Half-Season Report

Martin O'Connor 28/12/2018 11comments  |  Jump to last

We reached the half-way stage of our first season under Marco Silva and Marcel Brands with a great performance and five goals at Burnley. So what can we put on the report card for their first half-season?

h4>The Clear-Out

A herculean effort was made in the Summer to free the Club of much of the under-performing deadwood. Either permanently or on loan, the Club managed to ship out a great swathe of players: Rooney, Klaassen, Mirallas and many more. I still think a number of other players could and should have been moved on: Niasse and Stekelenburg to name but two; however, the work on the clear-out in the Summer was very good. B+

The Incomings

For their first transfer window, one can say that Silva and Brands had an exceptional Summer. Richarlison and Digne hit the ground running and Yerry Mina has also slotted in seamlessly once he got over his initial injury.


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Bernard on a free transfer was an astute move. He is a player who clearly is starting to ajust more and more to the Premier League and will only get better. The Boxing Day win at Burnley was by far his best performance so far.

Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes have been great loan signings in both defence and midfield; if we could sign both of them permanently, it would be a no-brainer.

Finally, the bringing in of 19-year-old goalkeeper Joao Virginia from Arsenal was also a clever move. Virginia has been impressive in his appearances for the Under-23s and, in my view, should be ahead of Stekelenburg as back-up 'keeper to Jordan Pickford. A

The Football

Here, we can have no qualms in saying the football produced under Marco Silva compared to Sam Allardyce is like comparing night and day. While we trudged home and away to watch the most turgid football under Allardyce, we now have a Manager who wants to play on the front foot.

We have produced some good attacking football. The Leicester City and Burnley games both away being the standouts. This is not to say that we have not had ups and downs as we certainly have. Manchester City away, Newcastle United, Watford at home for example. We have also had disastrous performances against West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur while the Southampton Carabao Cup defeat was a lost opportunity. So it has not been plain sailing but, in six months, Silva has turned the way we play around dramatically and we will hopefully improve even more in the second half of the season. B

The Manager

Marco Silva is a breath of fresh air compared to Sam Allardyce. We have a manager who wants to play attacking football and who is not afraid to change tactics. (Yes three at the back can work, depending on who the opposition is.) But, just as this is a transitional season, it is also a season where Silva is learning more and more about the squad and his own managerial style, tactics and ideas.

We will have bumps in the road such as West Ham, Manchester City and Tottenham as noted above, but Silva is proving to be a good attacking manager who will only grow into the job and get better as the months go by. We need to be patient, but we are definitely on the right road. As Silva improves as a manager, so will we as a team. From where we were under the nightmare of Allardyce, Silva has made a very encouraging start. B


Finally, the overall mark. We are still a team in transition and need at least 2-3 more transfer windows before we will see a team which has the full Silva & Brands stamp on it. We have had bumps in the road and there will be more. But the change from the Allardyce regime has been immense.

The football is light-years away from the rubbish of last season; we are in the top half of the league with a progressive manager who will only get better. It has been a good start under Silva and Brands. So their overall rating for the first half of the season is: B

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Reader Comments (11)

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Paul Birmingham
1 Posted 28/12/2018 at 23:51:58
Martin, thanks for a good balanced and rational review.

In my view, overall, considering all games played, I'd say we scrape a C+, and that being generous as the games we've scrapped to draws especially at home, and spewed away, as mentioned in other threads, mean whilst refreshing as it is to see positive football, we are a long way off being a lethal team.

I've not seen the consistent killer instinct in an Everton for 30 years.

It's a different game now in so many ways, training, diets, sports science, improved medicine and medical technology, augers it's changed beyond doubt off the park, but on the park, a player (a good player) will always be a player.

For me we are well short of strength in depth and until we get true belief and conviction from the captain on the pitch, to every squad player, we may well, improve, but we may not catch up with so-called top six / Slimy Sky Six.

I hope and hope the wheel turns fast, but it's getting harder, and harder, to achieve consistency let alone success.

When was the last time we went on a 20 game plus unbeaten run, or won 10 games on the bounce... ?

Until we get a modern day Dixie, we will struggle as we can't score the goals consistently; our Goal Difference, tells its own story. Our goalkeeper needs to stick to goalkeeping, improve his kicking consistency, near-post cover, and corner and six-yard box management. I rate Pickford, but there's loads he can do to be consistent.

You could digress all night, but it's been a mad week in football terms; hopefully tomorrow is our day.

Tomorrow, I'm praying we win at Brighton. A good weekend to all TWrs.

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 29/12/2018 at 10:18:18
Wishes for the second half of the season.

Less stupid rash mistakes and more concentration, ahem Jordan Pickford.

More games like Burnley where we are clinical, and stop missing so many chances like in the games against the top six when we should have taken far more than the solitary point at Chelsea.

Iakovos Iasonidis
3 Posted 29/12/2018 at 18:11:58
Apart from incoming transfers which is a solid A–, all the rest are a C at best. As much as I like the attitude, realism is knocking the door.
Mike Galley
4 Posted 29/12/2018 at 18:26:16
Slightly optimistic half-term report for me. You call Silva a breath of fresh air compared to Allardyce?

I'm going to liken him to s blast of deodorant in a hot night club. Feels a bit fresher but I'm going to wait and see if results improve as the slowies start!!

Don't get me wrong, I believe now is a time for some much-needed stability on the managerial front, but our new owner seems a little trigger happy.

Hopefully, Marco comes through and proves to be the right man long term.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 29/12/2018 at 18:34:36
I'll give him a C. I think he means well but can he handle the expectations of the fans at a club like Everton?

I, like most of us, am not interested in getting 7th and a place in the Mickey Mouse league. No, I want us to be challenging for the Premier League title and the Champions League. Is that too much to ask?

Trevor Peers
6 Posted 29/12/2018 at 18:38:51
Silva's prowess as a great tactican, that has been put forward by many on here is now looking at bit lame, we've seen precious little of it since he arrived here.

You would think after spunking £90 million on new players there would be a coherent game plan on view, we don't expect it to be brilliant, but at times its been as awful as the dross we've seen for the last few seasons and therefore he's just not good enough.

No doubt he will be given another season. The owner head hunted him after all, be prepared for more chronic disappointment.

Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 29/12/2018 at 18:39:35
To me, 7th is like getting punched in the face without getting a black eye. Salvage a little pride but no reason to be happy.
Pat Kelly
8 Posted 29/12/2018 at 20:08:04
If anyone thinks we're on the right road... switch off your SatNav and look out the window. We've turned the corner, into a cul-de-sac. Car-crash football at its best.
Rob Dolby
9 Posted 30/12/2018 at 12:55:09
A well-balanced review – though I can't agree with you on the Mina or Bernard front.

Signing Zouma on loan is proving more astute than trying for months to get Mina. Mina looks like an accident waiting to happen. His demeanor is of a lottery winner out of his depth at this level of football.

Bernard is the opposite of what I expected. I expected a player full of quality and guile but lightweight. In reality, he works his socks off but doesn't have enough guile or quality. In each game he has played, he has got himself into fantastic positions only for his head to fall off in the box.

The positives are Digne & Richarlison – both have improved us. Gomes is obviously a quality footballer who I hope we can keep hold of – though even he doesn't look like he has a goal in him.

The spine of Pickford, Keane, Zouma, Gueye, Gomes and Sigurdsson is pretty strong. The missing link is a striker.

On Silva himself, I was expecting an improvement on the previous two managers. I think we are better on the eye but are still wide open and concede too many goals due to his tactics and formation changes. Take Richarlison and Sigurdsson out of the team and we would struggle to offer any threat whatsoever.

If we aren't going to buy in January, then Silva will know the areas that need addressing and he needs to work with what he has to find a way of winning.

C– for me.

Andrew Bentley
10 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:21:19
Jesus! When it comes to new signings, when will people learn. Very few find their feet in the first season (especially those from abroad) and so, as much as we want them to be football robots and play at their ultimate best each game, it's unrealistic. I think the signings we have made are all an upgrade on who we had before and another summer next year like the one we just had and we will have more strength in depth.

Judge Bernard, Mina et al next season when they have had a whole year of playing in the Premier League. Look at how much slating Keane got last year. Then we all found out about his injury and he has looked a much better player this year. And he was coming as an established Premier League player.

Let's be realistic this year and enjoy the football – at least we try to pass the ball forwards and can be much more enjoyable to watch vs last season. It's not been great every week but a decent cup run this season and a decent summer transfer window, then my expectations will be through the roof!

Andy Meighan
11 Posted 04/01/2019 at 14:17:52
Andrew @10,

When will people ever learn? Very few find their feet in their first season – especially those from abroad. Yes, spot on there, because Salah struggled last season, didn't he... as did Kompany, Aguero, Silva etc in their first seasons.

The signings haven't really been much of an upgrade, have they... because the points total is more or less the same and the football is just as turgid. We can't defend, got a pedestrian midfield, and have at times struggled to break teams down – especially at home never mind away.

One thing a match-going Evertonian can spot is a good footballer and nearly all of them bar 1 or 2 are good footballers. I'm in the camp that's prepared to give Silva time but please don't kid yourself that it's been any better because it hasn't. The Premier League table doesn't lie.

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