Everton’s Marco Silva to be sacked? Perhaps it should be the board

After being destroyed 5-2 in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool, Everton reached a new low and are now in the relegation zone, what happens next? The thinking is clear and that is manager Marco Silva will be sacked, and yet it hasn’t happened yet.

Everton club owner Farhid Moshiri hinted that results needed to be improved as far back as last January when Everton were going through a miserable spell. The problem for the club is that they head hunted Silva from Watford as if he was the second coming and paid £4m for his services- you don’t do that and then sack the ‘messiah’ five months later. They held on and admittingly Everton’s results picked up near the end of the season. But this new lack of form has riddled the club since the beginning of the season, when is it enough.

Bill Kenwright on the board at Everton could be seen shaking his head when Leicester grabbed a last minute winner against Everton last weekend and that seemed to be the nail in the coffin. After all reports had suggested that Silva had one game v Leicester to keep his job. The board stepped back and gave him the Liverpool one and they conceded 5 goals. The players simply aren’t good enough and Silva does seem like the wrong manager. Should he be sacked? It looks like the right answer, the problem though is the board should go with him.

So here is the deal with the board at Everton, they have been incredibly generous at the club. In most cases fans want the board out and new ownership because of tight purse strings but this really isn’t the case at Everton, No with Moshiri backing them up and TV revenue at the highest it’s been Everton are spending money, so well done on the board for that. The problem is that the board are identfying the wrong managers to take over the club and it hasn’t just happened once or twice. Anyone remember Ronaldo Koeman? Not even Roberto Martinez was a success although he did have a very decent first season with the club.

Behind Manchester City and Liverpool Everton are the 3rd highest spenders in recent seasons, so to finish mid table and to be 18th in this season shows very poor skills at the top. Why did the board chase after Silva? On what knowledge did they want to bring in the likes of Sam Allardyce and Koeman? It shows a lack of ambition. So yes well done that the board are willing to open up the chequebook but it is bittersweet when they are not attracting top drawer managerial talent. Jose Mourinho’s move to Tottenham being an obvious recent example.

Rumours are suggesting that David Moyes who spent 11 seasons at the club in the 2000s could be coming back. Moyes did well for the club in that he had next to no budget and kept them a regular top six side, but he won nothing in that time. Moyes has been poor since leaving Everton and there is a feeling of nostalgia taking place, that doesn’t usually end well. Again if the Moyes story is true then the board are at fault and are showing a serious lack of ambition.

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Liverpool go 11 points clear as Premier League title becomes a reality

When Liverpool beat Manchester City to go 9 points clear of the champions many pundits and fans said that was it, Liverpool would be champions this season. But the club have enjoyed a dream weekend where they have now extended that lead to 11 points and surely no team is catching them up now?

On Saturday Liverpool made heavy weather of Brighton at Anfield. Whilst they ran into a 2-0 lead, Brighton pulled one back towards the end and there was some genuinely tense moments before the game could be settled. When the final whistle went there was a massive roar in the Kop end because Manchester City had played earlier and could only draw 2-2.

One has to question City’s hunger, passion, willingness and desire this season. They are one of the best teams in Europe of course, but one senses because of how they won the league last season and have back to back wins, Pep Guardiola’s team are now concentrating more on the Champions League. For sure that is the trophy that Guardiola wants and wouldn’t want to leave a 2nd club in a row, the first being Bayern Munich without the Champions League.

It is easy to scoff at the fact that City lack passion etc. In fact they have it in bundles, but they just don’t have it as much as Liverpool do. Has a club ever wanted the Premier League title so bad? And of course they haven’t won the top tier league in England since 1990.

With City dropping points it was up to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to go 2nd and decrease that gap over Liverpool, but they failed spectacularly. Chelsea, who have been one of the best in form teams in the league lost 1-0 at home to  West Ham in one of the biggest surprises so far in the Premier League season. It was only Chelsea’s 2nd loss at home this season and in fact the club have had a week to forget after drawing 2-2 away to Valencia in the Champions League, thus still not sealing their qualification.

Leicester are next up and they play later today at home to Everton. With the brilliant form that the Foxes have shown they will be favourites to win that game, but after seeing some surprises on Saturday who knows what will happen and of course Everton need the win or manager Marco Silva could be sacked.

If Leicester do win they would go 2nd in the league and climb onto 32 points and would cut Liverpool’s lead to 32. Whilst the Foxes have been superb could we realistically see them being the team to step up and challenge Liverpool? Well they did win the league in 2016. Today will ask more questions of Brendan Rodgers super side.

For now Liverpool look well on their way to winning the league and winning it with ease. Can anyone stop them?

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Why Everton can’t sack Marco Silva right now

At the weekend Everton slumped to their 7th defeat from 13 games, but this was a loss that felt completely different from the others that preceded it. Why? Well going into the match it was clear that Everton manager Marco Silva was under pressure to keep his job. But there was confidence in the side who had recently drawn against Tottenham and beat Southampton and then Norwich arrived.

The problem with losing 2-0 to Norwich was (A) it was at home and (B) it was against the bottom club who had shipped 28 goals. It was in a nutshell a disastrous result that plummeted the club to 16th position and just four points clear of Norwich. It was a result that should have triggered Silva’s sacking, except it didn’t.

Apparently former Everton manager David Moyes is waiting in the wings and there have been reports that the club would try for Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder and Burnley’s Sean Dyche, so why not make a move? The reason seems to be what is awaiting the club fixture wise. Check this out.

This weekend Everton will play Leicester away from home. This is the same Leicester who are currently in 2nd place and are undefeated at home this season. Meanwhile Everton have lost 4 from 6 games away from home winning just one. After that game comes another away match this time to the team in 1st place- Liverpool. The Merseyside derby is always good and tense but the way Liverpool has been playing this looks like being a bad weekend for the club.

After that Everton have to play the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. A date with Manchester City away from home awaits the club on New Year’s Day. So look at the situation from this point of view. If Everton reacted in a normal manner Silva would be sacked and an incoming manager is brought in, but look at those fixtures. Those are matches that can make everything seem rather difficult. Do Everton really want to put a new manager in that type of firing squad? One difficult game after another could build a very negative reputation.

Look at Tottenham, their appointment of Jose Mourinho was perfect for the fixtures coming up. Playing West Ham who have been very poor lately, then it was a Champions League match against Olympiacos the weakest team in their group and this weekend Spurs will be at home again this time to Bournemouth. Owner Daniel Levy has obviously seen this and eased Mourinho into the role.

The same should happen with a new Everton manager. And who knows maybe Silva’s Everton will produce the odd shock anyway. But long term it seems that Silva’s days are away from the club. It’s just the timing that counts now and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Everton change manager not now but in a months time.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic being linked to Liverpool tells you how great a player he is

At 38 Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be looking back at his career and hanging his boots up. He has had a fantastic time in  football won multiple trophies and scored tons of great goals. He is Sweden’s best ever player and has earned a fortune in the game, and yet he wants another challenge.

Zlatan as he is commonly known by has left LA Galaxy after 2 seasons where he didn’t win a trophy but was involved in some memorable games, so good that LA fans took him to their hearts. He also scored plenty of goals, 53 in all competitions for the Galaxy in just 58 games, and he ended his time this season with 30 goals from 29 games. Now whilst might say that the MLS is not a top league, to do what he is doing at 38 is still quite remarkable and one is reminded of another great sport athlete in Roger Federer whose body refuses to give up.

Even at this age when Ibrahimovic  announced he was leaving the Galaxy a whole host of elite teams from Europe threw their name in the hat. He has been linked with a return back to PSG and AC Milan. In the Premier League his former club Manchester United have shown some interest and then there is Liverpool in first place and looking for their first title since 1990. Ibrahimovic has an incredible record of going to different clubs and winning league titles and for that Liverpool could suit him.

Possibly though the front runners are AC Milan. Ibrahimovic has a special relationship not just with the club but also in Italy where he has also played for Juventus and Inter Milan. The truth is at Milan Ibrahimovic would get more game time and could well be drafted into the first team. One would feel that at a club like Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp isn’t going to upset the apple cart and chop and change his forward line to accommodate the Swedish star. Instead Zlatan would be used as a super sub and in cup games, is that what he would want? Again his qualities on the pitch over the years have earned him that choice.

What will be fascinating as Ibrahimovic returns to Europe is can he still get goals at a higher level? He has scored 30 in his final season in the MLS and it would be interesting to see if he can keep some sort of consistency. The biggest factor being is that his professionalism and attitude is paving the way for strikers to continue on to their very late 30′s and maybe even 40′s. Now that is football evolution.

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Can Everton rise to the challenge after Gomes’ horrific injury?

For a club that couldn’t buy a win and seeing one of your regular players in Andre Gomes receive an horrific injury was just the icing on a cake that no one wants to eat. It’s fair to say that it’s been a tough opening campaign for Everton football club, but could the injury to Gomes which will almost definitely see the player miss the rest of the season actually give Everton an extra gear?

The players will be feeling distraught about what has happened to Gomes, and when he injured his ankle in what was a freak accident against Tottenham, we saw a different character to this Everton side, one of determination not arguably seen since Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge of the club. The club suddenly forced themselves into the game and 1-0 down they searched for and got the equaliser through a thumping Cenk Tosun header.

This past weekend was another huge game for Everton away to Southampton. On paper one could have made Everton the favourites given that Southampton had come into the game conceding 14 goals in their last 3 competitive matches, but with Everton you just never know. They took the lead early on but as the game continued Southampton got back into it and then Danny Ings ex-Liverpool player equalised and that seemed to be it for the Toffees. In normal circumstances their confidence would have evaporated but something different happened at the weekend and a team who are supposed to be low on confidence took the game by the neck and scored again through Richarlison to win 2-1.

The victory was only Everton’s 4th of the season and 2nd in 10 matches and lifted the club to 15th place with 14 points, 6 points from the bottom three. Manager Marco Silva has been under pressure to keep his job but it does seem that every time his P45 is being prepared his side manage to get a win. He will be hoping that Gomes can be some sort of lasting influence on the club- do it for Gomes not only in the league but in the Carabao Cup where Everton have reached the quarter finals.

Everton’s next game is against Norwich who have been very poor and the club will be favourites to win that game at home and win they must because December will be their hardest month of the season. As Christmas comes Everton will have to play the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, and could well end up with 0 points.

Can Silva turn on the magic once more or is his job back on the line?

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6 memorable Premier League matches between Liverpool and Manchester City

Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City (September 2000)

In terms of determining the destination of the Premier League title, it can now be said that Liverpool vs Manchester City is the biggest game in English football. It was not always thus, however, but the two teams still played out an entertaining encounter in 2000 despite neither being anywhere near that season’s championship tussle.

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The rise of Sheffield United in the Premier League has been impressive

At the beginning of the season it wouldn’t have been a surprise to have seen Sheffield United who had just been newly promoted to the Premier League from the Championship to be amongst the favourites to be relegated. But the Blades have started the season well and are proving critics, fans and pundits wrong.

Currently the club are in 6th place, if they finished in that position expect them to react like they have won the league and that would be richly deserved not mentioning it would be good enough to claim a place in the Europa League. So just how have Sheffield United been able to prove the doubters wrong this season?

The bulk of the side remain the same from the Championship and that was the call to arms from manager Chris Wilder who didn’t want to give the club a huge face lift just because they had been promoted to the Premier League. He has recognised that the players that got them here needed to stay as merit and has only tweaked the club slightly. For example in has come John Fleck from Coventry, Ollie Norwood for just £2m from Fulham, John Lundstram, who cost £700,000 from Oxford, and David McGoldrick, the latter also being a free. Paul Mitchell has come in for the backroom staff and gelled well within the set-up too.

Training has excelled under Wilder too where he has picked out one day in specific to run his players around. What the end result is better fitness and that seems to have showed later on in tough and physical games.

All of this hard work and careful recruitment is paying dividends and the clubs recent form has been superb. They have gone their last 4 matches without defeat, the last one coming against Liverpool at the end of September and even that match only ended 1-0 with a lot of pundits pointing out that United were always in the game and that could have ended in a draw.

The recent win over Arsenal by 1-0 just underlines how hard this team have focused to keep clean sheets. They have conceded just once in their last four games and last weekend they overwhelmed  Burnley winning 3-0. And that is the point right there, they are upsetting teams you would expect them to drop points against and for now are beating teams that they should be. Next weekend they will play under fire Tottenham and that should be a fascinating game. How longer can the club keep their good form up? Right now they are looking at 60 points for the season which would be a fantastic achievement.

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Can Leicester win another Premier League title?

No one associated with football will ever forget the Premier League season of 2015/16 when Leicester City at odds of 5000/1 won the Premier League. It was the biggest shock to grace the league since becoming the Premier League in the 1992/93 season. That season the usual suspects were supposed to be winning it, namely Chelsea who were the current champions and the ever present Manchester City. Tottenham also had their say, but it was Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester side who deservedly won it and in stunning fashion.

When the Foxes won the league, one suspected that was it, some players would leave, some would stay, some would write biographies and so on. But Leicester’s moment in the gleaming success of the football elite would be over. They had had their time, what a time it was of course, and see you later, perhaps in another 100 years time. But 3 years on from that success the team are shaping up to have another successful league campaign.

This time it is under former Liverpool and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who himself came very close to winning the league with Liverpool in the 2013/14 season. The Reds had an infamous 5 point lead with just three games left to play that season. Rodgers has been around and proved to be a very capable manager and since taking over at Leicester in March has turned the clubs fortunes around, more importantly he has made the players believe once again that the club were champions very recently and should be proud of that fact.

Rodgers record since taking over reads like this; He has a 54.5% win rate and from 22 games managed he has earned the club 41 points. On average then that means that in 38 games he would have pulled in around 70 points. That is probably Champions League football.

But here’s the thing, can Leicester win the league again and really put everyone on their backsides? The answer is most probably no, because they have the mighty two teams to challenge who are also in front of them in the shape of Liverpool and Manchester City. Liverpool are 8 points in front and City the current champions are 2 points in front of them. But then again all it takes is for Liverpool to have a bad run and Leicester simply to keep consistency. It would still be very difficult, but the Foxes do have a great chance to return to the Champions League, if they finish in the top four surely that is rubber stamping what has been a fantastic era for the club.

Their recent 9-0 thrashing of Southampton will be rightly remembered for some time and it will be fascinating to see how far the club can go and how many points they can accumulate at least from now up until the Christmas period. If anything it is brilliant to see the club right up there, determined not to simply fade away on the horizon after their fantastic league win. Rodgers is proving to be a very special manager indeed.

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6 classic Liverpool vs Tottenham games from the Premier League era

Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool (December 2013)

Liverpool ran riot at White Hart Lane in the first half of the 2013/14 campaign, with their 5-0 victory spelling the end of Andre Villas-Boas’ tenure as Tottenham boss. Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson struck in the opening 45 minutes to put the visitors in a comfortable position at half-time, before Paulinho’s red card shortly after the hour mark put the game out of Spurs’ reach.

Even so, the north Londoners’ collapse was alarming, as Jon Flanagan, Suarez and Raheem Sterling all netted to give Brendan Rodgers’ side a handsome victory. The Reds moved up to second after this thrashing, but it was not until the spring that they were taken seriously as Premier League title challengers.

Tottenham 3-3 Liverpool (March 1998)

It is testament to Mauricio Pochettino’s fine work in north London that we now consider Tottenham a top-four team. It was not always thus; indeed, for large portions of the 1997/98 campaign, it looked as if Spurs would suffer an ignominious relegation to the second tier.

A 2-1 defeat by Derby County on January 31 left Tottenham in the bottom three, and although they eventually rallied to finish 14th, they ultimately avoided the drop by just four points. In hindsight this point against Liverpool was a crucial one, even if Steve McManaman’s late leveller denied the home side victory.

Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham (April 2005)

Looking back now, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool’s top-four finishes in 2003/04 kick-started an era where that quartet of clubs would monopolise the division’s Champions League qualification spots. It did not necessarily feel that way at the time, however: Newcastle United had finished third in 2002/03, and Everton gatecrashed the party at Liverpool’s expense two years later.

Rafael Benitez’s side, who made up for their fifth-place finish by winning the Champions League with a famous victory over Milan, missed out on the top four by only three points. This 2-2 draw with Tottenham in April was therefore significant, with goals from Erik Edman and Robbie Keane twice putting Martin Jol’s men ahead, only for Luis Garcia and Sami Hyypia to net equalisers either side of the interval.

Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham (May 1999)

With Liverpool and Tottenham both in mid-table, there was little riding on this contest in late 1998/99. Whether in spite or because of that fact, the two teams played out a highly entertaining encounter at Anfield, with Liverpool coming from 2-0 down to emerge triumphant.

A Jamie Carragher own goal and Steffen Iversen strike put Spurs in a commanding position at the break, but Liverpool reduced the deficit through a Jamie Redknapp penalty and then restored parity via Paul Ince. Spurs attempted to hang on for a point but were unable to do so, with Steve McManaman notching the winner in the 79th minute.

Tottenham 4-0 Liverpool (September 2011)

After back-to-back defeats by Manchester United and Manchester City, Tottenham sat bottom of the Premier League table after two games of the 2010/11 campaign. A 2-0 win at Wolves lifted Harry Redknapp’s men up to 15th place, but it took this 4-0 demolition of Liverpool to belatedly kick-start their season.

Spurs proved far too strong for Kenny Dalglish’s visitors, with Luka Modric, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor (twice) all on the scoresheet. The gulf in class at White Hart Lane was reflected in the table at the end of the season, with fourth-placed Spurs amassing 17 more points than eighth-placed Liverpool.

Tottenham 3-3 Liverpool (December 1993)

Tottenham had ended a miserable nine-match winless run a few days before the visit of Liverpool in December 1993, beating Manchester City to ease some of the pressure on manager Ossie Ardiles. Vinny Samways gave Spurs a half-time lead, but a quick-fire Robbie Fowler brace and Jamie Redknapp strike turned the game around early in the second period.

Tottenham showed great character to bounce back, though, with goals from Micky Hazard and Darren Caskey earning the north Londoners a share of the spoils.

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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