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).