Heading into last Saturday’s game against West Ham, Marco Silva’s future at Everton was seemingly hanging in the balance.
After a resounding 2-0 win though, thanks to goals from Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson, those questioning his suitability for the managerial role at Everton were silenced – at least until this weekend.
Overcoming West Ham was no mean feat – prior to Saturday, the Hammer’s had only lost twice all season, and were flirting with a place in the top four.
Everton were far superior in all departments though, dominating the game for 90 minutes at a rapturous Goodison Park.
The positive reception Silva received from the Goodison faithful indicated that he still retains the backing of the club’s supporters, while The Toffees performance on the pitch represented their loyalty to the Portuguese.
Silva made five changes from the side that lost to Burnley, and was dully rewarded – it showed his willingness to change and adapt in difficult situations, contrasting the stubborn approach that spelled the end for previous Everton manager Roberto Martinez.
The alterations to Silva’s team have fringe players such as Theo Walcott and Tom Davies rare starts, ahead of perhaps more luxury signings.
The two Englishman did not disappoint – Davies was a driving force in the centre of midfield, while Walcott put in an industrious shift on the flank, with the woodwork denying him from scoring a phenomenal 25-yard half-volley.
If Davies can rediscover the form that followed his debut in April 2016, he will be a tremendous asset to the club – the youngster has been used sparingly by Silva, but if can replicate his performance against West Ham in future games, he will win over his manager.
Davies was not the only Everton player to return to form – summer signing Alex Iwobi was a constant threat, and was unfortunate not to get on the score sheet.
Record-signing Sigurdsson was dropped from the starting line-up, but displayed the perfect attitude by coming off the bench to score a sublime goal from 20 yards.
If midfielders such as Iwobi and Sigurdsson can get themselves on the scoresheet more frequently, it could compensate for Everton’s lack of a consistent goal scorer.
Perhaps the question that wasn’t answered by Everton’s victory on Saturday was indeed whether they are lacking a proven goal-getter.
Moise Kean joined from Juventus for £24.75million in the summer, but has failed to find the net in nine games this season.
The Italian was benched at the weekend, with Richarlison playing through the middle, but the Brazilian could not add to his tally of three goals for the campaign.
If Everton are to push up the table from now on, they need players such as Kean, Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin to step-up and claim the number nine position – they cannot rely on goals from midfield all term.
The other key issue that has haunted Silva’s time at Everton is a crippling lack of consistency – so often will The Toffees lose against a bottom-half club, days after dispatching of one from the top.
Everton travel to Brighton this Saturday, where nothing less than a win would keep critics of Silva quiet – If results elsewhere go in Everton’s favour, they could find themselves in the top half of the Premier League for first time since September 1st.
The scenario will remain the same midweek, as Watford visit Goodison Park in the EFL Cup, but should Everton head into their game against Tottenham on November 3rd with three consecutive wins under their belt, perhaps the gun pointed at Marco Silva’s head will finally be lowered.
Picture by Biloblue, under creative commons licence