The Scripts Write Themselves

By Lyndon Lloyd 24/08/2019 119comments  |  Jump to last
Aston Villa 2 - 0 Everton

Top spot in the Premier League beckoned this evening but Everton showed themselves to be utterly unworthy of it as Aston Villa secured their first victory since returning to the top flight.

The gallows humour among Evertonians ahead of this first trip to Villa Park since the spring of 2016 centred around Jack Grealish’s unwanted record of 20 successive defeats in England’s top division and the fact that the newly-promoted Midlanders were searching for their first point of the campaign. The “Here Come Everton” memes abounded, of course, countered by pleas for fans to instill some faith in Marco Silva’s men, who came into the match on a six-match unbeaten run that stretched back to the 2-0 reverse at Fulham towards the end of last term.

The result and the performance that under-pinned it for the most part, were unsurprising — it was all just depressingly familiar; another potentially strong start to a season undermined by a display that served to highlight rather than mask the deficiencies that still exist in this Everton team.

It would be remiss not to give credit to Villa who sensed a shift in momentum after they exposed cracks in Everton’s early dominance midway through the first half and capitalised with the kind of energy in midfield and incisiveness in the final third that the visitors too often lacked to score the opening goal.

Dean Smith’s team harried and hassled the Blues throughout, frustrated them into testy exchanges, forced errors from Silva’s midfield and, for long spells, blocked almost everything Everton threw at them. And when they couldn’t, either the woodwork intervened or they were left thanking their lucky stars that composure in front of goal deserted Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the first half and then Lucas Digne and, more glaringly, Theo Walcott at the death.

Then, they capitalised on Everton’s desperate push for an injury-time equaliser by scything through and killing the match through Anwar El Ghazi — the finishing touch on a miserable evening for the Toffees.

If there is some solace to be taken it’s that, Walcott aside, the Everton team that finished the match looks a good deal more dangerous than the one that started it. If nothing else, the result will bring into sharp focus the issues around the No 10 role and who should fill it, while also demanding an equally important answer to the question of what is Silva’s best formation going forward.

And yet, there are more problems than just how to get the best out of Sigurdsson and whether Calvert-Lewin’s industry, aerial ability and hold-up play are the right fit in the absence of reliable goals. Because Silva will hope that he never again sees an outing as bad from André Gomes — surely the ex-Barcelona man wasn’t fit — while the manager will surely have had it brought home to him that his right flank is now a vexing question without an immediate answer.

With Morgan Schneiderlin eligible again and preferred to Jean-Philippe Gbamin in central midfield (the Ivorian wasn’t in the squad suggesting he may have picked up a knock in training), this was the same starting XI that huffed and puffed its way through the first half at Crystal Palace without ever really looking like scoring. Nevertheless, they started well enough, asserting the kind of control over the contest that the vocal band of travelling Blues would have expected and having a decent shout for an early penalty waved away when Richarlison went down under a challenge from Grealish. Perhaps a touch of “your reputation precedes you, young man” but it wasn’t clear if there was VAR check involved.

The Brazilian then led another attack by going it alone with a surge through the middle but his eventual shot was charged down and Digne’s volley from the resulting corner was also blocked. That would be a theme of the evening for Everton but a couple of contrasting moments at either end perhaps told the story of the first hour of the match.

Encapsulating the Toffees’ lack of clinicality in the final third, Sigurdsson found himself with plenty of time and space outside the Villa penalty area on the 20-minute mark but delayed and eventually played a nothing ball into the box that was easily cleared away.

Two minutes later, Grealish’s quick thinking from a free-kick released Jota and he dissected the Everton defence with a perfect pass for Wesley who was allowed to ghost in by Michael Keane’s inattention to slide the ball past the stranded Jordan Pickford and make it 1-0. Just like that.

Mina, who was shaky at times and easily flustered, gave the ball away shortly afterwards with a poor header but he did well to recover ground and block Wesley’s shot before it could trouble his goalkeeper.

On the whole, as the first half wore on, Villa had emerged as the better side. They were quicker, sharper, hungrier and far more able to exploit the kind of space that they themselves were denying their opponents. Still, Everton had their moments and the best of them in the first 45 minutes came when Schneiderlin floated an excellent ball over the defence to Seamus Coleman, he centred back into the path of Calvert-Lewin who, meeting it at a central position in front of goal, looked odds-on to score. Unfortunately, though Tom Heaton was beaten, the covering defender on the line was there to hack it away.

That passage of play aside, there didn’t seem to be much point in persisting with the starting line-up beyond half-time but Silva kept faith with it and was “rewarded” with a continuation of the turgid fare he had witnessed since the 20-minute mark in the first period. Gomes popped up at the end of a nice move 10 minutes after the break where his attempted cut-back from the byline was cut out but, otherwise, the Portuguese was struggling through a terrible performance, summed up by two sloppy fouls in the middle of the park that, thankfully, weren’t punished and then a booking later in the second half for another transgression.

It wasn’t until the predictable changes on the hour mark that Everton finally came alive to a degree thanks to the introduction of Alex Iwobi for his first appearance since arriving from Arsenal and another cameo for Moise Kean. The introduction of the lively pair meant the removal of the ineffectual Sigurdsson — understandable and warranted — and Bernard, which was somewhat baffling as, apart from an uncharacteristically loose touch that led to Villa’s goal, he had been Silva’s best attacking player to that point.

While Kean offered movement playing off Calvert-Lewin, Iwobi brought trickery and a sense of purpose and though his first shot was deflected into Heaton’s grateful arms, his second came within a couple of inches of levelling the game. Digne had nodded the ball back across the box to the Nigerian who swivelled and shot but could only watch in agony as his effort came back off the post.

El Ghazi forced a parried save from Pickford as Villa made a rare foray forward trying to alleviate the mounting pressure on their goal but Everton kept coming and should have claimed a point from either of two excellent chances at the end.

First, Kean whipped a ball invitingly to Walcott who had the goal gaping in front of him but he sliced a volley horribly over the bar. Then Walcott turned provider from the other side of the box with a bouncing centre for Digne but on his weaker foot the Frenchman could only scoop an effort into the stand behind the goal.

There was time for the hosts to run salt into the wounds in the fifth minute of injury time as Wesley won the ball ahead of Mina in the middle of the park, found John McGinn and he played El Ghazi in past the lackadaisical Gomes to fire under Pickford and seal the points.

With the more attacking of Everton’s signings having come late in the window, there was always going to be an adjustment period at the start of the campaign where it was very much a case of last season’s team picking up where they had left off, minus Idrissa Gueye and Kurt Zouma. With the benefit of a positive run-in to 2018-19 and a full pre-season, the sense was that there was enough of a platform there to negotiate a modest opening set of fixtures before the new boys could settle in.

While the mundane draw at Palace was brushed off as the consequence of a rusty team readjusting to full throttle Premier League action, last weekend’s narrow win over Watford was greeted more with relief than any real sense of accomplishment. This trip to Villa was always going to be difficult but against a newly-promoted side, with the players at Silva’s disposal and with the ammunition off the bench, this was an eminently winnable game. Win it and buy another week for the new signings to bed in, perhaps with some first starts at Lincoln in the cup in midweek…

Instead of sitting on seven points — or even five, having at least ground out a draw — Everton will now reflect on their first loss of the season, one in which they failed to maintain a grip on the game and the team as a whole looked well short of this season’s top-six target.

More worrying was how impotent they looked trying to find their way through a Villa team that, with the cushion of their first goal, closed ranks quite effectively when they didn’t have the ball, that was until the excellent Iwobi and Kean began to create them problems late on.

That will increase the pressure on Sigurdsson who has thus far failed to really start the season at all while other elements of the post-match analysis will, perhaps, revolve around Richarlison, what his strengths are apart from popping up with important goals and where does he best fit into a team that still doesn’t seem to have found its best system.

Without getting too despondent about Everton’s Premier League prospects — it’s still early days and the final half an hour offered hope of better to come from the new attacking players but the sense of deja-vu is demoralising — the trip to Sincil Bank on Wednesday has brought on a more important air as you feel that the road to Wembley might have more joy in it than a slog for seventh or sixth place. To get there, however, Silva and coaching staff have plenty of work to do.

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Reader Comments (119)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:11:15
The coaching staff haven't been doing enough work up to now, Lyndon, that's the problem.
Danny Broderick
2 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:22:02
It's clear that Sigurdsson playing just off Calvert-Lewin is not going to give us enough goals. Until that changes, we'll never crack the top 6.

The whole midfield needs to step up also. Schneiderlin and Gomes were woeful tonight.

Andy Mead
3 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:39:56
The old saying goes "if you don't shoot, you don't score". We are just content to look pretty, pass it around but will not shoot. The commentators over here on Optus sport were saying the same. they won't shoot.

The formation is not working. Calvert-Lewin for all his hard work doesn't score goals. Would Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, etc put up with it? No. So why do we?

Go 4-4-2. Put Keane and Iwobi up front and go a little more direct. Gomes had a shocker as well. Can't believe he stayed on the pitch. When he's like that, he is a luxury we can't afford. Sigurdsson is being accommodated in the No 10 role, so he needs to create. If not, get him off and change things.

If you can't score against Palace and Villa then you are in the shit. Time to give the fresh blood a go.

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:51:32
Lyndon thanks for another great summation that kind of puts matters in perspective without overdoing it.

I, on the other hand, need have no restraints on my thoughts. Starting with manager Silva, I could not but think his game plan is a combination of Bobby Brown Shoes with his emphasis on possession rather than shots at goal, and Big Sam's of long balls to the wing then bang it over.

Problem with Bobby's method is it makes for slow attacks and allows opponents time enough to retreat en masse.

Sam's method requires fast and accurate crossers of the ball to above-average strikers, neither of which we have.

Stu Gore
5 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:52:55
First three games W-D-L. Mid table nailed on. Sigh.
Jamie Crowley
6 Posted 24/08/2019 at 01:04:12
Next League game against Wolves:

Digne Keane Mina Coleman
Davies Gomes
Richarlison Bernard Iwobi

It's time, after dropping points against bottom of the league, to mix it up.

And for anyone coming on here saying Bernard can't play the 10, what the hell does it matter? We never play down the middle anyhow! So just give our most creative, technically gifted player a go in what should be an influential position on the pitch, and see what happens.

What we're doing currently isn't working anyhow. And what's worse, it's getting boring and predictable.

Time to change it up Marco. And here's my prediction. Just like last Christmas it'll take Marco 4-5 games to make the adjustments some of us see in the here and now.

Marco's learned and adjusted before, but my God he takes his sweet time about it!

Final point - Iwobi was on the left tonight, and Richarlison on the right. I want them both on the opposite sides so they can cut in and actually take a shot [SHOCKER] instead of these limp-dick crosses we're subject to time, and time again!

Jamie Crowley
7 Posted 24/08/2019 at 01:17:24
A lot of 4-4-2 champions as well tonight.

I wholeheartedly disagree. 4-4-2 with DCL and Kean is an awful formation for us. People saying it worked tonight are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Moise Kean needs space. He needs to be in the open, getting on the ball, and attacking. With DCL out there tonight, things were entirely too congested for me. We need someone feeding Kean into space. Playing two up top mitigates and removes the available space for this young phenom to ply his trade.

Charles McCann
8 Posted 24/08/2019 at 01:41:27
100 % spot on Jamie C. Silva got it dreadfully wrong tonight.

This idea of two up front like the second half doesn't work. The biggest problem tonight was Sneiderlinn and Gomes. Both were shocking. Davies should have been the first sub on. To put on Walcott as well. Silva never learns.

It has been clear for at least a year now that Sneiderlinn and Walcott are useless and clueless. The team Jamie has picked in post No 6 has to be tried. Silva's management isn't all bad but he just can't see the problem areas.

This idea of sending all the big men up and packing the penalty area rarely works and relies on a lot of luck. Why not try a short corner for example or a quick free kick. Something different.

The players need to use there heads a bit too. Far too predictable when attacking. A sad sorry state of affairs. I believe we have enough quality players to be doing much better. They just need better direction from the management.

John Pierce
9 Posted 24/08/2019 at 01:42:03
Lyndon, as balanced as your reports often are, I think you've missed the boat with the tone. That was an unmitigated disaster from selection to execution.

The same obvious issues in games 1 & 2 and evident in the same style of fixture last season were there for all to see. Many chose to ignore it as pre-season, fitness, blah. Guardiola and Klopp wouldn't, like it or not that's the standard.

Apparently this coach is all about details and yet he has ignored the failings from games like this and presented us with another carbon copy of games we should win yet fail to do so. We have wasted 3 of the first 6 games. It was not unrealistic to expect 7, perhaps 9 points from these games.

His insistence on playing individuals who are out of form is bewildering, his lack of decisive action through the game is costing the team.

This was the first game since Millwall with any modicum of expectation on it and we blew it. You can talk up the last 10 games of last season all you like, which elements had merit but there was zero pressure on us to win them.

The mindset from Silva was evident on the pitch, we simply didn't work hard enough off the ball. A poor Championship side out-worked us, just like Millwall.

Silva has to stop repeating the same mistakes, he's had plenty of money to fund his style of player, 8th is unacceptable with the budget he's had.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 24/08/2019 at 01:46:27
Jamie #6, how about somebody coming on here saying that today Bernard was even worse than Sigurdsson? Did you once see any sign that he's our "most creative, technically gifted player"?

My God, his first touches today made Rom look like Messi. His bricklayer's skills lost the ball three times in the middle of the pitch, and the third sent Villa off to start the progression that ended with the first goal. And he didn't make one decent pass the whole day. Not one. He turned every opening Digne gave him into trash. So of course you want to give him more responsibility? No thank you!

Lyndon, Gomes looked thoroughly fit to me. He was moving through the midfield beautifully – twice ghosted past the whole Villa mid to get to the top of the arc – and sprinted back several times to win the ball defensively. He simply made every bad decision and pass it was possible to make. Refusing to shoot, giving the ball away, fouling in the worst possible positions... it was his brain that was unfit, not his body.

Si Smith
11 Posted 24/08/2019 at 01:50:56
Plenty to ponder as a blue tonight, problem is it's all bad.

Hate to just moan but we have to be honest, I spoke to a mate today about how 4th spot was available to anyone, including us; wow, how wrong could I be.

Nothing has changed from last season, we are a top 8 side, no more no less.

Gomes was so poor tonight its untrue, Carragher on sky hit the nail on its head in saying "That's not Andre Gomes, it's his brother or something", he was really that bad.

A real worry for us is that Gomes was poor, but almost equally as poor, or at least as ineffective was Sigurdsson AGAIN. He is a big player for us, and he is not ever close to firing, he's ineffective in every aspect of his game. Richarlison is another, he is huffing and puffing, working hard but looks like he hasn't yet sparked.

Everton without them 3 (Sigurdsson, Gomes, and Richarlison) are simply average.

Silva has to get Iwobi involved from the start the next game, ideally Kean too, but after watching him again tonight he is not even close to being fit enough for 90 mins, he was blowing after 10. Iwobi is Premier League proven and he looked it, he's big, strong, quick and has an eye for goal, he simply has to start from now.

The back line was okay, but the villa 1st goal was carbon copy of the Troy Deeney chance last week that Pickford saved with his face, it may be a weak point in our defence and something we need to address.

The midfield is the most worrying though, we look shocking, Gomes played the worst game of his life, Schneiderlin is just Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson continued his pre-season form that has come into the start of our season, top this with Delph and Gbamin injuries and I wonder what would need to happen for Davies to be called upon, because if that's all not enough then nothing ever will be so he might as well pack up his Luis Vuitton bags now.

Simply gutting performance, really brought us all back to reality that there is still a lot of work to be done, Europa League would be an achievement (as well as progress) whether it's through the league or a cup, and we have to hope that our young players grow together.

Walcott coming on in our last 2 outings also remind us where we are at so again, we are still trying to grow and it will take time, gutting to lose tonight but I suppose it was always going to happen, Villa no wins in 3 years or something and luckily for them the Blues came into town

Si Smith
12 Posted 24/08/2019 at 02:00:08
Another thing that seemed odd tonight was Bernard's positioning. For me, he started the game really bright and had the beating of his man but, after the Villa goal, he seemed to go inside much more trying to get in the pocket almost and become very ineffective. He should have been wider imo, but maybe it was just a failed tactic.

Bernard behind a striker next week for me with Iwobi in and Sigurdsson out.

I know Silva has spoken against it but I'd like Richalison back uptop with Bernard behind, Iwobi one side and maybe Calvert-Lewin the other. Bernard could do well in Sigurdsson's role and Siggy won't be a big loss atm.

Richalison is working hard, he missed 2 sitters the last game but is usually a lot more clinical than Calvert-Lewin, and Kean didn't look fit enough yet. If he is, then Kean up top, Bernard behind, Richalison and Iwobi wide.

We need to start scoring as we won't win enough games trying to nick it all the time.

Ed Prytherch
13 Posted 24/08/2019 at 02:22:00
We played with no urgency. Villa were taking quick throw-ins and free kicks while we had no idea what to do when we got one. The low point was our free-kick on the half-way line late in the game. Schneiderlin and Gomes passed it back and forth a couple of times and it ended up going back to Pickford. Not only does Schneiderlin only pas the ball sideways, he spends time on the ball first. I get the impression that he is looking for a better back pass.

I didn't understand why Bernard was pulled. He was our only player who counter-attacked quickly when everyone else wanted to walk it or hoof it out of defence. I think that Schneiderlin, Gomes and Richarlison contributed very little and at least two of the three should have been yanked off early in the second half.

Surely Delph, Davies and Iwobi can do a better job next week provided Delph is fit.

Derek Thomas
14 Posted 24/08/2019 at 02:35:38
Lyndon mentioned Scripts. The yet another repeat of the episode...the one where we fanny about with no mid field.

50pts mid table form. Martinez got the sack for this shit...eventually. How long this episode of 'Eventually the penny drops' will run for is anybody's guess.

I meant to get up at 0430, had a 'light night' to help, slept through, woke up to see smiling Villa faces, turned it off and went back to bed.

I still haven't learned that, 'fool me once' thing...Meet the new boss, same as the old boss *chord* we wont get fooled again.

Alun Jones
15 Posted 24/08/2019 at 03:02:21
I think Schneiderlin gets a raw deal here after this match. You could argue a lot of players were below par and certainly Gomes was awful as some people have said; however, whilst not pulling up any trees, I thought Morgan was better than some on the day.

He has a great range of passes and he showed it a few times today, particularly the peach to Coleman that lead to Calvert-Lewin missing one of our best chances.

I think calling him clueless after today is unfair. There were a lot of players worse than Morgan today and yet he is once again the target.

Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 24/08/2019 at 03:59:49
At Swansea, Sigurdsson was a dead-ball specialist. What happened? Aside from free-kicks, what about corners? He had Llorente at Swansea but we've two massive centre-halves who are good in the air. Why don't we utilize them from corners?

Watching Sigurdsson reminds me of myself. A few years ago in an Over-35 league, I realized I was losing my touch and my confidence. So I hid in plain sight. I ran around pointlessly closing down anyone so it seemed like I was working hard but I tried to position myself so I never got the ball.

This is exactly what Sig does. He hassles centre-halves but never makes runs, gets into space, or demands the ball. I was an unpaid amateur in a fat bloke league but he's making millions for the same thing.

Jim Bennings
17 Posted 24/08/2019 at 06:32:17
When you have forwards that can't score goals then what can you do?

Martinez last two seasons we were poor but Lukaku scored half chances to make things look better than they were, but now we just toil away up front with a blunt sword.

Calvert-Lewin has scored 3 goals since last December, there comes a point when you can't keep blaming service and last night he missed the same kind of chance that he squandered last season away at Fulham, Palace and Watford.

Truth be told, since Martinez's first campaign in 2013-14, Everton have just been a nothing club, we are just ambling aimlessly through each season with no pattern or direction, rudderless with no ambition and always the same excuse of “let's be patient”.

I'm sick of being patient and watching the same shit each season.

Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 24/08/2019 at 06:49:17
Mike Gaynes, two things.

1. It bewilders me how I've seen you back Siggy for three games, and he's been garbage in all three; yet you slag off our only goal scorer in Bernard, who has by far the most creative skill in the team? And no, he was not that bad this evening. Richarlison should have come off before him.

2. I realize you think Bernard behind the strikers is a bad idea. I disagree. We've gone round and round on that. But, Mike, we can not continue on the way we are. It's simply not working. We have the same misfiring players, and the same shortcomings with potency up top, yet every time I see you post on the subject, you think Siggy should stay in the lineup?

To the point at number 2, assuming you agree we need a change, what do you suggest? It can't be Sigurdsson at the 10, and Calvert-Lewin up top. Mike, with that combination, we're 4 points from 9 against pretty shite competition.

What's your answer to start playing like a team we have hope of cracking the Top 6? Cause it ain't workin', Mike!

Paul A Smith
19 Posted 24/08/2019 at 06:50:06
We laid big wages out to survive the drop when Allardyce came in. Now the manager is stuck with them players and babies up front. Slow centre-backs and no real forward.

Gomes is a big favourite and fans were desperate to see the £22M man nobody wanted, so be happy, like you all told the lad who was worried about the centre back situation when the deadline passed.

Talk about everything else but the real issue we have been victim of since Lukaku left. Blame the manager for Calvert-Lewin not being able to shoot like a natural striker. But most of all, just be happy like you all told the worried on deadline day. Be happy the manager has players that need time.

Pretend to know some of the subs are ready to go straight in even though Arsenal and Spurs have done the same with late signings.

Keep enjoying the board's repeat pattern of losing quality and bringing less in that are not that level yet. This way we can simply blame the manager and skirt around the real issues for a few more years.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:03:57
The lack of an experienced centre forward coming in during the summer disappointed me.

Kean could become great but we needed a better, more experienced, ready-made forward to take the mantle off Calvert-Lewin who should never in a million years be the first choice going into another new season.

Basically we needed TWO centre-forwards and we end up with a lad more of a novice than Calvert-Lewin.

We took too long pissing about in the transfer market as usual and signed players that weren't ready to start the new season as usual again, it's always the same and nothing is learned.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:19:20
I've already read people disagreeing with each other on this thread which is perfectly natural because we all have our own different opinions, but one thing I can't disagree with is what JP said in post #9, and “that we simply don't work hard enough off the ball.”

Iwobi and Kean gave us more pace and movement, but the only time I saw us really streaming forward at pace before their introduction was when Sigurdson totally messed up a great opportunity, with Digne unmarked on the left.

Craig Walker
22 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:20:23
We never learn do we? Whenever there's optimism, we get swept away and are let down.

If you miss chances like we did, then you don't deserve to win football matches. The teams who will get the top 4 spots would have converted all of those chances and won with a two- or three-goal margin.

Gomes looked like he was on drugs. Mina always has a ricket in him. Calvert-Lewin held it up well but needs 6 chances to score 1. Two goals conceded from promising positions. Richarlison and Sigurdsson were anonymous. We are always ineffectual away from home. Same old problems.

Joe McMahon
23 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:26:26
Jim, our first choice centre-forward (he's only young, in transition, give him time) wouldn't even be scoring regularly in League One. He just can't strike a ball. It's pitful, he wouldn't even be up to the standards of someone like Billy Kee. Why oh why were 2 quality strikers not brought in?

How on earth have Everton come to this (the No 9 shirt)? We have fans still banging on about Greame Sharp (that was over 30 years ago)! We are surrounded by fans of that lot, and more fun awaits when they win again today and sit top of the table with their sublime forward 3 scoring for fun.

Dave Squires
24 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:33:02
I know this is very simplistic but, if you were told at the beginning of the season in 3 games against Watford, Palace and Villa we would get only 4 points and worse, score only 1 goal, most people would say that is unacceptable.

We could not hand-pick better fixtures to start the season and I honestly believe that, if we don't enter November in the top 4/5, then we have no hope of European qualification through the league. Calvert-Lewin needs to be used as a back-up striker and I can't think of a worse 90 minutes than that of Andre Gomes last night.

Every season, the hope seeks to drain quicker and quicker. and bloody Lincoln are bang in form.

Paul A Smith
25 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:51:02
Joe, it's nice to finally see a fan genuinely concerned about the real issue. All these hindsight comments about tactics are the same old ignorance we get after a bad run of results.

No matter who the manager has been, the pattern has been the same but you watch and wait to see how many it dawns on and how many skirt around the issue for a few more years.

Jonathan Tasker
26 Posted 24/08/2019 at 08:13:40
It's very hard to know where to start after that absolute shambles.

Read Silva's delusional post-match comments and be truly scared. He actually says he couldn't see how we lost after creating so many chances.

Gomes was absolutely terrible. I lost count of the number of passes where he simply knocked the ball off the pitch.

Did anyone see that stat on Sky where it said I think we had bought 21 players in the last three years for over £20m. This doesn't say a lot for Steve Walsh or Brands.

All-in-all, let's just say it's the usual very unbalanced squad and that Zouma and Gueye have not been effectively replaced.

Given the relative weakness of the three teams we have played so far, this doesn't augur well for the season.

Silva Out!!!

Gerard Carey
27 Posted 24/08/2019 at 08:31:37
But where has it all gone wrong!!!!??? I thought M and M were our saviours.

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

We seem to play such ineffective football, that it slowly saps our enthusiasm out of us. Marco as much to blame as the players.

Mark Burton
28 Posted 24/08/2019 at 08:33:39
The interview that we missed after the game:

Reporter: "Is it not now evident that Everton need a striker that can score goals for the club?"
Silva: "We do not need a striker because we have enough overpaid and crappy players earning enough money not to care."
Reporter: "Everton has only scored one goal in 270 minutes of football, surely that is a problem for you?"
Silva: "We do not have a problem, we are all on good wages and contracts."
Reporter: "Surely you are worried about the fans' reaction to the poor performance?"
Silva: "We are not worried because we play lovely sideways football which gives all the teams we play enough time to get back and defend and I think that is fair. As for the fans, I really don't care as half of them can't afford a ticket to come to the game while me and the players get the same pay. Thank you."

Brian Williams
29 Posted 24/08/2019 at 09:02:21
Mark, any chance of a link to that interview, mate? Preferably sound only as I've already hammered nails into my eyes so I can't watch any more insipid, no urgency, clueless footie!
Jerome Shields
30 Posted 24/08/2019 at 09:07:39
This team has not been prepared properly for this season. This was evident in preseason. They are not fit enough and the training regime is not good enough. I would go as far as saying that basics are not being practised, finishing being the big one. This is all down to the coaching staff at Finch Farm.

There are also some players who are swinging the lead as well, Walcott being an obvious example, and has been for some time. Both Gomes, Richarlison and Sigurdsson are way below Premier League pace.

I am not surprised at the result. After two below par-performances that got results, Everton did what they have done for years, slackened off training in the week following. How many times after reasonable results, with the next match vital to win to progress up the table, have we got a performance like this? The whole fanbbase is motivated and knows the importance of pushing on, but not the Everton team.

The whole attitude at Finch Farm is totally wrong. They are producing nothing that advances Everton up the Premier League table. The personnel is relatively unchanged under five under-achieving managers. They are under better, longer-term contracts than the players. Brands and Silva has not been able to change things at Finch Farm and their regime will under-achieve if they don't tackle this central problem at Everton.

The old maxim is right: if you want to be a good player, you have to play for a good team. Everton is a graveyard for footballing careers. No wonder so many young players want out on loan and want away. Kean will be the next one.

Mike Connolly
31 Posted 24/08/2019 at 09:19:01
Jim #17

I feel the same as you. Every season, I think this is our year... then realty kicks in. Should know better really, being a Blue.

John Keating
32 Posted 24/08/2019 at 09:23:33
Unfortunately, apart from maybe Pickford, nobody come out of last nights game with any pluses.
Pickford only gets an all square as he picked the ball out the net nicely.
In fact a number come out with a lot of negatives. That also includes our coaching staff.

First 20 minutes was tidy but no threat at all

After the goal we were a shambles and remained so until the final whistle.

We've not been near good enough in any of our league or preseason games. Maybe I've been over optimistic but I was expecting to be sitting on 9 points today. In actuality we could easily have been sitting with no points at all.

Our midfield was a disgrace and I have no sympathy for any of the players and management and any pathetic excuses they have and will come up with.
"In transition" "No preseason" " Only arrived" "Don't understand the system" etc etc.
The starting 11 have no excuses whatsoever.
Silva has no excuses whatsoever.

We need to get away from the only system/tactics we play as we've been thoroughly sussed out by even sub standard teams.
We have a chance against Lincoln to try some sort of plan B but somehow I doubt anything will change.

Lenny Kingman
33 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:08:44
On the topic of a goal-scoring centre-forward. It's too late now, but Hugo Llorente, the Bilbao bull, always struck me as the typical old-fashioned Number 9 that Evertonians so desired. At a bargain price to boot. Pity it never happened.

So we blunder on with possibles and maybes and hopefullys. Whilst spending a fortune doing so.

Nicholas Randall
34 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:10:07
I don't think Everton lack ambition. I didn't see the game last night and I haven't seen the previous two.

Having read others comments, the problem seems to be the system. I don't understand why they can't play the ball more into central positions but I think the reason they play it into wide positions is because they have more creativity there. I think they will beat Lincoln in the League Cup but will go out in an early round again.

Rennie Smith
35 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:13:31
It's a fair assessment Lyndon and sadly almost a cut-and-paste from last season.

If ever there was a team for the taking it was Villa last night, they were shitting themselves in the first 20 minutes and the game should have been up in that time. For their goal, I can only sympathise in that we had it easy, we're coasting in possession so we're not switched on when they get the free-kick. But it's their job so that is nowhere near good enough.

Once that goal went in Villa's confidence came flooding back and they were a different team, but we let that happen.

I feel for Calvert-Lewin, he's gets endless stick on this site but he never gives anything less than 100%. His problem is the 2nd phase of play. His hold up play is excellent, I can't think of many defenders that really dominate him, but once he's played brought someone into the play he disappears.

He needs to remember he has to be the furthest player up the centre of the pitch as much as possible. He needs to lay it off, spin and bust-a-gut to get back on the ball, but it doesn't happen. As in his chance last night, he's running on to a cut-back from Seamus like a midfielder, there's 3 or 4 players ahead of him. He should have scored and you can see the pressure he's under.

Our whole game is summed up in a brilliant bit of passing and movement in the first half. Starting from the right of the pitch, through Pickford, luring Villa up the pitch, break out on the left, play in Bernard, their midfield is nowhere, defenders have been turned and are desperately running back to their goal, and Bernard floats an easy cross over Richarlison's head and out for a goal kick. That is us all over: great on the ball until we hit the last third, then through a combination of bad decision-making and poor quality, there's no end product.

Peter Neilson
36 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:15:40
With a couple of exceptions, we were awful all the way through the team last night. Iwobi and Kean made a slight difference when they came on and must start next game.

Besides the lack of goals, the other thing lacking is movement in particular Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. There are no balls to play as the three stand like statues. For all of Gylfi's occasional sublime touches, he doesn't do enough to influence games regularly.

We now have pace in the team but don't seem to know how to use it, instead reverting to death by a thousand passes before any threat vanishes before the penalty area. To sum it up, at one point Villa had a throw-in by their area within seconds it was in our area, minutes later the situation was reversed and the ball ended up back with Pickford.

Schneiderlin and Walcott shouldn't be near the first team, neither are good enough. Fair play to Seamus for coming over to the away support at the end as there was a fair amount of anger at what had been on show. Jota, Wesley and Grealish were way better than anyone we had on the pitch. Much work to be done.

Jay Tee
37 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:16:04
To add injury to what we saw for 76 minutes or so, he had to bring Walcott on. Walcott is rubbish; yes, he can run but look at his scoring record over many years... surely that indicates he cannot hack it as a regular goalscorer.
Paul A Smith
38 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:29:08
Silva has no excuses. Every manager should want his best midfelder sold and not replaced.

Every manager should be made up to lose Zouma and not replace him.

Every manager should be delighted with 2 babys up front. One who is shit and needs time and one who needs time.

Most deluded fans on earth.

Jay Tee
39 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:49:50
This sums Walcott up nicely:-

Theo Walcott Characteristics + Strengths
(Player has no significant strengths)

Holding on to the ball – Very Weak
Aerial Duels – Weak
Offside awareness – Weak
Passing – Weak

Theo Walcott's Style of Play
Counter-attack threat
Likes to play short passes

The above is from Who

Tony Marsh
40 Posted 24/08/2019 at 11:12:37
As soon as the team news came out last night, I thought "OH FUCK!!! Same disastrous selections Silva made for the Palace game." It never ends, does it? Everytime we have something to play for, we chuck the towel in and it's been happening for decades now.

It was great beating Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd last season when these clubs were in turmoil and there was nothing to play for but look what happened at Millwall in the FA Cup. A few good results last season had Evertonians in a state of memory loss. Forgetting what a waste of space Marco Silva really is.

Last night was typical Everton. Beaten by a newly promoted team with no points on the board but the charity known as EFC will always accommodate.

Marco Silva is as clueless and gormless as David Moyes ever was. The Portuguese Moyes just doesn't get it. He's not at Watford anymore. This SHITE is not acceptable here!!! Dominic Calvert-Lewin isn't a Premier League striker, FFS!! Schniderlin drags the team backwards. Tippy-tappy possession football doesn't work. Where is the pace in the side??

So... three games in and our season is over. Yes, I said it — OVER!!! All summer to find a goalscorer and what do we do? Fuck All is the answer! Please WTF is Schneiderlin doing in the starting eleven again?? Who thinks Walcott will come off the bench and rescue a game? It's mind-numbing....

One thing is an absolute certainty to happen next week: we will lose at Lincoln in the League Cup live on TV. It's what Everton do best and Morbid Marco will come out and talk utter shite about how well we played... blah, blah, blah.

A piss-taking Kopite texted me last night laughing. "Top of the League" he said, "ha ha ha. Never mind," he said, "your season now hinges on trying to get a draw with Liverpool." The trouble, is he was speaking the truth.

Anyone ready for some stadium news this week.

Tom Bowers
41 Posted 24/08/2019 at 11:33:32
The bottom line here is that Silva has gambled in the first three games and failed miserably despite the win over Watford. Playing mostly the players who couldn't get it done last season, he has failed to instill the belief necessary to improve this team. He now has to start again and drop those that are not performing.

Kean and Iwobi have to start in the next Premier League game against Wolves. Yes, they will probably start against Lincoln, along with a few others from the bench, but the immediate turnaround has to be made after that inept performance yesterday; otherwise, it will be Silva's turn for the axe.

Jerome Shields
42 Posted 24/08/2019 at 11:35:41
Lincoln will be fit and well trained.
Derek Knox
43 Posted 24/08/2019 at 11:43:08
Mark @28 & Brian @29, I know it's a light way of looking at things to numb the pain, but the sad thing is, I believe it is a true reflection, overpaid, clueless, passionless players going through the motions.

If any of them had a fraction of the belief in the shirt that the fans in general do, that at least would reflect during the 90 minutes.

I remember watching early on last night, when we were playing okayish and the travelling support were heard 'as if outnumbering the home support' and then thinking back towards the end.

These players, and especially the Manager, do not deserve that loyalty, and I feel sorry for the fans spending a large portion of their hard earned cash to do it every other game will start to question, is it worth it?

I'm pretty sure that unless things dramatically improve Silva's days are numbered, and he will yet again receive compensation for failure! Unbelievable but sadly true.

Conor McCourt
44 Posted 24/08/2019 at 12:04:50
Paul, I agree totally with you that the real problems for this season occurred in the summer.

I personally don't think last night was as bad as being made out and the clear problem is that the 2 players we rely on heavily to make the difference (Sigurdsson and Richarlison) are both woefully out of form and, until Kean gets up to speed we will struggle to win games.

Last night, we got a preview of how the centre-halves will cope with cute and pacey strikers, having looked like colossuses against Deeney and Benteke.

The manager is getting pilloried for his midfield selection due to no pace or dynamism there, yet Davies was the only real solution and what would have been the reaction had he started ahead of Gomes?

As much as some wanted Tom on, how many games has his introduction won? Marco instead used his subs on Iwobi, Kean and Walcott and would have been vindicated had the latter not missed a sitter.

Gbamin's injury is a huge blow as we need to compensate for Gueye's dynamism. Hopefully the League Cup will give a chance for some of the new faces get up to speed so we will have better options for Wolves.

David Israel
45 Posted 24/08/2019 at 13:15:40
Si #11, Carragher may have been right. I'm told Gomes has a brother who used to play in goal, and last night he did look as lost as a goalkeeper might have if played in midfield.

For all the predictability of our play, we should have won it, were it not for our proverbial poor finishing. We've all been very magnanimous with Calvert-Lewin over time, but surely he should now be dropped and Kean given a start.

Walcott seems to have lost his touch for good and I wonder what's the point of playing him at all.

Paul A Smith
46 Posted 24/08/2019 at 13:45:02
Connor @44,

I agree, mate. What can Silva do. All these posters slagging Silva are reactive comments, hasty, hindsight feelings. Nobody complained about the line-up and why would we?

Why pretend we know who is ready. Arsenal and Spurs both have big signings benched in their first 2 games and Silva gets slagged for leaving a not-yet-ready baby striker on the bench.

Delusion is reaching new levels for us and the ignorance to what the club have left him with is another hindrance.

2 years back, Lukaku left and not enough fans are capable of being realistic or sticking with the principle that is a major issue for us.

All ready to shit on another manager left with less quality than the previous season. The signings may do well down the line but we needed signings that didn't need time and got signings that need loads of time.

A repeat pattern Moshiri and Brands get love for.

Derek Knox
47 Posted 24/08/2019 at 13:48:27
Conor @ 44, you could ask the same question of Schneiderlin. How many games have we won with him?
I think you'll find it's not very many, at least Tom knows what the shirt means and does put a shift in.
Jer Kiernan
48 Posted 24/08/2019 at 13:59:47
The case against DCL :
Goals change games Villa were playing awful last nite, until they scored from then on they were a different side,

DCL miss was atrocious, he had yards all around him, he had all the time in the world to weigh up ALL his option, had time to take a fucking touch even, and then pass the ball into the side of the net, simple,But no

Instead as usual he tamely and blindly "pushes" the ball "towards" the general direction of the goal in his usual never score but get it on target fashion,,(with Rom it was just in the net no questions asked)

If he had scored we would have won that game, I am convinced of it, this is a constant and I don't give fuck what age he is, how hard he tries etc, he has (thanks to criminal neglect on the part of the board in not replacing Rom) had the opportunities and time other guys his age could only DREAM off and has failed (constantly) to find the net with any regularity end of story, I have lost count of times he has done this

I said on this forum last season that I now "expect" him to miss when he gets a chance and was lambasted for it

We now have to hope that Kean (an unknown quantity) can be prolific or we are fucked again this season, DCL is championship, bottom of the PL player at best, No other Top 8 side would have him at their club (let along first choice) and we have been short changed (yet again) by our board in not providing a PROVEN goals-scorer

NSNO needs to chagne to MOSP, (more of the same please) I am fucking sick of this shit with this club,constantly digging for some shade of a silver linings amongst the sea of apathy and 3 decades of failure-

If i had a penny for every time i felt like i did last nite followiing this club !!


Nitesh Kanchan
49 Posted 24/08/2019 at 14:09:03
Paul #46,

How many games Kean need to get ready? 38 ?

First two games one was away and other at home to a tough team, so fair enough to start him from bench, but not against newly promoted side Villa. Ronaldo and Messi as baby strikers were monsters.

Against bottom ten teams from last season, 4-4-2 is the way to go with both Calvert-Lewin and Kean or Tosun and Kean, like Arsenal with Auba and Laca.

Jamie Crowley
50 Posted 24/08/2019 at 14:14:54
All this bitching about not having a goal scorer, but Kean looks pretty good to me. He's created more chances in cameos, than most other players have in three full games.

I absolutely love how managers "protect" their younger starts. [sarcasm alert]

They say, "We need to bring him into the game gradually, and introduce him to the Premier League. He's young, he needs to be managed properly."

So here's what happens:

Marco - "Moise, strip down and get ready. Come here.

"Okay, kid, here's the thing. I completely fucked up. I didn't read the game, I started Morgan when I should have realized after 3 minutes he's not suited to stop the way Villa's set up today, I don't have the balls to pull Sigurdsson, Richarlson and Gomes are havin' a mare, so here's what I need you to do.

"We're down 1-0 to a bunch of promoted ass-clowns. I need you to get in there and score, and save my bacon. No pressure, kid! We're easing you into the league! Now go be our savior! No pressure buddy!

"Oh, and by the way, I'm sticking DCL up top, too, so you have literally zero room to manoeuvre.

"Good luck!"

Just start the kid up top, on his own, and let the talent flow naturally Marco. Stop being a dim-wit.

Paul A Smith
51 Posted 24/08/2019 at 14:17:46
This could be a 5th manager sacked. How much has that cost? But still, its more logical than a £180 grand a week striker isn't it? (Chuckling...)

Just keep changing it until that genius who can make the centre-half players faster and turn the poor Calvert-Lewin into a natural goal machine arrives.

I say poor because aswell as being not good enough it's not fair on the lad either. I need Moshiri and Brands to define Ambition for me because I cannot see it at all.

This is just a market for talent breeding and babysitting for future profits. That is sensible from Moshiri to be fair, he's a businessman with a lovely little smile... but it's shit for me who craves us to be big again.

Josh Barber
52 Posted 24/08/2019 at 14:26:42
"Composure in front of goal deserted Lucas Digne and, more glaringly, Theo Walcott at the death."

No mention of Calvert-Lewin's absolute sitter. At least Digne's was from outside the box.

John Pierce
53 Posted 24/08/2019 at 14:29:59

There's no doubt I think Kean can create things for himself whereas I've never thought Calvert-Lewin could, so he is very reliant on the style of system we play.

So, even when Kean starts, he will largely suffer because we are predictable. The ball to our centre forward has to be so precise we simply playing percentages so low we aren't going to get any luck because we just cross, cross, cross and don't create positions to shoot from.

We don't play through Sigurdsson, we play around him. I'm less concerned about the personnel per se and more worried we do not have any variations on our attacking patterns.

Tyrone Ming's a bog standard centre-back looked like he had a cigar out last night, he just gained confidence from the ball repeatedly crossed into the box and he had the easiest night of his career.

Not once did we go down the middle/side of the centre-halves challenging their ability on the floor on the turn.

Silva has a lot to chew on.

Jer Kiernan
54 Posted 24/08/2019 at 14:31:47
A note to all the Calvert-Lewin apologists. I have just seen 2 lads same age, if not much younger than Calvert-Lewin, finish (for Chelsea) with all the attributes and skills and poise that Calvert-Lewin does not possess and hasn't developed in 3 full seasons as first choice in the top flight.
Harry Hockley
55 Posted 24/08/2019 at 15:07:21
Silva needs to go, no more waiting around, he's shown he hasn't got the knowledge or managerial experience to take us to the next level. All he does is stand around moping and looking sad when we go behind, just makes a few like-for-like subs and hopes for the best, he's absolutely useless, yesterday was a disgrace.

Richarlison appears untouchable for some reason when he's been terrible so far this season along with Sigurdsson, all they do is score a few now and then, no real attributes to be effective and both should be dropped. Mina? What a joke footballer he is and won't ever be good enough for this league,

As for Calvert-Lewin, well just another example of how bad Silva is as a manager to continue to play him when he's absolutely useless and can't score or do anything but run around. Silva out, not the man for us he's proved that.

Paul Tran
56 Posted 24/08/2019 at 15:13:03
I luckily missed this, 'watching' it on the Live Forum while on a train.

Won one, drawn one, lost one against three teams that I think we need to be beating.

Silva is showing touching faith in Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Richarlison & Calvert-Lewin. He clearly thinks they will come good at any moment.

Clear problems in the first three games. An isolated striker who isn't a goalscorer. The two goalscorers woefully out of form. A physically and mentally brittle midfield. An unprotected, vulnerable defence.

I've watched a lot of talented players in a blue shirt. Many of them haven't been effective enough. That's my fear with this team. Not helped by a conservative manager who hopes his favourites come good while persisting with a formation almost designed to be ineffective.

I bet Silva can't wait to get Delph on the pitch. The team desperately needs a bit of canny nous. It desperately needs the direct pace of Kean & Iwobi on from the start. It needs Sigurdsson dropping to the bench to allow the much-fabled 'Silva formation' to have a go.

It needs Silva to notice and react when his 'tried & trusted' aren't delivering. He's been given options. It's time he started using them.

Conor McCourt
57 Posted 24/08/2019 at 15:14:54
Derek, I like Tom and I'm not wishing to berate him but my point is that Gomes was right to start.

With regards to Scneiderlin, I know from your posts that you really dislike him but I feel that he does a certain job and is an important cog in protecting the back four especially with Gueye gone, Delph and Gbamin injured and our inability to get Doucoure.

I don't think the manager particularly rates him but he trusts Davies to perform that role far less.

Had we started with Gomes and Davies I believe we would have had more trouble with McGinn and Grealish as neither have the nous or discipline to play that role especially in an away game where the opposition are really good at finding little pockets in front of the back line.

Kieran Kinsella
58 Posted 24/08/2019 at 15:21:12
Hope we don't do this "cup goalie" crap and rest Pickford versus Lincoln. We need a good keeper and we also need some leadership in midfield. Personally I would go with:

Richarlison Davies Iwobi
Michael Caine
Digne Mina Keane Coleman
Sylvester Stallone

Russell Osman
Some Polish prisoners of war

Andy Crooks
59 Posted 24/08/2019 at 16:30:56
So, a young player who has made it all the way to the Premier League cannot "strike a football". God almighty.

Welcome back, Tony Marsh. Three games into the season and the end of the world is nigh. So it is an absolute certainty that we will lose at Lincoln. Well, why don't you visit Ladbrokes and put your money where your mouth is?

So this SHITE is unacceptable. Tell me how not to accept it? Tell me what your plans are?

Kieran Kinsella
60 Posted 24/08/2019 at 16:35:25
Hahaha — as dark clouds descend, Tony Marsh is back to set the club straight.
John Pierce
61 Posted 24/08/2019 at 16:51:11
It's not three games, it's not even one game... it's the entire Silva tenure.

The same failings against poor sides have been evident from Day One. You can't view each season in isolation.

You can list the games easily, a one-dimensional tactical mind. Is there a Plan B? Because I've not seen it. He picks players who are out of form and lets them flounder. There's no point having a squad if you just reinforce your preferences. That's not competition.

If you just ignore the signs and take nothing from each game, you get drift, not progression; that's exactly what we've got.

It's absolutely not knee-jerk, framing the argument over 3 games is disingenuous, it just suits the agenda of “playing the poster”.

Jamie Crowley
62 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:00:37
Sir John -

I think we agree in the main, but I'd slightly tweak you argument.

I actually think Silva's a good coach. After Christmas we played superb. A bit hyperbole there, as I'm wont to do, but we were, indeed, pretty damn good.

What does my head in (love that phrase), is the time it takes him to adjust. Both from a macro and micro position.

Micro - his substitutions and changes in-game are simply too damn slow. He also persists on giving his set up for each game too long to succeed if things aren't working.

Macro - over the course of games, he persists with playing out of form players, who clearly need a rocket shot up their ass to play to their ability. Richarlison up top last season is an excellent example. We waited about 3 games too long for him to move Calvert-Lewin into the striker position. When he did that, it changed our fortunes. Fast forward to present day, Calvert-Lewinisn't as effective, nor is Sigurdsson nor Richarlison, and he's continually playing them and not pulling them out of any game.

There's a coach there. And he does indeed change. He's done it with the example above, adjusting his zonal marking, etc. It just takes him so damn long to make the change.

If he were listening to me, and Lord knows he's not, he'd go with my lineup above [earlier in the thread], and he'd start to play down the middle more when attacking, instead of insisting his players kick it out wide for our point of attack, and mix it up a bit as we go forward.

Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, and Richarlison are all very good players. But when you're not playing your best, there's nothing more motivational than splinters in your ass.

But hindsight and a keyboard make me a genius, so ya, there's that.

Jimmy Hogan
63 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:19:50
From now on, I'm just going to read Lyndon's pieces, which I enjoy immensely. I'm not a prolific contributor to the forums, but to be honest, I've kind of had enough of the same people hogging the threads with massively long, tedious posts, most of which I skip in favour of the shorter posts. Now, if there was a word limit, I'd stick around...
Paul A Smith
64 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:28:51
See you, Jimmy.


Martin Mason
65 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:34:10
Watching the recent games, especially yesterday, I see a coach problem rather than a player problem and that Silva is probably no better a prospect than any of our post-Moyes Managers. He doesn't know what system to play and he doesn't know what players to use. Apart from that, he has everything. My glass is empty now.
Martin Mason
66 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:46:25
And then Palace win at Old Trafford.
Benjamin Dyke
67 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:52:23
Jimmy your post was short but brilliantly unintentionally ironic!

"I don't go on forums because I don't like them as they are full of meaningless posts"... says Jimmy... in perhaps the ultimate meaningless post!

Jim Bennings
68 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:56:24

The eternal optimists can shoot me down if they want, please feel free, but I'm making the claim that Everton are no further down the line than the season they sacked Martinez.

We have spent buckets of cash in the last three years yet we are no better now than when Martinez threw a team together with mainly loan signings, in fact we are nowhere near the team we were in his first season.

Silva has done no better in all honesty than Koeman in his first campaign, and Koeman went down the drain quicker than liquid shit.

Allardyce was a Moshiri troubleshooter and a waste of time.

But the reality is, we are no better than we were back in 2015, that was a poor season but still saw two domestic Cup Semi Finals.

Money is continually spent at Everton to merely stand still now.

Dermot Byrne
69 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:59:13
Shit man. Was really disappointed by losing yesterday but balanced that with two of the new attackers to get some balance in my thinking after game 3.

Thank god Tony Marsh was able to come on boo-hooing and put me right.

Dermot Byrne
70 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:01:38
Jim# 68

"Money is continually spent at Everton to merely stand still now."

There you may have unwittingly stumbled onto the reality. Check last Esk article.

Martin Mason
71 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:06:49
Jim, I believe that you are correct. All I see in our play is chaos not thought. We look like a team with a poor coach.
Jack Convery
72 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:08:13
This Is Everton - Simples. As father Ted once said its time for a Mass.
Andy Crooks
73 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:09:53
Jim, who are these eternal optimists? Name one. By the way, if you name me, I will trawl the archives and bring you a hundred examples that you can ponder.

Why not put up an article with evidence supporting your viewpoint. I think you might have a point; why not make it in detail?

Andy Crooks
74 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:17:58
Martin, not you too? Surely you can write a piece backing that comment? You might well be onto something but a couple of lines does nothing.

Have we spent badly? Is Silva the wrong man? Is Brands. Are we mentally weak? There is a lot to be said and debated but not in the tone of some of the stuff on this site in the last couple of hours.

Peter Neilson
75 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:27:07
John Pierce [53] good points and I agree but I hope on the little we have seen of Kean that he will make more/better runs and find space for himself. That's not just aimed at Calvert-Lewin but Sigurdsson and Richarlison.

Anyone attempting to play the ball forward last night was met with static and surrounded players and so we reverted to sideways passes. There's not enough movement.

Danny Broderick
76 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:39:22
The trouble with modern football is that some people think that a magic scientific formula is needed to understand the game and engineer results. I have just watched the first half of the Liverpool game, where they basically crossed the ball into the box at every opportunity - Henderson in particular – and they took the lead through a header from a corner. By applying pressure, Arsenal eventually cracked.

I have read countless defences on here of some of our underperforming players. Schneiderlin for instance. He does fuck all, but he does a good job as the midfield pivot. He occupies a space apparently. He is key to the shape of the team.

Our front 6 should all be dropped for the next game, with the exception maybe of Bernard, who started brightly and at least had a go. He faded as the team faded. Maybe Gomes should retain his place also, not because of his performance, but because he is a quality player who had a bad night while trying to do the right things.

What did Richarlison, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin do to merit inclusion in the team next week?

It's not enough to have the same guaranteed starters every week. They should all be playing for their places. If their standards drop, they should be out of the team.

Kieran Kinsella
77 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:47:04
Jim Bennings has a point about standing still. But you can't look at Everton in isolation. Everyone has spent, even Bournemouth.

I think the problem is that Man City and Liverpool have pulled away with Spurs and maybe Arsenal this year the closest to them. After that, you've got Man Utd, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester and West Ham who've all chopped and changed managers and spent heavily. That group plus Wolves are even Stevens. Win a couple and you're 5th; lose a few you're 10th. It's musical chairs.

There won't be a lot in it at the end of the season but someone will be happy with 5th and someone probably fired for 10th. The challenge is somehow breaking from that group.

Martin Mason
78 Posted 24/08/2019 at 18:48:21
Andy, Jim's comment is valid as he sees it and he's entitled to do that. I'm sure that all he means is people who feel very positive about how things are. I wouldn't have used the same words because they can be taken as inflammatory. Why do you feel he meant you? Bit of a guilt complex? :-).

All I say is that, after having seen 3 games this season, I believe that we are no better than we were under managers we've eventually sacked... and again, it is a perfectly valid opinion. He doesn't need to make his point in detail and neither do I unless I could see a point in doing so.

Martin Mason
79 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:03:05

I have sympathy with your point, we do keep playing badly underperforming players which is crazy. Liverpool play a pretty pure 4-3-3 with wide forwards that cut in, full-backs that overlap, and centre and box-to-box midfielders that drive forward. Silva wants to play it too but doesn't have the players.

Sigurdsson doesn't fit into 4-3-3, Calvert-Lewin isn't a 4-3-3 centre-forward (Aguero is). As I say, he has no real system and the awful systems he plays seem to be designed to fit in unsuitable players.

I desperately hope that he gets us through this phase we are in, as Kendal did when I classed him as the worst manager in the UK. We have a good defence but that isn't good enough in itself.

Paul Tran
80 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:12:14
Martin, all non-abusive comments & opinions are valid. I think it's reasonable to ask for examples, especially in that grey area of 'positivity', 'happy clappers', 'apologists', etc.

I think we've played three teams I expect us to beat. Four points out of nine. I don't think that means were going to get relegated or that Silva merits the sack. Does that make me 'positive? Or should I come on here and call people 'doom-mongers' because they have a different view to me?

Or maybe we could have decent debates on here where people's views are considered, challenged and debated? And that challenge isn't met with 'freedom of speech', 'it's only my view', or some other cliched debating cop-out.

And I'm saying this as a veteran of belters on Twitter including; remoaner, lefty, Tory, centrist, Jock, English Bastard, bin-dipper, traitor, foreigner-lover, snowflake, anti-democracy, etc. All the people that come out with that stuff have one thing in common; they won't or can't debate.

Conor McCourt
81 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:21:21
Good idea, let's sack him, Martin. Who will we get next? Garcia was the buzz at the start of the year, Jim wanted Dyche a few years ago. Who is it for you, Martin, that will make the difference?

I heard earlier Mourinho was being mentioned. Everyone last night is complaining how pedestrian we are and he's just made one of the most exciting clubs in world football look like pensioners. Perhaps we should play Baines at left-back because 10 years ago he was brilliant also.

Jim, we have actually spent practically nothing this summer and by the close of the window we are likely to be in profit if Tosun is sold.

We are standing still because we stood still in the summer. We lost two of our best players and so far the coach hasn't really been able to use many of his new signings. Does anyone really think he wants to be picking Schneiderlin and Walcott?

We look weaker than last season because at the minute we are.

Andy Crooks
82 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:40:41
Martin, way back you and I were more controversial posters than we are now. In fact, we have swapped roles. You defended the Moyes - Kenwright regime, very skillfully, and I attacked it. Maybe we are more mellow now. However, Martin, you used to demand evidence. Why not now?
Anthony A Hughes
83 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:47:23
The simple thing is: we need to spend £500 million on the squad to drag us into the stratospheric area of the top 2. Unfortunately, we don't have that money and, even if we did, FFP would stop us.

It is what it is.

Tony Marsh
84 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:02:54
Andy Crooks @59,

What's up with you lad? I thought this site was intended for irate Evertonians to vent their anger as much as you happy clappers want to clap. If you're happy about last night and last season's debacle, then good for you.

Just so you know, I would never put money on Everton to lose. Never have, never will. What kind of sicko do you think I am? You might do such things in your world but in mine, it's a big No-No.

Why don't you go and put everything you've got on Everton winning at Lincoln next week if that's the case? I mean, if you are so cock-sure we will win, then go for it.

Jay Harris
85 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:04:09
The top and bottom of it is, if we had Gana Gueye out there tonight, we would NOT have lost this game.

I said before the game, Villa are strong in the centre of midfield and that is where we are weak. If we can see it, surely Marco can see it... or is he too arrogant to think that his system of play is the only one that worksZ?

We should have had a midfield 3 of Schneiderlin (only as Gbarmin was injured). Davies (Delph if he was fit). and Sigurdsson. with Richarlison, Iwobi and Kean upfront.

Calvert-Lewin, Gomes (on current form with his head up his arse) and Schneiderlin should be nowhere near first-choice selection.

Bernard flatters to deceive and Richarlison should be on the left, not the right.

It's about time we emphasised goals, not possession and passing. As someone said earlier, we resemble the Martinez project at its worst.

Julian Exshaw
87 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:49:34
Looking ahead to Wednesday, Silva has big decisions to make. It's a 'damned if he does, damned if he doesn't' scenario. We are supposedly targeting one of the cups this year (for a change) which would lead me to assume that he will pick his strongest 11.

On the other hand, we are crying out for change, to see Kean, Iwobi, Sidibé and Davies start Of course you could argue after last night that including these 4 would be his strongest 11. Let'.s hope he gets it right.

Paul A Smith
88 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:53:52
Connor McCourt is bang on point.
4 managers Moshiri has had now. So that doesnt work and obviously isn't the problem.

The money wasted on managers and DOFs buying players has cost far more than it would cost to get a Costa or Werner.

Money talks and we let it talk when we thought relegation was looming. Chase the top sides and buys have to be shrewd

Dangerous game to play and no wonder Silva looked fed up in the pre season.

2 of his midfield buys out already and his best midfielder playing for Villa last night.

Shocking how anyone can blame tactics on blatent errors by players. I hope he plays Davies v Wolves so you can all see why he played Schneiderlin last night.

Jerome Shields
89 Posted 24/08/2019 at 22:44:36
In the first two games, I was concerned about how opposition forwards got in on goal with only Pickford to beat, which they didn't. I didn't mention it at the time, being grateful for clean sheets. But Aston Villa got in on goal as well and scored.

The problem seems to be supporting defenders, who are slow to cover and don't know what position to take up in defence, when they take up the supporting role

The midfield and forward play got progressively poorer as the game went on, but Iowbi and Kean looked useful.

Villa did look fitter than Everton and ultimately got the result they deserved.

Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 24/08/2019 at 23:05:15
Jimmy @ 63 -

If that "long post", er, post, was directed at me, I will try to be more brief.

Mark Wilson
91 Posted 25/08/2019 at 00:59:29
Interesting shout about pre-season. Each year, I hear the wise council that pre-season doesn't count for much of anything. I think we've had a few rather disjointed, low key pre-seasons with a similar season following on.

As for the shambles of Friday night so much of it feels like the proverbial accident waiting to happen.

Calvert-Lewinis almost the creation of home season ticket holders who love his effort, his athletic contribution and team work commitment. Whilst the away core and quite a few here, for two seasons now, have pleaded to be heard on the subject of, yes you know what's coming, “goals”. It's never happening in enough numbers to matter and his missed chances have hurt us time after time after time. But he runs around, a great deal, and is genuine. That's all some want. Not me. Should have been sold for £15M in the window and a decent championship quality striker bought in, because yes, still not the quality we need but at a price likely to get twice or more the goal account of Calvert-Lewin.

I said Gomes horror show was worst I'd seen for a long time and got told “I must be very young then”! I'm not. Yes I've seen worse but it's all relative. Worse from an over hyped youngster, or over hyped returning hero. Worse from a few million quids worth of player out of his depth. But nope, it's rare to see such a 95-minute disaster of a performance from a £22m heroic figure returning back from a loan spell with the kind of welcome reserved for game changing truly top class midfield creativity. It was that bad. Hope to see him never do that again because we have seen him in magnificent form out shining everyone else. But then I recall a bad spell pre last Christmas. And I worry.

Midfield all awful. Digne not as strong as usual. Richarlison a huge disappointment. The setup leaving too many a bit deep. Need 4-3-3 and stop worrying about leaving out big names. Gylfi.

Meanwhile I see the almost inevitable arrival of more praise for the new stadium design and wow factor from Kevin Ratcliffe, as if by magic to remind us good times are nearly here. He's right, it's stunning and I love it. But after reading the Esk's latest expose of just how iffy our whole resurgence is. it's even more depressing to see a directionless team struggling to make a strong start against opposition we should be beating out of sight if top six is a genuine aim.

Winning is the only progress.

Rick Tarleton
92 Posted 25/08/2019 at 06:50:20
In the many critical comments above, someone mentions that we do not have a midfield and that is the nub of the problem. Sigurdsson has many assets, but the ability to be the main creative force in a vibrant midfield is not one of them. Another commentator above, says he's a dead ball specialist, rather like a kicker in American football, he hasn't a role in the actual play. He scores ten excellent goals a season, but where is this man as a fulcrum of our creative game?

Gomes has many assets, but I'm not sure about his "engine", and his decision making is not of the highest.

I'd love to see some of the players we've spent over £100 million on actually start games. I hope Kean turns out to be the next Henry. But the verb is "hope" not expect, as for Calvin-Lewin, he's got a lot of followers on Twitter, I'm sure he's good to his gran and loves animals, but a central striker he's not and never will be. Walcott remains as he's always been, very fast and an iffy finisher with not an ounce of football nous. Bernard is a skilful lightweight and Richarlison is great at flinging himself to the floor, but to be honest for a so-called Brazilian international, he isn't exactly setting the Premier League on fire. However, like Gomes and Bernard, Richarlison is a native Portuguese speaker, so the manager has a few people to talk to, as his English is unintelligible and gibberish.

I don't see us returning to Europe with this team and this coaching set-up. Another season of mediocrity awaits.

Tony Everan
93 Posted 25/08/2019 at 08:28:55
Villa's forwards got chances, they scored them.

Our forwards got chances, they missed them.

Solution: Play forwards who can put the ball into the onion bag.

Iwobi, Kean and Richarlison have got to start as front three.

Bernard and Sigurdsson behind them.

Gomes as the holding midfielder and back four stays the same.

Okay we will concede 1 or 2 but that team will score 2 or 3.

Christopher Timmins
94 Posted 25/08/2019 at 08:56:23
Hopefully, when the new recruits are introduced and settle in that things will improve dramatically, one thing is for certain after after 3 games, they will be needed. Siggy, Bernard and Gomes were shocking on Friday evening and in Siggy's case he simply has made no contribution after 3 games.
Peter Warren
95 Posted 25/08/2019 at 09:08:16
Unbalanced. We seem to now have everybody who plays on left - Richarlson, Bernard, Awobi, Kean.

On right hand side we have Walcott who doesn't play and who was out of form almost all of last season. We then have no ball winners in the middle at all.


Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 25/08/2019 at 09:12:49
I think we have a problem scoring goals, that problem has been there for quite a while, we have problems in midfield, also been there for some time, the problem is bigger now with the loss of Gana, and the injuries to Delph and Gbamin: the most glaring problem is and will be until January( hopefully) is at centre back, Mina l think will fit in eventually, but I’mstill not sure about him. The problem is Michael Keane, I keep hearing fans say he has improved greatly since his first season, don’t see it myself, he must be the most passive centre back in the premier league, no aggression, gentle as a lamb, hardly any awareness, doesn’t seem to know where he is, loses as many heading duals as he he wins, too quite vocally,he will be found out by the better teams as he was on Friday, as well as being bullied by the Villa striker, he will never do for me.

I know he gets picked for England, how many good centre backs have England got, not many, one has been well over paid for recently.

I worry more about that position at Everton than I do over the strikers and midfielders, although I realise there are problems there as well.

Rennie Smith
97 Posted 25/08/2019 at 09:31:46
Dave @96, that's harsh on Keane, he has improved a lot and you're criticising a centre back who has contributed to 11 clean sheets in the last 15 games. He (and plenty) of others got caught out once for lack of awareness, how many other chances did he give away? I'd say zero.
Graeme Beresford
98 Posted 25/08/2019 at 09:39:19
What the problem is with us, and it’s been a problem since Lukaku left, is our inability to even have a chance on goal, let alone score.

I was watching Liverpool last night and yes they may be ahead of us in terms of quality but I don’t see us being forever behind them but the difference is their players actually shoot on sight. They have a chance on goal and they run, run and run, not letting any defensive unit get organised. By the time midfielders get back into position, the ball is generally in the net.

Everton stop. We have a run forward and we stop allowing opposition to re adjust and get back into position. The way the game is played nowadays I don’t understand why we consistent play backwards or sidewards. I would say we have two/three fantastic little wingers but they never collect the ball and run.

Chelsea’s first goal yesterday, Dave overlaps and crosses the ball and Abraham puts it in the net. Coleman gets to the byline and clips the highest slowest ball possible. Allowing everyone to watch it and set themselves up. Low and behold it goes to back post to a player who is 5 foot tall and the ball is cleared.

I do think as fans we are very hard on our Everton. Maybe we where expecting 9 points by now. I was. But on the flip side this is the Premier league, Palace have just beat United away and every game is tough. What strikes me is we don’t seem to adjust our tactics or squad depending on which team we are playing. I think we set up wrong against Villa, I said at half time we should of been 4-4-2 because DCL was completely alone and Villa make no doubt about it set themselves up with ten men behind the ball. The fact they scored two of their three shots on target says a lot to me. Again watching Liverpool last night they are set up to beat Arsenal. Hit their weak defence with quick attacking movement and use David Luiz’s defensive frailties to their advantage.

I mean all is not lost here. We have seen good and bad so far this season. I think more bad and 1 goal in three games is worrying. But let’s hope Gomes has had his worst game he will ever have and let’s hope Silva and the coaching team give them all a good kicking this week. I do wish we went back to 4-4-2 for the majority of our games and also stopped all this playing from the back nonsense but the modern game isn’t played like that.

Overall we definitely need to work on getting the ball forward quicker and taking our chances. I think it’s time DCL took the bench but I probably wouldn’t start Kean against Lincoln. Feel like that’s the wrong game to start our new forward in. He thinks the Premier League is tough, wait till you get kicked to death by their centre backs.

Martin Mason
99 Posted 25/08/2019 at 09:42:54
Andy@82, I was banned from the board for saying that anybody making a statement of fact should be able to back it up. As far as I know, the policy of it not being necessary hasn't been rescinded since. I do my best not to make any strong statement without being able to back it up. Sometimes to back things up needs posts like War and Peace and as people have said long posts are not good. Hopefully we can all argue and still be friends.
John Keating
100 Posted 25/08/2019 at 10:21:45
No Evertonian wants to see us lose or play badly. Silva doesn't want to see us lose or play badly. Some of the players well I'm not 100% sure.

The fact is we are playing poorly. Under Silva we played poorly last season until the last quarter. Piss poor to be honest.

There's a bit of groundhog day here. Pre-season we weren't at the races and we hear all the same excuses as last season. We're 3 games into the season and have all seen other teams, either playing against us or on the telly, and for some reason we seem so slow and lethargic, unfit.

I think we were all hoping looking at the fixture list. that we would get off to a flier. We've been lucky to get the 4 points we have.

We have a game midweek and I think Silva has to shake things up. Not just personnel wise but also tactically. He has stuck with non performing players for 3 games and continued with slow predictable tactics which even the promoted teams have sussed out.

We all wanted him to make extra efforts in Cup games this season, however, I'd sooner he use the Lincoln game to experiment. If it doesn't come off then fair enough but maybe it might. He has to send a signal to non-performing players that their starting positions are not set in stone. He has to show us that he can change and adapt.

Now is the time to turn our season around - yes even after 3 games - not leaving it late like last season.

Tony Everan
101 Posted 25/08/2019 at 10:44:04
Graeme #98, Good post. Couldn't put it any better.

Liverpool's wide men run, run and run. Everton stop.

''The difference is their players actually shoot on sight. They have a chance on goal and they run, run and run, not letting any defensive unit get organised. By the time midfielders get back into position, the ball is generally in the net.''

Even if that direct play breaks down or a shot is blocked there is still a chance that it can be picked up, and the attack continued. Our midfielders have to be on red alert for it.

Too right we have to be far more positive in attack, creating panic and disorganization in the opposition defence. At the moment we are ponderous and slow, organised defences can take care of us and Calvert-Lewin if and when the cross comes in.

There will be no improvement until we have more of that direct attacking play from out front three. I don't see the point in playing around until we can fire a super cross in, when we don't have a clinical goal-scoring striker to get on the end of it.

Brian Harrison
102 Posted 25/08/2019 at 11:37:31
I feared that losing Gueye would cause us massive problems and that fear is coming to reality. When Gueye played as one of the 2 holding midfield players he had the pace to get up and down the pitch, which also allowed Gomes a bit more freedom. Now without him we have 2 sitting midfield players with no pace in Gomes and Schneiderlin, so if they both come forward as they did against Villa they don't have the pace to get back when we lose possession. As Villas 1st goal they took the free kick quickly with both Gomes and Schneiderlin out of position and neither had the pace to get back.

This also has an effect on our attacking play, because when we make a break from the back neither are quick enough to join the attack, which means that most of our goals we are reliant predominantly on the front 4. And therein lies the problem both Bernard and Calvert-Lewin are not regular goal scorers and both Richarlison and Sigurdsson are way off last seasons performances.

I believe Silva had all the first team squad in at 11.00am on Saturday morning, I don't think it was to tell them how pleased he was with their performance at Villa. Like everybody I don't know what goes on at Finch Farm but I wonder if the appointment of Luis Boa Morte as Silvas assistant has had any effect. When Silva first came my main concern was could he get a team to keep clean sheets, as even at Hull he had them playing attacking football. Well he has definitely proved he can manage a team to keep clean sheets but what has happened to our attacking play. I hope that Iwobi and Kean will turn things around in attack and make us a more potent force than we are at present. The team that finished last season that has pretty much started this season lacks goals that needs to change and quickly.

Dave Abrahams
103 Posted 25/08/2019 at 11:58:10
Ronnie (97), you consider me to be harsh on Michael Keane, possibly, I see it as the truth, watch him closely and see if any of the faults I’ve pointed out are wrong, I’m not criticising on one game, but the way Michael plays every game.

Keane will miss Zouma, like I think Everton’s defence will. He has had a disappointing start back at Chelsea, like he did in the beginning at Everton but he was one of the main men in that defence last season.

I maybe wrong about Michael Keane, I hope I am, just haven’t seen the improvement in his game that others have mentioned.

Fran Mitchell
104 Posted 25/08/2019 at 12:19:02
Whilst a poor craftsman blames his tools, a great craftsman praises them.

I fear our craftsman is particularly average.

We can moan about DCL, we can identify Siggy, or even blame Gomes, Bernard, Digne, Coleman the whole team. We pin our hope on new signings to come in a show that the problem is just so easily fixed like 'take out joe and and put in bob'.

The summer distracted us, we all play football manager in our heads, who to sign to make us great again.

All the while, we forgot that the man responsible for it all was widely regarded as useless until the last 10 games of the season.

He got a reprieve, but here we are again, same problems. We can look at players all we like, but the problem is the style.

Klopp arrived at that lot, and his style was immediately visible. It wasn't immediately successful, but it was visible.

Guardiola, Poccettino...they all
Immediately imprinted their ideas, they immediately showed 'what is to come', even if not all the personnel fitted the style.

Look at how Norwich play when they attack, do you think Pukki would have 5 goals in 3 playing in Silva's style? But Farke has imprinted his style in the way the tema play, and the players adapt to that.

The Everton players attack with ponderance, an absolute lack of intensity, few ideas. It seems like always waiting on the opposing side to make a mistake, rather than forcing the opposing side to make a mistake.

We are slow and pondering in possession. We are a team that is more dangerous on the counter attack, but we are set up to control possession.

This is Silva. He's been in the job for 15 months now, so this is his style. Those waiting for him to suddenly develop a style of play that is not what it currently is are living with false hope. Good managers can imprint their style no matter the tools at his disposal.

Silva isn't necessarily a bad manager, but he is very average. This will mean he'll probably last the season, but I don't expect much improvement tbh. We'll probably get 8th. Maybe 7th. Maybe 11th.

We'll probably be miserable, or distinctly non-plussed most weekends.

But the difference between us and them is clear. The manager.

Tom Bowers
105 Posted 25/08/2019 at 12:21:01
The whole problem is first and foremost Silva.
He picks the players and develops the strategies (if any at all)
His demeanor is one of a deer in the headlights and he does not come across a s a forceful decisive leader.
Thre is a lot of talent in many of these players but he has yet to show he can motivate them.
Okay, some may say they shouldn't need motivation when they are getting such high wages but the fact remains some are playing on reputations.
It's no good picking on individual players or harping on about Gana being sold.

Gana would not have made a difference as honestly he didn't do it last season in many similar games.

Changes will be made for the Mickey Mouse cup but the Wolves game will be another checkpoint for Silva.

Francis van Lierop
106 Posted 25/08/2019 at 13:32:01
The weird thing about the match was, despite playing without a midfield (of note), we still could have won the match with clinical finishing.
Conor McCourt
107 Posted 25/08/2019 at 14:35:05
Fran Mitchell 104- a poor workman always blames his tools. Congratulations you win the award for the most ironic post on ToffeeWeb.

Three weeks ago you are telling all who listen that you are confidently expecting a top 5 finish, that we have a team of internationals, that Brands done an amazing window and that Chelsea Utd and maybe Arsenal were there for the taking.

Now after only 3 weeks in the shit has hit the fan and you realise the hole that Gana has left, that the wild predictions about the superiority of our squad are going to fall flat on your face, well it's time to blame the manager for your foolish prediction.

Who do you use to channel your wisdom? Klopp. Possibly pound for pound the best manager in world football who took over a squad who recently had come within a slip of a title but took three years to get the shit back challenging again.

Then you point to Farke and Norwich to show how it should be done. Yes I agree they press well and are full of energy, they are exciting and really naive at the same time. Who do they remind me of? Hull under a certain Marco Silva.

Suddenly now after 3 weeks you realise we have an average manager and you change your prediction of 5th to maybe 11th. Wow these three fixtures have really shaped your thinking.

Yes it should be clear to everyone the problem is Silva and not the players. By the way did you watch Spurs play at Villa Park. Pochettino who you mention as world class watched helplessly by for nearly 65 minutes as his team got pulverised by Villa.

At half time he tried a change in formation and press yet still were outplayed. What changed that game? He brought on Eriksen, nothing smart, nothing tactical, just a world class player that transformed the game. Suddenly Kane came alive as Eriksen starting picking balls up in deep areas knowing that if he made a run he would get the ball where he wanted. Kane a world class striker scores two and they get a very unjust victory.

If we had produced a 90 minutes that they did for 65 I hate to see what our fans would have reacted.

Fran Mitchell
108 Posted 25/08/2019 at 15:52:50
Did I offend you Conor?

Like any fan at the start of seasons I always look to be positive, I mentioned that in my one and only post on this game. Football manager syndrome takes over and we all get caught up in the whole 'sign x, y and z to resolve problems'.

I have always said Gana would be irreplaceable. I was one of the Ines on here who thought absurd that we sold him so passively, while many in here called him a one trick pony and limited etc. I didn't predict 5th, I said 5th was (still is) possible and should be our target.

But all through last season, I have always been doubtful of our manager. And yes, I think player for player, we do have a good squad. But the performances for the last 14 month are with Silva have yet to show for me that he is applying any form of ' The first 3 games of this season have confirmed that.

So I will not enter stupid debates that try to blame specific players. Because the problem that I am seeing is the team as a whole, the way we are set up to play, added to a seeming lack of fitness and lack of energy on the pitch.

You pick out 1 game by Spurs to try and suggest what? That Silva is on his level and the only difference is Harry Kane? Really?

Só Spurs didn't get to the Champions League Final with a depleated squad? They haven't been the 3rd best team in the league for the last few years despite not spending money. You really think Spurs would be where they are with Silva?

I mentioned Klopp, Guardiola, and co because yes, they are the best managers in the league. Like when people talk about DCL, they compare him to Kane and Aguero. Which managers should I compare him to? Slaven Bilic? Fucking Steve Bruce?

My point is Silva has not imprinted his supposed style that so many allude to.

Bielsa, Howe, Dyche, Rodgers, a whole load of managers have a style. You watch the team and you can see that the manager is setting them up that way. The top managers you see it immediately.

As soon as Pocchetino arrived at Spurs, the difference was huge, and the players were the same. Same with Klopp, same with Guardiola, same with Farke, same with Bielsa, same with Conte, same with Sarri. You can see what the manager is trying to do and it doesn't take years and 6 transfer windows to do it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but you can see it.

With Silva I do not.

Steavey Buckley
109 Posted 25/08/2019 at 15:53:47
Everton have taken their poor pre-season form into the Premier League. What is really worrying, Everton have played 3 of the weaker teams in the Premier League, but have scored just 1 goal. This type of goal return (with no end in sight) will see Everton struggling 'till the end of the season. While, Everton are lacking energy in midfield, and not as reliable at the back with the loss of Gueye and Zouma.
Jay Wood

111 Posted 25/08/2019 at 16:28:41

Cricket is the game!!!

Amazing result and innings by Ben Stokes.

Stan Schofield
112 Posted 25/08/2019 at 17:08:41
Fran@108: I'd be cautious about praising any immediate effect that Klopp had. He wasn't doing any better than his predecessor during his first season, they were getting some crap results against poor opposition, the players were finding it difficult to adapt to his 'gegenpressing', some games at Anfield led to slow hand clapping, and he said it would take time to make an impact.

I have red mates to whom I said, you need to give him time. This advice was also necessary the season before last, when many reds were calling for his head. And they thought they'd be buggered when they lost Coutinho.

How things change. I would not give any manager time without evidence that he could get the team to play, but with such evidence that's really all we can and should do. In Klopp's case, and in Silva's.

Paul Tran
113 Posted 25/08/2019 at 17:12:18
Absolutely right, Stan. I have a few Red mates who don't like me reminding them of what they said about Klopp early doors.

Three games in. Dearie me.

Conor McCourt
114 Posted 25/08/2019 at 17:38:20
Sorry Fran after reading back I do agree that my tone was overly argumentative and perhaps uncalled for.

I was a little annoyed because you actually said you expected a top five finish and that we should finish an absolute minimum of fifteen points better than last season based on our winter nightmare.

I highlighted to you that we were much weaker without Gueye, defensively that Brands had left Marco with a very similar untried centre halve partnership and even though we have made improvements at the top end of the pitch it will take time for them to integrate.

You were very dismissive of my fears over the success of the transfer window and so within three weeks your implying that the manager is solely responsible I thought that strange. I respect that you defend our players.

I am not questioning Pochettinos management ability rather I used that example to show the difficulty in taking 9 points from what some refer to as cannon fodder and was just highlighting that a great like Pochettino had to rely on Eriksen to get anything from that game.

Just to be clear I understand your assessment on style and I fully understand your reservations about Silva. Do I honestly believe he could do the same at Spurs I don't think so but I'm not sure anyone else could.

But I believe this manager has been good for our club as I see improvements in players like many top coaches do. Gana became a really top player, defenders who had failed at other clubs showed improvements that I didn't see possible, and even players like Scneiderlin became quietly effective and changed a few people's minds.

He will be as frustrated by most at our start and our form will pick up soon once we get a bit of confidence and get the new players integrated.

Again apologies

Tom Bowers
115 Posted 25/08/2019 at 17:52:37
What a fantastic result for England against all the odds after scoring only 67 in the first innings. The Aussie must be sick!!!! Anyway, they may be as sick as us long-suffering supporters after what we saw on Friday.

Still, early days and we have all had our say but it is worry yet again after hearing about Gbamin's injury. Surely things will improve over the next few weeks with Iwobi and Kean settling in.

Paul Burns
116 Posted 25/08/2019 at 19:25:29
Selling our best players, poor scattergun recruitment (still), no real playing method or gameplan, poor coaching, bad preparation, a crap manager (who chose him FFS?), unfit, slow players.

This is what you get. An amateur circus. I'm in danger of becoming a bore on these obvious points (in fact i'm well already there) but you don't have to be an ex-professional footballer to understand the game.
Martin Mason
117 Posted 25/08/2019 at 21:53:56
While I'm totally negative at the moment I recognise that there is a possibility that Silva will turn the situation around. At that time I'll say that I knew all along that he would.
Nicholas Ryan
118 Posted 26/08/2019 at 01:06:26
Striker: Ashley Barnes ??
Frank Crewe
119 Posted 26/08/2019 at 11:51:30
We must not panic here. The PL is only three games old and already only 3 clubs have more than 5 points. 10 clubs, including us, have 4 points and 6 clubs have 3 or less. So it's not like we are on our own. Spurs beaten by Newcastle at home. Manu beaten by Palace at home. We are not the only club with problems.

Personally I still say all our problems come down to our set up. We don't score because our forwards can't get near the goal. DCL simply gets marked out of the game so we end up huffing and puffing trying to get the fullbacks down the wings to chuck in crosses. 4-2-3-1 plainly isn't working so lets try something else.

As I have said many times I'm an advocate for 4-3-3. We now have Iwobi, Kean, Richarlison, Bernard, Walcott, and DCL. That's more than enough forwards with pace and power and movement to play three up front.

If Delph is fit he should go into a midfield three with Gomes and Sigurdsson and the back four should remain as is, although I would like to see Sidibe at some point. The fullbacks can provide the overlapping width without having to form a "partnership" with whatever wide player was in front of them. We can stop trying to recreate Baines/Pienaar.
Team for Lincoln City.

Coleman/Sidibe - Mina - Keane - Digne
Sigurdsson - Gomes - Delph
Richarlison - Kean - Iwobi

Tom Bowers
120 Posted 26/08/2019 at 12:00:19
Which team could have gone top on Friday and didn't? You've guessed it.

Which teams didn't get at least a point away over the weekend? You've guessed it, Everton and Arsenal.

Doesn't life suck?

Charles Brewer
121 Posted 27/08/2019 at 08:36:11
On Friday, I watched a lazy, crap team manage one shot on goal in a match of zero excitement between two crummy teams who wouldn't make either of the current top two break sweat. I watched some enormously well paid young men wander about listlessly and mostly kick the ball sideways or backwards.

On Sunday, I had the radio on (our shit, poll-tax funded national propaganda organ was showing athletics and probably another fucking cookery programme) and heard one of the most exciting sporting events ever (6 weeks after the last one) with a bunch of Aussies trying their very best, a superhuman example of skill and concentration from Stokes and a heroic display from a speccie bloke who was the worst batsman in either team.

This game and this club had better get their act together or it will start to attract the same sort of crowds as the BBC's favourites, women's football and cricket and Sky will take its money somewhere that offers more excitement and interest.

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