Silva's first season in tatters as shambolic Blues are dumped out by Millwall

By Lyndon Lloyd 26/01/2019 97comments  |  Jump to last
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If, like most Blues, you allowed yourself to dream a little that Everton’s pre-derby form heralded the beginning of something special at Goodison Park under Marco Silva then the swift unravelling of the season that has followed over the past couple of months will have been pretty alarming…

…and yet not all that surprising if you’re an Evertonian of any vintage. Since the darkness that fell over the club following the glory days of the 1980s, this club has become False Dawn FC, one with a three-decade long legacy now of flickering hopes that a return to greatness might occur quickly snuffed out by brutal reality.

Things might work out under Silva if he is given the time to prove himself but since the optimism that was generated in the run up to the defeat at Anfield, it looks an awfully long away from coming to fruition. Two wins from ten in the Premier League has seen the Blues drop back into the bottom half of the table and fall irretrievably away from top-six contention and now the 2018-19 season is effectively over before the end of January after an embarrassing FA Cup defeat to Millwall in front of a national audience.

Losing to a team struggling at the wrong end of the Championship would be one thing but anyone with an ounce of insight who watched this game unfold could have seen that the only way Neil Harris’s team was going to hurt Everton was from set-pieces. The Londoners had 36% of the possession and never looked like playing through the visitors’ defence in even the manner in which Lincoln managed on a couple of occasions in the previous round.

That Silva’s side handed three of those opportunities to Millwall on a platter and proved almost comically unable to defend three free-kicks that lead to goals was so typical of a team that has demonstrated a galling vulnerability at dead-ball situations all season with no sign of any improvement.

If there was another aspect to this miserable loss played out conditions to match it was Everton’s abysmal game-management. Twice Silva’s men led and twice they surrendered their advantage through poor defending. And with the match heading to a replay — welcome or not, it would have meant Everton being in the hat for the next phase — all they had to do was keep the ball and not give away any stupid free-kicks in dangerous areas.

Instead, Richarlison was dispossessed in midfield and Lucas Digne conceded a foul wide on the right in the ideal spot for a stoppage-time set-piece to be thrown into the Blues’ box where the Keystone Cops would do their thing and usher Millwall into the fifth round.

In terms of the performance, this was the latest episode in a lengthening sequence of unimaginative, staid football from Everton that, taken in the context of the last couple of months (the trip to Burnley aside), wasn’t really attributable to the conditions. The occasionally torrential rain and the ponding that developed on the surface of the Den’s pitch certainly didn’t allow for crisp, free-flowing football but the Blues have been a pretty ineffective team for weeks now.

So it wasn’t all that surprising that it took 43 minutes for either them or their hosts to register a shot on target. Everton had toiled fruitlessly up to that point, enjoying the lion’s share of the possession without really controlling the contest, and had just a glanced Dominic Calvert-Lewin header and a Richarlison air kick to show for their efforts.

Indeed, having been handed a start up front, Calvert-Lewin had looked disappointingly limited against the kind of opposition he would be expected to excel and Ademola Lookman, preferred to Bernard on the opposite flank to Richarlison only flickered into life in patches on his return to this hemisphere of the Capital.

Instead it was Richarlison, himself only fleetingly effective on the day, who gave the Blues the lead with the aid of goalkeeper Jordan Archer. The Brazilian picked up a pass from André Gomes and unloaded a powerful 25-yard shot that crept under the keeper’s body and into the goal to hand Silva’s charges a 1-0 lead with just over a minute plus stoppage time to go.

Everton couldn’t take the lead into the interval, however, and they would fail to heed the warning from the only time Millwall had threatened their goal to that point when Digne had been prompted to clear away from his own goalmouth after Hutchison had been left free to head goal-wards at the far post following a set-piece.

The free-kick that Calvert-Lewin conceded on the half-way line seemed innocuous enough in terms of its location but when Yerry Mina failed to keep touch-tight with Jack Cooper and was then easily out-jumped outside the box, the Millwall defender’s knock on was headed in by Lee Gregory with a looping effort over Jordan Pickford.

Not for the first time in the last couple of weeks, Silva’s team talk seemed to have something of an effect on his players. Mina, who picked up a knock in the first half but, frankly, didn’t look like he fancied the atrocious conditions, had been replaced at the break by Kurt Zouma and the Blues enjoyed arguably their most cohesive spell in the first half of the second period.

Sigurdsson’s scuffed and then deflected shot was all they really had to show for it but they were at least exhibiting some control over proceedings and carrying an air that if there was to be a winner, it would likely come from them.

The introduction of Cenk Tosun for Calvert-Lewin in the 65th minute appeared to pave Everton’s way into the next round when the Turk put the Toffees back in front seven minutes later. Gylfi Sigurdsson — the Icelander usually justifies his selection these days with one purposeful intervention a game and this assist was it for today — eventually collected a loose ball outside the box following a bout of head tennis and slipped a pass between two defenders that Tosun collected in stride and then tucked into far corner to notch his third of the season in all competitions.

What was required then was some composure from Everton but within a couple of minutes Digne had unnecessarily barged Mahlon Romeo over near the corner flag, handing Millwall another dead-ball situation from which to wreak havoc against Silva’s disorganised defence.

Shane Ferguson was again the provider, Gregory won the first header, Shaun Williams the second and though Pickford saved Murray Wallace’s initial shot, the ball bounced in off Cooper’s arm with neither referee Michael Oliver nor his official spotting the obvious infringement.

The goal should never have stood – it wouldn’t have done had the FA upheld the integrity of the competition by employing VAR technology in all the fourth round ties – and Everton were livid but they still had time and even if they couldn’t find a winner in the remaining quarter of an hour, they had parity and the possibility of a replay to defend if they could just keep their wits about them.

Ultimately they couldn’t and it was another unforgivable Digne foul in a dangerous area that created the chance for Millwall to grab a dramatic injury-time winner. Hutchison out-jumped Coleman as the ball was swept in and Wallace was one of four navy blue jerseys queuing up in the goalmouth to sweep the loose ball home.

The litany of problems afflicting this Everton team are best left for another day. Suffice to say for now that they are routinely failing to get even the basics of coherent passing and simple defending right. Four set-pieces gave Millwall the only chances they would have all game and they scored from three of them.

The Blues may have scored twice on their travels for only the second time since the win over Leicester in October but they were undone by rank amateur work in their own box trying to defend high balls into the box and get to the second balls that resulted.

The familiar debates and recriminations that have surrounded the last four managerial appointments are now back in swing and many will wonder if they have the energy for it all but in the meantime some serious focus and hard work needs to happen at Finch Farm lest the Goodison hierarchy be forced into another grave but important decision.

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Reader Comments (97)

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Kevin Molloy
1 Posted 27/01/2019 at 09:23:23
The club motto should read:-

Guaranteed To Let You Down.

No fight;
No spirit;
No pride;
No tactics;
No hope!

See you all Saturday.

Everton Caetano
2 Posted 27/01/2019 at 09:36:43
Being a supporter of this club is synonymous with suffering. Again we are eliminated. What is happening? The problem is with the tired Bill?

The problem is that we do not have any winners in the cast? We need a manager like Mourinho: energetic, brave, a winner... that fuses with the pride of these hobo players.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 27/01/2019 at 09:40:13
We concede from nearly every set-piece but, to add insult to injury, when we get a corner or free-kick, we are completely inept at causing any problem for the opposition. When will we see an organised Everton again?

In mid-December I remember posting that it was a straight shoot out between us and Man Utd for 6th. I thought we were playing well enough to push on and finish ahead of them. Since the 96th minute of the derby, we have unravelled so much, it defies belief.

We are currently a cross between the worst of Martinez and Koemans teams. Unable to defend, lacking in confidence and always 5% less desire and motivation than the opposition.

Who is coaching our defenders? Get John Terry in or Moyes in as a consultant, sack the defensive coaches tomorrow. It is criminal what is going on. I have in all honesty not seen anything like it in near 50 years of supporting our great club.

Moyes as an assistant coach concentrating on organisation and defensive aggression would sort the dire, incompetent idiots out at the club.

How about attacking the ball when it comes in from a corner or free-kick? The defenders or goalie have to attack it and clear it at all costs. It is an outrage when journeymen at Millwall can win every ball punted into our box, causing mayhem.

Sort it out!

Mike Keating
4 Posted 27/01/2019 at 09:46:37
Half the Premier League clubs out – this is surely the year for an outsider to snatch the FA Cup.

So what do we do? Roll over and die.

Come on, Doncaster.

Stephen Brown
5 Posted 27/01/2019 at 09:52:31
I'm sure the vast majority of us have played football at various levels. I play as a centre-half at a local league level, ie, not a very high level. If I had played yesterday for those free-kicks we conceded from, we would now be in the 5th Round of the FA Cup! And I'm 41!!!

Zonal marking or whatever! Where was the leadership on the field? The desire to defend? Throwing your body at the header? Winning the second ball?

Really poor lack of leadership and bottle!!

Paul Le Marinel
6 Posted 27/01/2019 at 10:26:35
I completely agree with you, Kevin.

We didn't look like a team who wants to win the FA Cup and as for pushing to get into Europe this season, on that performance and our poor run of form in the Premier League at present, that isn't going to happen.

Are we ever going to get a manager that can take Everton in the right direction, get us playing proper football and bring back success of winning trophies?

For all Moshiri's millions that has been spent so far in his time at Everton, so far has proven that not necessarily will that bring success. Especially when some of that hasn't been wisely spent.

We are being taken in the wrong direction, which is a big worry and we need a manager who knows what he's doing and does not apply Mickey Mouse tactics like Marco Silva does, but every time the players go onto the pitch in an Everton shirt, they should give their best and play with such hunger, determination, desire and do their hardest to try and win games.

Our club motto, Nothing but the best is good enough and seriously, the way we are performing in the Premier League and especially after yesterday's FA Cup game, we don't look anywhere near our best.

If these players think that they deserve the wages they earn, then they should show their worth on the pitch and earn it by turning up!

Yesterday, they didn't turn up, but even in previous Premier League games that we should have won, they didn't up then either.

Our club, which has a great history, is being made a mockery of and someone has got to sort this mess out, as it's not acceptable and is not good enough.

Bob Skelton
7 Posted 27/01/2019 at 10:48:09
Woeful team and tactics. Put someone like Jagielka back in to give some fight and spirit. Since Moyes left, we have suffered badly as supporters.
Vincent Borg Carbott
8 Posted 27/01/2019 at 10:58:12
We have become unable to win a match or even defend a draw.

In my humble opinion, Mr Silva is not the right person to guide us forward during the coming weeks. We need a manager with ruthless authority to place some shape into our team.

We have become unable to press forward and spend most of the time running around kicking the ball and losing possession. Something has to give and it had better be quick.

Stan Schofield
9 Posted 27/01/2019 at 11:24:18
I actually feel foolish for getting a bit excited leading up to the derby. Despite being well used to having expectations raised and quickly dashed, I thought we were finally starting to put things together. The performance in the derby reflected this. Until the cock-up at the end.

When that happened, I just thought, typical Everton, expert at snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory or a draw, specialists at the complete comic fuck-up, expert at assembling what look like decent players and making them look like untrained schoolboys.

The current manager is not the underlying problem. He's a symptom of that problem. We could change the manager again, and have another honeymoon period, but then we'd quickly be back to the usual shite.

Trouble is, I've no idea what that underlying problem is with Everton. I keep thinking we're cursed, but that's irrational. Isn't it?

Brian Murray
10 Posted 27/01/2019 at 11:35:01
Bob Skelton,

"Put someone like Jagielka in to give us some fight."

You're having a laugh... I've never seen such a meek and quiet supposed leader who can't wait to shake the hand of the shite on the warm-up. As Carragher told us all, we need proper leaders.

Let's hope the new batch, including Morgan Feeney, Sambou and Hornby, are drafted in pronto and are made of sterner stuff.

Keith Dempsey
11 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:02:38
I'd settle for a bit of a honeymoon period, I must have missed the other ones.

A lot has been made of the downturn since the derby fluke, but the truth is there were plenty of dodgy performances prior to that: Huddersfield, West Ham and Southampton in the League Cup – just of the top of my head.

Stan Schofield
12 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:09:37
Keith, you're right, which adds to the feeling of foolishness for getting excited. Right from the first game we were making cock-ups.

Jagielka is a fine player, but why the hell did he have to make a daft pass across defence that ultimately led to a goal and sending off? We threw away a two-goal lead.

And then in another game why did Richarlison have to have himself sent off for an unnecessary, stupid, retaliation?

It just seems a list of stupid things that undermine any of the good football and developing cohesion that we were at least showing signs of.

John Keating
13 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:17:08
Lyndon you mention the "abysmal game management" against Millwall.

I would suggest this is a normal common thread under Silva. We can look at Wolves, in the seasons opener, Bournemouth and even the derby game to name but a few.

Like his non-tactics, substitutions and man-management, unfortunately game management is just another thing Silva will have to dramatically improve on before the end of the season

Rennie Smith
14 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:17:28
Let's be honest, we all knew this game was the original nightmare scenario, a horrible place against a horrible team in horrible conditions and you can't switch a team from a Premie League p "nice" outfit to Sunday League bulldogs overnight.

You can say class will come out in the end (and yesterday it didn't so that is the problem) but these players are used to a Premier League, or continental league, style of play that promotes space, structure and finesse.

It's a bit like American football where you bring on a whole team for a specific job, yesterday we needed to bring on the cloggers, the meatheads, those boxers that like getting smacked in the face, but then Silva would get battered for not playing his "best team". Just look at West Ham and Wolves that ran into the same problem. If we had brought them back to Goodison, it would have been all over and we'd run out easy winners.

But it didn't, and now every part-timer will come out and howl for Silva's head. Don't get me wrong, I was as gutted as anyone else to go out and probably will still be gutted up until 2:59 pm on Saturday, but get some perspective on the game and let's not fall back into hire-and-fire as that's not getting us anywhere.

Dave Lynch
15 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:22:20
Last paragraph sums it up for me Lyndon.

I don't have the "energy" or the motivation to invest anymore of my emotions in this team.

Stan Schofield
16 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:24:57
Rennie, I have to disagree. A team at the top, a Premiership team full of highly skilled and physically conditioned players, should be able to handle shit teams like Millwall, regardless of whether it's at their place and pissing down with rain and they're chock full of unskilled hard cases. Bottom line is, if we'd played half-decently and not made repeated cock-ups, we would easily have won this.
Rennie Smith
17 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:31:35
Stan @16, as you and I said, that class didn't come through at all to win the game. But what I'm saying is take a look at the game seriously before we dive in feet first and claim it's all Silva's fault.

It's a bit like rugby internationals, don't give away penalties to give the other team a chance to put 3 points on the board. Before he sent them out yesterday I'm hoping he says, we don't want set pieces, so don't give them the opportunity by giving away needless free-kicks. Is it Silva's fault they've got fairground music going on in their heads and they go and do exactly what they're told not to do? Yes, defensive setup and execution is his responsibility, so that needs to dramatically improve.

Stan Schofield
18 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:37:43
Rennie, I agree that the focus at the moment should be to get some improvement from Silva rather than sacking him.
Steve Brown
19 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:46:41
Silva is now two to three defeats away from the sack - the main thing helping him currently is the general lack of appetite at the club to sack another manager, pay compensation and turnover the squad to meet the new manager's requirements (with the associated losses in transfer fees paid).

He can still survive until the summer if he changes the tactical set-up and formation, rotates out of form players, abandons zonal marking and plays a recognised forward (however limited). But he is showing the 'Roberto Syndrome' of stubbornly sticking to a philosophy that is failing.

We won't progress until we hire a manager who has won a major trophy with a club from England/Spain/Germany/Italy and managed clubs playing regularly in the Champions league. Even that is no guarantee as West Ham are finding out, but we cannot afford to sanction second level managers spending £50-100m every summer with so little results.

Rick Tarleton
20 Posted 27/01/2019 at 12:49:50
Including Pickford and the substitute Zouma, we had six international defenders on duty at Millwall, yet at every set piece we were at panic stations.
Silva has started well at all his clubs and then poor defending becomes the norm. What happens on the training ground? What defensive drills do these international defenders do? Who actually is responsible for their coaching and training? We sort of use a zonal defensive system and then the taller attackers come back to man mark, but that means Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin and neither is defensively convincing. It is a shambles.
Paul A Smith
21 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:04:25
A short while ago it got to the point where for me, it became- what is this all about?
Since moshiri came in, I feel we have become a mish mash club with less direction than we had before.
Of course they will tell you its great off the pitch, all the things you can't celebrate or hold on to.
I look at the man who sold Lukaku to the team 1 place above us and left us with Niasse and DCL and I wonder, why does everybody love this man?
All I hear is praise for Moshiri's reign.
From DoF to managerial decisions its been amatuer from day one.
Now we keep hearing money is no object. Thats a lovely line but when you have money and FFP (which this club signed up to) is stopping us, what is the point.
How funny and obvious was it though?
Now we have money and can't buy a top striker to replace the one we lost.
Football is knackered for clubs like us
FFP puts everyone in line and on average you will land where you are meant to land. That being 7th at best for us.
I am slowly letting go of the club. The fans as a whole seem to back or agree with everything that hurts us and beieve everything the club does is good for the team.
Go back and look at the squad Koeman walked in to before he dismanted it with the board.
Look at that squad and someone tell me why you expect progress or any kind of change for the good.

Jer Kiernan
22 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:12:54
As I always said and I believe it is same from Pub level right up to the Top tier Teams that conceed with real regularity from set pieces = The players don't give a shit simple as

Stating the obvious here but If you take out the randomness and look at the raw percentages Free kicks corners etc are a great indicator of how much the players care and are a good guage of the hunger of the team thats defending, The attacking team have to both win the ball and get it into the net, The defence just need to concentrate take responsibilty and compete (attrbutes that ALL players possess despite their level ) and clear it ANYWHERE all the odds are in their favour as the defending team

I have said I will give Silva til end of season and I will however unfortunately you cannot sack 11 players and unless we get a marked improvement and a real push for 7th the club will need to act

Not for the first time I have said this but the players should be ashamed of themselves, I don't care how bad your coach is I am assuming somebody has at some stage made them aware of the basics of defending set pieces as above

Shocking :(

Fran Mitchell
23 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:13:38
For too long the motto has been 'if Silva can turn it around'.

The slump is disasterous, and it is not only results, it the the manner of play, the set-up, the lack of desire, the same repeated mistakes game after game. Players come in, look bright and inventive and soon afterwards fall into mediocrity.

The manager has totally failed in his job in the last 2 months, and it has resulted in the season becoming just as useless as the previous.

In reality, we have only one game to give us anything to smile.about, that is the derby and the chance to derail their title challenge. That will be our cup final, and we will probably leave in tears. Bottom half mediocrity, while our neighbours strike fear into teams across Europe.

The odds on Silva being the manager beyond this season are slim, he would have to demonstrate some serious improvement to restore some pride, but as it stands there is more chance of, that looks impossible.

I'd give him until before the Derby. If no significant improvement by then (at least 3 wins and good performances), sack him and get Unsworth in charge until the end of the season. That could at least give us a bit of a boost to maybe win the derby.

Then start an ample search for a new manager.

Hector Blaukugel
24 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:17:03
More painful shit from our beloved team hey.

A few years ago, I made the conscious decision to take a step back & stop letting Everton ruin my weekends, it came to light when my girl burst into tears one day & said she was sick of walking on eggshells each weekend, this made me look at myself & wonder if its worth all the bother & stress. It really wasnt any good for my mental health either, as the bad feelings far outweigh the good being an Evertonian (mid 80s aside).

Dont get me wrong, I couldnt stop supporting Everton, as that is truly impossible & is imprinted from an early age, I just decided to step back & prioritise my family & other more pleasurable things in life, and ultimately stopped being a moody bellend when Everton, season upon season inevitably let me down.

I reminded myself of one of those Yogi's in India who pierce their bodies with needles & swords & inflict pain on themselves to prove their devotion to god, so now, ive stopped letting a bunch of overpaid, narcissistic c**ts who genuinely don't give a shit about me or anyone but themselves affect my well-being & life.

Each season fresh enthusiasm & hope is duly extinguished by at least January, back to the same old shit, we then we spend our days conducting post mortems & seething about how much better the Red shite are, which sadly they ultimately are. Lovely way to spend my non working days...not.

I can only ever envisage good times coming to Everton if the likes of Usmanov became a majority shareholder & threw every rouble he has in securing top grade proven winners, both in management & playing staff. Like thats going to happen anytime soon.

Apologies if ive waffled on, but at the moment I'm far far happier on a saturday cleaning out Chicken shit in the garden than being immersed in the constant black cloud that is Everton.


Raymond Fox
25 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:20:24
Sorry Stan I agree with Rennie 14#.
The game was a banana skin waiting to happen especially given the conditions, nobody I think could fault the team for effort.
Apart from our inept defence of crosses, we controlled the game ok, but our lack of skill in the final third let us down once more.
Our defence shouldnt be that difficult to fix should it, we have a bunch of internationals to pick from!
As far as the attack is concerned the problem is for me the players are simply not good enough. Just compare the top six teams attacking players with ours, their not just better their miles better! To expect top six performances from these players is asking for disappointment.
We were no doubt to blame for the loss in some areas of our game but I felt after the match that we were unlucky to lose it.
The officials were again very poor I thought, the standards of some of them is pathetic.
Keith Dempsey
26 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:32:46
Stan, I always pick out your posts as they seem to be well thought out and balanced unlike some of the serial posters on here who give the impression that they are waiting for the next disaster to happen.So the fact you agreed with my earlier post as brightened up an otherwise miserable Sunday.
Jer Kiernan
27 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:38:28
@Hector 24
I think you have summed up most peoples feelings over last couple of years and lot of what you say makes perfect sense
Nowadays I have full access to stream every Everton game and find myself sitting with Laptop on my belly and doing other things while it is on

To think back to the late 80s early 90s when I used to be "tuned" into Radio Merseyside on MW listening to a Simod cup midweek clash (was like listening to the moon landing as I was in Dublin) trying to imagine how the game was panning out, There is now a certain apathy taking over and as you allude to these gits arent arsed so why should I

Anyways if you need a hand shovelling the pigs shit from now on give me a shout :)

Paul A Smith
28 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:40:54
I would hate to be thinking up positive comments just for the sake of it. Or negative for that matter.
To read a post with no lies is all that matters to me.
To paint a pretty picture I might aswell live my life to the sound of Radioheads fake plastic trees and tell everybody I am rich in football joy.
Mark Wilson
29 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:46:20
Lose at Huddersfield, particularly lose badly at Huddersfield and I think the pressure will instantly become huge. Fans have no patience anymore. Who can blame us? But it’s simply this for me, I haven’t seen any sign, and I mean any, of progress and ironically, for the reasons given by those rushing to Silva’s defence, I don’t see how he has the room to manoeuvre and to improve the amount needed.

Despite the screams here and elsewhere we have never been going in the right direction this season. Early season was all about too many draws and too many goals conceded with yet more poor game mgt. The much discussed “transition” by definition means there should be balance ie we can expect some issues, somethings that don’t work out. But transition shouldn’t mean total failure and today I feel that’s where we stand. Abject failure to improve, more wasted transfer funds as frankly, and I know this is harsh, I cannot see a player of the required quality in Mina and our best defender, Zouma, is only here on loan and I doubt he will stay. Gomes ? So hit and miss, too much so for a team like ours. Digne should learn about those stupid fee kicks and the price paid. But there’s just not enough in this squad to make transition mean something. It’s almost start over again in the summer but this time there’s no money.

What a mess.

Mick Conalty
30 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:46:35
Watford and their supporters must be having a good laugh at EFC.

Lyndon, spot on comments once again, shambolic is the only word for it.

Kenwright and Moshiri are ruining our club and especially Kenwright who should make a public apology to our great fans for overseeing the worst period in Everton's history.

Derek Thomas
31 Posted 27/01/2019 at 13:56:16
Ray @25; these games are only banana skins if you don't match their effort and commitment...it also helps if you attack the ball at freekicks and corners (at both ends) but that comes under attitude and commitment too.

We have Internationals, guys with skill (?), who have been in the sharp end of world cups, but all the skill in the world is not worth a carrot, without application and discipline and the best discipline comes from self discipline. They used to call it professionalism, because you got paid for it...seems the more you get paid the less you care - or try.

But we all know this. The problem lies with the whole gold bentley ethos or does it. City and the rs don't have a problem.

Each one of them needs to look in the mirror...ah fuck it, why worry, no chance of that

Christopher Timmins
32 Posted 27/01/2019 at 14:03:38
I stand by my opinion of last week that we should give the manager until the end of the season. If he does not turn things around we can start searching for a replacement in April and have someone in place shortly after the end of the season.

I hope but don't expect the manager to reverse the slide but he deserves another 15 games to try to do so.

It does not look as if there will be much movement in or out of the club over the next few days so he will have to work with the talent at his disposal.

With regards to Moyes and his tenure, it looks better and better as time passes. In his time we had little money, started badly but usually improved as the season progressed and more often than not made the top 6. In saying that I am also in the camp of those who believe that you should never go back. Our status does not entitle us to expect the appointment of a proven winner, therefore, we will have to take another punt it we decide to change manager in the coming months. I am hoping for the number 2 at City but when I see the job the number 1 at Leeds is carrying out I feel we missed a trick at the start of the season.

Stan Schofield
33 Posted 27/01/2019 at 14:13:06
Raymond@25: I agree about the officiating, it's become a disgrace, and I'm losing interest in what seems a corrupt game, regardless of how well or badly Everton are doing.

Some on ToffeeWeb are bemoaning the possibility of Liverpool winning the Premier League, but as far as I'm concerned their behaviour (and that of their manager) has too much cheating and deception for any title win to be a 'true win' in the usual sense of the term. And the authorities do nothing about it, apart from taking sanctions against Niasse last season.

I'm not happy that Everton can't seem to help themselves, that they always shoot themselves in the foot. All the bad officiating and apparent corruption is an obstruction to our progress, and is just intolerable, but at the end of the day most of our misfortune is of our own making.

We have enough decent players to be doing far better than we are.

John Kavanagh
34 Posted 27/01/2019 at 14:22:38
Fran #23. The chances of the Derby giving us anything to smile about are about the same as winning the Euro Lotto jackpot; unless the sight of slapstick defending, air shots and stars who can't stand up for constantly slipping on invisible banana skins is something to smile about. I fear there will be roars of laughter, but they will come from across the park. We are, like Laurel and Hardy, in Another Fine Mess.

I, for one, just don't want to see any more jokes being played at the expense of thousands of loyal supporters. I'd prefer to escape to a remote North Korean village without radios or tellies rather than face the complete humiliation now on offer in March.

Pablo Brown
35 Posted 27/01/2019 at 14:35:54
I've sat through some crap through the years, but this season is really starting to test my patience. I've just had my season ticket renewal, and this is the first season I'm seriously thinking of not renewing. What's annoying me about this season is we've got no excuse for being so bad, we've spent a fortune and we're going backward.

I've been in my seat since I was 15, I'm now 38. I love the guys around me and one of the reasons why I hadn't binned my ticket years ago was that these guys live all over the country, so I probably wouldn't see them again, but going the match is becoming a chore, and I rather spend the Saturday/Sunday with the family.

Paul Le Marinel
36 Posted 27/01/2019 at 14:40:04
It's really worrying that we are heading in the wrong direction. The players need to show hunger, detrmination and have the desire to work hard and try and win games.

Not just this game but also in the league, collectively the way the team is performing at the moment is not good enough and our form is really poor at the moment.

I know Rome wasn't built in a day, but if we are going to get to the stage of playing proper football and winning trophies again, then we need a manager who knows how to get the best out of the players we have, instil the right mentality and get the team playing proper football again.

This can't go on and if Marco Silva can't turn things around, then surely common sense will prevail and that he will be told to go.

Although if he did go, it would be no easy task of finding the right manager.
Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce and now maybe Marco Silva (It's looking that way at present), have all clearly been wrong choices of poor decisions made.

But surely Farhad Moshiri and co won't tolerate this for long, as it's unacceptable and the current situation has got to change and sooner the better.

Hector Blaukugel
37 Posted 27/01/2019 at 14:42:40
Derek@31, I do think the Gold Bentley mindset plays a big part of their 'don't care' attitude & is basically indicitive of this Celebrity & self obsessed generation we now live in.

City basically won the biggest fucking Lottery going, so good luck to them as we would be made up if it were us, and the RS now have a very talented Manager who has transformed them, but even more difficult to digest is the fact that the RS have had a better winning mentality than we ever will, I mean, even in their shittier days with the likes of Houllier etc, they still won the odd cup every few yeats to keep their fans ticking over. Us?... absolute fuck all but small victories, false dawns & terrible management.

Stan Schofield
38 Posted 27/01/2019 at 15:12:26
As a 60s-vintage Evertonian who's hero was Alan Ball, I eventually perceived Everton as a club that almost takes the piss out of its supporters. A club that can not only sign Alan Ball, Bob Latchford and Gary Lineker, but who can also sign the likes of Bernie Wright and Rod Belfitt. Just to build us up to expect greatness, then let us down with absolute comic mediocrity?

My only coping mechanism is to switch off and ignore it all for a while.

Anthony Newell
39 Posted 27/01/2019 at 15:18:12
@Hector,

That's an honest and heartfelt post and I can relate to every ounce of it.

You've absolutely nailed it there, fair play.

Sandra Bowen
40 Posted 27/01/2019 at 15:22:45
Completely brain dead. Complete muppetry from all concerned giving away these stupid free-kicks, doubly stupid at the times they were conceded. Go one up just before half-time, Calvert-Lewin needlessly jumps into his man, set piece, equaliser.

15 mins to go, get what should be a winner, 3 mins later winger going absolutely nowhere, Digne fouls, obvious foul too, goal.

Injury time, take your medicine, get them back to Goodison for another go, Digne again, obvious foul from behind, goal, season over. Truly pathetic game management.

Not trying to excuse the shocking defending following these fouls but those 3 completely needless incidents have wound me up more than anything.

It's like they've all had a chat and said to each other, ‘tell you what lads, we're crap at defending set plays, let's practise today shall we?'

I'm completely disillusioned with all that's going on at Everton. I've got opinions but certainly don't know the answers to the huge decline over the last 5 years. I wouldn't be sorry to see anyone, coaching staff or players leave the club; that's sad and not right at all. Brands has a massive, massive task on his hands to sort out the club from the bottom up. Good luck, mate.

Michael Lynch
41 Posted 27/01/2019 at 15:32:26
Digne has been one of our better signings of recent times, but the stupid fouls he gave away yesterday have me wondering whether he is an asset or a liability.

On the other hand, Silva has been an utter disaster so far. We've actually got worse under him, despite the money spent. This, when taken alongside his dismal failures at Hull and Watford after bright starts, tells me we should get rid before any more damage is done. I would hope that the board are actively looking for a replacement and will make an announcement as soon as we are mathematically certain not to go down.

We took a gamble on Silva, based on potential rather than results so far in the Premier League, and we've clearly made a terrible mistake. Considering how many expensive purchases we've made over the past two years, this is the most under-performing Everton side I've seen in 50 years of watching the Blues.

Sack the entire coaching staff and bring in people based on their experience and achievement rather than their potential and bullshit.

Allardyce at least knew what he was doing.

Paul Birmingham
42 Posted 27/01/2019 at 15:42:19
Hector @37, I agree and it's a reality check and the way it is, now, has been for decades and at this rate, could be, for the next 30 years, let's hope not.

I hope that the team v Huddersfield, puts an honest shift in, as it's not been happening consistently this season.

The most basic skills are lacking: leadership, communication, belief, fight, guts, vision, etc every one knows.

I don't want Marco Silva to fail, nor Everton to be stuck in the abyss, but the next few games are massive. As I've get older, I've found an inner peace and solace, to know I've been and seen success in 80s, but I've no longer any expectation any more for any game. I feel for the people who've never seen us win a trophy and the young kids, and at the time when my kids were young, were always disappointed.

The last 5 years has been draining for all Evertonians but, football aside, Everton is a business and must grow its revenues, and at this rate, the sponsors will be invoking their early termination clauses.

I'm no business man but I can't see how the club can promote and grow it's brand when, by the main business driver for any football club, success on the field has become a mirage.

I'd like to see the agenda for any board meetings this next month. This season is gonna get very toxic, if the first team can't find any hunger or desire to wear the Everton shirt.

If Jimmy McCarthy, is fit in my view he must start and I believe his vigour and passion will rub off or should inspire his team mates. But one man doesn't make a team and the whole team must take responsibility.

I really hope now that the players don't give any more ill-fated quotes, saying “We are really proud and determined”. It never happens, Everton, as we know, you trust at your own peril.

There's still just under half a season to play, and now Marco Silva, must show he has the stomach for a fight. He's fighting for his destiny and he must turn this rotten run around soon.

Sacking him, is an option but I said and will still say we judge him next autumn... Could that be too late.?

Last point is surely, under sporting rules, VAR, should be a universal standard at every game, else not used at all, until it is? We got shafted by the referee yesterday, and will no doubt be done again, but in my book, it's double standards.

Surely this defeat will invigorate Everton, wake up and get some steel... Huddersfield will have done their homework. Gonna be an aerial barrage, so can The Keystone Cops learn how to defend again?

Times a healer, and this defeat and everything that happened yesterday will take time to heal. Will Everton turn the corner in terms of this season?

Chris Jenkins
43 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:01:00
I want David Moyes back as manager not as a defensive coach as has been suggested by many.

The current situation is now becoming critical. Those who say Moyes would be a backwards step are ignoring the evidence.

With very little money to spend Moyes had us punching well above our weight throughout the majority of his time as manager. Yes, there were a couple of difficult seasons whilst he was in charge. However, even then the team showed character and determination as opposed to the spineless displays that have been witnessed since he departed.

With decent financial backing David Moyes would be likely to turn things around within a couple of months. Any money would be spent wisely on players with character as well as skill as opposed to squandering it on the likes of the over-priced second and third-raters we have, in the main, been lumbered with by Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce and now Silva ably encouraged by the totally overrated and unnecessary Brands...

Vincent Borg Carbott
44 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:03:20
Face reality. Our team has only been mildly successful in recent times under the guidance of a certain Mr Moyes and if he weren't carrotted by Man Utd, we would have been in a different sphere.

Come back, Big Sam, all is forgiven.

David Hallwood
45 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:04:01
Great report as ever, Lyndon.

I was watching the Sunday Supplement on Sky, and one of the journalists, who I think is a scouser said the last thing Evertonians would be complaining about was the handball goal; well he should come on here and realise he's bang on, because in all the posts I haven't seen it mentioned.

All's that has been mentioned is What the fuck is going on? It's a mirror image of Watford last season, with Silva & Richarlison traveling the same path.

What's happened to the team that was playing vibrant attacking football, that was registering 15-20+ shots on target home & away?

What's happened to the midfield? One cost £50million, one plays for Barca, and one's been heavily linked with PSG, but you'd be hard pressed to say which was the premier team in yesterday's game

An absolute shit show, and on the anniversary of another shit show, as it was 18 years ago when we were dumped out of the cup by Tranmere 3-0 at Goodison-so at least we've been consistent.

And as for zonal marking, never liked it, never will, space doesn't score goals, and clearly something will have to change, but will they because Silva comes across quite stubborn, but the way it's going, Silva will be stubborning himself out of a job.

Which brings us round to Silva; there's a lot of people calling for his head, but who do we get? Who is there out there? The top-drawer managers won't come because we can't promise them Champions League, and we are miles away from the top 4, and do we really want to become another Palace or Watford?

Silva needs to act ASAP, but it looks like he isn't going to get reinforcements this window (which doesn't bode well for his long-term future), so my preference would be drop Gomes & Sigurdsson; the 2 of them look like they're playing from memory, and replace them with Davies & Bernard. Play Woolcott down the middle, with Charlie & Lookman making up the front 3. Or even go 4-4-2 or 3-4-3, but something needs to be done.

Brian Williams
46 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:09:11
Vincent #44.

Haha, nice one, Vincent!

Tony Everan
47 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:18:47
What is the definition of zonal marking anyway? It is an absolute skip load of rotten bollocks.

What is it? Standing in a nice big space and waiting for something to happen? It all seems a bit re-active, rather than being pro-active.

How about marking the danger men, doing your homework on their target men and taking them out? Challenging them with controlled aggression to within an inch of the law.

What happened to the art of taking control of a situation and clearing the lines at all costs? Get the crossed ball out of the penalty area for the midfielders to fight for.

Fuck zonal marking right off, it is absolute nonsense. Get back to basics and proper defending that young players have grown up with and naturally understand.

From what I have read, the majority want Silva to stay on, fight and get it right. I am one of them. But if he continues down this dead-end tunnel of zombie zonal marking he will do himself no favours.

He needs to learn from his mistakes and come back better for it. No-one will think less of him, on the contrary, he will be lauded for it.


Steve Ferns
48 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:27:03
Tony, zonal marking is proactive. You go to where the ball is going to. You try to get there first. This is the definition of proactive.

Man-to-man marking is reactive. You go to where the man is going and try to beat him to the ball. You are reacting to what he's doing. You have your eyes on the man and not the ball.

I would agree, zonal marking has cost us big this season, and without it, who knows where we would be. If it really is as simple as that, and one simple thing can be fixed, then I would expect someone (Silva) to do something about it. Especially if it means losing your job, and where would Silva go from here if sacked? Everything for him is riding on Everton.

Tony Everan
49 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:42:07
Steve, I think the opposite is true, we never get to the ball first! we are too far away ! we are re-acting to the situation when the ball has already been won by the opposition striker.

Being pro-active it actually winning the ball that is crossed in, aggressively challenging for it, out jumping and out-muscling their striker. Taking the situation by the scruff of the neck and clearing the danger. To me that is what being pro-active is.

It's one of those things that sounds wonderful when they talk the talk. But, when it comes to execution of it all, nobody can walk the walk.

Does anybody believe that continuing with it is going to make things better? That the penny will drop and we will become organised and watertight?

Talk about flogging a dead horse.

Steve Ferns
50 Posted 27/01/2019 at 17:53:06
Tony, you are talking about the execution. I'm talking about definitions.

Being reactive is not a bad thing. Counter-attacking is a reactive tactic. It works very well.

You can't call zonal marking reactive, because, on the strict definition, you are not reacting to anything. Man to man marking is not proactive because you are reacting to what your man is doing.

Vincent Borg Carbott
51 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:01:36
As we speak, mighty Crystal Palace have whacked Spurs. What was the strategy? Go bloody forward.

What is wrong with us? I shall not enter into any analytical conclusions, I shall leave that to more learned individuals hopefully within our beloved club.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:04:20
People coming on here keep droning on about zonal marking. How come no-one marks the 6-yard box? How come the other team gets the aerial balls first?

The best Everton team I've seen used a variant of zonal marking, but crucially, they all knew their jobs, all won first and second balls and all bollocked each other when they didn't.

When Silva installs and maintains those three points, we won't be talking about types of marking. We'll be watching good defending.

Football is a simple game made complicated by coaches, statisticians and theorists desperate to show how clever they are.

Stuff systems, keep it simple, do the basics. If he's spending 20/30 hours on set plays, they either don't understand him or they've stopped listening.

Anthony Newell
53 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:06:05
I write this after a few wines so apologies for any incoherence in advance.

Yesterday exit was utterly predictable. The only surprise for me when I checked in on the score was that we still were in it.

The shite are better than us by a country mile. It hurts like a dagger to say it but it's true. From transfer selection, choice of manager (dickhead granted) etc.

We live in fast-moving times and by the same token you have to write off a fucked up transfer purchase quickly; you do the same with a manager. Silva has fucked it. If he cannot stop Mina from laughing at the end of a derby game then he just doesn't get the club.

Unless we get Usmanov to pump some serious cash in then Bramley-Moore Dock will be our Ricoh Arena.

Football success necessarily requires a sugar daddy billionaire, no ifs or buts. As much as we all may be tempted to turn to the razor blades, that's the truth we must remind ourselves of constantly

I got ridiculed last time around but I'll say it again: Get someone in with Royle who can drill a sense of fucking pride in the shirt. The last time I can remember truly exciting football and heart-rending passion was when Dunc was giving it to the likes of the Red Shite and Man Utd. Despite Dogs of War, we won a trophy in '95.

I think back to the Grandstand days and final results, Everton sat proudly at the top, Bruce Hornsby & The Range blaring... it can happen, just give me a nudge when it does. As Hector states above, nobody close to you deserves to be made miserable in the meantime.

Mourinho? Narky twat worth a gamble? Could go very right or very wrong, it would require a serious statement of intent and a war chest to pull off. Over to you, Sergei.


Paul Tran
54 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:06:26
And I'm 100% with Steve on the definition of zonal marking.
Steavey Buckley
55 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:19:07
The difference between Courtois, the best goal-keeper in the world, and Pickford: Courtois dominates his penalty area, while Pickford is frozen on the line. So no zonal marking is going to solve Pickford's deficiencies.
Steve Ferns
56 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:28:58
Anthony, if you say next season Everton have to win the league, who do we get as manager? I'd take Mourinho over Guardiola.

There's a load of problems though:

1. As with Conte, he ain't managing anyone for a while until his contract is settled. Sacked managers now spend a good while out of work, and this is making sure they get the settlement sorted. The only way we could get around this is to pay that ourselves.

2. Wages, he'd want an absolute fortune. More than Allardyce, Koeman and Martinez combined.

3. Transfer funds: he'd want more money than we've ever spent before. He spent £50M on Fred, didn't like him, didn't play him, he wanted someone else. How much did he spend on his defence and then kicked off because he wanted someone else.

4. Tactically, he now seems dated and old. Football seems to have passed him by and he's not adapted.

5. Man-management skills: his man-management was legendary. He studied psychology and applied it to football. He would get his star players to run through walls for him. Just listen to how his players used to talk about him, such as Lampard and Terry. Now, it seems like he's the opposite of what he once was. It's like he doesn't understand this new generation, he cannot find a connection. He cannot motivate them.

Sadly, it seems like the Special One has been passed by and become a dinosaur before his time should have been up.

So, for me, it's a massive gamble not worth taking. I foresee a prolonged period as a pundit now.

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:40:39
Proactive, reactive, whatever in terms of definition. The problem is second phase.

In the first phase, when the free kick comes, our defenders go for the ball (reacting to the ball not to the man) – fine, but when the attacker wins the header, then in the second phase our defence seems to still be preoccupied with "their" space and not reacting to where the ball and the opposition are going.

We're not reacting in the second phase, when zonal marking becomes irrelevant.

Steve Ferns
58 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:46:24
Agreed Brent. It needs sorting and fast. How much is down to the keeper? How’s Jack Butland getting on? Can we get him from Stoke?
Thomas Lennon
59 Posted 27/01/2019 at 18:52:37
This team no longer believe in what they are being asked to do. Rebuilding confidence comes from rebuilding resilience.

We are stuck between playing a system we can play and playing a system that will get us to top 4 so are left with playing neither. Investment is key, it is as simple as that.

Anthony Murphy
60 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:01:39
Steve, I would be genuinely interested to hear your thoughts on who you would like to see replace Silva (realisticly) if he does get released of his duties in the summer.

Taking into account the fact that Moshiri is unlikely to bank role anyone majorly and Brands has a remit for bringing through young talent. Who do you think would be a good fit?

Brent Stephens
61 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:05:00
And just to take it further, Steve, the problem is the transition (dread word) from zonal marking, in the first phase of the free kick, to man-marking, in the second phase.

I think it was the third goal we conceded that shows this best, when in the second phase we have four men going for the man who picks up the header from the first phase free kick, leaving other opposition totally unmarked.

I played in defence and would hate to play zonal like that. The only zones I like are the erogenous ones!

John Audsley
62 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:07:05
Have we got a defensive coach and if so who is it? The players are not listening to Silva and I wish we could sack players as easily as we sack managers.

It's a real mess and I hate supporting Everton at the moment. I have no belief in the players or coaching staff.

Steve Ferns
63 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:10:03
Anthony, I wanted Sarri, Silva and Jardim in that order. All of them have been below expectations this season. Jardim just went back to Monaco.

So, sorry Anthony, my judgement isn't the one you want. I also think there's not a manager out there who's good enough that we can get.

Benetiz is dull, if you forget he's a kopite.

Howe has lost a load of games and is as erratic as Silva or Martinez.

Bielsa won't come. And if he did he's been erratic.

I don't see any other good coaches out there. They're all tied up with contracts.

So I'd want Unsworth to be given a go.

Sean Kelly
64 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:31:50
Roy Keane anyone?
Alan Smith
65 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:36:18
Vincent @8,

I agree, mate, Sam Allardyce wouldn't be a bad shout. As we are stilling paying him, we may as well bring him back.

I reckon with this squad he would have had us 7th minimum and we would have defended those crosses better yesterday.

But our fans pigeon holed him before he come and blamed the poor football on him, rather than a back four of Martina, Kenny, Williams and Keane (playing injured with a fucked-up foot).

And just what is entertaining football? Please soemone explain? Is it Pep's Barca playing teams with a tenth of the budget, having a million passes before giving it to Messi or Iniesta to score a wonder goal? Something they could have done a hundred passes earlier?

I'm exaggerating obviously but Real Madrid, three years Champions League winners on the bounce, might think their footy is better.

Has a successful side, even if it had Adams or Bruce or Watson, not passed the ball out from the back? Has a successful side ever not been entertaining to watch? Why has putting the horse before the cart all of sudden become a "philosophy" and a sign of" "a good young manager"? I reckon Millwall fans, rats that they are, were throughly entertained yesterday.

Did Allardyce even play long his whole career? With Anelka up front, for example? You get what you whish for.

But none of this is even worth analysing because it will take 168 years to win the FA Cup unless we spend like the top 6. Hear me out. Twice in last 24 years, the cup has gone to a non-monied club. And it didn't go to the next best. It went to Portsmouth and relegated Wigan. Not because they prioritised it, or they "went all out for it"! (Whatever that means?)

Luck, good form, and players performing for their lives when it matters. Nothing to with a DoF, a handsome manager with a dossier and an iPad hailing from the Iberian peninsula.

So basically, every 12 years, the cup will land in hands of a bottom 14 club. And that's being generous as the gap is ever increasing. 14 multiplied by 12 is 168. There are two cups. That's if your remotely interested in the three-handled name-changing February trinket. So that's an 84-year wait (on average) for a trophy. As we've waited 24 years already I've only got 60 more years to wait!

In spite of managers not because of. A Kane coming through might accelerate that but we had Rooney, a once-in-a-lifetime player, and we sold him.

Anyone who thinks otherwise and thinks good management will get us a trophy, please explain why Ranieri won the Premier League, then? And why you aren't clamouring for him?

A lot of fans were happy to sell our leading scorers two years running: Lukaku then Rooney. I realise you can say Lukaku wanted to go and that's quite right. But so what? It was a World Cup year. He could not have downed tools. And considering we are never going to have a business model to enable us to challenge for trophies.

Why couldn't the board have given us one season of Lukaku and Rooney up-front together? With Barkley a local player in central midfield. A team to be proud of with a chance of at least if winning a cup, if only for one season.

And why were none of our fans demanding this? "Because he doesn't want to be here"... "I'm sick of his comments every time he's away on international duty"...

Personally, I think it's naive to think anyone who has played for us in the past 30 years (besides Duncan Ferguson) has wanted to play for us rather than Man Utd. And, imho, it doesn't matter what any of the players want, say or do, as long as they deliver on the pitch, but a majority of our fans couldn't wait to sell our highest scorer in about 20-odd years!

And they love Moshiri for selling Lukaku, Barkley and Stones. He baulked at Koulibaly's wages but wasted more trying to buy replacements, buying shit centre-backs like Williams.

Now people are holding Spurs up as the "going about it the right way" example. They got lucky with Bale becoming a monster and then Kane coming through. Just as we got lucky with Lukaku, Stones and Barkley. But they didn't waste that luck and say "Let's wait for our stadium to be built." They've put Kane, Eriksen and Alli on boss wages.

The first thing Moshiri should have done on day one when he arrived at Goodison Park is to offer ridiculous salaries to Barkley and Lukaku. We may not get players of that quality for some time now.

But some of you will now be thinking "Be patient, once the stadium is built we can compete." But 52,000 fans paying £40 a game compared with 62,000 paying £80 in North London? Then there's the number of corporate boxes and the price difference.

And in the meantime, how much further do they pull away whilst we wait for the "Dock" and ask ridiculous questions at the AGM, like: "Can we keep the liver birds blue?" "Do you think we should take flags to the game, like in the kop?" And a 10-minute monologue to ask "Why do you do zonal marking?" That made the echo look like tough hard-hitting interagators in comparison.

I hope Brands gets it right but it won't ever matter unless we are prepared to pay the wages that the top players want. If he is the Magical Mystery Stardust man that DoFs never ever turn out to be, then the top clubs will just come and take any players we find or develop.

"Its the economy, stupid." Or wages, wages, wages. And as we will never match those big six, I recommend just enjoying the football, even the defeats, because the economic development of football nowadays dictates that we have a 60-year wait.

It's why American Football has a draft system. But our glory-hunting, blinded, biased-media football culture has deluded our collective fans' brains and things won't change.

The TV companies like the certainty. They like the fact that putting Liverpool or Man Utd on TV guarantees a massive audience.

Financial Fair Play ensures the top clubs can not be caught... It's true purpose.

Usmanov to the rescue? I seriously doubt it. Moshiri wants us to himself and Usmanov wants 100% of another club.

Darren Hind
66 Posted 27/01/2019 at 19:50:00
Evertonians calling for the return of Sam Allardyce... I could weep.

Mind you, the fella selling grass skirts and kites has just woken up with a semi...

Alan Smith
67 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:02:39
No, Darren, I'm actually calling for Mourinho and for Moshiri to have wages like a top six club. Or none of it matters!

But yes, Allardyce would be better than Silva.

Stan Schofield
68 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:04:43
Alan @65: Some of us were saying that Lukaku should be held to his contract. I said that even if we kept him until his contract expires this July, the loss of the transfer fee (circa £75M as it turned out) that would result from it might well be compensated by the fact that we'd have another two years with a striker knocking in over 20 goals per season, which combined with the recent signings (and the fact that earlier in this season our main problem was failure to find the net) might have meant very different results and league placing. I'm not normally right about things, but I'm sticking by that one!

If you really want to return to the top, you can't do it by selling your best players like Lukaku, Stones and Barkley, but you add to and complement them by bringing in further quality players (like last summer's signings). But we don't do that, so are always treading water.

To think that polls on ToffeeWeb voted to sell Stones (80% in favour of it!) and Lukaku, and that a lot of the £120M we got for them has been mis-spent.

Alan Smith
69 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:06:44
If we can't do that can we have an ex-player then like Arteta. I'd rather be shit with him in charge and with some local lads in the team or squad as well.

And he also fits the modern criteria of being young handsome and Iberian. Ticks all round. Get some brown shoes, Mikel, an iPad, a blag philosophy and a dossier. A proper modern coach.


Oliver Molloy
70 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:09:27
For fuck's sake... Allardyce? Keane!?! Our next manager has to be someone who is a winner with a track record – a guy like Simone – no more pretenders for me.

I understand managers need time, but if they can not see the likes of zonal marking isn't working then we are in trouble. Good managers can spot trouble and remedy it. I'm not sure Silva is even bothered with the defensive side of the game.

I don't believe Silva will be sacked this season anyway. Brands has just as much to answer as Silva in my opinion. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know we needed to offload a load of "not good enough" players and get better ones in.

I said at the start of the season, it was a bit early for Brands to be patting himself on the back with the signing of Mina and as of now I have been right, for he has been pure shite.

Roll on Tuesday night, then.

Alan Smith
71 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:11:51
Quite right, Stan, it made pure financial sense.

But there's not enough of us thinking on these lines and demanding it from the board. We are in the minority.

I point again to the AGM questions.

Paul A Smith
72 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:12:42
Stan @68. Your last sentence says it all in a nutshell, mate.

I like the way you don't get a personal issue with a different opinion to your own I wanted to add too, Stan.

Not enough people are open-minded or willing to be enlighted but you seem to engage either way. It's people like you I want the blues to do proud.

Brian Murray
73 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:16:40
Oliver Molloy. Surely Simone – despite the lingo problem – would love it with our fanbase and 'project' (cringe). We have tried the ex-players, the Championship, and the relegation specialists... now go for one of life's winners. Or does that go against the grain of jobs for the boys at Everton Community FC??
Stan Schofield
74 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:17:35
Paul, cheers, we're all Evertonians at the end of the day.

And all Evertonians are, in my opinion, a better class of people; all reasonable (apart from wanting Stones and Lukaku to leave!), fair-minded, and very handsome.

John Pierce
75 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:17:49
Semantics and definitions... one point changes everything for me.

A properly coached defensive system would have seen us remain in the cup and in all likelihood be 7th with a good deal more points.

But he's ignored it, not even brought a specialist in to remedy it; that's why he's not a top coach and why he won't progress unless he sorts it out.

Be self-aware, recognize your weakness and address it.

Raymond Fox
76 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:19:22
Stan @33. It sounds like we are from the same generation, I gave up beating myself up about results some time ago.

I came to the conclusion that since that I really have no personal influence on how the team performs I would prioritize things that I have.

As far as the managers concerned I would give him more time, I think 90% of world managers are much of a muchness and the other 10% won't come here at this time because the Premier League is a money race and we have not got enough.

We have not a top 6 first team quality player in our whole squad – that's our problem; sacking another manager isn't going to change that.

Oliver Molloy
77 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:21:08
Stan @68,

The club had no alternative regards Barkley, and that was down to him.

I never rated him as a top top player and can not believe the plaudits he has got since moving to Chelsea, I don't think he has set the world alight, but I agree with your point.

Barkley has said to people that he wasn't prepared to wait around waiting for Everton to get it right on the pitch and I cannot blame him for thinking that way.

Paul A Smith
78 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:23:37
Brent Stephens @57. Thank you for that post. I was starting to think everybody had overlooked that main issue you easily spotted. The 2nd phase.

It's not just from set-pieces either, mate; we are poor to 2nd balls all over the pitch.

If fans and critics wondered about Barkley in midfield, I would question what they see in Gomes's desire when he hasn't got the ball?

Anthony A Hughes
79 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:23:52
Zonal marking? Mmm... zones don't score goals.,.. players do.

I'm being slightly flippant but I'd much prefer our biggest and best headers of the ball to match up with the opposition's biggest and best.

Either Silva is incapable of coaching zonal marking into our players or they're too thick to pick it up. Either way, he needs to sort it or we're going to end up in mid-table obscurity.

Paul A Smith
80 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:26:00
Too right, Stan @78. I couldn't care where anybody is from or how they live, if there's an open chat with a fellow blue, I am more than happy.

It really is time the bigger picture was dissected, mate. Things have been hot and cold far too long.

Ian Brandes
81 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:32:16
At a time when, arguably, Everton should be enjoying a return to glory during the much-vaunted Moshiri era, we are now back to familiar territory – season over, and our very own Ground Zero.

We have a team of over-hyped over-paid misfit mercenaries, who, judging by their performances, have scant regard for the fans or even the club that employs them.

They cannot pass to members of their own team, they cannot defend, the midfield is laughable in its incompetence, and our attack is virtually non-existent. There is not one player, who can hold the ball, or change the game with a timely pass, and we have no stopper on board who can break up attacks in the style of the oft-underated Lee Carsley.

In fact, this team can hardly do anything, given the fact we were lucky to get past the mighty Lincoln in the 3rd round.

To make matters worse, this on-field bunch of buffoons are complemented by yet another continental clown In Silva, whose previous 'achievements' in the Premier League or, in his case, an absolute lack of them, should have disqualified him from ever being at the helm of our once illustrious club. Do we not learn our lessons?

To those who say Silva should be given more time, I would ask 'What for?'

If his disastrous reign is prolonged, his next 'achievemen' will be taking us down to the Championship, and we won't get an Allardyce to come and save us this time.

Terrible days continue for our much-loved Everton – all so sad and so very unnecessary.

Ed Fitzgerald
82 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:33:58
Alan Smith @71

Are you on hard drugs? Did you attend any of the games under Allardyce last season? Up to until the 96th minute of the derby, we were doing okay – in fact, we played really well at Anfield, Since Pickford's cock-up in that game, our confidence has evaporated and it's not just the team but the fan base as well.

The big question for Silva to answer is can he realise that zonal marking is costing us goals at virtually every set play against us. He has the rest of the season to sort that out. If he can't, then who knows... we might be dealing with yet another expensive compensation package.

Anthony A Hughes
83 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:37:00
If I had two questions for Moshiri it would be...

1) Why did you pursue Silva so strongly? and...

2) What is in his CV that made you think he was the right man to take us forward?

Benjamin Dyke
84 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:48:52
Honestly when you reflect with a bit of distance, which I know is really hard, it makes no sense to sack Silva now and become a revolving door for coaches.

Yes, he's not sorting the defence yet... and yes, it's not clicking in midfield or up front (yes, that's the whole team) but we've seen very briefly a few good things and I can't see how much a new coach could change things (we aren't Man Utd with their players and history, sadly).

But, if the decline continues, I'm prepared to change my mind!

Trying through gritted teeth to talk a positive position. We've been let down again big time this season. Silva needs to find a defensive coaching manual and a new formation quick.

Tommy Carter
85 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:54:42
Pay the money and get Mourinho

When’s really too managerbecomes available and you have a chance to get him I’m afraid you have to go for it.

RS did it with Klopp. Rodgers had done enough to be given a chance to turn things around. But no, they had the opportunity to go and get Klopp and they did.

I think Mourinho could work for us, I really do.

We are despaerately lacking any ruthlessness as a team. He’d develop us into a ruthless side.

He hasn’t had opportunity to build a side now for many years. He did so brilliantly at Porto and made his name on that. What a chance for him to prove he is still capable of that.

The opportunity is staring us blankly in the face.

I don’t necessarily want Silva out. But Mourinho is clubless with a point to prove in this country.

Paul Birmingham
86 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:55:14
Based on the season to date, Marco Silva, the coaches, and the squad need an open and honest heart-to-heart and start fresh on defensive coaching.

Body language on the pitch for the last couple of months says and tells the truths, and there's no way that this Everton team know how to defend as a unit and make the right decisions.

I'd also look at the captains role and look for a real leader on the pitch.

Whether any of the existing squad can be made into a leader is questionable, as none have the bottle, spine and guts to be a proper leader on the pitch.

But the team needs a leader, I'd get Reidy and Ratters, and Nev in for a week, to try and inspire this squad. So, I hope the coin has dropped and the club hires some defence coaches.

We can't get the basics right, don't make enough chances, don't score enough goals, as we can't put more than three passes together.

The next month is going to test the metal of this Everton coaching staff. I'm sure they need to get a sports psychologist in as well, to get some professional pride and self-belief, and enjoy playing for Everton.

In football, anything can happen, and you have to earn the right to get the ball and pass and play. This is not happening and with no silverware to go for the team must focus on being a football team and in some cases, play to save their Everton careers.

Anthony Murphy
87 Posted 27/01/2019 at 20:59:26
Steve, it's near-on impossible to ‘guarantee' a good fit no matter how logical a choice it may seem. I thought Henry would last longer than he did at Monaco and I'm sure we all thought Mourhino was a good fit for Man Utd at the time? Examples all over the place of managers chosen with a clear rationale only for it not to work.

I'm not a fan of bringing in an ex-player just because he was once a ‘legend' for the club, nor am I keen on someone who needs megabucks to get a tune out of.

Ultimately, even after such a terrible run I am hoping we finish the season strongly and Silva is given a bit more time. He desperately needs a few big wins – the derby in March and another top 6 team.

I was furious yesterday but I live in hope that once the new signings have had a full season and we recruit a couple of significant players in the summer, we can judge the guy better then.

Unfortunately, there isn't patience for managers plying their trade in the Premier League these days so I do fear the worse for Silva. He had his work cut out coming in after Allardyce as fans had hit a new low with that guy.

David Midgley
88 Posted 27/01/2019 at 21:06:02
Allardyce back??? That's like saying Mussolini was okay because he got the trains running on time.

Zonal, shmonal — too much drivel spoken about winning a game on the blackboard. Just clear the ball, will you?

Shearer, and he's not one of my favourites, pointed out that none of Everton's players show for the ball, the triangles we play are far too big. 50-yard pinged passes?

I've posted this before: Lampard has been in management five minutes, Derby are playing coordinated enthusiastic football as a team... Southampton have a new manager, 6 or7 games – they are playing something similar.

Can one of you football experts explain how they can do it and EFC can't?

Paul Smith
89 Posted 27/01/2019 at 21:27:41
Just read a few threads and its as if TW has become schizophrenic. Calls for Sam, Moyes, Rafa, Maureen, Unsie, Southall as goalie coach, Peter Reid, Ratcliffe are all in there. Now far be it from me to criticise but its like Groundhog Day.

The exact same conversation was taking place at Millwall last night: sack him now or wait, we keep hiring too many managers.

Top managers demand top $$ we've never had it so forget it. Spurs got lucky, and Pochettino won't stick about, soon as the arse falls out of Ole's honeymoon, he'll be going to the promised land.

Neither does it mean we should accept shite and Marco resembles exactly that: headhunting a relegated manager is the work of a mad man. And we've done it twice!!! It's as if we're trying to get relegated – then we can have a repeat of the gratuitous violence that took place last night, biannually; I won't be fuckin going!

So what next?

I think we will stick with Silva but, if he loses the next two games, then Watford could be his last. Kind of fitting for Watford fans if that happens. Who replaces him? Someone that hasn't been relegated from the Premier League in the last few seasons and, for fuck's sake, someone send Mr Moshiri to one of Bill's tear-jerkers at the West End when the decision's being made.


Tony Abrahams
90 Posted 27/01/2019 at 22:00:13
Read Rick's first sentence @20, then read Jer's, first paragraph @22.

Mick@30, Kenwright apologise? He's been “Our Fucking Saviour” mate, he split the fan-base, and loads of people genuinely feel he's done a great job.

I had to drive to Kirkby before, and that bastard Kenwright always comes to mind when I drive past the sight that “our saviour” had in mind for his “plucky little Everton.”

He's still here, the smug smile, still rears it's ugly devious face every now and again, and off the top of my head, I can only think of Jimmy Saville, who has had more people kidded, even if it was for very different reasons, and I'd bet you Moshiri, using the words, “a museum,” came from the mouth of the great actor first?

Paul Birmingham
91 Posted 27/01/2019 at 22:10:49
The team is in a slump and there's no sign of it turning soon.

All support frameworks to help Silva and his coaching team must be considered.

To get the next point, let alone 12 points, is going to be tough.

This week, more than ever, the Everton first team must show spirit, desire and fight.

John G Davies
92 Posted 27/01/2019 at 22:23:38
Jers first paragraph at post 22 sums it up perfectly. None of them (Zouma apart) have got the required heart. None of them will throw their bodies in the way, the way Jagielka, Watson, Ratcliffe etc did.

I only managed to play at amateur level Saturday and Sunday. I have scars from stitches in a couple of head cuts I got by putting my head in. That's nothing unusual in the Sunday league, by the way.

I would not swap the injuries for anything. Your team mates would have ripped the back off you if you jibbed a challenge. These players are earning fortunes and repeatedly give the challenges where they know there will be contact a miss.

Neil Lawson
93 Posted 27/01/2019 at 22:31:42
Sickening on two counts. Primarily that we were shocking and pathetic. We got precisely what we deserved. Less so that with Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, and significant others all gone, the luck of the draw just might have seen us scrape to a semi.

The only semi most of us Blues is ever likely to see in the future is the one visible when we get up to make the tea in the morning.

Paul Cherrington
94 Posted 28/01/2019 at 10:27:07
I'm gutted about this result but not surprised – it was obvious from the minute the draw was made that we would lie down and get beat down there.

The main problems are obviously the manager and the way the team is set-up – particularly defending set-pieces. it is clear that the team simply does not spend enough time drilling this in training. too much time working on pretty passing triangles and not enough on getting organised & working as a unit on this sort of stuff.

For me as well, Sigurdsson has to be dropped. I know he has a good goals return and will play a few decent passes or touches each game. But that is not enough for the negative effect he has on the whole team. Too often he has no impact on the game or result along with going missing for long periods. for the money we paid, he should be running the show for 90 mins – not just playing a good pass in each half.

Scoring goals is good but I would rather he drove the team to a 3-0 win rather than scoring the consolation in a 2-1 loss. He's a dead weight in midfield for me which is where we are really lacking.

The other problem that came up again on Saturday was Gana having a lot of the possession for us. I like him and would have him in the team as a Carsley like tackler but we need someone with passing ability & vision to get the ball off him and get us playing. I thought Gomes might be the one but he has really dropped off.

Millwall knew that they could let Gana have the ball all day long with no worries. When you add in a lack of fight and the fact we are still too nice, then the result was never really in doubt, unfortunately.

Phil Lewis
96 Posted 28/01/2019 at 11:03:00
Pickford is an imposter. All of this "I'm super confident in my ability" stuff is nonsense, because he shows no confidence whatsoever in dealing with high balls and crosses. This was certainly evident against Millwall.

We desperately need a proven, experienced, solid keeper right away, before this rot sets in any worse. We need a keeper who can read the game and is physically and mentally big enough, strong enough and alert enough to marshal the defence from the back.

The odd penalty save or acrobatic leap does not make a great keeper. Pickford's rise to fame has been hastened by hype and a couple of decent World Cup performances. Cash in on him now, before his value diminishes as people finally realise his shortcomings.

All great teams build from the back. Goalkeeper is the most important and often overlooked position in any team. We need to address this problem – if only to give him realistic competition assuming he remains at the club.

Paul A Smith
97 Posted 28/01/2019 at 15:26:45
Ed @82,

I think you missed the points, mate.

And believing this is all down to zonal marking is insanity.

Simon Smith
99 Posted 01/02/2019 at 17:40:34
Paul, I haven't read all the comments but I'd agree with others that the zonal marking isn't working with our players.

I'm not saying that it's not something that won't work for other players, but it's clearly not something our players seem to have a hold on.

Every time we concede a set play every fan is shitting themselves!

Also if players went man to man then we may be able to rectify the issue as the fault would be with one single player, this is easily resolved.

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