Does Silva Have What It Takes To Turn Everton Around? by Owen Parkes


Marco Silva is treading on thin ice as Everton manager, but for the benefit of all us he has to be able to turn this around. Boos ringing around Goodison Park in September after a summer of optimism is a story we have all seen before. Only this time, it’s worse.

Marco Silva has made mistakes, continuously. Fans have been able to see for months that his way of playing against difficult, pragmatic sides does not work. It allows the opposition to get narrow, force Everton out wide, and deal with any cross that comes into the box, teams do not have to do anything initiative to beat this Everton side.

In fact, Chris Wilder said himself after the game on Saturday that his side has not played that bad all season, but the basic game they played was more than enough to see off a poor Everton side.

I could have swapped the name Wilder with Hodgson, Smith and Howe and Sheffield United with Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Bournemouth and the same story would apply. Everton under Marco Silva are predictable, weak and quite honestly boring to watch against the vast majority of the Premier League. Improvement has to be made otherwise the writing is on the wall for him, unfortunately.

After the match on Saturday, I suggested that the game was the beginning of the end for the manager. Not because I want him to fail, I have done nothing but support Marco Silva since his appointment, more than most, but it seems unlikely he is going to alter the course he is going on.

Not only because of mistakes he has made or anything he has done, but fans are getting restless and we have seen all of this before. Silva might say “Everton are only two games away from a crisis,” with an element of sarcasm, but it’s very much true, because fans are done with waiting, so therefore any blip turns into a crisis. That admittedly is not the sole fault of Marco Silva but it is his responsibility to change and manage.

If he does not, and fan disdain is allowed to grow, Marco Silva will be sacked. That is the notorious, line of it and that idea worries me significantly, not due to Marco Silva having left the club alone, but for what will likely to come next.

Mikel Arteta, Really? Just under two years ago Everton appointed Sam Allardyce in one of the most divisive managerial appointments in Premier League history. I was disappointed, but the fan choice of Mikel Arteta would be much worse.

Marco Silva has made genuine mistakes as Everton manager and has genuine flaws to his management that could well lead to him losing his job in the short to medium term. That is widely accepted. What I cannot accept though that the answer to Everton’s ills is a bloke who yes was a decent player for the club but is yet to manage a game in his life.

Moreover, club legend? Not for me. I won’t forget how Mikel Arteta kissed the Arsenal badge in front of our end. I won’t forget how Mikel Arteta left us in the lurch with two hours to go on Deadline Day in 2011.

But even with all that, if I had confidence he was a competent Premier League coach other
than some fantasist who again would lead the club to style over substance than I would fine with any appointment of Arteta, but I don’t. Everton best had hope Marco Silva can turn this around otherwise the alternative could be disastrous.

But how will he do such thing? For a start the 4-2-3-1 formation has to go. It allows teams to exploit our weaknesses and make us play slowly. Changing to a 433 or a 442 is what suits our players and it forces more players in offensive areas to push sides back and have more attacking threats as opposed to monotonous play.

Team selection has got to change also. I will not mention Seamus Coleman too much but he has to be the first to fall foul of a reshuffle in the preferred eleven. Other than that? Morgan Schneiderlin or Fabian Delph have to be dropped, Gylfi Sigurdsson too. Changes have to be bold and positive if Silva is going to change this around, because safe changes are not going to work.

Marco Silva is going to have to be bold in order to salvage his Everton career. Safe moves will not cut it, there is going to be a big job on his hands coming up, and with mind of what could come next, maybe with some blind faith, he best had deliver.