What is wrong at Everton and why Silva needs time to sort it

George Wilson 02/02/2019 94comments  |  Jump to last

Another game at Goodison Park and another bad result against a team that Everton should do better against.

The truth is that, today, Wolves were the better organised and more disciplined side in defence as well as more clinical going forward. They fully deserved the 3 points.

Everton were poor. Their season has basically been written off by the start of February because of dreadful performances like this at home.


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Take a look at some of Everton’s home results under Silva this season:

D 1-1 vs Huddersfield

L 3-1 vs West Ham

D 2-2 vs Watford

D 1-1 vs Newcastle

L 6-2 vs Tottenham

L 1-0 vs Leicester

L 3-1 vs Wolves

Only 3 points against these sides is not good enough.

But if we break these fixtures down, then it becomes evident that Everton have two main tactical problems at home that Silva needs to find solutions for... Quickly.

Midfield Exposure and Lack of Creativity

Against Wolves, Tottenham and West Ham, Everton played too expansively meaning that they were exposed in the middle and paid for it on the counter-attack. This is particularly true when Idrissa Gueye is absent from midfield, as Wolves (and Tottenham) exploited the hole that Gueye would normally plug in the centre of the pitch. Gueye’s bite and positioning is really important and is needed as a counter-balance to the more forward-thinking players around him. When Gueye is missing, Everton look vulnerable.

Though great at breaking up play, Gueye lacks the ability to pass forward with any conviction. That is why Silva and Brands need to find a player with similar defensive capabilities but with greater passing range to fully maximise Silva’s style of play. Gueye is a good player to have in the squad but more midfield reinforcements are necessary. A new midfielder (as well as securing Gomes’s permanent signature) in the Summer is arguably more important than signing a striker.

Against Leicester, Newcastle and Huddersfield, it was evident that Everton do not have enough quality up front to break down teams that ‘sit-in’ and defend. A new striker in the Summer is a must for Silva and Brands. However, as Silva rightly pointed out recently, top teams today are not reliant on a traditional Number 9 player to score all the goals. A modern side has three, four, five forward players that score in double figures across the season.

As it stands, Everton have two in Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the hope is that Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman could join the other two in reaching those kind of goal returns soon. With a new striker (or two), promising young players developing and more time together on the training ground, then the issue of a lack of creativity against defensive-minded teams could be resolved for next season.

Soft Touch

As well as these tactical deficiencies, it is obvious that Everton suffer from a soft touch.

Too many times this season Everton have conceded soft goals, especially from set-pieces. The Wolves defeat today was no different. Leighton Baines needlessly gave away a penalty after 6 minutes, which was subsequently dispatched by Wolves. Then, after a great strike from Gomes to equalise, Everton let in another set-piece goal as an unmarked Jimenez headed home Neves’s free-kick. Easy goals like this need to stop. Fast.

Everton’s soft touch is connected to the collective lack of confidence running through the team. Confidence seemed brittle following the 1-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield but the 3-2 defeat to Millwall in the FA Cup was a real setback. In both defeats, Everton conceded last-minute goals that were preventable, both were hard to stomach for players and fans. Today, against Wolves, Everton showed that they have not recovered from these blows and their collective confidence continues to be low. A couple of bad moments and their energy and determination evaporates.

A lack of confidence and resilience is not exclusive to Silva’s Everton though. The reality is Everton have lacked resilience since Moyes left. Martinez’s side played good football with moderate success (5th-place finish, some good cup runs) but his team lacked strength and a nastiness to get the wins needed. His moderate success came from delusional self-belief rather than hard work and grit.

Under Koeman a degree of resilience returned; however, his side never looked like progressing beyond seventh place and they capitulated at the start of last season. (The less said about Sam Allardyce the better, everything about his managership was dire and his name should be blotted out from Everton history.)

Everton need to forget about this result, work hard on the training pitch, and discover some nerve. It may take some time, as a lack of resilience at the club goes back a while.

Silva Should Stay

If there is slight hope following the Wolves defeat, then it comes from Silva’s post-match comments. Silva understood the main problems his team has: making it too easy for the opponents. It is clear that he let his players know about it too; let us hope they listen and grow some much-needed steeliness and determination.

A minority of supporters have started to call for Silva’s sacking but this would achieve nothing. The season is more or less over, Everton are very unlikely to be relegated and there is zero chance of a trophy. This means that there is no instant need for change and Silva should be given to the end of the season to sort out his team.

After all, he went out and bought six players last Summer and he is getting the best out of these signings, particularly Richarlison. His team have shown signs of brilliance amongst the trouble. Give him the last fourteen games to show what his team can do.

Remember, the teams around Everton have had greater stability, and their managers afforded more time to get their sides ticking to their desired beat. Nuno Esperito Santo’s Wolves had the whole of last season and this to perfect their system. They looked a more cohesive and well-organised side than Everton. But, with more time, Silva’s Everton can be even better.

To sack Silva now and replace him with somebody else would result in more uncertainty and could backfire badly. It is time for a deep breath and patience from the fans in order for Silva to overcome this bad period.

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Reader Comments (94)

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Dave Lynch
1 Posted 03/02/2019 at 04:00:43

Your list highlights dire home games, what about the away fixtures?

I would totally agree with you if I could see some kind of improvement or even change of tactics but I see neither.

What I see is a team rigid in defence (zonal marking), clueless in midfield, and no fire-power up-front.

That equates to a very poor football team that plays the same, week in week out.

You're right that we should not sack him now but the sword of Damocles is right above his neck.

You also state we have zero "chance" of a trophy. Chance would indicate there is hope, we are out of every competition so hope left the building weeks ago my friend.

Brian Murray
2 Posted 03/02/2019 at 05:05:59
Dave, you are right that managers, including Silva, need time. However, he obviously can't grasp the basics of football, ie, defending and proper fitness and preparation.

His Plan A is the same week after week; if that succeeds or fails, that's it because he has no other game-changing ideas.

Off the pitch, there is no way that Bill is just a figurehead or ambassador. He obviously still has a big say and Moshiri still turns to him for his advice or input. That in itself is so dangerous to the fortunes of EFC.

Total cocktail of ineptitude which explains why Big Dunc survives every clean sweep. Thanks again, Bill.

Robin Cannon
3 Posted 03/02/2019 at 05:57:30
"If there is slight hope following the Wolves defeat, then it comes from Silva’s post-match comments."

...but they're the same post-match comments after multiple defeats caused by exactly the same flaws. Saying the same thing over and over again and not addressing the problem isn't that hopeful to me.

Rob Marsh
4 Posted 03/02/2019 at 06:20:11
Until now I've advocated giving him more time, but he still defends with zonal marking?

The players now look forlorn, lost and with no idea how to change things, we could have played Wolves until midnight and they'd have kept scoring goals with no reply, the team once things go wrong seem to have no Plan B or ability to execute it.

The just seem to collapse in adversity.

If they come out fighting against Man City and keep going regardless of the score and also Zonal marking has disappeared, I might just feel a glimmer of hope.

Charles McCann
5 Posted 03/02/2019 at 06:32:17
Problem is George, Silva doesn’t seem to be learning anything. When players are not playing well and low in confidence why continue to play them when there are better options on the bench. That’s what worries me about Silva. As for the midfielder you’re looking for.if he’d give McCarthy a chance to get some match fitness...someone that doesn’t shy away from a tackle. I liked Silva and wanted him to do well but I’m sorry this is just not working out for him.
Dave McDowell
6 Posted 03/02/2019 at 06:34:39
George, yesterdays result was a no brainer.

As soon as Wolves set up 3-5-2 I knew we were going to struggle.

The facts. We cannot keep a clean sheet, we very rarely score more than one goal.

So against another team (Huddersfield) that equally cannot score, a draw or 1-0 win either way was the likely result.

Play teams up the table and we will progressively get tonked, (Spurs). I am clutching my chair with fear when thinking of playing City, RS and even a resurgent United.

On the basis of our own eyes, Wolves are the best of the rest, followed by Watford. Both team played us off the park at Goodison.

So in reality between 9-12 is our level, fighting with Leicester, Bournemouth and West Ham for one of these slots.

Our midfield is woeful, has been for many seasons, we have no leaders and no big characters up for a fight.

Did you see Wolves huddle before kick off, one players giving out instructions and rallying them. We stood silently and watched, no shouting, no goading each other. Even after we conceded no repercussions just amble back to kick off. We seem to have zero team spirit to pull on when things go wrong.

Silva will stay until the end of the season but we need a number of horrible 0-0s to settle down.

Sorry my pessimistic view is it aint going to be nice.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 03/02/2019 at 08:08:28
Full marks for optimism George, but I fear, baring 3 wins in a row over City, Watford and the rs, I could even take 2 from 3, so long as the loss was Vs City, Silva can't or won't change and is a dead man walking, not if but when.
Jason Broome
8 Posted 03/02/2019 at 08:38:20
If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn't get the Man Utd job then we need to seriously look to exploit and explore him as an option. The same for Mourinho and also Benitez. The wheels should be turning on this right now.

If you had a high end restaurant with a Chef that couldn't get his ingredients or his timings right (but got lucky once in a while) his arse would be out. That is where we are right now and it is madness to go into a new season with the same Chef.

According to results Marco isn't half the Manager Allardyce proved to be last season. So regardless of how the season ends he simply needs to go.

Moshiri the accountant needs to stay the fuck away from any more manager appointment decisions.

Thomas Lennon
9 Posted 03/02/2019 at 08:38:45
9-12 is far from good enough, 7th is our level with a hope to go further. I last wrote in late November saying that this squad is only halfway to getting to the aspiration to go further up the table. At that time the most optimistic were stating that we only needed 3 more players? 60 points was being talked about
I gave the right hand side six weeks to save itself and we were duly shredded in December, as usual. Take away our 'sticking plaster' Gueye and the goals flow in the wrong direction. Players are looking at each other in despair.

The main problem that puts us behind the likes of Wolves is that they have a very good championship squad with some important added quality. We have the remnants of a squad designed to survive in the Premier League being replaced with players expecting to be challenging top six but with no experience of how to get there. Mixing players who can pass with players who can't play the forward looking game is leading to a lack of confidence going forward, hanging back to cover breakaway attacks rather than showing for a forward pass - because we have failed to buy/replace those who could win the ball back and score a few (Barry, McCarthy, Coleman).

This squad is half a top six squad at best. Silva needs to stop conceding and win a few. Show pragmatism for the last 14 matches, simplify the game for his players. Try to win back some confidence to build on - with no pressure on surely that can't be beyond us? A good old fashioned Moyes lock-in with senior players to thrash out problems & strategy perhaps? Get the players on board!

Come summer, we all know what needs to happen but I don't think a new manager is going to solve anything.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 03/02/2019 at 08:44:57
I was with you George up until early January but the results against Southampton, Millwall and yesterday have been the games that have finally done for me.

I don’t know anymore if he is big enough or has the personality to turn this mess around, is he willing to change formation?
Is he flexible?

I’m really doubtful right now to be honest and that performance yesterday when we just cruised through the last half hour looking completely disinterested at 3-1 down had the hallmarks of a team and manager that has hit a wall and perhaps there’s no way back.

Prior to Christmas everyone was spouting off that once we had played the top five clubs away from home we would start wining games but our form has worsened against teams we should be competing against.

Our home record is dismal.

Our away form is pretty dire.

Our clean sheet total is dire.

The record of not having won when we concede the first goal still stands at December 2017, what a disgrace that is.

This is February now, it’s 7 months in and I can’t see any shape, any work ethic, any variety, nobody thought we’d be Barcelona this season but we can’t even do the basics right.

I’m no longer sure Silva can turn this mess around and the lack of arrivals in the January transfer window could be the killing of him.

I said in January we needed fresh blood injected and some fresh impetus to save this dying tired season, very similar to the season Moyes brought Pienaar, Jelavic, Gibson and Donovan in.

Well it failed to arrive and I firmly believe now that it’s only heading in one way and that downwards.

Gary Carter
11 Posted 03/02/2019 at 08:53:18
To say Silva should stay because he recognises the problems and mentions them in post match conferences is totally absurd!

He should be addressing the issues not talking about them. And let's be honest, you've only listed the home games we've been dreadful in, what about all the away games ?!?!?

Silva was never the right appointment, he has a win ration in the Premier League of 30% for God's sake! Now he's proved beyond all doubt that he's not up to the job!
Kevin Prytherch
12 Posted 03/02/2019 at 08:55:26
I feel your analysis of the midfield, although correct in being exposed, isn’t reliant of Gueye being missing.

We set up with a 4-2-3-1 and have done since Martinez. Out of the 3, we have 2 wingers and a very attacking number 10 who is slow and lightweight. Therefore we effectively set up with 4 attackers.

This causes the fullbacks to be stuck at what to do, they try to commit forward, but have that nagging doubt in their mind so they never fully commit to either attacking or defending, leaving big gaps behind them.

This also leaves the midfield with just two players and, against a decent midfield or teams that put 3 in the middle, they are overrun.

To play 2 in midfield, we either need a midfield like the Joe Royle days (on the few occasions he played both Limpar and Kanchelskis), 2 nasty players who will never shirk from a tackle and know that their responsibility is to recycle the ball to those who know what to do with it (Horne and Parkinson).

Failing that, we need 2 all round midfielders, (think Keane for example, however even he had a wide midfielder in Beckham rather that 2 wingers playing alongside him) which we don’t have, or a number 10 that actually warrants some attention from the opposition midfield, (ie Barkley) which he presently doesn’t.

Therefore, if we persist with playing 2 wingers we need a 3rd midfielder and not a number 10. If we insist on playing a number 10, we need at least 1 wide midfielder who knows how to help out defensively.

I say, Ditch the number 10.

Ian Hollingworth
13 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:13:56
Defending is a big issue and I am not sure giving Silva time will help solve this unless he changes.
With Silva in charge Hull had the worst record at defending set pieces in the Premier as do Everton currently.
At Watford his team had the 3rd worst record.
The signs are he does not learn or is incapable of setting up a defence.
John Keating
14 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:23:38

can you cast your mind back to pre season ? Bloody awful. But ok it's more important that time is spent on players getting fitness levels up and players getting the managers ideas and tactics known.

Fast forward 6 months. Not a bloody thing has changed! We are still unfit, still can't last 45 minutes let alone 90, and we still haven't got a clue - like Silva himself - about tactics.

We are lucky we have scrapped the points we already have, if not, I think Silva would be gone by now.

You mentioned home games in your piece. The first one, Huddersfield, I don't know if you were there but we were absolutely shocking. Fast forward to yesterday, Wolves. We are still shocking.

The football we are playing. Martinez sideways football going nowhere then backwards to be hoofed forwards to somewhere. Where is this open, exciting, entertaining attacking high press football, or even anything in part or resembling it we were expecting after the so called zombie football of last season ?

We should keep Silva until the end of the season, no doubt, but seasons end the powers that be will have to sit down and really see if we have improved and going in the right direction.
If they decide to keep Silva, in my opinion, they cannot allow us to continue as we presently are and bin him early doors into the season, as he shows no way to motivate or change things.
If we allowed him half a season next year we may well find ourselves struggling at the wrong end of the league.

Colin Wordsworth
15 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:30:56
Gents, with all due respect at this rate we are heading without a rudder for the bottom 6 not top 6. Our upcoming run of games are as hard as they can be and we have struggled all season against the 'easy' teams. silvas defensive record is identical to when he was at Hull worst in the league from set pieces. He has spent over 100 million improving the side from last season who finished at the end a comfortable 8th! arguably the football is no better, how many shots were on target yesterday, how many chances created? This man is not the answer, as I've said on another post get on bended knee and ask jose to join us!
Colin Wordsworth
16 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:30:57
Gents, with all due respect at this rate we are heading without a rudder for the bottom 6 not top 6. Our upcoming run of games are as hard as they can be and we have struggled all season against the 'easy' teams. silvas defensive record is identical to when he was at Hull worst in the league from set pieces. He has spent over 100 million improving the side from last season who finished at the end a comfortable 8th! arguably the football is no better, how many shots were on target yesterday, how many chances created? This man is not the answer, as I've said on another post get on bended knee and ask jose to join us!
Mark Tanton
17 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:41:56
I have defended young Silva repeatedly and called for calm. I am now deeply concerned. What should we do? God knows.
Clive Mitchell
18 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:44:32
Good piece George, and while I'm desperate to agree with you that we have to give Silva time I'm afraid that what I'm seeing on the pitch is what Dave McDowell describes in post 6 - a side that's spiritless, defeated in its attitude, hoping rather than determined to make things happen both before the game warming up and during the game.

George is right about his list of poor results at Goodison - but we didn't play any better in the wins against Southampton, Cardiff, Bournemouth.

Danny Broderick
19 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:50:49
The answer is not sacking the manager now - to do so would give these players a massive pass. Some of them have been poor for 3 or 4 different managers now. What is it about these players that means they don’t take responsibility? When the cat was on the pitch yesterday, I wanted one of them to run over to the cat, pick it up and then be rallying us to get on with the game. Nobody bothered, they were all standing there like gimps.

I hope Silva is putting this on them behind closed doors. There are tactical issues he has to address though. Sigurdsson is a problem playing as a number 10. Like someone else said, the 2 holding midfielders are being overrun. It’s like we are playing 4-2-4 at times. Sigurdsson has to play deeper, or not at all. This 4-2-3-1 is not working.

We should give Silva to the end of the season as a minimum. I hope he can turn it around, but he can’t just keep picking the same team or formation every week when it’s not working. Something needs to change.

Colin Wordsworth
20 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:08:42
Being slightly contraversial Allardyce got a tune from the same players minus 100 plus million. Even Tuson and Walcott looked good. He has not improved the side, we need the right coach .he ain't it. And don't tell me the football is better now .it ain't.
Kunal Desai
21 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:11:43
It doesn't cost a dime to motivate, correctly communicate, and condition players in order to provide effort and some committment and passion. These are the fundamentals of football.
When a manager cannot get the basics right there is no hope of going forward.
Gareth Williams
22 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:25:11
It's time for Marco Silva to go – he is not the man for the job. He should never have been appointed... we were better under Big Sam.
Paul Burns
23 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:25:21
What sums up Everton FC for me at this moment in time is the horrible, useless, disturbing, expensive waste of space that is Kevin Mirallas festering in the background, picking up wages under false pretences.
He epitomises everything that is wrong with our club. Remember the fuss Kenwright made with handing this failure a lucrative new contract?
Brings a new meaning to " going through the motions" and is Everton personified.
Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:29:59
Good point about replacing Gueye, with someone who also has energy, but can pass the ball a lot better George.

I think the bigger point is that since the Liverpool game, we are making the pitch too big, for the opposition, and are therefore to easy to play against, and it’s killing us at both ends of the pitch.

Everton moved the ball about brilliantly to score their goal yesterday, but because of the gaps, because players are always to far away from each other, we never seem to get away with making mistakes, and we also find it hard to open up the opposition, very rarely playing little “one-two’s”. (Which opens up defensively minded teams?)

Football is about many things, but one of the biggest things on a football pitch, is all about being close, so for that reason alone, this present formation is killing us.

Steavey Buckley
25 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:35:34
At the beginning of the season I questioned the appointment of Silva after Everton picked up just 6 points from 6 games against very moderate opposition except for the Arsenal game. Yet, the fans were quite content with the results because the football was better than with Allardyce as Everton manager. Yet, even though the football is relatively the same the points return is slightly better at 1.3 points per game also against relatively modest opposition except against the top 6 teams. But now the tide has turned against Silva, but why now?
Tony Cheek
26 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:42:47
Lots of bad signs yesterday. we have become an easy "puss-over" ! :-)
Stephen Brown
27 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:43:56
All the talk of Silva not having a plan B assumes he has a plan A! I’m not sure we have any sort of style of play? We let in terrible goals often from set pieces, our midfield is so deep it may as well be part of back 4! No movement up front! I can remember creating anything in the second half yesterday despite being 2 goals down
Mike Littler
28 Posted 03/02/2019 at 10:47:50
Silva was never good enough for the job and had no merits to be given it. We need to stop being the biggest job of a manager’s career and go for someone who has managed at a higher level than we are currently - Mancini, Benitez or Wenger for me. Show some ambition.
Jerome Shields
29 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:03:49
The weaknesses you describe have been evident throughout the season and Silva has failed to address them.

In defence, both Coleman and Baines should have not been selected. Silva can't coach the defending of set-pieces and similar type play. He also can't coach a defense in zonal marking either.

In midfield, he did not select a defending midfielder to replace Gueye, so the hole you described had no-one in it.

In the forward line, he selected Tosun, who needs the ball played to feet; neither Richarlison (the worst Brazilian passer of the ball in history) nor Walcott (the worst Everton outfield player as regards touches per game).

Result: No attacking threat, Sigurdsson isolated, No defending midfield player, One headless chicken in midfield, The other marked by two players. A defence not coached to defend. Two old crocks in defence.

Wolves weren't playing against a team of players.

You are right that Silva should stay rather than be sacked, because it won't make any difference to the direction of Everton; the regime that exists at Board and backroom level are not good enough and have been that way for years.

Brian Hennessy
30 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:13:50
I think there is no point in sacking Silva until a better option comes available.

However, I think Mr Moshiri and Brands should make looking for a new manager their top priority in the same way you would if you had a player that you know needs replacing.

I don't know is Silva is plain stubborn or tactically inept but his methods are just not working. This team is a mirror of his personality: dull, boring, one dimensional. I fall asleep listening to him for two minutes in his press conferences – imagine listening to him all day every day in training!

I would love to see him change his ways and for us to improve over the remaining games this season but I cannot see this happening.

Kim Vivian
31 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:19:03
Fuck me - that article should be rewritten and condensed down into fewer words.

I'd say...

Shit defense
Shit midfield
Shit attack
No leader - on or off the pitch
No plan
No fight
No fucken hope

And to say, "After all, he went out and bought six players last Summer and he is getting the best out of these signings, particularly Richarlison. His team have shown signs of brilliance amongst the trouble" leaves me bewildered.

Is that the level of brilliance you get for £45/£50m or whatever it was in the end? That's without mentioning Sigurdsson.

Sure – give him til the end of the season, assuming we really are safe from relegation, but don't hold your hopes too high.

James Hughes
32 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:20:44
Before we talk about replacing the manager... we should all 'paws for thought'...

I'll get me coat, taxi is here. :)

Raymond Fox
33 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:25:48
At the start of each season, the talk is can we break into the top six or win one of the cup competitions.

A cup is realistic but is a top six finish? In my view a once in a while success is just about possible but we don't have the financial clout yet to muscle one of the regular top six clubs out for any length of time.

I don't think Silva is going to escape from the hole he's in; our best plan is to move heaven and earth to get Benitez at the end of the season, that's if he would come of course.

He's a tried and tested top manager who will get the best out of whatever squad he has to pick from, he's just the sort of manager we need to steady the ship.

At least we will have a better idea of if its all the manager's fault, or are the players simply not good enough?

Dale Rose
34 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:28:27
I would like to see a settled team. I would also like to see a striker because we don't have one. Until we get one, we will struggle.

Football isn't rocket science, it's people in a position doing their job and knowing the basics, passing well, keeping the ball and knowing where your team mates are.

Bertie Mee once said when asked what he told the players, replied "Pass it to another red jersey". Something we are not doing with any degree of accuracy.

Dave Williams
35 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:29:22
Tony – absolutely right. Our players are too far away from each other making passing more difficult and leaving huge gaps for the opposition to play in.

For Man City, I would forget about two wingers. Play Jonjo at right back (I think Digne is back from suspension) and put Tom in front of him as they hunt together very well. Play Bernard ahead of Digne with Gomes, Gueye (if fit) and McCarthy in the middle with Richarlison up front.

Sigurdsson has been a passenger and only plays either because he can score a goal or because of what he cost.

It doesn't work with him in the team- he runs around a lot but the balance doesn't work. At centre-back, if fit, I would bring back Jagielka. He is fresh, experienced and will organise the defence and has always thrown himself into harm's way to defend his goal. Alongside him must be Zouma who has mostly played well.

That team looks much tighter to me with workrate and a few fighters in the young lads, James and Jags.
It can't do any worse can it??

Tony Everan
36 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:43:10
George, you have hit on a few pertinent points.

For me, the main point you made about being far too expansive for the midfield we have got. I fully agree the midfield needs sorting before we see any improvement. Both in personnel and definitely in the structure of our midfield as a cohesive fighting and creative unit.

Without the midfield working properly we have no chance.

We are easy to play against, a nice opponent, we don't trouble the opposition too much, they arrive without fear and are confident.

All this in what used to be the Goodison Park bear pit. Now it's more of a cattery than a bear pit.

Silva has got a chance if he is willing to learn from his mistakes. If he doesn't and keeps on making the same decisions leading to the same outcomes he will be gone in May .

Mike Hayes
37 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:50:37
Just give him time to clear his desk, call a taxi, and bugger off with the rest of the crap we've had to endure... We are a laughing stock!
Brian Harrison
38 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:54:31
I am sure that there are many Blues who didn't want Silva, I did I thought he had Hull and Watford playing an attacking style of football. I also thought with the ability to buy better players then he might just be the man we needed. My main worry is, after good starts at both his previous clubs, when results started to go against his teams he didn't seem to be able to turn it around.

My main question, both to Silva and Brands, is why didn't either of you make the signing of a striker the main priority. Surely even a blind man could see we lacked quality in that position, but despite making 6 signings we were left with the same strikers that proved ineffective from last seasons campaign.

I have no idea if Moshiri will again dispose of another manager, what will that be? 4 managers in 4 years – a clear message for the next incumbent. The biggest problem Silva or a new manager will have in the summer is our massive overblown wage bill. Most of the high earners will not be bought and the best we can hope for is more loan deals next season.

But clubs will know how desperate we are to offload players so we will probably end up paying in excess of 75% of their wages, so hardly reduces the wage bill at all. The list of poor purchases on massive salaries cant be understated, and who in the right mind would have signed Onyekuru for £7 million and agree to pay him £40,000 per week without checking first if you could get clearance for him to play in this league?

So if Moshiri does decide to pull the plug on Silva, and you would think his comments at the AGM would make that more likely if results don't improve dramatically in the remaining games. This will mean he will have sacked 4 managers in 4 years, and no doubt Silva will qualify for a similar payout to Martinez and Koeman which was £10 million each plus £6 million to Allardyce. So a total of £36 million in redundancy pay in 4 years, it puts it in perspective when Newcastle have just broken their own transfer record spending £21 million on a player.

So the next manager would come in and his spending will be severely curtailed unless he and Brands can get the loan players out on permanent deals. Finally just as a footnote to bringing in a new manager Everton have never ever appointed a manager who has won a major trophy, not even under Sir john Moores; Catterick had finished runner up to Spurs in the league. So expect more of the same – another unproven manager being appointed.

Ron Sear
39 Posted 03/02/2019 at 11:56:41
Dale (34),

When Bertie Mee once said when asked what he told the players, replied "pass it to another red jersey". We do that bit rather well when we play the RS, with the added bonus that we also pass it to any player who isn't wearing a blue jersey in every other game at home.

Clive Rogers
40 Posted 03/02/2019 at 12:06:35
How can Kenwright continue as Chairman after this disastrous season. He has presided over 20 years of decline.

Moshiri has stated the finances were a shambles and the club was more of a museum when he took over. He was initially giving football advice, but that has ceased and Brands put on the board.

He was in charge of transfer negotiations but has been booted off that after £45M was paid for an average midfielder at the tail end of his career.

He now seems to be merely a figurehead, which is the last thing we need. We need an inspirational, dynamic chairman who can inspire the whole club and bring us out of our amateur “old boys and chums” mentality.

We have been taught a football lesson today by a newly promoted club who will certainly move on to bigger and better things next season, leaving us in their wake. He has to go.

Andrew Cunningham
41 Posted 03/02/2019 at 12:16:04
Danny @19 "I think we should give Silva until the end of the season, minimum" — I think we should give Silva to the end of the season, Maximum!!!! I wish I had the answer but alas... fuck all.

The Everton fans don't deserve this shit. Hoping the shite lose so we can lift our spirits is not or ever should be accepted. This is very disappointing !!!!!

Jim Bennings
42 Posted 03/02/2019 at 12:44:18
I don't want or necessarily think sacking Silva will do any good, I've said all along that this current crop of players just aren't mentally tough enough.

Making statements like: “Let's give Silva until the end of the season.”

I'm not sure what people expect this Everton team to do the rest of the season. We have five real tough home games which we probably won't win any and possibly lose all of.

Our away form is shit and we are facing games against teams scrapping it out for points to survive. We will win three more games tops and probably finish on about 47 points or around that.

What then in May? Sack silva and wait a month before fannying about looking for another inept replacement? Waste more money on players with “castoff” written all over them?

I don't see any real answers or solutions right now.

Jay Wood

43 Posted 03/02/2019 at 12:51:21
I don't think I'm being too radical when I say up to and including the game at Anfield, the vast majority of Evertonia were still on board with Silva.

Yes, there were a few naysayers who were not going to change their opinions that he should not have been appointed in the first place, no matter what he did.

There were plenty who were not totally convinced about his appointment, but accepted it and were prepared to give him time.

There were a few who were positively gushing, believing Marco was the man to lead Everton to the Promised Land.

Now the game against Liverpool was the 14th in this Premier League campaign, so more than a third of the season. A reasonable number of games then, with a good mix of fixtures against the mighty and the not so mighty, on which to assess the manager and the team.

Yes, in that run of 14 games there was good and bad. But, for the majority I believe there was an acceptance, a tolerance, that the manager, the players and the team needed time given the recruitment and mismanagement of the previous 3-4 seasons.

And there were good signs. The defence did settle down and function well, kept clean sheets and barely conceded chances, let alone goals. The Gueye-Gomes axis did play well. The forward line did occupy the opposition. The team was more compact, making it difficult for the opposition to play through us. There were more frequent examples of good sharp interplay and a bolder more confident attitude in our play, no matter who the opposition.

And going into the derby game, there was genuine optimism that we could compete and get a result. A sentiment well borne out until the 96th minute of that game.

As is all too obvious, in the 11 Premier Leag games played since then (plus the two wobbly FA Cup games) - nearly a third of our league fixtures - anything that was good about Silva's Everton has disintegrated.

And again, 11 fixtures - the majority of them far more benevolent (on paper) than the opening 14 fixtures - is a reasonable number of games by which to assess the manager, the players and the team.

In this run of games I would agree with George's opening post: in contrast to the opening 14 fixtures, in the following 11 games, we have been nowhere near as compact. And as a result, as Tony Abrahams writes, we have made the pitch too big for the opposition to play in. We are more stretched in the lines and spaces between the defence, the midfield and the attack and the opposition is exploiting and punishing us for this.

Many refuse to recognize his worth to the team, but Gueye when he is on the pitch is now virtually the only player charged with, or with the innate ability, to attempt to plug all these gaps.

I have to disagree with George (and many others) when he says Gueye lacks the ability to pass forward with any conviction and the solution is for 'Silva and Brands to find a player with similar defensive capabilities but with greater passing range to fully maximise Silva's style of play'.

George to me is making the mistake of many others: holding Gueye to account for the failure of other players. What I mean by that is this:

First, Gueye's passing is nowhere near as bad or as limited as too many Blues make out.

Secondly, this calling out of Gueye's (alleged) poor passing overlooks a very fundamental point: the two supposed more gifted players and passers in the team, Gomes and Sigurdson, far, FAR more frequently than Gueye regularly misplace very simple passes, long and short, underhit and overhit, with dire consequences for the team as we are left exposed and the opposition run through us.

And yet George concludes a 'better' type of Gueye is needed and we should secure Gomes on a permanent signature, when in truth Gomes is very much part of the problem this season whilst Gueye is arguably our player of the season.

Another point I must take issue with in George's post is the mistaken claim he makes that 'a modern side has three, four, five forward players that score in double figures across the season.'

Not true. Some clubs may have two players – at a stretch, three – who reach double figures. The overwhelming majority barely have one player, let alone two, making double figures.

At Everton, for example, in the 30 years since the 1987-88 season when Sharp scored 13 and Clarke 10, we have had TWO seasons - TWO! - when we had more than one player get into double figures. 1992-93 with Cottee 12 and Beardsley 10. Then again in 2002-03 with Radzinski 11 and Campbell 10.

We should make it three in 30 seasons, given the numbers, Richarlison and Sigurdsson are on with 13 games to go, but George is repeating a myth some used when we sold Lukaku: "Good riddance! We can make up for his goals with 3-4-5 different players all hitting double figures for us."

Now possibly the impressive away win at Leicester and how the front four of Bernard, Walcott, Richarlison & Sigurdson performed that day influenced Silva's thinking too much, but he was wrong to persist with Richarlison in the #9 role as long as he has.

The way Brazil plays Richarlison at #9 is completely different to how Everton plays. We continue to lump balls up to the lad against the Orcs of Premier League centre-backs. Brazil is all about ground passing and constant movement of the ball and the players, on and off the ball. No wonder he looks battered and frustrated.

George gets no arguments from me about us being a soft touch. Only one player against Wolves yesterday had some anger in his play, and he didn't even start the game: Jonjoe Kenny.

It is some years since we had some belligerent narks in our team. We are poorer for it. We have no leaders who inspire, who berate, who lead by example to gee the team up and say in-game: "This is not acceptable! This is not who we are! Let's get back at these feckers, NOW!"

The abysmal away record and the inevitability of a result once we concede the first goal (we simply don't win games any more from losing positions) is symptomatic of our softness. And the decay is now spreading to 'Fortress Goodison' and our home form.

As for George's conclusion, that Silva should stay. If he means 'stay for now, until the end of the season', I would have to agree. Now is not the time of year to recruit a good replacement manager.

Despite what a few wrist-slicers may think, we are not going to get relegated... this season. 33 points is a poor return, but it is possibly already enough to avoid the drop. We don't need the mythical 40 points to be safe. And, as bad as we are, we are not going to go pointless from now to the end of the season and will probably stumble to 40 points anyway.

However, if George is advocating Silva is retained for next season, if the form of the past 11 Premier League games (and the two FA Cup games) continues until the end of this season, I doubt that the bookies would offer you a price on that happening.

We are a MESS!

Jim Bennings
44 Posted 03/02/2019 at 12:52:43
Someone at this club should get the comments brilliantly made by Jermaine Jenas last night, frame them, and hang them on the wall in the players tunnel.

“I don't know what Everton are anymore, Goodison used to be a really tough place to play”.

Really hits home, that does, and thank you, Jermaine Jenas, for having the bollocks to say it.

Ian Edwards
45 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:09:22
Absolute nonsense. Silva deserves the sack for the following reasons:

1. Zonal marking
2. Uncreative formation
3. Boring sideways football
4. Like-for-like subs
5. Wrong team selections
6. Throwing defenders on to protect leads.
7. Not selling a useless 29-year-old for 4 times the amount we paid for him.

Sack him NOW.

John Keating
46 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:09:38
Jim, I totally agree with your idea.

Unfortunately, I doubt the present wasters, and that includes the management, would even look at it.

The only thing that would register with these lot is if we could hit them in their pocket somehow.

A few shifts at Alder Hey rather than Finch Farm might focus them a bit as well.

John Raftery
47 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:13:58
We will find it difficult to offload most of the current squad. Players such as Sigurdsson, Keane and Pickford will most probably serve the length of their very expensive f5-year contracts. Any manager will just have to organise around them but it needs someone who is pragmatic in terms of formation, tactics and yes, ambition. I am fed up of having managers who act as though their teams can play like Guardiola's.

I must confess I have tried to listen to Silva's press conferences and find them largely unintelligible. If everything else was going well, that would not be an issue. Based on what we see in the public domain, it is hard to see how he drives performance.

The same applies to his anonymous coaching and fitness staff. Nobody I have asked can name his assistant manager. I can but only because his name is in the match programme which few read and even fewer buy. I have yet to hear Joao Pedro Sousa speak so I have no idea how effective he is as a communicator.

I heard gossip last week that zonal marking is practised every Thursday and the players hate it. Judging by what we witness on the pitch the gossip seems well founded.

Despite everything I would not sack him at this point. The next five home games, all against top six teams, offer free hits. If he was to win just one of them, that in itself might be enough for him to keep his job until next season, assuming he can muster a few points at the likes of Cardiff, Newcastle and Fulham.

A wider and much more important question concerns Brands. I do believe his signings were an improvement on what we had previously. That is not saying much but Digne, Richarlison and Zouma are better players than those they replaced. The jury is out on Mina while Bernard was probably worth a punt given there was no transfer fee involved.

He has done well to shift 20 players since last summer but many of those will be heading back like homing pigeons in June. So he will face the challenge of determining their futures while at the same time trying to sign Gomes and Zouma on permanent deals (or replacements for them). In addition, he needs to strengthen the attack, the midfield and find another keeper.

By far the biggest item in his in-tray, however, will be the performance of this season's manager. The end of season appraisal will be heavily influenced by what happens in the closing months. If Silva can improve the defensive marking and deliver something nearer to 50 points than 40 points he may keep his job.

If not, Brands will need to find an experienced manager capable of adjusting his thinking to make the best of what he has got; someone like Benitez for example. Yet would such a manager be prepared to work under a Director of Football? I doubt it.

Brian Murray
48 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:18:10
If his health carries him through the next 3 years there is no way Kenwright will walk away when the grand opening of the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium s set for the unveiling. His ego won't allow that.

Plus, unless Brands gets wise to him, there is no-one strong enough to say "Enough is enough, Bill, time to do one. Pronto."

John Raftery
49 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:18:24
Jim (44) Yes, I noted those comments. I recall he said something very similar towards the end of Koeman’s tenure.
Simon Dalzell
50 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:22:10
Silva is clueless. Probably the worst ever. SACK HIM NOW.
Raymond Fox
51 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:28:56
Jim B @ 42, I agree with most of your points above, we are looking almost like a lost cause.

I suppose it comes down to what we fans expect. I think if we are expecting a top 6 finish we are going to be disappointed 17 years out of 20.

Like it or not our standing in the Premier League has took a slide since Moyes was manager, as Jenas said on MotD teams used to dislike coming to play at Goodison because they knew they were in for a battle; not any more.

Quite what Moshiri makes of the present situation I shudder to think, he's thrown a large amount of money to supposedly make us more successful and it's not made an atom of difference.

It's not all doom and gloom though, yes we are not a top 6 club yet, but there's half of the Premier League that would swop us places in a trice.

Moshiri's next move should be to appoint a battle-hardened highly experienced manager as a first priority and work from there.

Colin Wordsworth
52 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:29:41
Does nobody else feel that our pattern of play has changed fundamentally since Gomes has come into the side? Any pace that we had seems to have gone and we are less direct. It just isn't suiting our players and we really do have some very good ones!
Martin Mason
53 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:30:03
A top 6-8 club playing watchable football but with no resources, loses its manager to a richer competitor. It then tries 5 managers with potential in 5 years (ruining their potential and at half-way along this road gets a massive backer that most clubs would have killed for and yet ends up one of the most dysfunctional clubs in the Premier League , a shadow of even the better Former Manager teams?

Here's the $64k question. Has the fault been the 5 managers or does the fault lie in the structure and organisation of the club?

Christopher Timmins
54 Posted 03/02/2019 at 13:31:04
I still want the manager to remain and see out the remainder of the season. We have some 13 games to go and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can turn things around.

After looking at our home results against the teams from 7 to 11, it looks to me that we will do well to average more than a point a game from now until the end of the season. That would result in a points total less than last season and would hardly inspire confidence going forward and he would be moved on.

However, if we did manage to turn over 1 or 2 of the top 6 and break the 50-point threshold, then I would be willing to keep Silva in place until December.

Brands as DOF is getting an easy ride at the moment; I can't see how the signing of Mina was down to anyone other than him.

Medium to long term, one could not be hopeful as it is obvious now that our owner is out of his depth. He introduced the DOF position and Silva is his appointment.

In a post a week or so ago, I hoped that Arteta might return to the club; however, on reflection, I don't think that we could take such a chance with our next manager. Young managerial talent from the Iberian peninsula does not seem to work at Goodison.

Paul A Smith
56 Posted 03/02/2019 at 15:02:10
Its too frustrating for me now. This club, site, topic, is all littered in different opinion when its seems very simple and the evidence is all there. It all depends where you want to see Everton?

You can back the manager as a supporter all the way but until class players come in he is always up against it. I always think walk before you run. Don't try to get the likes of Keane and Gana playing a style that zaps their confidence on the ball.

But whatever you want from the club will be decided by quality in the end. We could tighten up organised like a Benitez Mourinho team and maybe get these lesser quality players to beat some bigger teams by outworking them. The first team to stop Klopp's first good run at Liverpool was Newcastle who were the first to outrun them.

Or we could be like Bournemouth and with these players you might see some lovely moves but never win anything and Millwall will bully you. I prefer a winning Everton in any way after the last 5 years.

Dave 35. That first line is the first tactical anaylsis I have noticed from a fan that is clear and makes loads of sense.

We do play miles apart. I spent a lot of time watching Sigurdsson turn to run every single time our midfield got the ball and he took himself out the game trying to make runs he never gets a pass from.

He didn't even know where the ball was or if the pass to him was on, he just kept turning like he was doing drills.

Paul A Smith
57 Posted 03/02/2019 at 15:22:22
Colin (20), spot on... but potentially dangerous for your credibility on here.

Get top players in and the style will look better under any manager.

Jim Bennings
58 Posted 03/02/2019 at 15:28:30
Paul A

I don’t really know where I see Everton going.

I know I want to see us win the league although that’s not going to happen nor will the top four.

What I’d wished for last summer was as follows.

1) A real hope of winning a domestic Cup perhaps finally fulfilled.

2) A more fearless approach and a win or two against the top six to prove we should be mixing it with the big boys.

3) An Everton team that had some steel, some bottle and worked hard again for the shirt and for its fans.

It wasn’t really asking for much on points two or three, after all even Crystal Palace went to the Etihad and won and I thought maybe this Everton team could have done similar.

Point three really hurts because our players just don’t work hard, don’t show enough care or hurt and that last half hour yesterday was the straw that finally broke the camels back for me.

I’m not pointing fingers at just one individual, I’m just hurt and so disappointed that collectively our whole club is a big letdown.

David Hallwood
59 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:17:01
I hate the thought of sacking any manager, because it's a knee-jerk reaction, and there's lots of examples of managers that have been allowed time to get it right, like Moyes and Howe.

That being said, there are plenty of alarm bells going off, the obvious one being appalling defending from full international defenders and keeper.

He doesn't appear to know his players' best positions or formations. Take Wolves: they are a good team but they're never going to trouble the top 6 let alone top 4. But everyone knows their job, and the tactics play to the strengths of the players.

How many times did we see Neves or Montino dink a 50-yard ball into the channels over the defence for their impressive wing backs to run onto. Why aren't we doing that for Richarlison and Walcott? That's their game it's as if Silva looks at a players strength and deliberately plays another way.

Why does he keep playing Sigurdsson as furthest forward when he doesn't have the mobility or pace to run past the forwards-surely his best work would be further back, á la Moutinho.

I think we've got enough quality in the squad, but it definitely needs a rethink; otherwise, he will be out of a job — with prospects of getting one of the 'big' jobs reduced to zero.

Pat Kelly
60 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:18:00
I would like to wish Silva luck in his new job, which can't come soon enough. I would like to wish his new Club even greater luck because they're going to need it.

He hasn't got the skill-set to manage in the Premier League. The players know this, most of the fans know it. Maybe even our illustrious board know it.

If he's not gone by the end of this season, you can expect another short and painful season next time.

Tony Waring
61 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:28:34
Zonal defending obviously isn't our best asset — to put it mildly. What I want to know is what other teams adopt it and do it to good effect???
Paul A Smith
62 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:38:51
Jim @58,

I fully agree with all of that and seeing it from a fellow fan makes it hit home a bit more.

I am sort of resigned to how football is now. The Everton managers job is a poisoned chalice in today's football because we have missed the boat.

We have an owner telling us money is no object while, at the same time, spelling out why we can't buy because of FFP and the amounts it costs to replace top players.

I am not sure it is ever going to change and 7th will leave us Champions of the FFP lower tier if we do well.

Paul A Smith
63 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:48:38
Tony 61. Silva told us early days he would stick with zonal marking and statistically it is just as effective as man-to-man from a corner, which I can believe.

I am not sure if he applied that statistic to free-kicks but I think that's our problem.

Doing it from corners is one thing but we can't seem to even play a man offside from a free-kick because we are so deep. Shouldn't we be touch tight and playing higher lines from free kicks?

Jim Bennings
64 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:51:21
I agree with that Paul.

I think we've actually missed the boat at least twice over the last 25-30 years.

1) The founding of the Premier League, we should have been doing what Arsenal were doing in the mid '90s, after the success we had in the '80s.

2) Upon finishing 4th in 2005, we had a chance to build from a higher position and make this club a regular leading light – much in the way Tottenham are now.

3) When Moshiri came along, we should have made the right decisions over management and players – instead of becoming a standing joke that we are now.

Fran Mitchell
65 Posted 03/02/2019 at 16:54:18
George, you state he got 6 new signings and is getting the best out of them? Really?

Gomes has been poor since after his initial positive impact.

Mina is on the bench, has been underwhelming.

Digne, one of the better signings, has stunk the place out on occasion and is often caught out of position.

Bernard, despite some fancy touches, has been ineffectual. Weak, no final ball, no goal threat.

Zouma is a good player, but is part of an awfully porous defense Silva certainly isn't getting the best of him, and he'll be back at Chelsea next year.

Richarilson is clearly a talented player, but to say Silva is getting the best from him is to ignore how he 'burnt' him by isolating him in no9 position. And he is increasingly inconsistent.

Silva has to go.

People say 'there is nothing left to play for, so give him time to turn it around'. There is nothing less to play for because of Silva.

Things went bad in November he has had December and January and yet things are only getting worse. Time he has had.

'Nothing to lose'? If we do finish 12th or below, which is likely considering our form, fixure list etc, we will lose Gueye, Richarlison, Pickford, Zouma, Gomes and any other half-decent player on our books. If we continue in this vein, nobody of any calibre will join us, we'll lose TV money as nobody wants to watch this crap, we will lose millions in prize money.

Len Hawkins
66 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:06:36
Right, so keep Mr Moshiri away from managerial appointments... that leaves Tiny Tears and Brands. Tiny Tears will be handing out the Kleenex to Brands as he tells him about this great Evertonian looking for a job so he can feed and clothe his family and put the heating on.

Then after nipping him to the Oliver wardrobe dept to get him togged out like he's just come down from up the chimney, he'll open the door to a teary-eyed Moyes who'll come in barefoot cap in hand to plead for a job.

This is the reality at the forefront of Boys Pen Bill's only selection system.

Joe McMahon
67 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:07:16
Jim and Paul, the King's Dock failure can be added to how we have missed the boat. Even if the stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock ever gets built, it will too late, as Spurs even are years ahead of us.
Alan Smith
68 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:07:40
#58 — So you wanted an Allardyce type side?

#59 — So we shouldn't have changed manager after a successful six months.

What international defenders?

Fran Mitchell
69 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:08:47
George, you state he got 6 new signings and is getting the best out of them? Really?

Gomes has been poor since after his initial positive impact.

Mina is on the bench, has been underwhelming.

Digne, one of the better signings, has stunk the place out on occasion and is often caught out of position.

Bernard, despite some fancy touches, has been ineffectual. Weak, no final ball, no goal threat.

Zouma is a good player, but is part of an awfully pouros defense Silva certainly isn't getting the best of him, and he'll be back at Chelsea next year.

Richarilson is clearly a talented player, but to say Silva is getting the best from him is to ignore how he 'burnt' him by isolating him in no9 position. And he is increasingly inconsistent.

Silva has to go.

People say 'there is nothing left to play for, so give him time to turn it around'. There is nothing less to play for because of Silva.

Things went bad in November he has had December and January and yet things are only getting worse. Time he has had.

'nothing to lose'? If we do finish 12th or below, which is likely considering our form, fixure list etc, we will lose Gueye, Richarlison, Pickford, Zouma, Gomes and any other half decent player on our books. If we continue in this vein, nobody of any calibre will join us, we'll lose TV money as nobody wants to watch this crap, we lose millions in prize money.

Paul A Smith
70 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:17:52
Joe 67 that is another fear, it could be well too late and the prospect of a poor team heading into a new stadium doesn't excite me in the slightest.
Colin Wordsworth
71 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:52:00
Paul, Credibility? None, probably; balanced opinion, yes. I stand by my opinion, despite over £100 million spent, we do not play better football than under Allardyce at home, let's just be honest.

We played Wolves yesterday... not Arsenal, not Liverpool but Wolves; we struggled to muster any attempts at goal.

If this had happened under our last maligned manager this forum would be full of calls to sack and not support! Don't get me wrong, he was never the long term answer but he certainly did a better job with the cards at his disposal.

We need a proven winner next time, the club needs a big shake-up.

Colin Wordsworth
72 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:54:00
Fran, great post.
Paul A Smith
73 Posted 03/02/2019 at 17:58:53
Colin, I agree, mate, I was taking the piss because I have had and seen some of the reactions to anything Allardyce positive or anyone suggesting these players won't play great football under anyone.

I don't think a proven winner is the boards target either mate. We have had the chance to go for Mancini, Pellegrini, even Mourinho but haven't bothered.

I think the DoF role has reduced the number of candidates we can go for because there will certainly be a number of coaches that want the running to themselves.

Moyes signed really well for Everton overall. Why would even someone like him need Brands's opinion?

Sam Hoare
74 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:13:09
Paul A, would you want Mourinho now? Hardly looked a proven winner this season. Could be exciting I guess but don't think it would end well.

As for Pellegrini, West Ham spent almost as much as us and are in the same position, booted out the cup by a lower-league side and struggling for 7th. Granted they've probably looked better than us at times but similar results.

Two of the best coaches in Europe, Sarri and Emery, have struggled to improve the fortunes of their teams. It's pretty damn hard to climb the ladder in this league! Even Klopp and Guardiola had mediocre first seasons.

I'm not saying Silva is the answer, but whoever comes will be hard pressed to get us up to 5th or 6th in their first season. At some point, we may have to grant a manager more time.

For me, it's all about signs of progress. My growing concern with Silva is there aren't many to see.

Colin Wordsworth
75 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:13:12
Paul, Benitez should be added to your wishlist.
Nick White
76 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:14:05
Tony Abrahams - spot on, we are making the pitch too large. We commented during the game yesterday that Wolves were finding space between our formation all over the place. We played into their hands (or they played us tactically very well).

We cannot defend, we cannot attack. We look a right mess and sadly I don't see Sílva sorting it out. The basics are all wrong and there is nothing to suggest he can fix it.

At half time, from where my Dad and I sit in the main stand we could see Brands and Kenwright talking and pointing all over the pitch. They really didn't look happy at all.

I really want some stability but when the basics aren't there and don't look like they are going to be addressed I have to question the manager. I think even with the Arsenal back 4 of the 90s we would still be leaking sloppy goals and it's all down to the setup. Just don't see this being turned around and fear badly for the upcoming home games.

Paul Tran
77 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:18:41
Walsh was Moshiri's huge mistake. Instead of waiting for Brands, he hired a scout as Director of Football on the basis of one outlier season. A scout who paid over the odds fees and wages for players, who failed to bring in the striker we needed.

Now he's got the Director of Football he always wanted, who now has to clear up the mess made by his smiling predecessor.

I suspect that, if Brands had come in first, Koeman would still be here.

Colin Wordsworth
78 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:18:57
It's Jose for me! We need a winner. He would improve our profile, but also sort the squad out.

I appreciate he appeared to lose the plot at Man Utd but it is still his squad that is playing now. He has set them up, just as he did at Chelski.

Paul A Smith
79 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:21:00
Sam @74,

I would take him in a heartbeat, mate. All those points you make are what I was eluding too. Arsenal have put themselves in a far better position under Emery and Sarri has not long dropped out of the title race.

Like West Ham, we haven't got players that can make the top 6 and certainly not top 4. Whoever comes in (or Silva) needs those players.

I used them names in response to a post but I certainly don't believe the board want an independent winner. I believe they want a structure of Seville-type business... If only we had more sunshine, villas and garden pools.

Tony Abrahams
80 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:27:37
Very good point, Nick. Maybe Brands was telling Kenwright that our formation had more holes in it than his old shoes, but I'm sure the Arsenal back four would have fucked Silva off, simply because they were all winners and also men.

Andy Crooks
81 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:33:53
George, uncertainty? He must go.
Nick White
82 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:34:42
Tony – yes! I don't think our team has any proper leaders in it anywhere and we are crying out for one. Someone who will hold the players to account on the pitch.

Our players just seem to accept the mediocrity. Imagine Adams and Keown allowing this to happen!

Paul Tran
83 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:38:45
Nick/Tony, you're dead right, yet that attitude stems from the manager. George Graham was lots of things, but he instilled discipline in his players and created a culture where they were accountable to each other.

I'm not sure if managers do this when they get their badges, but I'd love us to find one who could stick that into our players. That's what we need.

Sam Hoare
84 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:40:53
Paul@79 not sure Emery has got Arsenal in a better place, they are 6th now. And plenty of Chelsea fans were calling for Sarri’s head after Bournemouth demolished them last week. Even top European managers can struggle.

I think Brands will be pivotal over the next years for our club and something like the Seville structure sounds good. Brands is well known for liking continuity and gave Cocu time at PSV after a very stuttering start.

I’m not sure Mourinho would be first pick for someone who wants stability and continuity. I also think Brands will want a stable philosophy so whoever comes next may also be expected to play attacking, high press football (if that’s what are meant to be doing currently?!).

I expect Cocu would be in the running. Maybe Howe and Wenger. Maybe even Arteta though that would seem very risky to me. Part of the role of DOF is to ensure a degree of continuity even through managerial change and I’m not sure how the likes of Mourinho, Conte or Benitez would fit into that despite their pedigree.

Paul A Smith
85 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:04:22
Hasn't Cocu just been sacked somewhere, Sam?
Tommy Surgenor
86 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:15:02
Cocu had a shocking record in Turkey before getting sacked.

It's a no from me.

Arteta totally unproven and wouldn't even be able to bring in his own back room team. The people he is used to working with are all Peps guys.

So also a No from me.

I want us to stick with Silva but he needs to grow a set and roll the dice. Our current formation and approach isn't working. It hasnt worked since we got Sigurdsson. I accept that he is talented but I don't think he suits what we are trying to do. He slows the progress of our attack's down. He needs to either start deeper or give someone else a run in that position.

John G Davies
87 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:32:45
I'm in the give him more time camp. Saying that you can't sugar coat the current form and formation. We are repeatedly outnumbered and overrun in central midfield areas. This is due to the formation, it has to be adapted. We simply gave to get the extra man in there.

I like Sigurdsson, he can see the eye of the needle pass and his goal record speaks for itself. In the current set up he has no impact on the game when we are out of possession.

I won't go into the players that are not good enough moving forward or players in decline. If you are watching it you don't need telling.
Jay Harris
88 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:29:49
FFS Watford sacked Silva mid season and appointed a relative unknown who instantly bettered Silva's results.

Shouldn't that have told us something or at least be obvious now to Moshiri that Silva is not the Messiah – in fact, he's not even the ball boy.

Paul Hewitt
89 Posted 03/02/2019 at 21:18:09
This isn't even up for debate, Silva has to go. We can't pass, defend or attack, the 3 fundamentals of football. He should never have got the job in the first place. We count ourselves as a big club. What big club would appoint this Muppet.
Eddie Dunn
90 Posted 03/02/2019 at 22:47:17
To all of you that think we should be patient and give Silva until the end of the season. If we sack him now, we can alert potential managers to the vacancy, the players will have to try harder for the caretaker boss as they will be in the shop window for whoever comes in for us or for whichever club comes in for them in May.

Secondly, it will be interesting to watch how many of you still feel the same if we get mauled by Man City and humiliated at Goodison by Liverpool.

I hope I am wrong and we somehow rally and pick-up moral-boosting performances but I have given this crew the benefit of the doubt so many times and witness the same erroneous tactics and selections. The same useless slumbering, inaccurate passing and ponderous defending.

No, I have seen enough already to consign this fraud to the bin. This is a cut-throat business and results are all-important. These people are paid a fortune and, for that, we should expect them to have a successful system and be able to instil it into the players.

Never mind gentlemanly, old-school bollocks. We are a laughing stock and everyone knows we can't defend set-pieces. The problems have been clear for long enough and Silva shows no ability to put things right. For me he needs to go now he's ruined enough of my weekends already.

Dale Rose
91 Posted 04/02/2019 at 08:24:20
Ron 39#. Point taken.
Simon Dalzell
92 Posted 04/02/2019 at 19:36:47
Needs time? Mind-boggling. Why hasn't he been sacked yet?
Nicholas Ryan
93 Posted 05/02/2019 at 01:58:21
Has anyone considered; that, with each dispiriting loss, the players we need to change things, are 5% less likely to come!
Jack OConnell
94 Posted 07/02/2019 at 00:37:12
Nice piece George!

I completely agree that we must stand by the manager and the players at this stage. The worst thing would be to end the season in more managerial uncertainty. We would have to go through another summer of sorting out a new manager who would bring new ideas, want to sign his own players etc etc.

Last summer, it felt like Silva, and now Brands, had a plan for the positions we wanted to fill and did what they could to bring in those players. The main area we were unable to strengthen was a striker, but let’s remember that we aren’t a club who can attract the world’s best and top prem strikers are incredibly to hard to come by.

In truth, we are still missing genuine quality in some areas but the squad is improving. It will take several windows and cannot be sorted in one summer. That lack of quality and squad depth has really come to the floor more recently which is cause for concern.

However, as frustrating as our recent form has been, there are plenty of reasons to keep the faith.

1. We had a great transfer window if you consider the mental state of the squad pre Silva coupled with shrewd additions like Digne, Gomes and Richarlison. I would be excited to see another couple of windows.

2. We showed for several games that we could compete against top teams. Notably the mentality in games against top 6 sides looked really good, even if we were not quite good enough to get the points. The intent was there.

3. The derby was clearly a huge knock to everyone but what a great performance compared to going there hanging on for dear life.

4. We were one of the highest pressing teams in the first half of the season, backed up by stats showing how often we won the ball high up the pitch. I think the general fitness / lack of squad depth has made it hard to maintain those levels but still a very positive sign.

This season was always going to require patience and now we need it more than ever. What did we honestly think was going to happen this season? It was only Everton’s (and Silva’s) starts that made us believe 6th place was possible.

Keep supporting the lads! Coyb

Jo Parkes
95 Posted 07/04/2019 at 22:01:42
Had to revisit this article today and have a read of some of the utter nonsense commented underneath.

No doubt the same people responsible are now confident we are the best team in Europe.

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