Next month is huge for Everton and Marco Silva in the Premier League

Everton claimed their first victory in five matches at the weekend as they beat West Ham 2-0 at home in a match which has effectively saved manager Marco Silva’s job. The win also took the Toffeemen out of the relegation zone but the club are far from out of the woods.

It has been a difficult period for Silva as Everton manager, and one could say that the Portuguese has had 3 good months with the club from the last 12- that hasn’t been good enough and under Silva so far Everton have not taken strides forward. The hope for the club after victory at the weekend is that they can build on this and move further up the table and perhaps challenge for a European spot. Will that be possible, or are Everton still in free fall?

Everton’s next game is against Brighton next weekend and on paper that looks like 3 points for the club, but it is away from home where Everton have really struggled.

Win, lose or draw that match will not affect Silva’s future with the club, instead attentions will turn to November, in what could be a massive turning point for the club. Let’s look at the fixtures in detail:

v Tottenham (Home)- How Everton would love to play Tottenham right now! The London club are in free fall and experiencing a crisis, with Everton at home and controlling the pace of the game like they did against West Ham, there would be every hope of 3 points against a side who on paper are superior to Everton. This game though doesn’t take place for another 2 weeks, that’s a long time in football and by then Tottenham could be back on track, and this game could be much harder to get points from.

v Southampton (Away) The Saints have really struggled this season and are in 17th place with no wins in their last 4 games. The club have the worst home record in the league and whilst their games have been close, Everton could fancy their chances in this one.

v Norwich (Home) Everton have won 3 games at home from 5 and one would expect a victory here. The problem is that they have already lost at home to a promoted side in Sheffield United. Norwich are looking poor though and one would expect Everton to get a win here.

With some Carabao Cup matches in between if Everton can go far in that, they could also get at least 7 points from the 9 available in November, Silva should be looking at his job being secure at least for now. It is a huge month for Everton because in December they have an incredibly tough fixture list where they don’t look like getting many points from, those matches include Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester, that is why the club need to pick up points in November. Watch this space.

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Is Marco Silva’s time up at Everton?

Everton lost again at the weekend and this time it would have hurt for long suffering fans. At home against newly promoted Sheffield United and the final score was 2-0. The club didn’t even have a sniff at victory and one wonders now how long manager Marco Silva has left?

Silva spent in the summer bringing in the likes of Alex Iwobi from Arsenal and Moise Kean from Juventus. But the club seem to be failing on all counts.

True the league season is only 6 games in, but that still represents almost 20% of the season gone already and the story does not look good for the club. The problem is that there has been 3 defeats already and all against teams who could finish in the bottom half of the league- Aston Villa ended 2-0, Bournemouth 3-1 and Sheffield United 2-0. The club have conceded 9 goals in their last four games and defensively they look all over the place.

But what has also been striking is that Silva doesn’t seem to have  a plan and know what his best team is, he is also panicking over selections. Why for example would you drop Dominic Calvert-Lewin from the team when he scored in the last game? What does that say about him? Why does he keep dropping Kean? If not deemed good enough then Kean must earn his place, but he keeps getting time.

The shape of the club looks wrong and one has to wonder why did Everton pursue Silva in the first place? They had to, in the end, pay Watford a handsome fee for his services, although Silva’s short time at the club was not good. Silva simply hasn’t been able to prove himself in a major league and for the money that Everton gave Watford they most probably could have chased after a known and successful manager, it seems that the club have been chasing up the wrong tree.

On Tuesday Everton will be back in the Carabao Cup where they will face Sheffield Wednesday away from home. They are the odds on favourites to win, but will Silva chop and change the team? It does seem likely, but he must be aware that Everton need a trophy or at least a deep cup run, and should take this game seriously. After that the club face the champions Manchester City and good luck with that even if they are at home.

One feels that if Everton lose to City that won’t be the end of Silva but if they do a Watford and lose heavy it could well be.

Surely the club will be looking to the future and at different managers now.

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A preview of this weekend’s EPL action

There are some great games to look forward to in the English Premier League this weekend.

Here’s a brief preview of all ten EPL fixtures over the coming days.

Southampton v Manchester United

Key men: Ings (Southampton); Rashford (Manchester United)

Prediction: Southampton 2 – 1 Manchester United

Something of a surprise a could be on the cards at St Mary’s in the early game on Saturday. Manchester United look like they could be in for another tough season and Southampton could make things worse for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. Continue reading

Alex Iwobi is the only bright spark in a very poor looking Everton side

Everton manager Marco Silva looked incredibly glum at the weekend when Everton were beaten by Premier League newcomers Aston Villa, 2-0 at Villa Park. And after spending over £100m since his arrival in the dugout he had every right to be, with his players but also with himself.

In their defeat to Aston Villa, Everton looked toothless, disjointed and without hardly any attacking imagination. They looked incredibly oridinary for a side that are supposed to be taking forward steps. Whilst Silva can be disappointed with the players, he was the one that chose them and it seemed odd that again he didn’t start the game with Moise Kean the striker they have bought from Juventus.

Once Silva introduced Kean and then Alex Iwobi from the bench, everything seemed to change for the club. There was more pace and zip and in fact with Iwobi only getting just over 20 minutes to prove himself he did more than any other Everton player and was arguably their own personal man of the match. He rounded off a good display by one of his shots hitting the post and whilst Kean looks rusty he set up a great chance late on too.

Surely Silva has to change the team up and start both Iwobi and Kean for Everton’s next match which will take place on Sunday against Wolves. Right now Everton are really underachieving, and it looks like their search for any trophy could be extended to 25 years. The clubs last piece of silverware was the 1995 FA Cup.

Where will it all end for Everton though who despite spending money seem to be staying in with the odd very good result and is Silva really the right man to take charge of the club? A recent financial report suggested that Everton had been the 5th most spending team of the last five years in the Premier League, and yet have not even looked close to winning any trophy, and the league title seems like its light years away.

As for Silva, he has had 6 bad months from his 9 in charge last season and the club limped out of domestic competitions far too easily. They have 4 points from their opening 3 games which already suggests that they are on par for finishing with the same type of points and league position as last season. But judging Silva seems harsh at this early stage, but if he cannot get Everton onto the next level by the end of the year then the pressure will and should mount.

For now Everton aren’t going backwards but they are not going forwards too and that must be quite depressing for any fans of the famous Merseyside club.

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Wayne Rooney has made a good choice to join Derby but has not treated DC United fairly

Wayne Rooney has always said that he wanted to start coaching once his career was coming to an end and the latest news is that he will become a player/coach for Derby County in England’s Championship.

But how does that leave DC United, Rooney’s current team in the MLS?

The choice that Rooney has made is good for him and in some ways understandable but at the same time it does leave a question of loyalty to his American club. Rooney has made a fantastic impact in the MLS, Where DC United have gone from being near the bottom of their conference to mixing with the top teams, they will make the final play-offs this season as they also try and win their conference. On top of that Rooney has been amazing on and off the field. Scoring brilliant goals, linking up well with the team, being influential in the dressing room and the fans have absolutely loved him. Had he stayed it could be argued that he would have made a much bigger impact on American soccer than even David Beckham.

Rooney had signed a 3 year contract with DC United and that is set to be terminated after 18 months. Just half his time, and yes there is a question of what do contracts actually mean?

Of course there are two sides to Rooney’s switch. The first is that the move should be good for him. He obviously wants to coach and that is going to start in his home country England. Derby has been a good starting point, after all it worked for Frank Lampard who stayed just a season before getting the high profile job at Chelsea. Rooney will learn from current manager Phillip Cocu and will also play for the club possibly for six months, maybe a season and a half.

Still with Rooney’s career and time on his side from a coaching perspective ahead, DC United have the right to feel aggrieved about his decision. They haven’t said anything at this point, but he was so popular with the club and fans, that they thought he would be around until at least the summer of 2021. Instead Rooney will leave at the end of the year. That is something because at least he will be playing for them when the crucial play-offs come up. Had he left now, it would have been very wrong.

Rooney has made a good choice, but his swift decision is still evidence that footballers seemingly live on a very different planet to the rest of us, where sadly some of the loyalty and passion and a further bridging gap between fans and players has developed.

Are Everton heading for an average season yet again?

There has been lots of talk within Everton about bringing in new players and improving on last season, but as it stands Marco Silva’s team look like they are stalling with just 4 days of the transfer window left.

There has been talk about splashing the cash. It started with the possible transfer of Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace but that seems to have fallen apart. Palace are holding out for £80m for a player that has not scored more than 10 goals in any given league season. While Zaha has many good qualities about it, but the price tag seems too much but there lies the problem and why the price is too much. Palace would have to give Manchester United his former club up to 20% if any deal went through, and that is why his price has been inflated.

Everton are offering around £55m for Zaha but Palace look like they won’t budge. It did look at one point that Zaha would go to Arsenal but that fell through again over money, but then Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe from Lille and the rest is history.

Everton’s next choice seemed to be Juventus forward Moise Kean who looks impressive. Kean was given a chance in the team when Juventus had in theory wrapped up the league and for the last 2 months he played well, scored goals and looks very promising. His price tag of under £30m also looks like a stunning bargain. But the talk has gone quiet and this is not a great time to be an Everton fan.

Also Everton were hit with new signing Fabian Delph getting injured in a friendly match only five minutes into his career with the club. The injury is not thought to be serious but he could still miss the beginning of the season- and he has a history of getting injured.

Truth is for Everton that when it is all said and done the only real signing of merit the club have made is Andre Gomes for £22m who was already at the club on loan last season. There has simply been no progress in the transfer market for the club. Yes Tottenham have got away with that for a few windows, but they had and have a quality team, Everton don’t.

Also let’s not forget how the club let Idrissa Gueye join PSG for only £26m. Gueye had proven to be a stalwart in Everton’s midfield last season, and the feeling is that they have let a very good player go for too cheap.

There is still until the end of the week for something to happen, and Everton fans will be hoping it does, because it does not look good for the club next season who might end up having a very average one if the board don’t act quick.

 

Busy week for Everton in the transfer market

While things have been suspiciously quiet at Anfield this summer, the blue half of Merseyside has been getting down to business in recent days.

Everton look to have secured the signing of Juventus’ young striker Moise Kean while the club’s impressive midfielder Idrissa Gueye has departed for Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain.

Gueye, 29, completed his medical in Paris earlier this week and leaves Everton after three years at Goodison Park. He had formed a successful partnership at the base of the midfield with Andre Gomes for The Toffees last season.

Everton signed Gomes on a permanent deal already this summer but the Portuguese player will now have to work in tandem with another midfielder in Gueye’s absence. Continue reading

Everton could struggle next season in the Premier League with a lack of signings

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Everton are a team who could have in theory been relegated a few times in the last 20 years and yet they remain one of the longest serving clubs in top flight history in England. They have been consistently in the top league for almost 70 years and that says a lot.

Under coach Marco Silva no one is expecting the club to be relegated next season, they have a quality team but the problem is that the club have not been very active in the transfer market, and there is just 30 days to go until the window slams shut.

Everton have only brought in 3 new players and one of them was from the academy in promising defender Sebastian Kristensen who has also been playing for Danish side Lyngby.

The other player is Jonas Lossl a goal keeper who was with Huddersfield who were of course relegated last season and he will be clearly seen as a back up to Jordan Pickford. The one transfer everyone has been focused on is Andre Gomes, who was on loan at the club last season. Now Everton have made that move permanent after sealing a deal with Barcelona in the region of £22m. That’s all very well but a player who was already at the club is hardly an exciting buy.

Everton really need to bolster their squad with 2 or 3 more quality signings and given the TV money involved with football now fans should expect this. The problem for Everton of course is that they are looking to move away from Goodison Park and are probably making that a number 1 concern when it comes to their finances. Just look at how it has affected both Arsenal and Tottenham when trying to buy players, Tottenham went 2 windows with no buys. It’s unsure if a club like Everton could afford to do that.

Next season will be okay for Everton but it is a question of what do the team want? Do they want to improve on last season, reach the Europa League? Right now with their transfer policy all the team needs is a key injury to the likes of Sigurdssson or Richarlison and they could get into trouble if they have not brought in any quality. At best Everton could be finishing mid table and that would signal a step backwards.

The long suffering fans should expect more investment whether they will get it is quite another thing.

Wayne Rooney is turning into a legend in America with DC United

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It’s fair to say that when Wayne Rooney left England and the Premier League after a fantastic career which saw him play for Manchester United and Everton and win trophies for United, one could have thought that Rooney’s next project would have been inspired by money and an easy life. But what the ex England international has done is actually open up a brand new chapter into his legacy in football. America love him.

And why wouldn’t the MLS love Rooney? Instead of playing out his days what Rooney did when he joined DC United is that he took it 100% seriously and this paid dividends. Firstly because the MLS is not a pushover league like it may have been a decade ago and secondly seeing the desire and passion in Rooney and his work rate attracted him to the hearts of the DC United fans. They have taken him in and he has become a local hero for the club.

Take last season when DC United were close to the bottom of the league as they waited on Rooney’s appearance. Once he played the team shot up the standings, the confidence grew and so did the wins. This is down to Rooney who has always been a great motivator.

Rooney scores goals too even at 33 he is showing no signs of slowing down and has bagged 23 goals from 40 games. What has been remarkable is that Rooney has had his own personal problems while in America. Settling down was one, and then he was arrested for being drunk last year- usually this could have meant the beginning of the end for a career in America, but Rooney has been able to sail through all of that and is showing the fans the goals.

Just last week Rooney scored a goal from inside his own half against Orlando some 70 yards out, and it was no fluke and this is the second time he has done this.

Rooney was evidently born to play football but with his success in America one can ask is he having a better impact than golden boy David Beckham? Both utter professionals of course but a little less is expected of Rooney who is delivering the goods week in and week out.

As for winning trophies in America, that is up in the air. Currently DC United are in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and are just 1 point behind league leaders Philadelphia Union. They will make the play-offs that is for sure and they should be regarded with a fit Rooney on board as one of the favourites to claim the overall title.

 

Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Jordan Pickford

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England’s number 1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was able to play some pivotal moments in Everton’s up and down season which saw the Mersey siders finish the season strong after a slow and poor start could have caused an early exit for new manager Marco Silva.

All eyes were on Pickford to see if he could ‘earn’ Everton some valuable points and he ended up keeping 14 clean sheets, 2 better than Hugo Llroris who finished above him in the rankings.

Pickford’s season started out as a nightmare as he saw Everton not only struggle for points but also kept conceding goals and it meant than in his first six games he had yet to earn a point and in fact was on -10 points.

Pickford’s first points of the season didn’t actually come until the end of September, when at Goodison Park, the Toffees were able to beat Fulham 3-0 thus earning Pickford 7 points for his clean sheet.

The Everton keeper’s best period of the season started in mid March and ran through to the beginning of May where from 7 league games he kept 6 clean sheets and Everton found a new belief, finishing the season strong and beating the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Indeed the club beat United 4-0 and that was seen as one of the biggest surprises of the season and a wake up call for them.

Pickford was also involved in the 0-0 game against Liverpool. This is a match that Everton fans will remember for some time given that it was the last time that Jurgen Klopp’s team dropped points during the season and thus, in theory, Everton stopped Liverpool from winning the league, something that Pickford and the club and fans would be very happy about given the rivalry between the sides.

Pickford wasn’t without criticism this season and that is a given. Simply put because he is England’s number 1 there will always be the spotlight on him. His worst match came against Tottenham just before Christmas where Everton, at home, were thrashed by Mauricio Pochettino’s side 6-2 in an embarrassing game for the Toffees who certainly came unstuck and as a result Pickford earned -10 points. Indeed had Pickford never experienced that game he would have finished 3rd in the rankings.

The conclusion was that Pickford finished 5th and 19th overall for goalkeepers in Europe. He finished with a points total of 53, this is his best of his career so far and he will be looking to impress next season with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on as Euro 2020 gears up.

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