Cracked Screen

Martin O'Connor 25/11/2019 9comments  |  Jump to last
Marco Silva has been up against it in the eyes of some Evertonians ever since the day he walked through the door at Finch Farm. To some Blues, he was the failed manager of Watford and Hull City.

A large number of Blues were indifferent to his appointment, willing to give him a chance, while still some thought his appointment pointed to a plan for the club over the next three years and I admit I was one of the latter. As we are approaching the half-way mark of his three-year contract, it seems that his tenure in charge is like a cracked window or mobile phone screen.

The 2018-19 season saw Everton start well, beating Southampton at home and drawing at Wolves and Bournemouth in games we really should have won. A slight chip in the mobile followed with a 1-1 home draw against Huddersfield Town and defeats at home to West Ham United and away to Arsenal, plus a damaging home defeat in the Carabao Cup on penalties to Southampton.

A 3-0 home victory against Fulham saw the Blues then go on a run of seven games, which yielded five wins and a draw with just one unlucky 2-1 defeat at Manchester United. Everton had after this run risen to the 6th in the league. The chip had been fixed.

Then came the depressing, ridiculous last-second defeat at the shite. Three dark months followed, including the calamitous horrendous night at Millwall in the FA Cup. During this period, some Blues started calling for Silva’s head. But it was a long-term plan the Club had in place and I for one wanted and expected Silva to stay even if the crack had reappeared and got bigger.

A 17-day break in February, due in part to our early cup exit, saw Silva again repair the damaged screen. The 3-0 win away at Cardiff City in late February saw Everton go on a good run at home not losing to the end of the season and finishing in 8th position the same as the awful Koeman - Unsworth - Allardyce season.

Although the home form to the end of the season was good, the away form was still abysmal and has been for god knows how long. Yes, the Blues won five away games last season, which is the best for ages, but these wins were at West Ham (no great feat) Huddersfield and Cardiff (both relegated) Burnley who were deep in trouble when we played them on Boxing Day and a good win at Leicester City.

The away form has been awful for season after season and is a damning indictment of the lack of fight and mental attitude of the team when out of the confines of Goodison Park. Silva like his predecessors has been unable to fix this problem, it has become too ingrained in the Club.

Which brings us to this season. It seems that Silva has been repairing the ever-growing crack in his phone screen since the season started. As we have stumbled along, it seemed to be reaching a tipping point before the West Ham home game. But true to form Marco got the tape out and patched up that mobile screen again.

Two wins and a draw out of four games. But when we look at those four games, maybe all was not what it seemed. Our best performance of the season came in the 2-0 win at home to a West Ham team who were in a nose-dive and have not won in their last seven games at the time of writing.

We lost at Brighton and Hove Albion after not getting a penalty for a foul on Richarlison and then a penalty given against which should not have been given and a red card for Michael Keane. But even down to ten we should really have seen the game out for a draw but instead panicked collapsed and lost.

The home draw against Tottenham Hotspur came when Spurs were in free fall under Pochettino and were really there for the taking. We had decisions go against us in the game true, but in reality, it was the injury to Gomes and the Son sending off which spurred us on to get a late equaliser. Finally out first away win of the season arrived at Southampton only to be followed by the debacle of the Norwich City home game

The Norwich City game really was a nadir. No fight, no plan, ponderous and lacking in any fight or idea. More worryingly was the team selection. Yes, we won at Southampton but it was clear as daylight after quarter of an hour that the same team was not working against Norwich. But Silva seemed blind to this. He persists with Schneiderlin when he had Baningime on the bench. I said Schneiderlin was a waste of space when we signed him, even when some were praising him in his early games.

Another I have always thought was a mistake is Sigurdsson. What does anyone see in such a ponderous player in the number 10 spot? At least Iwobi has speed and looks to get forward in that position. He actually excelled for Nigeria at this summers AFCON in the role.

As for the two Allardyce signings it hard to find anything good to say about them. A couple of good games from Walcott does not a good player make. He was back to his norm against Norwich while Cenk is clearly not up to it no matter how hard he tries.

The most worrying thing about the Norwich game was the substitution of Sidibé with Coleman. When chasing the game Marco decides on a like for like swapped at right-back, Clearly Silva had lost the plot in the game, although Seamus did play as a quasi winger when he came on. As for Sidibé I have already stated why this was a bad loan. He is a player with a mistake in him every game and is continually caught out of position.

In mitigation, Silva has a 3-year contract and we really can’t say the squad is fully a Marco Silva squad at present. Against Norwich, we had the two Allardyce signings starting along with three from the ill-fated Koeman experiment, two in Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson who are clearly not good enough. But the damning thing here is that Silva continues to pick these players (except for Cenk Tosun who comes and goes).

On Saturday, he had Baningime on the bench an upgrade on Schneiderlin, Iwobi a better Number 10 than Sigurdsson, Kean and Calvert-Lewin both infinitely better than Cenk. Anthony Gordon was in the squad but he never made the bench. He could have easily played and been an upgrade on Walcott. Yes, we have injuries but that is no excuse for continually picking the dross fielded on Saturday.

So where do we go from here? The crowd clearly had started to turn against Silva at the Norwich game. I thought Silva was the right appointment when he was brought in. But in nearly one and half seasons have we seen any real tangible progress? I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that we have not. At some point, I expect Silva’s tape to come out and cover the cracks in his mobile screen once again. But were will that leave us?

Finally you get fed up of a cracked window or phone screen and have to get a new one. I would like to be wrong but it seems that the need for a new screen for the cracked mobile may well be approaching.

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Reader Comments (9)

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David Pearl
1 Posted 25/11/2019 at 00:09:27
Interesting read Martin
I agreed with the first half but you lost me second half... didn’t agree with a few bits on certain players. Silva is a nearly man. How the hell he got the job in the first place l will never know. He lost the fans months ago, the writing has been on the wall, and not just at Goodison Park. We embraced Martínez when he arrived and had a song for him straight away. Then Koeman came in and a lot of us, well me for a start, got to thinking here we go. I mean from one style to another just like that. We didn’t take to Koeman. I’m pretty sure we didn’t take to Allardyce. And even thoughts Hi Ho Silva Lining could of been implemented the only song l have ever heard sung for Silva is “you’re getting sacked in the morning”. But it was part of the early Xmas spirit that both sets of fans joined in. Those moments don’t happen often in football.

I thought Coleman coming on changed the game in a way. But it’s too little too late. I’m afraid he has lost the players. Once that happens there’s no way back.

Of course we won at Saints. Away victory. Then most of tw go bananas when Silva sticks to a winning side. If he changed it and lost we would all be hearing how could he change a winning side! Anyway, point being he has to go. He’s not done so badly has he... how many millions does he walk away with? Lucky talentless bastard that he is.

Derek Thomas
2 Posted 26/11/2019 at 00:29:00
Martin if you have a tendency to drop your phone the very least you can do is put steps in place to minimise the fact. You think ahead a bit, you allow for it...you buy one of those chunky rubber covers. You just don't keep on buying £1000 phones time after time.

Trouble is I'm not sure what the football equivalent of a chunky rubber cover is...oh and it helps to keep it out of the hands of footballing toddlers like Kenwright and Moshiri.

Derek Knox
3 Posted 26/11/2019 at 00:41:16
Cracked Screen? I have a cracked screen on my phone, but it still works fine, as it is an ageing phone, I see no reason to rush and incur an irretrievable expense at getting it repaired.

However, I did say it's working fine, Silva's cracks go a lot deeper and I can't see any other solution but to get a new replacement. Although I do agree let's make sure we get it right this time, but it is a difficult time in recruiting suitable candidates, although some like Pochettino would be a good fit but realistically?

Silva can't even go in the recycle bin!

Jim Brien
4 Posted 26/11/2019 at 01:14:40
This phone has what they call 'water ingress'. It got dropped in the toilet and is unrepairable.
Jamie Crowley
5 Posted 26/11/2019 at 01:58:18
I budget $100 per year to replace my cracked screen.

This year, I spoke with some trusted confidants and asked them what phone protector they used. I got one they suggested, and the protector's been super - probably about 10 drops but no cracks. I'll continue to budget $100 though, just in case.

There's a football analogy somewhere in the above.

Silva's a cracked screen. Actually, he's the whole phone fuckin' busted.

Darren Hind
6 Posted 26/11/2019 at 03:09:26
I'm afraid I agree with just about everything you say Martin.

I wouldn't have gone for Silva, but once he was appointed, I was desperate for him to succeed, especially after the last fella. But every time you think the penny has dropped, he does one or all of the things you mention above.

I just want it to end now, but trying to persuade the right manager to come in right now will be very difficult. Either Silva will be given the games at Leicester and Anfield to somehow find redemption or Rhino will be wheeled out and the experts will hammer him if we lose.

Grim times.

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 26/11/2019 at 03:44:24
Actually Martin, your synopsis of two years of Silva was spot on and the analogy of the Cracked screen worked a treat, giving the correct perspective.

You are right regarding the Norwich game and Silva it looks like is going to given the chance to use the tape again. You are right that we are all getting sick of the Cracked screen, including those of the long term plan view which you advocate and which I also agree with.


A well thought out and impressive article. Thank You.

Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 26/11/2019 at 04:05:02
Martin -

In the chance I came off flippant @5, please know I think your cracked screen analogy is spot on, and exceedingly clever.

Paul Birmingham
9 Posted 26/11/2019 at 04:45:50
Spot on Martin. I hope there’s no sticking plaster quick fix in terms of a replacement, and to save a few bob, the board go for Ginger Gollum.

But this is Everton. If at this calamitous time the board opt for mediocrity in terms of a replacement manager. I sense for many it will be the last straw. Thirty years in the wilderness and no sign soon of finding an escapee route to clear blues skies.

The Skies are grey over Goodison Park and have been for 3 decades. By any clubs standing that’s a long time and for the supporters it’s a living hell.

Hope eternal.. but will the board take this next move with the seriousness the situation warrants?

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