Time for the manager to stand up and be counted

James Pirie 03/02/2019 23comments  |  Jump to last
After The Toffees' latest dismal defeat at Goodison Park, many supporters are becoming stoical with regards to the team's constant failings. There was certainly an air of resignation about the place when both the second and third goals went in for Nuno Espirito Santo's side, with the stadium rapidly beginning to empty at 3-1, leaving only those wishing to express their displeasure at what they had just witness remaining come full-time.

Once again, our side produced a lame, characterless performance, with Andre Gomes's goal somewhat glossing over the fact that Everton were second best from the first minute to the last.

I am a big believer that footballers are not held accountable enough for inadequate displays. For me, they are both paid and protected to an excessive degree, leaving their manager always to take the brunt of the criticism. However, I believe that in this instance, the majority of questions regarding our failings must be laid at the manager's door.

Although certain players in the team are undoubtedly underperforming, I believe that tactically, we are a weak team both offensively and defensively. This may sound rather simplistic; however, I do not see a clear, conducive attacking methodology, nor a solid, functional defensive one being implemented by this manager.

Personally, I genuinely believe that we have good players in this team. While they may lack the heart and mental resilience that unfortunately is commonplace in the modern-day footballer, I can confidently say that they possess talent. However, we are now beginning to witness reoccurring issues on a weekly basis from this side:

• An isolated striker
• A lack of midfield support offensively
• Slow, ponderous build-up play
• A lack of character and leaders on the pitch (communication and accountability)
• Players looking confused and out of ideas
• A weak mentality — players looking anxious after any moment of adversity
• An inability to defend set plays!
• Careless errors
• A lack of creativity

It is always all too easy to put the blame all on one or two individuals. The reality is that the mismanagement we have witnessed at this football club shall take years to truly amend. However, such is the magnitude facing anyone in the manager's chair at Finch Farm, it is his job to get to the bottom of why this team is consistently underperforming, and quickly. While accountability always must be a collective, the manager has to show his leadership qualities in this moment.

Although time is needed for any manager, there is no reason at all as to why some of the issues I have listed above should not be addressed right now. Not in one year, not after a couple of transfer windows, but now. It is time for the manager to show us his true credentials.

Marco Silva's side's inability to defend set pieces of seemingly any nature, has resulted in 16 conceded goals this season. I do not believe it is inconceivable that a failure to address this problem rapidly could cost him his Everton future. The manager must learn from the mistakes of his predecessors to avoid a premature ending to his reign.

The partisan nature of Roberto Martinez baffled, and eventually, enraged supporters given his unwavering insistence that practicing defensive set plays in training was not required. This, coupled with his desire to promote an evidently failing football ideology of playing out from the back, despite not appearing to have the support of his players as well as the fans, ultimately lead to the downfall of a previously popular Everton manager.

As a set of supporters, I fervently believe that we have a strong understanding of football and what we want to see from our Everton team. As proven with Martinez, we don't take kindly to 'bullshiters' — we know a problem when we see one. The fact that this manager and his coaching staff are seemingly unable to set up a side that can defend crosses into the box, sets off major alarm bells in regard to their capabilities to send out a team to win trophies and compete with Europe's elite.

If these are indeed the lofty ambitions at this sleeping giant of a football club, then the manager and his staff need to come up with some solutions to our problems ASAP.

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:28:46
I'm not a Marco Silva basher but I think he's going to struggle to hold on to his job in the coming months.

I would much sooner everyone wake up to the piss weak frauds masquerading as players that have not been arsed turning up for how many managers now?

That last half-hour of yesterday was a complete disgrace and how those players can hold their head up I don't know, absolute zero effort in front of their own fans.

As per usual it will be the manager that loses his job whilst these jokers get paid lavish wages and big extended contracts.

I can't be bothered with the way the current regime is heading.

Frank Crewe
2 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:32:55
"Time for the manager to stand up and be counted..." Out!
John Keating
3 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:38:23
James, I can't argue against anything there.

The sad thing about it is that you could have posted this after the first pre-season game at Bury. A bloody awful performance and we wondered that night what was going on. Little did I think we'd still be wondering 7 bloody months later!!!

No right-minded supporter expected us to finish top 4 but I do think we expected to see more than we have done, certainly basic stuff like passing and moving, well we shouldn't even talk about that.

Players do need to be held accountable but ultimately it is down to the manager and so far he has failed miserably.

Everything is relative. Yes, we played a bit better than last season before the derby but, let's be honest, we were still crap. Since the derby, we have been an absolute embarrassment.

The clock is ticking...

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:46:51
The world, his wife and the cat and dog know we cannot defend set pieces. Millwall showed the nation on BBC. The goalkeeper is glued to his line like a Subuteo keeper.

Our management has had months to address this, why the hell isn't the Goodison hierarchy asking any questions.

Nick White
5 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:56:54
James - really well written article! Not sure I can add anything to it! We have no apparent style and cannot defend and cannot attack. Worrying times.
Rick Tarleton
6 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:35:39
"A lack of midfield support offensively". Defensively this midfield with the exception of Gueye provides no midfield assistance to the defenders. Sigurdsson is a luxury in any midfield. He takes corners and free kicks, but his passing is no more than satisfactory, his tackling is non-existant, his covering and marking is poor and he has no engine. Gomes has many talents, but energy and defending are not amongst them and one goal in over half a season does not suggest he is offering much "support offensively".

The wingers, Richalison, Lookman, Bernard and Walcott are inadequate in tracking back and defending, so the defenders who as individuals have some ability, seven internationals including Pickford, are constantly left exposed by the inadequacy of the players in front of them.

What happens at Everton in the training sessions? Who coaches these players? Who yells at them and motivates them? Who even praises them? And who is responsible for organising the zonal marking, which only works when your non-defenders are capable of coming back and picking up central defenders who move up?

It is a shambles and Silva is responsible. At least Martinez's body language spoke of his optimism with his system, Silva's tells you he knows it is inadequate, but he hasn't a clue what to do about it.
Pat Kelly
8 Posted 03/02/2019 at 19:56:59
Great analysis. But we are not paying this charlatan to learn the basics of management on the job. As you pointed out, tactically weak, unable to organise the defence, unable to set up a side. This is not an audition. We need a proven professional manager, not a wannabe.
Paul Birmingham
9 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:12:41
This is the week, for Silva. I want him to succeed but he surely must take stock of what's happening and reflect on why this living nightmare in football terms for Evertonians, is escalating out of control.

City will be merciless and again they scored another goal inside a minute.

Surely the players' professional pride will kick in for Wednesday night? There's nowhere to hide and outside of Huddersfield we are on par with the most feeble and abject teams in recent times.

The lack of heart and care is killing the crowd and at this rate Everton are gonna be in a right mess that will worsen over time, as no good players would want to come to Everton.

Silva needs inspiration and wisdom, and must accept that the book of training techniques and tactics in use at Finch Farm, is not working.

If only these players would give a dam for Everton.

Brian Murray
10 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:15:40
Evertonians are a patient and understanding crowd when they can see some kind of system and style. Even if we have some sort of upturn in results, it's obvious the job is too much for Silva.

Simeone sooner or later surely wants to try his luck in the UK and we are the only ones left he could come to providing Man Utd stick with Ole. Now that would be a good call from Moshiri and/or Brands. Stranger things have happened!!

John Keating
11 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:36:23
Paul a number of posters last season believed that we had good players who just needed a good manager to bring the best out of them.

Now, either they were wrong or we haven't got the right manager? I would suggest both..

John Pierce
12 Posted 03/02/2019 at 20:42:30
Silva's problems are of his own making. He knew the squad in the summer, and also found out quickly in the pre-season friendlies his style of football did not suit the team he had.

The signs were there, the way sides sliced right through us in transition was very worrying.

With the ball we did look partly competent. Without the ball Silva has destroyed the confidence of his team to defend, individually and as a collective.

The gaps in the whole team are huge, when we lose the ball the team should collapse towards the middle shutting the distance between each other quickly, closing the passing lanes open to the opposition and slowing them down. The result, forcing them down the side to allow Everton to regain a compact shape again.

As Silva has ignored the fact the team can't play that way yet, we concede cheap free kicks if not good goal scoring chances when we are strung out. Keane on Saturday was a great example.

Sadly he hasn't boxed clever or been savvy enough to implement his vision in chunks. He has over extended the team and their confidence is rock bottom.

People cite the Derby for many reasons as a good performance and yes elements of that are true. We also were lucky in the first 20 having coughed the ball up 2/3 times they didn't score in transition as I've described above.

It was an example of a good performance with the glaring flaw, just ignored.

As we've been punished repeatedly for our defensive inadequacy it has naturally affected the offensive parts of the team.

Silva in recent times as he's become desperate has swapped attacking players with few positives, not realising the team are scared of their own shadow, the problem is the defending.

I thought the back three at Burnley was the light bulb moment for him. Throttle back a bit on the high flying full backs and give us a base to work from.

It gave the squad more security and a compact look. It would certainly fit the defenders we have. His decision since not to use it has been the last straw really.

He has three games in my estimation to save himself. He needs points in all of them, and absolutely cannot be embarrassed in the derby. A heavy defeat and it's all over.

Clive Rogers
13 Posted 03/02/2019 at 21:11:24
Silva's problem is that he never learns, but persists with any tactic he introduces, regardless of whether it is a success.

This is obviously true of zonal marking but also of the joke of a tactic where the central defenders stand by the goal line for goal kicks. What this is supposed to achieve, god only knows, presumably keeping possession.

It has become obvious that we are gaining nothing and the defenders are uncomfortable with it when they have to pass the ball with the opposition bearing down on them. But still he persists...

Mick Conalty
14 Posted 03/02/2019 at 21:59:32
Different management different players, yet the same useless crap outcome.

These questions have been posted before. There must be a reason for this continued malaise over recent years! Please can anyone finally sort it out, or is it just written in the stars?

With the money these people are on, failure is not an option. Maybe I am just jealous of somebody getting 40K a week for doing fuck all.
Neil Carter
15 Posted 03/02/2019 at 22:33:03
I don't think it's a good thing to keep changing managers. However, Silva is in danger now of getting himself sacked by his own stubbornness to not admit he is wrong tactically when the evidence shows him every week we make the same mistakes.

If he can't see this or has only one way to play, then it's time to go – likely he will get himself sacked.

Ian Linn
16 Posted 03/02/2019 at 23:22:02
The management at Everton have a difficult choice to make. Our season is over, we will not get relegated nor will we win any trophies, it is unlikely will will get a European spot.

So, do our glorious leaders stick with Marco and give him a wad of cash to spend over summer or do they punt him and find the next gentleman for the hot seat.

In my mind, Marco bought some decent players – and in that, I don't think we have bad squad – but, if he's not going to change his tactics or show some sign of learning, he could have a squad of world beaters and still fuck it up.

So, in writing this, I just made up my mind: there's not enough objective evidence to keep Marco as the Everton manager, so he should go come summer, unless we have a miraculous last third of the season... which seems unlikely.

David Pearl
17 Posted 04/02/2019 at 14:20:02
The bit about us having a strong knowledge of football made me laugh. Silva is out of his depth and we all know it. You've only got to look at the players' body language; they are lost. The fans are also lost.

The shouts from the crowd are comical. Everyone calling out Walcott as though he's the only one out of form. The players are all looking around for answers. How is it possible to concede so many similar goals from 6 yards out... and central to our goal.

At least Martinez knew his job first and foremost was instilling confidence runs through the team and no matter who was on the pitch the style remained the same. It seems as though the fans couldn't be patient enough for tippy-tappy football. He built a foundation just like Moyes did.

The biggest mistake, without doubt, that was made was that when Martinez was sacked we ripped It all up to start again with a completely different style and system. What we should of done was to continue with the same type of football but of course with someone that's aware that defensive solidity is not just about possession.

Silva should be relieved now so that any new manager can audition for the job, show the style he wants to play and show he's got the players playing for him. First choice would be dependant on our chairman and owners recognising what style that is that fits. I'd like that to be Arteta... but I'm not sure the fan base would like any tippy-tappy shit again. We need an identity. What are we?

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 04/02/2019 at 17:17:25
David 17

You are right about that. Certain players like Walcott have become hate figures and all I hear by me at the match is: “Fuckin get him off and get Lookman on.”

Nobody actually noticing that in the games Lookman has played he just disappears up his own arse and plays with a face like a smacked jacksy.

People go on about being knowledgeable but then say things like

“Get Calvert-Lewin running in behind.”

Has anyone thought that maybe Calvert-Lewin just isn't the brightest footballer and he isn't learning?

I find it hard to believe the management and coaches haven't tried telling Calvert-Lewin to get in behind but what can you do once a player sets foot on the pitch and does basically shit all?

Paul Richardson
19 Posted 04/02/2019 at 17:22:18
Some good points made. I'd add a few more:

A lack of physical strength. Great Everton teams have always had steel combined with skill. Those teams had individuals who could look after themselves and the rest of their team mates, on and off the pitch.

A lack of fitness. We fade in games.

A lack of speed. Players put in the miles, but not at speed. This is means one of our attacking threats – Pickford's long range distribution – is negated because by the time he has got the ball, opponents have their defensive shape sorted. Also, it explains why our build-up play is so ponderous.

A goalkeeper glued to his line. You don't have to be huge – Big Nev was only 6ft-1in and what about Nigel Martyn? – but a keeper who comes for the ball has height advantage by virtue of being able to use his hands in the penalty area. We concede goals in the six yard box because the crosses are not cleared out. If defenders are not able to do it (because of zonal marking?) the keeper should step up and out to take charge of the situation. Far too many goals scored from within the 6-yard box.

Too much emphasis on match stats – I am convinced many players are more bothered about their pass accuracy percentage than winning the game, or some other stat (Gana and number of tackles, Gylffi and kilometres covered, for example) which means a lot to that individual, but does not directly benefit the team.

Lack of nous. Keep giving away free kicks 30 yards out week in, week out, is unforgiveable. It has led to most of the defeats this season. Surely the manager and coaching staff must point this out... so why aren't the players doing something about it?

As a good few of those free-kicks happened in the last 20 minutes, is that linked to the fitness and physical strength issues I mentioned earlier in this post?

Paul Birmingham
20 Posted 04/02/2019 at 17:25:29
This is the week for Silva. I want him to succeed but he surely must take stock of what's happening and reflect on why this living nightmare in football terms for Evertonians, is escalating out of control.

City will be merciless and again they scored another goal inside a minute, yesterday.

Surely the players professional pride will kick in for Wednesday night? There's nowhere to hide and outside of Huddersfield we are on par with the most feeble and abject teams in recent times.

The lack of heart and care is killing the crowd and at this rate Everton are gonna be in a right mess that will worsen over time, as no good players would want to come to Everton.

Silva needs inspiration and wisdom, and must accept that the book of training techniques and tactics in use at Finch Farm, is not working.

If only these players would give a dam for Everton.

Motivation = Performance x Ability. In the current form there's possibly less than 4 players, who show any trait of trying on a consistent basis.

The buck stops with the manager and the first team manager and first team coaches at Everton. If they can't motivate the players then this raises obvious questions about respect for these coaches and the manager.

The body language on the pitch suggests the players have no belief, and lack as many have been saying on TW for months now, no guts, desire, backbone and belief in the cause.

Wednesday night is gonna be massive for Silva and this squad.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 04/02/2019 at 17:47:43
Paul 19

Spot on with the assessment over Pickford.

The guy is a great shot stopper but then so too was Tim Howard but both men have one annoying trait in common, they don't come off their line.

Pickford seems psychologically damaged by the Anfield mistake (regardless what he says about not being bothered, it's evident in his all-round game since, his confidence isn't there).

Neville Southall was never troubled with confidence, you could have just imagine him catching that Anfield fuck up from Pickford with one hand and rolling it down his arm taking the piss out of the Kop.

I never wanted to bring it up but perhaps the issues over Pickfords lack of height in goal are now becoming more prominent, he seems unsure of coming for high balls.

John Boon
22 Posted 05/02/2019 at 04:43:54
I have watched Everton since the late forties and Neville was the best Goalie who has ever played for us. He commanded the area and came out to grab balls before any forward could get near the in swinger, out swinger or the ball lumped in from the opponents half. I never felt nervous when he was in goal.

With Pickford I am probably as unsure as he is. He doesn't seem to have a clue on whether to stay on his line or to come out and grab the ball. He seems to be a great stopper and a nice lad. Far too nice to be a goalie.
Paul Richardson
23 Posted 05/02/2019 at 12:59:54
Thanks Jim.

I rate Pickford, but if he is a glue-to-the-line keeper, at £30m value, it is up to the manager and coaching staff to work around it.

Tony Everan
24 Posted 07/02/2019 at 18:46:06
I think a lot of the problems stem from our midfield set-up.

Week-in & week-out we play with 2 ineffective wide men. Bernard has skill but he has no end product, not enough assists and no goals. Theo is marginally more productive but is still ineffective. Both are hounded out of the ball and end up giving it away cheaply.

The midfield set up has to change or we will be overrun in most matches. Most teams will enjoy playing against us because they know if they nullify the wide men, we can be picked off. At the same time rendering us toothless and with no attacking threat.

Davies's introduction to the midfield in place of Siggurdson showed an improvement. I like Siggurdson, there is more chance of getting a goal than Bernard and Walcott put together, but he needs to be a bit deeper and much more disciplined in getting forward when the time is right. I would include him in the team instead of Bernard and would include Richarlison or Lookman instead of Walcott. Either of those two are better.

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