After hearing the news of yet another personality sponge coach getting the sack after not motivating a talented squad of players, I've got to speak out.
At the ripe young age of 54, I pride myself on being open to new ideas and methods. There are two modern-day football issues that really irritate me. One is the deluge of meaningless, unhelpful statistics (that's an article in itself!); the other is this idea that a coach "can't motivate players these days".
The short answer is to ask those playing under Guardiola, Klopp or Pochettino, or possibly consider the view that, these days, there's an obsession with measuring what's easy to measure, rather than what needs to be measured.
Coaches have to do their badges. That makes sense, I'm all for standards and quality. I often wonder whether part of their courses include managing a squad of men and getting the best out of them. Doesn't look like it to me. Sarri, Puel and I'd include Silva – all 'revered' coaches – all looking mortified at their players not understanding their instructions.
Basic communications theory will tell you that, if you give instructions that aren't understood, it's your responsibility, not the receiver. Bernard happily told us that Silva is so good he gives them instructions up to five times. That rang alarm bells for me. Five times? And that's in his own language!
By the way, this has nothing to do with coaches being 'foreign'. It's the ability to explain things quickly and clearly that's the key here. Pochettino's English isn't brilliant, but he sure gets a tune out of that squad. At the other extreme, Klopp's English is very good and his players tend to go through brick walls for him. Neither of them have won anything over here yet, but I'd love to watch us play like either of those teams. There's a simplicity about their play that suggests everyone knows what they're meant to be doing and aren't over-burdened with information.
This isn't about hankering for long-gone days of 'motivator' managers. Clough, Shankly, Ferguson & Kendall were all excellent coaches with excellent assistants. They realised the importance of communication as an essential addition to their coaching prowess.
In my view, there are too many coaches over-complicating the game with stats, theory and terminology. The best managers, in any walk of life, understand their trade and attach equal importance to communication; they've honed their ability to squeeze the maximum out of their staff.
Put away your iPads, laptops and whiteboards for a moment and check that you're understood by your players.
If I was Brands and Moshiri, that would be my main criteria for the next manager, someone who can give instructions clearly, making the players believe they can fulfil them. This isn't a fabled gift, it's an essential skill for any effective leader and, after witnessing Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce & Silva, it's about time we paid attention to it.
It's what a good coach does.
Reader Comments (86)
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1 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:46:01
I can clearly remember you saying this about Martinez, then Koeman and now Slva.
You were right back then and you are still right now. It doesn't matter how good your ideas are if you can't get them across.
2 Posted 24/02/2019 at 18:58:49
I lost count of the dreary meetings I had to attend during my working life when the staff were sniggering at the guy with a less-than-zero ability to communicate desperately trying to motivate the staff with 'facts' and buzzwords. Oh, and a touch of charisma doesn't go amiss... so that's Silva finished.
3 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:15:47
To hear some of this is Luddite dinosaur talk.
Seems the latest fad is statistics. Martinez blew that out the water.
4 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:25:06
End of the day it's a simple game and some managers think they've reinvented the wheel so to speak. Martinez and Silva seem to fit that mould. Worrying thing is their employers seem to buy into their ‘theories' and lavish them with massive contracts until it invariably falls apart.
On paper, we have some very good players who most of the time look average and as if they've barely ever played together.
5 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:28:12
Its what makes the world happen every day, clear and effective and meaningful communication..
The way the team has played for most of this season, as if they are lost in the fog, only that theres not been any fog in the Everton games, makes you wonder.
The facts, this seasons results arent good at all, and youve hit the nail on the head.
God help us, in the next few games.
6 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:30:48
I thought Chelsea's players definitely looked like they understood the tactics today though, so as much as I agree with everything you say, sometimes I feel that these modern footballers do get off very lightly nowadays.
7 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:35:12
What a bunch of entitled pricks these modern footballers are. How the hell can they be coached?
8 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:45:33
Example: Rebuking Tom Davies in the manner he did when Davies collected the ball from Pickford was wrong. This will inhibit him from trying something different in the future. Demotivated or scared players do not perform to their full potential.
9 Posted 24/02/2019 at 19:49:21
Silva, has contributed to our problems this season because we are definitely too open and the zonal marking has wrecked both the confidence of the players and the fans, but maybe we have only really got a few players who can take us much higher because, unlike Chelsea, Everton's players very rarely seem to turn it on.
10 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:00:36
He decided to substitute his goalie. The goalie declined to come off. The manager should have stood his ground and insisted on the change taking place, but didnt. Its hard to see how he can continue in charge now.
11 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:02:06
Not really, I'm only interested in Everton, but I think it's very easy for players to hide behind their massive salaries nowadays and let anyone but themselves take the blame.
12 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:30:08
I'd say our recent problems started at the end of Martinez's first season, when he (rightly) said we needed seven new players. When you say something like that in public, you have to know you can follow it through. He couldn't, we got Lukaku, bought Besic and that was it. He had to go back to the squad he wanted to replace and manage them.
Schoolboy error. I suspect that was the point when the players started to think his 'quirkiness' was just nonsense.
There's a few stories coming out of Chelsea about the players thinking training is too long and intense, instructions being over-complicated.
13 Posted 24/02/2019 at 20:45:18
14 Posted 24/02/2019 at 21:30:59
It's easier to sack one man, but this does seem ingrained into the Chelsea culture right now, especially when their two previous managers both seem to have lost the players, less than 12 months after becoming champions.
I'm not disagreeing with you about Martinez, Paul, but I'm not sure he wanted to replace a lot of those players, but it was more to do with needing a much bigger squad, if we wanted to push on and get to the next level?
His second season became a sham to me because it just looked like the team was constantly trying to conserve energy, especially when they went a couple of goals in front, and this backfired when the crowd became exasperated, which was the start of Martinez really losing his way?
15 Posted 25/02/2019 at 00:18:15
Fine, 'tis only Chelsea, but for me it sums up the sheer arrogance of these highly paid mercenaries. Is it any wonder we see so little heart from our own mob?
16 Posted 25/02/2019 at 01:00:58
Peter #15, agreed that Kepa's defiance of Sarri was inexcusable, but I disagree 180 degrees that it was about entitlement or arrogance or being paid too much. I saw Kepa's refusal as rampaging competitiveness in not wanting to leave the pitch in a key moment. It was wildly inappropriate, may have cost Chelsea the Cup and will damage both his career and Sarri's, but it sure as hell wasn't about money.
17 Posted 25/02/2019 at 01:16:24
Just me, but I would always err towards the KISS end of the information spectrum, especially with footballers.
Re. Sarri, he seems to fall short of Napoleon's key requirement for his generals to be lucky.
Just like the Referee at the Imfamous Battle of Goodison Vs Leeds. Sarri has no precident to work from. He's not Klopp so he can't even go on to the pitch and drag him off by the ear. As is said...once they go over that white line.
Where do we go from here, the unwritten rule has been broken, publicly broken, all the kings horses and all the kings men etc.
The unwritten rule will now have to be formalised. Refusing to be substituted should become a straight red card. I'm sure the imminent threat of going down to 10 men will galvinise the mutinee's captain and or team mates to make him toe the line.
Once that number board goes up and the Referee sees it, he after all has to officially let a player leave the field and a replacement enter. If you pull that refusal stroke, you get sent off.
3 teams, one in the north, one in the midlands and one in the south...all in blue, all in disarray, all going through managers like hot cakes. Can't communicate or won't listen. Who knows.
18 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:00:36
19 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:22:56
Mike #16, that's a take I'd not considered. I'll give you that one, though my strong general view still stands.
The Chelsea incident reminded me of our recent penalty fiasco, where Mirallas insisted on taking a penalty, our captain turned away and our manager was ignored. That told us plenty. I suspect Sarri's ending will be quicker than Martinez's.
20 Posted 25/02/2019 at 09:24:14
Mike #16, that's a take I'd not considered. I'll give you that one, though my strong general view still stands.
The Chelsea incident reminded me of our recent penalty fiasco, where Mirallas insisted on taking a penalty, our captain turned away and our manager was ignored. That told us plenty. I suspect Sarri's ending will be quicker than Martinez's.
21 Posted 25/02/2019 at 10:56:10
He said they started well. Fast, direct, playing the ball in behind, which enabled them to press higher up the pitch, and he went on to say that Liverpool, as a club, are all about passion.
I personally think that this style of football will always engage the crowd, and I think this is what has been lacking at Everton, for a long time now.
Liverpool are a good team, but they are definitely not the best team imo. They play a style of football which engages the crowd, and then they feed off the energy, and force mistakes out of the opposition.
When was the last time Everton played like this? Joe Royles “Dogs of war” and before that Kendalls great side of the 80s.
Silva has made some monumental mistakes regarding both Zonal marking, and a wide open formation, and both of these have lead to Everton conceding some very poor goals, but Silva, has possibly been a lot more blunt than Martinez, because whereas Roberto, said he wanted seven more players, I think Silva, by his actions has told most of the squad he inherited, that he just doesnt rate them?
22 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:19:28
Did you hear Mister Eds reason for their falling away after a good start.
"Their injuries disrupted our rhythm"
Comes out with some belters Klippety
23 Posted 25/02/2019 at 11:53:34
Put away your iPads, laptops and whiteboards for a moment and check that you're understood by your players."
Where does this actually come from Paul? There is a misconception that Silva is making things too complicated? Or other coaches? There is zero evidence of this.
Silva makes things simple for the players. He analyses everything and uses complications, then breaks it down and gives the players simple instructions. There's nothing ground breaking there. He's following the Mourinho method like all Portuguese coaches do. They give the players a memory stick with 7 minutes worth footage to watch and a sheet of A4 with simple information. Each player has something different, it's specific to them and the players that they need to be aware of.
They run simple patterns of play in training. Players remember a few specific movements only. It's the coach that has to keep all of these in his head and make it work, it's him who has it complicated, but he makes it simple for the players. A load of simple things coming together to wrong foot the opposition and exploit space.
I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
24 Posted 25/02/2019 at 12:00:16
How hard can it be?
25 Posted 25/02/2019 at 12:06:17
On another thread I said it seemed to me that the U18s and U23s seemed overcoached and unable to think for themselves, theydont seem toplay with a natural ease and any dont look like they are enjoying playing football which is the way it should be, half of them seem frightened to death in case they make a mistake.
I know where Id tell the coach to put his memory stick and keep it there.
26 Posted 25/02/2019 at 12:36:55
Things are going wrong, so we need someone to blame. It's always the manager, he's the easy target. He's not playing a video game where he's in control of everything the players do. He can only do so much, if a player fails to jump on a corner, or is caught ball watching, then that's not his error.
There's mistakes on all sides, people are nervous, lacking confidence and playing within themselves. I hope this 17 day period can have worked some magic by getting the players playing with freedom, remembering what they are good at, and so gaining confidence. As always though, that confidence and game plan can all disappear in the first few minutes if we give away a penalty or someone makes a big error.
As for the memory stick, I'm sure Marco could put your instructions on VHS for you.
27 Posted 25/02/2019 at 12:49:54
28 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:08:22
But, there's no tactics on the memory stick. It's video footage of the player himself and some opponents.
Imagine you play right back Tony. There might be footage of you doing things right, then of you getting things wrong, and then footage of the man expected to be coming at you, and perhaps of those likely to double up on you. Nothing complicated at all.
The sheet of A4 contains simple instructions, and this is Mourinho, not Silva. It's writing down what the player has been told in the most basic way so that they cannot forget it. It might be something like, the left winger is right footed so show him onto his left foot as his crossing is terrible. It may contain instructions that you, the right back, have licence to get forwards this game and not to hesitate, as the Cardiff left winger is going to be defending his full back and so you are needed in attack to get in behind. It's all basic stuff and something that the players don't really need writing down, but to make sure they understand and don't forget it is.
The iPads contain coaching software that has things like heat maps, so if our right back is coming on then he might be shown a heat map of where the left winger is actually running, and areas not to get sucked into, or if it's an attacker it might be a zone that is not being exploited that the analysts have identified as a weakness. Pointing to these things is again not overly complicated and is pretty basic stuff.
30 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:33:18
The thing is, I've watched Everton under Martinez (bar his first season), Koeman and Silva play like a bunch of strangers, with a general absence of purpose and method. This is accompanied by managers, in different ways, with, to my eyes, less than inspirational communication skills.
We're spending increasing amounts of money on players that appear less effective with us than their previous clubs. I don't believe they're poor players, I think there has been and is, something missing in the way they're managed.
It could be that my view is based on circumstantial evidence and confirmation bias. It could be that the laws of randomness, which I have a huge amount of time for, are going against Silva now and will turn in his favour.
This group of players doesn't look like it's getting simple, effective messages to me. We're treading water as a club and one common denominator for me is poor communication.
31 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:46:40
Not to get too involved into Silva's coaching abilities, but just look at the players for defending corners: he has six players spread not too far apart along the edge of the six-yard area with Calvert-Lewin usually at the front then Zouma and Keane not far away the rest of the players are smaller and at the back of the area.
None of them appear to know who or what they are supposed to be marking and just clock it up; none of them seem to be talking to each other or attempting to organise the defending. It looks a complete shambles and the goals against from set-pieces prove that is what it is: a complete and utter fuck-up.
Let's see what transpires tomorrow night in Cardiff.
32 Posted 25/02/2019 at 13:47:57
Maybe if Silva, tells Lookman, that he's not doing enough to warrant 90 minutes, then he might just shrug his shoulders and think the manager is just a load of bollocks, but maybe if we had a couple of leaders in the squad telling Ademola, that he has got to play for more than 20 minutes, then the player might listen more?
It's us against the world, only works when the players feel the same way... a contradiction in itself, unless everyone gets on the same page, and that page is all about winning!
33 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:00:20
Where does the misconception come from that Silva is making it too complicated? May I suggest from one of the players he bought and speaks his language, Bernard. He may have meant that Silva has the patience to explain it as often as it is thought necessary but if it takes that many times then it is either complicated or complicated for the most simple, and that may only be those who admit they don't understand it.
As for when someone needs blaming we blame the manager as he's an easy target, well, it is his responsibility. If the players can't do what is required then who explains it simply or doesn't pick him for the next game?
Gordon Bennett, I'm going for a piss in the fireplace!
34 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:04:59
Dave, if he played man-to-man we'd still get murdered. We've assembled a very small side with few players who are good in the air. Zouma and Keane are our only decent ones but most opposition have four players of their level or better. We're poor in the air in both boxes.
35 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:35:23
What happened at Wembley yesterday suggests to me that the Chelsea players don't respect their manager, just like that night when Martinez watched Jagielka watching Mirallas miss a penalty against orders showed me Martinez was done as our manager.
Contrast that with Old Trafford, where Henderson had a strop and Klippety called him back for the handshake. On one level, it's a sign that they're choking a bit, on another level, he saw the importance of making It clear for all to see who's in charge. That was one thing I liked about Moyes, the players knew where they were with him.
It's possible that our players looked at Martinez after the first season, then at Koeman, now with Silva and just thought, "I don't fancy this guy, he just hasn't got it'"
Nothing justifies players downing tools on any way. It's easy to say, "That's players these days, nothing you can do." My point is that the really good coaches do get through to the players, do have a set of values & ideas that make sense to those who want to achieve.
I completely accept the view that we may have to spend a year or two finding a way to offload the non-achievers, improve the culture of the squad and let Silva's methods bed in.
Digne, Zouma, Gomes, Bernard, Mina, Richarlison have one thing in common; they've all arrived since Silva joined, all been sold the idea of playing under him. That's half a team.
He might be a fantastic coach, the best Troy Deeney has played under. I'd like to see some evidence that he's connecting with the players. This is becoming the longest blip I've seen.
36 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:45:45
Back to basics, for me, to try and salvage some positives from this season,., clear and effective communication, responsibility, ownership and teamwork.
37 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:45:57
Ideally, whatever the information is it is banked pre-game, and players are able to just play the game in front of them – but I wonder if we are watching a team of individuals weighed down by information and instruction.
As soon as a player is thinking about the pattern of the opposition winger's heat map in the previous game, and the percentage of crosses he makes with his left foot, then he's not really playing the game as it unfolds.
I'm not saying that information isn't helpful – it just needs to equip players to assert themselves over the opposition. At present, for us, it might be contributing to the fact that we're a mess.
38 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:46:30
Under Silva, it looked like there was a method there, although there was room for improvement. There's no sign of one now, despite the players having more time to settle in under Silva's tutelage. The longer he's here and the more it's a mess, the more it suggests to me that he's not getting through to the players.
Lazy, uncommitted players? Coaches hiding behind their stats & reports, neglecting the 'hard to measure' man-management? It could be a bit of both. I'd say it's more the latter.
39 Posted 25/02/2019 at 14:47:11
If you suggest only Keane and Zouma are the only players able to defend, surely that in itself is a reason NOT to play zonal???
40 Posted 25/02/2019 at 15:13:26
If we were playing man-to-man against Cardiff, would you expect those three to repel corner after corner against their big men?
41 Posted 25/02/2019 at 15:45:34
A good post that rings true but for me the most important issue is team spirit and camaraderie. Moyes, Joe Royle and Kendall to name but a few all engendered it in spades and in Moyes case throughout the whole club including the tea ladies.
Everton Football Club has become a place for strangers under successive managers who were all too quick to point the finger at what players were doing wrong rather than build confidence in each other.
Silva is just like Martinez: "I will review the mistakes on video with the players after the game."
For anyone who has played the game we all know when we make a mistake and it hurts but good teams and managers rally round when someone has dropped a clanger and help them get over it.
There is nothing more depressing than having your mistakes highlighted in front of everyone and feeling that your boss is concerned about your performance. That just inhibits players and teams and encourages safety first approaches, which is why we see so many passes sideways and backwards.
It is a manager's job (I hate the word 'coach') to inspire and motivate players and Paul you are right good communication is essential to this but its not the only tool in the box and regrettably for me Silva's box is pretty empty.
42 Posted 25/02/2019 at 15:45:47
43 Posted 25/02/2019 at 15:52:55
Too often when posters pen a piece which gets challenged, the author gets resentful and tries to blag it out rather than addressing the legitimate counters offered, so your open-mindedness and level-headedness is appreciated, by this poster at least.
On your opening post, it really is hard for outsiders without access to the inner sanctuary of a club to know if there is any basis in your claim about modern-day managers being technically competent, but poor communicators on the training ground.
I would guess the coaching courses they attend would include man-management of both players and backroom staff. As in all walks of life, some are going to be better, or poorer, than others in this very important component. Whatever. But it's quite a leap to presume as you do that the likes of Sarri, Puel and Silva all look 'mortified at their players not understanding their instructions.'
As you've already conceded to Mike Gaynes, your example of Bernard saying that Silva gives them instructions up to five times is not any sort of confirming truth that Silva is a poor communicator. It could be just a casual turn of phrase Bernard uses, or something that needs to be put into context: repeating an essential mantra every game ahead of kick-off – "Don't forget boys to...[fill in your own gaps]."
I wonder if your thoughts on this subject have been influenced by Silva's monosyllabic pressers which a few have started to deride on TW as being 'incomprehensible'.
To me, they are not 'incomprehensible'. Are they interesting, inspiring, insightful or revealing? No. Does he enjoy doing them? I would guess not. It is just a contractual obligation he has to fulfil and he'd rather be elsewhere. That's why he is so deadpan and mostly flat bats everything away, not because he is a poor communicator per se.
Is his English the best? No, but nor is it anywhere near as 'incomprehensible' as labelled by some. As a bilingual English-Portuguese speaker I can identify EXACTLY why he speaks some phrases in English as he does. It is his L1 messing with his L2. That is, the grammar and vocabulary of his first language (L1 - Portuguese) influencing the grammar and vocabulary of his second language (L2 - English). It is not so critical that it leaves the listener unable to comprehend him.
Furthermore, every Premier League squad is a Tower of Babel these days of many nationalities and tongues. A manager would have to be a polyglot to be able to communicate with all his players, one-to-one, in the player's native tongue.
It is commonplace nowadays for managers and players to be accompanied by interpreters. I am guessing they also assist in ensuring the manager's instructions are correctly understood in the player's own tongue. (For fun, Google search Bielsa at Leeds doing post-match interviews with his interpreter. Comedy gold. Leeds are doing alright with a manager who can barely speak a word of English).
But back to Silva. I have no idea how concise, clear and engaging Silva's communication skills are with his players, be it on the training ground, in specific game preparation, pre-match or at the interval.
I have no idea if the players are provided with condensed video clips and notes as described by Steve Ferns. I would be interested to know.
Rather than the disconnect being one of communication, Paul, could it be a disconnect of tactics and strategy that is bamboozling the players, asking them to do something that is beyond them?
That's another issue altogether and one, I suggest, much graver than your charge of Silva being a 'poor communicator'.
44 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:01:01
I think for Chelsea, to lose 6-0 to any team shows there are problems behind the scenes, and if it's because the players don't respect their manager, then they are going to have even less respect for him after what happened yesterday.
As I've said, I think it's more important that a manager genuinely understands the culture of a club and its fans, and would use what is happening at Man Utd, right now as my example, because I don't think that Ole Solskjaer is a better coach than Mouriniho.
45 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:15:15
46 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:18:50
47 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:21:51
It's what Silva is doing in L4 that has a lot worried.
48 Posted 25/02/2019 at 16:52:18
I happen to think, however, that Silva, and Martinez for that matter, are both excellent communicators and very positive which is another important quality in a long gruelling campaign.
Where both have fallen short, and the others in between have too, is in eliciting empathy from the players. These guys are the kingmakers, let's be honest, and they pickup their £80k whether we win, lose or draw.
Where Moyes was relatively successful was he was limited by the club which made him the underdog and gifted him a position of integrity, fighting the good fight as it were. He brought in underdog players who identified with him and who empathised with his plight so they were motivated to help him.
Everton are now rich, we can bring in a succession of mercenary players or managers and the atmosphere in the ground fluctuates between disinterest and toxicity. There is absolutely no identity for the fan or player.
I don't believe any manager can ‘identify with the club' because we no longer have an identity. We are between identities. We were once the School of Science, then the Dogs of War; under Moyes, we used to be the plucky contenders and we are now the bloated, complacent also-rans.
Silva had the basis of something good this year with the new signings and the businessman like way he and Brands set about trimming the squad preseason. He made a mistake after Richarlison tethered from suspension by dropping our only centre-forward in Tosun during which time we lost all momentum.
We could have turned it around if we hadn't fluffed the derby but then the fans got on the players' and manager's back, unfairly at the time, and we self-destructed once again.
I for one am for giving the guy another window and another season and I'd like to see him and Brands backed to make a similar impact on the squad as they did last summer.
Bringing in a player with experience, grit and a winning mentality to lead the side on the field would be a good start.
49 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:01:01
If asked for directions I could give you very clear instructions but not necessarily to where you asked to go. Silva may well have a problem communicating but I think he has a more serious problem at a tactical level.
50 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:24:39
I would love to be a fly on the wall and get first hand evidence to back my hunches. While not definitive, I do think the pressers can give an insight into a manager's communication styles.
It is unbelievably difficult to work in another language. Apparently, when Klopp first joined that lot, he slept for an hour in the afternoon, as he found it so exhausting working in English. I can vouch for that from speaking my pidgin Dutch with my in-laws!
There's nothing wrong with Silva's English in my view. I suspect that either you're right and he's bamboozling them, or I'm right and he does what at many native speakers do and confuses the players with his language. Or maybe a bit of both?
Either way, I'm looking for some evidence on the pitch tomorrow of a team that knows what it's meant to do and believes it can do it.
51 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:37:12
I'd like a manager to come in and create his own successful culture. I've watched a few of Man Utd's games and I'd say Solskjaer has been a little under-rated as a coach, he's done a great job tactically, as well as motivationally.
Chelsea are a strange case as they've created a culture of sacking managers and winning trophies, though I think the back might be falling out of that strategy now.
Goes against the grain, but I'd love someone with a strong personality & vision to grab our club like Klopp has.
I hope Silva and the players grab him and crush him on Sunday, mind!
52 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:38:15
There seems to be a theme amongst those on TW who complain Silva plays a zonal defence for dead ball situations, and has no plan B.
Guardiola uses zonal defending at corners and free kicks and he doesn't change his style whether managing Barcelona, Bayern or Man City. Now you can argue that Guardiola drills his teams better in the art of zonal marking, or he coaches his teams brilliantly in his general game plan.
Guardiola makes the game very simple, his teams pass and move better than the rest plus he has top quality players to carry out his instructions.
53 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:42:41
Effective communication is often short and clear. Each player needs one or two instructions to understand what they need to be successful. Each additional layer of communication can muddy the water unless they master the first.
Whilst you do place a significant emphasis on the communicator, I think the players are in a situation where their accountability needs to be challenged. However, I'm not sure they are entirely to blame.
My distaste for current drill based and system based coaching borders on outright anger. I live in the US, and work in sport, both as a coach and official. I'm sure they are not alone in this vogue of coaching. The players reliance on the coach to help them ‘in game' is astonishing. Players are so completely drilled into play-by-play, system based situations that essentially the games are just one big set play.
It needs physically capable athletes to execute and a robotic hierarchy in adherence. It relies on individuals performing to KPI's, which absolves them of responsibility when they achieve them. This statistic heavy approach ignores chemistry, combination play, and creativity.
So what happens when it goes wrong? The players are so wedded to a system based approach cannot solve their own ‘in game' problems; as a result, catastrophic collapse is inevitable. The approach yields no leaders to change a busted plan. I see players, drowning, beseeching the coach on the side-line, desperate for a solution. They are utterly bereft of ways to stem the tide.
This brings me back to Everton. Our team is much younger than most and the players are developed through this type of coaching, I see it when we play. When it goes wrong they are completely helpless to change the game as a group, they rely utterly on the coach.
When the coach seemingly cannot get across simple and clear instructions then the recipe yields a very sickly result.
Whoever our next coach is, Silva for my money abusted flush, needs to dovetail both the framework (team) and the individual responsibilities (player).
Paul, a great way to get over the current on-pitch malaise at the club.
54 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:52:46
I think there could be something in him overcomplicating the simple game, and some over-reaction to suggest he can't communicate, based on conjecture, monosyllabic press conferences and Bernard's comments. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle.
If you look at the Premier League's 'fixers' – manger's like Allardyce and Mark Hughes – the one thing you see is an immediate upturn in fortunes at the club. We saw it at Everton where his impact was fairly immediate. But they are only brought in when the club is in absolute disarray, as we were and Southampton in the case of Hughes.
Simple instructions with an obvious game plan coupled with a feel-good arm round the shoulder normally does wonders when a team are on their knees. The problems come when a few weeks in the cracks start to show.
Silva was brought in to do a long-term job and his success in the summer transfer window has convinced me he must be given a chance next season. He has shown stubbornness which would normally turn me off but I believe he is determining which players will never be able to play the way he wants to and we'll see recruitment to reflect this in the summer.
55 Posted 25/02/2019 at 17:56:37
Yes! 100 percent agree. I coached a youth team in Alabama a few years back, the team wasn't any good, supposedly, but we won the local title. The teams we were up against were like Subbuteo players who as you point out, needed constant coaching as everything they did was like a set play.
There was no room for creativity — it was all just high percentile passes, static positions etc. No personality, no flair, no leaders, just kids with their shirts tucked in nicely playing like robots. In contrast my side were ragamuffins. I couldn't care less if their socks were up or down, if their homework was done, or any of that.
I just wanted to a) help them improve and b)for them to enjoy the game as I did when I was a kid. I think my team did well not because of what I did but because of what the other coaches did to stunt their young talents.
More broadly, I think we have entered this dystopian era where Charles Reep and the long-ball practitioners have formed an unholy alliance with the German types who have always drilled kids to be a) all-around athletes; b) disciplined; and c) tactically compliant.
It all makes for boring, predictable football.
56 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:19:46
57 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:41:04
58 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:46:02
Rugby teams run a lot of pre-planned moves, and they employ sophisticated software to determine performance levels etc. England used their kicking game and were ahead at halftime, and Wales decided to pick and run more often after the break. Later in the game it wasn't just the greater accuracy of Biggar's kicks and the waywardness of Farrel's; it was down to the players gritting their teeth, going the extra yard and willing themselves to grind the opponent down.
Football can overload players' heads with complex instructions but often the passion of the big tackle(Phil Neville v Ronaldo) or the noticeable passion from your centre back cajoling his team on get a response from the crowd, and this feeds back to the players. The passion from the Welsh players was reflected straight back by the fervent fans and the team grew stronger on that energy. This cannot be coached.
This season, Everton have often lacked that spirit, when the chips have been down. Silva watches from the sidelines with all the passion of a wet teabag. Klopp, on the other hand, wears his heart on his sleeve. The players can see what he wants.
59 Posted 25/02/2019 at 18:51:07
YouTube these words
"What we have here, is failure to communicate."
60 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:01:29
61 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:28:09
62 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:32:33
Not as far as I recall.
63 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:34:32
64 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:39:59
If, as some posters are suggesting, Silva IS a good communicator, then we are even more fucked than I first thought! The fact that he has used roughly the same 18/20 squad players for nearly the whole season suggests he isn't punishing the players for not grasping his philosophy (Jesus, that really stung writing that word down), so maybe there is some mileage in this.
Or, the players are thicker than a whale omelette and need a dictator instead of a best mate.
We shall see against Cardiff as there can be no excuses after such a prolonged time without a game.
65 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:41:06
That's what I was referring to. PT has been saying it for years.
I guess I didn't communicate that very well...
66 Posted 25/02/2019 at 19:42:58
I'm shaking it"
67 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:00:36
My favorite quote in that movie, and just about any movie, is when George Kennedy watches that girl wash the car. He looks up and says, "Hey Lord, whatever I done, don't strike me blind for another couple of minutes." I used that myself a couple of times when I was a bachelor.
68 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:16:09
I'm assuming a good level of football coaching competence with all our recent and current managers. I'm trying to eliminate reasons why it's not been working.
Something's happened since that Anfield defeat. I don't believe Silva and the players have become less competent at coaching and playing, so my first starting point is communication between coach and players.
69 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:26:58
John P, very interesting, same with Kieran K, especially the way you described these overcoached kids as having no personality, no leaders, and no flair.
I love watching Spurs because they play fast, they use width, they have flair, and they have a personality, but they still keep losing stupid games, and this is why they aren't top of the league right now.
I think Silva, wants us to play the same way, but up to now we are a million miles away. It might be because of communication, but I think it's more because we also haven't got the players to do it.
We lack everything they've got at the minute but I'm sure Poschetino, would also be struggling if he had Everton's squad. Maybe Posch, would change, maybe he would cut his cloth accordingly?
As I said, we could go round the world forever, but unless we know what Silva, has been told privately, that is all we will do. I hope he's been told to stop us conceding goals from set-pieces, because it's draining everyone at the minute, and its also one of the main reasons why results have gone backwards, and taken so much confidence out of both the players and the fans.
Eddie D, I was watching the rugby, and a little stat came on the screen. It showed that England scored most of their points before half-time, and it showed that the Welsh, scored most of their points later in the game.
I thought the English looked physically stronger, but the Welsh looked physically fitter. Wales got stronger as the game went on, and wore England down in the end, and maybe they got their extra energy, because their effort kept engaging the crowd.
70 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:37:48
71 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:43:48
72 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:46:22
You reminded me of one of my favourite quotes from "See no evil, hear no evil" when Richard Pryor is asked at gunpoint by Darryl Hanna, "Do you have any last requests?"
His response was, "I suppose a fuck is out of the question?"
73 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:46:40
74 Posted 25/02/2019 at 20:50:57
75 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:13:22
If you're doing your best to follow instructions to the letter and you can see things are starting to come together, slowly but surely, then you will happily crack on. However, if the carbuncle taking shape in front of your eyes starts to look like Dusty Bin after Ted Rogers told him to take a closer look at that trash compactor, doesn't remotely match up to the pretty pictures provided and appears to have several key pieces missing, then you're far more likely to become frustrated, mutter 'Fuck You, Argos' and wonder if it's even worth carrying on.
It's not simply that the players in this squad need to demonstrate they are capable of carrying out their managers instructions, or that he needs to demonstrate he can get his message across clearly. Silva also need to make a case to his supporting cast that said instructions are actually worth taking onboard and adhering to. He needs to first prove himself, and the feasibility of following his methods, in some small measure. He needs to show these players something...anything...to suggest that, potentially, his way is more likely to steer them down the path labelled 'winners' than that labelled 'wankers'
It's like if somebodies smutty arl fella was adamant the best way to bag a bit of bum fun is to approach a female from behind and shout "DAMN! Your arse is wider than that asteroid that wiped out all the dinosaurs. Can I tap it?". Now, initially they may be perfectly willing to give it a right good go, but after being told "drop dead dickhead" a dozen times they're bound to start doubting their dear old dad was the accomplished dirt diver he declared himself.
If, on the other hand, this 'foolproof' method was engendering even the slightest positive response... perhaps a coquettish giggle combined with a blush of the cheeks, or an instruction to pop down to Poundland without delay and fill their boots with budget lube... enough to suggest continued perseverance could possibly propel them toward eventual success if they were to just stick with it, then they are going to be far more susceptible to any further instruction from said arl fella going forward.
Silva's coaching thus far has not produced that slight glimmer of hope for his squad to grab onto and get firmly behind. If anything, his tactical intransigence has repeatedly seemed to hamper them.
Speaking of intransigence....following his arrival, Martinez managed to coax a bit more out of his players by bestowing them with belief. Belief that they had the ability to challenge the top teams if they took the shackles off. Belief that by keeping the ball they could control the game. Belief that by following his methods they were in with a chance of getting over that final hurdle they had fallen short at so many times before. They didn't quite make it but, for that first season, the players were brought round to his way of thinking relatively quickly. Words alone were not enough to achieve that. The benefits of his approach had to be apparent on the pitch, in both performances and the picking up of points, before players fully bought in.
We all know the story about Lukaku, shortly after signing, saying he was surprised by the quality of player at Everton and how he would put them on par with those at Chelsea, only for Jagielka to completely piss himself laughing. Yet, when the results started to come, it forced the players to reconsider and you could almost see the transition from them thinking "not sure about this", to "fuck me, maybe this fella is onto something after all." (Of course, when results eventually went astray and his players looked to him once more to show them something different, they were then met with a shrug of the shoulders and a sigh of "soz, that's all I've got.").
At the moment, Silva has nothing he can point to. His best result to date has been a 5-1 defeat of Burnley but that was an immediate reaction to a 2-6 shaming at the hand of Spurs, far more likely brought about by a brief sting to the players pride than any brilliant coaching stratagem.
His biggest achievement to date has basically amounted to being 'anyone but Allardyce'. There has been no obvious upturn in performances or results, despite people being so desperate to see seeds of a more positive path toward the future being sewn that they have been prepared to squint really really fucking hard at the dirt and feel strangely comforted by a run of the mill defeat to United, a goalless draw with Chelsea and almost coming away from Anfield with a point.
Silva desperately needs to coax a couple of notable victories out of this team to inject his players with confidence...in themselves of course but, perhaps more importantly, in him.
Getting revenge in the derby would do for a start.
76 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:14:34
Perhaps if he'd tried a more piecemeal approach, he'd have a profile of progression rather than one that looks like a rollercoaster coming off the rails.
77 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:36:47
In the 99 Questions thread, Lyndon said Marco had been sticking to a 4-2-2-1-1 system. I don't know if he has, to be honest, but, if so, how can that possibly work? Aren't you giving the opposition the freedom of both wings until they reach the back four?
A question from a self-confessed tactical dinosaur.
78 Posted 25/02/2019 at 21:40:13
79 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:01:40
I didn't notice what Lyndon wrote, but someone else will say it's 4-3-3 and then someone else will say it's a 4-2-3-1.
I'm listening to Martin O'Neill saying how much the crowd helped his team tonight, and can't believe how long it's been since we had a manager that really engages the crowd!
80 Posted 25/02/2019 at 22:35:42
Everyone else, great comments and debate – thanks
Steve #23, perhaps the problem is they keep mixing up the memory sticks.
81 Posted 27/02/2019 at 10:01:42
In t'olden days a scout would watch a lot of matches and notice players who 'caught the eye' and pass the information on. That judgement was likely to have been quite subjective and may have been encouraged by a players awareness that the scout was watching. Scouts can't watch all matches, good players were missed or even worse poor or unsuitable players were signed (there is a long list).
Nowadays every move of every player, every strength and every weakness is recorded and analysed after every match. There are databases on tens of thousands of players. It is strongly in a players interests to look after his personal 'stats' – PSG were alerted to Geuye no doubt as he appeared at the top of certain listings of players in Europe (tackles, interceptions?) and their scouts have since paid him more specific attention. If you don't rise towards the top of those lists you are not going to get that transfer to a big club.
Consequently, if a manager asks a player to perform a role that they feel unsuited to then that player may well become conservative, retreat into their shell, pass sideways and not show for the ball. The same would happen if they lack confidence in their colleagues.
Perhaps the real question is – how does a manager convince his players to try something that might seriously damage their stats? If he can't, you end up with the issues suffered by Man Utd, Chelsea, Leicester and us. Solskjaer has come in and addressed this by playing everyone to their strengths, but that has limitations as they will be neglecting their weaknesses. They are good players but to start winning the big competitions again they will need more.
Football has indeed become more like a computer game.
82 Posted 28/02/2019 at 12:33:23
Players get paid whether they play well or not, whether they are on the bench or not, whether the team wins or not. Now obviously this doesn't mean every player is just paying for the money, but does make me wonder sometimes. Where is the incentive to really try 110%?
83 Posted 28/02/2019 at 18:46:41
If you can keep it simple, do so. That's not old school, that is just life.
84 Posted 01/03/2019 at 06:09:17
85 Posted 01/03/2019 at 06:46:50
Have a read of any books by Taleb, especially The Black Swan or Fooled By Randomness.
86 Posted 01/03/2019 at 08:41:15
Not sure how that reflects on his coaching abilities... but definitively on him as a person. 🤢
87 Posted 01/03/2019 at 10:17:50
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