Last season, I felt levels of loathing that I had not experienced towards an Everton player for a long time. To be true, I felt them towards a lot of players... but mainly I felt them towards Morgan Schneiderlin. Too many times, it seemed like he couldn't be bothered, like he was waltzing though a game, doing the bare minimum. And these feelings were given weight when rumours of him and Mirallas being turfed out of training for not taking it seriously arose.
I was delighted when Silva and Brands came in and rumours of Morgan's exit to Marseille or elsewhere surfaced... And yet he's still here. It looks as though he may be Silva's Number 6 unless we make a move before the window closes. I'm not sure we will though. Could it be that Silva rates him?
The difference between Schneiderlin at Southampton and at Everton makes for fascinating reading:
At Southampton, he was a rock defensively averaging (from 2012-2015) just under 4 tackles a game and just under 3 interceptions. At Everton over the last two seasons, he averages around 2 tackles and 2 interceptions a game. That's a huge fall off.
Attacking-wise he averaged 4 goals a season at Soton; he has just one in two seasons for us. He also averaged around 0.9 key passes per game at Southampton compared to 0.3 for us. That's three times less!
In short, he really was a very good player for three seasons in the Premier League at Southampton. The sort of midfielder we could really use, who can tackle and pass and even gets a few goals too.
Where is that player?!
Has he been stymied by managers who don't understand him? Koeman managed him at Soton so that can't be it.
Has he struggled with team-mates who are not up to his level or have the right understanding? Possibly, though Everton for the most part have finished above Southampton.
Or can he just not be bothered? This is what it looks like to me. But is surely too simplistic an explanation.
Anyway, my point (if there is one) is that the guy is capable of being a very good midfielder in this league. He has done it before. He is 28 now which should, in theory, be around the peak for a defensive midfielder. Is it possible that Silva thinks he can get back to Southampton levels? Or is he not worth persevering with?
I tend to think the latter. What say you?
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 06/08/2018 at 21:54:00
Also, the stalled progress, or decline, of the club as a whole can contribute to players who expected more to simply throw in the towel.
Personally, for me it should be him or Gueye, the two together have never really made clicked. And with Schneiderlin's abject performance and woeful attitude last season, he was top of my 'to-cull' wishlist.
The potential arrival of Bernard means we have a midfielder who can pass it foward with accuracy, so would like to see a midfield 3 of Guye, Bernard and Sigurdsson, backed up by Dowell, McCarthey (when fit), Baningime and Davies.
Silva is obviously hoping he can get back to his best, if so great because at his best he is a 30million pound midfielder let's see
2 Posted 06/08/2018 at 22:01:31
On the up as a player at Southampton, then found wanting at United.
Stepping down to Everton his talent was not in question however his motivation is.
Everton have bought too many players stepping down from larger clubs in recent times. Very few have rekindled anything like their best form.
Beardsley, Kanchelskis, perhaps Barmby. Nothing recently that comes to mind.
I look at better signings for players on the up.
Cahill, Arteta, Baines, & Lescott better examples of success.
Move on Morgan and so should we.
3 Posted 07/08/2018 at 05:33:19
I'd prefer someone who tries and makes mistakes over someone who appears to make no effort at all.
4 Posted 07/08/2018 at 06:51:40
I'm actually starting to feel rejuvenated.
Pickord, Coleman, ???? Mina, Digne, Gana, Bernard, Richarlison, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Tosun.
5 Posted 07/08/2018 at 06:53:55
6 Posted 07/08/2018 at 07:31:56
A lot has been made about Guye and Morgan not being able to play together. I think that analysis is too narrow. These two can't play def mid if they are paired with 4 or even 5 defenders who can't make a pass and does not contribute much offensively. (When Baines and Coleman were out).
With the right team mix I am sure Morgan can be an important player. The full backs are back, offensive better and if we even get Bernard one more outlet.
What is left is that we really need some modern centre-halves who can actually make a pass and participate in the build up. I think Jags and Keane are disasters and far from top Premier League standard in particular in possession. Morgan would benefit enormously if we had proper modern ball-playing central defenders.
From the outside it is difficult to judge attitude. He certainly got a reputation among the fans having a poor attitude. But it seems like all his managers put a lot of faith and trust in him. So unless it is orders from upstairs because of the prize tag, they must see something.
I still think Morgan can become good for Everton with the right team mix.
7 Posted 07/08/2018 at 10:43:58
Schneiderlin was never the same player after Barry left and indeed Barry's work rate and footballing intelligence allowed Schneiderlin to appear better than he is.
I suppose you could call it the "Morecambe & Wise" syndrome.
Mee & Keane.
Barry & Schneiderlin.
Everton's problem since the 90's is most of the time we seem to buy Ernie.
8 Posted 07/08/2018 at 15:56:05
He doesn't tackle often enough or hard enough to be a combative midfielder.
His positional sense when jockeying is too poor for a defensive midfielder.
His passing range isn't good enough for a quarterback role.
He doesn't keep the ball moving fast enough or forward enough for a possession midfielder.
He doesn't get up and down the pitch enough for a box to box midfielder.
Hes not a leader.
He doesn't have the influence on games to take them by the scruff of the neck.
What is it that he actually does?
9 Posted 07/08/2018 at 16:15:18
10 Posted 07/08/2018 at 16:16:26
11 Posted 07/08/2018 at 16:27:21
There is absolutely no argument that is he is NOT out of form relative to then. The question is will he ever recapture that form. I suspect not.
Paul F @ 4 I feel rejuvenated too! Exciting times. Hope you're well.
12 Posted 07/08/2018 at 18:37:36
With better players further up field I expect him to improve. He can look up and find his pass without worrying about the lack of pace behind him if we surrender possession. Over the couple years we are luckily to keep the ball for more than 5 passes.
Finally, the squad appears to be shaping up nicely, more pace, better balance.
13 Posted 07/08/2018 at 19:11:46
I don't know his strong points, an occasional long pass but cant seam to tackle, too many reverse passes ( like all the midfield) and cant get past a man and surge forward.
Aaron Mooy is in a different class and would love to see him brought in, as I would not lose any sleep over Schneiderlin being sold, which is only a matter of time.
14 Posted 07/08/2018 at 19:27:45
He makes McCarthy look like Kante, sell him or make him train on his own.
The man is a shithouse, if he starts any game this season... we won't win it!
15 Posted 07/08/2018 at 20:13:42
16 Posted 07/08/2018 at 20:37:02
What happened to that player last season was bewildering, unaccountable and pretty much unprecedented -- I've never seen a good player go so bad so quickly. And it was not, as you point out, simply ineffectiveness -- he clearly, obvious, blatantly didn't give a shit. I can recall four goals we gave up last season because he couldn't be bothered to even try to do his job.
And like you, by the end of last season I felt contempt for him that I have never felt for another Everton player.
Yes, it's possible that Silva does rate him, as all three previous managers did before -- he must be a hell of a practice player. But if he performs early this season as he did last year, I'm certain he will be gone -- and Gana will be in his place. If that doesn't suit Silva's system, he'll tweak the system.
17 Posted 07/08/2018 at 21:01:33
Defensively, either Gueye revolutionises his game and fights all the urges to read the play and close people down. Why must he do that? Well if he follows his urges, he vacates his position and this player cannot vacate his position, he must be fixed and more or less static, in a compact and narrow formation. He must maintain his discipline. So if Gueye is able to have a completely different mindset and just sit and hold, suddenly he has lost most of his defensive contribution, he will not be making tackles and intercepting. Instead he will be holding, jockeying, standing people up, and slowing people down. You don't get any stats for doing this.
Offensively is the biggest problem. Gueye cannot, absolutely cannot, totally and utterly cannot pass the ball 60 yards to feet. So it's a done deal. He cannot play there. Silva can't adapt his tactics. His tactics completely depend on this player getting the ball within a second or two of a turnover in play, and shifting it 30, 40, 50, 60 yards down the pitch. Gueye cannot do this. Mr Hot Potato has no comfort on the ball at all. He's got a poor touch. This affects his passing. But he's got no power and no accuracy. He cannot pass. He just cannot do it. He's a non-starter.
Gueye is brilliant as a destroyer. A little heat seeking missile. Closing people down, making interceptions and putting in tackles. This is his game. A holding midfielder he is not.
If Schneiderlin can't play the role, and I'm not saying he's the answer, then we need to sign someone. Quite simply, there's no one in the side with the qualities needed for this role. Carvalho was needed, but that ship has sailed now. Silva knew Carvalho inside out. Yet he's the one talking Morgan up. He's not said much about Gueye. Schneiderlin will be our 6 on Saturday, and ergo until January at least.
Gueye will still have a role to play in those games where we need two defensive midfielders or in those games where we need someone higher up the pitch to be closing down (such as playing a top 6 side).
We only have two players on our books who can fit the profile of what is needed and the only one to tick a lot of the boxes is Schniederlin. After him it's Besic. But he's even less disciplined than Gueye, and if he's closed down quickly, his passing goes to shit.
Silva can't change his tactics though. What's he gonna do, rip up the counter-attacking strategy he's had everyone working on? Switch to Martinez style possession game with a couple of weeks left, just cos the guys on TW hate Schneiderlin? Or go Moyes' style KITAP1? Or park the bus like Allardyce? Or just draw the names out a hat and play a daft formation to accommodate them all like Koeman?
No, Silva will play counter-attacking football. The only thing he can do is get Gueye to use the centre backs to distribute the ball instead of him, which negates the whole point of him playing there and none of them are accurate enough. Alternatively, he can try and pass to feet with short passes on winning the ball. The problem is that midfield is too congested and it's hard to fit three or four quick passes together to move the ball, especially when you can do it much quicker with a quick lay off and a 50 yard diagonal catching the opposition cold and getting Walcott or Charlie running at the oppositions defence immediately and looking for Tosun in the middle, Sigurdsson or Bernard arriving behind, or the cross field ball to the other flank.
Sorry, but no, the tactics do not work with just Gueye in the middle.
18 Posted 07/08/2018 at 21:09:40
Richarlison Bernard Walcott
19 Posted 07/08/2018 at 21:12:40
Richarlison Tosun Walcott
Digne Keane Jagielka Coleman
Hopefully, in addition to replacing Schneiderlin, we sign Mina and another centre-half, or Holgate is cured of his injury quickly.
20 Posted 07/08/2018 at 22:59:19
21 Posted 08/08/2018 at 08:51:35
The nonsense talked about this drag on our performances for far too long has surely reached a new level when it is suggested that his vapid contributions are all down to whom he is matched with in midfield.
Waiting for him to recover his mojo ? I fear we've waited too long already !
22 Posted 08/08/2018 at 09:19:12
I think he played most of his games at Southampton beside Davis. Who is indeed a very good, intelligent, hard working and extremely under rated player.
23 Posted 08/08/2018 at 10:36:50
Shame we couldnt try for Dembele from spurs.
I also think Gueye is too limited. He does the terrier thing well, but thats his whole game.
24 Posted 08/08/2018 at 10:48:34
Agree with all the comments on Morgan I really dont enjoy watching him play and you cant help but think he must be a bad influence on the younger players
25 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:05:24
I remember watching a 'team mates' segment where all Spurs players involved singled him out for praise.
26 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:11:29
27 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:11:54
Yes, true, hes getting closer to the end of his career, but two good seasons at least in him. How far ahead can you really plan? Morgan was bang in the prime of his career when signed, got 6 good months from him!!
Or we could sign a great up and coming player who shines for us and leaves after 2 years. I suppose in this case at least we would be buying with a view to making a profit, but then there are claims of being a selling or feeder club!
28 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:19:57
Could we not adapt and have Gana break by carrying the ball through a line before popping a 10/15 yard driven pass infront of Sig/Bernard for them to run onto. He is capable of this as he is very quick over the first few yards and it would get the opposing team on the back foot.
Our wingers holding high and wide would keep their full backs occupied and create the space required in the middle for Sig/Bernard to exploit.
I get what you are saying about the 40 yard cross field ball and I agree that Gana is not capable of that. I also agree we need to keep that weapon in our arsenal as it has become very profitable in modern football.
However, surely if Gylfi plays at the 8 in the system he will also be back helping the defense. Can he not be the one to spray that ball (then follow his pass) and allow Gana to focus more on his destroyer traits.
Gylfi starting deeper and being the regista would also allow him to make late runs into the box/sit on the edge for cut backs etc. Sometimes I think he is guilty of getting into the box too early and becomming static as he waits for play to catch up with him.
29 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:21:15
I saw what I can only suggest was a coward.
Week after week he hid.
Can drag down a whole squad if others see that too and he keeps being picked.
Annoys the shit out of me that we pay him anything never mind play him.
30 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:37:43
I think siggy needs to be further up the pitch. His goal threat and ability around the area is his strength that has been under used so far
31 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:46:21
We need a Busquets, or an Alonso, or a Casmeiro style defensive midfielder. 3 different styles that would all fit our system. Easier said than done mind.
I wonder if John Stones may be available? He may be able to transform himself into a top class defensive midfielder.
32 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:50:03
The problem is Gueye does not have the brain a passer has. Someone like Rooney has decided in his mind what he is going to do BEFORE he gets the ball, so he simply acts when he gets the ball and that speed of thought is what (note past tense) made the difference and gave him that yard on the opponent. Gueye cannot learn this. Sure, Schneiderlin is not doing this either. But rewind 18 months and he did. He does have the capability even if he is not doing it. If we sign someone new, then they will have these abilities.
Sigurdsson is a difficult one. You suggest him being an 8 and tracking back. Yes if we play a triangle in midfield with 2 AMCs and 1 DM, then the two AMCs will be required to put a shift in every game. Lots of running, lots of pressing. These will be the main two for the press in effect. They will have to track back. I expect Bernard will be well versed in this. He put a shift in during the CL games. I didn't see the league games, but it was Fonseca's side and Fonseca plays an intensive high press, so Bernard will have that mindset. Jim thinks you mean to play Sigurdsson as the DM. Now that could work, he does have the passing, but he lacks the defensive qualities and the discipline. He would not be able to get forwards often. He would lose a lot of his game. If he played as one of two DMs, then perhaps Gueye could sit and Sigurdsson could get forwards, that could work. But yes, Jim is right, he really needs to be in and around the box as the best parts of Sigurdsson's game is his work on the edge of the box, be it shooting or threading through a pass.
Basically the player we want, the player we need, is a Xabi Alonso type.
Edit: Fran I see you're thinking the same thing, although I do think Dembele can sit in there, as Alonso needed a Mascherano alongside him to do his dirty work, which is why the 4231 became so popular. Busquets is the ideal player. He can do the lot, although his passing is not quite Alonso quality (few are). Other ideal players would be Juan Sebastian Veron (came to England 5/10 years too early to be appreciated as the tactical shift would really show off his talents now) and Esteban Cambiasso. Cambiasso played as a 36 year old for Silva in just this role for Olympiacos, joining them from Leicester as they had the season that they won the league.
33 Posted 08/08/2018 at 12:19:56
Steve described Schneiderlin as the only player in the squad capable of consistently and accurately spraying the ball about the park with crisp passing and maintaining a high tempo, driving the team forward.
I was not alone in contesting that view. Too often in his Everton career, Morgan has been anything but as described above. Too often he has been ponderous on the ball (to the point of easily having his pocket picked); given to short sideways or backward passes; often underhits passes so momentum is lost.
Schneiderlin has had some very good games for us. He has had far more indifferent to outright rank games for us.
He has the tools in his locker, which I presume is what Silva sees in training and wishes the player takes that into battle for the club.
I maintain whilst Barry and Gueye proved an excellent combo, since Morgan arrived 19 months ago, usurping the ageing Barry, Gueye has also suffered.
Because the Gueye we saw on arrival from Aston Villa was contesting MoTM every game. His game was very simple. He would win the ball and IMMEDIATELY lay it off to more creative players.
It was the same on receiving the ball when tightly marked. He had a wonderful habit of receiving, turning, losing his marker and moving the ball on in one very fluid movement.
Based on their Everton careers to date, and presuming he can return to the levels he displayed on joining us, Gueye is my prefered choice to retain if it comes down to a straight choice between him or Schneiderlin, should we recruit a more gifted midfielder such as Bernard as rumoured.
34 Posted 08/08/2018 at 13:21:37
Steve Ferns, you seem to have a good idea of how Silva usually sets up. Would this work?
He certainly can pass, got good feet, decent tackler. He has as you put it a football brain.
Does he have the legs? Not sure how often he could bomb up the wing and make it back to his defensive duties this season, but could he have the stamina for consistent short bursts? Is he big enough physically for the role?
He would certainly offer a defensive shield in front of a back 4. Has spent his career marking and chasing quick attacking players, but would he be up to dealing with big forwards and AMs?
Could he fill the gap for a season or 6 months until we could get the right player? He is a better all round footballer than gueye, if not as athlete these days. I like Gana, but I have grown to think his stats look better than he actually is. He does similar figures to Kante, but offers less as a player beyond tackling, running and interceptions. Kante has 2 league winners medals and a World Cup one in the bag. Those are the really impressive stats!
Anyhow, I digress. Would it be viable? Could it work if required?
35 Posted 08/08/2018 at 13:24:20
I think over that period he has had two big transfers and two huge contracts. He has entered a privileged and gold plated comfort zone. He feels, this is as far as I can go, so why put in the blood sweat and tears. At the top it doesnt take much, a good player who drops 5% in performance through desire or fitness will become an average one. Schneiderlien comes into that bracket.
Silva, compatriot Digne and the other great signings could wake him up. That more prolific midfielder could make a comeback this season.
36 Posted 08/08/2018 at 13:31:43
It's a different mindset. The fullback is a give and go role. The deep-lying maker role is about reading the game and hitting long passes and then standing back and admiring them. The defensive side is about holding position. You'd need to watch Baines carefully in training and training matches to see if he could play this role. Is he a bit too old to make a drastic change?
Personally, I think we shouldn't be finding a way to crow bar Baines into the side. If he is too old to play left back, then he will be too old to play central midfield.
Jay, "he would win the ball and IMMEDIATELY lay it off to more creative players" - this is the issue. When he did this he had Barry alongside him. So if he is playing solo, then who is he laying it off to? Is Sigurdsson coming deep or Bernard?
When we win the ball they are pushing forwards into space. Gueye needs someone next to him to pass it, so a centre half? A fullback? Who is going to hit this pass?
If we draft someone back with him, and it's a 4 21 3, as opposed to a 4 12 3, then sure Gueye can do exactly what you say. It's his role as a single pivot. He can't do it.
37 Posted 08/08/2018 at 14:19:07
As you say, best to get a specialist rather than shoe horn
38 Posted 08/08/2018 at 19:46:11
39 Posted 08/08/2018 at 21:55:34
40 Posted 08/08/2018 at 22:42:24
Little fast passes, movement that helps keep the ball ticking over, and midfielders that constantly want to play, are much more important imo, especially if you have got skill and pace ahead of you?
When you have this, you usually draw your opponent towards the ball, and maybe then you can exploit them with little switches in play, rather than just looking for the predictable switch, which can often work against you?
41 Posted 08/08/2018 at 22:48:52
42 Posted 08/08/2018 at 22:59:11
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