enough I'm afraid.

Putting 3 at the back suits our players. Every forward player we have prefers playing more inside. Lets take some of the defensive duties from them and allow them to be creative. Let them press from the front and not have them run the length of the pitch tracking back. Am I the only one that sees this? If I had hair I'd tear it out.

I know if we had a first half like that with Moyes in charge we would of improved after the break. Why no changes at half time in shape or personnel? Perhaps Silva is a good coach, we seemed to be improving and the players seemed to be listening to him. It appears to be that he simply isn't capable of motivating the players or of finding a formation that works.

The players look tired and so does the manager. He has to change things around and also show he is able to change things mid game. So far, not even close.

If we have another month like our last one, he will be gone. Over to you Marco. Unsworth deserves another go till the end of the season. Looking at Silva on the touchline, I have no idea what he's thinking... maybe he's wondering what's for tea?

Jack Cross
40 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:01:38
Joe (38).

I'm not angry, Joe. Maybe you and above post misunderstood what I meant (or I misworded it).

I'm saying Coleman, was good going forward on the right wing, but he was no good defending (wingback) and the best I saw of him was when he had cover at right back from Hibbert.

As for Hibbert, Joe, he was no slouch and always gave 100% and was very underrated in my opinion.

But we're talking about the past and, as nice a fellow as Coleman is, I think it's wrong to say that his form only dipped since his bad injury occurred; I'd say he was well off pace prior to that. In my opinion.

Paul Appleyard
41 Posted 02/01/2019 at 12:54:40
Chris Gould @6. You are correct in your comments. There are too many arm chair fans who aren't athletes, don't play footy, and don't understand sports science or human physiology.

One of my biggest annoyances is when fans glibly spout out old gems like “there's no passion”, or “they don't run hard enough”, or “they don't try”.

We are not privy to the stats or athletic performance numbers of the players. No stone is left unturned these days, and the backroom army of sports scientists will know exactly how much effort every player is putting in and how fatigued they are (yes, there are many scientific ways of assessing this).

Of course, the players are well paid athletes… but then so are all the competition! Trying to be fitter than other teams is almost an impossibility these days. Every team knows exactly what it takes to get players to maximum fitness, and how to evaluate the precise fitness of every player. If a player isn't 100% fit, or isn't “trying”, it will be hard to hide it.

So obviously fitness isn't everything. Quality counts too. You can expend less energy than the opposition by keeping the ball and making them chase it. Running around like a headless chicken expending vast amounts of energy is not going to help win a game. It's the combination of quality, football nouse, tactics and fitness that make the difference.

And this is where I will have my personal moan now. I'm not going to say the players aren't trying (they obviously are) or that they aren't running enough (they are). My criticism is aimed squarely at the manager now. He is the one who must get the most out of the players we have. I honestly believe this group of players is amongst the best we have had since the 80s. Way better than anything we had under the Moyes era.

I believe that our net spend over the last 5 years is £203 million, which is £22 million more than Liverpool. Spurs' net spend over the same period is a paltry £18 million. Only Man Utd and Man City have vastly outspent everybody else. Now that isn't all down to Silva, but we have a team that is massively underperforming in my opinion.

I was never keen on Silva (his stats aren't very impressive), and the fact that he hasn't got a single extra point (with these players) than Fat Sam, Unsworth & Koeman got at the same point in last season is woeful.

The only positive is that we have got a group of talented players now, and practically all our recent signings are playing regularly and are not ‘duds'.

I also hate short-termism, so I'm not calling for Silva to go now. He's got the rest of the season to prove he's worth keeping. Anything less than 8th with these players and the money we've spent, and then I'll say Silva's got to go.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
42 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:01:46
Really good post, Paul (#41), really good.

As a curator of the posts on here, it is somewhat annoying to continuously read the hugely inaccurate characterizations of the players and particularly the effort they put in. Players are far too easily described in the terms you identify, or worse, simply described as "shit" by the less refined knee-jerkers who come on the post-match thread to vent their frustrations.

I will admit there was one crucial moment when it did seem that effort was lacking on Tuesday, and that was the absolute peach of a cross Bernard drilled in. Maybe Calvert-Lewin was a foot or two away from where he needed to be, and that was the reason why he failed to show any inclination or desire to attack the ball?

There are moments like that throughout any game where it seems, with a little more effort – or is it anticipation? – the player would be in a better position to receive the ball. Colin Glassar posted yesterday of the drills the top managers have their players execute:

"Their teams would practice passing, patterns and movement off the ball for hours on end until it became second nature. Their players could find each other blindfolded."

If it's not lack of effort and they really are putting in 100% every game, is this where our critical focus should be?

Chris Corn
43 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:26:38
I just think now is the time to remain calm and push through this. We just cannot lurch from sacking to sacking and I don't think Moshiri can afford it reputationally after putting himself and club on the line to appoint Silva. The reality is we have squad that is as capable of to finishing 7th as 14th at the moment. I know that's hard to swallow with the money spent, but there it is. It's just frustrating our billionaire came in when the game is awash with cash.

Allardyce can say what he likes about 'winning ugly' but his run of results during this period last season was rubbish as well and from beating Swansea at home on the 18th December, We didn't win another game until the home game v Leicester when Coleman returned on the 31st January. That included spankings from Arsenal and Spurs when the games were done by half time and horrow shows at West Brom(home and away) and at Bournemouth . He then claimed something like that he had to get back to defending because the attacking stuff wasn't working. Plus the two big money forwards he bangs on about signing are a major part of the problem lately.

Some great points made in various posts above which I don't intend to dissect but for me, he needs time and a chance to construct his own team.

Mike Doyle
44 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:31:20
Michael #42. Colin is correct about manager's drills. However many of the top players have their own.
Gary Lineker used to practice a 2-part manoeuvre to optimise his speed over short distances (first run to drag the defender out of position / second run into the space he was aiming for). I recall Andy Cole had a drill that involved shooting quickly from various positions along the 18 yard line. I wonder how many of our players have developed their own practice drills ? .
Jay Wood

45 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:36:15
Paul @ 41.

Cap duly doffed. A thoughtful, well-constructed post. Very enjoyable read.

Sports science is extremely sophisticated these days and the monied clubs of the PL - and that very much includes Everton - monitor all you mention constantly.

You only have to look back at the videos of pre-season training and the first-day-back tests the club ran on every player to see evidence of this.

I also agree that we have talented players at the club, but since the game at Anfield, Silva is not getting a consistent tune out of them which he was very much doing going into the Derby game.

Now of course, a fixture list of 7 games in the month of December and 4 in 10 days is going to impact on the physical state of the players, no matter what the TW equivalent of Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen sketch say in making futile comparisons to other job types.

That impacts on all teams who are similarly fatigued, having had to play the same number of games, so that doesn't excuse Everton.

As Silva's own post-match quotes said yesterday, the players are inhibited and not relaxed and anxious about making mistakes playing at Goodison.

That clearly suggests to me that it is a psychological problem, not a physical problem. And sadly, an issue of long-standing with Everton players (and managers!).

Players made of sterner stuff would not have had a confidence crisis and a collapse of form as we have seen since the 96th minute of the Anfield game. The Everton of the 1980s certainly wouldn't have and we would see more in-game angry reaction to their own players from the many leaders that team possessed to any dropping of standards.

So talented, fit players, I believe we have. It is sufficient numbers of players with the stomach for the fight, in all circumstances, I think we are most lacking.

Brian Harrison
46 Posted 02/01/2019 at 16:44:10
Paul 41

I agree with a lot you say about players will be monitored on a daily basis regarding their fitness. There are also plenty of opta stats that lists how far each player has ran in a game and many other statistics that coaches and managers will look at after games. You also say that its probably the best squad we have had in years, and again hard to argue given the little money that Moyes had to spend. So if these players are so much better than what we have had as you rightly say, and stats prove its not lack of effort then why do you think given what you have said that they are under performing.

I know you don't rate Silva,but having listened to quite a few professionals who played for him they rate him very highly namely Deeney from Watford and Mason who played at Spurs under Pochettino before playing under Silva at Hull. Also as you say you are not suggesting sacking Silva now but you are only prepared to give him to the end of the season. Well if we apply that logic this Country would never have seen Ferguson win all that he did or have seen our most successful manager Howard Kendall. As it took both quite a few years to turn around under performing clubs.

Now I hope Silva will do that at Everton but I cant be sure he will, but giving a manager 1 year to prove himself with such a big turn around in players is asking more than Ferguson or Kendall did and both became legends.

Stan Schofield
47 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:02:26
Paul@41: Good post. In all my years of following footie, I've never really felt that any player wasn't trying their best. Players have off days, where things don't go right no matter how hard they try.

In contrast, when things are going well and the team is gelling, playing as an effective unit, working like a machine for each other, players make the ball do more of the work, the physical effort produces more dividends, they just find it easier and more enjoyable, and we supporters can see it straight away. Then, we're all cooking on gas, God is in his heaven, and all's right with the world.

Before the Derby, quite a few games were like that, and even if you didn't see all the games you could see the overall positivity on this site. This spirit extended into the Derby itself, where IMO we played the best Derby game we've played for a very long time, including some very impressive classy football that I think surprised many people.

I was really chuffed with that performance, proud of it, but of course we had the daft mistake (a random error, not a systemic problem, shit happens sometimes) in the final minute. And I think it's knocked us, all of us, club and supporters, for six.

For me, we were progressing nicely up to that point, but now the wheels seem to have fallen off for some reason, and it is certainly not due to players suddenly deciding that in December they won't try so hard. It must surely be the mental problem of disappointment that can be hard to recover from. But we surely can recover from it, regain our composure and resume some momentum.

Paul Appleyard
48 Posted 02/01/2019 at 17:38:54
@45 Jay @46 Brian @47 Stan

Yes I agree. Psychology is huge, but I'll bet EFC have access to sports psychologists (no stone unturned)!

When things are going well, it's a positive feedback loop, and subconsciously I'm sure players work a bit harder, and probably more efficiently.

At the Anfield derby we went toe to toe with the team currently flying high at the top of the league and matched them for much of the game. I was so impressed that day, and I'm convinced our players can do that regularly.

I don't want to be down on Silva, and if players who have been managed by him rate him, then who am I to argue. But he knows better than anyone where we should be with what we've got.

Let's give him time; I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting otherwise. TBH I wouldn't be wanting him to get the boot even if we finish lower half table this season (but it won't help the cause re. keeping and attracting players if we do). It's next season that he will really be judged on.

Steve Ferns
49 Posted 02/01/2019 at 22:23:20
I'm surprised the site hasn't reported on Silva's post match comments. Here is the part that interested me:

“We knew before the match what they [Leicester] came here to do,” he said.

“We know, because of how they respect us, how they will come here to play. They started the game with a 4-5-1, blocking the space and waiting for our mistake.

“We made a mistake and they scored in that moment, which made things more difficult for us and after that we didn’t create the good moments to change the result for us.

“But we have the quality to do different things in our attack, to show more creativity. We have players to do that.

“This afternoon wasn’t the best for some of them, but it is my job to work with them and pass this confidence to them.”

I think he fairly assesses and analyses the game. He clearly knows where we went wrong. I can see Moyes focusing more on "They started the game with a 4-5-1, blocking the space and waiting for our mistake" and saying that he would make sure we didn't make any mistakes in the next few games, cue a load of boring 0-0s transitioning into 1-0s. Silva seems to still focus on the attacking aspect. Clearly, he thinks that had we been better in the final third, then we'd have scored the first goal and then we'd have won as Leicester offered little going forwards up until their goal.

If you look back to the poor results this season, against team you would expect us to beat, and analyse what went wrong, you could sum it up that Everton could simply not find their way through a tight and compact defence. And those we lost by adding that they capitalised on a poor defensive mistake.

There is a worrying trend there. Defensive lapses aren't just the fault of the defence. Against Leicester Keane made an absolute howler, but there was no insurance policy, Vardy was given a dream of an opportunity. All his pace and all that space to run into. It's not how I would want my team to defend.

I think Silva believes we can play better, that the players are capable of better, that these bad games we have lost only by one goal (except the West Ham game) and so we can get the first goal and turn even defeats into wins.

I think I'd prefer to dig out a 0-0 against Bournemouth, but the way they play, I suspect it'll be perfect for Silva's Everton, as they will not sit back tight and compact, they will try to play and so we should be able to beat them at home.

Karl Meighan
50 Posted 03/01/2019 at 07:15:19
Sorry, Steve, boring or not, when you win one in seven you go back to basics: concede no goals, lose no games. I will take a scoreless draw or a one nill win every day of the week and twice on a Sunday.

Paul @41 a well written post but most athletes would record better numbers on all these systems and machines than any footballer; I doubt they would make better players. To be fair, you do mention quality and this the most important thing as fitness can be gained in my opinion.

PE teacher coaching and blackboard coaches have let many a player slip through the net for not being tall enough, strong enough, or not having lightening pace at a certain age with their ability and vision being overlooked.

Derek Taylor
51 Posted 03/01/2019 at 09:23:26
Silva's message is clear: "Spend zillions more and I might have a chance to get you 'Top Six'- but don't bank on it."

I imagine even the football innocent, Moshiri, is unlikely to keep pouring his fortune down the drain by backing this manager to achieve anything more that mediocrity. The popular fan belief that only when the entire team is made up of a manager's 'own players' went out of the window when signings became the responsibility of a Football Director. "His players, not mine" is the now the mantra of many departing managers throughout the leagues and will, no doubt, be one Silva will not be slow to rely on when his time comes.

I think most of us consider Everton's Director of Football to have done a more than decent job last summer although it appears Silva considers it inadequate for his needs. "I need more players to get above seventh" he's saying. Truth is, his brand of team selection, set up and tactics will be lucky to get us top half !

Off with his head, I say!

Peter Mills
52 Posted 03/01/2019 at 09:40:53
Steve #49, many of us had concerns about the appointment of Mr Silva because of his inability to organise a defence and sadly, so far, we have seen plenty of evidence of this.

So Leicester came “waiting for our mistake”. That leaves us with two options: either score a couple of goals early, or don't make the bleedin' mistake.

We are committing footballing suicide in most games. The purpose of a defence is to stop the other team from scoring. I appreciate that, if the defenders retain and use the ball well, then the opposition will be drawn forward, creating space. However, it needs very skilled, confident footballers to do so, and we don't have them.

Neither Keane nor Mina look comfortable with the ball at their feet, Coleman has been struggling, yet they persist in playing dangerous passes between each other, clearly under orders. It's daft.

When such mistakes are added to the zonal marking inadequacies, the continued failure of defenders to act to a loose ball in the penalty area, and Pickford's errors, we are gifting tight games to our opponents. And every game is tight.

I'm not having a go at you, Steve, we had a good chat when we met in the summer, but it is extremely worrying that we seem to have another purist manager who will not open his eyes to the very obvious flaws and limitations in his thinking.

Brian Harrison
53 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:06:56
I don't think it's a coincidence that at home we have struggled against sides who sit back with 9 men behind the ball. Huddersfield, Newcastle, Cardiff and Leicester all played this way and all frustrated us.

Now you could think well because of how well we played earlier in the season and especially against Liverpool, teams are playing a lot more defensively against us and that is in some way a compliment. But if we constantly fail to break down teams who play this way, then it will become a template for most visiting teams outside the top 6.

So now Silva and his coaches and players will have to find a way of opening teams up who play this way. This is something the top 6 have experienced for years, but it's relatively new to us.

I think part of the problem is we lack goals, especially from the front 3, and this means that we are trying to set up tap-ins and against a packed defence to do this you have to be very clinical in front of goal. Which this season has highlighted we are definitely not clinical enough in front of goal, you just have to look at the chances we have spurned in virtually every game.

Trevor Peers
54 Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:17:50
Well said Peter@ 52, a bit of common sense at last!
Gio Mero
55 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:25:32
Let's buy someone who's won something and knows what it takes. We really lack the right mentality as much as we lack a goalscorer and a decent (sorry a strong) right channel.

If we can agree our footballers are technically okay for 7th place but don't have much bottle, why even consider a new manager?

He's making do; you can't change a manager a season because they finish 9th rather than 7th... come on!

John Davies
56 Posted 03/01/2019 at 12:44:48
Paul #41. A really good post mate. Well worth the read.
Jason Wilkinson
58 Posted 03/01/2019 at 16:37:36
Let's forget Liverpool, Man City, Spurs, Utd, Chelsea & Arsenal for a minute.
How do we compare to the teams we believe we should get the better of? Leicester, Watford, West Ham, Wolves, Brighton, Palace etc.
Pickford has the most potential to improve and is on a par if not better than most. Digne is probably the best left back. Coleman is possibly one that needs to get his spark back or be replaced. Our centre halves are probably better than most. Our midfield is interesting. I believe most of us would not swap Gomes, Gylfi or Gana for the oppositions players but I think we would all crave some better back up. Forwards: this is where most other teams seem to have better options. Richy & DCL are both young, Walcott is poor and Bernard needs to get to grips with the pace in England. Beyond that we have very little.
Management: I would suggest we have the best team outside of the afore mentioned Sky darlings.
So in conclusion it will be a struggle to conquer those around us never mind the Prems elite.
Mark Murphy
59 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:03:27
Blue tinted specs Jason!
I’m pretty sure that the fans of most of those other teams also view their midfields, right backs and strikers as best of the rest.
I doubt west h would swap arnautovic for Richy, not Leicester swap any of their back four for ours.
I’m the same - I look at our team and I’m baffled why we’re not up in the top four but reality tells me we are simply not all that! (Yet)
IF all our players were THAT good they would have been snapped up by the bigger CL clubs.
My worry is that when/if they DO become THAT good they will anyway!
Jay Harris
60 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:11:47
I see three issues.

Silva is incapable of motivating a disheartened team.

Because of this we don't have the pace or desire to get in behind these teams down the flanks.

We don't have enough goalscorers in the team. After Siggy and Richy (who hasnt had a decent game in the last three) we don't have anyone who you would bet on to score a good chance let alone a half chance.

Dave Evans
61 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:27:59
Paul 41 Only just read a great post.
Your accuracy almost carries renewed hope in this dismal couple of months.
The clock has started to tick for Silva. He has to show he can get this group of players more stable and consistent if he is to be trusted with any in comings in the summer. Given the overhaul and upheaval 7th/ 8th seems about right.
But we really need to see player improvement- the experienced and especially the youngsters.
Dave Evans
62 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:40:35
Correction - dismal month. It probably seemed like a 'couple of months'.
Tom Bowers
63 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:47:48
Generally agree with the comments here. Don't have to be rocket scientist to know the current squad does not yet have the players to move up the table and stay there.

Silva is not yet showing what we need from a manager but if he can get the right players he may just get the results.

Come on Brands get with the program.

On another note, the big game today will be a 0-0 but if there is a goal you just know it will be RS getting it with 2 minutes to go

Kieran Kinsella
64 Posted 03/01/2019 at 17:54:50
What about 7th then Marco? If you look at fan base, history, budget; Bournemouth, Brighton, maybe even Watford and Leicester are punching well above their weight. Right now we are in the mix with them. Our history, fan base, and expenditure suggest we should be well ahead of them and we are not. I would go on to suggest that all things considered, Man Utd, Everton and West Ham are the only teams in the EPL that are grossly underperforming relative to their resources. Of the 3, Everton are most drastically underperforming. So all this talk of "top 6" is irrelevant when we seem more likely to drop down towards the likes of Huddersfield and Fulham than to rise even to 7th
Steavey Buckley
65 Posted 03/01/2019 at 18:19:41
Everton's premier league season already has come to a dismal end with only a possible relegation fight to deal with. The person responsible for this 'no show' has to be the manager. There are also many players at the club should not be here next season. The long list should include Walcott, Tuson and Schneiderlin. Those on the margins should include Sigurdsson, Davies, Dowell, Coleman and Holgate.

Everton currently have as many points as last season when Everton fans were already deriding the decision to appoint big Sam. Yet, Everton with him were able to beat West Ham, Leicester and most other teams at home to finish 8th. Everton will do well to finish 8th this season.

The season started badly with 6 points from 6 games but has only got marginally better with 21 points in the last 15 matches with just 1 win in 7 matches. These type of results get managers sacked with clubs with high expectations. Unless Silva can spectacularly turn Everton's fortunes around in the last 17 matches of the season, it would be a risk having him manager next season.

Everton fans may crave after good attacking football but it's the results that count at the end of the day, and Everton's return of 27 points from 21 games are not just not good enough, which proves that Everton are not playing good football just the illusion of it, because in too many games, passes have gone astray and Everton don't have a goal scorer who can put chances away.

Frank Crewe
66 Posted 03/01/2019 at 19:04:58
It's amazing how managers suddenly become "realistic" about their sides chances when it all goes Pete Tong. Maybe he should have mentioned this at the beginning of the season instead of halfway through.

I know if I was Moshiri I'd be pulling my hair out. On his 4th manager, 100s of millions spent and still no discernible progress since the day he took over. It's lucky he doesn't run the rest of his businesses like he's running Everton or he would be bankrupt by now and wouldn't be able to waste his cash on Everton.

All he needs now is Lincoln City to knock us out of the FA Cup to put the cherry on top of his misery cake.

Derek Taylor
67 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:23:09
We all know that not one of the present top six in the Prem, would continue to tolerate performances like those served up by Everton recently and I can only hope that Moshiri's silence is indicative of a plan for managerial change.

Of course, the fact remains that both he and our distinguished chairman are totally clueless when it comes to football matters -as their appointment of the last four managers will attest. Now before the usual TW question, 'who would you appoint then ?'comes flying in I can only say that those who have to find the wherewithal to pay these goons are in it to fail if they can't find a better pick for the job than ANY they've come up with so far.

That off my chest, I now await the onslaught from the 'give him time' wallahs. Personally, I wouldn't give Silva and his ilk the time of day. Clueless and inadequate just about sums up the lot of them !

Kieran Kinsella
68 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:27:36
Don't see the point in sacking him when the same people will choose his replacement. I didn't want RM, or Koeman, or Sam, or Silva. If we fire him we will probably bring in Moyes till the end of the season then offer 100 million a week to land David Wagner from Huddersfield. The last time I was really excited about a managerial appointment was Howard Kendall II. I was hopeful about Moyes, and that is about it.
Derek Taylor
69 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:31:43
Hey, Keiran, Wagner will only get the job so long as Huddersfield are relegated . It's become the main qualification for the post !
Raymond Fox
70 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:44:18
Brian 53, is nearest the truth for me.

Other managers in this league of shall we say 'lesser teams' will especially at Goodison come to nullify us, which given our scoring options is not particularly difficult.
Any manager will struggle if the forwards cant find the net and at the moment we haven't a 10+ goalscorer never mind a 20+ one.
Richarlison, Gomes and Bernard were playing well earlier in the season and getting plenty good publicity, any opposing manager worth their salt will attempt to nulify their influence and this one reason why they may have lost some form.
We should stick with Silva and support him, another change would be bordering on the ridiculous, thats not to say that I'm overly impressed with him but time will tell if he's up to the job.

Brian Williams
71 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:46:00
We all know that not one of the present top six in the Prem, would continue to tolerate performances like those served up by Everton recently
No they wouldn't but err we're not a top six club and haven't been consistently one for a long time so why compare us to them?
Oh and I'm one of the "give him time Wallahs because sacking him now is a ridiculous idea!
Derek Taylor
72 Posted 03/01/2019 at 20:54:05
Well, for what it's worth, Brian, I don't think we'll get too near to the drop zone so everything's going swimmingly. Silva might even get a contract extension for keeping us just outside the top 10 !
John Wells
73 Posted 03/01/2019 at 22:09:11
You can’t win a game with good backs and bad forwards, certainly not with both!

Everyone is pissed off but sacking him is not right. Think about most of the games, if we had a real top striker with the balls coming in we would be well that table. Against the RS we should have won or a 2-2 draw at worst. Again against the teams that came here and shut up shop a top striker would unsettle them and find a way. It is imperative that we have a top striker.

Bill Gienapp
74 Posted 03/01/2019 at 22:10:52
Let's be honest here, Chelsea's not exactly setting the world on fire - lost to Wolves, lost to Leicester at home, got thumped by Spurs, drew with Southampton, drew with us... to be fair, they also managed a win over City during that spell, but they've completely fallen out of the title picture after an impressive start and are very much in danger of ceding fourth place to Arsenal, which is just the excuse Eden Hazard would need to bolt... yet I don't see any fans calling for Sarri's head (or maybe they are, but he doesn't seem to be under any real pressure).
Don Alexander
75 Posted 03/01/2019 at 22:19:29
Paul (#41), the points you make are predicated on the assumption that FF is staffed with personnel who know what they're doing and know how to maximise every player's performance. With respect I think that's an assumption too far as far as we're concerned. There are various examples of players from the allegedly top clubs stating that the training regime imposed on them by new management had made them fitter than they'd ever been before, to their surprise given they'd always believed they were in optimum condition beforehand.

No, the evidence is in front of the eyes of this Toffee. Too many in FF seem weak, play weak, and speak weak, lately on a weekly basis.

And if anyone thinks the manager's responsible alone, well, I doubt it, for now. There's still too much dead wood at FF to make a good ship Everton.

Jay Harris
76 Posted 03/01/2019 at 23:10:30
Bill the league is a marathon not a sprint and Chelsea are in 4th with a chance of winning the title.

Now you couldnt say that about us could you.

Emery is only in 5th with Arsenal but I would have broken the bank to get him in instead of Silva.

Silva has previous which should have been a warning sign to us but as usual we take the easy lazy way of appointing people.

I would at least give him till the end of the season but the pressure is already on and he doesnt handle pressure well.

Phil Lewis
77 Posted 04/01/2019 at 01:11:55
I don't want to jump on bandwagons and start singling out individual performances for the abysmal Leicester game. Incidentally, Leicester looked no better than us in this woeful display, except for a typical piece of Vardy precision. Collectively our whole team need to stand up and take responsibility. With the possible exception of Zouma, I felt that they all played below their capability. The manager ought to share the responsibility for the defeat, if only for his apparent total lack of motivational skills, let alone tactical ineptitude.

For me, the most telling moment in the match was immediately after Leicester scored. I watched intently at every Everton player and their body language spoke volumes about what is wrong with us at present. They trudged back to the centre circle, shoulders drooped, heads down, hands on hips, as if they were just accepting their fate. No urgency, no geeing each other up, no defiance, no spirit. My eyes instantly turned to Silva and the bench, either they were in shock, or their reaction was the same as the players, nothing. I turned to my nephews next to me and said, "Just look at them, we are not coming back from this, Oh for a Tim Cahill to inject some fight into them."

I'm wondering is this all an aftermath of the Liverpool defeat? It's certainly true that a victory at Anfield could have spurred us on to greater things this season, but this of course is just speculation. We need a reality check and fast. Silva needs to show more passion and commitment, if only to appease the fans.

He needs to toughen up his selection decisions and be prepared to drop players not pulling their weight, or having a dip in form. It occurs to me that Richarlson will not be dropped at any cost regardless of poor performances. That is bad management and will cause discontent with other fringe players. Nobody should be above a spell on the bench. In short, we are desperately short on team spirit and passion. Wasn't it supposed to be Duncan Ferguson's job to be the role model and Mr Motivator? If not, would someone explain to me exactly what it is that we employ him as please?

Bill Gienapp
78 Posted 04/01/2019 at 04:51:31
That was basically my point, Jay - it's a marathon, not a sprint. People are effectively turning on Silva for a bad patch of form (though they're trying to retcon the entire season as some sort of disaster, which is silly - optimism was rightfully high up through the Liverpool match).

Derek suggested none of the top six sides would stand for this and I was merely pointing out that Chelsea have hit a similarly bumpy stretch that, by their standards, may have done irreparable damage to their season (and for the record, the gap between them and first is the same as the gap between us and 6th, so you can't very well say they're still title contenders but our season is effectively over). And yet, the notion of sacking Sarri is rightfully seen as absurd.

John Pierce
79 Posted 04/01/2019 at 05:26:00
If fatigue is to be used as the reason for recent performances then the manager has his own hand in compounding it.

He has stuck to the same 14/15 players and rarely in the good run, when we were playing once a week did he rest a player or two with a heavier schedule in the offing.

He clearly neither rates or trusts players outside this group. In playing a semi-fit Gomes, rushing back Gana he has deprived Davies and others of match time. Gomes looks ruined yet he believes he’s better than a fully fit McCarthy, Schniederlin or Davies.

Tinkering with the system twice over Christmas when we have no time bed it in has only made the team more dysfunctional. It just adds to the mental strain.

In the poor run he has also stuck with players woefully out of form, Walcott & Coleman, having the twin effect of running them into the ground and not using fresh replacements.

So yes fatigue hit us hard after losing at Mordor, but in truth it was already there but the psychology of winning had kept us going to that point.

Silva has managed what he has poorly and has paid a price over and above the easy excuse of a heavy schedule something all teams have had to handle.

He needs to show a more controlled hand in the next month and get results and base to work from. Because failure to gain a decent haul will see us face 5 games at home we could easily get nothing from.

Justin Doone
80 Posted 04/01/2019 at 21:57:54
Top 6 was never realistic for this season. So forget it. But we need to improve for a top 10 place.

The lack of marking the opposing striker in the middle when we are not in possession of the ball baffles me no matter which pair of centre backs we play.

I wonder is it just bad defending believing they have them covered or tactical 'zonal benefits' I'm yet to be convinced of?

With defenders and goal keeper making so many errors we will continue to leak goals. Stop the fancy stuff and just defend.

As for getting a proven, experienced, quality striker in Jan I just can't see it. I said on another thread Charlie Austin for a plan B or C but I don't think that would be a fans favourite but with good service he'd score.

And that's my final point. So many goals are scored by getting bodies in the box and with good quick delivery. We appear to have stopped crossing the ball but in Digne, Baines, Kenny and Sig we have some excellent crosseers.

Watching City, Liverpool, Utd, Spurs, so many goals from open play with good early delivery knowing they will have a few players galloping into the box. 5ft sterling scored such a simple goal against us not through skill or mesmerising play but a simple quick cross.

Has the play been to central since Gomes has been playing? He's a quality player but Walcott and Berni or Ric are playing to narrow. We need to mix it up a bit.

Steve Ferns
81 Posted 04/01/2019 at 22:00:37
Justin, do you know Digne, despite missing the first few games, has completed the most crosses in the league? It’s on the official site.

46 is the number. More than any other premier league player. Perhaps you might revise your position.

James Hill
82 Posted 05/01/2019 at 07:12:47
Chris Gould, I'm interested to know where you get your statistics, that you can so confidently compare previous seasons? Statistics are a very recent phenomenon and probably, even in our high-tech world, pretty inaccurate.
Joe Hurst
83 Posted 06/01/2019 at 13:43:33
...And these days, nearly everyone knows that

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