In many respects, it has been quite an underwhelming season for the Blues, with new manager Marco Silva struggling to win over the Goodison faithful.
It is important to note that this article was written before the weekend’s defeat at Newcastle.
There are various reasons as to why this is the case, but ultimately, after a few seasons of mediocrity at the club, patience isn’t exactly a virtue that is in high supply on the terraces of Goodison Park. Silva’s tactics and subsequent style of football has many questioning the capability of the 41-year-old to bring about a new dawn at Everton.
Naturally, now that the Blues finally have a war chest to call upon when the transfer window comes around, Everton fans want their piece of the big time and all the prestige that having wealthy owners comes with. The problem is, that because a huge amount of success has been hard to come by in the Premier League for the Blues, there isn’t a massive amount of leeway given when a new manager is perceived to be wasting time in their quest to make Everton eventual title challengers.
Marco Silva has been far from perfect since he was appointed Blues boss in June 2018, but there are signs beginning to show that suggest backing him for a while longer, irrespective of results, could be the most logical option if the Blues are to begin gatecrashing the top six.
Silva had 17 days to work with the squad after the loss to Watford and it seems he was exceptionally productive over that time. Up until the loss at Vicarage Road, Everton had only kept two clean sheets in 13 games, but in the space of a week, the Blues recorded two in succession. Silva’s men were able to keep Cardiff and Liverpool out and with that, it shows that the Portuguese manager is willing to alter his philosophy. More importantly, it also shows that he is not idly sitting about but rather actively learning.
The high press that saw the Blues so soundly beaten by Spurs 6-2, looks to be a thing of the past, with Silva opting to sit a bit deeper against teams with more attacking threats. The new formation of 4-2-3-1 gives the defence a bit more security as the midfielders now don’t go rushing out of their half to close down the opposition’s centre-backs when they have the ball.
Keeping Liverpool out for 90 minutes was an indication of how effective this new formation is. On a day of derbies in the Premier League, it was the Merseyside one that was supposedly the easiest to call, with Silva’s men condemned to defeat before a ball was kicked. Indeed, the pros at betconnect had correctly predicted in their best football bets of the day that the North London derby would be a draw at 11/4. Very few, however, saw the later kickoff in Liverpool being a stalemate as well or even having fewer goals; it was as straightforward as it comes, with Liverpool the ones expected to keep up their dominance with a crushing win.
The relief on Silva’s face during his post-match press conference was extremely evident and it seems now that this could be the time where Everton embark on a run. After the Blues host Chelsea at Goodison Park on March 17th, they will have 13 days until they play again, which will give Silva a bit more time to streamline his new formation.
The next big break that comes after that is the summer; if the 41-year-old has been able to implement impressive change in two weeks, what could he do over the course of an entire preseason? Yes, he has had one before, but this is a new squad that is still in the process of gelling and he is finding out as much about them as they are about him. Time is the key for Silva and if given it, he could begin to build a legacy at Goodison Park.