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
Following Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, the pressure was back on Manchester City ahead of their clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Reds had extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to seven points with their success on the south coast, meaning that Pep Guardiola’s side could not afford to draw or lose against a team who had performed very well against them earlier in the campaign.
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
Steve Parish did not want to give too much away, but he did in effect confirm that the deal was close.
“These things are never straightforward but we’re really trying to get someone in early,” the Crystal Palace chairman told beIN SPORTS in a pitchside interview ahead of the 1-0 defeat by Chelsea on December 30. “For once, the papers are probably not miles off what we’re looking at.”
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
After becoming the first Premier League team to beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium since , Crystal Palace would have been expected to make relatively light work of Cardiff City on Boxing Day. Things did not quite go to plan for Roy Hodgson’s men, however, as a flurry of missed chances saw them held to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.
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
Given that Maurizio Sarri only made one outfield signing in the summer transfer market, he has done an excellent job at Chelsea so far this season. Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion moved the Blues three points clear of Arsenal in fifth place, with Tottenham Hotspur still just two points ahead in third.
All eyes were on Manchester City on Saturday afternoon. The reigning Premier League champions suffered their first defeat of the season last time out, going down 2-0 to Chelsea despite dominating the opening 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
City fell behind to the Blues when N’Golo Kante smashed a shot past Ederson on the stroke of half-time, but they were unable to find an equaliser in a rather subdued second-half showing. David Luiz doubled the hosts’ lead with a header from a corner in the , confirming City’s maiden league loss in 2018/19 after a brilliant return of 13 victories and two draws from their opening 15 encounters.
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