Fine margins but reality's grip tightens around Silva's Everton

By Lyndon Lloyd 02/12/2019 84comments  |  Jump to last
Leicester City 2 - 1 Everton

Everton have taken some punches to the solar plexus already this season but this one hit particularly hard and it will leave Marco Silva, if he is indeed to survive until the Merseyside derby, with a huge task in trying to lift his charges off the canvas in time for Anfield on Wednesday.

If this result felt as inevitable as it was deeply painful and harsh, that’s because the Blues looked at one stage to be heading for an unlikely but probably deserved victory with an hour gone. As the game ticked into stoppage time, Silva’s men were at least clinging to a creditable draw after they had allowed Jamie Vardy to plunder a 63rd-minute equaliser… but they were left staring at another blank return when Kelechi Iheanacho, the latest player to gratefully accept Everton’s charity and end a long goal drought, beat the offside trap to slot a last-minute winner past Jordan Pickford.

Having rightly wiped away a Leicester penalty in the 33rd minute VAR made another telling intervention in Everton’s season with the final decision of the game, awarding Iheanacho his goal despite the fact that the referee’s assistant in the stadium had flagged for offside. That’s just how things tend to go for teams struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Given how many controversies there have been this season over goals taken away by hairs-breadth decisions, it was hard to begrudge the Foxes on this occasion and Everton could really only have themselves to blame for not learning their lessons on the day.

It was a shame because this was a far better performance from Silva’s men than perhaps anyone expected after the horrible display against Norwich last weekend. On another day, Everton might have escaped with a point or more had Moise Kean's ambitious late effort curled in and Yerry Mina's knee not been an inch or so ahead of Iheanacho's shoulder. Such are the margins at times when you're in desperate need of points as Silva is.

The Portuguese cobbled together a starting XI from those players available with a defensive bent and for that first hour, with a three-man central defensive unit and a disciplined shape, they had successfully stymied their hosts in a manner that would have felt very familiar to Everton during home matches where they have been frustrated by a compact opposition set-up.

The problem, as has so often been the case under Silva, is that when that formation is broken, when the initial press is by-passed or possession is lost further up the pitch, opposition teams are able to slice through them with relative ease on fast transitions and usually carve out high-quality chances as a result.

That happened on more than one occasion in the second half today, with Brendan Rogers ultimately rewarded a timely tactical shift in the form of Iheanacho’s introduction with just past an hour gone — within six minutes he had laid on the equaliser at the end of a move that had been foreshadowed 15 minutes earlier and which was repeated for Leicester’s second goal at the death.

By the 54th minute mark, Everton were sitting in nicely, defending a one-goal lead and forcing their hosts to slow the tempo in an attempt to break them down. They had gone into the break a goal up thanks to a fine headed finish by Richarlison to end an equally impressive move but had also betrayed some of that lack of clinical edge up front to increase their lead that has been a problem for so long. Still, they largely had Leicester where they wanted them.

In a split second, however, Ricardo Pereira latched onto Tom Davies’s giveaway in midfield and sped into the visitors’ penalty area before forcing a one-handed save from Pickford. In the 68th. minute, Wilfred Ndidi was the beneficiary as Davies couldn’t control his header following a Pickford goal kick and he burst through the hole in Everton’s midfield before picking out Iheanacho who had been allowed to pull off into space by Michael Keane and Mason Holgate was too slow in tracking Vardy as he stole in at the back post to convert what was an unmissable chance from the Nigerian’s ball across goal.

That made it 1-1 with 22 minutes to go but if the warning wasn’t heeded at 1-0, it was harder to do so with Silva still committing players forward hoping to get a victory. Vardy played Harvey Barnes in in the 73rd minute as Leicester swarmed into the space in front of the Toffees’ back three but Pickford made a point-blank save and Youri Tielemans came close to putting Vardy’s second on a plate for him but the England striker put his header centimetres over the bar.

In the end, while Moise Kean almost came off the bench to score an ambitious winner — unfortunately, his presence of mind to whip Richarlison’s pass inside first-time from 30 yards was not rewarded and his effort spun into the side-netting rather than inside Kasper Schmeichel’s post — it was Leicester who had the cutting edge to grab the winner.

Ricardo was again the man with the driving run through midfield after he’d collected Davies’s loose pass aimed for Gylfi Sigurdsson inside the home team’s half and he threaded Iheanacho in to wrong-foot both Yerry Mina and Holgate before placing his shot in off the inside of the post. His celebrations were cut short by the assistant’s flag but a VAR check eventually gave him his goal.

That completed Everton’s misery and left Silva shell-shocked in his technical area. It was the fourth goal his team have conceded in the 90th minute or later this season which suggests a mental frailty of its own. But if there had been questions raised over whether his players were playing for him, they had been largely dispelled over the preceding 93 minutes. In truth, the manager's changes came too late and it's questionable whether he made the right choices. Davies looked shattered with an hour gone from the extra work demanded of him alongside Sigurdsson and would have been the obvious candidate to come off while Silva''s apparent distrust of Alex Iwobi is perplexing.

The Blues had started well, Djibril Sidibé marking a welcome return to form with an early chance that he slammed narrowly over the bar from the edge of the penalty area before Richarlison started and ended a rapid move with a terrific headed goal reminiscent of his header at Lincoln in the Carabao Cup earlier this season.

He found Dominic Calvert-Lewin with a pass inside off the touchline who in turn played it to Iwobi and with another of his perfectly-weighted balls down the channel, he set Sidibé up to cross dangerously where Richarlison got in head of Ricardo and bulleted a header past Schmeichel. It was the first goal the Foxes had conceded since mid-October.

Sidibé then pulled off a brilliant saving tackle to deny Leicester at the other end but it looked as though Leicester had been handed a route back into the game when referee Graham Scott awarded them a penalty in the 33rd minute. Mina cleverly tackled Barnes with his trailing leg in the first instance but Holgate’s first touch unwittingly put the ball into the path of the onrushing Ben Chilwell who went flying from an apparent trip by the Everton defender. With the benefit of replays, the Video Assistant Referee determined that there was no contact made and ruled no penalty.

And Everton had started the second half in confident fashion as well. Sidibé easily intercepted a pass out of the home defence and played it to Calvert-Lewin but he waited too long to make up his mind what to do with it and any chance to capitalise went begging.

Then Iwobi picked out Richarlison’s run with a quite brilliant raking ball over the top from the right-back position in his own half but though the Brazilian cut it back from the byline to Sigurdsson, the Iceland international’s shot was charged down and Keane’s header from the resulting corner was caught.

Just past the hour mark, Holgate popped up the back post off a set-piece to bring the ball down and shimmy right before unloading a shot but that too was charged down before Iwobi’s cross just eluded Mina in front of goal.

Ultimately, though, it was a lack of firepower and decisiveness in the final third and more of that defensive frailty that ultimately cost Silva and Everton on a desperately demoralising afternoon. Where it leaves the club and the Portuguese given the sense of limbo in which they entered the game is anyone’s guess.

With no obvious alternative in the frame, the Board will hopefully resist any knee-jerk impulse to fire him and put someone like David Moyes in temporary charge and the manager will probably limp on through the derby on Wednesday, postponing what feels like the inevitable. In the macro view, the threat of a protracted fight against relegation looms large and while it feels as though everything is against Everton in that respect, there were some crumbs of comfort on display today.

If he can take those positives and rally his troops for the coming challenges, you feel that there could be points to be won for Silva against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. In terms of confidence, it could only take a couple of decent results to rekindle hope in the players. The key is to avoid a complete pasting at the hands of Liverpool and retain enough morale in the squad to allow them to perform in those other games and buy the hierarchy more time in their search for a long-term candidate to take this club forward.

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Reader Comments (84)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 02/12/2019 at 07:02:59
In you your article you have highlighted the two areas which have been the Achilles heal of the Silva tenure. poor defensive coaching when midfield possession is lost and poor pass completion in the final third. Silva is never going to sort these problems out. They have appeared time and time again since the start of his tenure.

Unfortunately you are also right that the Board is going to need time to sort out a replacement for Silva. They obviously have not foresaw or prepared for the likelihood of replacing Silva, They will have difficulty finding anyone who wants the job, bar a few who will take their money and be out the revolving door within a year.

Its obvious that Evertons problems are deep seated and need alot more than a change of Manager,

Ralph Basnett
2 Posted 02/12/2019 at 07:27:37
Marco Silva has been hit with the five finger death punch after the Norwich game.

Unfortunately instead of walking five yards before dying he will get to manage five games before killing this club and putting us in a relegation position we are not equipped to get out of.

Wake up Moshiri before you have to try and buy your way out of trouble in January.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 02/12/2019 at 07:57:13
Regardless of who the manager is, we are going to struggle because going back two years or more, we have the most stupid bunch of players I’ve seen in my time watching Everton.

Our in-game management is pathetic.

Our decision making in the final third is pathetic.

Our weak mentality going into the latter stages of games is worse than even the year Walter Smith was fired.

Yes we can blame Silva for the team selection, the formation, the lack of personality from himself doesn’t help, but once they cross the white line, dear me, talk about a bunch of schoolboys!

I can’t believe we are relying on players that looked like they were done when Allardyce was leaving.

Holgate has never been good enough defensively and funnily enough that still hasn’t changed.

Morgan Schneiderlin is somehow still earning a wage at Everton more than two years after offering zero.

We have not had a full back (left or right) that can defend properly since Tony Hibbert was here.

Don’t even get me started on the centre forward position since the departure of Lukaku in 2017.

At 1-0 yesterday we had enough of that ball around the penalty box to make it 2-0 but Leicester get one chance, then it’s 1-1 and that’s what happens when you have a quality striker that plays in areas that hurt teams.

Silva will get sacked but our board, Marcel Brands and the players, they have all done they bit in bucketloads to make sure we are in the bottom three for Christmas.

Phil Lewis
5 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:03:58
It seems fairly certain that Silva's demise is imminent. This drawn out execution seems somehow cruel. I take no pleasure in witnessing it. End his tenure now for everybody's sake.
I wasn't enamoured by his appointment and in his time in charge, both tactics and team selections have failed to convince me otherwise.
However, he cannot be held responsible for the Leicester defeat. The team worked hard and contested every ball. So much so that Jamie Carragher compared Sigurrdson's tenacity to Peter Reid! For much of the match the game plan worked. Given his depleted squad in key areas, Silva deserves credit for that at least. He cannot be held responsible for the fact that sloppy passing and losing possession by Tom Davies, led to both Leicester goals. That is what cost us this game and has finally landed the killer punch on Silva's time as Everton manager.
Brian Dagnall
6 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:08:12
I did feel sorry for SIlva and Everton yesterday. A cruel finish to the game and the defeat was not down to Silva, but to Tom Davies, who gave the ball away twice with misplaced 5 yard passes and then had no speed to get back and recover. I notice many ToffeeWebbers calling for the youngsters to be given a chance, and I do agree.

But Tom Davies is a local youngster and yet is frankly embarrassing. Who could Silva have put in his place? All our midfielders are injured.

Tactically I thought Everton did OK yesterday (not great mind you), but if your players stupidly give the ball away to a set of really quick midfielders that Leicester have, it'll kill you in the end.

But as for the future, well it isn't working is it. The team has moved backward if anything and the Board has to decide what to do. If managerial change is needed, I do hope they will consider Brand's position as well as Silva's because the crop of players he brought in have not exactly covered themselves in glory. Only Richarlison is worth the money and SIlva brought him.

Trevor Peers
7 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:09:55
We are no longer part of football's elite. Moshiri probably represented our last chance of joining the big boys. Unfortunately he has picked the wrong managers especially Silva who represented a wreckless gamble on his part considering Silva's previous premiership track record.

No surprise then that we now find ourselves in the relegation places, most mature supporters realised this when he was appointed, not only is Silva a pretty useless coach but he also is dogged by bad luck, a deadly combination.

I think he will be sacked eventually, but it maybe too late to salvage our premiership status. It depends entirely on who Moshiri and Brands appoint and I don't think many us of have any confidence that he will pick the right man, which is a tragedy for all our fantastic supporters who deserve so much better, that's where we our just now and there's not much hope left.

Christopher Timmins
8 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:12:03
Better than the performance against Norwich, a lot better, but with some worrying signs.

Holgate does not inspire confidence, he did his best to give away a penalty and did not cover himself in glory with the two goals.

Davis is mentioned too many times for the wrong reasons in the above report.

Siggy still offers to little to justify selection never mind being named captain.

On the plus side Sidibe showed he could be a plus if played in a more attacking role with less defensive duties and Kean showed in his cameo that he could offer something going forward.

Mina was a joke in the manner in which he fell to the ground as a result of the poke/jab to the chest and Charlie will never get out of the habit of falling to the ground as if he has been shot.

Silva is in the final days of his tenure, hopefully, we can be competitive on Wednesday, thus restricting any further loss in confidence which will vital going into the next four games. We are in a battle for survival and hopefully we will pick up sufficient points in the next 24 games to keep our current status. A hiding on Wednesday could see us in serious trouble going into the Burnley game on the 26th.

Whoever takes over as manger should enjoy the support of all true Everton supporters as he faces a major challenge.

John Keating
9 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:13:51
Knee jerk or not Lyndon, Silva has to go, if not before then certainly immediately after the derby.

The players, especially Davies, were knackered, mainly due to the ultra defensive set up with the extra running.

If we try that tactic on Wednesday we will get hammered.
We have to go either 433 or 4141

Again, Silva's substitutions and game management were highly questionable. Rather than keep the team and tweak it defensively he went for a more open game which ultimately cost us a well earned and much needed point.

As you mention we are lined up for a prolonged protracted relegation fight and these players, under this manager, and possibly anyone else, do not look to have the nous or bottle to be up for it.

Rory Grant
10 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:15:06
Like the report states, there is a team somewhere there. We urgently need someone who can organise it, and has enough managerial skills to see a match through.

Ralph #2 is right that we may need to buy some dogs of war in January, current squad seems too fragile for the relegation scrap.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:23:10

A loss regardless of performance or hiding on Wednesday will still mean confidence is rock bottom, a loss is a loss.

We won away to Southampton but look at what turned up against Norwich?

The win at St Mary’s should have been the springboard for back to back wins.

The players are not good enough and I agree with you on regards to Holgate, I said it at the start of last season when we lost 3-1 to West Ham and Arnautovic simply owned him that day.

He’s miles too reckless in risky tackles in the box and has this habit of showing his arse to strikers instead of just standing them up.

Davies for me, had been playing ok recently but the last two games we’ve seen his limitations laid bare and his lack of speed.

Leicester have young lads in there that are quick and hard running players, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison then you look at other young lads in the league at Chelsea or Harry Wilson on loan at Bournemouth, compared to our players they look so much more energetic and faster both in mind and body.

You find out a lot about the squad when you get a couple of injuries, when Moyes teams years ago were down to the barebones we could throw the likes of Tim Cahill up front with Fellaini behind him.

Now we just look like we have nothing, the attack is so toothless and defensively it never looks likely to survive any pressure.

Kevin Molloy
12 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:39:11
Davies has been one of the few shining lights in a desperately poor season. We've been flat since the first ball of pre season was kicked, and this is emphatically down to the manager.Before the game I had a bad feeling about that three in midfield, I thought they would get completely overrun, and to be honest they made a better fist of it than I expected. But the kid must have ran for ever yesterday, and the two alongside him are lightweight at best for that kind of harrying job. Davies should have been taken off after an hour, but no, let's keep him on for the whole game.. Silva is being brutally exposed as being criminally out of his depth, and with his record, it beggars belief that we went to such lengths to get him. Our problem is that the owner is a fool, if we appoint the right guy now it will be dumb luck, but the dice is now loaded horribly against us, we've never looked more likely to go down
Kevin Prytherch
13 Posted 02/12/2019 at 08:48:58
I’ve seen plenty of comments on here and the other thread about Holgate, Davies and DCL, but surprisingly little about the players around them who have been bought for big money.

Let’s get some perspective here...

Holgate was part of a 3 man defence who was marking the most in-form experienced striker in the league at the moment. He’s been our best defender since he came into the team. Young centre back who struggled against Vardy - hardly that much of a crime.

Davies, at 21, was asked to hold a midfield together against a team who scored and breaks from midfield for fun. He, again, has been our best midfielder since he came back into the team.

DCL ploughs always up front in an ultra defensive formation, keeping defenders occupied and holding the ball up admirably. Hardly surprising he doesn’t score enough in games like today.

There’s 8 other senior pros on the pitch, yet none of them take the stick that these 3 do.

You’ll all be complaining next week when Keane is back in defence, Schneiderlin is back in midfield and Tosun is back up front, yet what more do you want???

Jordan Wood
14 Posted 02/12/2019 at 09:01:09
Fans calling for Silva's sacking - who can we realistically get, right now, that could have got something more from the Leicester game yesterday? Who could organise us better than that, with this crop of available players, for the upcoming fixtures? No one.

Fans criticising Brands - which players he has signed have made our squad poorer? None.

We have a skeleton squad right now, mostly through injuries, and were unfortunate not to get a point.

I'm not saying Silva is the answer, in fact I've become fairly sure he is not, but I am saying that sacking him right now is absolutely not the answer. Anyone brought in would be knee jerk and temporary, a stop gap at very best offering us no more than at present, just a huge outlay and more disruption.

We need to get to January, we need a center half, a center mid, and possibly a center forward. We have plenty enough to be safe and to climb the ever so tight league with returning players and decent acquisitions.

And then in the summer we can evaluate and make a proper decision, long term, with Brands steering the ship, when suitable managers will be more receptive to a move, ie, Ten Haag.

I for one am glad Brands seems to thinking along these lines, and NOT making Watford-esque knee jerk reactions.

Ian Pilkington
15 Posted 02/12/2019 at 09:11:18
The Silva nightmare began two years ago when Moshiri decided he was the man to replace Koeman. If Watford had agreed to release him then, he would probably have led us directly to relegation in 2017-18.
The board of just about any other PL club would have sacked Silva after the Burnley game on October 5th. Yesterday only proved that he is unlucky as well as incompetent.
Kevin Molloy
17 Posted 02/12/2019 at 09:28:37
Brands doesn't want to sack him for two reasons.
1 it weakens his own position
he hasn't got a clue who to bring in at this time
Brian Harrison
18 Posted 02/12/2019 at 09:30:05
We seem that we have made an art form of losing games late on, I believe thats the 4th time we have conceded in the 90th minute or later this season. I think we are in the same position as when Walter Smith was here, we didnt look like a side that could win a game and relegation looked on the cards.

Back then managers had an excuse as they had little or no money to rectify the problem, but our last 4 managers have been given ample money to spend. I think when Moshiri came in and said that money would not be the thing that stopped us competing at the top again. That led us fans believing that the injection of money would see us back competing for trophies. But as we have seen the money has been wasted by successive managers and DOFs. We are about to see us appoint our 5th manager in 4 years, how can this be anyway for a club to possibly progress.

I don't believe that Silva can turn things around, confidence after yesterdays last minute goal must be at an all time low. I think it would be very difficult for a manger who hasn't worked in this league to come in and fight a relegation battle. So as unpalatable as it is for some I think our options are very limited, we need someone to come in and hit the ground running. My choice would be Chris Wilder from Sheffield. But I think it may well be David Moyes, he knows the club inside out and the coaches that would be left would be Ferguson and Unsworth who both played under Moyes. I would only offer him a contract till the end of the season. But he would organise the team and thats exactly what we need right now.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 02/12/2019 at 09:31:24

Maybe you use it as an example but Ten Haag I don’t want!

Dour Dutchmen I don’t want, we’ve had one already.

The Dutch League is a million miles away from what’s required in the Premier League.

Martin Mason
20 Posted 02/12/2019 at 09:50:01
Think out of the box. Gerrard from Rangers would be well worth a punt.
James Byrne
21 Posted 02/12/2019 at 10:09:11
I've just looked at the league table and for the first time in a long time I fear we are looking at relegation. To put this in perspective you have to ask what teams we should be above at this time of the season.

As it stands we have Wolves, Sheff Utd, Burnley, Palace, Bournemouth, West Ham, Newcastle, Villa and Brighton ALL ABOVE US IN THE LEAGUE.

We are an utter shambles of a club and we are again looking at changing a Manager. The spirited display yesterday is too little too late. Silva should have been sacked weeks ago.

Ian Pilkington
22 Posted 02/12/2019 at 10:10:29
It is Brands’ job to recruit a new manager and if he is unable to appoint Silva’s replacement by the end of this week he should resign.
Julian@15: if Brands follows your recommendations he will be sacked with Silva when we are relegated in May.
Brian@18; only Kenwright would be stupid enough to appoint Moyes. Brands would surely have to resign if that happened.
Jim Potter
23 Posted 02/12/2019 at 10:29:43
Whatever your views on him - I felt for Silva. He showed real dignity and sportsmanship in what was a heart wrenching and cruel finish. (Yeah, I know, we were beaten again - but to me, these things matter).

I thought we put in a real performance yesterday and were unlucky. We deserved the point, but when luck is against you - you're stuffed.

Why wasn't Chilwell booked for simulation? Is that retrospective rule that convicted Niasse still active? He should be punished surely? (And is Niasse still the only guy to have been done)?

Davies - one of our few regular midfielders who plays attacking forward balls - had two costly lapses which ended up in their goals. I'd still have him over Morgan or Delph any day.

Why didn't they put that kind of shift in against Norwich? Or every week? Too much money, too little pride (in the shirt or personal). Unacceptable.

With the games we have coming up I think Silva has to be kept on. To my mind, he has more chance than any new bloke.

The new guy would only be looking at a formidable fixture list and the probability of people / players losing faith in him before he can even get his feet under the table.

And if Silva goes on to get the results - perhaps it could be his Kendall moment of facing the sack and getting us to a League Cup final?

I can hope can't I?

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 02/12/2019 at 10:32:41
You travel with little hope of even a point, and a defeat would then be disappointing but not unexpected. But being a goal ahead going into the second half, you start to think about what we might get out of it, so to then lose, not even get a point, is gut-wrenching and more than disappointing.

I think that gut-wrenching disappointment makes our post-match comments particularly strident, even after a night's sleep. I thought we played well in the first half but I feel that we were done in the end by a combination of poor tactical substitutions (again) and some poor individual defensive work.

And then you get to Leicester train station to find a train with just two coaches!!! Cue mayhem and lots of police (tactically well-organised, all doing their individual jobs, and getting the result they wanted).

Rick Tarleton
25 Posted 02/12/2019 at 10:43:44
Everton have an unbalanced midfield. We also have no substitutes who can come on and replace tiring midfielders, Davies was fine yesterday for three quarters of the game, but he was the only one doing any running. Sigurdsson is not capable of doing much more than taking the dead ball situations, he has "no engine" as the current parlance puts it.

Defensively we are slow. Our full backs (wing backs yesterday) are primarily attacking players and defending does not seem to be their main function. Keane and Mina, I'll exclude Holgate, as he ought not to be there at all, would be fine with Distin or Kevin Ratcliffe alongside one of them, but they both lack pace and therefore defend too deep. Forwards like Vardy and Liverpool's attacking trio terrify them.

The forwards are all in the McFadden mould, they'll score four sensational goals a season, but week in, week out, they aren't going to put the ball in the net.

I cannot see us avoiding a long relegation scrap.
And more importantly, I cannot see a manager out there who could galvanise the current squad quickly. Howe's done a wonderful job with virtually no money at Bournemouth, but whether he could do an equally good job at Goodison is another matter, Dyches might get us organised, Wilder's style would fail miserably with our bunch of non-athletes and I don't know which top continental manager would risk his reputation for great pay at Goodison. I don't think Silva or Moyes is in any way the answer, in their cases I don't even know what the question is.
Because of the lack of other possibilities, I'd approach Howe and hope he could bring Ake and possibly Wilson with him, which might help with two of the problems identified above.

As Jim Bennings and Trevor peers have pointed out before, top managers aren't queueing up for the Everton job.

John Raftery
26 Posted 02/12/2019 at 10:55:09
Lyndon, your final paragraph accurately sums up the present situation. Nobody has given us a complete pasting this season and if we can avoid that on Wednesday the games to follow are not quite as hard as they appeared when the fixtures were published.

I agree with those who question if another manager would have driven a better overall performance from the players who were available yesterday. Realistically we are not going be able to take a manager from another Premier League club in mid-season. Candidates from abroad are fraught with risk. Taking a punt at this stage could wreck us completely.

That leaves a very short list of unemployed managers who would be prepared to take the job at this stage. None of those would appear to be acceptable to the majority of the fans. Therein lies the dilemma for the Board. The managers best qualified to keep the team In the Premier League are the least acceptable to the fans. I believe therefore they will leave Silva in the job unless or until our position becomes really desperate.

As for the game itself, we repeated the mistake at Brighton of throwing men forward, losing possession and being caught by a counterattack in the 94th minute. A more pragmatic manager would have given clear instructions to the team to take the sting out of the game, aim for the corner flag, kill the game and take the point. It was a reminder of Roberto Martinez's final season with us when we conceded 97th-minute goals at Bournemouth and Chelsea.

Adrian Evans
27 Posted 02/12/2019 at 11:08:37
I didn't expect to watch the game in the Canary Island I am on, but did. For some time, I thought you picked the only side you could and they did a job. Rode our luck a bit but you do with 1-4-5-1.

It nearly came off, but then inevitable mistakes, same mistakes by the same players and the same old mistake in changing formation, and making subs.

The results say it all; yep, bad luck with injuries, but 50-odd games and this is where we are.

I don't want to say it, but Big Sam is the only one with the methods and skill-set to keep us in the Premier League. We ain't staying up with anyone else coming in within two weeks. Lose against Liverpool, Chelsea and what manager is going to turn things around quick?

Give it to Big Sam, bite the bullet, he'll have 18 games or so to win the relegation battle. Watford will get points under a new manager.

Anybody listening at the top? Eddie Howe in to sort this bunch out??? Well if he gets the job I hope he doesn't mind one or two seasons in the Championship cos it's a real possibility, everyone. I've been afflicted since 1963 and it's as bad as any situation I can remember.

John Kavanagh
28 Posted 02/12/2019 at 11:18:20
Rick@25. Yes Silva is a very good loser - he's had plenty of practice. As John McEnroe famously said, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser." I'm afraid Silva has 'Loser' written right through him in capital letters, like a stick of rock.

As for Sigurdsson, he's unsuited to Premier League football like his partner in crime Sch - you know who. This is compounded by his prioritising being fit for Iceland's play-offs. Just two bad buys out of many. The pair of them left all the pressure on Davies yesterday.

As to who should manage Everton – there are at least 30 regular posters on TW who would be far better than Silva in terms of team selection and substitutions. And there are some who would be better at identifying transfer targets (like those who wanted us to get Maddison before he went to Leicester for less than half the cash blown on the Icelandic glacier).

Since the window of opportunity to save Everton has closed – straight after the Burnley fiasco – we can now only see out this car crash in slow motion. I am really looking forward to our Chairman blubbering to the cameras on the final day of the season. He's been preparing for this role for 20 years. Perhaps he'll offer us a million to bail us out when we're in League One – but only after the bankruptcy has gone through.

As for the here and now – I'd call on Unsworth to try and salvage some pride.

Paul Tran
29 Posted 02/12/2019 at 11:24:22
Alan Myers has just tweeted that Silva will be in charge at Mordor. Pretty reliable is Alan.
Paul A Smith
30 Posted 02/12/2019 at 11:49:42
Sky have just revealed the same, Paul. They must feel ashamed sacking him after leaving him with this squad.

Strikers were the difference again yesterday. Surprise, surprise.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 02/12/2019 at 12:21:41
I'm sure they will sack him in the next few days, though, Paul A.

Strikers are the difference, along with a lack of game management, lack of leadership and a manager who very rarely gets his subs right.

Dave Evans
32 Posted 02/12/2019 at 12:29:23
John Kavanah 28,

Your McEnroe quote resonates "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."

Our team have become every other supporter's good-time Charlies. The 'fragile ones' who give everyone good games and of course the three points. Listening to the media and some other fans today, they are actually starting to feel sorry for us.

We need a manager who can build a team with some durability and fight. One that reconnects with what the fanbase wants. Aggression and intensity. Lots of movement and getting the ball forward quickly. Making sure you win a fair share of second balls and breakdowns.

In short, a team that can reconnect with and use Goodison Park and our great away support.

David Pearl
33 Posted 02/12/2019 at 12:31:52
I haven't a clue why anyone on here would still be thinking that Brands is a Director of Football and is responsible for hiring and firing of managers. He isn't.

Head of player recruitment and sales, maybe. Manager is not his choice and it never will be.

Mike Doyle
34 Posted 02/12/2019 at 12:38:01
John #26, Nobody has given us a pasting so far this season – but, then again, nobody has had to.

Most teams know that, if they can get a one-goal lead over us, that will probably be enough for a win because (1) we don't have the character in the side to mount a comeback and/or (2) even if we did, Silva would make another set of comedy substitutions – just like yesterday.

When Liverpool take the lead on Wednesday, expect Klopp to make his subs by the middle of the 2nd half. Liverpool have a very busy December and he won't leave on players who could benefit from a breather.

Steve Carse
35 Posted 02/12/2019 at 12:43:36
Yes, Davies lost out on possession for Leicester's goals, but FFS this happened on both occasions some 60 yards from the Everton goal.

Dig deeper into why goals were subsequently conceded and you don't have to go that far down to realise that we did so because, without Gana Gueye, there is no extra man to read the game and provide the cover to make sure nothing serious then develops.

The sale of Gueye will turn out to be the greatest ever transfer mistake since that of Tommy Lawton. And I'm not having this excuse that the player wanted to go. That was not his choice to make.

Jack Convery
36 Posted 02/12/2019 at 13:27:43
Dogs are treated better the way the EFC board is treating Silva. He's finished, he knows its, we know it and so do the board so spare him Mordor and do the right thing. Give Unsworth the reigns until a replacement is acquired - a replacement who should have been lined up any way, given how things have been going this season - oh for a Levy type running our club. At least we would all be spared the RS taunting Sacked in the Morning, though Going Down with the Watford is being practised as I type. 64 points from the last 66 can we end their unbeaten run ? Very unlikely but dear Andy King did it once upon a time - 42 years a go. If your listening up there Andy have a word would you we could do with it !
Pat Kelly
37 Posted 02/12/2019 at 13:42:08
I don't agree that dogs are treated better than the way the EFC Board is treating Silva. He is being paid handsomely and will walk away with a fortune in compensation if sacked. For now he and his employer are honouring their contact. He could, of course, resign if he felt he was being treated worse than a dog. I doubt he feels that for he would surely not allow himself to be degraded for money.
Denis Richardson
38 Posted 02/12/2019 at 13:58:27
Whilst the timing of the Leicester goal was cruel, this game was by far not a one off. We’ve been poor for a long time and many people were already calling for Silva to be shown the door as early as September, never mind December.

Rightly or wrongly the board gave him more time but astonishingly didn’t seem to actually start to look at a plan B until very recently.

Silva’s style simply isn’t cut out for the premiership and after this stint I can see him going back the continent.

The premiership has made him a multi millionaire in just 3 years so he won’t be dying in a ditch somewhere.

Can’t really blame Silva though, blame lays with the board. Everton can offer £3-£4m salary which will be enough to attract almost any manager available and of course the chance to manager an established premiership side. However, given how dysfunctional the Everton set up seems to be behind the scenes, I wonder if we’ll be able to get a decent manager or end up having to yet again try and get the next up and coming’.

Mark Guglielmo
39 Posted 02/12/2019 at 14:13:23
Kevin @17

Please explain:
"Brands doesn't want to sack him for two reasons.
1 it weakens his own position
he hasn't got a clue who to bring in at this time."

1. How does it weaken his own position? This one really has me perplexed.
2. How do you know he hasn't got a clue? I didn't know we were in the company of someone with a direct line to Brands. What else is he doing that you can tell us?

Ian @22 so Brands should resign if he doesn't find a replacement by the end of the week? Interesting statement, that. Clueless, unfounded, and laughably shortsighted, but interesting nonetheless.

Mark Guglielmo
40 Posted 02/12/2019 at 14:30:03
Great write-up as always, Lyndon.

"...Calvert-Lewin but he waited too long to make up his mind what to do with it."

If there's ever an epitaph engraved on his headstone, surely it will be this.

Jerome Shields
41 Posted 02/12/2019 at 14:39:46

I agree with your assessment of Holgate, Davies and Calvert Lewin performances. They are playing in a poor team. Another young player that should be playing is Kean, but maybe a new Manager may provide more playing support for him, which he is not getting under Silva. i. e. when he is actually selected.

Daniel A Johnson
42 Posted 02/12/2019 at 14:57:36
I have to ask Lyndon and all other ToffeeWeb readers this:

Is there anything we can do about Jamie Carragher and his commentary on our matches? Once again his commentary was disgraceful his celebration and comments at the end were disgusting. Surely there must be something we can do with sky to complain without it coming across like sour grapes.

What can we do to complain in force? The guy is lucky to be in work anyway and acts in a completely unprofessional manner towards us.

If it was an ex Evertonian like Cahill celebrating on a Liverpool defeat there would be burning outrage.

Peter Roberts
43 Posted 02/12/2019 at 15:08:23
Martin Mason, thanks for giving me a good laugh on a Monday morning. You're more likely to see Lord Lucan in charge at Everton than Gerrard rocking up in the home dugout.
Colin Hughes
44 Posted 02/12/2019 at 15:12:21
The worrying thing with us is we never win a game that we are expected to lose,look at West Ham on saturday started the day 4th from bottom yet still go to Chelsea,a place we haven,t won for 25 years, and take all 3 points.Nowadays we can, even beat the teams we thought we would get 3 point against such as Norwich and Sheff utd at home.To be bluntly honest we deserve to go down with our results throughout this calender year.
Mike Doyle
45 Posted 02/12/2019 at 15:13:58
Was anyone at the game yesterday who can comment on the mood among the travelling fans at the end of the game? It was difficult to tell watching on TV.
Rob Halligan often posts something but I've not spotted anything from him.
David Thomas
46 Posted 02/12/2019 at 15:34:07
Mike Doyle,

It was apathy after the game which is the saddest thing.

No one can even be bothered to moan anymore as far as I can see.

Others might think differently but I just see people walking into the stadiums now and then walking out with a shrug of the shoulders to say oh well I didn’t expect anything different.

There is something rotten to the core at the club and has been for decades.

It doesn’t matter who we bring in moshiri, Koeman, Walsh, elstone, Kenwright, brands, wyness, finch, Allardyce, Baxendale,silva etc it’s just the same garbage every year.

We’ve got kids like DCL and Davies who are nowhere near good enough, mercenaries like Morgan and Theo who are after a big pay check and players who have come for big money like Keane and Sigurdson who you can see are trying their best but there just not up to the standard required.

I don’t know what the answer is and I can’t see anything changing as it hasn’t improved for decades so I think we will be having the same discussions for years to come unfortunately.

Brent Stephens
47 Posted 02/12/2019 at 16:01:08
Mike #45. I was at the game. I think the general feeling around me was one of extreme disappointment at our hopes having been raised with that goal (based on a reasonably good performance, and taken into the second half), only to be undone by a couple of slips from us. All compounded by the last ditch hope of a disallowed goal against us being dashed by VAR. More stunned and felt hard-done-by than angry.
Jay Wood

48 Posted 02/12/2019 at 16:13:06
Brent, I saw your post saying that at the train station after the match there were only two coaches laid on.

Now a Toff (-ee) like you who only travels 1st class, I am sure they rolled out the Flying Scotsman and your own private coach to get you back to Merseyside, but did the 2nd and 3rd class hoi-polloi you left behind choking in your steam all get back OK?

Given the rain-soaked wait at Brighton station a few weeks back, the fan-base like the team are not enjoying much luck on the road this season.

Ken Kneale
49 Posted 02/12/2019 at 16:27:06
Daniel 42 The best way to deal with brainless cretins such as Spitty is to win football games. I would hate to think we publicly acknowledge to him he had gotten under our skin. Personally, as I am neither interested in him or his opinions on matters, he can blather away his nonsense if he wants -few educated football people are swayed and even a broken clock shows the correct time twice a day.
Julian Exshaw
50 Posted 02/12/2019 at 16:29:14
Marco Silva may well be experiencing his last 48 hours at Goodison Park but I wish:
1.He had had a captain of the old-fashioned variety. To 'rally the troops' as it were. Sigurdsson is not a captain. 2. That the board he was entitled to rely on had provided him with a decent number 9, and a reliable centre half after Zouma left. 3. That he had had a whole bag full of more luck, even going back as far as his first game when Jagielka was ridiculously sent off against Wolves.
4. That he had had a group of players that would have the courage not to fold like a pack of cards after conceding a goal. 5. That VAR had never been introduced because it has served for 'nada' so far. 6 Did I mention luck? Well it deserves 2 points of its own because I have never seen a manager who has been granted so little of it by whatever universe dispatches it.

Yes he has made mistakes, who doesn't? Despite them all, there is still part of me that feels there is a decent coach in there. Time will tell.

Brent Stephens
51 Posted 02/12/2019 at 17:01:53
Jay #48 "Now a Toff (-ee) like you who only travels 1st class, I am sure they rolled out the Flying Scotsman and your own private coach to get you back to Merseyside, but did the 2nd and 3rd class hoi-polloi you left behind choking in your steam all get back OK?"

Funny you should say that, Jay, as a first class train ticket was a treat for my birthday this month (cheques, or folding-money only, acceptable from all ToffeeWebbers - thanks in advance). The only part of the journey out and in without a first class coach was the first leg home - Leicester to Nuneaton! So I battled it out (and lost miserably) to the hoi-polloi (or Rob Halligans, as you would call them!).

Tony Hill
52 Posted 02/12/2019 at 17:36:57
A lot of truth in that, Julian @50.
Mark Guglielmo
53 Posted 02/12/2019 at 17:44:28
Ian Pilkington
54 Posted 02/12/2019 at 17:48:52
Brands has had more than enough time to replace Silva.
If Moshiri is continuing to believe in the fantasy that Silva is the right manager for EFC then Brands should consider his position as Director of Football as being untenable and resign.
That is neither clueless nor shortsighted but probably unfounded in view of the appalling way our club has been run for so many years.
Mark Guglielmo
55 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:08:01
Ian @54, I'm sorry, but yes I'm going to stand by my belief that your comment is still completely shortsighted & clueless. Shortsighted because you think Brands operates in a vacuum. We need a new manager? Snap your fingers Marcel, and get one! But wait, not one we don't want! Get one now anyway! Clueless because you don't even know if Moshiri/the rest of the Board has given Brands the reigns to actually MAKE that decision. You don't know who they've attempted to get, or if they gave Poch a shout and were laughed at, or if the only option was Moyes and they passed. Or do you? Because if so, please share and I'll gladly concede. Unfounded because it's been this way for many years, most of which Brands had nothing to do with.

If you don't know, then you're just complaining like everyone else about what hasn't been done and ignoring the fact that you don't have a single idea about what goes on behind-the-scenes. You just assume and assign blame.

The only thing we do agree on is that Brands should resign, but for different reasons. This is a toxic fanbase, fueled by a ridiculous sports media and clearly non-winnable situation for anyone to operate successfully in. I wouldn't want to try to please us either.

Martin Mason
56 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:20:47
Peter@43, that was who I meant, Lord Lucan.
Charles Brewer
57 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:25:51
Leaving aside the match yesterday, it occurs to me that there is a very serious issue with VAR which has not, to my knowledge, been addressed.

If, as yesterday, a linesman (I mean "assistant referee" but "lino" is a shorter) flags offside, the defending team will pretty automatically stop playing. We all know the football nostrum "play to the whistle", well a waved flag is just as much an indication that the play has been interrupted by the officials and that no further defence is required. The goalie may as well wander off and chat to the crowd because, if I am not mistaken, the ball is not in play.

It is one thing for a VAR decision to determine whether (for example) a player was or was not onside when the ball is put in the goal, or subsequently to the ball being put in the net, whether the scorer was offsiide.

But when a lino flags offside, this, rightly, MATERIALLY INFLUENCES the actions of the defending team.

In my view, the second Leicester goal should not have been awarded because the lino flagged offside while the game was in progress thus, potentially or actually, influencing the Everton players BEFORE the goal was scored. Indeed, Holgate raised his arm to appeal, the lino gave the offside and then the goals was scored.

The fact that the player was onside is immaterial. If you watch the video, Holgate clearly, and correctly thought that the offside had been given. He raised his arm to appeal for offside, and the lino gave offside. Holgate - who was by now between the Leicester player and the goal - therefore didn't exert himself to stop the shot BECAUSE HE DIDN'T NEED TO.

Everton should appeal against this decision, and if necessary the game should be replayed or at least the score should be retrospectively corrected. (Some chance)

Mark Guglielmo
58 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:32:46
Charles, that's unfortunately for us a non-starter. The whistle must be blown to prevent VAR from entering the picture. The lino did exactly as instructed and raised the flag, but didn't blow the whistle, for the specific reason that a goal may be scored.

The flag being raised isn't the same as a whistle being blown so the only thing that demonstrates is that our players don't know the difference.

Ken Kneale
59 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:38:19
Mark - I think you are being very uncharitable to a generally widely regarded as very knowledgeable fan base - any manager fielding a team that is firstly trying it hardest and secondly trying to play fluid attacking football will always get Goodison roaring - none have been apparent under Silva so the review of how long he stayed as manager in any competent club would have been underway long ago. However, most of us are acutely aware of the shortcomings of this dysfunctional board - however, Brands is a presumably smart guy - he must have known of the club by reputation before joining and it was only after a period of time he joined the board - presumably voluntarily. He therefore has a legal duty to act in the best interest not be a puppet to others and simply warm a seat around the table. Calling out loyal fans on TW to silence our frustration is not why TW exists and as ever, I remind of the words of Sir John Moores when asked about such matters We have good supporters - they are very loyal, but they pay their money and they expect to see Everton do well, and if we don't do well, they expect something to be done about it Tellingly, he then added and something will be done about it I very much hope that is the case now - the evidence of the last 30 years is far from compelling that it is
John P McFarlane
60 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:46:37
Mark #58 The Assistant didn't follow protocol though did he? He/She is supposed to wait until the move is completed and then raise their flag - depending on the outcome of the move, VAR is brought into play. Which is why the whole thing is a complete farce.

Gary Carter
61 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:46:54
Charles, you may be showing your youth or a slight lack of football knowledge but playing to the whistle means exactly that and back in the days prior to silly rule changes and VAR, play to the whistle was pretty much exactly about not stopping playing when a linesman waves his flag. The fact half our defence did that just shows how undisciplined and lazy they are, Holgates defending for both goals was lazy at best, utter shite at worst
Charles Brewer
62 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:50:06
Mark, I don't follow (but thanks for the response - I actually do think we've potentially got the makings of a shitstorm for the FA, which can only be good)

A lino waving a flag is exactly the same as a referee blowing a whistle. It is an indication that an offence has been committed. Law 6 states that "An assistant referee (indicates) when. a player in an offside position may be penalised". No mention of whistles (or bells for that matter).

If the lino fails to flag, a goal is scored and VAR is invoked, that is fine. The defending team had no reason or right to stop playing.

But if a player shows he is aware of the lino, appeals to the lino (the appeal itself doesn't matter, what it shows is that the player was playing to the officials' instructions) and the lino gives an offside, that is a completely different situation.

If the referee were to blow up for a foul, a player hoofed the ball into the goal, and the ref decided to reverse his decision (say, a lino said it wasn't a foul) then the game would restart with a dropped ball. Not a goal.

Exactly the same thing should have happened in this case. I am not aware of linos' decisions being of themselves in any way inferior to those of the match referee when they are made, so a player has every right to rely on a clear and obvious signal from the match official who is specifically charged with enforcing the offside rule.

Gary Carter
63 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:50:49
Julian @ 50 Not quite sure what makes you think there is a good coach somewhere in Silva unless you think he’s swallowed a matchbox toy ! He was mediocre to awful at Hull, mediocre to awful at Watford and bloody awful for us
Mark Guglielmo
64 Posted 02/12/2019 at 18:59:06
Ken @59 I am by no means suggesting or calling out anyone to be silent. I'm simply making an observation as to what has become the norm in the Moshiri era, only now at a true fever pitch. It's tough to sift through the - pardon my French - tidal wave of bullshit for well-articulated points. And I'm also not basing this entirely on TW. It's everywhere. Twitter. YouTube. GrandOldTeam (the worst). NSNO. And on and on. And it's self-feeding, like a snowball rolling downhill, in that it keeps getting worse and worse as it descends into utter vitriol directed at any & everyone.

No one knows how or why Brands joined the Board. Also presumably, I was under the impression Moshiri invited him, and he accepted. I suppose that's voluntary as why would you say no to your new boss? What does his legal duty have to do with anything if he's 1 of 4 voices w/ the billionaire as the ultimate DM (decision-maker)? If someone can point me to evidence that it's Brands decision and only Brands decision as to what happens re: our manager, I'd love to read it. Which was my point from the get-go, that a comment about how "he should resign" because "he's had long enough" is flat-out ridiculous. Long enough to do what, exactly?

John @60 that's a great point and one I forgot. You're 100% correct that they're also supposed to keep the flag down. My bad, thanks for correcting me/pointing that out.

Charles @62, John corrected me while you were typing (I assume), and I am wrong and recant my statement.

Kim Vivian
65 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:18:39
Mark - 53. Unusual to see you, of all people, lost for words.
Ken Kneale
66 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:19:13
Mark - thanks for clarifying - my thought would be eventually something has to give - either he is outvoted at all times and gives up his position or he is party to staying with this manager - neither speaks volumes about how the club is run currently or perhaps it does.
Charles Brewer
67 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:27:34
Gary (I'm enjoying this!), I can find no reference in the Laws of football suggesting that it is necessary for anyone to blow a whistle to indicate a foul (or offside). Law 12 (Fouls and misconduct) makes no reference to how a foul is indicated, Law 5 (The referee) makes reference to a spectator using a whistle, and states that a whistle is part of the mandatory equipment of a referee. Law 6 (The other match officials) makes no reference to whistles but does stipulate how an assistant referee indicates offside (four separate flag indications). In fact, there is not even any reference to a whistle for starting or ending a match (Law 8 states "the referee give a signal")

Law 9 (The ball in and out of play) is ambiguous stating that the ball is out of play when play has been stopped by a referee, but, as I noted above, there is no indication that the decisions of a lino are any less valid for play than those of the main ref.

The term "play to the whistle" has, as far as I can see no substance in the laws of football. Players are supposed to obey the officials, and I'm pretty confident that if someone put in a meaty tackle after an offside had been indicated, a yellow (or red) card and probably a handbags session would ensue - quite rightly. It's like a boxer deliberately hitting someone after the bell.

As far as I can see, the only ambiguity is around Law 9, and the intention of that law is upheld if the decision of the lino is of the same status (especially in the case of offside) as that of the main ref.

Mark Guglielmo
68 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:39:28
Kim about as unusual as you having a passive aggressive comment directed at me. Or maybe you make the same comments to all the other wordsmiths around here and I just missed them?

Ken @66 no problem. My general and I believe consistent thematic comments around Brands, Kean, Iwobi - the guys I constantly defend - is that they're being unfairly judged so early on in their tenures here. Yes, I get that there are so many things going (gone?) wrong, that even friendly fire creates casualties, but to this admittedly new(er) supporter, it seems to me that we'd latch on to the few positive hopes we have rather than damn them to hell with everyone else.

Charles Brewer
69 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:46:38
Oops, I missed John's point. John, your point makes perfect sense, but I can't find anything in the Laws which say this. It is certainly normal for a lino to flag when he judges a player to have received the ball in an offside position, and it is more than reasonable that the players should take his decision as what they should play to.

Law 6 (The other officials) states: "Assistant referees

They indicate when:
a player in an offside position may be penalised"

There is no reference to waiting until a move is completed, or anything else. I think my complaint is valid and that Everton should stir up some trouble because of it. At least it may stop some other team losing a match on a very dodgy piece of VAR evidence.

To paraphrase the brain dead commentators on most footie programs. If a player is "entitled" to fall over if touched (and ex-refs regularly say they are), then another player is surely more than "entitled" to think that play has stopped when an official indicates a foul has been committed. This isn't a case of "playing advantage", it's a case of Everton being stitched up by VAR, again.

Oliver Molloy
70 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:57:32
According to many pundits Mike Riley has encouraged the flag to go UP if they believe a player is offside. In the CL it is the other way about.
Julian Exshaw
71 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:00:59
Hey Gary@63. I may not totally agree with your post but it had me in stitches. Nice one :)
Nigel Peters
72 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:01:04
It is still all about fine margins. If we look up the table all the teams (except Burnley and Palace) up to 6th have won the same number of games as us, they just haven't lost as many. If yesterday's late, late goal by Leicester had been scored against Wolves it would be described as “unlucky”.

As it was us, in many peoples eyes it just confirmed how crap we are. It's a seductive narrative and many appear to have bought into it. However, it's not a done deal at the start of December and things can quickly change in football. It was only a few day's ago when Liverpool were hanging on at Anfield against Brighton who are one point and one place above us.

It's a shot to nothing across the park, just need to have the kicking boots on. wonder what Reidy and Waggy are up to on Wednesday!!

Mark Guglielmo
73 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:04:10
Oliver @70 that wouldn't surprise me in the least, because Riley is the reason the game refs pretend the sideline monitors aren't there.
Tony Abrahams
74 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:12:19
It just shows the difference in mentality between the EPL and the champions league, and also that two wrongs don’t make a right!

A player might get a serious injury by letting play carry-on, and a team might score a goal because the defence has stopped once they have saw an offside flag, and its definitely one of the reasons why people can’t get to grips with VAR?

John P McFarlane
75 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:16:35
Charles #69 it might not appear in the rules / regulations but it is a protocol:

Kelechi Iheanacho broke Everton’s heart with his 90th-minute winner, but former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg says the linesman didn’t follow protocol for the goal.

The Leicester forward was flagged for offside, but the ref allowed play to continue, and VAR confirmed he was onside afterwards, allowing the goal to stand.

“It was right that Kelechi Iheanacho’s late winner was awarded but the assistant referee should have kept his flag down,” Clattenburg told Sportsmail.

“He did not follow protocol and allow the attacking phase to continue. Referee Graham Scott, though, was right to allow play to continue and the goal to be scored before the VAR check — and once the striker was shown to be onside then the goal was awarded.

“However, assistant referees risk causing controversy by not keeping their flags down. Had Everton’s players stopped defending, having seen the flag, then it would have left a very sour taste, as the goal would still have been given.”

Charles Brewer
76 Posted 02/12/2019 at 21:28:24
John. I am totally amazed that Clattenberg managed to invent an undocumented, illogical, made up “protocol” ( a term is suspect that 98.5% of people in the football business think is someone who sticks a camera up your arse) which goes against Everton’s interests. After all, despite going on holiday with the RS, he never gave any shocking decisions against Everton. Did he?

The fact is, the officials fucked up, failed
to apply reasonable judgement, and cost Everton two points. So far
Everton have had at least three terrible VAR decisions and one which was correct.

I think Everton should protest just to cause maximum trouble.

John P McFarlane
77 Posted 02/12/2019 at 21:38:47
Charles I've had a look at the Premier League's official website and it states:

Where there is a clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity and the assistant referee is not certain whether the attacker actively involved is in an offside position, the assistant should delay indicating the offence until the phase of play has concluded.

Where there is a clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity and the assistant referee is certain the attacker actively involved is in an offside position, then the assistant should indicate the offence immediately.

In both of these situations the referee should wait to blow the whistle until the immediate phase of play has ended.

Factual offside decisions will be based on the evidence provided by fully calibrated offside lines.

Niall McIlhone
78 Posted 02/12/2019 at 21:49:35
I am late coming to your excellent article Lyndon, but it has certainly opened up some very interesting and often amusing posts. On a slight tangent, and with reference to those alluding to the very real risk of our being relegated, a thought is swimming around my head as to whether (if the worst happens) this might not be some sort of ennema which might help Brands move on some of the expensive dead wood?
I know some players have clauses allowing their contractual release in the event them employing club is relegated, does it work the other way around?
Would it be so bad starting all over again with a smaller but talented squad, with a new manager and an entirely new coaching set up? Mr Moshiri would take a massive hit on losses on fees for the devalued " usual suspects" but there would also be huge savings on the wage bill if seven or eight players agreed to move on before their contracts are up.
Staying with Everton FCis not doing the likes of Bolasie, Tosun, Sandro or Walcott a great deal of good anyway?
Mike Doyle
79 Posted 02/12/2019 at 21:59:22
I notice Antony Evans scored a couple for the U23s tonight. As far as I’m aware he’s a midfield player with a goal or 2 in him who has been getting generally positive reviews for a few seasons but never considered for 1st team duty. He’s 21 and out of contract in the summer - so I guess he’s another for the ‘almost but not quite’ file.
Do any TW posters who follow the U23s have view on Antony.
Charles Brewer
80 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:00:25
John. It’s pretty clear that the lino got the call wrong, which, isn’t particularly uncommon or reprehensible. However, there is no question that the link had a very significant impact on play.

Holgate, believing that offside had been given (because it had been) and that play was stopped was between the forward and the goal. Whether Holgate is the world’s finest defender or a total donkey he would have been wrong to try to tackle the forward believing that play had stopped for offside.

The fact is, the law is hopelessly written and has massive holes in it. Everton has been the victim of three of these- the Keane accidental foot treading, the clear handball, and the after the fact revision of a perfectly reasonable offside.

Presumably the next time an offside is given against an opposition player, an Everton defender will be perfectly at liberty to give a massive shoulder charge on the offside player (especially
If he is not looking or standing still) on the grounds that the decision may be changed. Same goes for any other fouls I suppose.

The outcome should have been a dropped ball in the Everton penalty area. As for Clattenberg, I regard his judgement as bent.

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:09:04
Mike #79 - I posted something at #137 in the "Everton Draw Liverpool in the FA Cup" article.
Mike Doyle
82 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:19:01
Thanks Brent. Just spotted it - I was distracted by the news that VAR has already awarded Liverpool a penalty against us (2 days before kick off - just shows how advanced this technology is!)
Brent Stephens
83 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:25:04
Mike, they have to adjust the camera positions and angles so that offside by two yards looks onside.

PS I should have said Evans got one and Foulds the other.

Mark Guglielmo
84 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:29:57
I read that Silva was sacked but VAR overturned it. Oh and they awarded Liverpool a penalty.
David Connor
85 Posted 02/12/2019 at 23:09:29
Silva needed to go last week after the Norwich farce. Put Ferguson in charge for the next 2 or 3 games.

As much as I think he is a useless twat as a striker coach, at least he will bollock them on the touchline if they show no passion, unlike Silva.

Make no mistake, if we keep that useless prick any longer, that team are sleepwalking into the Championship, the spineless bastards.

John Raftery
86 Posted 03/12/2019 at 09:55:21
David (85) There is no evidence that Ferguson would bollock them on the touch line any more than there is evidence that such an approach would produce the desired effect.

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