By Gary Judge
By the time Everton play again on Tuesday, it will have been 17 days between games. Has the break come at the right time for Everton?
Absolutely! Marco Silva will have had over two weeks to try and remedy the tactical and psychological issues that his young Everton squad have had. If we don’t show the benefit of the 17 days break then I would start to seriously consider whether Marco Silva is the man for the job. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a massive advocate of giving this man time, but he still needs to show that we can get a tune out of this side. A top quality coach can not only build a side for the long term, they can also adapt, to produce positive outcomes in the short term and that is what is required right now
One talking point that isn’t going away is the future of Marco Silva. It seems the fan base is almost divided in allowing him more time or believing that another couple of bad results should see the club act. Where do you stand on this?
I’ve very much addressed my stance above, but I’m going to be specific in relation to the two upcoming games; Cardiff is about getting a win. Nothing less than 3 points will do for me here and I don’t think its unfair to demand considering the quality we have in the squad and the time he has had to prepare. Showing we can dig in, stifle the opposition and showing some swagger in the final third again will go a long way to shift the “divide” in his favour. The derby is a massive deal for different reasons. If Liverpool roll us over with ease, then the Anfield performance, which was a positive one despite what went on to happen, will be long gone and fans will be out for Silva’s head, plain and simple! It not just about the ramifications for us, its also that we’ll have pushed Liverpool further towards a potential title, which would hurt the Everton fans even more. If we can get a point from Liverpool and get a goal or two it’ll be a huge boost for the players and fans. It will also set us up well for the remainder of the season
Since Christmas, Everton have only played the same ‘number 9’ in two back to back league games (Bournemouth and Southampton), highlighting the difficulties Everton are having finding the net. Would you stick with one of the three, for the remainder of the season (and if so, who & why?) or do you adapt to the opposition and continue to rotate the three of Richarlison, Tosun & Calvert Lewin?
I don’t think any of the three have been successful in the role. Tosun is lacking the pace to stretch defences, Calvert Lewin is lacking the predatory instinct and Richarlison just isn’t a “number 9”. The ironic thing is that Richarlison is the only one of the three who has had a degree of success in terms of performances and the goal return. Personally I would go with Tosun and compensate the pace with the players around him. My preferred front three would be Bernard, Richarlison and Tosun. I’d also like to see Lookman back in the fold to swap/ change with Bernard. Walcott hasn’t been good enough for a long time and i’d be happy to see him sit it out, until he can start to show the form we saw at the start of the season. The three i've mentioned, with Gana, Davies and Sig, would look much more like a 4-3-3 and would match up to what I expect Liverpool to go with in the derby.
Finally, leaked images of the proposed Bramley Moor stadium found their way online recently, alongside proposals for attendance and structure. What do you make of the early signs of what Bramley Moor will look like?
It was exciting to see, however it was embarrassing for the club as well. Its only very early days in terms of the project and as such, those plans were clearly not for the eyes of the public. With all that said, the plans themselves looked like what I would hope our stadium to look like, in terms of the shape of the stadium and it looked as though it would maintain the Goodison “intimacy” which is something that the powers that be have promised from day 1. In spite of the opinion of many blues that the capacity should be higher, I think that 52,000 is just about right for us for the time being. I dreaded the idea of an empty stadium and I think that provided the team is moving in the right direction, we should easily fill a 52,000 stadium and have the place bouncing. The detail which was exciting was the statement of “opening 2023. Thats just 3-4 seasons away!