Match Previews

Predictability and the worrying signs of lack of managerial ability – What needs to give as Marco Silva attempts to save his job

Silva away at West Ham

After an encouraging, exciting attacking and midfield display in a 3-2 win over what is now recognised as a good Wolves side on the 1st September, I and other fans alike saw a lot of what we have desired and expected since Farhad Moshiri began to pump his hundreds of millions into Everton Football Club.

A youthful but talent-riddled front three of marquee signings in the shape of Richarlison, Moise Kean, Alex Iwobi and a refreshing midfield balance of steel and creativity with Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph, seemed to present a well-balanced Everton side which has been absent since Roberto Martinez’s first season at the club. Even though we have learned over the years and even decades not to get carried away with Everton, it would’ve been hard to leave Goodison and not be optimistic about a real push for a top six place this season. 

But what has followed since has been nothing short of appalling, and a ruthless reminder of how far away Everton are from actually pushing for a top six finish. Fixtures against Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Burnley has seen Everton not gain a single point (Yes, not even one) and slumber into the relegation zone. Apart from an ‘acceptable’ display against champions Manchester City, where Everton ‘gave as good as they got’ defeats to three sides that let’s be honest, Everton should be dispatching with relative ease, has give every Evertonian reasoning to panic and be seriously concerned about going into the winter period. Performances which can be described as abject, predictable and despondent, have resulted in one collective opinion within the Everton fan base. It is fair to say the jury is very much out on Marco Silva.

The majority of Evertonians understand that after Koeman and Walsh’s disastrous reign, which resulted in many below average players signed by the pair who where left on Everton’s payroll, earning ludicrous wages in comparison to their mediocre abilities, that Marco Silva alongside Director of Football Marcel Brands would need more than one transfer window and one season to sort out the mess left by Koeman and Walsh. There was a shared recognition when Marco Silva was appointed in May 2018, that time was very much of the essence, and patience was required in the transition from Allardyce’s drab blues to what we hoped would eventually become a young, energetic and exciting Everton side.

But speaking on behalf of the mass, Evertonians are not running of patience with the process of transition, they are running out of patience with Silva’s stubbornness and reluctancy to change a predictable system which is clearly inadequate and painful to watch. A 4-2-3-1 system which always seems to include Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who despite his good recent goalscoring return, it seems blindingly obvious he can not lead the line on his own. Morgan Schneiderlin, too. A figure who is symbolic of the failed Moshiri reign thus far. An overrated, ordinary player lured from a top club because he was out of favour, and now left on Everton’s books – collecting ridiculous wages whilst having no positive contribution when in the team. But it is not just his uninspiring formation and his tendency to continue to pick players who are not good enough, Marco Silva’s lack of charisma and post-match interviews which often sound like an automated telephone call which is trained to say the same things over and over, also continues to aggravate Everton fans. 

But as everyone well knows, the good thing about bad performances and results in football is that you can put it right instantly. Marco Silva has now had two weeks due to international break to reflect on what has gone so wrong since Everton were well beaten by Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in September. West Ham is now an absolute must win game. And after a 3-1 defeat to the hammers the last time they visited Goodison in September 2018, Marco Silva faces in my opinion his most pressured match during his Everton tenure so far. So how does he go about it? It seems change of formation and personnel is a must to buy himself some time with the Everton fans, with a 4-3-3 formation consisting of a narrow front three of Richarlison, Kean and Iwobi, with Bernard in the number ten role in place of Gylfi Sigurdsson, seeming to be what most Everton fans want to now see. World Cup winner Djibril Sidibe will have to fill in for the suspended Seamus Coleman at right back, but Everton fans want to see the Frenchman stay in the side long term  – many unhappy with the Everton skippers form this season. 

Despite another very poor start to yet another campaign which has left many blues uninspired and fed up, it is important now we recognise the position Everton are in. Everton will not be challenging for a top six place this season, but must now get a run of form going and build momentum. With an incredibly tough run of fixtures upcoming in the winter period, including a torrid set of fixtures in December, Everton’s aim must now be to get clear of the relegation zone and concentrate on the League Cup, where a route to Wembley appears to be a lot less complicated due to Tottenham’s early exit, as well as two of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United about to exit in the next round.

It is yet again the same old story with Everton. A poor start to the league resulting in a collective agreement that a mid-table finish is the best possible achievement for Everton in the Premier League this season. It is hard to be optimistic and remain positive, but on Saturday Goodison needs to be at its best, and everyone at the club needs to contribute in helping Everton get out of this barren run. Nevertheless, Up The Toffees. 


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