Blues can't bridge gulf in class but will take positives from defeat to City

By Lyndon Lloyd 28/09/2019 97comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 3 Manchester City

Evertonians will come out of this game with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the Blues suffered an almost entirely predictable defeat, extending their sequence of losses in the Premier League to four and sinking to 15th place in the table. On the other, there was a noticeable response from Marco Silva’s players to the debacle against Sheffield United and, while the Champions’ undoubted superiority told in the end, for a period in the second half, it felt as though the contest wasn’t necessarily destined to end in three points for the visitors.

Ultimately, it tilted in Manchester City’s favour, thanks to the breakthrough made by Riyad Mahrez with 20 minutes to go but, in the final reckoning, the difference in scores was perhaps a little flattering to Pep Guardiola’s men. Not so much that they scored three goals — they were intermittently at their typical best going forward and were playing through Everton’s line with ease at times — but they will count themselves fortunate that they only conceded one.

Indeed, had it not been for Ederson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin would have been celebrating a second brace in the space of a few days and Everton might, with a bit of fortune at the other end, have come away with a point. As it was, however, the Brazilian made a vital save in the 76th minute just when it looked as though the hosts might level the game for a second time. Ederson also saved twice from Yerry Mina from set-pieces and apparently faced more shots on target than any City keeper has under Guardiola so far.

Silva will again rue his team’s lack of clinical finishing but he will have been buoyed by the performance overall, particularly after he had to alter his chosen game plan before the match had even got going. Theo Walcott, a surprise inclusion in the starting XI at the expense of Alex Iwobi, aimed at exploiting space behind the left side of City’s defence, had to be stretchered off after taking a ball to the head with less than a minute on the clock. It looked an innocuous incident but it ended with the winger making a precautionary trip to hospital and his manager having to introduce Iwobi and switch Richarlison back to the right flank from the left.

The injury also served to disrupt any siren-inspired momentum Everton might have tried to build up in the early stages, although the visitors had already forced the first save from Jordan Pickford when he had to push Mahrez’s shot away. And City were back on the front foot when play resumed, going worryingly close five minutes later when Mina cleared the ball straight to Mahrez and he found Ilkay Gundogan completely untracked by Michael Keane in the box but the midfielder somehow smashed his shot off the face of the crossbar from three yards out.

The opening goal, when it arrived in the 24th minute, came from the same flank where Mahrez sucked Lucas Digne into committing to a block and simply knocked the ball past him, advanced level with the penalty area and squared it to Kevin de Bruyne who swept one his trademark deadly balls into the six-yard box behind the centre-halves for Gabriel Jesus to stoop and head home.

Everton’s response was almost immediate as Iwobi and Gylfi Sigurdsson combined, with the latter delivering a rasping shot from the edge of the box that Ederson had to parry and then gather at the second attempt.

After Mahrez had popped up at the end of one counter-attack and fired too close to Jordan Pickford and then despatched another effort straight at the keeper, the Blues equalised in the 33rd minute. Stand-in centre-back Fernandinho could only clear straight to Iwobi who did well to charge down the loose ball which broke to Coleman and the Irishman’s deft clip over Ederson looked to be heading inside the far corner of the goal before Calvert-Lewin made sure with a diving header on the line.

With a bit more composure eight minutes after that, Sigurdsson might have sent Everton into half-time ahead. Picked out by a sublime ball lofted over the top of the defence by Iwobi, the Icelander tried to bring it down rather than help it over the advancing goalkeeper and it dropped behind him and the chance was lost.

Nevertheless, going in level was not an unfair reflection of Everton’s first-half efforts against the slick attacking Champions but Silva’s side rode their luck a little in the early minutes of the second period. Gundogan had a sight of goal after a ball over the top had released Raheem Sterling but the German’s shot was well blocked before De Bruyne successfully evaded an ill-advised lunge by Digne but lashed his shot into the side-netting.

The home side were causing City problems of their own, however, and after Calvert-Lewin had drawn a foul for which Nicolas Otamendi was booked and, from the resulting free-kick, Richarlison headed over, Oleksandr Zinchenko felled the Brazilian, setting up a dead-ball situation for Digne. The Frenchman delivered a dangerous cross that Mina met with a downward header but Ederson palmed it acrobatically over.

If Pickford would face criticism for the goal that restored City’s lead in the 71st minute, he was instrumental in ensuring that Sterling didn’t score their second 11 minutes earlier. Mina’s attempted pass out of defence bounced back off Iwobi’s heel, Gundogan dissected the defence perfectly to Sterling clean in with just Pickford to beat but the England man made himself big and forced his international team-mate into side-footing the gilt-edged chance wide.

Whether lax in not covering the right side of his goal as Mahrez lined up a free-kick after Mina had been adjudged to have fouled De Bruyne just outside the box, or simply unsighted by a combination of his wall and the opposition decoys on the end of it, Pickford was made to look less than impressive as the Algerian stroked the ball into the bottom corner from 20-odd yards to make it 2-1.

Still, despite Sergio Agüero stepping off the bench to go on a driving run that ended with him firing a shot a couple of feet over, Everton almost equalised again. Sigurdsson slipped Calvert-Lewin in beautifully but Ederson was off his line in lightning fashion and got enough on the shot to divert it wide.

He would deny Mina again from a corner three minutes later after Moise Kean, a 74th-minute introduction for the tiring Iwobi, had won a corner with some nice footwork, the City keeper diving to his right to block the Colombian’s header and Calvert-Lewin made a hash of the rebound.

City killed the game with six minutes to go with another goal that summed up the quality in their ranks. Mahrez twisted and turned Mina and Digne in the area, Agüero took over on the overlap and forced a save from Pickford with his legs but it fell to Sterling lurking eight yards out from the back post and he rifled a shot off the underside of the bar and just over the line.

Having seen what an exuberant Norwich did to Manchester City a fortnight ago, it’s hard not to be disappointed with a 3-1 defeat, even to a team brimming with as much talent as Guardiola’s who were unlikely to have many off days like the one they had at Carrow Road. Despite all that money spent, the Blues are still miles away from competing with the Citizens.

Viewed in the context of Everton’s recent form, and that awful display against Sheffield United in particular, we Blues should at least take heart from the positives to be taken from an improved performance. If there were question marks, apart from Pickford’s positioning of the wall for the goal, they mostly surrounded Digne, who doesn’t look as strong without Bernard in front of him, and Iwobi who faded in the second half before being substituted with a quarter of an hour to go, yet still looked far more justified a presence in the team than Walcott has been for a long time. Digne, however, was set to join Bernard on the sick list but was passed fit enough to play and it’s possible that Iwobi was afflicted by the same bug.

Elsewhere, there were good signs. Though the goal wasn’t accredited to Coleman, it was his reward nonetheless for his most spirited and most impressive attacking performance for a long time – even if but he was guilty at times of leaving too much space behind him for Sterling.

Mina played well enough at the back; Morgan Schneiderlin was solid and did the unfussy, unglamorous stuff well; Fabian Delph was impressive against his former team-mates; Sigurdsson was involved in some of the team’s best moments; and Calvert-Lewin led the line with energy and purpose.

All of that will stand the team in good stead for the trip to Burnley which has now taken on massive importance, particularly for Marco Silva. Nothing but a win at Turf Moor is really good enough but, certainly, if he doesn’t get a decent points return from that game, the home clash with West Ham and the trip to Brighton, he really will be under huge pressure.

For his sake, let’s hope there was enough on show today to build on for that important run of games between now and the end of October. True to their meetings with all of the top six bar Tottenham at Goodison Park last season, Marco Silva’s players came prepared to have a go.

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Reader Comments (97)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 29/09/2019 at 06:57:12
I can never take positives from a defeat, I'm sorry.

We played ok but that's because City allow you space and give you chances, plus let's be honest they didn't even truly break sweat.

We were as usual architects of our own downfall and it's quickly becoming a very worrying trait this season.

Two 6'-4" centre-halves yet we allow one of the smallest men there to score a header.

Pickford pathetic on that free-kick (showing a real weakness in his game that) and pretty much already this season is back to madcap stupid ways, I'm starting to believe he's more a liability than Tim Howard in his final season under Martinez.

Inability to bury really presentable opportunities when they came, same old story.

It was a strange game, a muted atmosphere at times and it feels like a game that we probably should have won because we walk away feeling Man City gave us so much room to create things but we could take it, at the other end we self destruct and made it easy for them.

The big month for Silva and this team starts next Saturday however, finish the end of October in 15th or lower, then I think he'll be clearing his desk.

Rick Tarleton
2 Posted 29/09/2019 at 08:49:49
It's City's work ethic, especially in the midfield, that separates them from us. We line up with two midfielders hanging back, therefore we can't compete for energy and Sigurdsson, as our creative man, lacks the engine to compete with the likes of De Bruyne.

Add to that their striking depth, so that Aguero is on the bench, and you have us poles apart.

The Everton team obviously lacks a class striker, but it also lacks some of the energy that is now a prerequisite of the better Premier League teams. Gomes has many assets, but he isn't a great engine. We haven't the energy in midfield to have the luxury of two wide players. Calvert-Lewin isn't a natural central striker or finisher, but he gives his all. Kean perhaps will grow into the striker we need, but I tend to feel that teams like Barcelona and Juventus don't sell players who are top-notch.

With our run of fixtures against better teams coming up, I am not hopeful that we will be near the top half of the table come November. Silva must be fearful for his future.

Bob Parrington
3 Posted 29/09/2019 at 09:16:58
I was with friends in the Bullens Road stands for this one, which was obviously so much better than watching on Optus Sports in Australia. I, too, felt that we are architects of our own downfall at times, being unable to clear our lines.

City's work ethic is outstanding and midfield was where we seemed to lose most ground. I also thought we went too narrow with both Seamus and Lucas, leaving ourselves open to their ability to break quickly and/or make excellent wide long passes to then rapidly stretch our defence.

I'd like to see again the offence that made Michael Oliver blow for the free-kick that lead to their second goal because I didn't notice anything that deserved the decision – not saying either it was or wasn't a foul, just need another look.

Some good stuff from us as well. Liked Iwobi and Delph and thought Calvert-Lewin was much improved, particularly in the air. Richarlison had a good game, too.

At times, I felt that when going forward, we have a bunch of players that don't even know each other and that the movement off the ball was extremely poor especially compared to City.

it would be interesting to see some statistics on crosses from the right vs left in to our penalty area as it appears that we are so much weaker defending crosses from our left side than our right. Again – just seems that way but I might be wrong.

Overall, disappointed with the result but saw some positives. However, Marco Silva, we need to get back to winning ways – quickly!

Ian Bennett
4 Posted 29/09/2019 at 09:22:03
More effort, but the same result. A lack of clinical finishing again, and a lack of belief in coming back when going behind.

Pickford I thought was at fault on the own goal last week. He's definitely at fault for the free-kick – and I think he has to be doing better on the first. If the ball is crossed into the 6-yard box 2 yards out, you'd expect your keeper to be near it. Harsh, may be, but the best keepers don't cough up goals like those three.

Anthony Murphy
5 Posted 29/09/2019 at 09:23:07
Yes, there are some positives from last night, but how many times have we said that in our recent history? How many times have plucky little Everton given a good account of themselves but took zero points from the game?

Other teams will do exactly the same against Man City this season. They will raise their game, have a go but ultimately lose and do so comfortably. So what?

Raising your game a bit against the Champions is expected as is a reaction after a defeat to a newly promoted team. The mediocrity that has gripped this club knows no bounds.

Trevor Peers
6 Posted 29/09/2019 at 09:31:19
Rick @2,

De Bruyne is a world-class player, just having energetic players in midfield like Davies with no real creative or goalscoring skills won't solve our problems — yesterday's game proved that he did nothing when he came on. Replace Sigurdsson by all means, he's not getting any younger but let's get it right, there's no-one at the club capable of doing the job at the moment, we'd need to buy big.

The main reason we are struggling is our failure in front of goal, Calvert-Lewin was unlucky not to score again, but we need more players who carry a goal threat and our season depends on Richarlison, Kean, Iwobi and Sigurdsson finding the net. I'm sure they will at some stage or we and Silva are in big trouble.

Christopher Timmins
7 Posted 29/09/2019 at 09:53:36
Lyndon, I have to agree with your take on the game. I for one am happy to give the manager the next run of 7/8 games to see if he can improve the picture. Our first-choice mid fielders are both out of action and hopefully Gomes will be back sooner rather than later.

I did take one major negative from the game and that was the performance of our Number 1, the second goal should have been prevented and he nearly caused a fourth late on.

If by late November we have 15 points from 15 games then I think at that stage a change will be justified.

Jay Tee
8 Posted 29/09/2019 at 09:58:59
You could see the difference in the players' approach by just watching the warm-up period. City players full of energy, 2 touches only in the players v players and crisp sharp passing; Everton, no energy and take as many touches as you want, more like a kick about on the local park. City's energy from this continued right through until the end of the game. Makes me think that we need a change of how we coach and prepare to get more out of these players.
Andrew Clare
9 Posted 29/09/2019 at 10:09:24
Let’s be honest. We are miles away from a team of City’s class. It’s depressing but we will be lucky to get anywhere near the top six unless there is a major uplift in our current form. We have already lost or drawn against poor journeyman teams so the chances of beating anyone in the six are very slim.
Rory Grant
10 Posted 29/09/2019 at 10:20:51
Jay Tee, you are right. The outward impression by all aspects was that these teams are not quite in the same league. And the match itself reflected it as well, a plucky effort by the lower-level team but the result not in doubt.

And positives? We lost, at home... what, we lost well? Nicely? No wonder the team seems to lack ambition if the fans don't have any!! We are 15th, possibly 16th tonight and some are calling for "7/8 matches" to see where we stand.

I can see it clearly now and can't believe that the club be ready to play with relegation just to make an effort to save Silva's reputation.

Mike Powell
11 Posted 29/09/2019 at 10:37:32
How many times have we said we have played well today and got beat? We need to start picking up some points; otherwise, we are in big trouble.
James O'Connell
12 Posted 29/09/2019 at 10:40:29
Man City do have better players but a well-motivated team with a game plan can beat them, as shown by Norwich.

Silva doesn't appear to be able to motivate, instill belief, or provide tactics that work. Same could be said for the last few managers so maybe time to stop wasting money on second-tier hopefuls and go recruit a proven winner.

Peter Mills
13 Posted 29/09/2019 at 10:57:38
Lyndon, It's not often I disagree with you, but I didn't take many positives away from Goodison Park yesterday. On the contrary, the fact that we put on an improved display, caused City some problems, but still lost 1-3 is pretty demoralising.

In truth, City are miles ahead of us. We have some talented players but they do not appear to have the same organisation, desire, and strength (physical and mental) as the City players. These are the things which the coach can change, or else there is no point in having one. Our coach is not doing so.

Amongst the good home showings towards the end of last season, there remained some ominously poor away displays, the game at Fulham being still seared in my memory. Our pre-season was dreadful, and I would venture that only our performance against Wolves could be deemed “good” so far. We are a long way from where we supporters aspire to be.

I understand those who say “we can't just keep changing managers” – I have some sympathy with that view, and I don't exactly relish the whole rigmarole around what that would entail. But equally, if the current incumbent is proving incapable of doing a competent job, he cannot remain.

Martin Mason
14 Posted 29/09/2019 at 11:00:57
Having seen a lot of clubs play each other now I believe that we could very well be in the relegation mix by the end of the season.
John Kavanagh
15 Posted 29/09/2019 at 11:05:02
Good teams can play badly and win (RS and City yesterday). Bad teams can play well and lose. We are a bad team playing badly and losing badly. Putting in the odd bit of effort only highlights how much players have been under-performing this season.

It is the manager's responsibility to get the best out of his squad and drop under-performing players who think their commitment need only be limited to under a dozen 'showcase' games a season.

I'm sick of us getting just the occasional Jim Bowen type display that says "Here's what you could have won or achieved if we could be arsed".

Jim Wilson
16 Posted 29/09/2019 at 11:19:47
No positives about our manager:

No idea on the fundamentals of the game
Tactically stupid
No motivational skills
Out of his depth
Poor man management
Won't or can't see the obvious
No common sense

Maybe he does know how to straighten his tie, but that's it.

Tony Hill
17 Posted 29/09/2019 at 11:56:24
Peter @13, I think that’s a very fair post and I’m sure many Blues feel the same.

I’m one for keeping Silva as things stand and I did see some good things yesterday, but I agree that a few more tame away defeats, in particular, would put him under enormous pressure and could lead to his going.

Henry McDonald
18 Posted 29/09/2019 at 12:02:05
Lyndon, I respect and admire you writing and analysis but there are no positives to be taken out of this game. We are in deep trouble and will sink further into the mire if we continue to have Silva at the helm.

Look at the defensive tactics for instance. The lack of urgency in a game against a team like Man City to get the ball out of the danger zone. How many times did players faff about with the ball within 20 to 25 yards of our goal yesterday? We need to be more direct from the back and learn to long pass it out and away from losing possession within sight of goal.

Team selection is another area where Silva falls down. Some of his choices yesterday were bewildering including Walcott (whom I wish a speedy recovery to) and you have to wonder what he sees that the rest of don't in some of those shirkers in the Royal Blue jerseys.

And, as well as a lack of threat up front there is a general dearth of steel, grit, bite in the side. No one is bollocking the others around them to put a shift in. I know he has only arrived but Fabian Delph does put in a shift and is prepared to make his feelings known. Is he the future captain this season?

Basically, the side looks either wimpish or disinterested. That is something you could not accuse the Moyes era sides of!

So, in summary, I think Moshiri etc must start looking now for an alternative because, if we are plunged into a relegation scrap I have little confidence, no faith in Silva digging us out of the swamp. The fan base need to let the club know that is how the vast majority of us feel because, when I am at Goodison or at away matches (Brighton, here I come!), I have yet to meet one supporter who thinks Silva is the answer.

Eddie Dunn
19 Posted 29/09/2019 at 12:15:22
It's good to let the dust settle after the emotion of the game and, with this in mind, I know Everton tried hard and went to-to-toe with one of the best teams in the land but the result was still defeat.

We raised our game and competed for periods but again we let ourselves down with inability to clear our lines, slowness on the ball, and an inability to play in the final third against a makeshift defence.

I already said before the game that the acid test would be Burnley. I can forgive the lads losing to City but can this team raise their game against the ordinary sides. Thus far, they have not.

I think a good result at Turf Moor will be a starting point for better things but, considering the benign set of fixtures we have had, our points haul is pathetic and the coach should be under pressure.

Tougher fixtures to come and this group needs to step up to the mark or the manager should hold his hands up and go.

Paul Le Marinel
20 Posted 29/09/2019 at 12:15:35
Before this game earlier on Saturday, I saw Football Focus and Leon Osman, when asked, said he wasn't worried with regards to us not doing so well so far this season.

I think after this game, he may think differently. At present, we are struggling to win games, when the opposition has set pieces we struggle to defend, there's not enough hunger and passion on the pitch.

Instead of heading in the direction of challenging for a place in Europe, we currently are heading in the wrong direction towards the relegation zone. Its very worrying to see.

Marco Silva clearly is not the right manager to take Everton forward and get us into Europe and win trophies. Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and now Marco Silva offer too much mis-management. How much longer do we have to put up with this? We need the right manager who is competent and who can take us forward and finally win us trophies.

The problem, of course, at this stage of the season, is who could we bring in? If this poor form continues, then surely common sense will prevail and we will sack Marco Silva.

Martin Mason
21 Posted 29/09/2019 at 12:40:15
I really think the only answer is to purge the club of anybody associated with the old days of accepting lack of quality, such as Mr Kenwright, and any crony placemen such as Duncan Ferguson.
Joe Bibb
22 Posted 29/09/2019 at 12:58:11
When we went over the half-way line, they tackled us, hassled us, took the ball off us. When they came over the half-way line, we backed off, we didn't tackle them. We had players that couldn't pass a ball five yards to a fellow team player, whilst City passed with laser precision. Digne & Coleman had to move into the box to cover the midfield players in front off them because we do not have midfielders that can defend.

City were 2-1 up, Pep, was on his feet organising, giving instructions whilst Silva sat down, looked lost, and didn't have a clue how to rearrange our team. If we don't sack him now, we will be in the relegation zone at Christmas.

Who in their right mind would come in then? Mourinho is available, he might not come but it would show our intent. Those who say they don't like him want to remember that most fans didn't like Ferguson, but he won 13 league titles.

Unless we act now we will be treated as a Small Time Club with no ambition. We face going into a £600M stadium being a Championship team.

Tony Everan
23 Posted 29/09/2019 at 12:59:23
We were outclassed, Man City look like a team that are playing for something, they have a carrot. Liverpool. and the Premier League title. We have a mouldy carrot called the Europa League qualification to chase.

They had a makeshift defence, with one recognised centre-back. I felt we should have been at them more but we couldn't summon enough pressure on them.

Aguero, David Silva, Bernardo Silva all rested as starters for this game says it all about the quality of class difference. They are just too hot for our lads to handle. Man City simply have more class than us and a deeper squad.

Conversely, we've got more class than Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Sheffield Utd and Burnley.

Without any doubt, Everton should be doing a ''Man City'' on that lot, no excuses.

Ken Kneale
24 Posted 29/09/2019 at 13:14:27
Peter 13 – spot on. At no other top club would being beaten 1-3 at home feel like a reasonable result, simply because a bit more effort was put in than at the abject and spineless previous game (or games)? Which other elite clubs would put up with this nonsense?

The manager is incapable of taking us to the level the club ought to be at and his position must be reviewed as soon as possible. John Carey was sacked with the club in 5th place in the league playing glorious football but the then chairman recognised he was not a winner as a manager. Silva is not producing a team or quality football anything like the team Carey assembled but I think most of us can see he too will never be a winner. He is in above his head and needs to be replaced.

Remember (and this is not all aimed at Silva) we are a top-six spending club producing bottom-six level performances – hardly the way forward.

I seriously doubt Marco Silva has the personality, character or know-how to transform us from where we are to where we aspire to be. He is not a transformational manager – we need a Ferguson or a latter-day Catterick if possible – someone steeped in the history of the club or someone who will make that history themselves as those two did.

What on earth will move the Everton board to be a progressive and enlightened unit capable of getting rid of the "second-best" mentality that has pervaded all levels for decades, I wonder?

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 29/09/2019 at 13:16:27
I couldn't add much to Peter's post (13) and his summary of the game — except mine would be a lot more depressing and that wouldn't help at all.

It was telling that Man City put three of their best players on the bench; they felt confident they would beat us without them.

We could have added at least a couple of goals to our tally, and Pickford could have done better to keep their score down but, in truth, City missed some decent chances and at least two sitters.

Man City will lose more games this season with their poor defence but we've got more than enough problems of our own without dwelling on City's.

We might improve as the season moves on but there are glaring problems in all departments of the team which, IMO, will only be solved in the transfer market. Most of us know where the problems are; I think Marcel Brands knows as well and brings players in to solve some of them.

I still have more negative feelings about the manager than positive ones and he doesn't appear to help himself regarding team selections, substitutions, and – most of all – tactics.

Paul Tran
26 Posted 29/09/2019 at 13:42:53
Regarding yesterday, I will channel the admirable Chris Wilder.

We played well – so what, we got beat.

We worked really hard – big deal, that's your job.

We created chances – you didn't take enough of them.

They are the Champions – so what about Bournemouth, Villa and Sheffield Utd?

Mike Allen
27 Posted 29/09/2019 at 13:57:11
We have to remember we are now – and have been since the Premier League started and TV money took over the game – just one of the midtablers who've been very lucky a couple of times not to be relegated. We are so far off the top spot, panicking and paying vast sums of money on very ordinary players is not the answer – neither is finding another sexy named foreign manager. We just need a no-nonsense down-to-earth football manager and coach who can think outside the FIFA coaching manual.

Both Silva and Boa Morte have no tactical awareness and it would appear none of the players have a football brain. Having watched Everton since the Second Division days, it's a crying shame that top six is our aim and is thought of as success... maybe fourth from bottom would be even more of a successful season?

Clive Rogers
28 Posted 29/09/2019 at 14:03:10
Although his general play was okay, Sigurdsson has gone off the boil in front of goal. He doesn't look like scoring. Three good chances slipped away through his poor control and one with a weak shot. There is a lack of goals throughout the team.
Charles Barrow
29 Posted 29/09/2019 at 14:04:12
I agree with Paul Tran. Winning is the only game in town! I have had a bellyful of "we played well", "let's take the positives", "we were unlucky" etc etc over the last decade or two. We spend £100mil + and still can't beat Villa, Bournemouth and Sheffield Utd. Just not good enough — no matter how well they played against Man City.
Ian Edwards
30 Posted 29/09/2019 at 14:36:16
I think Davies is being criticised undeservedly. He is busy, works hard and plays positively unlike the slow crabs, Schneiderlin and Gomes.

The team will never progress with the formation adopted by Silva. Two holding midfielders, three pedestrian players providing no width behind an isolated lone forward. If you rely on full-backs for width, like we do, then you will be battered on the break. We need ANOTHER complete rebuild.

The Coach needs to go and so do 90% of the squad. We won't move forward if we continually sign bench players from other clubs: Iwobi, Delph, Digne, Gomes, Schneiderlin, Kean, Walcott, Mina.

Harsh but true that Man City looked at an away game at Goodison as so easy they could rest both Silvas, Aguero and use just one recognised central defender. Since Moshiri arrived, there isn't one player signed who would be looked on as a successful, excellent, exciting signing.

Raymond Fox
31 Posted 29/09/2019 at 14:39:13
A good description of the game, Lyndon.

Pre-match, I thought we might nick a point if we got the rub of the green, 3-1 flattered them I think.

As ever, it's small margins, Calvert-Lewin could have scored at least one more, Mina had a good heading chance but of course City also had chances they didn't put away.

Silva isn't anything special as a manager but the quality of our players is our main problem; let's be honest, if they were good enough they would be playing for the current top teams. They gave it a go yesterday but class told in the end.

Our managers for the last god knows how long, have been trying to win something with good but not quite good enough players. Until we can overcome that handicap, I fear we are stuck as nearly men.

John Pierce
32 Posted 29/09/2019 at 14:43:20
I've seen posters write off the opening day fixture, I've seen them dismiss the Villa game, and now seen many describe the City game as a free hit.

Since when can we ignore three results? It seems in a desperate need to validate Silva, and not holding the team accountable, we let it drift.

A lot of positives from yesterday? Is that because performances have been so poor to date that yesterday seems like an improvement? These players couldn't get themselves in a mental space to compete with Villa, Bournemouth & Sheffield United. Yet could show energy and commitment against the Champions?! Scandalous.

Silva has been allowed so much rope because of what went before. Had we not had Koeman, Allardyce and Martinez, the clamour for his dismissal would be as loud as our siren.

He should be judged and sacked based on his results: he has lost 18 league games I believe, tipping beyond the games he's won, 17.

He's had 2 summer windows, and changed much of the team. His tactics have not evolved since he walked through the door.

The longer we persist with Silva, the more my eye rounds on Brands. We have a structure which enables him to change the manager, footballing matters are his key responsibility to the board he sits on. His inaction to not outwardly put pressure on Silva is now reflecting more on him, not Silva.

Time to act during the international break, Marcel.

Paul Tran
33 Posted 29/09/2019 at 14:53:20
What we don't know, John, is the degree of internal pressure that Silva is getting from Brands and Moshiri. I'd rather that stay behind closed doors, as few of us would be surprised if they did act.
Darren Hind
34 Posted 29/09/2019 at 15:08:28
This Man City team may be supremely talented going forward but, looking at their defence, it would seem the handicapper has caught up with them.

I can't remember a top team having a back four as poor as this current City team. Injuries have ravaged them. That's why I can't entirely agree with Lyndon. I don't take many positives from this because I believe they will give up chances to anybody having a go at them. We had a go, but we didn't play particularly well.

That said, to suggest Man City didn't break sweat is annoyingly stupid. Due to their defensive frailties, they spent long periods blowing out of their arses and fighting like fuck to stay in the hunt.

Dave A @25 points out that City rested three attacking players but, for me, that gave us no advantage; the people who came in were better than we have and were superb.

We've got big problems at this club. Mahrez made a complete mockery of daft claims about Digne. Our center-backs are simply shocking, have been all season. Schneiderlin offers nothing (not sure what Steve F is seeing), he is kitten weak.

Our goalie worries me too (more than a hint of Gazza going on there). Iwobi is squandered money (Arsenal deffo saw us coming) and Sigurdsson continues to flatter to deceive. There is no point in looking to the bench – you will only see more of the same.

I'm not ready to give up on Silva yet. I don't want to rip it up and start again... again, so I desperately want him to succeed, but he is making it increasingly hard to make a case for him.

Silva still has the gig and therefore the opportunity to turn things around. Moshiri will be desperate for "his man" to do just that. He will publicly support him.. but I bet that hasn't stopped Rhino taking his suit round to the dry cleaners.

Joe McMahon
35 Posted 29/09/2019 at 15:21:44
I partially agree with Darren H. Everton have weaknesses all over the show, including the keeper. We cannot hurt teams as we are powderpuff infront of goal.

City unfortunately will come second this season, Everton can do without a relegation scrap the year Liverpool win the title. But I don't want Unsworth drafted in either, there is nothing to suggest he is the answer, not even a Championship club has approached him.

Lyndon Lloyd
36 Posted 29/09/2019 at 15:31:50
If it came across that I was pleased in any way with the result or the overall performance, let me clarify that I wasn’t. Everton losing is never a satisfactory outcome, obviously.

My point is that in the context of the awful form we were in prior to the Sheff Wed cup tie, there were positive aspects of this match. We could have scored at least twice, we weren’t mullered on our own turf like we were by Spurs last season, for example, and there were some decent (not spectacular, but decent) individual performances. There was at least a response there from the players.

My misgivings and doubts about Marco Silva remain. I’m not convinced he can adapt enough to make us a successful team and his team selections baffle and frustrate me. And if I were a betting man I’d say he’s going to struggle to get the 10 or so points I would say should be the minimum return from the next 4 league games.

But that doesn’t mean that he and his players can’t take some positives from yesterday against a side that is light years ahead of us as they try and work their way out of this dodgy patch of form.

Justin Clark
37 Posted 29/09/2019 at 15:55:49
Was our next manager at Goodison Park yesterday, sitting next to Pep? I think he must've been promised the gig once Pep moves on but, while unproven, could bring some of the togetherness Man City have in linking play together and having multiple styles of attacking waves coming at the opposition.

Perhaps the Arteta money was being invested to wait on his return? Alas, Everton's next manager always seems to be their best manager and that just makes me sad.

Stan Schofield
38 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:03:30
I watched the game with neutrals. We'd just watched the Chelsea v Brighton game. I didn't say much, because I wanted to see what the neutrals thought. The consensus was that City, Chelsea and Everton looked class, and that Brighton looked workmanlike and mediocre. That City were clearly better than Everton, but that it was an entertaining game full of skill, in which Everton could have scored more with a different run of the ball.

Regarding City's first goal, the first-time ball from de Bruyne was top class, and the low header from it was such that the height of Keane and Mina seemed irrelevant. Yet some on this thread are asking how come a short guy can score a header against us when we have two big centre-halves.

Overall, it was disappointing to lose, as it always is. But we were not taken apart in the way that many on here thought we would be before the game. We've lost Gana and Zouma, and have had injuries, which have clearly disrupted us. We played better yesterday, but are still trying to gel properly. When we aren't gelling, individual players look worse. When we gel, the same players look better.

City are a class apart from everyone else. It's not an excuse for losing, but it has to be borne in mind when discussing the loss. We need to gel more, we need some luck with injuries, and we also need more luck with the run of the ball, the kind of luck our neighbours seem to get. Things can turn on a sixpence and, when they do, the general tone on here will be a lot different.

Ray Robinson
39 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:06:01
A big difference between the two sides yesterday was movement. Whereas we pass to stationary players, City pass it and move. The number of times that a City player passed and then ran forward to get the first time return was noticeable. Some positives yes, but the gulf in class was enormous.
Rick Tarleton
40 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:07:17
Trevor Peers (6),

No, Tom Davies is not a comparative player to De Bruyne, I don't think I suggested that, but he may do than Schneiderlin. However, I just think the set-up of the team is completely wrong. It basically surrenders midfield.

Everton are not a team in transition, they are essentially a collection of wingers and others. Given the personnel recruited by the last four managers, I think it would be very hard to produce an eleven that could seriously challenge any of the better teams. To call them a team is flattering.

Simon Dalzell
41 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:07:34
Clive # 28. I very much agree. My main thought is that Sigurdsson, could, and maybe should have been a much bigger influence on this game. With his obvious skills, he really should be converting a few more, and his all round contribution has been very average at best. I am by no means making him a scapegoat, as there are obviously several areas to improve.
Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:13:56
Contradictions, or just a manager who doesn't know his own players well enough?

Of course you want to work on your own team, but not to the point of forgetting about the opposition.

We let City have the ball, they were always going to dominate possession anyway, but why this insistence on constantly playing out from the back at all costs, like we are on the training ground, is what I'd like to ask our manager?

Mina and the very poor Keane, waiting on the six yard box for Pickford to play it to them was demoralising because it was exactly the game that City would have wanted us to play.

Why not congest the pitch in their half, kick it long and get people closer to Lewin, to contest the second balls, instead of constantly trying to play pretty football, against the prettiest team around?

We never tried to mix it up, even though are opponents had a bit of a mixed up defence, and for this I have to blame the coach, who drilled his team all wrong imo, when you take even a little look at the opposition.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:29:51
Simon (41), I think Sigurdsson stayed on the pitch because his dead ball game, free kicks and corners were very good and could have bought us a couple of goals, his general outfield play was practically non existent, apart from the pass to DCL which nearly produced a goal.
Russ Quinlan
44 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:33:53
Having been a BlueNose since 1963 I find most of this current set of players and managers just not good enough.
I hate to say this, in fact every fibre of my body is trying to resist typing this, but, when the RS had crap managers/board they decided enough was enough and as much as Klippity reviles me, he was a proven manager and look whats happened. Many of their players are the same (with some additions) but their coaching is obviously based on his experience and although its taken time they are obviously a world away from what we have. Why do we spend Millions on some players yet spending a fraction of the ridiculous transfer fees for a proven manager is never even looked at. There is no point spending loads on players if they are not managed right and as far as I can see thats our problem. While we continue to employ managers who have won nothing, we will also continue along the same lines.
John McFarlane Snr
45 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:52:26
Hi Tony [42],

I find I'm thinking along the same lines as yourself when it comes to mixing our approach to games. I'm not advocating kick and rush, there is a distinct difference between that and a more direct style of play.

The change to the law regarding goalkicks is (in my opinion) a recipe for disaster, we have already seen a couple of occasions where Pickford has passed the ball to a player who was not ready to receive it.

Regarding goalkicks, I can't understand why Everton move toward the touchline when these are awarded, because the ball quite often drifts out of play. I believe in getting two men operating down the middle in these situations, after all the pitch is 70 yards wide, and the risk of conceding a throw-in minimised.

Joe Cavanagh
46 Posted 29/09/2019 at 16:57:27
I was relieved that we didn't just fold up and get an ignominious hiding – City had better players all across the pitch. They play such "joined-up" football it's a pleasure to watch. That said, I am with others in thinking there were some positives to take from yesterday – particularly that we had a go, and that we stood toe to toe for a good portion of the game.

In admiring what City do well, it's good to reflect on what they do that we don't.

I think someone already pointed out in posts to an earlier thread that we always seem to attack down the flanks, relying on overlapping full-backs, and never seem to attack through the middle. I think that was borne out in spades yesterday. I have to think that the problem is our midfield, who tend to channel the ball across the field rather than looking for through balls. That's in sharp contrast to City – you never know where their next attack will come from. Our reliance on Shamus – who put in a shift yesterday – also left lots of space for Sterling to move into dangerous positions.

A second observation is their positioning off the ball as opposed to ours. They always seem to have players in space – once they've offloaded the ball they are moving ready to get it back in neat triangles. They looked almost telepathic – we were often (not always, mind) pedestrian. And their "out ball" would be a forward pass, not a sideways one. As a result, their players often received the ball as they were already facing and going forward, and we were back-peddling. Too often our players received it sideways, and sometimes even turned back even though there was space to move in to.

There's something about speed as well. It was frightening how quickly they can move the ball forward and with purpose. That's a function of agility and sheer physical speed, but just as importantly about speed of thought and preparedness to drive forward and take on defenders. In contrast, we often looked ponderous and predictable. That's a pity since we do have some players with great pace. I've noticed this not just against sides like City but even when we play lesser sides – we move the ball forward too slowly, giving opposing teams the chance to regroup.

If there's one thing we lack it's a midfield that plays a different game – physically fast and strong, and looking to open up the opposition by driving forward. That sort of player also creates space and opportunities for others. I hope that Gbamin might provide some of that when he's fit again – but I think we need one or two others. The current combo(s) of Delph, Schneiderlin and Davies don't provide this (Gomes does, when he's in the mood).

Until then, I'm reconciled to watching and suffering agonies – we can play some good stuff at times, but then let ourselves down with defensive mistakes. And once we're behind, too often we stay behind.

Trevor Peers
47 Posted 29/09/2019 at 17:06:06
Laughable slagging Sigurdsson off, OK he's getting older but he's far better than Davies,Bernard and Iwobi put together. Should be a laugh when we try to replace him, especially after our attempt to replace Lukaku.
Tony Everan
48 Posted 29/09/2019 at 17:08:29
Rick 40

sometimes a poster hits the nail on the head, you have done that when describing our midfield.

''a collection of wingers and others''

it surrenders the midfield battle to the opposition, in our situation battles need to be won to win matches.

With 2 wingers and Sigurdsson in the midfield, we are constantly out battled and constantly under pressure in the midfield areas.

If you don't believe me ask Fabian Delph, its pissing that lad off something rotten.

Additionally Schneiderlin cannot be a made a scapegoat for a dysfunctional ansd ineffective midfield formation.

If we are playing with 2 wide men and DCL, Sigurdsson cannot start.

The sooner Marco Silva sees this the better, we may start winning games again.

Tony Hill
49 Posted 29/09/2019 at 17:12:30
Stan @38, I think you're right. We need a few things to go our way, the shifts of fortune in sport, the small moments and turning points have always fascinated me.
Jay Wood

50 Posted 29/09/2019 at 18:20:05
I think a few across the post-match threads are making the mistake in believing that taking positives from yesterday somehow equates to 'accepting mediocrity' as if the two are mutually inclusive, that one cannot exist without the other.

Not so. There WERE positives to take from yesterday. And you don't have to invent them or look very hard to see them.

Am I happy at 7 points from 7 games, 4 losses already from the benevolent fixture list we were dealt? Hell, no!

Am I convinced that Silva is THE man to turn this around? No!

Should we be seeing a greater return from the 100s of millions spent on the squad since Moshiri arrived? Absolutely!

Do I weary of the post-post-match interviews trotted out by the manager and players alike the week following a defeat, with promises of 'putting it right'? Damn right I do!

Like Paul Tran @ 26, I like Sheffield United's Chris Wilder's no-nonsense realism as a means to toughen up one and all at Everton. No molly-coddling or stroking the egos of players or hoodwinking the supporters. To Paul's references I will add this comment he made about his keeper Dean Henderson who made a right gaffe to gift t'other lot the win:

"If he wants to be a professional footballer, these things are going to happen. But if he wants to play for the top teams, he wants to play for England, then he needs to do better, he needs to concentrate more. It's a disappointing day for him. I am not going to put my arms around him, simply he needs to do better."

'ave it!' as a popular TV ad said a few years back.

We need someone at Everton to step up and deliver the same message across the board.

Simon Dalzell
51 Posted 29/09/2019 at 18:59:24
Trevor #47. Laughable reply. I'm not interested in comparing him to the other duffers. Just highlighting his obvious underachievement.
Trevor Peers
52 Posted 29/09/2019 at 19:21:36
Simon 51.

It's because he has duffers around him he underachieves. Messi would underachieve in our midfield.

Ian Edwards
53 Posted 29/09/2019 at 19:25:47
Tony @48.

We don't play with wingers. Their best positions may be wingers but they play in a narrow three and we rely on overlapping full backs for width.

We need to go to a solid 4-4-2 which can be 4-2-4 when we have the ball.

Coleman Keane Holgate Digne
Richarlison Delph Davies Bernard
Tosun Kean

Don Alexander
54 Posted 29/09/2019 at 19:46:09
This isn't a snipe at anyone above but several of us have quite rightly identified the failure to pass to team-mates who are running towards the opponent's goal area as being a glaringly obvious characteristic of ours. Others rightly point out the paucity in number of anyone running forwards at all. Others point out the inability of some players to control a ball or pass it accurately, and I agree.

That leads me to again question what on earth is/isn't going on at Finch Farm this season and several before it, under managers Moyes, Martinez, Koeman. Allardyce and Silva – all under Kenwright of course, the latest the more so than ever according to reports? Are these blokes the entire problem or is the Finch Farm core staff responsible?

As a 10-year-old lad, I was coached by a former England amateur international player who drilled it into us that football was ALL about control, pass AND move, offering the player in possession a choice of at least two forward running players to pass to. It was simple to understand, a bit harder to do (but endless practice helped massively), but when it worked it was exhilarating to be part of. Exhilarated, we all worked even harder. We won tournaments.

Not since the ‘80s have I seen any Everton team play a season of exhilarating football and to me that is unforgivably deplorable. Until huge change occurs at Finch Farm, we'll stay where we are, like a pissed-up hamster on a wheel, the only question being when will we fall off?

James Marshall
55 Posted 29/09/2019 at 19:56:04
It's simple to me – we tend to play to the level of our opposition, which from a mental standpoint, makes it appear we spend too much time worrying about what the opposition is doing or going to do, and not enough on our own threats & abilities.

We're like the England team of old used to be – always mediocre when we play them so-called lower- or mid-table teams, then we give the big guns a run for their money. We're rarely battered, but we rarely batter anyone = we play up to the standard in front of us = we'll always be a mediocre outfit in every way.

Is anyone else sick to death of it all? Sick of supporting an average team that always appears to be happy just to be there? We're like a kid who's won a competition – just pleased to be able to take part. Fucking Everton, eh.

Peter Neilson
56 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:02:31
We play to a lower standard than our opposition, whether it's Sheffield Utd or Man City.
James Marshall
57 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:08:50
Results are very similar regardless of the opposition, is my point.

We're going to have yet another season of finishing somwhere mid table, and we'll win absolutely nothing, Again. It's the same year on year, the managers change, the players change, the results don't change.

Whatever your viewpoint, I've close to had enough of even bothering anymore. I used to hate the Champoins League and all it stood for, now I watch it just so I can attempt to enjoy the game again. Everton have beaten the love out of me.

Andy Crooks
58 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:14:00
I agree, Don, the lack of movement is lamentable. Is it about confidence? No one is demanding the ball. To me, the performance against Sheffield Utd was different. I just felt it was a turning point and time for Silva to go.

We will not be relegated; Moshiri will act, hopefully quickly enough. But, when you appoint a coach with relegation form, you are appointing a damaged coach.

Martinez was the worst appointment we ever made, he relegated a Wigan team through stubbornness and arrogance and deserted like a rat. Kenwright observed that, and decided he was the man for us.

Then we have Silva, relegated with Hull and sacked by Watford. Yep, he's the man for us. Truly awful governance by the custodians of our club.

Unfortunately there is not one fucking thing we can do. We are a mediocre club, badly run and poorly coached.

Tony Hill
59 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:23:15
Don @54, our lack of movement is baffling. It's been that way for so long now under different managers as you say. We are statues most of the time and when we do get a move going it all looks a bit accidental rather than the result of any planning.

As I say, it's baffling. I'm still hopeful that Silva will eventually do something about all this, and we've seen flashes of it with him, though I realise that's now a minority view.

Paul Tran
60 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:24:49
I was watching Sheffield Utd v Liverpool yesterday, marvelling at how a team of relative journeyman pressed in unison, played the ball forward quickly, more often than not had a man close to the player with the ball. And they looked organised.

Of course, they fell short up front and ended up losing to a freak goal. But it got me wondering about how our 'better' players look disorganised and confused, how slow our play is, and how we often appear like strangers thrown together.

It also got me wondering about the gap between a well-organised team that wins slightly more than it loses and one that hits the top six and beyond. Could a manager like Dyche or Wilder bridge the gap with a better squad, or is their style better suited to hard-working journeyman players?

Do we gamble with such a manager? Do we go for another 'up-and-coming' non-UK manager? Or do we manage to entice a 'big name' with some authority and gravitas to go with his coaching skills?

Either way, I can see us experiencing one of these options any time soon.

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:37:43
Lyndon #36, Paul #60 and Stan #38, well said, all of ya.

I'd like to bring up a couple of points that haven't been mentioned previously, maybe because nobody else picked up on them or maybe because I'm delusional and they didn't really happen.

First, I thought Iwobi was great (squandered money, Darren? Really?) until he got tired around minute 60. He made the play in the box that produced the goal -- forcing through two defenders -- after having started the original passing move out of the back. And the long ball to Siggy was gorgeous. But I can belatedly see why Silva started Theo instead. I think he wanted Theo as a chaser to pressure the ball with his pace, which Iwobi can't do. I don't necessarily agree, but I can see his reasoning now. (Nonetheless, I'd like to see Iwobi start every game.)

Second, Digne made two huge errors on the first goal, not just one. After Mahrez treated him like a traffic cone and Delph came over to cover, Digne should have immediately angled back to cover Delph's man, de Bruyne. He didn't. He kept chasing Mahrez instead. So when Mahrez pulled the ball back, the greatest long passer in the world was completely alone and unpressured to deliver a perfect cross that gave the defenders and keeper no chance. Digne is the only one to blame for that one. And it wasn't his only error. You're not gonna beat the champions if your best player has a stinker, and Digne did.

Third, in the "blame game" over the gamewinner (and I'm sorry, but the idea that the keeper should have stopped a 19-yard shot from a top-class ball striker around a screening defender into the side netting is just silly), Mina has largely escaped scrutiny. The fact is he made an inexperienced mistake by going down and reaching out to foul de Bruyne instead of keeping his feet. Apart from that error and his early horror clearance Mina had a good game, but that was costly.

Finally, I trust this game has finally put to bed the recurrent crapola here about how the injury has slowed Coleman. He was brilliantly quick on the dribble yesterday, leaving opponents in his wake time after time. No, he still can't hit the North Sea with a cross, but he's every bit the player he was before, and that was a captain's performance if I've ever seen one.

Danny Broderick
62 Posted 29/09/2019 at 20:55:53

Pickford should have saved that free kick all day long. When defending a direct free kick, the wall covers one side of the goal, the keeper covers the other. Which side did it go in? The keeper’s side. Watch it again.

Paul Tran
63 Posted 29/09/2019 at 21:15:09
Mike, you're right on Digne, Coleman & Iwobi, wrong on Pickford, who was
Hart-esque in getting down to that free-kick.

Walcott gets picked because he tracks back & works hard. I'm getting the impression Silva is the kind of coach who wrestles with a hundred options of negating the other team, rather than picking players who can damage the opposition.

And for all that, we keep conceding more goals than we score.

Dave Evans
64 Posted 29/09/2019 at 21:20:58
Mike G. Agree. Coleman was one of the most skilful players on the pitch.

Which brings me to my main point. City are as good as they are because of their work rate all over the pitch. Their movement in forward areas is immense. They also have been given the confidence to pass the ball quickly forward to those who have found space.

There may be a skill gap between City and us. But the gap in dynamic, confident and intensive play is bigger.

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 29/09/2019 at 21:25:52
Sorry, Paul and Danny, but Pickford was well down to the free kick. It didn't go under his hand, it went beyond it. And he WAS covering that side, positioned towards that half of the goal, but was unsighted by Delph, who took a crucial step to his left just before the kick. Nothing around his right side should be able to get inside the post, but it did. Watch Delph's reaction on the replay. He knows he moved out of position.

And you're still absolving Mina of the foolish foul?

No. Not Pickford's fault at all.

Andrew Dempsey
66 Posted 29/09/2019 at 21:54:40
Iwobi wasn’t great, at all.
He put one great ball in that the unagile Sigurrdson was never going to convert. It wasn’t an easy chance, but he should have done better.
Iwobi was clearly a panic buy after failing to land Zaha, should have bought a £40m centre-back instead.
I get the feeling Iwobi is someone who will show you flashes of brilliance once in a, dare I say it, blue moon. But, mostly goes missing in matches, playing the safe ball and lacking confidence In himself.
We need someone who can go by people, Mahrez would be the perfect player for us - a skilful, quick left-footed player operating on the right wing, with Richarlison from the left. Bernard in the middle behind the striker. Oh, but this is merely a dream under this conservative manager, maybe the next one?

We were promised attacking, high-pressing football, but this guy only does it in half-measures. I think it affects the players confidence. I would accept losing games if it looked like we were building a ferocious attacking side, using not just one or two young players but several. We need a Bielsa to turn our club around, because as it stands, this guy will be gone by November with Rhino back in charge, as we fiddle about trying to find a new gaffer for three months.

Paul Tran
67 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:14:26
Andrew, you've hit on something there. Martinez, Koeman, Silva all talk(ed) about pressing & high energy attacking football. All of them deliver(ed) it fitfully.

There's a gap between what they say they want and what we see on the pitch. Of course, the players have a responsibility to do this. I can't help thinking that we keep bringing in managers who can't get their message across effectively and consistently. I don't think it's an English-speaking issue, it's more a clarity issue.

I would have that at top of my list for the next man - this is a recurring recruitment fault of ours.

Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:14:34
Andrew (66), second that about Iwobi, very disappointed in his performance, gave him a bit of leeway when he first came on, because he obviously didn’t expect to come on so early.

Then after that I came to the conclusion he wasn’t up for the fight, lot of bluff, with him running enthusiastically towards City players with the ball but not doing any actual tackling, even for the Everton’s goal he goes towards the two City players in front of him but it looks to me a bit half heartedly and the ball could have come from him but more likely off the City defenders.

I watched him closely after that, he didn’t have a good game, not getting involved physically which surprised me because I’d had him down as a decent signing.

Now it’s possible he was suffering from the bug which kept Bernard out of the game, and nearly kept Digne out, according to another fan on ToffeeWeb, if so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’ll be keeping my eye on him closely in future games.

Allan Board
69 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:30:18
We need this centre-forwqard, we need this centre-back or central midfielder. It's all I keep hearing! Play this system, this formation etc, etc! No we don't!

Get a coach who advocates using the ball quickly, knows how to set up sessions accordingly to achieve this, and get these lads fit so they can play dynamically. That's it, simple.

I bet the training at present is boring unopposed rubbish so it looks great on the coaching staff. Unopposed practices are my absolute bugbear and anyone condoning or setting them up are just coaches who can't hold their nerve and are conceited.

The training has to be 100 mph and game-related, with coaches who demand and expect precision and pace. There will be lots of errors during these sessions of course, but good coaches quickly identify who does what wrong and coach the errors out of them, or get rid of them.

Players perform for a coach when they see what's being coached works. That's why I am certain the training is garbage at Finch Farm.

Mike Doyle
70 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:37:22
Listened to Robert Hutch on R5 earlier. He reckoned that LFC under Klopp are the fittest and best conditioned team he ever played against. He talked about being exhausted by having to track Origi's runs - even though the ball wasn't passed to him. Perhaps we could learn something from this.

Anybody know anyone at Finch Farm who can indicate what they do during the week?

Dave (#64) makes a good point. Man City & Liverpool are the hardest working teams in the Premier League.

David Thomas
71 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:41:46
I stated on here the day we signed him that Iwobi was a panic buy and I stand by that.

I'm afraid anyone expecting Iwobi to be anything more than a 1 in 5 player, ie, looks very good for a game then disappears for 4 or 5 games is going to be very disappointed,

I think our summer window was very poor and Siva and Brands have to shoulder the blame. The two key areas we needed to improve from last season was central defence and centre-forward.

Even if we had secured Zouma I think we still needed another defender as well. Instead, we got no one and are left with Mina and Keane whose obvious weaknesses are exploded every week.

Kean may long term be a top class striker but he's not ready yet. Calvert-Lewin is a trier and works hard but is not good enough for a team aiming to break into the top 6.

The fact that another window passed and we failed to bring in an experienced striker smacks of incompetence considering the money we have spent.

Andrew Dempsey
72 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:41:56
Paul #67
Bang on. Get Bielsa in.

Allan #69
Exactly right, these are the type of sessions Bielsa is all about, get him in.

Paul, you said before, will millionaire, senior pro’s react well to these long, hard sessions? That’s the question isn’t it? But, that’s why I advocate using youth, and building from there.

Paul Tran
73 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:51:57
Andrew, I think senior pros respond to a coach with a sense of purpose, who can communicate & motivate effectively and whose methods get results.
Andrew Dempsey
74 Posted 29/09/2019 at 22:58:24
True - this is Brands’ job, to find this geezer then isn’t it.
Danny Broderick
75 Posted 29/09/2019 at 23:18:34
Changing managers every year hasn’t done Watford any good. They are currently bottom of the league. It hasn’t done us any good since Moyes left either.

At some point we’ve got to get behind the players and manager. The atmosphere at Goodison was horrible last season until the derby. This was a knock in effect of previous regimes which had failed and were replaced. It was horrible for most of Allardyce’s reign, Koeman’s too and the end of Martinez’ days also. We appeared to have ended that cycle towards the end of last season. The fans were back on board, everyone pulling in the same direction - players, fans, management.

Do we really need the hassle and aggravation of changing manager again? I can’t believe it is even up for discussion. We put up a good display against City and there were some positive signs. Yet on here that’s not reflected. We are only 7 league games in and the team is still gelling. We’ve had good results and draws in the Carabao cup, it’s really not as bleak as some are saying. Yes, we’ve had some crap results, but it’s early days.

The last thing we need now is to go back to the start again with new managers and new players just as the squad is beginning to take shape a bit. We are a top striker away from being a good team, providing we can get the best out of our attacking midfielders, which admittedly is not the case currently.

When the players and manager don’t produce, they deserve all they get. But this wasn’t the case on Saturday. We matched one of the best teams on the planet for a good 70 minutes and were unlucky to not take the lead in the second half. It’s not a time to be considering changing manager.

Andrew Dempsey
76 Posted 29/09/2019 at 23:46:51
I hope you're right, Danny. I don't think a change now would be a good idea, and also, not really necessary, like you say. The end of the season will be the time to evaluate that.

However, we might lose our next few games in a row, and the board might push the panic button. I obviously hope this doesn't happen, but it's not looking good for Silva.

We really need Gomes back in the side, because he (Silva) seems to be able to communicate what he wants to Andre more than most players.
Tony Williams
77 Posted 29/09/2019 at 23:50:08
Ken Kneale (24) Absolutely spot on. What has happened to our football club over the years, when our attitudes become apathetic when we lose to certain teams who are above us in the league?

We are a massive club and people's attitudes have got to change if we are to be successful. Never accept a defeat no matter who we play. Evertonians over the years have never accepted that.

Kenn Crawford
79 Posted 29/09/2019 at 04:23:14
Employ a sub standard coach= sub standard performances. Nothing else to say
Paul Saleh
80 Posted 30/09/2019 at 06:44:08
The players have to take some responsibility here, they are hiding behind the manager.

Pickford should be dropped, Michael Keane, should be dropped... I could go on. However, who is there out there to replace Silva?

Eddie Howe has defensive issues that he cannot resolve – so no change there.

Mourinho wouldn’t give us the time of day (wants the Real Madrid job).

We have been poor and have only played Man City out of the top 6, so the run up to the end of December doesn’t fill me with confidence. We have no confidence away from home, we lack creativity, to get chances for one attacker.

If Silva does go, I hope they have someone lined up, because confidence is at a low now and will be difficult to get back.

Burnley is a must win game.

Ken Kneale
81 Posted 30/09/2019 at 07:24:20
Danny - I don't think any of us want disruption. The point your comment fails to address is that the atmosphere at Goodison is inextricably linked to the quality of the football on show + the amount of commitment being shown by the players and coaching team. Sadly the dire turgid efforts at football and the seeming lack of love and commitment to the club shown by many incumbents of the staff team lead to where we are. I don;t think fans paying their money and at least expecting a shift to be put in and some fluent attacking football in the best traditions of the club is unreasonable - that is what the whole 'School of Science' is about. I have rarely heard genuine grumbles at a lost result if those issues are apparent. Under Silva (and in fairness to him his predecessors) the fluency and style for which the club was renown have dissipated. Sadly I see little progress from him in that regard other than in fits and starts. That simply is not good enough and does not bode well he is starting a revolution.
Rory Grant
82 Posted 30/09/2019 at 08:40:05
Kenn #79, spot on! When we take the position of the manager seriously and follow it up on recruitment, we get out of this circle of abject managers. And results. Results being the only thing that matters.
Eddie Dunn
83 Posted 30/09/2019 at 08:58:10
Mike- very good that you pointed out that Delph was unsighting Pickford. If you see it late your chances of getting to it are diminished. True that Digne was also culpable and gets caught out upfield regularly(but we need his attacking input).

However, while I agree that Coleman was terrific and he gave everything, he has slowed down since that injury but he tried to run the ball out of defence on several occasions and got dispossessed a couple of times.

This was though, the best game he has had since his return. He even left Sterling behind at one point (but slowed and let him catch-up!).

Iwobi was, for me brilliant and I would play him every week. I love his directness.

It is the combination of little errors all over the park that cost us and that is the difference between top players and good ones.

Burnley will be a different kettle of fish.

Kevin Molloy
84 Posted 30/09/2019 at 09:44:55
We are getting beat by teams by two clear goals most weeks. We find it very difficult to score goals. It's been this way since the first ball was kicked pre-season and for huge swathes of last season. The new signings look mediocre, it is clearly not working.

I'm not saying sack him today, but we all know what's coming, and I just hope Marcel is putting in the work right now to deal with the crisis we are going to be in by the end of October.

Tony Everan
85 Posted 30/09/2019 at 09:47:32
Whilst we are middle of the table Silva is safe, for this season.

If he finishes 9th or below I think he will be replaced.

If we slip into the relegation zone, things will become a bit more dynamic I think. He will lose a lot of support from the fans and one or two buttocks in the boardroom will begin to clench.

This Burnley away match before the 2 week international break is crucial to Silva. Lose that and home game against West Ham the following Saturday will be do or die.

I thought we played well enough against Man City to go into the next 2 games with some confidence. We have better players than Burnley and West Ham. 6 points from them two would be a tonic.

Brian Harrison
86 Posted 30/09/2019 at 10:01:05
Seems that Brendon Rodgers has his team playing the way I would like to see us play. They don't start every move with 5 or 6 passes between their back 4, when their midfield players get the ball their first option is to look for a forward pass. They have a top class striker in Vardy who we should have got when he fell out with Puel, we have 2 young men learning the game. I think if they can stay largely injury free they could well end up in the top 4, also Rodgers hasnt used any of the £90 million they got for Maguire.

So Marco you have now till the end of December to save your job, be bold and start play with more freedom than we do at present with 2 defensive midfield players. One further point who sanctioned the selling of Gueye and why didnt we buy a top striker in the summer.

John Raftery
87 Posted 30/09/2019 at 10:34:42
Having watched the Mahrez free kick again from three different TV angles I don't think Pickford is culpable once the kick is taken. Delph clearly obstructs his view and makes a poor attempt to block the shot. The wall was badly positioned though, for which Pickford obviously must take a portion of the blame.

I thought City were stretched when we got the ball into the final third. As ever our problem is getting there early enough with sufficient players in support of the front men. When City broke from deep positions they were able within a few seconds to get four or five men forward in attack. They could do that because they have pace as well as passing ability in midfield areas.

Our biggest problem is we have insufficient pace in midfield: insufficient to get forward quickly and insufficient to get back quickly when we lose possession. There were several examples of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison gaining possession or competing for a long ball but nobody in a blue shirt within thirty yards to receive a pass or compete for the second ball.

Silva's biggest issue is the blend in midfield. There do not appear to be any immediate solutions within the personnel currently available to him. Gbamin may help but is several weeks away from fitness. In the meantime Silva will just have to make the best of what he has got and eke out a few positive results to lift us up the table.

I see no point in changing managers at this stage. There is no evidence the players are not doing their best. The current situation is of concern but nowhere near as bad as the one we faced two years ago when we were an utter shambles.

Jerome Shields
89 Posted 30/09/2019 at 10:47:19
I have been out of the media loop on Saturday and had to play catch up. I have to admit, on seeing the result, to be sadly relieved. I was bemused by the team selection, but Walcott being substituted helped. I have come to the conclusion that player performances stats are not looked at or acted upon on the training ground.

Man City did not set up shop, so Everton had more space and Sigurdsson playing deeper meant he was on the ball more. The three goals showed the weaknesses in our defence and goalkeeper.

Defensively, our two central defenders are poor at defending on the turn and when the ball comes in from an angle. The defence is poor at cheating its lines and poor distribution out of defence contributed to sustained pressure on it. The goal from the free-kick was ridiculous.

The overall fitness and training of the team is questionable and passing in the final third is still not good enough. The main difference from last season at this stage is we are not getting Richarlison's goals.

A good article on the game, Lyndon, and conclusion, but there are still the same unsolved old recurring themes. After a better performance against Man City than Sheffield Utd, I wonder what the motivation will be against Burnley, coming up to the dreaded international break?

Laurie Hartley
90 Posted 30/09/2019 at 10:51:04
Joe Bibb # 22 - I have only got down as far as your post but had to respond to your question:-

“Who in there right mind would come in”

I don't know either but, if I was Farhad Moshiri, I would certainly be asking Arsene Wenger if he would like a 3-year contract.

He is a footballing encyclopaedia, available and raring to go. Nil satis Nisi optimum.

Iain Latchford
91 Posted 30/09/2019 at 11:42:52
I agree with Laurie. We should be sounding out Wenger, along with someone younger to pick up the reins when he decides to move on/retire. City appear to be doing the same with Pep and Arteta.

I agree to an extent that you have to give things time, but look how quickly Rodgers has got Leicester playing good quality football. It can be done.

It's one step forward and two steps back with Everton.

Tony Everan
93 Posted 30/09/2019 at 12:27:49
Brian 86, Iain 91

Surely a manager can't come in and get a team organised and playing creative football and look like a proper team straight away.

What about the transition period?

What about losing their star defender to a bigger rival?

No, I'm not having it. We have been taught in no uncertain terms here at Everton that a transition period is non-negotiable.

Poor Leicester, they will be sorry when it kicks in.

Tony J Williams
94 Posted 30/09/2019 at 13:05:05
We haven't replaced Lukaku yet, simples.

That and our best midfielder is out and the previous best midfielder has been sold.

We are an average side and will end up midtable, as always

Rob Marsh
95 Posted 30/09/2019 at 00:35:36
That was also forever the problem with Moyes's teams when it really mattered "We played Well!", but no cigar!

I can't believe, after all the money spent, we're worse off than under Moyes?

Before someone has a good go at me for mentioning his name, I don't want him back!

Nobody ever remembers the also-rans, they remember the teams that got relegated and the winners, but nothing else. We've slumped to the middle of mediocre crowd, not the best of them or even the worst!

Just mediocre by mediocre standards!

Jim Harrison
96 Posted 01/10/2019 at 02:20:06
Rob 95,

Times have changed mate. Back when Moyes was in charge there wasn't the money around that there is now. The general quality of teams is higher.
No doubt he made some excellent signings, especially given the spend.

Stan Schofield
97 Posted 01/10/2019 at 04:49:08
Liverpool were winning nothing with Klopp until £140M (probably equivalent to over £200M now) was forked out on two top players, Allison and Van Dijk. Spurs have won nothing, and still look like winning nothing.

We don't spend on top players, we spend on good players. Until we can attract top players, by being willing to spend to get them, it's always likely to be a struggle.

Now, spending on top players does not guarantee success. But it is clear that spending on top players is a necessary (if not sufficient) condition for sustained success.

We can change manager if we like, and we might get some improvement from it, but we're unlikely to get to the top with it unless we attract top players, which includes keeping top players in their prime, rather than being a consistent feeder club for the top clubs.

We spend like a 'midtable to near the top' club. If we want to really get to the top (and not simply emulate mediocrity like Spurs or Leicester for god sake - Leicester, the mind boggles!), we need to spend big or get used to continued ordinariness.

Rob Marsh
98 Posted 01/10/2019 at 14:10:23
Stan # 97

Sadly big price players will at some point mean big price season tickets, the prices will automatically rise when (if?) the new stadium opens and then add onto that the price of these players.

At some point Mr Moshiri will ask us to pay the bill. I don't know that many red scousers who actually go the game anymore, could we go the same way?

Stan Schofield
99 Posted 01/10/2019 at 14:17:23
Rob @98: I think all that is inevitable if we get back to the top.
Christy Ring
100 Posted 01/10/2019 at 18:14:18
Eddie @83, Can't understand, you praised Coleman, he was terrific, and then you started criticising his performance. Analyse Digne's performance on the day, and for me Iwobi was just ok, should have cleared the ball, before Mina gave away free kick for 2nd goal.

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