Pressure is mounting on Marco Silva at Everton.

Everton have been largely unspectacular so far this campaign. They have been efficient in games but to say they have played good football or the tactical philosophy has changed from previous seasons would be inaccurate.

Marco Silva. (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

A run of bad results, the latest being a defeat at home to Wolves, has resulted in Everton manager Marco Silva finding himself under pressure. Everton fans have made their feelings known in recent weeks and have every reason to be discontent with the recent performances of the team, despite their win against Huddersfield last week.


The defeat against Wolves showed the deficiencies that this team has, poor at defending set-pieces, slow in transition and defensively they were simply all over the place.


Everton have been largely unspectacular so far this campaign. They have been efficient in games but to say they have played good football or the tactical philosophy has changed from previous seasons would be inaccurate.


Recent woes are clear as they have only won six of their last 17 games in all competitions and one of those was against League One’s Lincoln in the FA Cup. The four defeats in the last six games should be a concern for Silva in terms of how it affects his team’s confidence and the backing he receives from the fans and the Everton board.


The hierarchy at Everton are determined to see their club move into the elite of the Premier League. Since Farhad Moshiri has been at the club, he has overseen a massive 300 +million pound plus spending on transfers. Despite this drastic spending the club looks as far as they ever have from competing to break into the top six of the Premier League.


At the same time he has entrusted three different managers with the opportunity to elevate the club to the next level, without success. Moshiri has certainly backed the Portuguese, allowing him to spend over 80 million pound during the summer of 2018.


Farhad Moshiri (left) will certainly want to see some reward from his investment. [Photograph: Tony McArdle - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images]

The players that were acquired by Marco Silva came to the club with big reputations, and when you consider the quality that was already at the club the current 9th place position in the Premier League must be viewed as an underachievement at this stage.


The club are closer to the relegation zone than they are the top six of the Premier League, this must be one of the biggest frustrations for Everton fans currently watching their club.


The FA cup defeat to Millwall was certainly controversial but overall the Toffees did not deserve to win the game and progress in the competition which realistically they could have made a real challenge for success. Overall the players looked lethargic, grew in frustration with each other on the pitch and there looked an element of complacency in certain instances.


This was not surprising however as we have seen signs of these attitudes growing especially in the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Southampton and the home defeat to Leicester City, the narrow 1-0 victory away to Huddersfield did nothing to relieve any of the pressure that the 41-year-old might and should be feeling currently.



What has gone wrong for Everton and Silva?


Big spending under a string of managers hasn't helped Everton. [PA Wire]

The constant changing of the defence personnel and formation. This is a prominent factor to the problems the team faces currently. Silva has altered between a three at the back system with wing backs and a back four defence.


Everton playing with a back four is where they look most comfortable, the big problem Silva has is that the on loan Kurt Zouma and the under-performing Michael Keane make far too many mistakes, the latest evidence shown for the Wolves second goal on Saturday.


Both players do not look to command their defence, they both look awkward on the ball for the majority and Keane especially in a positional sense gets lost especially with runners in behind. Zouma forms a much better partnership with former Barcelona defender Yerry Mina. The physical presence of these centre defenders means Zouma can cover in behind and drop deeper for the towering Colombian centre-half.


The Toffees defence has suffered in recent years and especially when defending set pieces, a record in which Marco Silva has been known for during his managerial stints in England. This has been the teams biggest weakness for the last two seasons.


With the changing to a three at the back system and wing backs, another player who shows a change to his play is new signing Lucas Digne. The French left back has been one of the major success stories to come out of Goodison Park so far this season but only when he is in his familiar left back role.


Marco Silva and Lucas Digne. [Everton FC via Getty]

When he is asked to play wing back we see a more conservative player, almost trying to learn how to play left wing, playing a consistent back four has to be a priority for Silva moving forward with the rest of the season especially to get the best out of not only Digne but Seamus Coleman on the opposite wing, who it must be said has looked far from his best since his recovery from a fractured leg.


Allowing the highly promising Mason Holgate to leave on loan to Championship challengers West Brom, has be considered a mistake looking in at the club right now. When speaking of Michael Keane playing alongside Kurt Zouma on many occasions this season it seems an oversight to not start Holgate ahead of the England understudy defender.


The former Barnsley defender can operate at right back just as efficiently as central defence, but with Holgate unlike Keane and Zouma respectively he carries himself like a leader in the heart of the defence. He can play under pressure in possession, he can read the game both in the air and the ground and his defensive positioning has improved significantly. His qualities would almost certainly add stability to the Everton back-line.


Both Holgate and Calvert-Lewin should be considered unlucky not to be regular starters for Everton. [Getty]

The lack of a centre forward has been a serious concern for Everton fans since the club sold fan favourite Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. Marco Silva has resorted to playing his top goalscorer with eleven goals Richarlison in this central role more often than not in recent times, and to less effect than he was getting in the early stages of the season when he was operating off the left hand side.


Richarlison looks dejected. (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

The former Watford forward has shown quality at Goodison Park, but his attitude can look a serious problem, evidently looking disgruntled with his teammates, even more so in recent weeks.


The club do need to address the issue of a striker within the team, but one player who constantly delivers for the team when given a consistent opportunity is young English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The young forward has shown that he can be the man to lead the line for the club, however getting a consistent run in the side in his favoured position has been hard to come by.


The England under-21 international has the ability to run in behind the opposition defenders and stretch the game. He can score various types of goals, aerially he is efficient and in front of goal he keeps his composure more often than not to finish chances. The striker position needs attention by Silva and his coaching staff, but looking forward Calvert-Lewin must be in this team.


The reluctance not to drop under-fire Jordan Pickford looks to be having a massive impact at Everton. His performances this season have been poor to say the least for his standards. His decision making has been rash, he is trying too much when he is playing out from the back a lot of the times, he is far from commanding in set piece situations, and even his shot stopping has dropped from standards of the previous seasons. This has to be having an effect on the team especially when defending set pieces. Every time the opposition gets in these positions there is an expectation that they could score.


Jordan Pickford has been a target of major criticism this season and rightfully so. [Reuters]

Pickford has to come out of the first eleven for at least just for a few games. The mistake against their bitter rivals Liverpool earlier in the season was unforgivable. To make such an error at that stage of the match and on such an occasion was worthy of being dropped, a step that Silva should and must make with the current England number one.


Perhaps the most controversial point to make is the impact of Icelandic star Gylfi Sigurdsson. Despite contributing with ten goals himself this season, the former Tottenham and Swansea attacking midfielder has never quite looked the right fit at Goodison Park since his big money move from Swansea.


Watching Sigurdsson in the number ten role in front of the technical brilliance of Andre Gomes is a resemblance to the same issue that Everton faced when Wayne Rooney was at the club last season alongside Sigurdsson.


Gylfi Sigurdsson. [Getty]

What Sigurdsson does possess is he has a great eye for goal and his set-pieces are among the best in the Premier League. The problem with the attacking play-maker is when transitioning from defence to attack often Everton look far too slow. From watching Sigurdsson he is slowing the pace of the team attacks down.


Andre Gomes has looked frustrated in recent weeks after an extremely promising start after making his loan move from Barcelona to Goodison Park. His frustrations can be seen with the lack of movement or the lack of players wanting to take possession and making runs off the ball for him to target.


Andre Gomes is a class act in this Everton team which needs to be utilised more. [Getty]

His goal against Wolves illustrated just how much more Gomes can bring to the team in advanced positions. Without pace and runners off the ball the risk will be Gomes not having the desired effect on this pitch especially when in possession centrally. Could Silva sacrifice Sigurdsson and add some dynamism into his midfield with local lad Tom Davies? This would allow Gomes to take hold of the game from a deeper role and get movement in behind the opposition defence.


Silva does have options to bring in, but perhaps moving into a 4-3-3 shape or even adding pace into the number ten role would get the best out of his attacking threat on the pitch.

Next up for Everton is the Champions Manchester City at home, so the precarious position Silva finds himself currently could become worse. With away trips to Watford and Cardiff respectively before hosting bitter rivals Liverpool, the interest of Silva’s position in charge of the club will be under increasing scrutiny.


Written by Michael Hawthorne [@Scrabo04].


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