Brands confident in Silva's ability to hone Blues squad

Thursday, 15 August, 2019 49comments  |  Jump to last

Marcel Brands has spoken of his faith in Marco Silva's ability to get the best out of the players he and the manager bring into the club.

As part of his enlightening interview with evertontv, the Dutchman was asked about his relationship with the Portuguese in the roles as the apex of Everton's player recruitment efforts.

“We try to bring in the players that we both agree [on] because it's not a good thing that I bring in players [who] the manager is not behind,” Brands explained when asked if he had Silva always agree on potential transfer targets. “We always discuss every player that we want that we can bring in.

“We agree on the types of player most of the time because we have already planned. My pre-season as Director of Football starts directly after the 1st of September for the next season. It's a plan and a process that runs through the whole year and finally we come to positions and names and then we go for it.

“Of course we always have back-ups if you can't succeed with a particular player or a particular position but we're close on that. Of course, the manager always wants a little more; that's similar to all the managers.

“But I have to manage the numbers around the players but I'm very happy to work with Marco.

“The most important thing for me with Marco is that he is a coach who can make the players better and I think he proved that last year with almost all the players.

“That's important for me as a director of football because if we bring in a little bit younger players, we have to give the manager time with those players but I'm really confident he can make those players better.”

 

Reader Comments (49)

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Brendan Fox
1 Posted 16/08/2019 at 07:33:34
Chalk and cheese going from Walsh to Brands and the club is starting to look like it means business in player acquisitions as opposed to the scatter gun approach of Walsh and Koeman.

Silva now has to try and kick the squad on in terms of performance on the training field and on match days, let's hope he can kick on and prove he is able to mix it with the best managers in the league and Europe hopefully!

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 16/08/2019 at 08:11:54
It was a great interview. He gave enough to the fans without giving away any secrets. Really good move by the club.
Martin Berry
3 Posted 16/08/2019 at 09:02:24
Marcel Brands = Masterstroke, the best signing and bit of business since Seamus Coleman !
It is said that Marco Silva really does improve players which will be exciting with the young talent being signed.
Additionally the hierarchy will be expecting results albeit longer term in their investments.
Exciting and interesting times ahead.
Fran Mitchell
4 Posted 16/08/2019 at 09:21:19
I think he 'a right in that Silva will improve most players he works with.

My doubts over Silva is whether he can get the team playing to the right intensity, with the correct tactical balance, to truly reach our aspirations.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 16/08/2019 at 09:23:23
It’s all good and positive sound bites don’t get me wrong but surely this is the season we really start to show tangible progress.

A good start would be no more shite Cup losses to bang average teams (ahem, yes and Lincoln fall into that category in two weeks time).

At the end of the day, we finished last season pretty well but what happened in midwinter was diabolical at times and rudderless shit that can’t be replicated.

Big improvements needed on the away form this season to have any hope on bettering 8th place.

Derek Knox
6 Posted 16/08/2019 at 09:27:17
I have little doubt that Marco Silva is good at monitoring the players fitness and training, and in doing so improving them, but the proof of the pudding is being able to convert all that into results on the field of play.

I just hope he is the man to achieve this, and on a continuous basis, starting at home to Watford tomorrow.

Denis Richardson
7 Posted 16/08/2019 at 10:13:11
Time will tell - Jury's still out on Silva and we've spent a ton of cash in the 15 months he's been here. Squad's definitely better but it's what happens on the pitch on a Saturday that counts not nice platitudes.

3 points against Watford and take it game at a time to build confidence and momentum.

We have zero chance of winning the league and near zero chance of getting top 4 this season so a decent cup run or two (dare I say even semi or final) on top of a top 6-8 finish would be a decent outcome. Actual final/trophy would be exceptional.

First things first, 3 points tomorrow.

Derek Taylor
8 Posted 16/08/2019 at 10:23:58
Silva may well be capable of improving the players on the roster but is he the miracle worker who can produce the goals we need without a striker worthy of the name on the books ?
Jim Harrison
9 Posted 16/08/2019 at 10:25:41
Brands seems class, but it’s not fair to compare Walsh to him. I think Mosh made a mistake in employing a good scout as a director of football, a job he was not suited for, especially with a very demanding and arguably higher profile employee like Koeman.

Could you imagine Brands agreeing to 45 million for siggy? Or offering Rooney 150 grand a week? Or signing 3 players for the same position? No, because his job is the big picture.
Walsh had successes at his former clubs identifying players with certain qualities, and that is a role he could possibly have fulfilled at Everton, under a director of football.

So, whilst Walsh made a pigs ear of the role, he should never have been given the job.
Brands on the other hand looks the real deal, because he has been employed to do a job he is suited to.
I am sure I read that he was the original target but first time around he didn’t want to leave, shame, because it looks like 2 years lost. I think he even worked with Koeman before.

Nothing actually achieved on the pitch so far, but we have gone from signing cuco as back up right back to a full french international, from DCL as a promising youngster in the lower leagues to Kean who at 19 has already proved his worth at a top tier club (note, I rate DCL, not least because despite his short comings he only cost a million and will sell for more if he doesn’t make it with Everton)
The squad isn’t where M &M wanted it to be, mainly because of the centre back, but rather than over spend or bring in sub standard he looked at the bigger picture. Zouma bombs at Chelsea or loses his place as injured players come back in? Move on the cards in January still, if he stars then so be it, but we didn’t blow stupid money on average. The squad is strong enough for 7th, 5th maybe if everything clicks and other clubs stumble on a very modest net spend. As he says, he will start working on next season very soon and if he can carry on what he has done in the past year . hold on, this is Everton!!!!

Derek Knox
10 Posted 16/08/2019 at 10:44:59
Jim H, you are right, Walsh should never have been given the job in the first place, I believe a knee-jerk reaction (probably between BPB and Mosh) on the grounds that those upstarts Leicester, who had the temerity to win the Premiership Title, how did they do it?

Don't ask me for proof, but I have heard from several sources that Walsh, although he accepted all the accolades and credits for unearthing N'Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez et al, wasn't the one who did.

Anyway, 'water under the bridge' unfortunately like in the Klondike, that water had so much gold in it, never to be retrieved again.

Brands has proved beyond all shadow of any doubt, he is possibly the best signing (next to Moshiri without who none of this would have happened) and I have every faith in him continuing in that vein. (there we go in the Klondike again!)

Paul Burns
11 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:05:26
We need actions not words.
We've been in "transition" for a decade.
To win things, you've got to be strong in every single game, not just at home, and last week showed no improvement on our dismal away record.
Still looks scattergun to me, just with different people wasting the money.
The talking's got to be backed up with results, week in week out, from the first minute to the last in every match.
There are clubs all over Europe achieving far more with a fraction of the money we have spent.
Steve Ferns
12 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:07:54
Derek, I would be surprised if Walsh was the first one (for Leicester) to see Kante and Mahrez. He was chief scout. The chief scout doesn't go off watching French games in the hope of finding someone. They have a scout covering that patch, and that scout would have told Walsh he might have found someone. Then Walsh (and maybe others) had a look and then the decision was made to sign these players. I believe Walsh did stumble across Vardy himself, or so he says. Walsh was a terrible Director of Football, no doubt about that. But let's not be revisionist and mock his scouting ability. He was and is a top scout. But a top scout does not make a Director of Football.

By contrast, Brands was never a scout. He does not profess to be a top scout. He was a journeyman ex-pro who got into administration when he hung up his boots. In the interview he namechecks a few of his team. And there's Brands skills, he gets the right people to do the right jobs and oversees it rather than trying to do it all himself. You can also see that he is charismatic with that easy Dutch laidback charm. That air of coolness would be great in negotiations, taking everything in his stride.

I really like Marcel Brands and feel we are in safe hands.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:11:24
Paul 11

I agree, you only need to look at the Ajax team from last season and then other examples like Wolves winning promotion and instantly finishing above us, just two examples.

There comes a time when yes all looks like it’s in position, but it’s actually accelerating from that position and going somewhere that we need to achieve next.

Words don’t win matches, promise and potential doesn’t either, at some point we need to become ruthless on the pitch and start becoming, to quote Martinez in his first season “arrogant” in a good way.

Mike Doyle
14 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:27:11
Jim. Klopp adopted the same approach with looking for a centre half. He wanted Van Dijk and preferred to wait a year to get him rather than opt for a sub-standard version.
Glad to see Brands imposing a similar discipline.
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:29:38
Oh Dear! I'm getting a little tired of interviews about the bleedin' obvious. Did he manage to say in there what happens if they don't agree on a player? Or what the budget was and if it changed according to how many we transferred out or if it meant the wage bill being substantially increased.

How many players is that we've signed since appointing this "super" coach and who is left that is getting a game since he arrived, Coleman, Davies, Keane, Pickford, Siggy, Schneiderlin, Walcott & Calvert-Lewin, and who have we signed who might play in the same position.

And why do I wonder about what the club's official organ might put out?

Jim Harrison
16 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:36:51
Derek 10

To be fair, Walsh’s job as head/chief scout or whatever the title, he was in charge of getting players in and he was probably responsible of a team of scouts. Much like a manager who gets the plaudits for title wins, who have a team of coaches working for them.

Anyhows, he is gone, we move on

John Malone
17 Posted 16/08/2019 at 12:39:31
Jim 9, if you think Brands didnt blow silly money on average what do make of the Iwobi signing?

You can't tell me there isn't better prospects out there for similar money than Iwobi.

I fully believe that lad was a panic buy as the Zaha deal didnt come off as hoped.

Si Cooper
18 Posted 16/08/2019 at 12:54:13
Paul and Jim, you can’t cherrypick examples from other leagues like that because you don’t know how they would fare in the EPL. We’ve taken some of the main players from the best teams in the Dutch league like Davy Klaassen and they haven’t been able to do it over here.
Silva and Brands lives would be so much easier if they could buy a whole successful team but that won’t happen. Instead they've got to look at blending a group of players from diverse backgrounds into a team that specifically will be primarily successful in the EPL (where the price of everything is inflated, but that is market forces).
Paul, it is also wrong, in my opinion, to label our result at Palace as dismal. Plenty of the better clubs will drop points at clubs like Palace. It is a feature of the EPL that there are so many tough games and most teams have some rustiness in the early games. Sure, we aren’t flying at the moment but neither were we dismal and if we’d taken all 3 points I don’t think anyone would have thought it a real injustice.
Francis van Lierop
19 Posted 16/08/2019 at 12:56:22
Spot on Jim @9 & Steve @12

The main thing I like about M&M, I've written it before, their offices are no more than two steps away from each other.
Should one of the two have an idea, they can easily run it past the other without any difficulty.
Short communication lines are the hallmark of a good organisation.

I saw the video of Marcel presenting the shirt to Moise Kean's mother on Dutch tv (Ziggo Sport, the equivalent of Sky), another clever move.
The mother was visibly touched.

I hear Hirving Lozano is about to sign for Napoli (from PSV).
Some have championed signing him on here.
I think Marcel knows too much about him to have ever contemplated signing him.
The player is all about me, myself & I.
We've missed nothing there.

Denis Richardson
20 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:12:07
Jim 9 - there's a lot of Koeman bashing that happens here and some of of it deserved but Koeman did not sign Rooney nor offer him £150k/week. Koeman didn't actually want Rooney and BK was the one who drove the bus on that one.

The Rooney signing basically led to our poor start to the 17/18 season and eventually Koemans sacking as we had 3 No 10s. Koeman was forced to play Sigurdsson out of position to accommodate Rooney, which was ridiculous given Sigurdsson was our record signing (and Koemans choice). I imagine Rooney being paid £150/week also didn't leave much headroom to sign a proper striker so we started the season with no senior striker of note - only one way the season was going to go after that.

Many people also go on about the deadwood and how Koeman and Walsh are to blame ignoring the fact they didn't actually sign the likes of Niasse, Mirallas, McCarthy, Walcott, Tosun - most of the shit we can't shift.

Whilst Walsh and Koeman didn't cover themselves in glory signing the likes of Klassen, Bolasie and Sandro they did sign Pickford, Keane, Sigurdsson and DCL (all current first team players) and the club made decent profits on the sales of Geuye, Lookman, Vlasic and Henry, also all Koeman signings. Other than Bolasie, the shite players on massive wages we can't shift are Martinez and Allardyce signings.

On the whole, and given Kooman had a decent first season finishing 7th (which people also seem to ignore), I think he gets a lot of unfair flack on this site. For whatever reason his time is viewed as some sort of failure even though he only had one full season, where we finished in our highest league position in the last 5 years. Silva is yet to get us to 7th (having already spent about the same amount of money as Koeman) but he's the new messiah for some.

I was super excited when Koeman joined and disappointed with how it ended (reaching the ultimate low of hiring that twat Allardyce) but had we not signed Rooney things would have been a lot different - I am 100% certain of that but c'est la vie..

Just my thoughts to try and give some balance to the constant Walsh/Koeman bashing.

James Flynn
21 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:30:17
The pity is that Brands was Moshiri's first choice but turned him down at the time.
Stan Schofield
22 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:57:03
Denis@20: Koeman said openly, in a presser the season before Rooney arrived, that he would gladly have Rooney at Everton.

He also said that Everton had no chance of winning the league, and that Lukaku needed to find another club to reach his potential. If I'd been Koeman's employer, there's no way I would have allowed that kind of public utterance that is clearly not in the best interests of Everton's image and the motivation of its players. He was simply unprofessional.

Aidan Wade
23 Posted 16/08/2019 at 14:06:38
Under Walsh, we got a mixed bag. Gueye, Pickford, Keane were all good signings (had to wait for a year before Keane could prove it).

We bought Sigurdsson at his peak value and then played him out of position where his lack of pace was cruelly exposed. In his preferred number 10 role, he has contributed plenty of goals and assists and routinely tops the charts for distance covered. His closing down of the deep lying playmaker (like Jorghino) is vital to how Silva wants to play. I think he was #10 Walsh wanted.

Walsh is blamed for some bad deals:
Sandro had just scored a bagful in La Liga and was available for a song (up front). We learned that form is temporary but shit is as permanent as class.
Rooney was an emotional purchase, perhaps pushed by Kenwright as his #10 pick. Never go back.
Bolasie was inconsistent but he had a reasonable first season before injury effectively ended his top level career.
Klaasen was Ajax captain and it looked like a coup to get him. Perhaps Koeman's #10 pick
Theo Walcott & Cenk Tosun - expensive, ineffective, January panic buys (is there any other kind?)

Vlasic - turned a profit.

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 16/08/2019 at 14:21:05
Stan @ 22 -

You're forgetting the Christmas tree decked out in red ornaments.

At every turn it seemed, Koeman didn't respect the Club or fans. He just didn't think before acting.

I don't think he truly ever wanted to be here. He came for the big payday.

Presently we have a fantastic combination in M&M. Marcel has been excellent, Marco very good and improving. As a few have mentioned above, they need to push on and the barometer of that simply must be results.

Jerome Shields
25 Posted 16/08/2019 at 14:56:43
I would query Silvas ability to improve players.

Players with alleged ablity, have not been able to develop. Lookman, Benegine, Tosun, McCarthy , Davies , Robinson and even Kenny are example s and Walcott, Schneiderlin, Coleman cross wise and Sigurdsson have not been able to take their game to the highest level. Other players have plateaued in their development, such as, Richarlison and Calvert Lewin.

Week in Week out we see the same weaknesses, with only the end of last season giving us a break. The preseason. and Palace game give the impression that Everton where back to square one in some areas.

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 16/08/2019 at 15:19:00
Denis @20, there was far more optimism for Koeman this time 2 years ago than there is for Silva now. We had just finished 7th and despite losing Lukaku, we had all those new players and held City to a draw. The Koeman bashing only started after he took us to the bottom 3. If Silva did the same thing, rest assured the knives would be sharpened just as fast, and they would be just as much Silva bashing on here.
Jim Harrison
27 Posted 16/08/2019 at 15:24:48
Denis,

I didn't say Koeman signed him did I? I said Brands wouldn't. Be it Bill or Moshiri who forced the move through, the point that wished to make is that it wouldn't happen now. I can see that it reads a bit like that, but the point about working with a more high profile manager was meant as a positive

As for Koeman bashing, I was for the most part supportive of his time until the very end, and I also made a point that the two had worked together before, meaning it could have been a successful pairing.

I also think Walsh could have been a useful addition to the club, in his scouting capacity though.

Where you point out that Walsh and Koeman didn't buy the Bobby signings, they didn't move them on. They continued to increase the squad size and made the issue, in terms of bloating the squad, worse. The majority of the signings you mentioned I didn't really view as disastrous at the time and can still see the rationale behind many of them in isolation, but there was no plan to move out the others. And in hindsight few were brought in or the long term, which for a manager who views the job as a 3-year project I can understand but for a director of football is negligent.

Jay Harris
28 Posted 16/08/2019 at 15:36:13
Stan #22,
I have to disagree and agree with Denis.

Koeman was doing very well until Lukaku was told by Kenwright he could go despite having a number of years left on his contract. Koeman aquiesced but demanded we get a suitable replacement which we didnt and Koeman got pissed off and went on a golfing holiday and threw the towel in. Also a blind, deaf and dumb man knows that Kenwright was behind Rooney coming back.

Koeman was not everybody's cup of tea but to me he was a better manager than Martinez or Allardyce and if backed properly at the club could have taken us back to the top.

Jim Harrison
29 Posted 16/08/2019 at 15:40:00
John @17,

Depends on what the actual price is to be honest. Just checked transfer market website, they reckon €30 million. 23 years old, career total 31 goals, and I believe 34 assists

Bolasie, signed at 27 or 28 years old, 28.8 million euros, 34 career goals and I think 50 assists (most assists in championship)

Comparing signings, I would say he looks to represent better value.

Is he worth €30 million? I am going to reserve judgement until I have actually seen him play, but given what I saw of him last season at Arsenal, he looked handy. Probably a bit over-priced but not outrageously. It's the current market, Maguire £80 million? If Man Utd get back to 4th place, he's worth it.

If Iwobi improves the overall results for Everton, then he will be worth it too.

Francis van Lierop
30 Posted 16/08/2019 at 16:25:39
Jamie @24

Wouldn't you think his wife Bartine was more responsible for the Christmas tree decorations? They were living in the Manchester area, she certainly wouldn't have had a clue about the colour divide in Liverpool.

In hindsight, he was a poor appointment, I was very disappointed by his inability to improve our club. I was also disappointed by his brother Erwin, who couldn't have a larger input. They have parted ways.

Erwin now coaches the national team of Oman, for what it's worth. It'll presumably pay well. He has coached the national team of Hungary in the past.

Also RKC Waalwijk (2004-05), a small provincial club punching above its weight. With Marcel Brands being General Director at the time (2000-05). It's the club where Marcel's administrative career began, first as Commercial Director (1997), and in between Technical Director (1997-2000).

Marcel then left for my local club AZ Alkmaar (2005-10). Then PSV (2010-18). And then us, the last three positions were/are that of Technical Director.

I'll write more up quite soon.

Stan Schofield
31 Posted 16/08/2019 at 16:43:25
Jay@28: I'm only saying what Koeman said in public. He didn't have to say those things. Based on that, I think he was unprofessional.

We were doing well in terms of home results (we were second in the table on purely home results), but even so there were a lot of long balls to Lukaku, and arguably too much reliance on that one man for goals, yet Koeman was prepared to say that Lukaku needed to leave Everton to fulfil his potential. That gobsmacked me.

Bobby Mallon
32 Posted 16/08/2019 at 18:24:31
Jim Bennings @5 we will finish top 4 this season
Jerome Shields
34 Posted 16/08/2019 at 19:11:59
Jay#28

Similarly, I think of the whole Zaha saga as a lucky escape.

It had all the hallmarks of Moshiri and Kenwright involvement and does not fit into Brands's interpretation of the transfer window and the constraints he says he was under.

The bidding war, the alleged leaked wages figure, Palace's unrealistic demands and official denial of an increased bid all could have resulted in an unmotivated Brands and Silva. Actually I think that Brands contributed to the transfer being abandoned, the offer of other players and the pulling of Iowbi out of the hat.

I also think that it led to a delay in the process of getting a centre-back as the transfer would have played havoc with any budgets.

Brian Williams
35 Posted 16/08/2019 at 19:21:01
It only had the hallmarks of Kenwright and Moshiri if you were naive enough to believe the shite that the media constantly peddled with regard to the Zaha non-transfer.

Everton's final, and very possibly only, bid for Zaha was put forward at the start of August. Palace declined the offer and that was that.

All the shite about cash plus players and upping bids was just that, shite. So, in this case, there's really no need for any Moshiri and/or Kenwright bashing.

Filipe Torres
36 Posted 16/08/2019 at 21:11:58
I don't believe the transfer window was that good. Some of the young talented players brought may still go downwards, Kean, Gbamin...Remember Cadamarteri?? Billy Kenny? Or even Nyarko who was dubbed the new Vieira?

Every transfer window, I look at what a team need, and who they got. It was obvious last term that goals were needed, and many would (lazily) put it simply to: missing a striker. We must not forget; that in top teams goals come from every one in the starting eleven, although I admit they will most likely come from the offensive minded players: wingers, attacking mids and... Strikers. I feel that the signing of Iwobi doesn't add nothing in that particular department, and the jury is still out on Kean.

I made my point that the offensive line didn't produce the goal tally needed, but I would also claim, like many of you, they didn't create enough chances as well. Richarlison is our best and most talented player, but he spends a lot of time letting himself fall to the ground and complaining to the referees, so some work has to be done there by the coaching staff.

I believe that Sigurdsson isn't a creative force and the team is limping offensively. I probably wouldn't put Siggy in the best 15 playmakers in the league, just do the maths here; Spurs have 2 better than him in Eriksen and Alli (3 if you count Lo Celso), Arsenal have Ozil, Denis and now... Ceballos, City have Bernardo and de Bruyne, I think Almiron, Lanzini, Moutinho, and Maddison are way better than him. Then there's Mata, Willian, and our very own Ross Barkley.

The other biggest gap last season was the defending of set pieces. Remember that? Many here were arguing we should go for another cb to pair with zouma and improve on the set pieces zonal marking. Well Aouma didn't stay and his missus (on the pitch) is still to be found. Strangely though I think this may actually make the team better. Zouma was the best defender by far but he was awful in the zonal marking system, and many times found himself looking at the players who headed it, more so than Keane and Mina (when playing).
So this might be a case of loosing your best player and still improve the system.

The positions missed are clear and its a exercise almost anyone can make, but the new players have to solve the team problems, and that is still to be seen Mr Brands.
Paul Hewitt
37 Posted 16/08/2019 at 22:10:37
Can we please stop mentioning Kenwright. He's just a figure head. Has nothing to do with transfers. Surprised he doesn't get blamed for globe warming.
Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 16/08/2019 at 22:21:05
Aidan #23, I well remember the response here and in the media to the Klaassen signing, and I don't remember the word "coup" being used by anybody. I recall cautious optimism at best, and a widespread belief we had overpaid.

Jerome #23, can't agree with your comments. Zouma improved dramatically over the course of last season, as did Richarlison, who has certainly not "plateaued" in any way -- can't understand why you'd say he isn't getting better. DCL also improved every aspect of his game except goalscoring. Keane's passing and defensive positioning got better. And most of the players you identified as not improving are either established veterans unlikely to get better (what are Macca, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Tosun and Walcott going to change at this point in their careers?) or guys who never got to play for Silva at all (Benigime, Robinson). Yes, he failed with Lookman, and the jury is still out on Davies. But while I remain unconvinced of Silva's game management skills, I think his ability to make players better is well-established.

Jay Harris
39 Posted 16/08/2019 at 22:44:19
Filipe,
While you might not rate Siggy the stats speak for themselves

It might surprise you to know that Siggy had 13 goals and 6 assists last year, Eriksen had 8 goals and 12 assists, Bernardo had 7 goals and 7 assists, Ozil got 5 goals and 2 assists which is also what Delle Alli got.

So you might want to check your facts out before Knocking our leading goalscorer and assist king.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 16/08/2019 at 23:54:27
Mike #38,

I agree that some players have improved but I think it has more to do with the way that Silva has organised the team and provided a template for their position, which they have developed into. This is Silva's strength.

It seems that he depends a lot on the self-motivation of individual players to reach the standard he wants. The problem is that some player particularly younger players need more coaching guidance to adapt and change.

It could be I read too much into the Palace game( one game), but the extra edge I expected on last season wasn't there. It was as if players were going through the motions. Individual performances for a number of players had reached a limit, particularly in attack.

The development of players was particularly lacking, during the Koeman and Big Sam era. On Silvas appointment I expected this to change, but it didn't. In my opinion, the gradual improvement over last season, with some loss in between, was a result of players buying into the Silva system. If a player didn't buy into the system himself, he wasn't selected. In some cases, his career at Everton finished.

Bill Gienapp
42 Posted 17/08/2019 at 00:42:02
Thanks Jay (39) - I wanted to come to Siggy's defense, but I was too lazy to look up the actual stats.
Si Smith
43 Posted 17/08/2019 at 00:49:23
Jay 39.
Damn you told him 🤣
Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 17/08/2019 at 01:46:04
Jerome #38, personally I read absolutely nothing into the first game of the season, especially when two key performers from last season are missing and a third is injured during the game.

With regards to Silva improving players individually, I will cite Zouma as the ideal example. Amidst all the well-deserved accolades for his play in our final 15-20 games, it's easy to forget that he was a serious defensive liability early in the season. He was a veteran of over 100 top-level games in France and England, but he was still making the fundamental errors of a teenager -- ball-watching, poor positioning, footwork. It was easy to see why Chelsea had given up and loaned him out.

Yet during the course of the season, I watched his improvement. He gradually stopped ball-watching and became much more aware of what was going on around and behind him, tracking runners and anticipating opposing passes instead of continually scrambling to catch up. (And I thought his passing got a whole lot better as well.)

Somebody was coaching him, and very well. I assume it was Silva, himself a longtime former defender, who taught him better technique. Zouma is a significantly improved player over the one who joined us a year ago.

Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are also much more sound fundamentally than they were 12 months ago. Coaching was the difference.

Si Cooper
46 Posted 17/08/2019 at 02:16:44
Jerome (40), surely all managers and coaches rely on a player's self-motivation when it comes to shaping a player for the way you want or need them to play?

You can't ‘improve' someone who's not interested in working with you or is not receptive to your plans.

Ditching players who aren't capable or willing to fit into the way you want the team to play is the epitome of a professional approach.

Annika Herbert
47 Posted 17/08/2019 at 04:14:07
Jay @39, I don't think those stats you mention look too great for Sigurdsson to be honest. Yes, he scored more, but he didn't exactly light up the league with his creativity, did he?

You mention Ozil and Alli but didn't both of those players miss significant playing time?

With Erikson having twice the number of assists, I wouldn't exactly call Sigurdsson our assist king! I still feel we need a more creative presence in that attacking midfield position, someone with more pace would also be useful. A more mobile player may also offer a bigger goal threat than we currently have too.

Bobby Mallon
48 Posted 17/08/2019 at 05:38:50
Annika Herbert, your problem is you don't like Sigurdsson... FACT!
Jerome Shields
49 Posted 17/08/2019 at 06:00:55
Mike #44 and Si# 46

I have taken on board what you have both said and see both your points. I suppose I was looking for more progress than I should be, having advocated a five year plan of which Everton are in the second year off. Silva has a three year contract, so Moshiri must want progress even quicker than that.

Zouma did improve a lot, but I would have expected him to push more for a move to Everton, unless he felt that he would be playing second fiddle to Mina.

It is possible that the loss of Zouma and Gueye have set the plan back, but the defence looked ok and Pickford was better. it's the midfield and attack where I see the need for improvement in individual players.

The Watford game will be interesting to see what Silva does about it. The fitness of the squad hopefully will have improved also.

Bob Parrington
50 Posted 17/08/2019 at 07:59:45
What I'd like to see is continuous improvement and not the Leicester win and then drop scenario. I believe Brands has this focus and likely Silva also.

So, for me, up a couple of places this season while Marco hones the squad to a performance strategy and make the large breakthrough 2020-21 season in to top four. Continuous squad improvement will mean more ins and outs particularly summer 2020.

Filipe Torres
51 Posted 17/08/2019 at 09:05:51
I like Sigurdsson, he looks like a cool-headed pro, who has a good passing ratio and a few other attributes.

What I don't like is the fact that he cost £40+ million, which is not his fault, and the fact that almost half the league have a better player (in his position) which is not his fault as well.

It seems that some people (because of his price tag), really want to see a player that just doesn't exit. I wish he was world class too, but he ain't...

Joe Bibb
52 Posted 18/08/2019 at 12:23:19
The proof about what Silva can achieve will be seen at Lincoln. If he plays a weakened team and we lose or struggle to get through then I will know he is only here to keep us in the Premier League and not to win trophies. He can play weakened teams against the lower teams in the Premier League and finish 15th as long as we get to Wembley at least once and maybe win a trophy.

Squad players are there to cover injuries and suspensions, Silva should not be sentimental and think he has to play them. If they were good enough, they would be automatic first choices anyway.

6 victories in either Cup competition can see us lift a Cup and get into Europe. Let West Ham, Villa, Burnley etc worry about relegation and ignore the Cups. We are Everton and above that level. Our loyal fans need a manager that wants to win something – not just survive in the League.

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