Why Idrissa Gana Gueye to PSG may be a good deal for Everton

Idrissa Gueye PSG

Propose the idea that Everton would be willing to sell Idrissa Gana Gueye to Paris Saint Germain this month and you will be met with derision.

When ranking Everton’s best players in recent years the Senegal player is a regular at the top. He remains one of few success stories from the short reign of former Director of Football Steve Walsh.

Even last season, when the Blues were one of the worst sides in the Premier League, Gueye came out with his head held high. That is a status few of his teammates can claim. This season under Marco Silva he has flourished once again. The Portuguese manager’s progressive, forward-thinking system has afforded Gueye a key role. Continue reading

Everton seek to reset against Bournemouth

Marco Silva Everton Bournemouth Premier League

As months go Everton won’t have looked back on theirs fondly. December 2018 turned out to be a write off for Marco Silva and his squad.

A 1-0 loss to Liverpool at the beginning of the month, courtesy of Jordan Pickford’s moment of madness, set the tone for what was to come. Losses to Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton, coupled with home draws against Watford and Newcastle, made it a miserable end to a miserable year.

Even a 5-1 hammering of Burnley on Boxing Day did little to raise the spirits at Goodison Park. While it was the perfect response to the drubbing by Spurs, it turned out to be little more than a small rise in an otherwise rapid decline. Continue reading

Everton’s three-point plan for the January transfer window

marcel brands everton

Like most clubs in the Premier League, Everton will be keen to get work done in the January transfer window.

While manager Marco Silva and Director of Football Marcel Brands have indicated that the Blues won’t be busy that is unlikely to be the reality. Both know that stating their intentions openly is a foolish move. Indeed, it was a pitfall the previous regime fell into and ended up suffering because of.

They also know, however, that this is a squad that remains in transition and needs several areas addressing before it is capable of achieving anywhere near their goals.

That makes it likely Brands and his team will be working hard behind the scenes to improve Everton’s squad this month. Continue reading

Lucas Digne solidifying status as Leighton Baines heir for Everton

lucas-digne everton

When Lucas Digne arrived at Everton last summer he knew he had a job on his hands. Replacing Leighton Baines was never going to be an easy task.

Baines 11 years at Goodison Park have been nothing short of exemplary. 38 goals and 66 assists in 408 games have not only established him as one of Everton’s best but given him similar ranking in the leagues also.

His absence last season only helped to emphasise the point. Without him, Everton struggled. Cuco Martina failed to fill the void and the need to sign a long-term replacement became obvious.

Finding that man fell to Director of Football Marcel Brands. It was a task few would have been envious of. Replacing an icon like Baines is near impossible. Yet, somehow, the Dutchman has excelled. On the evidence provided so far, Digne is as close to an ideal replacement for Baines as Everton could have wished for.

While he may have struggled to impress at PSG or Barcelona, he has flourished at Everton. Like Andre Gomes in midfield, it appears the bigger pond did not suit him. Goodison Park, though, is the perfect fit. Continue reading

Time for Lookman to be handed serious Everton chance

Ademola Lookman

With the busy Christmas period now underway for the Premier League, rotation has become a priority. For Ademola Lookman this could be an ideal time to prove a point at Everton.

This time last year the youngster was an unhappy soul. A handful of appearances was the best he had managed under Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce. By the end of the January transfer window, he found himself in Germany with RB Leipzig.

The Bundesliga proved to be an ideal location for Lookman’s development. 11 games produced five goals, four assists and plenty of plaudits. It also produced a summer-long transfer pursuit from the Germans which Everton resisted. Throughout the summer transfer window, Marco Silva and Marcel Brands insisted that Lookman not only had a future at Goodison Park but a bright one at that. Continue reading

Newcastle and Watford prove Everton need to spend further

Marcel Brand Everton Transfer Window

Modern football has dictated that all new managers receive a free shot in his first year. The phrase ‘transition season’ has become the norm. That is very much the situation for Everton and Marco Silva.

With a new Director of Football clearing the decks and rebuilding the squad, Silva instilling a new style and attempting to clear the malaise of the last two managers, there was always going to be bumps in the road.

The club will have set targets, likely focused on a return to Europe, but will know that time and patience are necessary this season. Evertonians are also willing to bide their time before making conclusions. Continue reading

Richarlison, Tosun and Everton’s need for a new striker

Everton striker Richarlison Tosun January transfer window

If Everton needed any proof that a striker should be top of their wish list in January then the past week proved it.

It’s hard not to imagine that had they had a top striker in their starting eleven against Liverpool and Newcastle then both games would have turned out differently. Instead, frustration reigned once more. It is a familiar feeling for Marco Silva’s team this season. The lack of a top-level striker has been felt from day one.

Romelu Lukaku may be long gone but his absence is still sorely felt. Lukaku was never universally loved at Goodison Park. Be it his lack of mobility, terrible first touch or constant eyeing up of moves to bigger clubs, there was always something to criticise him for.  Continue reading

Confidence abound as Everton take on Liverpool

 

Robert Cutts from Bristol, England, UK, The Kop, Anfield, Logos and manager cut-outs added by Sean Lunt, CC BY 2.0

Robert Cutts from Bristol, England, UK, The Kop, Anfield, Logos and manager cut-outs added by Sean Lunt, CC BY 2.0

It’s a rare occurrence that Everton head to Anfield to take on Liverpool full of confidence and belief. History has taught them that is a foolish notion.

In the 52 Premier League games they’ve played at Anfield as they’ve managed nine wins. The last of those came 19 years ago. In their last five league visits, they’ve managed two draws and three defeats. Twice in the last four years, they’ve suffered 4-0 defeats there.

Travelling across Stanley Park has become a regular pilgrimage of misery. Even last year, when Sam Allardyce’s side earned a point, there was little joy to be had. Fans had to endure 90 minutes of watching their side defend deep and scrap for an undeserved point. Wayne Rooney’s penalty offered a moment to celebrate but in reality, there was little to enjoy. Continue reading

Centre back dilemma a welcome one for Everton and Silva

Mina.0

There’s no greater problem for a manager than having too many good players to choose from. For Marco Silva at Everton, that issue is about to raise its head at centre back.

So far this season, consistency has proven key for the Portuguese boss. The strong summer transfer window overseen by Marcel Brands left him with plenty of options, particularly in the heart of his defence.

The arrival of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma meant Silva had those pair plus Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Phil Jagielka to choose from. Fortune, however, forced his hand.

An injury ruled out Mina while a red card left Jagielka on the sidelines. After Zouma got fit and Keane returned from an injury they established themselves as the first choice pairing. Continue reading

Shoots of hope for Everton at the top six

Marco Silva

When Everton travel to the top six in the Premier League, it’s usually a foregone conclusion. To say the Blues have an appalling record when taking on the league’s top sides would be an understatement. In their last 57 away games to the top six, they’ve managed three wins. They haven’t won one of these games since 2013. That was a 1-0 victory over David Moyes’ Manchester United.

In the five years since that glorious evening, they’ve faced the top six away 26 times and lost 17 of them. Last season was the worst they have competed in these games for some time with a 5-1 loss to Arsenal, 4-0 defeat to Manchester United and 4-0 demolition at the hands of Tottenham alone.

Continue reading