Marco Silva’s Everton have stumbled and clattered their way into 2019 with an abysmal display to Leciester City at Goodison on New Years Day.
“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard” – A quote displayed in big bold Blue letters across the main wall of Everton’s Finch Farm players gym. It’s a quote that each and every single Evertonian expects as a bare minimum from the players. Hard work has been synonymous with Everton teams over the years, probably stopping with the arrival of Roberto Martinez, who traded nice looking passing in its favour. That trend set by Martinez has never be rectified and it’s a fundamental failing of every single manager since, that have overlooked the massive importance that work rate holds for a club such as Everton.
It’s important at this point too make it clear that this isn’t an article that is entirely critical of Marco Silva, who has the ability and qualities as a manager to sort the mess out with our squad over the next 2 seasons or so given the time. It’s more a case of highlighting something missed and not appreciated amongst our players and something lost upon numerous managers that have gone before.
To put it simply, Leicester wanted the 3 points more than Everton. The travelling team played to a game plan to nullify Everton’s limited and one dimensional attack and find opportunities through counter attacks and high pressure on our centre backs when they’re in possession.
Everton where unmotivated, predictable and lacking in the majority of departments in the first 45 minutes. Recording 1 shot on target through a strike from your right back in the space of a half is deeply concerning. Nobody took responsibility to up the tempo or to lift the fans, preferring instead to meander through the half.
The second half got worse and thats were we as fans need to draw the line and stop sugarcoating mediocre and below average showings, instead looking to the usual “we’ve got no strikers” or “We were tired from the festive period”. The 90 minute showing wasn’t good and far from acceptable. A footballer paid the money that these players do should have desire and hunger as a bare minimum requirement. It’s not good enough to let a game of football pass you by and to hope one of your teammates has your back, because it won’t happen.
The festive period can be tough on a shallow squad, but we don’t have a shallow squad. We have 2 players for every position and the concerning thing is those back up players have barely been used. The likes of Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Tom Davies, Cenk Tosun, Ademola Lookman, JonJoe Kenny and Morgan Schniederlin can all come into a side to provide a rest period for their respective teammates. Against Leicester the players looked more mentally tired than physically, showing little to no imagination or variation to the way they attacked the oppositions defence.
Above anything else, though, Everton lacked the will to win and the will to want to change the dynamic of the game once Jamie Vardy put the visitors ahead. Watching Premier League football shouldn’t be a chore for a fan, but today was tough to watch for every Evertonian inside Goodison park.
Compounded by a weak showing on the road at Brighton, the necessity to get our first win at home in almost 5 games of trying was of huge importance. Unfortunately, the fact that the team had failed to win at Goodison Park since the 24th of November when they scraped past Cardiff with a 1-0, didn’t seem to have made its way into the players minds. That alone is motivation enough to go and perform with some effort and purpose, surely?
Marco Silva needs to correct this lack of motivation and lack of responsibility quickly before it becomes acceptable amongst the players. It’s something that has spread under the previous managers and something they couldn’t recover once it had. The players have their own responsibility to respect the sell out support both home and away with performances worthy of the fans spending their money.