Everton players were ‘hiding’ in defeat to Sheffield United

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Everton boss Marco Silva says his players were “hiding” in the home defeat against Sheffield United on Saturday.

The Toffees have now lost to Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Sheffield United this season and have struggled to score goals with just five goals scored in their opening six games, and three of those came in the victory against Wolves.

Speaking after the 2-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United, Silva accused his players of hiding.

“It is not the moment for anyone to hide. I said it inside the dressing room, too [after the Sheffield United defeat] – there is nowhere we can hide, we have to show stronger character, personality. Unfortunately, in some ­moments, we didn’t see that,” Silva said. “Now I don’t want anyone hiding, not me, not them. It is a moment for us to go and play football and to take ­responsibility as well.

“In the second half, I didn’t see that ability and in some moments many players were hiding and didn’t give solutions. I want ­everyone there – football is about playing and showing strong ­character. No one can hide. No one, I am always here for you, I am ­always here for our fans, I will not hide, no one can hide.”

There is intense pressure on Silva and accusing his players of disappearing in games is not the way to go here.

He has been handed a lot of cash to spend and after a rough start last season he turned things around as Everton finished the campaign strongly and optimism was building over the summer months. A top six finish was touted by many.

Most of that positivity has evaporated, and it is clear this Everton side is underachieving.

Many fans calling for Silva to leave as his side do not seem to have a clear playing style or identity and his decisions to keep giving certainly players minutes, such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott, are baffling.

Moise Kean is trying to do everything he can up top but he can’t do it on his own, while Richarlison, Bernard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have shown flashes of brilliance this season. Silva has to get the partnerships right in attack if Everton are going to kick on this season. In defense and in midfield they are pretty set, but it is when they get into the final third things are falling down right now.

Defensively Everton have stagnated and going forward they have regressed. That is a worrying trend for Silva.

Better news for Everton is that after they play Man City this weekend, their next six PL games see them face five winnable opponents (Burnley, West Ham, Brighton, Southampton and Norwich) with a gam against Spurs also chucked in there.

If the Toffees aren’t in the top six hunt by the end of November, it will be bye, bye Marco.