Monday, May 20, 2019

Everton team lacks characters

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 2 Jan 2019

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Everton went down to a 1-0 defeat against Leicester at Goodison Park on New Year’s Day. Many Blues were complaining about the timing of the game, but they had even more complaints after the lacklustre display. The quality of the game was poor and only an excellent finish by Jamie Vardy separated the two teams. Everton’s performances are starting to become worrying.

The team looked like they lacked attacking ideas and arguably the best attacking players on the pitch were full-backs Lucas Digne and Jonjoe Kenny. However, what Everton lacked the most was a player on the pitch to get the team going, somebody with a big personality to lift the team.

Everton have lots of footballers, but no big characters

When you talk about characters in football, they are not always the best players in the world. However, they are the sort of people who can lift their teammates, maybe with a crunching tackle, a lung-busting run or a call to arms to the fans.

In Richarlison, Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes, the Toffees have many good technical players but lack a character in the team to do the dirty stuff, the blood and thunder stuff. In the recent past, the likes of Duncan Ferguson, Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville all lifted the team and the fans in different ways. This currently Everton side do not have a player like that and it is starting to show.

The missing ingredient for Marco Silva’s philosophy

I have a lot of time for what Marco Silva’s football philosophy and attempts at implementing it on Everton’s current team. However, the lack of character in the team is the missing ingredient.

I write this through gritted teeth, but the sort of character of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool. Not only is he a physical man mountain of a player, but he has a big presence on the pitch. He is Jurgen Klopp’s general on the pitch, moving his teammates around, organising and just showing that he is in control. Everton do not have that figure.

Centre-back Yerry Mina comes across as a player that has that sort of personality. The Colombian seems to have a big personality and maybe once he settles he will be the player the Toffees need to lift the troops. At Burnley, he scored a goal and took responsibility for commanding his defensive line when the Clarets decided to bombard the Toffees box with long balls.

Nobody on New Year’s Day took the game by the scruff of the neck and attempted to make things happen. Nobody wanted to take responsibility and that shows that there is a void in the dressing room. The Leicester game was not the first such display this season, though. There have been many games this season when something has been missing for the Toffees.

Not sure what to expect for the rest of the season

Everton have been inconsistent under Silva this season. However, the Portuguese boss has not had much time to change things around at the Merseyside club.

It was a massive leap from Sam Allardyce’s style of play to Silva’s more expansive philosophy with many new players. Results should have been better of late and performances have been poor too. However, this is what most sensible Evertonian’s expected this season. Silva inherited an imbalanced squad. Although he has spent big in the transfer market, most of the players are still not his players.

The Toffees are currently odds of 4/7 to finish in the Premier League’s top half this season. There is an impression from the fans that anything lower than last season’s eighth-place finish under Allardyce will be regarded as a poor campaign.

After a promising start to his managerial career at Everton, some fans are already questioning whether the Portuguese boss can move Everton forward. A run of one league win in eight games has not done much to dissuade the doubters.

I hope that Silva is given time to bring in the right personnel, including players with a bit more character, as he does seem like a young coach with a lot of potential.

Does the Everton team lack characters?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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