With Marco Silva odds on to become the latest casualty of the Goodison Park transfer merry go round, The Street End looks at the depth of Everton’s problems and whether a change will do them good.
The More Things Change….
As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Everton are about to complete the decade having had 5 full time managers in 7 years. To put that in context, there had been 12 full time managers between the end of the second world war and the start of David Moyes tenure, although Howard Kendall had returned twice. This Newcastlesque level of hiring and firing is a symptom of modern football but what does it achieve? More importantly, what difference will it make at Everton?
To answer this, we have to look at the factors that have led to Marco Silva’s predicament.
His Ever Changing Squad
Excuse the Style Council reference but Silva changes his side every week this season. Some of these changes are due to injury. When JP Gbamin and Fabian Delph were brought in, the midfield was thought to be Everton’s strongest area. Unfortunately, Delph’s injury proneness, Gbamin’s freak injury and Andre Gomes tragic collison with the world’s nicest lad has left the midfield bereft. Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies are having to cover and neither suit playing with each other.Embed from Getty Images
Some of the changes are because he doesn’t know his best side. Another injury, this time to Bernard added further confusion to his front line. Alex Iwobi has been in and out of the starting 11 despite being Everton’s most efficient passer at the top end of the pitch. Gylfi Sigurdsson looks like a luxury player whilst neither Tosun, Kean or DCL look like scoring consistently. Change has been inevitable due to injuries but Silva doesn’t know which players he wants to play.
Something Better Change
All of these factors have led to Everton’s perilous league position and the threat of a relegation dogfight. The defeat to Leicester has left the Toffees in 17th place, 2 points clear of Southampton. This is a far cry from the end of last season when an Idrissa Gueye inspired Everton looked unbeatable at Goodison. Marco Silva received plenty of admiration for his ability to ride out a storm and defensive organisation. In reality, the team was being held together by Idrissa Gueye and Kurt Zouma, neither of whom are at the club.Embed from Getty Images
Indeed, Marcel Brands has had a part to play in this. He gave his vote of confidence to Silva far too late. The Dutchman also bears responsibility for the make up of the side and his summer transfers were questionable. Newspapers have reported that Silva didn’t want Iwobi, a last minute signing from Arsenal. Moise Kean has showed glimpses of his talent but is not being risked in a struggling side. Fabien Delph is fragile and Gbamin is a mystery. Brands did well to get rid of players but his signings have not guaranteed themselves a place in the first 11. All of these are worrying but the defence is the biggest problem.
Michael Keane is a changed man. He has lost form or regained his form from 2 seasons ago depending on the way that you look at it. Kurt Zouma now plays for Chelsea. Everton have no replacement. He is too slow to partner Yerry Mina. Keane suits games where he can play in a low block like he did at Burnley. Mason Holgate has some pace but still makes rash decisions. He was fortunate to get away with a penalty shout at Leicester. Brands let Phil Jagielka leave with no replacement. The idea to sign Marcos Rojo on loan was flawed as Manchester United saw us as a direct rival. We had no leverage and United wanted a kings ransom plus change for him. This was a poor strategy by Brands but he is still hamstrung by what has gone before him.Embed from Getty Images
Last summer, Brands was sill trying to change the makeup of the squad and reduce the average age from 29 years old. The Ronald Koeman/Steve Walsh scattergun wasted so much money. It also landed Everton with a tonne of deadwood. Some might argue that Walcott and Tosun’s signings by Sam Allardyce added further wood to the dumpster fire. Brands still has the ghosts of transfer windows past in the current squad. It will take him years to sign the players who actually complement each other on the pitch.Embed from Getty Images
Marco Silva is required to be like the A Team or Macgyver when they were trapped by the baddies. They would forge a tank out of a tractor, some pipes, some duct tape and a few random bullets that were always at hand and escape from the barn that held them. “I love it when a plan comes together” was Hannibal Smith’s catchphrase. It hasn’t at Everton.
Money Changes Everything
Money changes everything sang Cyndi Lauper and it is certainly true at Everton. The FFP trap that they now sit in means that they can not buy their way out of trouble. This means that any manager that comes in for Silva is likely going to have to face the same squad. The squad is unbalanced, injury ravaged and out of form. Will a new manager change any of that?Embed from Getty Images
It is possible. The famed new manager bounce could get Everton back up the table quickly. They are only 6 points off a European spot. Unfortunately, they now face a horrible run of fixtures throughout December. There are real fears of the relegation zone. Silva is a beleaguered figure on the touchline. Everton need a change in fortunes fast. Will a new manager be given 50 million to spend in the January transfer window like Sam Allardyce wasted? Unlikely.
You’ve Changed My Mind?
This explains why Silva remains in charge. He still has the support of the players. This was evident in the match against Leicester. Everton competed for most of the game. It took a last minute goal to beat them. The makeshift squad ran themselves into the ground for him. The board are giving Silva every chance to get out of this/ They are also giving themselves time to approach a new manager for after the derby match. The derby is a huge opportunity for Silva, just as Everest was to Sir Edmund Hillary. A win will change his career at Everton. A loss could end it.
There is no guarantee that a change in manager at Everton will improve their fortunes. Marco Silva is hoping to have one more chance to change his story at Everton. Otherwise, he will become the latest manager to jump off the Everton managerial merry go round.