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1 Posted 09/08/2019 at 01:14:31
Had Brands been able to add Wilfried Zaha to the mix and signed a centre-half, this could have been a game-changing transfer window for Everton. In hindsight, the move for Zaha was an ambitious one given the apparent lateness of the approach and Crystal Palaces wildly inflated valuation and there is no denying that the speculation around that potential deal ratcheted up expectation that wasnt fully realised on deadline day.
That has to be the best, most succinct explanation I've read regarding Zaha.
We've improved. I was very upset about not signing Zaha, as I thought it would propel us to nose-bleeding heights this season. But we did have a damn good window, of that I have no doubt.
We're a better team. Marcel acted responsibly and judiciously. He is, unequivocally, The Man.
Roll on season. Let's see what we can do.
2 Posted 09/08/2019 at 01:47:49
The bottom line we have defenders without pace that will subconsciously drop that vital 10yards. It drags the team unit back and takes further from goal. In worse cases the team becomes separated from slower center backs and space is created in the no. 10 position and behind the full backs who are generally higher. Potentially that space is further exploited if Gbamin has to tidy up and he has less impact going forward.
Silva got the unit playing higher up the park towards the end of last season. We were much less vulnerable and turned the ball over much closer to the opponents goal.
Its a big miss not getting a quick center back, one I think will cost us progress.
3 Posted 09/08/2019 at 01:56:40
4 Posted 09/08/2019 at 02:50:11
5 Posted 09/08/2019 at 03:17:31
I thought that you've made a good point about the possibility of seeing new formations.
With a supposedly strengthened midfield (and weakened defence), the fluidity in formation might be what that could leverage on the strengths of the squad, while covering up the gaps.
As you've mentioned, Kean's lack of pace has been complemented by Zouma's speed, which Mina doesn't seem to have.
A 4-3-3 formation might allow us to ensure that there is sufficient solidity in defence (the defensive one amongst the trio e.g. Jean-Philippe Gbamin, to drop back and player abit deeper, to support the centrebacks), while giving that fluidity in transiting into attack, or controlling the midfield.
I am still hoping that Holgate can blossom into the centreback that he has shown promises of.
6 Posted 09/08/2019 at 04:13:48
We now need Silva to demonstrate hes a top coach, by organising this squad into a strong defensive unit with a explosive forward line. Hes wanted pace, fluidity, upfront, which hes now got, but can he form a midfield unit which provides the ammunition, yet also the brick wall in front of a back 4 seriously short of pace.
I think unfortunately both Wolves and Leicester have recruited as well as us, though maybe Leicester will also have defensive issues following Maquires departure. Wolves have kept their talented squad, turned their loanees into permanent players and have acquired some excellent young players from Europe.
This year is the year we all believe, that if there was a time to get into that Top 6 its now, with Utd still not at the races, Chelsea reeling from a transfer ban and Arsenal for all their attacking flair cant defend for toffee.
Have we done enough in this window to propel us into the Top 6, I dont think so, sorry you cannot start the season with just two centre halves, one of which spends more time in the medical room than on the pitch and the other one needs a partner with pace to bale him out on occasions.
Can anyone else jump into the Top 6, I believe only Wolves can seriously attempt it, us and Leicester wont be good enough defensively.
7 Posted 09/08/2019 at 06:00:55
I recall us being cut apart even with Zouma in the side.
The defensive solidity came when Silva did 2 things during the 17-day rest period:
- Fixed the problems in marking at set pieces
- Fixed how open we were through the middle on counter attacks when the two full backs pushed on and Gueye was upfield.
If Silva has learned his lessons (and looking at pre season I noticed a worrying trend that suggested otherwise) then I think defensively we will be better.
If Mina succumbs to injury, Holgate is an under-rated under study. He will be fine if the set up does not leave him exposed on counter breaks (though he does have good recovery pace) and we sort ourselves out at set pieces.
I'd conclude differently. I'd say the failure to land Zouma puts the onus on two things:
1. Silva to set us up properly
2. Mick Keane to continue where he left off.
As for mis-steps by Brands, I don't buy this, principally because we know he had to shift alot of deadwood + replace Gueye alongside finding a CB.
He had a tough challenge and its unfair to punish him if the failings defensively arise, especially given the onus on Silva.
Somethings can and should be solved by tactics and coaching.
8 Posted 09/08/2019 at 06:09:37
9 Posted 09/08/2019 at 07:13:42
We also have a number of players we need to ship out
Considering we have known for ages we needed Zouma or a plan B. Getting neither in could be a killer in our attempt to improve on last seasons league position
10 Posted 09/08/2019 at 07:51:34
Keane and Mina will form a great partnership, Kean will score for fun. DCL will get a pair of shooting boots for his birthday. Gomes and Gbamin will kick arse.
Went back to well of hope and have filled my glass. Fingers have been crossed and lucky charms purchased. So somebody tell Silva he could be the first Everton manager to win the league cup and could he follow that up with a top four finish. Oh and could we beat Palace 6-0 tomorrow please and the away fans abuse their chairman
11 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:07:56
12 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:21:40
13 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:32:42
No one knows what goes on behind the scenes so it still may have been a possibility that we could've signed Zouma yesterday had Luiz not pushed to leave. Lampard was more than happy to let him go so if things panned out differently we coulc've convince him to jump ship.
14 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:40:31
15 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:43:39
16 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:45:53
17 Posted 09/08/2019 at 08:51:10
We should be pleased overall.
Gueye and Zouma were out of our control. We tied down our best central midfielder since Arteta. We bought an exciting striker for a remarkably low fee. We didn't get shafted by Palace. We didn't bring in Rojo.
It could have been better but great squads aren't built in just one or two transfer windows.
Enjoy the season, and give the players your support.
18 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:07:56
Everton apparently value Zaha at circa £50M, and Iwobi at circa £30M, a difference of £20M, which in today's money does not represent a 'game changing' difference between these two players. Plus, Iwobi is younger and a team player.
With the new additions, provided Marco can induce some decent form similar to how we finished last season, we now have sufficient strength and quality in depth to be a force challenging the top places, with the added bonus of entertaining football.
19 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:08:51
20 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:20:10
For me, we have enough to stay in touch with the top six to give us a chance of getting into it, particularly if we strengthen further in January if the right players are available.
It's no a disaster, I quite liked to last minute Iwobi signing and prefer him to Zaha, bearing in mind the money Palace were asking.
Keane, Mina and the young lads have the potential to keep the door shut, particularly with our excellent full back capability and Batman protecting them.
Can't wait to see our forwards going at teams in full flow - could be something to behold - COYB.
21 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:45:27
For me the failure to bring in a quality CB with pace is the first stain in Brands' copybook. I'm sure there were mitigating factors such as David Luiz' hard to predict deadline day move but that is the risk you take if you leave it that late. We needed another CB and we failed to get one. If Mina and/or Keane gets injured that puts alot of pressure on the likes of Holgate, Gibson and Gbamin; none of who have played much as CB at top level.
I'm glad we did not bring in Rojo permanently as we have done enough sacrificing the long term for short term gain but Brands and his teams should have had other viable alternatives lined up.
7th looks about right. But any serious injuries at the back could put us in a very tricky situation and January is not the easiest time to buy good, ready players.
22 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:46:07
Kean is the the best purchase any team has made this year.
23 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:47:10
As soon as Gbamin is up to speed we will be fine at the back. If Mina stays fit great, he will continue to improve. If Holgate comes in l think he will be fine.
What worries me more is how Silva will introduce Kean and Iwobi into our front four. Does he push Kean through the middle and Richarlison on the left? In Kean we would finally have a ball over the top.
Or will we continue with DCL giving him the job of holding the ball and stretching defences. Iwobi is quite the natural replacement for Bernard and Kean can rotate with Richarlison. Of course there are quite a few permutations. I hope Silva can sort out the best way to get maximum results... as in goals.
Another formation he could try (without dropping Siggy, our most productive player), is a midfield diamond. Thats Gbamin sitting deep with Gomes and Delph (or Iwobi/Davies alongside each other with Siggy at the tip. That would then allow us 2 players up front and full backs pushing up. I dont think he will try this for a few weeks at least but it is an option. The other option 433 would probably mean dropping Siggy. We cant keep relying on him so perhaps Silva will be better at rotation this season. He now has options for plans B and C.
24 Posted 09/08/2019 at 10:12:56
25 Posted 09/08/2019 at 10:28:39
26 Posted 09/08/2019 at 10:36:01
You can bet that every football club supporter feels that they could have done better. If you ask a RS supporter, they will probably say that they should have strengthened and injuries to 1-2 of their key players will derail their title bid.
On the seemingly widespread view (even among Blues' supporters) that Everton failing to sign a CB is a disaster, IMO there is no need to press the panic button. Keane and Mina had formed a decent CB partnership before Mina got injured, and had a number of clean sheets between them last season. Also, Holgate has a decent amount of experience in the PL as well as on loan in the Championship.
Just a small tidbit of information:
26-November, 2017 was the lowest point for me as a supporter of Everton Football Club. We were hammered 4-1 by Southampton away and the CBs were Keane and Jagielka (that was Unsworth's 4th PL game as manager and it triggered Moshiri's decision to replace Unsworth with Sam Allardyce).
The next game - West Ham at home on 30-November was Unsworth's final game as Manager. In that game, out of sheer desperation, he changed his CB partnership to Williams and Holgate.
From 30-Nov to 19-December in 2017, we went on a little bit of an unbeaten run, which eased our relegation worries.
30-Nov Everton - West Ham (home) 4-0 CBs: Williams, Holgate
2-Dec Everton - Huddersfield (home) 2-0 CBs: Williams, Holgate
10-Dec Everton-Liverpool (away) 1-1 CBs: Williams, Holgate
14-Dec Everton-Newcastle (away) 1-0 CBs: Williams, Holgate
19-Dec Everton-Swansea (home) 3-1 CBs: Williams, Holgate
After that, Sam reverted back to Keane and Jags and although we did keep some clean sheets subsequently, we never looked solid at the back.
The point is that Holgate has performed the CB role quite admirably, what he has never had and what he needs (given his young age and relative inexperience) is a solid, commanding CB partner, which Keane might be able to provide this season. Now you can plan for 1-2 injuries, but you can never plan for both your senior CBs getting injured at the same time!
PS: The Back 4 in December 2017 read: Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina! Enough to send shivers down any Blues spine. But, to their credit, this much maligned quartet held their ground and gave their best and pulled us out of the relegation quagmire.
27 Posted 09/08/2019 at 10:53:52
Yes Gana has gone, and he was great at what he did. But I always felt we were missing more cutting edge through the middle, and although he was great at regaining possession he wasnt at his best when actually having the ball.
Only snippets to go by so far, but the new lad looks to have a different set of skills. He also looks physically imposing, and for years I have thought we were easily bullied in the middle, particularly by teams from London who seem to be able to obtain massive midfielders!!
With a more disciplined centre mid covering the defenders more there should be less need for dramatic interventions by the centre backs
Kean is an upgrade on what we have currently. Even unproven.
We have gone from having a kid as back up for Coleman to an international from a World Cup winning squad.
Gomes isnt a broken man coming in with an injury. He knows the score now.
Delphi is better than macca. Older, but better. His career has proven that. Not the same player but offers more. Although, he is injured nearly as much!!
Iwobi is an odd one for me, but again he brings some physical presence up front. And I havent given up in Walcott, he maybe more of a impact sub now, but he has pace to trouble tired defenders into mistakes. He may not be the man to capitalise on those mistakes mind!!
28 Posted 09/08/2019 at 11:08:03
Rojo at £25m and Zaha at the reportedly desired £80m were both bad deals. Iwobi is better value in my book. A net spend of £28m (Silva's figure) with what we've sold and bought in our current circumstances is a good window in my book. Another CB would be better, but barring injuries, the three we have will do for me.
With the players we now have, we should have a team more suited to Silva's preferred style.
My biggest concerns are the fact that the team went missing for two rudderless months and my general antipathy to mid-table teams that have a winning end of season surge when the pressure's off.
Utd and Chelsea are vulnerable this season. If Silva can turn around the team quickly from the inevitable setbacks through the season, I'm expecting a top six finish.
29 Posted 09/08/2019 at 12:35:00
I am disappointed we werent able to get Zouma but I havent forgotten how chuffed I was when we bought Mina last year. Yerry didnt have the best start but I still reckon he is going to be a top centre half.
This Gbamin lad is also a big unit with pace so we may not be as vulnerable at the back as we fear.
The big plus for me is the options we have up front. Silva has said Iwobi plays on the left but can also play behind the striker.
I havent got a clue what Silvas preferred front three will be but I am sure we are going to keep opposition defences very busy this season.
30 Posted 09/08/2019 at 12:36:46
Im disappointed we didnt sign Zaha, it would have been a real statement and we would have been a potent attacking threat. But every deal has a cut-off point where you have to walk away, and we cant praise Brands for completing good deals then berate him when he decides enough is enough.
I fear the centre back situation may haunt us until January. I dont have total confidence in Mr Silvas defensive acumen, but he got things sorted in the last few months of the season. It would have been great to retain the same personnel, but Lampard made the Zouma situation very clear a while ago, so we should have looked elsewhere. Unless Gbamin can fill in.
Despite the impressive home displays from February onwards, Marco Silva has still got a bit to do to convince me. But hes the man in charge, there have been some significant additions to the squad, its up to him to make them gel.
31 Posted 09/08/2019 at 12:56:00
Forging a partnership with Keane will be seriously hampered. This may well cost us games or at least valuable points. Holgate will never be the answer. Hopefully, when we get the new arrivals up to speed and develop an attacking style to maximize their talents, in a month or two, we can keep the pressure off the defence. 7th would be good but lower is quite possible.
32 Posted 09/08/2019 at 13:41:01
33 Posted 09/08/2019 at 14:10:42
Untried at CB in England and forcing him to cover what should be centre backs job when playing midfield, especially a three, would pull the shape of the system irrevocably.
It looked to me Silva wants to go 4-3-3, exciting and definitely a step forward for Everton. But asking that midfielder to do an extra job, leaves you deeper and at ‘4.5-2.5-3 as, creating space for opponents deeper in your own half.
Im afraid 4-3-3 is on the back burner for me, sadly, back to 4-2-3-1.
34 Posted 09/08/2019 at 14:47:37
For me we want top 4 status, I'm not too bothered about 5th or 6th because that entails the dreaded Europa. Ok views differ on the Europa I know, but that's my view.
To sign the elite players its the Champions League we have to be in, 5th or 6th isn't good enough.
I don't think after the window we have had we are going to be anywhere close to the top 4 and will do very well to be in the top 6.
Its the hot topic of the central defence that looks likely to be our achilles heel. I can see there being times during the season where we haven't a centre half to pick from! Other than that we have signed some quality players that should do well for us.
35 Posted 09/08/2019 at 14:53:30
I think we are on the right path and there is much to be optimistic and even excited about, especially Moise, and that has got to be a good thing.
The centre half situation is a big balls up, no point beating around the bush. We needed some quality cover and for whatever reason we dropped the ball.
I think Man U promised us a loan, then stitched us up big time by blackmailing us into buying Rojo, as they then saw us as boxed into a corner. Bastards will probably loan him to a European club next week! or sell him for half of what we we quoted.
Proves they see us as a big threat to their league position and that we have done relatively well this window.
Our top 6 challenge will depend on the fitness of Keane and Mina, and the ability of Holgate to step in when needed. Also whether Gbamin can be reliable as a stand in CB.
Moral of the story is : don't trust a direct competitor to help you out, they wont.
36 Posted 09/08/2019 at 14:57:31
We have bought very well. The Premier League at the moment is not brilliant and we beat top teams with some ease a few months ago, with a worse side.
I believe we could threaten top 4. We will certainly do so soon.
As icing on the cake, I suspect the RS will do significantly worse than the sages lazily predict.
37 Posted 09/08/2019 at 15:12:08
Get him back as cover!
Just a joke !!
38 Posted 09/08/2019 at 15:13:10
39 Posted 09/08/2019 at 15:13:10
40 Posted 09/08/2019 at 15:23:05
Silva knows it, we know it and the board knows it.
There appears to be a good mix of youth and experience now and Silva has had a season under his belt which started to show some promise late on.
There seems to be a lot more competition for places which can only be a good thing and the only question is how does Silva plan to use it and keep everyone happy.
The clubs above us last season will all be the teams going for it again but Everton need to get in the mix. They may need the first half a dozen games to get going and for the new guys to settle in but after that there are no excuses.
The RS will probably lay down the gauntlet today by thrashing Norwich.
41 Posted 09/08/2019 at 15:33:34
Failing to land a proven centre back is the one black mark in this transfer window. Injuries and suspensions potentially expose us even further in this position.
Some express concern that Mason Holgate is not up to being 4th or 5th centre back, let alone number 3 or even a starter.
But Ajay references something I have also written about before. In Allardyce's time THE most solid back four of that accident of a season was Martins-Williams-Holgate-Kenny. All four of them much, much derided on TW.
Only at Xmas of that year in the manic month of December did Allardyce break up that back four as injured players started to return. He never paired Williams and Holgate together again. The defence was never as solid again for the remainder of that season.
Does Holgate meet the ideal centre back profile Steve Ferns suggests Silva prefers? No. But I would guess he is the fastest of our 1st team squad centre backs at present. Fleet footedness - at least from a starting position - is not something Keane or Mina have.
Holgate is still raw. At times his positioning and anticipation looks spot on. At others, he is AWOL. But he is technically sound. Solid and clean in the tackle. Has an attitude. Looks a winner.
When the chance comes, he needs to seize it.
As for Mina, I've seen a LOT of him from his time playing with Palmeiras in Brazil who won the championship with him. He was a MONSTER player at both ends of the park, aged barely 21. He and the club have benefitted from his participation in this summer's Copa America where he was back to his best. I thought in pre-season he showed evidence of what a man-mountain he is in close quarter scraps with attackers who just bounced off him, whatever their size.
My concern, as expressed by others, is that both he and Keane are slow off the mark pace wise. But in their defence, Keane showed much improvement in his recovery skills last season whilst Mina - once up to pace - can shift.
Zouma and Gana are big misses, without doubt. But given the recruitment and the squad as a whole, we will not be playing exactly the same way as last season.
It's going to be very interesting to see what Silva does tactically and how this team will be set up to play.
He has been handed the material. Let's see how he shapes it.
42 Posted 09/08/2019 at 15:41:32
I also agree that the pursuit of Zaha injected a level of excitement -- and wild optimism -- that altered expectations enough to make a very good window seem disappointing.
I'm in the minority, but I don't think our failure to sign a CB represents a "failure" by Brands. I believe the Maguire signing overinflated the CB market to the point that finding a rationally priced player became temporarily impossible. I would expect rationality to return by the January window, and I consider Holgate adequate cover until then. We will perhaps struggle defensively at times because of Gana's absence and Mina's inexperience, but certainly not because we missed out on Rojo or some of the other mooted alternatives. I think Brands did his job well -- by refusing to overpay for inadequate players. Sometimes walking away is the best deal.
Pat #31, I have seen nothing in the press regarding a possible six-game ban for Mina. Where did you hear of that? That's the suspension Sturridge got, but his violation was entirely different.
43 Posted 09/08/2019 at 19:21:01
If he were to receive a ban between now and January, our top six ambitions could be well and truly scuppered.
44 Posted 09/08/2019 at 19:49:47
EVERY PL club, probably every professional football club on the planet, has a 'partnership' with a betting firm these days.
The FA themselves had one with Ladbrokes up to a couple of years ago before they cancelled it with three years to run after Joey Barton - caught up in a betting charge himself - quite reasonably accused them of hypocrisy because they had the Ladbrokes deal.
The current (FA's) England captain Harry Kane continues to feature prominently in betting campaigns in poverty-stricken East Africa where kids are getting hooked into gambling aged 8-9-10, as this story shows:
Gambling IS a social disease. But National and International football federations need to make a clear stand on betting firm sponsorship. Will they though when it brings so much money into the game..?
Yerry Mina and his agent made a naive mistake in agreeing to appear in a betting ad. He is not facing the more serious charge of gambling on games.
Rap his knuckles. Fine him. Warn him of his responsibilities and future conduct. But a suspension? Everton's lawyers would be all over it. Or should be, if it came to it.
45 Posted 09/08/2019 at 19:51:15
46 Posted 09/08/2019 at 19:59:22
47 Posted 09/08/2019 at 20:04:44
Low expectations only lead to low performance and low results. Football is a mind game and if you set off with low targets that what you will achieve as we have been proving for years.
48 Posted 09/08/2019 at 20:05:44
At least it raises a smile. Or it did for me.
49 Posted 09/08/2019 at 20:16:12
50 Posted 10/08/2019 at 04:27:17
Like all of you blues out there, I m so excited about the new season finally being upon us but, given our history, there's always that sense of not getting too far ahead of ourselves about unrealistic expectations because, as we all know, this club has a habit of breaking your heart.
In Marcel Brands, we finally seem to have found our knight in shining armour. He appears to be a man that's prepared to back himself and, while making all the right noises, is someone that for once is going to follow through with the promises and deliver. The new stadium appears to be now more than a distant dream and the way he's conducted himself through this pre-season during the pursuit and signing of new players has been magnificent.
I've been so impressed with his approach of not allowing other clubs take the piss and his ability for the most part to get the job done and bring to our great club the real quality we need in our quest to become a top four club again... which, with our history, is where we truly belong. COYB.
51 Posted 10/08/2019 at 07:12:19
Defensively this is a big chance for Holgate too. Much depends on those youngsters developing well - but that is how Brands works. Some will, some won't. All will get an opportunity.
We have also brought in better ball retention, so Geuye may not be missed as much as we think. When Gbamin starts surging forward we may well not miss him at all.
There are a few more winners in the team too, men who will be demanding a win this afternoon and not 'lets see how it goes'. More size, more strength in midfield.
The right side is improved and I wonder if we will see much of Wallcot. Mina is ready to show us what he is made of at both ends of the pitch. This is a balanced side with more goals in it and more depth. How good they are we will know by Christmas.
Plenty of wage capacity now for others to come in with more to leave this summer - that was a huge job well done and vital for getting us to the next level.
A good summer.
52 Posted 10/08/2019 at 11:02:45
Chelsea, UTD and Arsenal haven't addressed their own squad issues but have enough strength in depth to finish above us.
In order to trouble the top 6 we need Kean to score 20 goals. Mina and Gbamin to fill Zouma's and Gueye's boots.
To show serious intent we needed to sign a top centre back and a couple of top class goalscorers but we haven't so pretty much treading water around mid table again.
We will be fighting Wolves, Leicester and Watford for 7th.
The relegation will be fought out between the promoted teams plus maybe Palace and Newcastle.
The controversy will be caused by VAR.
Can't Wait for it all to start.
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