Silva: Lookman was in my plans but he didn't want to stay

Thursday, 19 September, 2019 93comments  |  Jump to last

Marco Silva has opened up about his regrets that Everton weren't able to keep hold of Ademola Lookman this summer.

The London-born player appeared to have been quite the coup for the Toffees when the club acquired him from Charlton Athletic in January 2017 but his failure to settle on Merseyside coupled with a successful loan spell in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig eventually led him to push for a permanent move there in the last transfer window.

Despite exhibiting precocious abilities and flashes of brilliance that Evertonians hoped could be harnessed and honed by the right manager, Lookman started just six matches under Marco Silva and couldn't be persuaded to stay at Goodison Park.

He left Everton in late July for £22.5m after weeks of speculation linking him with a full-time switch to Germany.

“Like you know, at the beginning of last season he spoke to me about his desire to leave the club,” Silva told the Liverpool Echo. “I said no, no and no. Even if we received a very good offer to sell him, for our structure, no, because I saw in him, and I keep seeing [his quality] in him.

“If you are asking me about my technical point of view, if I would like to sell him, I will say no.

“At the end of last season he came to see me to tell me what he was thinking, about his desire, his future and what he would like to do.

“I respect his opinion but I said to him 'you are in my plans again'.

“Then came an offer to the club, and like you know I don't like to talk about this side of things, but the had just two years left on his contract with us and so then we are talking about many, many things."

Silva reiterated that he wanted Lookman to stay at Everton this summer, insisting that the young forward had a place in his squad and that he was keen to keep nurturing his quality.

Ultimately, however, the club had to weigh up Lookman's desire to leave with the financial realities of the time/value decay in his contract.

“It was not the best thing for me because we can use him more and see more good things from Lookman this season but, in the end, it was not his desire [to stay] and the club had to look at the business side also,” Silva explained. It is what it is.”

“It was his desire to go and leave. He was a player with just two years left on his contract and after that it becomes a bit of a danger for the club. [A]ll of these things we have to put on the table and decide what is the best decision.

“It is not just a technical point of view because my opinion about Lookman is the same about as last season. I don't have doubts. He has all the qualities to have a very good career.

“The quality is there, he has to change some things, but the quality is there. The most difficult thing, he has — the quality and the talent. In football you many people with talent who don't achieve but I believe he will achieve good things in his career.”

Unlike his first spell in Germany last year, Lookman hasn't had as immediate impact at Leipzig since joining them in a permanent deal. He scored on his debut and ended up with five goals in 12 games last year but so far he has one substitute appearance totalling just 11 minutes this season.

His new manager, Julien Nagelsmann, puts that down to his lack of game time at Everton last season.

“Some (new signings) still need a bit of development time because they did not have the regular game time at their previous clubs,” Nagelsmann told Kicker. “Experience has shown that newcomers usually take a little longer to get along with what I want.

“We have many video sequences with text attached. And then it is not easy if you can't speak the language yet.

“With a player like Ademola Lookman, who played very little at Everton, it takes more time than with Christopher Nkunku, who played 29 games at PSG last year. That's completely normal.”


Reader Comments (93)

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Fran Mitchell
1 Posted 19/09/2019 at 07:48:01
If he was in his plans, then why last season did he leave him to rot, whilst persisting with Walcott, among others???

He as never given a chance. Then was given the sporadic 10 minutes and, surprise, surprise, didn't manage to make an impact.

I feel he'll be saying the same about many a young player over the coming seasons.

"I wanted Davies, Gordon, Gibson, Simms... to stay, they were part of my plans, but they wanted to leave."

Ajay Gopal
2 Posted 19/09/2019 at 07:57:29
On another (related) note, I see that our Kenny has started off very well at Schalke. He gave away a penalty in his 1st game against the mighty Bayern, but bounced back with an excellent goal in the next game.

He has just won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award, may not mean much, but still good to see Kenny doing well. Hopefully, he comes back to Everton next season ready and eager to play for Everton and replace Coleman or Sidibe.

About Lookman, after the loan spell, I think his mind was never in it to do well for and succeed at Everton, so it is good for everyone that he moved on.

Brian Harrison
3 Posted 19/09/2019 at 08:33:40
Strange that he has only had 11 minutes game time at Leipzig since his transfer; their manager has blamed this on not having played much for us the previous season. But, when they took him on loan, Leipzig played him in many games despite having very little game time with us before he went to them on loan.

I think after that loan spell he had already made his mind up, that he wanted a permanent move to Leipzig. There is no doubt the lad has talent, but Silva said time and time again, you need to do it every day in training and prove to me you are ready to start. Which seemed to imply that Lookman wasn't putting a shift in at every training session.

Martin Berry
4 Posted 19/09/2019 at 08:56:09
Showed flashes of great skill but could he be a 90-minute player when we had him? I think a Manager can only go by what he sees in training and it has been mentioned that Lookman was not always putting it all in.

I will be interesting to see if his potential materializes in Germany. As for Kenny, it won't be for lack of effort, possibly something that Lookman could aspire too.

Tony Everan
5 Posted 19/09/2019 at 08:57:01
As Fran says, Why did Marco play the poor Walcott ahead of him if he rated him so highly? Those decisions probably made Lookman's mind up for him.
Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 19/09/2019 at 09:13:02
Some of the present players must be absolutely brilliant in training to get selected as often as they do.

If Mr Silva thinks Lookman is going to have a very good future in football I hope Everton have included a sell-on clause in the transfer deal with Leipzig.

As for Lookman himself, it's all down to him whether he succeeds in football or not. He has the ability; he never really showed the desire very often.

Sam Hoare
7 Posted 19/09/2019 at 09:27:51
I was sad to see Lookman go but who can blame him after Walcott was clearly preferred despite not visibly offering any more. Perhaps this has to do with their respective efforts on the training pitch or maybe Silva believed that Walcott's express pace was more useful but it did look and does still look like a managerial mistake to me.

Silva does not seem to have great faith in the youth players he inherited, Calvert-Lewin being the exception.

I expect Lookman to do well in time but I wonder if his mind had already been made up after his first loan to Leipzig? Did he give his absolute best to Everton? I guess we'll never be sure.

John Keating
8 Posted 19/09/2019 at 09:43:01
I agree with Dave. Some of our lot must be brilliant trainers but piss poor on match days. If Silva doesn't realise that you don't have to be a great trainer to be a great footballer then he's learned nothing. Think of Young, Vernon, Best et al.

Silva and Brands talk a good game of bringing youngsters through but, in reality, so far we haven't seen it. Why haven't we seen any youngsters who are supposed to be close to first squad consideration?

As mentioned, Jonjoe Kenny is doing well at Schalke. If we lose that lad, then, in my mind, it will prove Silva and Brands are talking shit.

Bobby Thomas
9 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:01:45
Dave #6

I've read or heard quite a few players refer to the kind of thing you mention about a player being great in training but not producing on match days. With Walcott, obviously we have no idea but there could be a bit of that.

Another aspect with Walcott that people don't tend to mention is that he's been around a long time now. He's 30 and broke through at 17. I know he's had a lot of injuries and therefore won't have as many miles on the clock for his age as someone like Rooney, but frequently attacking players that break through really early tend to struggle to sustain into the late 20s or early 30s. I mean, at Arsenal he seemed up and down but there seemed to be a kind of erratic threat. Here, there's just nothing. I think he's done.

Kenny Smith
10 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:04:18
Must've been soul-destroying for Lookman to see Walcott play some part in the vast majority of games last season ahead of him.

I can't blame him for wanting a change to be honest. Given a run in the side, I think he could've done well. I do think this will come back to bite us at some point.

Brian Harrison
11 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:20:54
I think sending Kenny on loan was absolutely the right thing to do; he will learn a lot more playing regularly for Shalke than he would sitting on the bench or playing for the Under-23s.

I know there is always a clamour for the manager to play our youngsters, but of the youngsters out on loan, apart from Kenny, they don't look ready to play in the Premier League.

Tom Davies and Calvert-Lewin are usually in the first-team squad and certainly Calvert-Lewin has been given a fair number of games, so this isn't a manager who won't give youth the chance.

I am sure that over the coming weeks he will give Tom some game time. I think we have some promising kids coming through but just not ready yet to play in the Premier League.

Steve Ferns
12 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:34:32
Lookman is now under the tutelage of the hottest young manager in world football and still struggling to play. There's a consistent pattern here. Reputed coaches see the lads skills and want to work with him, yet do not play him.

We can only speculate as the reason why. I personally don't have a clue as to Lookman's attitude. But, let's face it, if he was a Ravel Morrison type, then Silva would not have wanted to keep him.

My enduring view of Lookman at Everton is a few (literally 3 or 4) flashes of brilliance in a few years where he failed to break into the side under 3 different managers. Managers will rarely cut their nose off to spite their face, particularly when one bad result can cost them their job. So they will pick the best players to win them games. Clearly, all three of them did not see Lookman as such.

The lad is at a cross-roads in his career and now needs to make it happen or all that perceived talent will go to waste. I hate to see a wasted career and hope that he can free himself from whatever shackles have held him back.

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:46:35
John, Silva consistently named the youngest team to ever play in the Premier League for Everton last season.

The average age has gone up slightly this season. Our starting line up has been between 25.9 and 26.6 years of age. This is younger than the Liverpool, Man City, and Tottenham sides but older than Man Utd, and Chelsea, and on about a par with Arsenal. It's also on par with Leicester.

So to say we haven't seen Silva playing youngsters is outrageous. Can people stop making things up?

John Keating
14 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:58:06

First off, I'm not a liar so don't go there. Average age is not what I'm on about.

Walcott contributes nothing so why not put young Gordon on the bench? Seamus is not setting the place alight so far so, rather than get some older French right back, why not keep Kenny? Would it not be possible to give young Gibson a place on the bench?

We can lower the average age by buying young unproven Premier League players such as Kean or we can lower the average age by including young squad players. They will all make mistakes regardless. Silva is sticking to his favourite players and tactics and, so far, it's not working. That's not a lie it's a fact

Jerome Shields
15 Posted 19/09/2019 at 10:59:49
Lookman should have progressed, but unable to unseat Walcott, who was better in Silvas opinion in the dual role of defensive attack.

The main problem was that he knew he had to get away from Everton if he was to progress during the Big Sam era. He was right and all went well for him at Liepzig. He was right also in wanting a permanent move, but Leipzig mucked it up for him trying to get him on the cheap.

So he had to hang around Finch Farm, having been right all along that his game would not be worked on hard enough to develop it there. On top of that picked the Finch Farm attitude, which will not be tolerated at Leipzig.

Lookman needs to get Finch Farm out of his head and think Leipzig fast if he is to reach the potential that Silva says he has. I always had the opinion he had a lot of potential and, if properly trained and mentored, he would have been a great player for Everton.

Both Brands and Silva would have wanted him to stay. They go to a great deal of effort trying to buy in players like Lookman.

Sam Hoare
16 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:05:43
Steve @13, I'm not sure it's outrageous! No-one is saying that Silva is an Allardyce type and only plays the gnarled veterans but, at the same time, there does seem to have been a few highly-rated youngsters (Davies, Lookman, Holgate, Banigime, Dowell, Kenny, Vlasic, Connolly and to a lesser extent Antonee Robinson, Pennington and Joe Williams) who have failed to progress so far under Silva.

It could well be that none of them were or are good enough but it does seem to me like he is at times unwilling to trust many in the 19-22 bracket, with the expensive Richarlison and now Calvert-Lewin and possibly Kean being the exceptions. When we had 4 or 5 players in the World Cup-winning U20 England team I did expect a few more of them to be settled in our first team a few years on.

I get individually why each of those players has not played more for us but I don't think it's outrageous to say that Silva has not especially facilitated the development of our younger players.

Bill Gienapp
17 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:20:41
Presumably Leipzig has a much more comfortable bench than Everton does. Perhaps they have seat warmers over there.
John Keating
18 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:20:44
I see Steve's post @13 has been altered.

Possibly more diplomatic but the initial one needed sorted!!!

Steve Ferns
19 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:29:24
Apologies John, quickly changed that, I thought before anyone read it, but it's not just you. I was really pissed off reading pages of crap on here the last few days were people were consistently spouting crap about the side being old.

I would like to see Gordon on the bench too. I am also not a fan of Walcott. Silva has eased him out of the side, so I don't think he is that big a fan either.

I don't think Seamus is playing well. I also think he is a very poor captain. I do think they were right to send Kenny off. Had he remained, he would be sat on the bench and not playing. He is doing well in Germany and that will benefit us, next season.

Sidibe was a brilliant player only 12 months ago. He was in the World Cup winning squad for a reason. He has a winning mentality and won the French league and performed exceptionally in the Champions League. He's a much better player than you think he is. The only question about him is whether he has recovered from that injury. He's only 27, so not old at all.

We live in sensationalist times and ToffeeWeb is full of sensationalist over-the-top reactions, were people seem to miss the point that we are 1 point off 3rd and 3 off 2nd. Had we scored when Richarlison hit the bar and then held on for a win, these pages would have had stuff about how we are going to win the league.

There's no middle ground anymore. It's either amazing or utter shite. Well, we are not utter shite. We got two bad results. It happens. Bournemouth will beat better sides than us at home. As will Villa. Why are we just one point off third? Because everyone else in the league, bar the Red Shite, are finding that the so-called shite teams are not so shite.

A few years ago, we could have taken Callum Wilson off Bournemouth and had the striker we need. But now he costs 㿲m+ and Bournemouth can and did keep him. Palace kept Zaha. This is how the Premier League is and it's slowly becoming much more competitive.

Go back in history and a competitive league threw up results like this all the time. Was everyone so outraged back then?

People are far more outraged than in the '90s when we got stuffed every week and turned out to Goodison in hope rather than expectation. It's outrageous.

People need to stop seeing black and white and see there's a thin line. We could have won that Bournemouth game. a few bad mistakes cost us. It's up to the manager to put them right. Let's see if he does rather than jumping the gun.

Steve Ferns
20 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:35:32
Sam, we can't play a younger side than we have done. We were playing the youngest ever Everton side in the Premier League last season. It was not winning games. When the average age was raised slightly we started winning games.

I don't know who you think needs to come into the side that's 19-22? Gordon needs more games before he makes it. Rest assured that if he keeps on the way he has been, then he will be in the side. You do know he is regularly training with the first team, right?

No one is giving Silva any credit for that, are they? His performances have really gone up a level. This has all happened after Gordon started training with the first team. He continues to do so. It's like Silva has challenged him to do it for the U23s and he will get a game for the 1st team. Let's see how it plays out.

Tony Everan
21 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:38:52
Bill @17,

I think they have them big padded Red Bull emblazoned Ricaro seats. 1st class recliners to the horizontal kipping position. They also provide four-season down-filled sleeping bags and a flask of Ovaltine too, November to February.

Sam Hoare
22 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:44:00
Steve, how about Tom Davies? Isn't it strange he's only been given 11 minutes this season? I remember you predicting big things for him under Silva. And I still think Lookman should have been given more time.

I would say our upturn last season was more to do with players settling and the system being understood than increasing the average age of the team but hard to tell either way.

I knew Gordon was training with the first team. Difficult to say for sure whether his improvement is directly attributable to Silva but I do hope it continues and that we will see him in the first team later this season. If so, he will be the first player to step up from the academy since Silva arrived.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 19/09/2019 at 11:57:42
Sam, he might well be the first to directly step up, but others who had stepped up from the academy before were given their first sustained runs in the side under Silva. This is why he was consistently naming our youngest ever Premier League side since 1992.

It's not just Gordon; Silva has 3 or 4 of the U23s regularly training with the first team right now. This is something that needed time. He can't come in and just start picking U23s for the first team he needed a season to do this. He also needed to cull the first team. It's still a little too big for him, but he will continue to reduce it and then have more and more space for the kids.

As for Davies, it's a mystery. I think he might get a game on Saturday. I think Sigurdsson has really been off form this season. As I have said before, it is really hard to drop him. He scored 14 last season and also assisted a load. That's a lot of points to drop right there. Many he pulled out of thin air. It's hard to drop a player like that.

If Silva did drop him, he could play Delph Gomes and Davies against Sheffield Utd. Delph can sit in and hold, but he could also rotate this position with the others. We will have a lot of the ball and I think a 4-3-3 really would be the way forward against the blades.

John Keating
24 Posted 19/09/2019 at 12:52:20

I think people are talking about different things here. You are on about average age but that doesn't really have anything to do with giving youngsters more of a chance.

Bringing in Digne and Mina orZouma in place of Baines and Jagielka reduced the average age. I'm more on about giving those youngsters who are on the verge of the first-team squad more of a chance.

Naming Gordon on the bench rather than Walcott and giving him the last 10-25 minutes might surprise us all. Could he be any worse??? Naming one of our young centre-halves on the bench. Why not?

We have to give our good youngsters a chance. Lampard seems to be doing okay with his youngsters. Silva naming the same failed team week after week is not working.

It's not about us being black and white supporters with no middle ground. This season so far has been poor – even when talking about our two wins.

Steve Brown
25 Posted 19/09/2019 at 12:56:07
I think Lookman only showed 3 or 4 flashes of brilliance because that was how many times Silva put him on the pitch. Walcott was able to stink the place out every week.

Lookman went to Leipzig because they showed faith in him during his loan spell. If he wanted to leave fine, but the fee was too low. Although not as low as the £28 million we received for Gueye from PSG. He was magnificent against Real Madrid.

Jay Wood

26 Posted 19/09/2019 at 13:01:13
Steve Ferns, that's a bit strong to accuse others of being outrageous and making things up when all they've done is make reasonable points.

I note that not for the first time in recent days you are repeating the line, "We are one point off third position" as if it's some kind of achievement, indicative that things aren't so bad.

Now I don't find your claim 'outrageous' or 'made up', but even a casual observer of Everton's results and performances might conclude it is a tad disingenuous to make such a statement and regard it as nonsensical.

I agree with you, TW does have its sensationalists who do overeact with wild mood swings. It's silly and extreme to be calling for Silva's head a mere five games into the season.

That said, the performances and results to date will inevitably lead to debate whether he is the right man for the job. And that will include his exclusion of younger players from the match day squad.

Just very recently, this season, and in more than one game, Silva's selection broke an impressive unbroken statistic going back literally years: of having at least one genuine Everton academy player in the 1st team match day squad.

If, as you claim, Silva consistently selected Everton's youngest team to ever play in the Premier League last season, it certainly wasn't due to playing Everton academy players, but rather from expensive imports or loanees such as Pickford, Kean, Zouma, Digne, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin (not a genuine academy player) being in the starting XI.

Even though Silva is prone to giving Tom Davies the captain's armband and talking him up, it is a stretch to claim Silva has improved him as Tom's career appears currently stalled or even stagnating. Kenny showed lots of promise, but is another who is not trusted by Silva. The subject of this thread, Lookman, was clearly considered by Silva to offer less than Walcott, given how the ex-Arsenal man was prefered. Even Calvert-Lewin, the most entrusted of the young players, continues to lack aspects of his game some would reasonably consider essential for his role.

So like it or not Steve, there IS a debate to be had on if Silva IS improving our academy players and if he is giving them a fair crack of the whip in the 1st team.

As for your repeated lament that we are one point off 3rd position, sorry Steve, but it's not something I can give much credence to.

It can also be said "Why – given the very benevolent opening five fixtures so far – are we 11th, on only 7 points and just 3 points above the relegation zone rather than sat in the top three?"

Because our opening five fixtures most definitely offered us that possibility. But we have blown our opportunity. Badly.

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

I can empathize with your exasperation at the extreme reactions by some following a bad result. But that is not grounds to deny any sort of debate on all aspects of the manager and his performance as you seemingly attempt at times.

Derek Knox
27 Posted 19/09/2019 at 13:10:23
Fran, good point you make there, the words Stable Door, Horse and Bolted immediately sprang to mind when I read this article. I would have been a better dancer than Fred Astaire (or Red Adair) if I didn't have a wooden leg!

Man Utd, Liverpool and City are not afraid to blood the talented youngsters, every now and again, but, unless injury dictates, this guy sticks with the same old, same old, expecting different outcomes.

Managers study the opposition and look for strengths and weaknesses. We must be one of the easiest teams to play away, because we are so predictable.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 19/09/2019 at 13:11:25
John, Gibson is injured so he cannot make the bench. But it would be reckless in the extreme for him to have made the bench. Holgate had to be there incase of injury.

I would hope Gibson gets on the bench soon. But let's not forget that he was up and down last season. He lost his place to Bowler towards the end of the season and so needs a run of consistency at U23 level. He's starting to do this. I would leave him be for the next few games and then look where he is. Injuries always strike and hopefully Silva will give him a chance then.

Who else can we call up? Simms is only just a substitute for the U23s so, if he's not good enough for Unsworth, how can he be good enough for Silva. I think Ellis showed he deserves to be more than a sub, but again he needs a run of games at that level and show that he can step up from the U18s. He doesn't need to play a full season, but a good run of games, getting goals and performing well.

Silva has had a good look at Dennis Adeniran. He's regularly training with the first team. He's also closing in on his 21st birthday, so hardly a teenager anymore. But it's hard to give him a go in the midfield engine room right now. Better for him to keep working hard and see how he goes in training and for the U23s.

It seems we have some real talent in the U18s, but it's too early to throw them into a first-team game based on a handful of games. They need more experience at that level.

I don't see who else is good enough to be thrust into action.

As for Chelsea, they are just one point ahead of us. They got smashed by Man Utd, drew at home with Leicester, scraped past Norwich, drew at home to Sheffield United and then thrashed Wolves. They were poor against Valencia though and looked out of their depth. They are misfiring themselves. It's admirable and good to see Lampard giving their youngsters a chance. Their youngsters aren't that much younger than our own. Abraham is a contemporary of Calvert-Lewin. Richarlison is not much older than Mount, we also played Iwobi who is only 23. They are going with the 21-year-old centre-back though.

Chelsea have hoarded millions of youth players over the years. It's not really surprising that they are now forced to use them, have a manager who actually did use two of them, week in, week out, in the Championship at Derby, and so knows them inside out. We don't have a Mason Mount. We don't have a Fikayo Tomori.

Tammy Abraham I always thought was on a par with Calvert-Lewin and he has suddenly exploded this season in a way I was hoping Calvert-Lewin would. He has scored lots of goals in the Championship but he struggled in two previous loan spells at this level. I still think Dominic can do this, he just needs goals and confidence.

I think we have given our youngsters a chance. I would like to see Davies given more of a chance. We just don't have many youngsters we can call on right now to come into the side, certainly not of the quality and experience of the lads Chelsea have.

Steve Ferns
29 Posted 19/09/2019 at 13:27:23
Jay, I don't disagree with you. I'm not saying things are great. I sincerely believe we played quite well (not well, but quite well) against Bournemouth until they scored the third goal (for 2-1).

The reason I wouldn't say we played well was we were lacking quality in and around their box and not actually creating clear cut chances. That said we dominated the ball and we were looking like we would make something happen soon. After they scored that goal, we just wilted.

Of course it's far too early to say much. But with were we are now, one point off third, top four has not gone. Top six is still a possibility. But we now have to start picking up points and that includes against Man City. In order to do so we need to play better. And yes, we have missed a big opportunity to be sat pretty with an easier opening to the season.

Please note though that from these corresponding fixtures last season, we have the same amount of points. That said I was hoping we would get to 60+ this season and that requires us to pick points up at Bournemouth, Villa and Palace.

I don't want to deny any debate, but all I keep reading is ridiculous over-the-top comments.

Kevin Prytherch
31 Posted 19/09/2019 at 13:41:02
I look at Chelsea with envy at the moment. That could, and should, have been us. Maybe we don't have a Mount or Tomori at the moment, but with a little bit of faith we could have had equivalents.

We missed a trick when Unsworth was in charge. Once we were safe we should have blooded every promising youngster we had, let them learn together and go through the undoubted highs and lows together. We now would have had a team with a load of 20- to 22-year-olds with a couple of years premiership experience who know each other's games inside out. How much worse off would we have been?

For all we know, if we'd have carried on with the youngsters:

Holgate could be an established premier league centre back
Kenny could have made the right-back spot his own
Baningime could have been the natural replacement for Gueye
Williams and Davies could be the box to box midfielders
Dowell could be the creative force we're missing
Lookman could have been terrorising the wings
Calvert-Lewin might be scoring more.

Chelsea are proving that trusting in youth (albeit forced) can be exciting. We should have done the same.

We wouldn't have gone down in Allardyce year, we wouldn't have qualified for Europe last year. How's that any different to now? Except for the fact that we could have already paid for the new stadium with the transfer fees saved!!!

Steve Ferns
32 Posted 19/09/2019 at 13:50:40
I was saying that at the time, Kevin. Take Cuco Martina. He was never as bad as made out. However, is he really better than a local lad like Jonjoe Kenny?

We need to take the likes Anthony Gordon, Lewis Gibson, Ellis Simms and have a clear plan on how to get them into the side as quickly as possible. Not just to play, but to be effective. No loans for me. There should be a clear pathway.

I haven't given up on Tom Davies. I hope Silva has not either. I would hope that he gets a chance and takes it soon enough.

Chelsea's youth side, the U18 side, has been the best around for ages now. Our youth side is not as good. Chelsea's U23s are inferior to ours, but that's because their best players are all out getting first-team experience. That's what we need to look at. Our U18s are performing right now, I hope this shows we have some class young kids and we need to get a plan sorted for them.

That's what Brands is here for. He did it with two different clubs in Holland.

Jay Wood

33 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:06:07
Steve, I have to disagree with your reading of the Bournemouth game that we played 'quite well'.

Yes, we had a storming opening five minutes to the game, but then lost the control we had established. Funnily enough, post-match Silva echoed one of my own in-game thoughts that Bournemouth consistently won the 1st-2nd, and 3rd ball. I went further and considered they won the 4th and 5th ball also!

After we conceded the first Bournemouth had complete control to half time. It was totally against the run of play that Calvert-Lewin's excellent goal somehow saw us go in at half-time on equal terms.

The second half started well for us...for 20 minutes. We were dominant but yet again did not score when on the front foot. Bournemouth had offered nothing, but in five minutes with two extremely soft goals the scoreline was 3-1. Thereafter, they strolled to victory.

As we have seen too often in recent years and under Silva (he STILL hasn't won a game from a losing position a year into his tenure) and as you yourself say, after that we just wilted.

So for me, playing 'okay' for less than a third of the game doesn't equate to playing 'quite well' over the full 90 minutes as you describe it.

Given Gomes' injury and the imagined game play Silva wanted at Bournemouth, I don't think there was anything radically wrong in playing Scheiderlin and Calvert-Lewin as some bemoan.

The issue for me (other than mental strength and resilience) is not so much about individual players, but rather a systemic failure which is failing to deliver results on the road, failing to break down teams more effectively and failing to come back from losing positions.

And that responsibility, IMO, rests primarily with the manager to address.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:14:26
I never said quite well over the 90 Jay. I was saying quite well until we conceded the killer goal.

Bournemouth were trying to play the ball out from the back and our pressing was spot on. We kept getting off them. We are statistically the best at this. We do not, however, convert this into many goals.

I thought we were knocking the ball around well enough in midfield. Schneiderlin was even hitting 30-yard passes, albeit sideways, rather than 5-yard passes, and so the ball was travelling more quickly than normal. But each time we were getting into a threatening position, we picked the wrong pass or executed it badly.

The fact was we were in control of the game and we just needed a bit more quality, quality our players usually have, and we could have gone ahead. We need to capitalise on these situations. Had we scored we'd be sat in 3rd now. There's fine margins between success and failure.

Christy Ring
35 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:20:44
Silva talking more crap! Why would Lookman stay, when all he got last season was about 10 minutes here and there, with Walcott ever present, even though he was playing shite.

Davies is being treated the same this season, he won't change the shape, Tom should have played as an attacking midfielder beside Delph, against B'mouth, but no, he played the dour and defensive Schneiderlin.

If Gomes isn't fit for Saturday, play Davies and Bernard, or a 2nd striker, with Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin on the bench, Silva should be playing a more attacking lineup against Sheffield Utd, especially at home.

Justin Doone
36 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:26:34
The go-to proven quality of Walcott is a myth. He proves that it takes a lot more than pace and attacking threat to be successful.

He never improved past the age of 23, injuries didn't help but his passing, crossing, decision making and general team play is poor.

Lookman or Dowell would do a better job and should have been given more game time.

Steavey Buckley
37 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:27:33
The difference between Everton and Bournemouth was they had players who could score goals while Everton didn't. That's the main reason why Everton lost 3-1.

Goals always change matches — not by having the bulk of possession.

Andrew Keatley
39 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:31:38
There have been all manner of obstacles in the way of our young players' progression to the first team: a bloated first team squad, four (and a half) managers in three years, uncharacteristically busy transfer dealings (with many of our most effective players being sold, and new arrivals not significantly improving the team or results).

We have not been settled – as a club or as a team - for many years, and the arrival of Moshiri has put extra scrutiny on the manager and the team to deliver results – which is not ideal conditions to take risks on unproven young talent.

As for Lookman, I fully understand him getting disheartened. Silva - for good or bad reasons - has shown himself to be a very rigid operator in terms of formation and team selection, and while various players spent much of last season under-achieving week after week, Lookman was confronted with the reality that Silva – like Allardyce before him – was in safety-first mode.

Players like Lookman have the potential to throw the shackles off, to take risks, get shots on goal, and influence games – but they need to be given licence. Silva gave Lookman no licence and, at a time when we were struggling for creativity, I think he missed a trick.

Paul Tran
40 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:32:47
Much talk of Chelsea's 'youngsters', but Abraham & Mount have both had significant loan spells. And both are clearly talented, belonging at Premier League level.

Kevin has a point about Unsworth's time. The thing is that Moshiri joined the annual 'we're definitely going down' brigade on here, panicked and appointed Fireman Sam to 'save' the team that didn't need saving.

I'm not convinced the expensive players were any better than the youngsters. I'd have definitely given Unsworth and the youngsters a go till at least the end of the season. And I said so at the time.

Silva, like Allardyce & Koeman, is an inherently cautious manager. That's why the 'reliable, experienced' Walcott was preferred to Lookman.

As for this season, there has been the usual over-reaction, but so far it's been disappointing. We're not creating enough chances, the pressing is disjointed, leaving players isolated and we're conceding daft goals. Steve makes a fair point that the league is concertina-ing. To me, that means we should be ready to take advantage.

We may well take advantage, but we need to buck up. I'm more concerned about the mentality and cohesion of the team than it's age right now.

Kevin Prytherch
41 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:35:25
Jay 33 - I've wrote this on another post somewhere, but I think that Silva set the team up right. Bournemouth came at us and we stuck to a similar game plan that we do against these types of teams. Sigurdsson had space and Schneiderlin held his position well.

When they scored and sat back (twice) is when Silva exposes his limitations. Our wide players then push on for an equaliser leaving only 2 central midfielders, Schneiderlin holds his defensive midfield role regardless, so Delph has the rest of the midfield to cover alone, hence his frustration. Also, Sigurdsson is then not afforded the space between midfield and defence as their midfield retreats, so Sigurdsson is anonymous.

It's no coincidence that our best periods of the game where when we weren't losing and Bournemouth looked to attack. Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson are are a liability and a passenger respectively when we are chasing a game. We just (as you said) can't break a team down who defends with these players and this setup.

Alan J Thompson
42 Posted 19/09/2019 at 14:49:52
Well there we have it; he showed some stuff good enough to be in his plans but those plans don't seem to have included actually giving him a game. I would imagine that just before Christmas we'll hear that Davies doesn't show enough in training despite never going home early.

And I can't go along with this idea that we were playing well except for them scoring more goals than we did. The medical equivalent is that the operation was a success but unfortunately the patient died.

Jay Wood

43 Posted 19/09/2019 at 15:01:24
Paul @ 40 (in reference to the Koeman-Unsworth-Allardyce season).

"I'm not convinced the expensive players were any better than the youngsters."

Agreed. The likes of Kenny, Holgate, Davies and Calvert-Lewin were not the problem that season. They all performed and all showed bottle. It was the so-called senior pros who were lacking.

Moshiri did panic in appointing Allardyce and Kevin's lament that we didn't take the opportunity to entrust our young guns more is a legitimate one. It could have been the making of them and hugely beneficial to our long-term ambitions.

Liam Reilly
44 Posted 19/09/2019 at 15:37:57
See Gueye had a stormer for PSG last night against Madrid.

Albeit he wanted to leave and earned his chance at Champions League level, the club gave him away for that sum in today's market to a club that has depths of riches.

Don't really get it myself.

George Cumiskey
45 Posted 19/09/2019 at 15:41:43
Allen @ 42 spot on mate.
Jay Harris
46 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:14:44
None of us can be happy with our performances and results this season and preseason but as regards Lookman can anyone say with hand on heart he played well enough to become a regular starter when he was given the opportunity? Same with Tom Davies who hasn't had a good game for 2 years.

WE all want the youth to do well but let's have some commonsense young players are very inconsistent and in the current premiership you need consistency.

For all those criticising Walcott's selection, that is old news. He has hardly got a look in this season.

If Lookman is so good, why aren't Leipzig playing him?

John Pierce
47 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:22:30
Christy @35. I agree Silva talking up his part in a sale he almost admits he had no say in is a load of BS. My question is why would he allow such a piece or quote to leave his mouth?

Silva is not only failing to correct issues on the field, despite over a year in the chair, he also garners very little sympathy. Not playing Lookman or another over a spent Walcott time and memorial gives the impression he favors players or potentially won't try things. Which last year, in the year of all transitions is madness.

He ‘appears' to be intense, often sullen and actually quite dour. He may not be those things however in terms of how patient people are, it's important even if it's just our subconscious. Sunday felt like a man who wasn't in control. It's a perception he needs to address.

He had one huge wobble last year and actually is unlikely to be afforded a wobble of the same proportion this time around. Why would you open yourself up to this?

Lookman was always going, we made a profit, leave it alone. Whining about it makes him look weak, self-inflicted this!

Alan J Thompson
48 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:22:58
Jay (#46); I think the Leipzig coach has stated his reasons.
John Pierce
49 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:42:04
PT. We should already have taken advantage. We should be 2nd and have 13 points.

We may not be top six material but are talent wise better than the five teams we've played to date.

If we cannot get out of the gate without tripping over our own feet then we ain't going anywhere under Silva.

Jay Harris
50 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:44:04

If the Leipzig coach is correct that Everton not playing him is why he is not being selected, that is surely not going to correct itself with Leipzig not playing him.

He trained every week with Everton, and presumably is training every week with Leipzig, so I can't see the difference with Silva not picking him and Leipzig not picking him.

David Pearl
51 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:55:28
Shock horror, no Lookman, Davies, Tosun, Walcott ... no improvement from their replacements. We have better players than the teams we have played and yet still disappointing results. Nothing will change. We have Silva and his rigid 4-2-3-1.
Drew O'Neall
52 Posted 19/09/2019 at 16:59:51
Walcott was picked because he knows how to do the whole job and Lookman doesn't.

Lookman might have more potential than Walcott but if he won't do what the manager asks he can't pick him.

At his size, if he really wanted to succeed in the Premier League he should have been in the weights room every day but he wasn't.

He saw an easier way in Germany and he took it.

Good luck. Next.

Alan J Thompson
53 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:02:27
Jay (#50); I think the last few sentences of the article say a little more than that and Silva has said that Lookman was in his plans as he obviously is with the club that has just paid 㿂M for him based on his time on loan with them last season.
Kieran Kinsella
54 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:14:30
Silva covering his ass in case Lookman comes good. Reminds me of before the 98 World Cup they had Aime Jacquet on SSN news answering loaded questions about Cantona and Ginola to demonstrate how good they are and by association the EPL and Sky.

After he left, Richard Keys waxed lyrical about them too. Finally, Steve McMahon cut him off and said “Jacquet is just saying that for your benefit as he is a guest on Sky. If he thought they were any good, he would pick them.”

I think the same logic applies here. Silva playing to potential future criticism IF Lookman comes good...

Jay Harris
55 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:19:25
Allan that may well be the case but he was also in Everton's plans if he was prepared to knuckle down, learn and prove himself up to Premier League level.

I have no doubt the kid has skills, Barkley had more than anyone but neither is up to regular games in the Premier League.

Kieran Kinsella
56 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:24:24

Barkley is playing regularly in the Premier League. He maybe overhyped but Billy Sharp also plays regularly in the Premier League… ergo, they are of the standard required to play.

Alan J Thompson
57 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:44:23
Jay (#55); I'm not sure I entirely agree with you based on those players with whom the manager persists. Schneiderlin went home early from training based on that day's Coach saying that, if they weren't going to join in training, then he may as well go home.

Davies seems to have been told to change his natural game and spend more or most time as a holding midfielder, and he doesn't get on the pitch, so I'm not sure how you knuckle down if you don't get any playing time.

David Thomas
58 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:48:26
Steve Ferns 28, are you agreeing now that Calvert-Lewin does need to score goals as you have previously stated his job in the team is not to score the goals.
Frank Crewe
59 Posted 19/09/2019 at 17:48:40
We have a habit of obsessing over the precocious youngster. The teen/early 20's superstar who is going to propel us into the Champions League stratosphere. Yet, in reality, it almost never happens. The excuse is that they are young and still learning. Well, I don't want players who are learning. I want players who have learnt.

Just look at the top European sides. They may have the odd youngster but they mostly buy experienced players. Yet if we had tried to buy Gueye at his current age there would have been nothing but complaints about buying a 29-year-old player yet PSG had no doubts and he's paying off for them already. We need to stop worrying about the age of players and just look at whether they are good enough. Putting out a side with a young age profile isn't something to be proud of. Experience is important.

I didn't see anything in Lookman that wasn't in a procession of youngsters that had come before him. All potential and no final product. I doubt he's any better than the bunch of wingers we have now.

Alan J Thompson
60 Posted 19/09/2019 at 18:02:01
Frank (#59);

I think we obsess over it as our history has shown it to be so. Harvey and Kendall at 16 or 17, Alan Ball must have started at a similar age, Joe Royle 16, and in more recent times we've played a series of youngsters like Rooney, Vaughan, Davies and others at tender ages.

Hope springs eternal.

Kieran Kinsella
61 Posted 19/09/2019 at 18:05:43

I would agree on the "snippets" from Lookman. There are a lot of players aged 17-20 that I have seen show similar "snippets" of quality: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Julian Joachim, Raheem Sterling, even Luke Chadwick, Sonny Pike, and Danny Cadamerteri.

The only one who really became a star was Sterling. Some of the others did well for five or six years, the rest went straight down the toilet.

Frank Crewe
62 Posted 19/09/2019 at 19:36:38
Alan @60

So our history boils down to three players from the '60s. That's a pretty thin history. We want young players but complain when they get bullied or knocked off the ball like Calvert-Lewin or misplace passes like Davies or sign for another club like Rooney.

How many times did Lookman get stick after another ineffectual performance? Do you think Stones would be improving our defence right now?

I very much doubt that Lookman would be making any difference to our current season. He would be just another winger among the bunch of better wingers we already have.

In recent years, some of our best players been older: Gough, Barry, Martyn, Campbell, Reid, Grey, Saha. Youth has its place but it can't beat stronger, mature, experienced players.

Joe McMahon
63 Posted 19/09/2019 at 20:02:58
Frank @62 – and in truth, "If yer know yer History" ... Well, yes, we all do, cos certainly since 1970, there ain't that many great years of it.
Jer Kiernan
64 Posted 19/09/2019 at 20:27:12
"In my plans"? — bollox. If I was being left on the bench for Walcott, I would want to leave – and I am overweight and 45.

Play the kid ffs? In your plans?? What plans???

"If you don't get the lead out, you will be gone by Xmas!!"

I will be very surprised if he doesn't succeed at RB Leipzig

Phil Smith
65 Posted 19/09/2019 at 20:43:06
I see he's not getting into the team there either. Bolasie, on the other hand, seems to do well wherever he goes. 2 assists for him today in the Europa League.
Jerome Shields
66 Posted 19/09/2019 at 20:46:25
Brian #38,

Thank you for letting me know. Yes it is amusing when you put it that way.

Kieran #54

Lookman hasn't played much for Leipzig yet. . . The current Manager of Leipzig is saying Lookman is not up to speed or match ready and is squarely blaming Everton for not playing him enough. In other words, he has not been prepared, developed or trained properly, and probably has a bit of an attitude, which may not be impressing the new Manager of Leipzig.

Lookman has potential, but he needs to get his act together fast, or else he could be heading down a slippery slope.

Jay Wood

67 Posted 19/09/2019 at 20:46:40
Frank @ 62.

"Youth has its place but it can't beat stronger, mature, experienced players."

And how did the players you list attain the qualities you attribute to them, Frank?

Jay Harris
69 Posted 19/09/2019 at 20:58:51

If you read Chelsea's fans tweets, they all want us to take Barkley back, which is a sad indictment of a lad with such good technical ability.

These days, you need good tactical understanding as well as technical ability and unfortunately a lot of the younger players struggle to take this onboard.

Derek Knox
70 Posted 19/09/2019 at 21:09:49
Brian, maybe there is only one finch, but what about the one that flew over the Cuckoo's Nest?

I for one, am sick and tired of this extremely lucky man, who has had the privilege of Managing Everton, and totally abusing it. He only thinks in one dimension — the Gospel according to Marco.

I am sorry guys but this cretin hasn't got a clue, he thinks he knows it all. No-one does! I have rarely come across a more stubborn and pig-headed Manager as him.

While I tend to agree that he has to go, who do we get in? Jose Mourinho? We've wasted enough money already so another million or two, won't really matter, get shut of this idiot, the sooner the better!

By the way, I have supported Everton for over 50 years, so am not talking knee-jerk here, I have seen the highs and the lows, and I don't think we can go much lower than Marco Silva, (apart from Klogman, and Professor Blubber) he hasn't got a Scooby Doo what Everton, and the true supporters, want!

Jerome Shields
71 Posted 19/09/2019 at 21:31:18
Current information on Lookman:

"He has been restricted to just 11 minutes, in as a substitute in the victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, and was a spectator even in the cup as Leipzig fielded a surprisingly strong side against second division side VfL Osnabruck.

"Perhaps the biggest factor working against him is the personality in the dugout. "

Steve Ferns
72 Posted 19/09/2019 at 21:33:18
Derek, are you aware that the Real Madrid manager is about to get the sack. Said manager only took the job in the summer to stop Mourinho getting it. It was Mourinho or Zidane. Now Zidane is failing badly, and the idiotic president is impatient for Zidane to replace an old side and keep winning, Mourinho is looking more and more like taking the job from him. So, no. No chance on Mourinho. He's going to wait to get the Madrid job in full knowledge he'll only last a season or two himself and get a massive payout.

Brands will want another Silva. He likes managers of this type. Brands will also be telling moshiri to give him time. Moshiri will listen to Brands. So Silva ain't going anywhere.

There's no immediate replacements either. Nagelsmann is the hottest thing in European football right now. He's Lookman's new boss. He missed out on a few big jobs after his star had waned a little. But, with Leipzig going well, he's back in the ascendancy. He won't leave so soon after being appointed. I also think he's likely to be the next Bayern manager.

There's no one you could line up just yet. I read some ridiculous talk about Bielsa from someone on another thread. Bielsa would only take a job if you give him months to prepare for it. He's eccentric and he wouldn't just leave Leeds. He's never done that ever. He's also well past 60 and not the man he was. His tactics are more one-dimensional than Silva's. He was a revolutionary and a pioneer but this was 15 years ago. His ideas are much copied and I would say improved on. Pochettino is Bielsa lite, with added stability thrown in. Bielsa also hasn't won a trophy for a long time. He's not won a league in over 20 years. I love the guy, but he's not your man.

If we change manager it'll be in the summer. Brands doesn't panic and he'll ensure things progress smoothly. He knows Silva ain't what Derek says he is and he will give him time to get it right.

Steve Ferns
73 Posted 19/09/2019 at 21:36:58
Correct, Jerome. I can't see how Lookman fits into the Nagelsmann system. He doesn't work hard enough. This will be why he's out the side. Like Silva he'll want to see Lookman getting up and down the pitch and getting stuck in defensively.

Football is a much more compact game than it was just 10 years ago. Players cover more and more ground. Games get less and less stretched. Wingers need to be able to get back and defend and to press and tackle. That's his problem.

Sam Hoare
74 Posted 19/09/2019 at 21:55:45
Steve, I'm not advocating sacking Silva but there are always viable replacements. If our form were to fall off a cliff and we were to be in the bottom 6 or 7 by Xmas (I don't think this will happen hopefully) then I've no doubt that Moshiri and Brands would make a move.

I agree with the type that Brands is looking for though we cannot be sure how tightly he would stick to that remit. I think Gallardo from River would be a bold and potentially rewarding decision. Perhaps Farke could be tempted from Norwich; or maybe Wilder from Sheffield though he's a less obvious fit. Lee Johnson has done good work at Bristol City and Eddie Howe's name would likely be on the list. There are also the likes of Blanc and Marcelino who could be interesting options.

I agree with your assessment that Brands will want to give Silva time but equally, him and Moshiri will expect progress and, if it looks like things are going backwards, I envisage them acting decisively.

Steve Ferns
75 Posted 19/09/2019 at 22:12:13
Gallardo would be a massive risk. No chance of that. Blanc is the complete opposite of what Brands would want. A dour defensive manager.

Farke ain't leaving Norwich this season, same with Wilder. Eddie Howe Is an erratic manager and would be another Martinez.

Lee Johnson's done nothing to deserve a top 8 Premier League job. Graham Potter might be for the bill but he's also not moving before next summer.

You're waiting for a game name to get sacked to start the merry-go-round. And would you want to appoint someone who just failed?

Sam Hoare
76 Posted 19/09/2019 at 22:37:56
Steve, I could reply with a reason why all of those coaches could be attractive and why they may want to join if given the chance. Obviously, it's all theoretical. And there are many other managers out there.

January or mid-season is not the best time to get a new manager but it happens. Obviously, Silva will not be safe if things go south. He's had a year now and will be expected to move the team forwards over the next few months.

Tony Williams
77 Posted 19/09/2019 at 22:53:04
I will reiterate what everyone is saying...

Why didn't you play him, then?
Chris Hockenhull
78 Posted 19/09/2019 at 23:08:30
Eddie Howe... jeez, that name keeps tearing its head every time we go through this. Known for some consistent dreadful boring shite at home... and this from Bournemouth mates who can't see what this media darling has within the game.

Boyhood Blue in '84??? ... so what. Me Biyhood Blue since 63... there's thousands of us around ya know.

Eddie Howe? Please... no more.

Jerome Shields
79 Posted 19/09/2019 at 23:12:07
Steve #72,

I am convinced Silva will see out his contract. I agree that he is a Brands type of Manager, as you have said. What's more, I agree that Silva will succeed, as Everton Manager, as long as the other pieces of the jigsaw are out in place.

The big problem Silva had was to replace Gueye. Brands and Silva both realised they could not stand in his way and Gueye conducted himself well after the initial offer was rejected.

Replacing a defensive midfielder who can put an average of 20 tackles a game and who has the disciplinary record that Gueye has is exceptional. The truth is, he is irreplaceable. He is the dog's bollox – and looked it against Real Madrid.

So Silva had to buy in players and change the emphasis to a more possession-orientated midfield with move link play and support. Given the injuries sustained in the midfield, his plan has been difficult to implement.

Further to this is, and I have to get this in, the present squad has not been prepared or trained properly. In simple terms, it's not fit. The demented look on Silva's face on the touchline and dugout, is the look of a man who has been lied to, but can't believe it.

How Silva and previous manager have not realised that something is a miss within Everton, resulting in mistakes and below-par performances, which give the impression that the guilty players do not care, is a mystery.

What's more, it also looks like Everton is not a good career move for a young up-and-coming player – and maybe even for experienced players.

Moshiri and Brands have to be aware that all is not well and, what's more, I would be very surprised that Silva is anything near the threshold for apportioning blame by them, in relation to the present debacle.

When Silva says that we have to work a lot harder, it would be interesting to know exactly who he meant.

Moshiri, Brands and Silva are a different kettle of fish than what Everton have had before, so I suspect a different outcome by the end of next season.

Long-suffering Everton fans have for so long seen the same old story with different characters, that appear to end up the same as what has gone previously. They don't believe that these guys are different and will that they will be determined and want different outcomes.

John Pierce
80 Posted 19/09/2019 at 23:56:08
We bought on a DoF to expedite managers who don't cut it. I'm already holding my nose watching this crap now and lord knows what a third season would do. I'm getting Martinez flashbacks already.

I'd hope Brands who has bought investments through younger players with resale knows that if Silva remains in stasis with the team's development to cut him loose, that's part of the model.

Simply at the rate we get our act together others will continue a pace, leaving us exactly we're we are.

The right manager is the one that massively overachieves with this squad, not the incremental change which Spurs managed, we simply don't have the time.

As for a replacement, you pay for someone already in a job. You don't go after the out detritus that were sacked in the fall.

Jay Wood

81 Posted 20/09/2019 at 03:15:27
Jerome @ 79. You really do have the most fertile of imaginations.

You suggest, "the present squad has not been prepared or trained properly. In simple terms, it's not fit" and as a result "the demented look on Silva's face on the touchline and dugout, is the look of a man who has been lied to, but can't believe it."

First up, there is absolutely no evidence that the team is seriously unfit, stamina wise. But for the sake of debate, let's accept that what you say is correct.

Are you really, but really saying that Silva is not THE person primarily responsible for this failing? Are you really, but really suggesting he has no input, no say, no influence, in the physical fitness and training regime at Finch Farm?

That somehow, mystically, this key component of a manager's role is denied him and persons unnamed oversee every aspect of players' fitness? And further, that not being privy to said fitness and training regime, he is lied to by these anonymous, unnamed 'trainers' about their work and the true fitness levels of the players?

You've come up with some spectacular speculation in your time on TW, Jerome. I think you've surpassed even yourself with this one.

Jay Harris
82 Posted 20/09/2019 at 04:06:48
Lets face it Silva, has to deal with the hand he has been dealt and the one he has helped to shape.

It is unfortunate that Gbamin was injured when he was and we did not get the players back for pre-season to work together, but we've just had an international break and most teams are in the same situation, so we have to work with what we've got.

I believe Silva prepares the players well enough but he has yet to work out the synergy in the side and make timely changes on the pitch when things are not working.

I think we have dominated most games even Villa and Bournemouth away but do not punish teams when we are on top and fold like paper when we are under pressure.

To me, it's a combination of team selection and tactics and I include tactical variation during a game in that.

To me, that is the million-dollar question with me: Does Silva have it or not? And how long does he get to prove it?

Alan J Thompson
83 Posted 20/09/2019 at 05:07:19
Frank (#62);

Don't be silly — of course it goes back further. Was it Sam Chedgzoy who was the youngest player at one time?

I started there as nearly all would know of those players; giving youngsters a game does not preclude older players in the team — and neither does my #60 include all those who have played in our 1st XI at a young age.

Justin Doone
84 Posted 20/09/2019 at 06:23:29
Any team that are in danger of relegation or underachieving come December will be looking to replace their managers. Time is only given to managers that show progression.

Looking at the Premier League this season, I'd estimate at least 8 teams will have a change of manager before the end of the season.

Silva is a big improvement on Allardyce in terms of football style and entertainment. But with all the money spent in the last two summers the teams results have not improved.

The next few months are very important. Silva is under massive pressure to improve things quickly. He's got some great attacking players but we lack defensive quality.

For me, we should adapt a more counter-attacking game instead of the possession-based game. That doesn't mean just sit back with 11 players rather we drive forward quickly when we win the ball back. We appear to be confused in these situations.

Our attacking players have become more cautious when one on one with a defender. We appear to have implemented a 5-pass rule to our detriment.

As an example how often did Richarlison glide past defenders in his first 18 months in the Premier League. He's now over thinking and over playing instead of the attack and shoot mentality he had. This is with the same manager.

I think it's because he's more exhausted having to defend because we are defensively weak and slow. Both our full-backs push up too high at the same time. There is no cover and teams find it easy to attack the space.

Little tweaks on the pitch could improve things but so far players and coaches are failing to take charge or responsibility.

Jerome Shields
85 Posted 20/09/2019 at 07:46:03
Jay #82,

Against Bournemouth, I am convinced that many of the Everton players where not fit enough, and their attitude wasn't at the required level. Being even a yard short in the Premier League can make all the difference.

You can be sure that any promoted side from the Championship will be fit and have a good attitude. They may not have the same technical skills or range of tactical ability, so they all know they have to be fit. Against Everton, this means they harry, close down, push up, pressurise, hoping for mistakes, with enthusiasm. Against Everton, they were successful winning 3 -1, because Everton were a yard short. Aston Villa did the same.

Since pre-season, it was obvious that Everton's preparation and training weren't up to scatch. Against other teams, Everton just got away with it and their technical skills and tactically ability came through. Injuries have not helped also. But the margins resulting in the Bournemouth debacle are small.

It is evident over the years that the Everton managers, including Silva, don't get the performances they would like to get on the pitch. We all can, similarly, identify with the inconsistent displays of the Everton team. Of course, the manager can contribute with wrong tactics or substitutions on the day, but, if others involved in preparing and training the squad are not pulling their weight, they can also contribute.

Mike Dunphy, a pundit, once described the dressing room and training grounds of the teams he played for in the twilight of his career, as being full of cheats, who were getting by, hoodwinking the manager, not putting the effort in, and generally lowering the attitude of squad and team. They had no interest in achieving anything. What I am saying is that is Everton to some extent; they have had such a dressing room and training ground under successive managers.

Silva to me seems to be the victim of such an environment. He can talk all he likes about the need to work hard, have great training and development plans but, if the cheats in the Club are long-established, secure and supported in their positions, his ability to achieve what he wants is limited.

At Everton, the cheats are really subtle at what they do, and have seen the back of many of a manager and are still are at Everton.

Jay Wood

86 Posted 20/09/2019 at 13:08:16
Jerome @ 85.

You are fully entitled to your opinion – being 'convinced' that Everton players are not fit. Personally, I see no evidence of any shortcomings of the players physical fitness levels at any time under Silva.

Under previous regimes, this lack of fitness was evident, especially early season. But under Silva I've never seen his teams flagging fitness-wise in the final quarter of the game, blowing for tugs.

But as I said in my original reply to you, for the sake of debate, let's say that is the case. You still persist with the belief that Silva (and you now extend that to other Everton managers) fail to 'get the performance they would like' due to 'others involved in preparing and training the squad not pulling their weight'.

You further claim that the dressing room and training ground is full of 'cheats' somehow deceiving Silva, thus undermining his efforts. That 'the cheats are really subtle at what they do, and have seen the back of many of a manager and are still are at Everton.'

Sorry Jerome, but this is all fantastically fanciful and an invention of a fantasist.

Silva is very much a 'hands-on' coach who is very much present on the training ground at Finch Farm. Do you really, REALLY believe he is so naive and blind to not see what you claim if it was truly the case?

He is meticulous in his preparation. He brought his own coaching staff with him when he joined Everton, untainted by the existing malpractices you claim. THEY are the ones working closest to the first team. It will be THEIR training, fitness and conditioning programs the first team will follow, not the 'subtle cheats' you imagine.

Modern day players are constantly monitored by exceedingly sophisticated technology and sports science these days, all evident at Finch Farm. There is no hiding place for players if their fitness is not up to scratch.

Now if you had raised concerns about the mental fitness of the team to overcome adversity or questioned whether tactically we are set up correctly and are 'fit for purpose' to win tight games, I could agree with you.

But you don't do that. You pluck out of the air some loose threads and believe you are making a valid claim:

* that the players are not match fit (physically) when there is little or no evidence to support that claim

* that from a few seconds footage of a forlorn Silva on the touchline is conclusive evidence that he 'looks like a man who has been lied to, but can't believe it'

* that there is a clique of trainers in the club, responsible for and with daily access to, first team players who are 'cheating' and not preparing players to the required levels of fitness necessary

Fantastical fantasy, as I say.

Jerome Shields
87 Posted 20/09/2019 at 14:11:04
Jay #86,

You are also entitled to your opinion. Fitness consists of both physical and mental fitness, they both combine and are interactive in producing the individual players level of performance and the overall team performance. Such fitness is determined by the player himself, his interaction with his team, his training coaches, his mentors and monitors within the Club, the Manager and probably in the case of Everton 'The Goodison faithful'.

The level of performance against Bournemouth and other such performances can be explained away by tactics, poor substitutions and injuries. This has been done till we are all blue in the face and permanently blue in the face into the future, like Groundhog Day.

It is my opinion that, at Everton, there is an underlying problem in the Club Culture, and the source is from within Everton.

Thank you for giving your opinion.

Steve Ferns
88 Posted 20/09/2019 at 14:41:39
Jerome, Everton have hired Mr Benfica Lab Bruno Mendes to be in charge of fitness. Bruno is a performance analyst meaning that he crunches the numbers (fitness-wise) and tailors improvements in fitness-based training. The fitness training is done by Pedro Conceicao, one of Silva's inner circle.

Silva is a hard working guy. He's approaching a workaholic. All he's saying here is that "we have to work harder". He means himself, the backroom, the coaches, and of course the players. Clearly the plan against Bournemouth did not work, so there was a failing. Silva is saying that he will work harder to make sure it works.

There's no underlying issue with fitness. The team look pretty fit to me. It would be kamikaze to go full gas pressing like we did if the players did not have good stamina. It would mean that even if we got 2-0 up, we'd have been struggling to hold on at the end of the game with loads of payers dead on their feet. If we really were under-prepared fitness wise, then you'd go with a deep formation and 11 men behind the ball so there is as little running as possible.

As for counter-attacking v possession, I think we miss the pressing angle. Silva seems to have gone all-in on pressing this season. For good reason as it brought good results last season against the big clubs in the final 10 games or so. Pressing and counter-attacking are hard to combine. Pressing relies on a high defensive line whilst counter-attacking relies on a deep defensive line, sucking the opposition high up the pitch and then exploiting the space in behind. It's very difficult to combine the two but it can be done. Usually be pressing high, you would be a bit more direct and less possession based. In other words win the ball high up the pitch and immediately attack the goal. However, we seem to be taking too many touches and looking for passes instead of shots. I put that down to confidence.

Confidence appears to be an issue for me. You get confidence by winning. The players play well at Goodison where they are used to winning and the crowd are and so we combine to give each other confidence. Whilst away from home we seem very conscious of the fact we do not win and so look bereft of confidence and whereas at Wolves we looked like we'd win when we got pegged back, against Bournemouth we wilted when we went behind for the second time. There should have been the same belief and determination in both games to go and get another goal.

Jerome Shields
89 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:36:20
Thank you, Steve, for your well thought out and informative post. Obviously I do not have the close-up knowledge of the team you have. I think Silva is a good Manager and has the ability to organised the team tactically and develop the players technically. I am certain that he will see out his contract.

What I have observed myself is, with the loss of Gueye, Silva has tried to compensate for this by trying to dominate midfield possession, improve pass completion and link-up play. Gbamin, Delph and Iowbi were brought in with this in mind and more of an attempt was to play through the centre, though the preference is still for wing attacking play. The high press worked well against the top team as you observed, but the lesser team set up shop to counter Everton's counterattacking strengths, with some success.

As you say, the necessary speed of movement and passing is not evident, and too many passes are taken. Injured players haven't helped either.

Where I am coming from in the fitness angle, which I have seemingly failed to get across on this thread, is that the players, when they are put under pressure and things are not going to plan, seem to have an attitude problem. This is reflected in missed passing, not covering off, and mistakes in vital areas, which is often a collective failing, as no cover is attempted to remedy the situation. The opposition player has a yard on most of the Everton players in these situations. Some of Everton players even look as if they are not bothered and maybe not trying their best for the Manager. You can nearly put the kettle on for the collapse.

For a team to have the confidence necessary, the whole Club needs to have the right attitude from top to bottom. There seems to be an attitude in the Club, not from Brands and Silva, that failing to progress beyond Premier League survival is not achievable.

In some quarters within Everton, this is what they appear to believe, so why bother? I believe this results in deficit in fitness in the area of player resilience, and a "can't be bothered" attitude amongst some of the players, when called on to perform, that makes the team underachievers. It the only explanation I can find for a performance I recognise all too often, and which seems to be a uniquely Everton failing in the Premier League.

I notice your continuous support of Silva throughout the threads to your credit, based on sound analysis. Silva is the only show in town as far as I am concerned, and your observations in your post confirm it.

Michael Kenrick
90 Posted 20/09/2019 at 21:54:22
I am glad to see Jay challenging these astounding 'revelations' from Jerome that seem to stem from what he correctly identifies (in the kindest terms) as a fertile imagination.

Jerome makes many many statements in every post about Everton behind the scenes that appear to come out of nowhere, with no substantiation beyond putting 2 and 2 together and making a whole edifice of confusion, incompetence and conspiracy to explain Everton's shortcomings, with a new element introduced in seemingly every imaginative posting.

To an extent, I guess that is what we are all doing, as none of us has the advantage of being on the inside, and presumably being in a position to more accurately describe the conditions you make up as you go along. But most of us make it clear that we are creating our own interpretations based on what we see. Your assertions, Jerome, come with

The lastest brick in this increasingly peculiar edifice you are building is 'cheats': there are cheats in the dressing room and at training ground. "The cheats in the Club are long-established, secure and supported in their positions." It's reassuring that you know this with such impressive certitude... NOT!

"At Everton, the cheats are really subtle at what they do, and have seen the back of many of a manager and are still are at Everton." — Really? Are we talking players here or backroom staff? Come on, Jerome, Name names! Or put a sock in it!

Be assured, Jerome, this is not simply a question of us having our opinions. You are making definitive statements about what is going on at Everton as if you have some prescient, omniscient insight (incite?) that I (among others) simply do not believe you have. Sorry.

Jerome Shields
91 Posted 20/09/2019 at 22:07:45

You too are entitled to your opinion, but the truth will come out in the wash, no matter how unpalatable it might be.

Mark Murphy
92 Posted 20/09/2019 at 22:40:19
I'm. It a football coach but I like to think I know about football and have supported Everton now for 50 years.

We've sold lots of players that I've been gutted to see leave starting with the greatest of them all little curly Alan Ball, and I've often thought the club were rash but if Lookman is in the England team in the next 2-4 years I'll think we made a mistake.

Somehow I don't think that will happen. The professionals at our club know 100 x more than we do about football or they wouldn't be paid 100 x more than we are.

Name one, apart from Rooney, that we really shouldn't have let go and has gone on to greater things?

Alan J Thompson
93 Posted 21/09/2019 at 03:43:42
Mark(#93); Arteta? How great were you thinking and is it too soon for Gana albeit based only on reports of one game or does this now become, "Well yes, apart from that what have the Romans ever done for us?"
Mark Murphy
94 Posted 21/09/2019 at 07:15:48
Ha - Alan I thought about that python quote too as soon as I had posted!
My point is that the coaches and Silva see these players everyday - not just on match days - and if Lookman was worth more than £22m I'm sure we'd have kept him.
I don't recall him pulling up trees when he did get a chance - apart from the City game and the anfield Derby (and the viaducts and the wine...)
Let's see in a couple of years time if we're all regretting letting him go?
Dale Rose
95 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:34:52
I have always felt a major problem at Everton was buying players and then sending them out on loan. Never agreed with it or saw the point of it. Like buying a car and lending it to a neighbour.
Alan J Thompson
96 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:43:41
Mark(#94); I'm not sure they do see them every day and if Silva does then what did he make of Schneiderlin and Mirallas going home early especially as he had a lot to say about Lookman at training. Given the amount of game time he had then judging him on such may be a bit unfair(both ways) as there was certainly some indication of a fair bit of talent.

As for his value, the seller can ask for the world but the price paid is something for the buyer, or is it a case of "Give unto Rome that which is Rome's".

Appreciate the humour, cheers.

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