Everton’s bad start gets worse – Marco Silva to go?Published on: October 6, 2019Author: Sam F
Pressure is mounting on Marco Silva as Everton have slumped to 17th in the Premier League table. This came after a strangely predictable 0-1 loss at Burnley and it marked the Toffees’ fourth successive league defeat.
The 2019/20 campaign was supposed to have been the season where Everton finally cracked the top six. With a huge amount of money invested in new signings, there were real hopes that the Merseyside club could finally revisit past glories. But with a demoralised team, a disliked manager and a complete lack of inspiration, it’s going to be difficult to see where Everton go from here.
Everton’s 2019/20 campaign so far
Everton’s fixture list for the new season initially looked like it could give them a decent start into their campaign. With opening games against clubs such as Crystal Palace, Wolves, Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Sheffield United, Marco Silva’s team had a great chance to make a big impression.
But with just seven points from eight games, it’s clear that things haven’t gone the Toffees’ way. Everton’s attack has been blunt. Only bottom-placed clubs Watford and Newcastle United have scored less than Everton’s six goals so far, and their defence has also proven to be dangerously leaky.
Last season saw the Toffees narrowly missing out on a Europa League spot. With Wolves claiming seventh place in the 2018/19 Premier League table, it was another bitter blow for the Merseyside club. But after a summer of big spending, there was plenty of cause for optimism that this could finally be Everton’s year. Unfortunately, it looks like things haven’t gone to plan.
Mixed fortunes against Crystal Palace and Watford
Everton’s first game of the season saw them visiting Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace proved to be worthy opponents, and Jordan Pickford earned his team a point with two fantastic saves in the goalless draw.
From here, Marco Silva’s team picked up their fifth successive home win with an early Bernard goal leading to a slender 1-0 triumph over Watford. It was a game that Everton should have taken more from, and their inability to make chances count signalled future problems in their attack.
Humbled by Aston Villa but improvements against Wolves
Things came unstuck when Everton travelled to Aston Villa. Although the Toffees created a massive amount of goalscoring opportunities, they couldn’t make them count. This was in direct contrast to Aston Villa who punished Everton with clinical finishes to claim three points in the 2-0 victory.
Everton’s best game so far has to be their 3-2 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. This saw Richarlison showing what an important player he is with two well-earned goals, and the match also marked Alex Iwobi’s first goal for his new club.
Sorry defeats by Bournemouth and Sheffield United
Everton would have climbed into the top three had they won away at Bournemouth. But being at the wrong end of a 3-1 away defeat once again marked out serious issues with consistency.
Things went from bad to worse when they were stunned by a 0-2 home defeat at the hands of Premier League newcomers Sheffield United. Although Everton players like Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson showed plenty of creativity, it was hard to ignore the fact that Marco Silva’s team looked very vulnerable to set-pieces. As a result, Everton were booed off the pitch.
No points from games against Manchester City and Burnley
Everton’s first real challenge of their campaign came when they entertained Manchester City at the end of September. Although the Goodison Park faithful helped the Toffees find plenty of resilience, the sheer quality of the Manchester City attack proved too much and the visitors walked away with a 1-3 win.
Following this, their was an air of resignation when Everton played their last game away to Burnley. Sean Dyche’s team are tricky to play against at the best of times, and while Everton were unlucky to have captain Seamus Coleman sent off, it wasn’t too surprising to see that Burnley would walk away the 1-0 victors.
Rating Everton’s summer signings
Silva’s solid record in his first season gave the Everton board good reason to provide the manager with plenty of funds for the summer transfer period. With a spending spree of over £125 million, it looked like Everton might have been contenders for a Champions League spot, but things clearly haven’t worked out as planned.
Much was made of Moise Kean when he was signed for £25 million from Juventus this summer. But the teenager has still to score a goal for his new club, and he has yet to earn a regular first-team spot.
The Nigerian star Alex Iwobi has looked positive this season and he appeared to have nearly justified his £34 million price tag. But the fact that the ex-Arsenal player missed two decent chances against Burnley won’t have helped his confidence.
The addition of Fabian Delph to the midfield could work in Everton’s favour – particularly as he was signed for a very reasonable £8 million. Jean-Philippe Gbamin was out of action for eight weeks as a result of a training session injury, but upon his return, the ex-Mainz player could be the central defender necessary to help Everton’s notorious problems with set-pieces.
Everton have been missing their midfield star Idrissa Gueye who left for Paris Saint Germain this summer. While the likes of Iwobi look good, it’s clear that the new-look Everton just aren’t getting the results.
Why all is not yet lost for the Toffees
Although Everton are in turmoil, it’s also true that this club are just too big to let matters get much worse. The Merseyside team have played top-flight football for a record 116 seasons, and they should have the funds available to turn things around.
Regardless of whether Silva stays or goes, there is plenty of quality in the Everton squad. Jordan Pickford is not only an excellent goalkeeper, but he has the character necessary to drive things forward for the team. The Brazilian star Richarlison has been relentlessly creative this season, and he looks to be a key player in the current Everton side.
Everton’s attack may have been struggling with cohesion, but there is enough quality players here like Alex Iwobi to cause any team big problems. Plus defensive players like Yerry Mina have been in good form recently and it’s clear that Everton might just need time to settle after a busy summer transfer period and a series of unflattering defeats.
Where did Marco Silva go wrong?
Everton’s recent defeat against Burnley was made all the more painful by the fact that Burnley’s manager Sean Dyche was tipped for the Everton job before Silva claimed the position. While Burnley have proven to be a solid unit who are now above Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League table, Everton’s bad run of form have seen them slumping down to one place above the relegation zone.
It’s a calamitous state of affairs for a club of Everton’s reputation, and Marco Silva will have a short space of time to turn things around. Silva came to Everton in May 2018, and he initially seemed like a good fit for the Merseyside club.
Big results like April’s 4-0 win over Manchester United added lots of optimism, and Silva earned acclaim for his creative style of play that was in direct contrast to his predecessor Sam Allardyce.
But appointing Silva was always going to be a gamble given his mixed form with previous clubs like Hull City and Watford. Since Silva arrived at Goodison Park, his team have lost 19 of their 46 Premier League games.
What makes matters more alarming is the fact that Everton have never come from behind to win during his time at the club. Much of this can be put down to a lack of cohesion in the Everton attack, but it’s evident that the Toffees may be lacking the team spirit seen at other smaller clubs.
There’s also the fact that Everton have conceded more goals from set-pieces than any other Premier League team. Since the start of the 2018/19 season, Everton have conceded 22 goals from set-pieces, and it’s evident that other clubs are starting to pick up on this fact.
Everton haven’t lost four games on the trot in the Premier League since January 2015, and Silva’s record with the club is starting to look very questionable. It’s worth remembering that Sam Allardyce had a win percentage of 37.5% when he was sacked by Everton, which is marginally better than Silva’s current win percentage of 37%.
While Silva claims to be confident that he can turn things around, the upcoming international break might give the Everton board time to consider some other options.
Who could be the next Everton manager?
Marco Silva has been in charge of Everton for 52 games, and it’s worth mentioning that his average spell at previous clubs has been 52 matches. With four straight defeats and some very unhappy fans, it seems that a new Everton manager might be here sooner rather than later. So who’s looking likely to be the next boss at Goodison Park?
In the past week there have been growing calls from some Everton fans to replace Silva with a fellow Portuguese manager – Jose Mourinho. This is a somewhat ambitious idea, but the Toffees do have the money available to land a manager of Mourinho’s stature.
Since his exit from Manchester United, Mourinho has been keeping himself busy as a television pundit. Although he was disliked at Old Trafford, Mourinho could cope better under less pressure at Goodison Park. There is no denying Everton’s ambitions, and if they truly want to break into the ‘big six’, then a manager like Mourinho could be their only option.
The Sheffield United boss has worked wonders with his club this season, and his steely resolve could be exactly what’s required at Goodison Park. Wilder has been the manager of his boyhood club since 2016, and it’s highly unlikely that he would be willing to leave the Blades midway through their first Premier League campaign together.
July 2019 saw Wilder signing a new three-year contract as Sheffield United manager. Unless things go downhill for the Blades quickly, it would take something of a miracle for Everton to prise him away from Bramall Lane.
If all else fails for Everton, then they could always go back to David Moyes. He was the Merseyside club’s manager between 2002 and 2013 which made him the third longest-serving manager in the Premier League.
From here Moyes has had a fairly mixed time managing clubs like Manchester United and West Ham. Although some say you should never go back to managing an old club, it’s evident that Moyes could once again give the Goodison Park faithful something to shout about.
Arteta is well-known as being the assistant coach at Manchester City, and he’s already turned down approaches to manage Premier League clubs like Arsenal and Newcastle United. The Spaniard put in over 170 appearances for Everton between 2005 and 2011, and the time could be right for him to come back to Goodison Park.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said that Arteta is already an ‘incredible manager’, and growing numbers of Everton fans have been calling for the ex-Toffees player to lead the Everton revival.
Although Benitez is currently in a well-paid job in China, the manager would relish the chance of coming back to the Premier League. It would be fascinating to see Benitez in charge of Everton given his history with Liverpool.
Benitez left Newcastle United after being frustrated by the club’s lack of money, but with Everton’s buoyant bank account, it could give Benitez just one more shot at Premier League glory.