by   |   18/03/2021  9 Comments  [Jump to last]

Definition: “great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling”

It's a term that we hear more and more of each season. All managers now are praising or complaining about “intensity”. Why is it so often elusive to decades of Everton teams? Its regular elusiveness at Everton is central to the years of blight.

How do teams like Fulham turn up with double the amount of intensity to us? What's going on? Is it that the players signed are aging, have niggling injuries, just too slow and not capable of it? Or is it training, diet, lifestyle deficiencies? (Or are other teams having just-legal caffeine cocktails half-an-hour before kick-off?)

I wrote this article because I think this quality is absolutely central to our progression. Any signings that we make (it should really go without saying) have to have an abundance of quality but equally they also have to bring intensity to the table. It has to be in their physiology and in their mental make-up too. They have to be physically resilient to achieve it every week.

The importance of finding intensity cannot be overlooked in terms of getting to the promised land of the Top 4. Additionally, it is needed to keep teams like Fulham, Leeds Utd, Southampton, Newcastle Utd, Burnley, etc (and likely Norwich City next season) at bay. We can't afford to go into next season (or any future season) with a slow midfield, that is slower to the loose ball, slower at pressing, and doesn't drive forward at pace.

We have to find two midfielders with the desire and intensity of Ben Godfrey. As well as a right-back and a right-sided forward with the same. All preferably (roughly) under 25 with resilience and burning ambition.

The two or three signings that Carlo alluded to is not enough. I would say without doubt three or four are needed, especially if Moise Kean is sold, and relying on Gbamin is far too much of a gamble.

I will defer to our esteemed ToffeeWeb scouts to throw three or four names into the ring.

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Reader Comments (9)

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Barry Rathbone
1 Posted 18/03/2021 at 19:42:49
Quite simple really, the whole ethos of the club is embroiled in that dreadful tune "it's a grand old team" even Carlo admits to being captivated by the clubs history - ancient as it is.

We are "too grand" in everything.

Fans, players, staff all refer to the esoteric myths of "nil satis nisi optimum" and "school of science" at the drop of hat. These ideals do not tally with intensity and getting your hands dirty.

The lamentable contrast to the neighbours who built an empire on intensity brought in by Shankly could not be starker.

Danny Broderick
2 Posted 18/03/2021 at 19:56:43
Spot on Tony. I am always complaining about our tempo and intensity. So often, everything we do seems laboured. Intensity when we have the ball can be a change of pace as someone beats a man, or crisp passing. Without the ball, it can be pressing someone down quickly, or winning an important tackle. We obviously do this sometimes, but nowhere near as much as the top sides.

It has to come from the manager first of all. The recruitment my mate be right, and the players must be fit enough to do it.

The last couple of years, watching a midfield including Gomes, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bernard etc has driven me crackers. No wonder our results against the top teams have been so poor when we attack slowly and let them get back in position to defend.

Hopefully we can get a right sided midfielder and a right back in the summer and then really start playing with more tempo and intensity. We definitely need to if we plan to finish in the top 6 any time soon...

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 18/03/2021 at 20:29:42
This is quite simply the blue-print for success at every single level, Tony, and applies to every single individual, who wants to be a winner, in any walk of life imo mate.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 19/03/2021 at 09:15:23
Intensity is linked to tactical and technical ability. Most fans see it as the Spirit or enthusiasm of the players, which is only part it. A really good team imo is relentless, rather than intense in its play.

In recent games the spirit has been there, but some players have not been able to achieve the required levels of tactical and technical ability.

To achieve a Top four finish Ancelotti has had to push the boat out tactically, demanding , with coaching help , the players show the necessary tactical and technical ability.

The players have fell short according to Ancelotti, so I expect he will adjust tactics to ensure Everton achieve his aim of a top 6 finish.

Derek Thomas
5 Posted 19/03/2021 at 09:58:03
Odd days under Moyes, mostly Vs Mancini's City for some reason. We'd be the ones with this intensity. I was moaning about the general lack of Intensity when Brenda's rs and Suarez ripped us a 4-0 new one.

Herr Nobert kept it on and revved it up one

Not much has changed...we still don't have much (the last Derby not withstanding) and it needs to change.

As far as I know, Carlo's previous teams were not noted for it. Maybe it has to come from within and to do that it has to be in there.

Steve Carse
6 Posted 19/03/2021 at 10:45:16
Strange thing is, Carlo got the intensity thing right in the opening games of the season, and in particular had it absolutely spot on in the opener at Spurs (still our best all round performance this season). It's all but disappeared since, as has the front foot tactical approach -- perhaps the two go hand in hand.
Andy Crooks
7 Posted 19/03/2021 at 19:05:01
I agree with your article, Tony. It requires a strong squad and a collective mindset to make intensity a given. I thing other qualities depend on it, utter hatred of losing is one. I hate smiles and banter after a defeat. It certainly doesn't happen on here.
Tony Hill
8 Posted 19/03/2021 at 19:21:08
Yup. It's what all the sceptics rightly complain about. There's no excuse for plodding around the pitch, shitting ourselves whenever we get the ball and have to control it and think of the next one or two moves.

It doesn't help when the manager says or implies that he doesn't think we have the quality to be attacking and confident. Given that message, it's no surprise the players flop and take the easy choice sideways or back.

This is the most massive obstacle to Everton's success. We creep and cringe, terrified of taking the risk, and have done so for decades. If we're not careful the time will never arrive and there will still be people telling us why we should be patient.

Start now.

Peter Warren
9 Posted 20/03/2021 at 12:38:57
Andy makes a great point / got to hate losing even more than enjoying winning in my view. That’s a winner

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