Everton finally playing with passion under Duncan Ferguson

Sure it’s only been one game but whose hearts didn’t melt at the sight of Duncan Ferguson, Everton’s caretaker manager running down the touchline and embracing not one but two ball boys as he saw his side score against Chelsea?

True Chelsea fans would have hated the spectacle as Everton went on to win the game 3-1 but anyone who simply loves the passion of the game which is seemingly buried deep under a mountain of business and investment but rose like a phoenix at Goodison Park must have loved what they saw.

The victory over Chelsea was Everton’s first in over a month and took the club out of the relegation zone and into 14th place. This was a match that at least on paper looked like it would be another loss for the club who have suffered greatly this season. Marco Silva was finally and inevitably sacked after a series of poor results ending in a 5-2 defeat to city rivals Liverpool. Enough was enough for the board, but with no manager yet ready to come step in the club had to turn to caretaker Duncan Ferguson to oversee the clubs fortunes for the next few weeks at least.

Ferguson’s appointment was great news for long standing fans. He is a club legend with Everton. But also he is an old school warrior so to speak. True he got himself in lots of trouble both on the pitch and off but he will always remain a club legend with fans, so to have him in charge of the club is, in a sense, a dream come true.

Of course one must remain with caution, Ferguson doesn’t have any first team experience and in the long term you would expect that to come back and haunt Everton. But for now there is sheer jubilation and it is clear that the players stepped up for Ferguson against a very good Chelsea side. Ferguson ticked every box in the dressing room and also believed to put Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front on his own with Richarlison sitting behind him as attacking midfielder. Whilst Silva was also prone to play Calvert-Lewin up front, he would also drop the player to the bench for no reason and his tactics seemed to be one of panic and shuffle.

Already some have suggested that Ferguson should be getting the job full time. This is a surprising thing to say after just one game. But what is refreshing is having someone in charge of a club that genuinely loves being there and sees it more than just a stepping stone and another job. Ferguson is part of Everton and Everton is part of Ferguson. How long the relationship will last is anyone’s idea, but right now having the Scotsman in charge feels like an early Christmas present for the fans.

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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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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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Moise Kean has not shown his professionalism with Everton

When Everton announced the arrival of Moise Kean this summer from Juventus a few eyebrows were raised. This was the Moise Kean who when given a chance with Juventus excelled, scored goals and looked frighteningly brilliant in attack. Surely Everton had landed a massive bargain and all of this for a teenager that Juve wanted less than £30m for. But therein lies the catch.

First you had to wonder why other clubs didn’t come in for Kean? Then you’d have to wonder why if he was that brilliant Juventus were willing to sell him for such a low fee in today’s money? After all Kylian Mbappe cost PSG £200m and whilst one isn’t comparing the two there is a still a difference of £170m give or take between the two players valuations.

Kean has in a nutshell had a nightmare start with the club where from 11 games played he has failed to score. In truth most of those games have started from the bench but when he has had game time he has had just 1 shot on target in what equates to 288 minutes. This isn’t the Kean that lit up Serie A last season that’s for sure.

No one is denying that Kean is a quality player, you don’t get to come through Juventus’ ranks otherwise and you certainly don’t get first team football where you can call your teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. At the same time we can let slip that Kean hasn’t scored goals for the club, it would in time happen one suspects. But the real issue here has been with the players attitude.

Recently the Everton manager, Marco Silva, who is under pressure to keep his job dropped Kean entirely for the game against Southampton. It has only now come out that he didn’t select Kean as punishment for turning up late to a team meeting. And if reports are to be believed it isn’t the first time Kean has done this. Now we can talk about a 19 year old having culture shock, Turin to Liverpool can give you that, just ask Ian Rush who did the opposite in the 80s only to come hurrying back soon after.

But this is an excuse. How many people are forced to leave their country after a problem or a job related one, and must just get on with it? In Kean’s case the moment he arrived at Everton he would have been greeted with respect and time and a huge salary. The least he could do is act with some professionalism. So yes he has started slow but how about getting into training that much earlier, getting on time to team meetings and trying his best to show Silva what qualities he has? In short how about showing some passion, grit and determination? Is that too much to ask for a 19 year old? If so the club need to sell Kean on and try and learn from this experience.

To hammer it home it’s not all about the lack of goals and contributions he has made, not at this time and it would be unfair to criticise him on this after just 3 months. But the least he could do was act with some pride, he has a job that local footballers who will never make it would die for, it’s a no brainer to start showing his qualities or scamper back to Italy.

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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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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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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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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.

 

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.