Marco Silva

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Silva answerless after another poor result for Everton

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Everton is in some trouble, because Marco Silva is not sounding like a man with answers.

The Toffees lost 2-0 to Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Everton 0-2 Sheffield United ]

Take nothing away from the winning visitors, but Everton’s early season woes were compounded by its answerless performance against the newly-promoted Blades. Seventy percent possession and a 16-2 advantage in shots produced nothing.

“Of course we didn’t deserve the result but when you make mistakes like we did this afternoon you don’t get what you deserve,” said embattled manager Marco Silva.

As we wrote following last week’s disappointment, this set of fixtures was supposed to set Everton up for a top half run. Instead, the Toffees have taken a total of 7 points from a collection of lesser opposition.

Everton is 14th after losses to Sheffield United, Bournemouth, and Aston Villa. Its wins are against out-of-form Bottom Three sides Watford and Wolves. And it drew Crystal Palace.

Cue the Pete Campbell “Mad Men” meme, because this is not great, Bob.

“The second half was bad. Not good enough. We need to show more and try new things. Some individual performances were not at the level we expect, but that’s part of the game. The key moment for me was the mistake we made for the first goal, but I told them at half-time we shouldn’t panic. We need to show personality to turn these games around.”

“[Coming from behind] is difficult for us. When the result is not good we need to show strong character and personality to change things. We had 55-60 minutes to change things today. We need to do more.”

That, in around 100 words, is a whole lot of nothing.

The first conceded goal was unlucky, a pick on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford uncalled but apparently not egregious enough on video to see it overturned by VAR.

They were “cheap goals” last week, according to Silva. More of the same on the second, we’re afraid.

Everton’s Silva bemoans ‘cheap goals’ after Toffees falter

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Marco Silva is having trouble providing answers to why his team continues to underperform in big moments.

Everton failed in its bid to ride into the Top Four after five weeks, falling 3-1 to Bournemouth on Sunday at the Vitality Stadium, another inconsistent performance from a string of fixtures expected to yield much more than seven points.

[ RECAP: Bournemouth 3-1 Everton ]

The Toffees have drawn Crystal Palace, beaten Wolves and Watford, and lost to Aston Villa and Bournemouth. That fixture list led to lofty early season expectations, and Everton has failed to live up to them.

Take Sunday: The Toffees went down early but rebounded to level the score through Dominic Calvert-Lewin and were in control of the game before a pair of glaring errors put them down 3-1.

First, Fabian Delph couldn’t get muster on Ryan Fraser‘s dangerous free kick and Jordan Pickford couldn’t claim the slight deflection. Then Yerry Mina and Michael Keane failed to notice Callum Wilson before a 1v1 with a stunned Pickford put the game in an even worse position for them.

“It was a big frustration. we lost the game and we gave some things to easily to our opponent,” Silva said. “We have to be ruthless away from home and you have to be clinical in attack.”

Everton had made a habit of winning tackles and 50/50 balls over the first four weeks, but found it tough sledding against the Cherries.

While the Toffees out-tackled Bournemouth 21-17 and finished even in aerial battles, they are usually well in front in tackles (7th in the Premier League) and also lead the league in aerials won per match.

That also tells you that in Everton’s matches, the ball really isn’t on the deck too often.

“They won the second ball and the third ball,” Silva said. “We reacted and equalized and then we introduced some fresh legs in our attacking line but then we conceded in that moment. As always, we have a lot of work to do. Our home form is fantastic but to win our away games we have to be more aggressive and more solid so that we do not concede easy goals.”

Sheffield United is next, and Everton has a League Cup match before meeting its first contender of the season in Man City.

But life doesn’t get truly tough until an absolutely perilous run of fixtures beginning Nov. 30 at Leicester City, and then seeing the following opponents over the next 21 days: Liverpool away, Chelsea home, Manchester United away, Arsenal home.

The Toffees are wasting the chance to build a top class cushion.

Everton’s Silva: ‘It is concerning about the goals we didn’t score’

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Like in the two games leading into Friday night, Everton have done their part in creating clear-cut chances.

They haven’t done their part in finishing, however. A major point of concern for manager Marco Silva following his side’s 2-0 loss against Aston Villa. From the BBC:

“It is really difficult to see how we can lose this game when we create so many chances to score. It is a tough place to play football.”

The Toffees have now outshot all three opponents they’ve faced this season (34-21), but have only a goal to speak for their attacking dominance. Against Villa, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Theo Walcott squandered ideal chances in the first and second halves, respectively. In the minutes following his Everton debut, Alex Iwobi was the closest to converting for the visitors, hitting the post in the closing minutes of the match.

Silva, as critical as ever before, acknowledges that despite his team succeeding when it comes to creating chances, they desperately need to move the ball past the white line.

“The most difficult thing is to create and when you do you have to put the ball in the net,” the 42-year-old added. “It is concerning about the goals we didn’t score and of course we should score more. Against Palace we created lots of chances to score and didn’t and again today.”

With a challenging bout against Wolves at Goodison Park next on the schedule, the Portuguese will certainly look to tinker his attack to improve the team’s poor conversion rate. Despite falling to score 10 yards in, Iwobi contributed positively for Everton at Villa Park. Moise Kean, still adjusting to the rigors of the league, can be another prudent option to consider.

Luckily, Everton have time – and a match against Lincoln City midweek – to weigh their options. Silva, as he clearly explained at Villa Park, would want the goals to come in sooner rather than later.

Everton seals move for Arsenal’s $40M Iwobi

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Everton added another key piece to its Top Six hunt with the addition of Nigerian winger Alex Iwobi from Arsenal.

The deal is for a rumored $46 million, which is nice for Arsenal, and the Toffees will love the addition of another electric dribbler with pace to burn.

[ MORE: PL transfer grades ]

Iwobi had six goals and nine assists for the Gunners last season, and played in each of Nigeria’s seven matches at the Africa Cup of Nations. The Super Eagles veteran has 36 caps and six goals.

From EvertonFC.com:

“It was important for me to have one more quality option for our attacking positions to add to what we have with Richarlison, Bernard and Theo Walcott.

“Alex fits exactly the profile of player I want in my model. He is hungry to join Everton and take the next step in his career, to help us compete with the strongest teams in the league and reach his potential at our club.”

This is a nice move for the Toffees, who have the attacking depth to make the Europa League via the league or cup route.

Premier League preview: Everton v. Arsenal

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  • Arsenal is the last PL team without a road clean sheet
  • Alexandre Lacazette has 27 goals, but just 7 on the road
  • Everton has lost four straight PL matches against Arsenal

Unbeaten over the last six matches, Arsenal looks to push up the table in a crowded race for the Champions League positions as they visit Everton, live Sunday on NBCSN at 9:05 a.m. ET or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

The Gunners can jump their North London rivals Tottenham in the table with a win, gaining the advantage over the tight Champions League battle in the process. Currently, four teams sit within three points of each other, battling for positions three and four in the Premier League table. At the moment, Arsenal rests in fourth, a point back of Tottenham and level with Chelsea on points.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery will be having selection headaches, with the Gunners’ squad depleted by injuries. Granit Xhaka and Laurent Koscielny are both questionable after missing the win over Newcastle United last time out, while Aaron Ramsey came out of that match with groin trouble but should be ready to go. Lucas Torreira is suspended for the third and final time for his red card against Tottenham, and Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, and Danny Welbeck are all out long-term.

Everton, meanwhile, is pushing for a top-half finish and sits just on the precipice at the moment, looking for its third straight victory. The Toffees suffered through much of the winter, but wins over Chelsea and West Ham have Everton on the club’s first league winning streak since early October. They are without Yerry Mina through injury, but otherwise Marco Silva has a full-strength squad.

What they’re saying

Everton boss Marco Silva on playing Arsenal: “On Sunday, we are playing another top team. I know how the atmosphere will be in our stadium again and how the fans can be a key for us. Together, our fans and players, can help us to get a good result. We will play with the same mentality we had in second half against Chelsea and in the last match against West Ham.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery on strikers Lacazette and Aubameyang: “We need a lot of good passes, good crosses, to give them the best option to score in the box. We can be proud that both are with us. Sometimes you need to play both, with two strikers, and sometimes you can play with one player wide, and sometimes you can play with another on the bench.”

Prediction

Arsenal has had Everton’s number of late, but that won’t matter as two in-form teams meet at Goodison Park. Everton just took down Chelsea, and they should be equipped well to keep that up. Arsenal hasn’t kept a single away clean sheet this season, and the two teams will draw 2-2 to keep the Gunners in the thick of the Champions League race, unable to fully pull away.