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I’m not a writer, every now and then the mood strikes and for some reason I like to write my thoughts about Everton. When I write it’s purely my opinion, quite emotional and tends to focus on one particular issue.

When I submit a piece of work there’s a few objectives for me: I hope people understand it, I hope they enjoy it and I hope most agree with the theme. You can’t please everyone and not everyone will agree but I still get a little pang of sorrow when there’s negative feedback, even as a casual opinion piece writer.

I recently submitted an article ‘It’s Our Fault’ – I believed I was in the majority in wanting Silva moved on. Feedback showed this doesn’t quite seem to be the case. It appears some of my opinions caused a few of my podcaster, fan media contributors and hipster friends to shed tears onto their corduroy trousers, sincerely this wasn’t my intention (I know cords take awhile to dry) and I did mention there’s good outlets out there.

The feedback got me thinking about balance. Apparently you can’t have a truly informed view unless you delve into both sides of the argument? So I’m going to have a little blast. I’ll try to analyse some reasons we should keep faith with Silva, despite the quandary we’re in at the moment. And, I might gain some friends back in the tight jean, pastel scarf and off-white sock wearin’ Everton podcast/fanzine mafia.

Silva’s young, he’s not long turned 42, although in itself this doesn’t mean much it does when taken into account with his managerial experience. He does have experience but at the level he’s currently operating at his experience is negligible. The club bought into this as part of his recruitment and presented it as a positive – young and hungry for success. There’s scope for development, he’s learning on the job to a degree and bumps in the road need to be allocated for. Idealistically, we stick with Silva while his flaws are whittled away and reap the benefits as he starts to hone his craft. Following this thought process he should get better, it might take two years minimum for this to happen but abandoning the mine when a few strikes away from striking diamonds would be a travesty.

We’ve had tantalising evidence that we could actually be good. Under Silva there’s been several displays which have genuinely excited me, the one that enthused me the most was West Ham away last season, it was how a top side goes about business away from home. Of course there was the home displays and defensive solidarity towards the end of the season which had us buoyant for the future. It’d be slightly fickle to dismiss these, there was a degree of consistency shown, more so at home and linking to the experience point above you’d assume as the manager matures in his competence the results consistency should come.

He’s shown character. We had a terrible run last season and although we may have struck lucky with the international break Silva really utilised this very well. It’s clear he got to work with the players available, real graft on the training ground, that’s proper managerial application. We could have continued to sink but he led the change, took advantage of the time and turned the course of the season on its head for us. This shows resolve, determination and innovation; all qualities I want from the manager.

There’s an argument he’s been let down by recruitment. Although he sometimes comes across as passive Silva made it publicly clear he didn’t want to lose Gana Gueye and voiced his desperation to sign Kurt Zouma. Positionally these players fulfil roles which are of primary importance to any team, the loss of Gana and inability to sign Zouma would, I imagine, not only deflate Silva but impact on his vision for the team going forward. Let’s not forget the lack of experience in the centre-forward position. Also, if Silva held optimism and specific plans for the signings of Wilfried Zaha and Abdoulaye Doucoure the failure to close these deals would evaporate Silva’s vision for his squad going into the season.

Of course there’s complex reasons for the failures in the market, however I’m focusing on how this would impact on Silva’s planning for the season. Not to mention the psychological impact on the manger of having these potential signings snatched away, entering a season when expectation is higher and pressure heightened.

He’s been unlucky. The injuries to Gomes and Gbamin were huge blows, there’s no doubt Silva had big plans for Gbamin and these have been scuppered by a serious injury. It’s clear in the aftermath of Gbamin’s injury he was purchased to be the the main cog in our midfield, the piece of the jigsaw which would allow Silva to implement his preferred 4-3-3 formation. The midfield three would have included Gomes therefore Gomes’ injury would have been a double blow placing Silva’s plans on hold for the interim. Although under intense scrutiny for not adjusting the formation it’s clear he feels we don’t have the players currently to implement his preferred system.

Unfair criticisms: I’ll defend Silva against attacks on his character and perceived lack of charisma. Partly because this doesn’t bother me in the slightest but mainly because I feel it’s down to a language issue. Let’s be honest his grasp of English isn’t perfect and although not a big problem I feel his lack of linguistic confidence prevents him from having the opportunity to present his true personality, we could account for this more.

I’ll also defend Silva against criticism of his body language on the touch line, which peaked during the Bournemouth game. I think it’s unfair to focus on a snapshot picture and read too much into it, what you can garner from it however was that he looked well and truly deflated with the performance of the players in front of him. I’m certain it matters to Silva and I’m absolutely convinced he works extremely hard to be a success.

So going forward – currently we’re operating amongst potential, unfulfilled potential, the question being will this bloom into what we all want? There’s divides because none of us know for sure. It’s very early in the season to make definite decisions of course, the internal thought processes for most I guess will be a balancing act between what they’ve witnessed so far and what could perceivably unfold.

The Jekyll and Hyde experiment concludes for me now and how do I feel? I do genuinely feel a bit calmer about the situation with the manger.

Do I think we should sack Silva now after this reflection?

In Coleen Rooney-esque unraveling fashion…yeah he’s still got to go for me (the reverse panderer).

  1. He’s not going to turn it round. For one he hasn’t like last season, got a 17 day period of enforced spare time to drill them. Plus the 2IC guy who might’ve been doing the actual drilling is no longer here.

    Cue up coming unbeaten run starting Vs West Ham…well it could happen.

    I hoped that would have started at our last home game!!!

  2. He’s not going to turn it round. For one he hasn’t like last season, got a 17 day period of enforced spare time to drill them. Plus the 2IC guy who might’ve been doing the actual drilling is no longer here.

    Cue up coming unbeaten run starting Vs West Ham…well it could happen.

  3. I didn’t really want Silva to begin with, but did say I would give him two seasons before judging him. Yes, we have had a rubbish start, but we had an equally bad period over Christmas last season which we came out of and finished the season really well, especially at home.
    Let’s see how he gets out of this period, we are only 8 games in FFS
  4. Not having the desired players is not a good excuse for putting the team in the relegation-threatened side. Having a language barrier is a worse excuse.

    We had worse injuries back in the past (I remember when Holgate had to be called up from the youth team like 5 years ago?), and way worse financial status that we had to look for has-been players or rookies with no experience. Still, we managed to pull out better results and most of all, better game.

    Our players are better than ever. Our manager is not. It’s just simple as that. We just need a new manager.

  5. Nice read but let’s get it straight. Zouma was never ours and Lampard wanted to keep no matter what and has been playing. Gana had made it clear eh wanted to go and if refused would have been very unhappy and perhaps disruptive like wise with Lookman.

    So how would we have fared if they were kept, IMO not very different, we would have had two dissatisfied players for me far better to let them go.Also it is clear we were never going to get Zaha.

  6. Without out going all boring and getting too much into tactics
    It seems like Silva wants to play a variant of the Bielsa style
    High press and quicker vertical mvt.

    If that means winning a trophy or two in a weak league, rarely seeing out a contract, winning nothing of any real note, getting moody and acting up to a point where the team completely stops functioning then Silva is right on cue with the Bielsa style.

    And he doesn’t have the defensive style players, and no, Zouma is not anywhere close to the answer.

    Agree with this. Zouma seems to have morphed from a pretty average centre half into some kind of blessed combination of Beckenbauer, Baresi and Puyol in the minds of some of the fanbase.

  7. I was intrigued by your last line and the opening paragraph of substance in the article. Its tough to judge Silva too harshly when you think he’s like 5 years older than Jags. So Brands and Co have said that the way forward for the club is to find young talent that has not fulfilled their full potential yet but have the potential to become great… is this the philosophy with Silva? If yes thats a big gamble.

    Can’t see him coming back to Everton. Meant the PL.
    I hope he goes on to do good things. He’s now a Blue after all.
    He’ll get good experience from this.

    Without out going all boring and getting too much into tactics
    It seems like Silva wants to play a variant of the Bielsa style
    High press and quicker vertical mvt.

    He’s had success in some ways with the press, but it doesn’t fit with the rest, the solutions are more complexed than what he’s doing.
    And he doesn’t have the defensive style players, and no, Zouma is not anywhere close to the answer.

    The quicker vertical mvt has been an utter failure.
    In the rare times he does get it going his overall set up tends to be defensively weak, which leads to hesitation and poor tempo and your back to square one; he has been lucky with not conceding a lot more.
    But it all comes to a shuddering halt when you get to the stalwart philosophy of the lower teams who know how to survive, the anti football approach of sit deep and knick a goal. Sheffield United just made Silva their bitch.
    He is so far away from solving it just a little bit.

    In stat that he hasn’t come from behind to win there’s almost something endearing about him not seeming to give a damn about conceding from corners. Like he is too preoccupied with finding the other answer. He just needs to go and do that somewhere else.

  8. I’m not a writer, every now and then the mood strikes and for some reason I like to write my thoughts about Everton. When I write it’s purely my opinion, quite emotional and tends to focus on one particular issue.

    Full Article: https://www.grandoldteam.com/2019/10/10/the-panderer/

    I would also add to your list of arguments that Marco lost his coaching partner and right hand man during the summer – thats got to be a massive blow to consistency from last season and an extra level of effort for him getting the new guy up to speed

  9. Not in the PL Marco, come back in 10 years and try again.

    I was intrigued by your last line and the opening paragraph of substance in the article. Its tough to judge Silva too harshly when you think he’s like 5 years older than Jags. So Brands and Co have said that the way forward for the club is to find young talent that has not fulfilled their full potential yet but have the potential to become great… is this the philosophy with Silva? If yes thats a big gamble.

  10. You could also point to someone like Pochettino who stuck to a 4231 and didn’t look that great in his first two seasons, with no indication he would go on to make a CL final, people were calling for the sack at the time too.

    But there’s a big difference between the two. Pochettino has drunk from the well, the source, imo of one of the two most influential figures in modern coaching/management in Bielsa. Because of this he is deeply grounded in what he does which has allowed him to be the only team to challenge City and Liverpool.

    In a gross oversimplification there are five different types of successful managers
    1. the ones who’ve been born out of and evolved the Cruyff philosophy (for example Guardiola)
    2. the ones have been born out of and evolved Bielsa’s philosophy (Simone, Pochettino, Gallardo)
    3. the one’s who are great players and have used their experience, character and intelligence to become great managers at top clubs (Zindane, Conte)
    4. the ones with little playing success who have forged their own approaches drawn from a variety of influences. (Mourinho, Klopp, Sarri)
    5. The ones starting to marry the Bielsa and Cruyff philosphies together (Guardiola, Ten Hag)

    Then you have the rest. The ones that know how to survive and worked out how to compete.

    Silva wants to be a number 4.

    After taking over the management of the side he played in, his approach was obviously good enough for Portugal, and then Greece.
    But the PL is a much much different proposition.
    I like Conte’s take on the difference between Serie A and PL, you can go up 1-0 in Italy and control the game from there, relatively easy if your a top side, but that’s ‘impossible’ to feel/do in the PL (unless your Guardiola).

    Silva is fumbling around and is getting tactically found out at this level.
    You can’t just bundle together a bunch of ideas off others and try and make them work.
    To me he seems to have very little to draw on when faced with problems at this level
    The approach has to be deeply embedded in something; from which you can then go on and evolve over time.

    Not in the PL Marco, come back in 10 years and try again.

  11. I dont know how you can write an article like that and then conclude he has to go.

    That’s not being balanced for balance sake. You’ve highlighted the real obstacles he’s had to contend with this season, but more than that you also aknowledge his ability last season to get out of a hole like this one. So it makes no sense to go through the huge disruption of a managerial change. Not yet anyway.

    I agree Dave, but the utter fraud might wanna start winning some games if he wants to keep his job.

  12. I’m not a writer, every now and then the mood strikes and for some reason I like to write my thoughts about Everton. When I write it’s purely my opinion, quite emotional and tends to focus on one particular issue.

    Full Article: https://www.grandoldteam.com/2019/10/10/the-panderer/

    Enjoyed that mate. You make some good points, signings or lack of and injuries.
    However I cant get my head around the fact that we have pace to burn up front yet we build up slow, sideways and backwards. For me pace is our strength and it’s being stifled, not by the opposition but by ourselves.
    Also substitutes . I’ve seen a lot of games were we are terrible, you just know nothing is going our way and yet he waits until the opposition score, sometimes twice, before he makes changes.

  13. I dont know how you can write an article like that and then conclude he has to go.

    That’s not being balanced for balance sake. You’ve highlighted the real obstacles he’s had to contend with this season, but more than that you also aknowledge his ability last season to get out of a hole like this one. So it makes no sense to go through the huge disruption of a managerial change. Not yet anyway.

  14. I’m not a writer, every now and then the mood strikes and for some reason I like to write my thoughts about Everton. When I write it’s purely my opinion, quite emotional and tends to focus on one particular issue.

    Full Article: https://www.grandoldteam.com/2019/10/10/the-panderer/

    Enjoyed that, thanks.

    I do think his time has come, but I do also want him to succeed for a lot of the reasons you outline.

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