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September 2019 Archive   |   Submit a topic

Prediction Time?

After a long, long time of watching Everton, I'm trying to be a little philosophical and not normally prone to knee-jerk reactions, but I'm unsure just how the current situation will pan out?

Clearly and quite rightly, many fans are venting their anger on what is turning out to be a dreadful start to the season. After a fairly tepid pre-season programme, in which you could see the squad not only had a problem winning games but also scoring goals against some fairly mediocre opposition to boot.

What we see now is only an escalation of those problems evident in pre-season, but against much better quality opposition, who will punish you – like a fairly ordinary but well organised Sheffield United team did a couple of weeks ago.

The much-vaunted appointment and subsequent promotion to the board of Marcel Brands finally brought to an end the reliance on Kenwright to negotiate, on the club's behalf, all inbound and outbound transfers. The future looked a lot brighter.

So, what's gone wrong.

For me, the buck starts and stops with the manager, I'm afraid. He chooses who plays, and ultimately decides the tactics, and this is where Silva gets me really confused.

I'm not totally convinced he knows or understands what his best first eleven is? The utter farce in the last 15 minutes of the second half against Sheffield United was a little embarrassing as it seemed we had nine forwards on the pitch looking to rescue the game.

We had seen some improvement at Sheffield Wednesday and, despite some good individual displays against Manchester City, we were largely outclassed.

We simply don't create enough goal chances against teams, and a forward line of Messi, Ronaldo and Pele (showing my age) would struggle to score goals in this team.

We are utterly predictable in our build-up play and ponderously slow. Our two centre-backs will pass it several times between themselves before normally releasing the ball to Coleman. By this time, the opposition will have two banks of four and five players protecting the goalkeeper and simply waiting for our attack to break down before hitting us on the break (a la Sheffield United). We must be one of the easiest teams in the Premier League to play against.

Oh for some creativity in the side… but I don't see it arriving anytime soon.

So, do we stick or twist with Silva? I do really wish Moshiri would make some sort of statement about the club's goals and ambitions. Before Christmas, we should expect a formal planning application to be put forward for Bramley-Moore Dock, this will be diluted somewhat if we aren't progressing on the field. I don't propose to know all the answers if the club decide to part company with the manager. The plain fact is there is a real dearth of good managers out there who are prepared to walk out on their present clubs and come to Everton.

We have to face the fact we are no longer seen as a club with real global or even European status, even with a billionaire owner and a shiny new stadium on the horizon.

Changing managers every couple of seasons is clearly not the answer, but how long do we continue to believe the current manager has the ability to 'turn things round' in the next six to eight games?

The top four and even the top six group of clubs, which we were aiming for pre-season, seems an awful long way off.


Steve Hogan     Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:03:55

Morgan Schneiderlin – The Rolls-Royce Player

Firstly, I wish to make it clear that our poor start is down to a number of reasons. The loss of Gueye and Zouma has clearly made a difference and we are trying to assimilate two new players up top. But there seemed to be an inevitability about the loss to Bournemouth once a certain Frenchman was named in the starting line-up.

I put a lot of emphasis on central midfield having played there at amateur level. For me, despite current trends, you should not have to employ one destroyer and a ball-carrying creative type. Both should be able to alternate with the implicit understanding that one might be superior in one way to the other.

What has happened is that the destroyer becomes brilliant in one section of the field but utterly useless in the final third. This does allow the other one to go and roam.

Okay, fine, I thought millionaires should be more multi-talented, but anyway… what we have ended up with, as yet another Koeman era cock-up, is Morgan Schneiderlin — who, for me, is the worst player I have seen in an Everton shirt for many years.

I am a kind person but when I know he’s a millionaire and is such a limited, bang average player, it makes me weep and call him for what he is. A player in the French leagues (think the Championship without PSG) who was elevated beyond his ability once he reached Manchester United and then us. Memories are a funny thing but some think he shone when he joined us…

Well, from my memory, he did play well… but then got injured and did little much else but bicker with Mirallas before being part of the comedy show that was Allardyce a year later. Once he got dropped, oh look, we improved because the replacements actually went forwards and showed some fight.

At Bournemouth, I thought Fabian Delph was the latest example of having to play with him. He was getting frustrated and could have seen red. We saw similar from Gomes last season because Schneiderlin just vanishes. He doesn’t close down quick enough, he doesn’t pass with emphasis on moving the ball forwards, and he doesn’t cut the ball out in the air – despite being quite tall. Marking space ain’t good enough.

And if you want to know who I want instead? Well, it’s always two of Gomes, Davies or Delph. Schneiderlin has failed under Koeman, Allardyce and now Silva. They might have all picked him, but I would suggest he was the kryptonite for two of them. Let's not let it be three times, please.
Andre James     Posted 16/09/2019 at 23:52:03

Accepting mediocrity

Over the last few weeks, I have railed against Evertonians who have accused others of accepting mediocrity. We all accept it because we have no choice. What can I do as an Evertonian to demonstrate my disdain for that utterly abject show today?

At the last Toffeeweb get together, the admirable Keith Berry asked everyone present if they thought that Marco Silva was the man to take our club forward. All, including m, thought he was with only one man expressing doubts. I won't name the dissenter but, Dave Abrahams, you were right.

There is not, in my view, the slightest sign that there is a project that is gradually unfolding. We have a team that is utterly spineless. A group that will never, ever come back from two goals down.

They are a reflection of the coach: nice guys who can accept losing without being hurt to the heart by it, unlike us. We, who have our week ruined by the abject failure of Marco and his team.

The coach has been described as someone who can work with and improve players. Can anyone name one player who has got better under this coach? We have had an easy start and we have been dreadful. Not unlucky, just poor. Losing to Aston Villa, Bournemouth and drawing at Crystal Palace is just inept.

To me, it is time to bite the bullet. I, unfortunately, am compelled to accept mediocrity; Mr Moshiri is not. It is time for him to act. Marco Silva is not fit to be our coach. He is stubborn, intractable, feeble and utterly uninspiring. If I was a player looking to the touchline, I would see only bewilderment. Moshiri must act. Sack him.


Andy Crooks     Posted 15/09/2019 at 20:31:00

Size matters

Having been an Evertonian all my life and attending matches regularly since 1960, I have seen all of our good teams, average teams and poor teams during that period. One thing has always irked me. Why do we always seem to have a small team? That is my recollection anyway.

Even the Holy Trinity, whom I worshiped, were relatively small. All three were of less-than-average height. Even the great team of the 1980s was not particularly big. Ratcliffe was under 6 ft; Reid, Bracewell, Steven, Sheedy in midfield, with “Inchy” up front. I was once in the same room as Andy Gray and was surprised by how much smaller he was in the flesh. Many of the players coming through the ranks who have been touted as the next sensation have been diminutive. I feel some of them have possibly not made the grade because of it.

Until now, that is... when we seem to be bringing in mainly tall players. The two centre backs, Keane and Mina, are 6’-3” and 6’-5” respectively. In midfield, although Delph is of average height, Gomes is 6’-2” and Gbamin 6’-1”. Further up the field, Sigurdsson is 6’-1” while our current front three of Richarlison, Keane and Iwobi are respectively 5’-10”, 6’-0” and 5’-11”. Surely our tallest team for quite some time.

I am not saying a footballer has to be big to succeed. I realise that a balance throughout the team is required, and smaller players are often quicker over short distances and more able to change direction. Personally I am glad that we have brought in some good players that have height and can compete physically.

Clive Rogers     Posted 11/09/2019 at 14:18:25

USM Finch Farm

Looking back at the last England youth campaigns when by memory we had 4 players in the U20s and 4 players in the U18s who were more than successful, I see a lot of the players in those squads are playing in good sides and becoming good players.

By contrast, Our players from USM Finch Farm — once they get to U23 level, and just before they get to, or should be breaking into, the senior team, seem to go backwards.

We get promising players from overseas who seem to lose the talent they had once they hit our youth academy. I know people will say "But the U23s have won two of the last three Premier League 2 titles!" — but my point is: maybe that's just raw talent that has done this.

Now I am not saying David Unsworth is useless, he obviously has some coaching ability, but does he and the rest of the staff have the technical ability to take the players to the next level and keep improving them beyond that?

I have been an Everton fan for 40 years now but unfortunately live in Australia so the only news I get is from this great website and the official site. For the last 3 or 4 years, I have been alarmed at how many youth internationals we have had that their development goes backwards... maybe we should send all our promising youngster to German clubs!
Phillip Warrington     Posted 09/09/2019 at 21:50:19

The Alex Iwobi factor

The signing of Alex Iwobi came out of the blue – I think most of us were surprised, some a bit shocked, and a few deflated after the high-profile pursuit of Zaha.

Over the last 6 weeks, that shock and initial disappointment of signing what was perceived to be a contingency plan, has completely disappeared. Sometimes things happen almost by accident and turn out to be masterstrokes. As a result of the unjustified (and unattainable) asking price Steve Parish placed on Zaha, we have landed a better overall player for the club.

Alex Iwobi is a team player, it is there for all to see on the pitch. He clearly enjoys being a part of our fighting unit. This player needed a home; at Arsenal, he was an outsider and never given a proper chance to establish himself. From Day One, Marco Silva knew he had a player with untapped potential, an athlete and a player with desire. He has made a primary demand to Alex: score more goals.

He was as close as you can get against Aston Villa (hitting the inside of the post), put it on a silver platter for Walcott at Villa too, popped up at Lincoln with an opportunist header at a crucial time, scored an important header against Wolves. Alex has already made an impact. He is already in tune with the manager and his methods. He has hit the ground running, which is never a sure thing.

On top of all this, he is young still; there is further improvement in him and I think he is at the right club at the right time for that to happen.

It is early days, very early days, too early… but I can’t help having a little bit of a gush over this signing. I am unreservedly positive about his future for us. From his interviews, he seems very down-to-earth and appreciative to be at our great club. This demeanour and outlook is good for the squad, for team spirit, and for our progress into the top 6 and winning one of the cups.

All-in-all, I am happy we have got Alex Iwobi instead of Wilfied Zaha.

Tony  Everan     Posted 08/09/2019 at 08:44:06

Wilfried Zaha – should we go back for him in January?

To be honest, I was pretty devastated when we missed out on Deadline Day for Zaha it felt like a massive let down, as I felt we had missed a player of genuine quality and got that typical Everton Deadline Day feeling of the past we all used to feel.

The final insult to injury was the signing of Alex Iwobi, that seemed to just come from absolutely nowhere and after missing out on Zaha it felt like a panic buy. I can't confess to watching Arsenal, week-in & week out, and felt like he was a typical average Everton signing – plus, if he was that good, why did Unai Emery let him go?

But, after seeing him play in two matches and scoring twice no less, he is obviously a quality player – one that has gone very much under the radar. I know it's too soon to say if he will be an Everton great but he looks promising... and now, armed with this fact, do we go back in for Zaha in January?

Despite my initial disappointment, is he an expensive bullet that has been dodged?

Daniel Johnson     Posted 05/09/2019 at 11:39:19

You don't know you're born...

Football today is like a teddy bears picnic for the younger generation, all those new stadiums, pre-match entertainment behind the Park End, foot-long hot dogs, various energy drinks and a football pitch immaculate.

Updated scores and near misses reshown on the screen in the stadium, a friendly chat with opposing supporters and an option of countless takeaways and fast-food stores for the journey home.

You lucky, lucky people... you don’t know you're born, (famous quote from our parents).

Well it was not always like that, I can only reflect from the seventies so pretty sure this could turn into the Monty Python Yorkshire sketch from even older generations than myself.

Back then, there was no mingling with rival fans, the goal mouth resembled a ploughed field, Baseball ground was a ploughed field for every inch.

You would find a lovely viewpoint in the ground until 10 mins from kick-off Richard, Osman's Dad, would stand in front of you on arrival and suddenly you're looking at someone’s back; however, a near-miss could give you that advantage of darting through the sway and getting in front of the guy.

For the younger ones, you either took your chance in the Boys Pen, not a good idea, or it was an upside-down milk crate, at the front.

You may recall those foot-long hot dogs I mentioned earlier, well back then, it was a Freddy Boswell cart with hotdogs the size of those small tin ones you get now with stewed onions.

Inside the ground was no better, tea, Bouvril, wagon wheels and some dodgy crisps, nearly always ready salted, that was your choice.

Latest scores came from Mr transistor radio guy in the crowd, with the ht courtesy of an a-z board along Bullens road, with a guy putting numbers next to them, with the back of your programe showing the matches for the A-Z letters, every game was a Saturday 3pm kick -ff back then.

Then you had the toilets, you took your chance trying to get in, others chose a rolled-up Liverpool echo as an easy option.

Now you have stewards, happy to show you the direction of your seat; back then it was Sgt Harris and his cane with a steel tip, police dogs coming within feet of taking a bite.

After the match, back to the coach in time to hear the full-time scores, no toilets on coaches back then either.

Then home in time to enjoy your tea that had been kept warm in the oven, complete with hard baked-on gravy.

Well, that is was how it was like back then.

I did mention the Yorkshire Monty python sketch, at this moment in time, can hear even the older generation saying, coach, we had to walk, oven we dreamed of having an oven to keep our tea warm, Wagon wheels and crisps, we had to take beef dripping sandwiches, with a made-up bottle of cordial.

We did see silverweare though and met some great characters at the game.

So, for the younger generation of today, enjoy the match and be thankful for the luxuries you have today.

Here’s hoping you get to see Everton lift some silverware.

Brian Wilkinson     Posted 04/09/2019 at 00:30:12

Keyboard Warriors

ToffeeWeb should be about opinions and of course those opinions will differ, some of the keyboard warriors even acknowledge that, then go on to contradict that philosophy.

As for criticism, the Players and the Manager and Staff, are extremely well paid, and not doing this as a favour or charity for the good of all things Everton. So if they perform poorly, or the Manager fields weakened teams, and leaves players out when they are match fit, and would suit the opposition better than those selected, then criticism IS justified.

I don't think for one minute, that Marco Silva or anyone else connected with the first-team set-up, checks ToffeeWeb to see what the fans' opinions are, and then takes umbrage by the comments, yet some on here seem take those criticisms as an insult to players and staff.

The one thing I disagree with though is, personal abuse between ToffeeWebers, and I mean the genuine abuse (not the tongue-in-cheek) okay it's back to opinions again, but just because someone disagrees or opposes shouldn't make them the enemy. We are all fighting for the same cause here I hope, so let's keep it civilised and remember that!
Derek Knox      Posted 01/09/2019 at

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