Away-day blues show no signs of abating

By Lyndon Lloyd 15/09/2019 47comments  |  Jump to last
Bournemouth 3 - 1 Everton

Two home games, two wins. Added to the superb run of results at Goodison Park at the tail end of last season and indications that the summer signings were beginning to bed in, this was an Everton side that seemed to finally be settling and finding its rhythm under Marco Silva. All that was needed now was to take that new-found attacking potency and, for the most part, defensive solidity on the road and prove that there was more about them than the toothless display at Crystal Palace on the opening day or the woeful defeat at Aston Villa. Essentially, if a top-six finish is to be anything other than an eternally distant prospect, this group of players was going to have to start winning away games.

Clearly, though, this team is as firmly ensconced in the recent Evertonian tradition of serial underachievement away from home as any in recent years. Over the past decade, various Everton sides under a succession of managers have averaged a mere 4.8 away wins a season; even in David Moyes’s best season, one that yielded a fourth-place finish in 2005, the Blues recorded just six victories on their travels. Despite being backed up and down the country these days by sold-out sections of travelling fans, Everton rarely win away matches. Of the last 41, they’ve won just six.

That apparent psychological hangup — one that has also underpinned almost two decades of failure in the Premier League on the grounds of the old “big four” (where the last Everton victories at Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool were in the previous century) — is clearly significant enough on its own but there is more going on with this current edition of False Dawn FC than just that. Between Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, the door to the coveted top six might be creaking ajar this season but, on current evidence, Everton won’t be the ones sneaking through it.

The XI that took the field at the Vitality Stadium this afternoon wasn’t Silva’s strongest. The Portuguese made no mention of it in his pre-match press conference but André Gomes has been battling a rib injury since the win over Wolves a fortnight ago and wasn’t passed fit which meant a return to the side for Morgan Schneiderlin alongside Fabian Delph.

Up front, however, the change was entirely voluntary, with Moise Kean dropping back to the bench to accommodate Dominic Calvert-Lewin, providing fans with a sizeable bone of contention, one complicated by the fact that the England U21 striker scored Everton’s only goal of the game and an impressive one at that. There is merit in the debate over whether the Italian should be brought into the side gradually or his Serie A pedigree be acknowledged by throwing him in to start games straight away.

And, by the same token, it could be argued that Calvert-Lewin’s inclusion was as much a reflection of the fact that Eddie Howe has added height and physical strength to his team as it was a nod to Bournemouth’s propensity to play the ball out from the back and Silva’s desire to play the high press — a horses-for-courses decision perhaps dictated more by the opposition than the manager putting his best foot forward?

In the final reckoning, while Calvert-Lewin scored at the end of a first half that had otherwise underscored his general lack of goal threat, Everton looked more dynamic in attack with the more mobile and trickier Kean in the side even if the teenager didn’t end up seeing a decent chance come his way. That’s not necessarily a condemnation of DCL — had he stayed on as part of a 4-4 with Kean introduced with Bernard earlier as he should have been, perhaps things might have been different. It certainly might have been worth a try given that Gylfi Sigurdsson was one of the players hooked anyway.

And that speaks to a general lack of imagination and fluidity in Silva’s approach. Everton play the same way with the same formation week-in, week out and it’s become predictable. When it works it’s heavily reliant on Sigurdsson being on fire but that hasn’t been happening at all away from home so far this season. Almost everything gets worked wide, with limited end product from Seamus Coleman but enough success from crosses, particularly from Lucas Digne on the other flank to justify the tactic. Very few moves go through the middle of opposition defences; there’s precious little interplay on the edge of the box or attempts to dissect the back line with tricky passes and when there is, the balls are frequently overhit.

At the end of the day, though, you can focus all you like on the attack but you won’t win matches if you can’t defend and today saw the return of Everton at their shambolic worst from dead-ball situations on a few crucial occasions. Bournemouth took the lead from a first-half corner, doubled their advantage from a free-kick and then put the game to bed following a throw-in in their own half where they made mugs of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina with a ball over the top for Callum Wilson to plunder his second of the game.

With defending like that, it’s unlikely the game would have turned out any better had Richarlison’s cracking 25-yarder dipped just a few inches lower rather than hammering off the angle of crossbar and post with 19 minutes gone. Because neither the Brazilian nor Morgan Schneiderlin were able to deal with a corner from the Bournemouth right four minutes later after Jordan Pickford had palmed Dominic Solanke’s shot over the bar. The former Liverpool striker rose highest to flick the set-piece on, Josh King got enough contact on it at the far post to knock it up for Wilson who headed home in front of goal to make it 1-0.

Given how few times Everton have come back behind to win in the Premier League in recent years, you sensed that the Blues needed a quick response if three points were going to be a realistic proposition but, after Richarlison planted Digne’s cross wide with a header in the 37th minute and Calvert-Lewin had stabbed a shot well off target, they had to wait until four minutes before the break for the equaliser to come.

Richarlison was the provider, running onto Coleman’s ball into space behind the fullback and his lofted cross was met by Calvert-Lewin who hung in the air above Steve Cook and powered a header under the crossbar.

That appeared to have laid the foundation for Everton, who were enjoying 60% of the ball, to engineer a victory in the second half. They were in the ascendency without really threatening beyond Sigurdsson’s snapshot shortly after half time that Aaron Ramsdale pushed over before one sloppy foul too many, this time by Richarlison, was punished by Ryan Fraser in the 67th minute. The Cherries substitute drilled a low free kick towards the six-yard box that Delph tried to cut out with his left foot but succeeded only in helping it past his goalkeeper.

Silva threw Kean and Bernard on for Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin in the 71st minute but the fatal blow was delivered by the home side within 60 seconds. Mina, who had been dragged over to the right by Wilson, got his head to a loose ball following a Bournemouth throw-in just inside their half, Solanke beat Richarlison to it on the touchline and Lewis Cook spotted Wilson’s run to put the ball in behind the two centre-halves. The striker lobbed Pickford with an accomplished finish to round off the scoring.

Kean and Alex Iwobi almost got the visitors back into it with nine minutes to go when the Italian laid the ball off for the Nigerian but his shot was parried away by Ramsdale and Richarlison, with his last act of a disappointing second-half display, an effort off towards the corner flag having brought the rebound down on his chest.

Bernard almost fashioned a stoppage-time opening but his shot/cross was blocked and Theo Walcott dribbled a harmless daisy-cutter at the keeper as Everton’s challenge meekly petered out with Silva slumped glumly in the dugout, no doubt ruing his side’s defensive frailties.

It’s been lost in much of the outpouring of justified frustration at this result that the Cherries were unquestionably up for this game; they battled the Blues throughout and were not the pushovers they appeared to be when Manchester City beat them 3-1 here three weeks ago. Not for the first time, the Blues were found wanting against a physical, uncompromising side.

Nevertheless, a team of Everton’s quality, aspirations and superiority in terms of possession should have won this game, however narrowly. Instead, it’s a result that goes down alongside the horrible reverse at Aston Villa as a damning indictment of their weakness away from home. Whether it’s something the manager can fix with the personnel at his disposal remains to be seen but the lack of options at centre-half don’t paint Silva or Marcel Brands and the rather half-hearted deadline-day dash for Marcos Rojo after the loss of Kurt Zouma in a very flattering light.

You get the feeling that without more leadership, pace and concentration in that part of the pitch, without better defending of set-pieces, and without a change in strategy in midfield that sees the gaps closed between the deeper-lying midfielders and Sigurdsson, these sorts of ugly reverses are going to keep happening. It certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence that this Everton team can go to places like the Etihad, Anfield, Stamford Bridge or the Emirates and get the kinds of results that will make up for the two away defeats suffered to date.

Calls for Silva’s head are, of course, premature but he and his staff have to find the solutions and very quickly because only so many results like these will be tolerated. This evening, joint second place with the Champions beckoned if Everton could do what was expected of them; instead of flying high among exalted company, the Blues are back in mid-table mediocrity with little sign of progress from last season.

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Reader Comments (47)

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Christopher Timmins
1 Posted 16/09/2019 at 08:11:58
Lyndon, I am happy to let the manager find the solution as to what is his best 11 is over the next couple of weeks but come October there should be signs of a settled side and a style of play. He may have to make a big decision up top as to date Siggy is a luxury that we cannot afford, certainly not away from home.

What worries me is the absolute joke regarding the centre half options. The priority at the end of last season was either sign Kurt or buy a replacement and that was not addressed.

Mike Doyle
2 Posted 16/09/2019 at 08:31:51
While the summer departures and signings may have resulted in a (small) general improvement in the quality of the squad, it's clear that the departures of Zouma and Gueye have left the first choice 11 weaker – hence we are back to conceding goals.

Keane and Mina are both decent players but, as last season, it appears that they cannot play together.

Also, Digne looks far more dangerous with Bernard in front of him.

Michael Lynch
3 Posted 16/09/2019 at 08:38:57
We're missing Gana and Zouma for sure, but we've supposedly strengthened in other areas so I really don't see any excuse for the mediocrity we've witnessed so far this season, especially away from home.

Sheffield Utd is going to be a huge test for us on Saturday – they give everything in every game and, it seems, we give either just enough or not quite enough.

Rennie Smith
4 Posted 16/09/2019 at 08:52:48
Good to see Calvert-Lewin get a (very good) goal and as usual he worked his socks off, but it's far too pedestrian and predictable going forward.

I'm not sure what's happening with Davies? He played well for England U21s midweek, but he's not getting a look-in at all this season? He's had plenty of stick on here in the past, unfair mostly, but he's surely a better option than Schneiderlin when Gomes isn't available?

In the comfort of Goodison, the defence looks solid, but there's no leader on the road. it doesn't seem like anyone is in control. I like Keane, I think he's really come on after a difficult first season, but he needs someone in his ear or he needs to grow into that leader pretty quick.

Simon Crosbie
5 Posted 16/09/2019 at 08:57:21
Rhythm is one thing, defending corners and set pieces is another. Regarding the latter, the inability to find solutions to what has become a persistent weakness is a poor reflection on Silva and his coaching staff.

One of the key skills in being a manager is identifying problems and rectifying them, and not to let them continue in a way that contaminates the psychological make-up of your players.

Colin Wordsworth
6 Posted 16/09/2019 at 09:08:40
So we have won two home games unconvincingly and lost 2 and drawn one of our 'easy' away games. We have players that are not quick and strong enough and we are not very exciting to watch. How is Silva still in a job?

I would bet, dare I say it, that even big Sam would probably have at least 10 points from these fixtures – we haven't played a so-called good side yet! Silva has to go and we have to get the best manager available, a proven winner.

Tony Everan
7 Posted 16/09/2019 at 09:40:25
Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and now Bournemouth, One goal scored and six against, and only 1 point to show for it.

Not top 6 form.

Bournemouth were sharper of the mind than us and took advantage. Our defending was poor. Poor inaccurate passing throughout. Relying on the hoof of Pickford time and time again because of lack of confidence on the ball. Or just lack of ability or movement from players in front.

Bournemouth's Eddie Howe watched the Villa video, set up his team well and motivated his players well. He out-thought Silva and his players out-fought ours.

This performance was rank. It feels like it has been knocked to the canvas, we need a run of league wins now to purge it.

Rick Tarleton
8 Posted 16/09/2019 at 09:45:52
We had 60% possession, according to this morning's paper, but this was a weirdly set up team. Delph and Schneiderlin as defensive midfielders, Sigurdsson as an attacking midfielder, and no engine room.

We accommodated during the course of the game a plethora of wingers, starting with Richarlison, Iwobi, and Calvert-Lewin, then bringing on Bernard, Kean and Walcott. I can't for the life of me see the balance in this team. Tosun does well for Turkey, but isn't deemed worthy even of a place on the bench.

Our back four is vulnerable to pace, and it looks like another long, hard season of disappointments.

Kevin Prytherch
9 Posted 16/09/2019 at 10:11:02
One of our biggest issues is...
We have hit on a formula that works well against the best 6 teams in the league.

However – we're not playing the best 6 teams in the league and it doesn't work against a lot of other teams.

We have the personnel to go with a similar formation to City and Liverpool, unfortunately that means dropping the undroppable Sigurdsson and playing 3 midfielders with more mobility than Schneiderlin. (Granted, Gbamin and Gomes we're out so we would have had to have gone with Delph, Schneiderlin and Davies.)

Silva needs to look at this and realise he can't keep setting the tram up the exact same way for every game and expect things to turn out differently.

John Davies
10 Posted 16/09/2019 at 11:31:16
I can't agree that it is premature for the club to be looking to replace the manager. Silva seems to be a one-trick pony who continues to tinker with his line-up even after a victory and seems nowhere near knowing what his best 11 is.

Once the game is in progress – and if things aren't going well – he is devoid of alternatives and too often makes changes too late.

I can't imagine many of the players are motivated by him either. He's passionless and comes across as wet, weak, and dull as dishwater.

But worst of all for me are the inane interviews he gives post-match where he offers views that show he clearly attended a different game to the one the rest of us watched.

We're in for a horrible, long, painful season and Silva will not change that one iota. It's not premature to replace him. We need to find his replacement and quickly.

Steve Ferns
11 Posted 16/09/2019 at 13:58:00
We are one point off 3rd position, some of you are unbelievable. One mistake and you're done? I don't think you could put much blame at Silva's door anyway.

The team was setup alright, except for we were playing too much of a high line with that defence, which gives me cause for concern. Having such a high line, away from home in particular, is asking for trouble. However, to execute an effective pressing game, which was bearing fruit and causing Bournemouth no end of problems, has to have a high line. There's no getting away from that.

We pressed well and I thought we were by far the better side until their second goal. We certainly controlled the ball. Where we were going wrong was by not creating enough clear-cut chances. The players were getting into the right positions and were consistently picking the wrong pass or overhitting the pass. So Silva's coaching was working by getting the movement and the pressing right, but the individual players were failing to do as instructed with the key passes.

Let's not forget that Richarlison cracked one off the bar, the movement and the passing in that move was great to watch.

Each of the goals was easily avoided. The first was a corner where first Richarlison was beaten for the flick-on and then Calvert-Lewin was flat footed and watched as King got a touch, and then Keane and Schneiderlin didn't react quick enough as Wilson nodded in the goal. So Everton players all not switched on. But yeah, blame the manager for that.

The second was a terrible piece of defending where Delph just missed it by trying to use his left, when all he needed was to swing his right. I don't think any blame could be attached to Pickford, but I expect he will question himself on it.

The third was Mina and Keane. Mina won the header and stepped forwards. Then he and Keane stood gawping as it was lobbed over them for Wilson to run onto, and Pickford did his best but Wilson was too good not to score from there. Mina should have not admired his header and should have dropped back, Keane should have been wise to Mina and either dropped to cover or shouted Mina back.

The high line worries me. I don't think Keane is as bad as the hammering he is getting now in the press. I watched the game on Sky and the commentator was out for him from the first minute, going on about the England error. The narrative is now set for Keane. It will be difficult to turn that around in the next couple of games.

So, I would consider "taking him out of the firing line" as the saying goes, and putting the quicker Mason Holgate in to see how he does with Yerry Mina. I think they could complement each other's strengths and weaknesses.

As for the ridiculous team selection criticism. Silva put Calvert-Lewin in and he scored. He also forced a few turnovers in possession. He justified his selection. Kean is not ready yet. Sorry lads, you need to be patient with our young Italian, he will be in and out the side. When he came on he did nothing to suggest to me that he could have done more than Calvert-Lewin. I hoped he'd be on a little earlier, around the 60 minute mark, and with the score in our favour.

As for the other change, Gomes was injured and so he brought in Schneiderlin. What else was he supposed to do?

Rennie Smith
12 Posted 16/09/2019 at 14:57:13
Agree with the majority of your points, Steve, it's ridiculous to blame Silva for everything. Tactics, formations, subs etc, fair enough, but if serious pro footballers can't make a 15-yard pass or concentrate for a whole game then who's fault is that?

The only point I do disagree with is Schneiderlin instead of Davies. I can't see what the benefit is, he's slow and ponderous. Davies may have his limits but at least he adds zip and drive.

Tony Hill
13 Posted 16/09/2019 at 15:04:16
It isn't all about Silva, far from it. It will be a measure of him as a manager, though, to see how the team reacts and for how long it can be sustained. If it does react at all, of course.

This is a time for some boldness and some ingenuity. I will be delighted if Silva can demonstrate those qualities.

Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 16/09/2019 at 15:33:52
Steve (#11); What else could he have done other than Schneiderlin?

The options are numerous: a direct replacement of Gomes with either Bernard or Sigurdsson and if the latter play Kean or Richarlison in Sigurdsson's usual position with the alternative of Bernard and/or Iwobi wide. He could even have asked Davies to play there and play in a more advanced position than Schneiderlin actually did. But no, he opted for two defensive midfielders who rarely helped out when attacking and didn't actually improve our defending.

If Gomes was unavailable owing to an injury from the Wolves game, then he had two weeks to come up with an alternative system altogether. It's more a matter of what couldn't he have done rather than what was he supposed to do.

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 16/09/2019 at 15:41:47
I think it goes far deeper than just picking different players and saying this will work or won't work. It's gone on collectively for too long now, it's a problem that runs deeper than Marco Silva, granted he's done little to rectify it but it's long been a problem.

Under Martinez, we attacked like demons away from home, I was there when we won at Old Trafford and bossed Arsenal at the Emirates, and was present in the 3-0 at Southampton and 3-0 at Stoke and witnessed the 3-3 at Chelsea, at 2-0 up we were attacking with 7 men in Chelsea's box. We played mesmerising football at times going forward.

The unraveling for that though was defensively we were like a block of Swiss cheese and was the eventual downfall.

Under Koeman, we never seemed anything other than workmanlike carried most of the time by a 25 goal striker that papered over other deficiencies, cracks that showed in Koeman's second season after Lukaku's departure.

Silva has not really proved to be too much more than a cross between Koeman and Martinez this far, less attacking than Martinez and slightly less defensive than Koeman.

Silva is stuck somewhere in the middle but the away form is grotesquely bad that we can't ignore it anymore. I don't know how he finds a solution to this problem because I've seen little evidence of a backbone in Everton's team for a long time and I certainly don't see it now.

The art of pinching 1-0 away wins has gone from Everton now, it's a scoreline that we have only been on the beneficial side of once (the win at Huddersfield in January) since December 2017.

Jer Kiernan
16 Posted 16/09/2019 at 16:11:25
No away wins = Mentally weak, simple both Manager and Team.

I understand the new "style" of Management where it's all about showing the love etc etc, but sitting in the dugout and rolling your eyes is not enough for me. Show some passion ffs (even fake it if you have to). Add to that changing a winning side??

To note Mina is an "Oaf" — it's a call and I am making it. He causes and will cause nothing but chaos in any defence he is apart of.

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 16/09/2019 at 16:19:42
Jer, did he really just sit in the dug-out and roll his eyes though? There's a camera thrust in both manager's faces for the full 90. They love getting manager's reactions and overplaying them for dramatic effect.

Some armchair fans say he needs to be on the touchline more at home games. The reality is that he's never off the touchline. Could it be that you saw one split second picture, that might not even be a live image, used for dramatic effect?

If someone who was at the game wants to tell he was sat down for extended periods, I will accept that. But Marco Silva is always on the touchline, and never moves from there. He also doesn't stop gesticulating and shouting to the players, so to say he doesn't is ludicrous.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 16/09/2019 at 16:43:20
I truly believe Silva's heart is in the right place, I believe he is desperate to succeed. He's a likeable character much in the same way Roberto Martinez was. You could feel he wanted to do something for this club whereas Koeman was only in it for himself as too was Big Sam.

The biggest concern though is whether Silva has got the mental strength and the commanding nature to be what we need and have needed for years.

The jury is still out.

Jer Kiernan
19 Posted 16/09/2019 at 16:55:37
Point taken on Sky creating a "production" and I can only speak of the TV but I have never seen him look anything other than despondent, And if getting angry is in his repertoire I have yet to see it

I also note he has never uses the word "embarrassing" despite overseeing any number of performances worthy of the description since taking over at the helm, maybe lost in translation.

HIs teams lack fight and bottle, teams reflect their managers and nice guys seldom win, the RS and City are dying for the cause every game I watch them. I know and see when both Klopp or Guardiola are angry though, funnily enough, and I watch their games on TV also??

Jay Harris
20 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:17:08

You make some valid points but this phenomenon under Silva is not new. Pre-season showed that we couldn't score goals and leaked goals even though looking good in possession.

We have a back five of top internationals who cost over £100M (even allowing for Seamus at £60k.) They look confused and lethargic so is it the players or the coaching?

I was convinced by your arguments last season when we hit that purple patch I thought "Yeah, we need to give this guy time."

But since last season, we can't even get the basics right and we still have the same issue of not scoring goals from our pressure and conceding them from being under pressure.

I don't think it's premature to ask questions when the mighty Lincoln, Villa and Bournemouth have just put 7 past us.

When can all make excuses about injuries or bad luck etc but when that is occurring frequently then questions have to be asked and answered.

David Connor
21 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:25:21
Mentally weak coach = mentally weak team. Sylva's posture when we go behind is nothing short of disgraceful. Arms crossed, head down. We need a coach on the sideline that shows passion and isn't scared to bollock a player when he deserves it. Unfortunately, that's not his style and that will probably be his downfall because there has been no improvement in the team since he took charge.

We are too nice when we play away. Let's see some passion and controlled aggression for fuck's sake. You see more fight from every Sunday league team but a pro footballer showing none of these qualities is unforgivable. And we have too many of them. We need them gone.
Steve Ferns
22 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:30:56
Jay, it’s not wrong to ask those questions. Saying get rid when we sit one point off third is ridiculous.
Clarence Yurcan
23 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:38:51
Why, God, why?
Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:45:31
Steve #11, you've waved the Silva flag highest of all since before he was hired, so I'm not surprised you're gonna go down with the ship, but "I don't think you could put much blame at Silva's door anyway" is just plain ridiculous.

I do not support the calls for his sacking, because it would be idiotically premature (and there is no replacement out there I'm remotely interested in), but I am increasingly convinced he will not succeed at Everton.

To me a key test of a manager is how his team executes the fundamentals, specifically in dead ball situations. And we continue to be, as we have been since Silva took over, the worst in the Premier League on set pieces. We have given up the most set piece goals, through disorganization and lack of fundamental marking ability -- either we leap highest or we lose. And outside of Digne's fierce left foot we are no threat to score on our own free kicks and corners -- they are slapdash and poorly planned, a kick-and-hope system with no choreographed runs like Bournemouth executed yesterday with Solanke's flick-on from the corner.

Furthermore, as Lyndon pointed out Silva's system, pretty as it looks with the passing out of the back, is as predictable as his refusal to change his substitution patterns or his formation. As you pointed out, he stuck with the ill-advised high line even when it proved vulnerable. If Plan A isn't working, Silva has no Plan B.

Silva is a fine players' coach -- the improvement in the individual games of Zouma and Keane last season and Mina, Richarlison and even Schneiderlin this season is clear -- and his work on the training ground is evident in our passing game. But, once the whistle blows, he is a weakness. In my view, Silva has been out-managed in every game this season, wins and losses both, and I don't think he's going to get any better when our schedule starts to get more difficult.

I think he may still be around come May. He won't be by June.

Paul Tran
25 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:47:12
The main concern I had this summer was whether our good run at the end of last season was as much due to the pressure being off, as it was due to form. So far, so weak in mental terms.

I was happy with team selection and set up on Saturday, I'd rather we press and leave the odd gap trying to win games. Problem is, we're not creating enough chances. Adding to that, our heads go down too easily, we don't look like a team that can come from behind.

Way too early to call for Silva's head. One goal and one point from those away games isn't good enough. He needs to work on the mentality of the team, or bring someone in who can.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:55:51
Jer #19, foolish call.

Even with the positional mistake yesterday, Mina is our best CB, better than Keane, better than Zouma was last year. He might appear ungainly, but he has performed superbly, especially given his inexperience. He's dominant in the air, solid on the ground, relaxed and capable with the ball at his feet, and displays a passionate attitude.

I predicted before the season that he'd make some early mistakes -- yesterday was his first -- but that by Christmas he'd be one of the top CBs in the Prem. I stand by both predictions.

David Thomas
27 Posted 16/09/2019 at 17:58:39
Silva is not the answer and is out of his depth. However, I don’t see much point in sacking him because we will most likely bring in another loser anyway to replace him.

The whole club is a shambles full of weak minded people.

Jerome Shields
28 Posted 16/09/2019 at 18:45:51
Silva will see out his contract. He will have at least two purple patches this season, not just the one like last season and a bit of a Cup run.

He has overall a better set of players and they are more use to the system. Fitness and preparation have to improve, they will, interrupted by the odd nightmare result.

Next year, Everton will have moved on the deadwood and Kenwright will retire. Problems solved.

Jer Kiernan
29 Posted 16/09/2019 at 20:12:26
Mike @26,

Sorry but I must object, he may have been out-done yesterday in the incompetent stakes but the guy is an "oaf". I said it before; this season, I had my suspicions, and I am sorry but I feel now convinced.

You say "he has performed superbly" — are we watching the same team, you and I??? When? Against whom?? Please tell!!!

You may well eat those words, my friend. If you take a look at the game yesterday, apart from his glaring errors, he appears to daydream and sometimes seems unaware there are another 10 players on the pitch, let alone a ball.

If you're arsed watch the highlights of the game,1st half Bournemouth get a freekick, we play a high line, our defense stands to trap them offside and that buffoon goes racing over to chase the ball 10 yards behind the held line and only by the grace of god the flag had gone up. It's like he is in a world of his own

I will grant you he does seem a bit more interested than say "Scheneirdlin" but he will be badly exposed this season from open play, set pieces and indeed VAR

And again "but better than Zouma was last season"?? After 3 games, you must be joking — or 0know something thousands of Toffees supporters don't? I suspect otherwise and the stats don't back this up. How many have we conceded this season already??

I as always will be happy to eat humble pie if he turns out to be a great acquistion but I suspect it's you who will be dining on this one, my friend…

Watch this space. :)

John Pierce
30 Posted 16/09/2019 at 20:27:10
Steve @11. We are one point off 3rd. The statement should be “Why aren't we at least 3rd?”

Answer: Silva cannot break down poor teams.

Therein lies why many take issue with Silva.

Paul Traill
31 Posted 16/09/2019 at 20:33:38
What frustrates me the most is how easy it always is for opposition to score compared with how hard we have to work to score. The two away games we lost at Villa and Bournemouth were both equally as frustrating because in both games we conceded very easily when we were well on top. We need to cut this out and Marco will be well aware of this, he's said as much.

I'm not too concerned about the attack. Decision making is poor yes but I think there's enough quality in attack to get that right, but in defence we really need to tune in, and quickly. Losing Gueye and Zouma has really bitten us.

As for Silva. I don't really blame him. The players need to take better responsibility with all of them goals. It's Brands who didn't get the centre back in. Marco is only a few games into his second season. Do we really want to sack another manager and begin the rebuilding process yet again? Like it or not we need stability, and to get stability requires time and patience.

Jay Wood

32 Posted 16/09/2019 at 21:16:07
Steve @ 11 (and across other threads).

As Marco Silva's most devout cheerleader, it is no surprise you continue to stand by your man. And I agree with you, it's silly and extreme to be calling for his head a mere five games into the season.

That said, the performances and results to date will inevitably lead to debate whether he is the right man for the job.

Given the way we closed out last season, retaining the bulk of the squad (whilst trimming the deadwood), our summer recruitment and our exceedingly benevolent opening fixtures, it is a tad ingenious of you to berate others with the line "We are one point off third position". We SHOULD have garnered more points (and goals!) by now.

An equally legitimate response to that is "Why are we 11th and just 3 points above the relegation zone rather than sat in the top three?" Because our opening five fixtures most definitely offered us that possibility. But we have blown our opportunity. Badly.

In truth, both views are absurd because the league table is still only embryonic. Five games is way too premature to read who will finish where come the final whistle of the season, OR to be calling for the manager's head.

I also agree with you that the image of Silva slumped (seemingly forlorn and passive) in the dugout that many are making a big deal about is an unfair one. Unless there is a 'manager cam' that viewers watch for the entire 90 minutes, nobody can categorically say when or for how long he was recorded in that position. As you rightly note, during games he seems (for the overwhelmingly majority of the game) stood on the touchline, shouting and gesturing to the players what he wants.

Where I depart from your support of Silva is what he does in-game to change a losing or stalemated situation. The fact that more than a year into the job that he has yet to win a game from a losing position strongly suggests that he doesn't hit on game-changing, or merely game-saving, strategies in-game.

Now personally I really dislike the psychobabble some claim about being able to 'read' the body language of any individual. But based on results alone and the substitutions he makes when we go behind, it strikes me he does not have, say, the Alex Ferguson touch of knowing what is needed and when to turn the game in your favour.

More than once he has gone all 'gung-ho' and randomly throws on more forward players, often sacrificing midfielders even defenders, in an attempt to retrieve a losing game. Oft times, it results in totally unbalancing an already struggling team.

With that in mind, it strikes me that Marco Silva may well be the great training ground coach you trumpet him to be (although your list of players he has improved at Everton is rather an inflated claim), but not a great in-game coach.

That is, he may be savvy to note in-game what is amiss and will work to correct that in training post-match, but to address it and improve things in a live game..? There is little or no evidence to date in his Everton career that he is capable of that.

It is a failing he needs to improve. Radically.

Jay Wood

33 Posted 16/09/2019 at 21:42:01
* Opps! Too late for a post edit, but to correct a typo my comment in paragraph 4 of my post @ 32 SHOULD read:

"it is a tad DISINGENUOUS of you to berate others with the line..." [etc].

Colin Wordsworth
34 Posted 16/09/2019 at 21:45:16
Gents, the problem is the calibre of teams we have played to the points gained. Just imagine if big Sam was in charge this site would be red hot. I just don't get the hype of Silva. There is a far better Portuguese manager waiting for a job.
Jack Convery
35 Posted 17/09/2019 at 01:33:37
We've had two parts of our spine removed (Zouma / Gueye) – no wonder we collapse so easily. Imagine Delph with Gueye and Gomes... now that's a midfield.

Delph, Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson? Nah, not for me. Sigurdsson either needs a rest or can only play well when the team does. Schneiderlin is not the answer to losing Gueye.

Whilst we wait for Gbamin to get fit, play Delph, Davies and Gomes in the engine room. Iwobi on the left and Richarlison on the right and let Kean have a run of a few games as the striker – play this team versus both Sheffield clubs:

Pickford, Sidibe, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gomes, Delph, Davies, Iwobi, Kean and Richarlison.

Bill Watson
36 Posted 17/09/2019 at 01:39:32
I have been to every Silva Premier League and FA Cup away game (excepting Chelsea) and, 20 odd matches later, we are still making the same mistakes and Silva is still incapable of changing a losing position. As others have pointed out, his substitutions often appear rushed, unbalance the side and never work.

We have thrown away a comparatively easy start to the season, are leaking goals for fun and finding it difficult to get shots on target, never mind score.

Silva may be a great coach on the training field but Premier League matches aren't played at Finch Farm.

I very much doubt he'll be here by the next AGM.

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 17/09/2019 at 01:52:38
Jer #29, I said last year, not last season, )and you have a very short memory, mate). Zouma was awful for his first two months with us -- a ball-watching, head-turned, can't-find-his-mark disaster. Silva squared him away from his footwork to his positioning, and by Christmas he was performing well, and by March he was outstanding.

But Mina right now is miles ahead of where Zouma was at the same point last year. I stand by my opinion -- he has played very, very well, on the ball and off. The Forum consensus yesterday had him as MotM until that late error, and it wasn't the first time.

And I'm sorry, but I'm calling BS on the "appears to daydream" as I do with all the visionaries on TW who claim to be able to read body language. He's not daydreaming or drifting, he's constantly right where he should be.

Regarding the high line, Mina's never played it before, and he's learning it from a manager who, in my opinion, does a poor job of teaching it.

Again, he will make mistakes in the first half of the season, because he's new to all this. And you will no doubt jump all over them with the appropriate I-told-you-so. But I'll bet you that, by mid-season, you're the one dining on crow, not me.

Rob Marsh
38 Posted 17/09/2019 at 01:55:09
Mike # 24,

I think you're being optimistic about his chances of seeing it through to May. His win/loss/draw pattern now seems established (even this early).

I'd give him until the new year or rather I think the club will give him until then. These two coming games against the two Sheffield clubs who on paper we should sort the pair of them out, but Bournemouth have just shown these two how to deal with our superiority on paper.

A win on Saturday is the only result I'll accept and Goodison Park will be expecting one as well. Sheffield Wednesday could have a big impact on our already dented morale. A cold Autumn night against a very physical Championship side, If we don't come out of our corner throwing haymakers, we could lose that one easily.

That would be a very serious loss for Silva.

Kevin Prytherch
39 Posted 17/09/2019 at 08:55:02
Jack 35 - I agree with the team selection there.

We have the personnel for a 4-3-3 with attacking wingers/inside forwards like Man City and Liverpool play. However, we can't play it with Sigurdsson in the team.

We need to mix it up depending on the opposition as we're not good enough to set up the same way and let them worry about us.

Jer Kiernan
40 Posted 17/09/2019 at 10:20:32
Mike @37,

Okay, this could go on forever let us wait and see Sir You claim by Xmas he will be "one of the Top centre-back in the Premier League" I don't see it.

The daydream comment is based on my opinion that his positioning is poor and his actions erratic "Oafish" so the body language theory does not apply here, Also, he never played a high line before??

We will pick this up at Xmas

I will be happy to tuck in to some Xmas humble pie if Mina is getting picked in pundits team of the week and standing out as our best centre-back – let alone the Premier League's

Kase Chow
42 Posted 17/09/2019 at 16:19:15
We haven't improved from last season.

No recognised proven goal scorer / striker (and I mean proven) and no depth at centre back.

Notwithstanding these issues, Silva has had more or less his strongest squad available to him (aside from odd injury eg Gomes) and struggled to fashion a consistent improvement.

I was a Silva fan but:

- We keep conceding at set pieces
- he keeps on with this maddening 4-5-1
- he keeps playing Walcott (WHY?!?!)
- he keeps playing 2 defensive midfielders again WHY?!? It neither prevents us conceding goals nor provides an effective platform to be free-scoring – what's the point?
- he can't seem to acknowledge when something isn't working (see the above repeated and often made mistakes for evidence).

I admit, I'm close to wanting a new manager with a brain. Silva is yet to convince me.

Bobby Thomas
43 Posted 17/09/2019 at 17:10:28
Kase #42

It's not your strongest squad when you have just lost your best performing midfielder and centre back.

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 17/09/2019 at 17:58:56
Jer #37, no, neither Palmeiras nor the Colombian national team uses a high line at all, so Mina has almost no experience with it.

Of course Barca is famous for it, but Mina only started four games for them, and in one of them he was completely lost as they gave up five goals. So he is learning that system on the job right now. Thus the inevitable mistakes.

Annika Herbert
45 Posted 17/09/2019 at 19:35:31
I have always been a Silva supporter but am beginning to have my doubts now.

I agree with most posters that we are struggling defensively and, unfortunately, Coleman looks to be on a downward spiral from which there will be no recovery. Keane looks desperately short on confidence and we all know he lacks pace. I do believe that Mina will eventually become a top defender for us though.

I also firmly believe that Walcott is finished as a Premier League player and it's time to move on from Scheiderlin. But I also believe, as I have stated many times previously, that we are simply not creative enough. Sigurdsson is not good enough in that respect in my opinion and never will be. Yes, he scored 13 goals last season, and yes, he does work hard. But, as a number 10, he simply doesn't do enough.

For any of you stats influenced people, read the Adam Bate story on Sigurdsson's transfer to Everton. An extraordinarily high number of the chances he created in his final season with Swansea came from set-pieces rather than open play. The piece is a story Bate wrote for Sky.

The suggestion is that the chances he did create were far more difficult to score from than the one's created by top players playing in his position, as they created far more chances from open play, whereas Sigurdsson's creativity came from dead-ball situations.

So, in my honest opinion, until we have a quicker, more mobile, more creative, Number 10, whoever plays up-front for us will always struggle for goals. If we can't defend properly and can't create when going forward, then we really are in trouble.

Kim Vivian
46 Posted 17/09/2019 at 20:39:54
I haven't read any of the comments on this thread and have just jumped on as it were.

But watching Napoli/Liverpool and I just wish that our manager had a fraction of the touchline presence of Klopp. He's a Duracell bunny for sure but, by Christ, he affects everyone, including the opposition I'd reckon.

Kase Chow
47 Posted 18/09/2019 at 19:49:59
Bobby #43

Who is the centre back you speak of? If it's Zouma then he's not in our squad.

Point accepted re Gomes hence my ‘more or less' no manager will have his entire squad available injury-free for an entire season.

My point is that currently he's got pretty much his strongest options available and we still lose to Villa and Bournemouth.

What happens when Keane, Richarlison and Sigurdsson are injured and Delph & Iwobi (for example) are suspended? We'll be playing similar teams to dross like Villa/Bournemouth with a weaker first XI.

Doesn't bode well when our ‘best XI' (within reason) aren't offering much hope.

Henry Lloyd
48 Posted 20/09/2019 at 04:09:28
Jer and Mike..

Yerry Mina is a Gangly and Slow defender who is anything but comfortable on the ball! He is supposed to show some prowess in the opposition box for scoring the odd goal!! He managed that against a pretty fucking good England Defence in the World Cup - One of the Primary reasons we bought him...!

One of the top centre-backs in the Premier League by Christmas? Absolutely NO CHANCE!!!! That is some Statement that!!

He will plod on, have an occasional good game when we get stuffed!! Other than that, he is bang average and was a "Huge Waste of Money"! I am sure there are a lot of Evertonians who agree??

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