The Sack Race

by   |   25/11/2019  30 Comments  [Jump to last]

Following our incredibly bad defeat at home to Norwich, I must confess I lost any belief in Silva.

I’ve tried being positive about him with excuses that he inherited an unbalanced squad of players from three previous managers. I also think he had some really poor officialdom against him last season (Millwall, Liverpool, Arsenal, Wolves) and again this time round (Spurs, Brighton) but yesterday none of that mattered.

He fell into the trap of playing Morgan Schneiderlin, thus reducing any vitality or pace we could have in midfield. For me, it is a cardinal sin to play the proven crash-test dummy in this side against the bottom team at home. A midfield with Tom Davies and Iwobi or Sigurdsson playing just in front should have got us further up the pitch and overwhelmed them so the forward line could profit.

But then I read an intriguing article about the three Premier League managers under threat of being sacked. They were, unsurprisingly, Silva, Pellegrini and Emery. It brought some perspective.

One thing that struck me about this trio is that they all stubbornly stick to their way of playing, formation-wise. Then another: they have all been in charge of their respective clubs the same amount of time, all joining them in the summer of 2018. All three are in a difficult second season and struggling to get across their ideas to their players.

A parallel I can draw between Silva at Everton and both of them is that Pellegrini came to West Ham after seasons of unrest with Bilic and Moyes, similar to our own difficulties between 2016 and 2018. Meanwhile, Arsenal are adjusting to life without Wenger. Similarly, we have not been as stable nor as consistent as our long-term manager, the aforementioned Scot, departed.

It gave me some comfort as I realised that other clubs are just as dysfunctional as we are. Both the Gunners and the Hammers have spent a few quid recently and are not seeing the benefits. Like ourselves.

I’ve read fans on these pages call for Emery or Pellegrini to be our manager in the past but both are in the same peril as the far less experienced Silva.

This is not in support of Marco Silva. As I said, he deserves the sack for persevering with players who don’t deserve his trust. But, there are some players in this squad who are cowards who hide just like in East and North London and, ultimately, do their manager no favours.

If Marco Silva were to go in the coming week, I hope we don’t judge him too harshly. More experienced managers are capable of just the same mistakes and results.

But one thing I am clear about is that this squad must be cleansed of certain players who have been stealing a living for several seasons now. I won’t name them, I won’t have to. They just seem to feature during all of our dire runs of form, put in one half-decent returning performance when we’re back on it, and get undue credit.

These players must be sold on or their contracts bought out. I know that might sound expensive but, while they remain on the books, our chances of winning a trophy, packing out Goodison Park, or rising up the Premier League are unlikely.

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Reader Comments (30)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 25/11/2019 at 14:01:00
You'd hope that whoever acts first would have first pick. But it might be if there are no obvious candidates for us, there are none also for Arsenal and W Ham.

It could be a case of 'No Activity' and roll on Leicester and the Derby.

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 25/11/2019 at 14:48:23
Excellent perspective, Andre. A well-written article.
David Pearl
3 Posted 25/11/2019 at 15:01:56
I think a midfield of Iwobi and Davies would be a complete disaster. John McEnroe springs to mind. The trouble as ever was the shape. If you play Schneiderlin he tends to start off behind his midfield partner which accounts for the space in the middle. We should be playing 433. We have the players. The second problem we have is when we lose possession our wide players then go and stick to the wings as cover for the full back leaving our striker isolated. I thought we'd turned a corner a few weeks ago but Silva reverted to type.

As for the sack race. WH, Arsenal, MU are all probably going to replace their managers before seasons end. Why we have not announced a change so far is annoying. Are we really going to wait and let yet another season pass us by?

Change it now Moshiri, what the hell is he waiting for?

Jay Harris
4 Posted 25/11/2019 at 16:15:01
I agree with you.

Spurs acted like a big ambitious club and did not dither.

We are acting like dithering unambitious Everton wondering if Silva might get better or whether Moyes would steady the ship.

That suggests to me that the problem in the boardroom is even bigger than the problem on the pitch and we all know who is behind this problem.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 25/11/2019 at 22:01:59
Whichever manager we get is going to need to be able to manage a group of stroppy inconsistent players.

The last three or four squads we have had have basically picked and chose whether or not they want to play for the boss and that’s an attitude I can’t abide with.

First and foremost I want players that want to play for Everton Football Club, not just the manager.

The rumours that Moise Kean wants Silva to get the sack, I hope they are wide of the mark because if that’s the case then I’m sorry but that lad had a poor poor attitude.

There may well be a reason why managers keep getting the sack here, and it’s funny that the players seem to roughly still be here and get off lightly.

Chris Hockenhull
7 Posted 25/11/2019 at 22:14:06
Jim 6 You’ve hit the nail on the head over the same suspects being consistently in the shadows. Each and every manager over the years has had to have has “something” about them to have not all continually fail time and time again?? I honestly believe that after following Everton since 1963 we are bloody cursed now one way or another I really do (bit like the likes of Sunderland where old memories are all that’s going to be left no matter how many false dawns). BTW. did last nights nailed on cast iron rumour regards U23’s being told to stay away turn out then???
Andrew James
8 Posted 26/11/2019 at 00:51:22

What rumours that Kean wants Silva gone?

Would like to substantiate stuff given we are about to enter into the rumour grind over new coaches etc...

Mark Guglielmo
9 Posted 26/11/2019 at 01:12:50
Jim @6, rumors only become bigger rumors because people spread them, without any proof. This particular one originated on Twitter. Moving on...
Don Alexander
10 Posted 26/11/2019 at 01:18:06
To me the article makes valid points but, without any disrespect at all, it doesn't mention the most obvious thing we, Arsenal, and WHU, in my opinion share, namely an ownership/boardroom full of self-worshipping, conniving pseudo's without a clue as to how to win, content as they all are to merely stay on the Premier League cash-rich roundabout. Even Arsenal now with Kroenke at the top.

If only we now had an owner who'd been in either of those boardrooms for a few years and had therefore developed the insight as to how to organise the culture of a winning, vibrant football club, as Arsenal used to be.


Jerome Shields
11 Posted 26/11/2019 at 03:21:14
Andre a interesting article. The three clubs mentioned are as you say at a similar stage. and the two manager mentioned, I thought would have done a better job, but the who!e bottom half of the League are similar!y erratic.

it like there is a erratic virus going about. But Everton as usual don't seem to be able capitalise on it. They seem to catch any virus going. I myself have developed a complex as a result, fearing I will never again see the light of day regards Everton footballing prospects.

Bill Gienapp
12 Posted 26/11/2019 at 11:35:41
The failure of Pellegrini at West Ham (been in charge as many matches as Silva, but has produced three less points in that span, in spite of comparable investment and the addition of a bona fide striker in Haller this season) is a stark reminder that a resume only counts for so much.

Many wanted Pellegrini instead of Silva (and Koeman), for no particular reason other than he'd won the league with Manchester City, but it turned out those trophies guaranteed nothing.

Paul Tran
13 Posted 26/11/2019 at 17:54:02
The Kean stuff stems from him 'liking' a post on Twitter that had a recording of our fans singing to Silva 'you're getting sacked in the morning.'

Make of that what you will. I wouldn't blame him.

Clive Rogers
14 Posted 27/11/2019 at 12:18:21
The present mess is the biggest in my lifetime. The whole club seems mired in incompetence.

Useless unplayable players that we can't get rid of even after a massive clearout project. Expensive signings that prove to be not up to it. The list of problems goes on and on and it all stems from the board who now seem paralysed as to what to do.

Whoever becomes the next manager has a massive job on his hands which has obviously been beyond the last few incumbents. There is obviously much more wrong with the club than just the manager and will not be solved until the boardroom is sorted out.

James Marshall
15 Posted 27/11/2019 at 12:26:13
If Kean wants Silva gone, who can blame him? The majority of us do as well by the looks of things, and Magic Marco has handled Kean badly in my view - playing him for 15 minutes in games we're losing and not starting him when he should has been a managerial failing.

Silva is a shit manager. He's shit at every aspect of management, from dealing with the media, to managing players, tactics, you name it, he's shit at it. He's been found out at every Premier League job he's had.

Clive Rogers
16 Posted 27/11/2019 at 12:45:11
James, with our board, who is to say that the next one won’t be just as bad. That is the real problem.
Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 27/11/2019 at 13:03:01
He found consistency during the last quarter of last season, when his team kept 8 clean sheets in eleven matches. He lost a player who brought massive energy to the team, and he lost a fast central defender who looked like he’d finally got to grips with the managers system.

The energy was replaced, but not properly because of an unfortunate injury, but the speed at the back never was. I don’t know if he feels sorry for himself, (the look on his face makes me think he does?) but when things don’t work out the way you plan them, you have got to keep going and find another way.

He will probably point to Tosun, Schneiderlin and Holgate for starters, and say he never wanted any of them in his team, he will probably point to Kean, and say he didn’t want potential, he wanted a ready made striker, and Iwobi, and wonder which position Brands bought him to play?

Fair enough, but this shouldn’t stop him trying, he’s got enough good players in his squad to make a much better fist of it, but obviously not if he carries on playing the same mundane system, which he never felt certain players were ever good enough for anyway.

Stop sulking and be brave would be my advice, people aren’t stupid they might even give you a second chance if you do Marco.

Brian Harrison
18 Posted 27/11/2019 at 13:20:31
Tony 17

As you rightly point out Silva towards the back end of last season did indeed get 8 clean sheets in 11 games, and the majority of us thought we are now on the right track to push on next season. But once Chelsea sacked Sarri then there was absolutely no chance that Zouma would stay here, mind when asked he always said I am here till the end of the season. Then we committed football suicide by selling Gana Gueye, he was so integral to the way this team performed. Who on earth allowed him to leave I am pretty sure it wasn't Silva.

Even at the end of last season every fan said if we can get a top striker we could challenge for a top 4 spot, which had we been able to keep Zouma and more significantly Gueye, I believe we may have been able to challenge for a top 4.

So those decisions taken at the back end of last season have had a major effect on this team. So for me there are 3 culprits in this Moshiri, Silva and Brands, all equally responsible for what has happened. Yet some of our fans are suggesting that Brands should pick our next manager, how anybody can suggest this is beyond me. Brands didn't buy a quality striker yet risked everything on a young kid, and failed to replace Zouma and I assume had a big say in the sale of Gueye, as his model is to buy 26-year-olds or younger.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 27/11/2019 at 13:42:21
And that’s why I think Silva might be sulking Brian. The first summer I thought Brands did a very good job, but it was like we had a shift in how we are eventually going to recruit this summer, but I don’t think the squad was quite ready for this, and we have definitely paid the penalty this season.

Silva has got to take most of the blame because he picks the team, and sorts out the tactics, but Brands, Kenwright and Moshiri, have also got to shoulder a lot of the responsibility because they have definitely left the manager short.

Trevor Peers
20 Posted 27/11/2019 at 14:03:03
Tony, Silva is a sensitive soul, to ask him to change his personality and act in a totally different manner is impossible. He's full of smiles when we are winning ( not very often) and does his little boy lost act and sulks when we are losing, that's never going to change and probably why we have never recovered from a losing position and won in the premiership.

It's totally unacceptable in a ruthless proffession like football management to behave the way he does and expect him to be successful, he has many other faults too, but his lack of inspiration is his fatal flaw, he has to go and I think he will be gone soon.

Sam Hoare
21 Posted 27/11/2019 at 14:05:58
Brian@18, I agree alot with that. Zouma and Gueye especially have been massive, massive losses. For a start there were possibly two of the fastest, most athletic central players we had. Our spine now is so lamentably slow.

Gueye at least was replaced, with Gbamin and his injury was terrible luck. the failure to replace Zouma was one of Brand's failures this summer and I worried all summer about the prospect of Keane and Mina.

I think Brands' shortcoming this summer and the injuries suffered to Gbamin and Gomes might be part of the reason Silva is being given more time; the board is sympathetic to the bad luck he has suffered and the way he was failed in the market. But don't expect that sympathy to give him more than a few extra games to get a tune out of this team.

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 27/11/2019 at 14:15:15
I don’t see that much change in his demeanour whatever the result Trevor, which might just help to prove your point, or at leat half of it anyway!

I think we don’t recover from a losing position because of our tactics, we are just too predictable in our play, and once a team gets in front against Everton, they know this, when they just keep shuffling us out wide.

I honestly saw Olympiacos play more one-two’s, in a five minute period last night than I’ve seen Everton play all season, and probably because of our set-up, and the distance that is usually between our players. Go for the jugular is a common phrase in football, but not by us, only by our opponents unfortunately.

Brian Harrison
23 Posted 27/11/2019 at 14:18:15

I know we signed Gbamin to replace Gueye but because of injury its hard to know if he is a straight replacement for Gueye. I have said before I don't think Silva is convinced about Mina, as even when he was fit last season Silva preferred Zouma who was only on loan. I get the feeling that there is a definite disconnect between Silva and Brands, and I am sure Silva feels pretty let down by Brands latest purchases.

I am in no way trying to absolve Silva he must carry the major responsibility for the results but I think Brands and Moshiri must also take a lot of responsibilty.

Chris Williams
24 Posted 27/11/2019 at 14:39:08
Sam, Tony and Brian, I pretty much agree with all the points you raise. The first team was unbalanced going into this season, with the three glaring gaps you mention. Most of the other question marks in the squad tend to be about the usual suspects, who Silva inherited, but we can’t shift out. I think most of those players were involved on Saturday, except Martina and Niasse.

This seasons recruitment shows a real shift in emphasis, with balancing the books and potential sell on value being major priorities. Players like Iwobi, Kean, Sidibe, Delph seem more like purchases to improve the squad.

But the first team is weaker without any doubt. Aggravated by injuries.

I reckon Moshiri is aware of all of these factors which may explain his lack of action so far. As well as no decent replacements

BUT, a red line was crossed on Saturday, with the worst performance in a procession of bad performances over a period of time. The flaws in team selection, inconsistencies, crap away record, never winning after going one down, or if we fail to score in the first 20 minutes etc etc. Those are down to Silva.

I’ve cooled down a bit since Saturday, but not that much.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 27/11/2019 at 14:55:47
Brian (18),In fairness regarding the loss of Gueye, if we hadn’t have let him go, what sort of mood would he have been in, I know he carried on playing and giving his best after we refused to sell him in January, had a promise been made to him that he could go in the summer. He has been missed,even if he drove you nuts with his many misplaced passes.
Conor McCourt
26 Posted 27/11/2019 at 15:21:11
Tony 17+19 -that's interesting that you too noticed a shift in the direction of how players were sought from the last window to this as I was just saying this morning on Bad Brands thread something similar.

I also suggested that Silvas selection against Norwich seemed like a political move against Brands by playing Tosun and Siggy as if highlighting that Iwobi and Kean were not my choices. Your thoughts...are am I just waffling?

Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 27/11/2019 at 15:47:22
Tony ~22, yes Olympiacos were fantastic for periods playing some great stuff, as were Shakhtar in the other game. It reinforced my belief that the football being served up as the "best league in the world" is far from it.
We have played some crap stuff this season and so have lots of other teams. It's not that the standard is improving, in my opinion we just play it a bit faster than the European sides for the whole game.
If Silva pulls out a couple of shock results we could find ourselves in mid-table obscurity.
Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 27/11/2019 at 16:02:51
I don’t think you’re waffling Conor, I think that’s something I do when it comes to some of the Paul the esk threads, because they talk finance and I usually just dream about Usmanov coming in, in the future.

I mentioned this in the last thread of Paul’s, because I disagreed with the net spend that some people were coming up with, because I felt we had come a lot closer to balancing the books this summer, and this had just got me thinking if this was now going to become club policy, now that Brands had been at the club, and been promoted to a director of the club?

I think Silva hasn’t been backed with the players he wanted, and first started this sulking at Bournemouth, which back-fired on him straight away. He’s acting like his hands are tied with some of his recent selections, and although injuries haven’t helped I just think he could also work out a better system to both suit the players and engage the crowd.

If the transfer strategy has changed it’s worrying, because I’m sure Silva would have at least been expecting to have a crack at the top 5 this season, until the transfer window shut in August, but I could also be totally wrong.

Maybe everyone is right and he his a poor manager, but the thing that shocked me on Saturday was the complete lack of pragmatism, and a total lack of belief right across the board, and even into the boardroom it now seems, because as things stand, it’s more than just Marco Silva, who aren’t doing their job right, right now?

Conor McCourt
29 Posted 27/11/2019 at 16:32:04
My thinking based on how it worked last summer was that Silva identified the position and characteristics sought, Brands comes up with names 1-2-3 which Silva agrees and Brands goes to get them.

This summer not only are positions and characteristics i.e. left footed right winger, cb, not been adhered to but also the players i.e. Kean and Iwobi don't seem to have the coaches agreement.

I was still wanting to give Silva time until Saturday but when I seen that selection it really shocked me. I know he's been stubborn this season but recent evidence of keeping Davies and Holgate in the team suggested he was finally learning lessons and we strarted getting a few results.

On Saturday however he plays Tosun who he never plays ahead of Kean and Siggy before Iwobi. I just thought he knows he's going and he's imitating Mourinho. Then after the predictably lamentable perfomance he sort of said what will be will be as if whatever was going on in the background before the Norwich game he believed he was on his way and he wanted to show Moshiri his feelings.

Conor McCourt
30 Posted 27/11/2019 at 16:43:00
Tony My thinking based on how it worked last summer was that Silva identified the position and characteristics sought, Brands comes up with names 1-2-3 which Silva agrees and Brands goes to get them.

This summer not only are positions and characteristics i.e. left footed right winger, cb, not been adhered to but also the players i.e. Kean and Iwobi don't seem to have the coaches agreement.

I was still wanting to give Silva time until Saturday but when I seen that selection it really shocked me. I know he's been stubborn this season but recent evidence of keeping Davies and Holgate in the team suggested he was finally learning lessons and we started getting a few results.

On Saturday however he plays Tosun who he never plays ahead of Kean and Siggy before Iwobi. I just thought he knows he's going and he's imitating Mourinho. Then after the predictably lamentable perfomance he sort of said what will be will be as if whatever was going on in the background before the Norwich game he believed he was on his way and he wanted to show Moshiri his feelings

Darren Hind
31 Posted 28/11/2019 at 03:33:36
A good piece, but I think you should have named the players you have in mind, Andrew.

I suspect most of us will have different ideas of who you were talking about...

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