Everton: Going Nowhere Fast

Well, the title kind of sums it up if I’m honest. I’d love for Silva to come good, but it’s becoming quite clear that Everton are going nowhere fast and come July I’d be immensely surprised (and disappointed) if ‘Head Coach’ and ‘Marco Silva’ are still adjoined together on the managers office at Finch Farm.

During the initial period of the season, glimpses of progress were there for all to be seen, but the small indications were just that, small. An ok start and a decent October-November shouldn’t paper over the cracks that demonstrate that Silva’s just not good enough to manage this football club and no matter how much time he is given, that’s not going to change. Yes, at a glance, we might have improved our passing and our rotational movement off the ball but that’s not hard to achieve considering on paper we arguably have the 7th/8th best squad in the league, but it’s not hard to please our fans sometimes. Two or three progressive passes in a row and you’ve got the Park End thinking we’re prime Barca, fair play to them after we had just suffered 6 months of prime time Sam Allardyce.

So primarily, it probably wasn’t that hard to look fairly decent considering who his predecessor was. Though that then sums up how bad of a job he’s doing currently, that even after the trauma caused by Big Sam himself, Silva still comes out of the current situation looking like another incompetent coach in comparison.

Unfortunately for Marco, the current failures are hardly surprising.

Please enter; our dear friends at understat.com.

The rule of Expected Goals is quite simple, it’s the go-to stat for most analytical-lovers at the moment, with the belief that no team nor player can outrun the grasp of the xG Gods (sorry Lucien Favre) and overperformance is just simply unsustainable as Silva’s found out and eventually so will a certain Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

The overall xPts for Everton this season has been quite ominously average, and that’s at a push considering the state the league is in at the moment. Points wise, Everton are exactly on what they should be (37.16), but this comes after the side somehow picked up results in games such as Bournemouth (away – 2.59-0.54) and Chelsea (1.16-0.20). For those not aware, these numbers aren’t good, especially the overall points part. If Everton had at least underperformed this season, there’d at least be a fair explanation for people wanting to give Silva another chance next year, but based on xG, we should be sat 12th just ahead of West Ham, Southampton and Burnley.

And all of this comes after the somewhat varied performance from numerous players. Not only are both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison exceeding their xG this season, all while contributing to not much else on the pitch, but both on-the-eye and statistically the likes of Andre Gomes and Theo Walcott have flattered to deceive. I like Gomes, and he progresses the ball quite well in comparison to the rest of the squad, but both his xG Assisted (0.3 p90) and xG Buildup (0.43 p90) are minimal and when you combine this with the attacking failings of Idrissa Gueye, it’s not hard to figure why the side is faltering so much.

But how much of this is down to Silva’s coaching? A personal answer? A lot of it. Marco’s tactics (or lack of) and refusal to switch away from the overused 4-2-3-1, a formation in which we just don’t have the players for are seemingly holding the team back.

Expected Numbers (Expected Goals and Goals Against) for every formation Everton have used since the start of the 2014/15 season. Average numbers galore. (Source: understat.com)

However as each games goes by, as well as it being easier to establish that the club should have taken the money and ran when PSG came in with big money for Gueye in January, or that Theo Walcott and Seamus Coleman just aren’t good enough to be Everton’s right side combination, it’s obvious Silva just can’t set out a side capable of rivalling Wolves or Watford for 7th place nevermind challenging for the top 6. Defensive vulnerabilities and the incapability to control a game of football without it forming into an end-to-end cup-esque game, continuing with Silva will just lead to a continuation of mid-table stagnation with the odd individual brilliance dragging us along.

It’s understandable why some would want Silva to carry on into next season, to be given the opportunity to go into the season with a full summer window with the help of Marcel Brands, especially with the possibility that this seasons downfalls are down more so to the failings of the players rather than his tactical naivety, but when there’s a chance you could have Paulo Fonseca or Marco Rose (or even Mikel Arteta) at the helm next year, I’d like to think Brands and Moshiri would have the sensibility and cojones to make the right decision.

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