Everton owner Farhad Moshiri piles pressure on manager Marco Silva

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Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has piled the pressure onto manager Marco Silva by claiming that Everton’s league standing is ‘not good enough’ at a recent club AGM meeting.

It was quite a bold statement but one could say a right one but it will leave Silva under immense pressure to pick up more than the 27 points gained in the first half of the season. The problem for Silva is quite evident, Everton are on course to have a worse season under him than Sam Allardyce from last season and Silva has spent upwards of £50m more than Allardyce in bringing in players.

Moshiri was blunt and to the point and it was easy to see the frustration in his face as he spoke about the club. He said: “We are very serious about what we want to do. I know, I am a fan myself. I look at the table and it is just not good enough, I think we know that. We need to go up the table. We need to utilise the fans’ impatience to drive the club but we need to be patient for development.”

Everton have been on a poor run of form where they have won just 1 game from their past 8 and have fallen off the radar.  There was a lot of hope this season that Silva who had come from Watford was the right man for the Mersey siders, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case. Whilst the club have not gone backwards under his leadership they have not moved forward either and that will be the main concern. The only good news is that the team are playing their best attacking football in perhaps a decade but still results are not forthcoming.

In the FA Cup Everton could only squeeze past Lincoln 2-1 at Goodison Park and they could face a potential banana skin when they play Millwall away in the fourth round. This weekend the Premier League is back and the Toffee men will be favourites to beat Bournemouth at home, lose that and serious issues could begin to circle Siva’s future at the club.

Everton will not face a top six side until February 23rd when they will take on the champions Manchester City at home and so all eyes will be on the club who will be expected to start picking up points between now and then.

So far Everton under Silva have looked good on the eye but at the end of the day it is results of course that matter and for that Silva’s team once we throw in the money spent in the summer have looked very average.

Has Everton’s Marco Silva really been an improvement over Sam Allardyce?

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As managers go Marco Silva and Sam Allardyce are like chalk and cheese. Silva promotes his team to keep the ball and attack and go for the win. Allardyce is win at all costs, and if not possible a draw isn’t a bad result. The result was that Everton who have had both of these managers played a negative brand of football under Allardyce, play not to lose. But with Silva in charge fans have said that the brand of football attacking wise has been the best in a generation, but how do the stats add up?

After 19 games where we are now at the halfway stage of the season Everton find themselves in 8th place on 27 points. This time last season with Allardyce in charge Everton had 26 points. Of course we must back track here as Allardyce did not become manager until the end of November. Ronald Koeman was sacked and even David Unsworth got in on the act as caretaker manager. In truth it was quite a chaotic time at Goodison Park but even so the club compared to last season are just 1 point behind Silva’s version.

A better judgement of Allardyce would be what he did in the next 19 games where from a possible 57 points he won 23 points. In the end Everton finished the season in 8th place which was great considering how poorly they had started it and they ended up with a total of 49 points, 14 behind Arsenal who could only manage 6th that season.

Right now Everton are on for a target of 54 points which would be a significant improvement on last season. The call on this then is that Silva at this moment is an improvement on the club although there are still many games to be played and twists and turns to be had. The good news for the club long term is that the players have reacted to his philosophy and he obviously has a grip on the dressing rooms. The 6-2 type losses like the team recently suffered to Tottenham are still there and the worry that the club have an inferior complex when playing Liverpool has not disappeared either.

However Silva needs some time to shine and make all of his hard work come to fruition. For now whilst he isn’t making the club jump over their projected targets they are at least taking a run and jump there and getting to it bit by bit but to summarise Silva was the right man to take over from Big Sam.

Should Southampton replace Mark Hughes with Sam Allardyce?

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The 2018-19 Premier League season has started in predictably underwhelming fashion for Southampton.

Mark Hughes’ side have picked up eight points from their first 12 league games, scoring just eight goals in the process, and the club took “constructive action” to “get results back on track” by sacking vice-chairman Les Reed earlier this week.

Despite the poor start, it has been reported by Sky Sports that the club remains supportive of Hughes and they intend to back the Welshman in the January transfer window.

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Everton’s bubble has well and truly burst

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One thing that can’t be levelled at Everton’s owners is the lack of backing for their most recent managers.

Ronald Koeman’s reign may have been ill-fated, but he was given funds in the transfer market to secure his targets.

Ditto Marca Silva.

Richarlison (£35m), Yerry Mina (£27m), Lucas Digne (£18m) and loan fees totalling almost £10m for Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes, bring the Toffees’ spend to somewhere in the region of £90m. Continue reading

Why are Allardyce and Pardew still seen as progressive?

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So, Sam Allardyce is given his cards yet again, this time at Everton. The fourth job in succession where he’s either been sacked or left via ‘mutual consent.’ Sacked in other words.

Alan Pardew was given the old heave-ho a few weeks ago, and incredibly West Bromwich Albion’s fortunes took a sharp upturn after he’d left.

What is difficult to understand is why the pair, and others of their ilk, continue to be seen as somewhat progressive and are almost the first port of call when Premier League coaching jobs are available.

Overlooking Allardyce’s penchant for a quick few hundred thousand which in itself is a thorny issue, to essentially bring in someone whose best years in management were almost two decades ago and expect them to perform miracles is asking for trouble.

He’s nothing but a saviour, and from the route one school at that.

His teams play as he did. Physically imposing, limited in their capabilities, but willing to battle all day long. Just the ingredients required if you’re in the midst of a relegation battle or need promoting from the lower leagues.

But a European push? Don’t make me laugh.

The Dudley-born former central defender likes to use ProZone and the odd sports science methodology to help get his points and tactics across, but he’s still the same old northern hoofer underneath the Emperor’s new clothes.

And yet, clubs are still falling for it. His agent must be on huge bunce because he’s the true miracle worker here.

Everton, like Crystal Palace, Sunderland and West Ham before them, now have to honour the outrageous contract that was negotiated whilst poring over what exactly they’ve paid him for, for the last six months.

Pardew is cut from the same cloth as Allardyce. Arguably, his last successful stint at any club came at West Ham, where he took them to the 2006 FA Cup final.

Only Steven Gerrard’s desire on the day took Liverpool to the promised land because for long periods, the Hammers were the better team in what has since been labelled the best-ever FA Cup final.

The following season, he took the Hammers on their worst run of defeats in 70 years, but somehow this was enough to convince Charlton Athletic to hire him just a fortnight after his dismissal in east London.

Charlton were in dire straits when he took them over, so their subsequent relegation can’t be pinned on him, but eight games without a win saw them in the Championship’s bottom three. Off he went again.

Southampton was his next port of call but player unrest and low staff morale, allegedly because of Pardew’s insistence at following outdated and unworkable methods, saw a swift exit.

Quite how he then went on to land one of the biggest jobs in the country – Newcastle United – is anyone’s guess… though they did also employ Allardyce!

A four-year stay wasn’t overly successful and neither did his stint at Crystal Palace where, finally, a chairman hit the nail on the head. Steve Parish said of Pardew “his style of football hasn’t and doesn’t work.” Hallelujah.

Five months at West Brom was more than enough for the Baggies, Pardew leaving the club at the foot of the table and 10 games without a win. Their relegation, despite Darren Moore’s best efforts, was ultimately down to Pardew.

Both Allardyce and Pardew are relics from the past, trying to make themselves relevant in a game that’s now far ahead of their level of understanding. Simply put, football has moved on. They haven’t.

There’s a reason why the pair keep being sacked from each club that offer them a route back, but perhaps their reputations are now so tarnished that everyone has learnt their lesson.

One can only hope.

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Euro Fantasy League Podcast – Episode 6 – Gennaro Gattuso’s Strange Feelings As Alberto Brignoli Scores In Benevento’s Draw With Milan

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Dave takes the lead in this episode as Jamie loses his voice. The lads discuss Gennaro Gattuso’s bizarre claims about how he feels after Milan draw with Benevento, after Alberto Brignoli scores a late equaliser.

Dave offers his candid views on the England national team, and the managerial merry-go-round gets the treatment once again as Alan Pardew is installed as West Brom manager.

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Premier League Review – Week 27

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There were changes at both ends of the Premier League table last weekend with Arsenal dropping out of the top four and Middlesbrough falling into the dreaded relegation zone.

With just 1 goal in their last 5 matches and 2 in their last 8, Middlesbrough are looking increasingly likely to drop out of the Premier League this season. After a decent start, many thought they would be comfortable, however, that has not proved to be the case as they were quickly found out. Continue reading

Rashford scores hatrick for England U21′s to put Big Sam under pressure

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Marcus Rashford is like lightning in a bottle and continued his brilliant form from last season to help England U21′s where he scored a superb debut hatrick over Norway as England ran out 6-1 winners for World Cup qualifying.

Rashford sent a message to club manager Jose Mourinho at Manchester United who has dropped the talented Englishman to the bench in favour of a starting line up of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial. How longer can Mourinho resist such a talent? The worry in the past with Mourinho has been his intent to stick with star players over Academy ones, but surely he will recognise for the good of the club that Rashford really ought to be starting games.

Pressure also rests with England manager Sam Allardyce who decided to drop Rashford into the U21′s. But as evidenced against a dogged Slovakia team in his first game in charge the England forward line was listless. How they could have done with Rashford to settle the nerves early on instead of relying on a goal that came 20 seconds to the end of added injury time.

Rashford was obviously elated by his three goals and said: “It was a good début to have. It was a strong performance from the boys. Norway played well, despite the scoreline. We worked hard for the whole 90 minutes and I think in the end we deserved the result.” Asked about his favourite goal of the evening, Rashford surprised some “I’d say the penalty was my favourite, to be honest. It was the first penalty I have scored since I have been a professional.”

Allardyce was at the match and that can only be a positive sign that he is keeping close tabs on the 18 year old. But it seems odd that England would want to hold back such a talent. Wayne Rooney faced a similar problem at the same age but played for the senior team almost immediately.

Back to Mourinho and he now faces an interesting task ahead of him- does he start with Rashford in the eagerly awaited Manchester derby this weekend? The feeling is that he won’t but Rashford will get game time.

Gareth Southgate the U21 coach said of Rashford, “I’ll speak to Sam in the next couple of days, I’m sure, but I’m sure it’s given him food for thought. But he’ll be pleased with some of the performances of his players .“What we saw all week [from Rashford] we saw tonight, so I wasn’t surprised in any way. I don’t think anyone can rubbish the experience. The key is, if they come down, they get to play and put on a show like that.”

 

Sam Allardyce is the new England manager

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When England failed abysmally at Euro 2016 and Roy Hodgson as expected quit his post moments later the players hoped that the new England boss would come from foreign shores. They haven’t got their wish as the FA has given the green light to Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce or ‘Big Sam’ as he is known in England will be doing his best impression of his famed Cheshire cat grin with the news. Indeed a few weeks ago linking the former West Ham United and Sunderland manager to the job would have been distant, but any English manager working in the top flight for so long has the ultimate dream of leading their country and at 61 time was not on his side. He’s finally, after managing for nearly 25 years in the game, landed the big job and he will be relishing every moment of it- but was he really the right man?

The problem for the FA going with a foreign manager is the slap in the face and rubber stamp to the heart of English football emblazoned with a seven lettered word- ‘failure’. Going abroad would have been admittance that there isn’t any English born manager available that has the talent to lead the national side. Also the top nations don’t go looking abroad. New European champions Portugal have done in the past but they finally won a major trophy with Fernando Santos, Portuguese. Indeed all of the semi final teams from Euro 2016 were all managed by coaches from that country. Why should England be different?

The FA can of course point to the fact that when they did look further away they came up with Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello who both respectively took one step forward and several back. Would an English manager in their time have done any worse? Okay Steve McClaren aside, but these managers demanded huge salaries and huge attention and their legacies as football coaches will not be remembered for their time with the English national team.

Allardyce in the end didn’t have too much competition- there was talk of Steve Bruce perhaps Alan Pardew but in the end the FA have gone for a man who some players he’s coached have recently come out and said he has a calming influence and really does care for the progression of the team. Progression is a huge word and one that ultimately won over the FA because Allardyce has agreed to nurture the next England coach as part of his job.

The problem for Big Sam is that he is more remembered for relegation dog fights than battling it out near the top of the league. And the big worry must inevitably remain that he may, even if he is English, be another manager that could well be taking backwards steps than advancing in his new job. Only time will tell.

Sunderland take a big step to Premier League safety after comeback win over Chelsea

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Sunderland are dreaming of Premier League survival after pulling off a miraculous comeback against Chelsea on the weekend. The Black Cats went behind twice at the Stadium of Light, courtesy of goals from Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic, but fought back well with goals from Wahbi Khazri, Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe.

The North-East outfit conceded a second goal in first-half injury time, but Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce urged the players not to let the game slip as they’d worked very hard to be in a position to get a result. His motivational speech clearly worked as the Black Cats turned the game on its head with two goals three minutes after the hour mark, finishing the weekend just one win away from survival.

“We switched off just before half-time and it was about picking the lads up in the dressing room to say let’s not waste what we have done. Let’s get ourselves back in the game because if we continue to show the passion and desire to shut Chelsea down as we did in the first half with a bit more quality, then we will get chances,” Allardyce revealed.

“It was extraordinary and nerve wracking. A wonderful comeback and result, particularly in the circumstances. In the second half we caused Chelsea problems and there was clinical finishing which we have been waiting for for a while. Our destiny is in our hands and a win against a very good side Everton will secure our Premier League future. Hopefully we can achieve it, it will be difficult but we have an opportunity to do it,” he added.

Sunderland are 17th in the Premier League with 35 points from 36 games. They are one point ahead 18th-placed Newcastle United with a game in hand, and four points clear of 19th-place Norwich City. Sam Allardyce’s side are coming off the back of two wins and two draws in their last four games, and have suffered just one league defeat in their last nine.

The Black Cats’ form in 2016 has been outstanding considering their lowly position, picking up points against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Southampton, Arsenal and Chelsea among others, and they’re now favourites to stay in the division. They next face Everton in midweek, where a win would confirm their Premier League status for another season, relegating Newcastle and Norwich in the process.

Their destiny is finally in their own hands, so can Sunderland fight off relegation?