Last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham was overshadowed by the unfortunate, yet horrific injury to Andre Gomes. However, Marco Silva’s preparations turn to Saturday, a game which the Portuguese manager has labelled as another “must win.”
As the game reached the final 10 minutes, tragedy struck, which resulted in Everton midfielder Andre Gomes being stretched off, with the worst possible outcomes in mind.
Spurs’ Heung min Son’s sliding tackle, which resulted in a fracture-dislocation to his right ankle, an injury which was operated on the following day.
After surgery went ‘extremely well’ on Monday, Silva today confirmed at his weekly press conference that, after consultation with the club’s medical staff, there is a chance that Gomes could be seen in a Blues shirt again this season.
“It is not easy for us to be exact,” Silva told the media.
“The feedback from our medical staff is that we may see him play again this season.
“What we saw at that moment was that it was a really serious injury, everything went well (in the surgery) and we hope to see Andre play again this season.”
This injury took the focus away from another poor Everton performance, which saw Cenk Tosun’s 97th-minute header saving Marco Silva’s side from yet another defeat.
Dele Alli opened the scoring shortly after the break, however, just like every week, VAR was under the spotlight after two difficult decisions, which could have swung the game in the home side’s favour.
The ball looked to strike Alli’s hand in the area before Richarlison went over in the final moments, after a wrestle with Spurs centre-back, Davinson Sanchez.
But Silva said he could not blame the referees after a very challenging second-half.
“It is just another game which didn’t go our way. It was a tough game for the referee, not so much in the first-half but the second,” he explained.
“There were many instances in both boxes, which includes that moment they (Tottenham) had and then Richarlison at the end of the game.
“Then, there was the VAR decisions, however, sometimes it does look different from our opinion but you have to respect the tough decisions they have to make.”
Following on from his comment regarding Richarlison’s tussle with Sanchez – which was overlooked by the referee – Silva says that he and his team are working on toughening the Brazilian up for a physical Premier League, but does not believe for one moment that the striker is going down too easily.
“He is receiving feedback from myself and our staff. I was the one who brought him to the Premier League and I am 100 percent sure that I made the right decision two seasons ago,” Silva told the press.
“We are working with him to be stronger, the Premier League is really tough.
“That was my first point and my second point is that Richarlison is not a diver. I will tell you that he has zero yellow cards in the Premier League for diving. That is a fact, not an opinion and it means that he is not diving at all.”
As the season goes on, injury worries are creeping up more and more, as Silva confirms that his midfield has taken another big hit.
After Gomes’ ankle fracture, he confirmed that Fabian Delph is a major doubt for the weekend and admits that part of the field has been a persistent problem all season.
However, with the number of injuries increasing, there is a silver lining, with players such as Tom Davies showing good signs, whilst Morgan Schneiderlin is also set for a return.
Opponents – Southampton
The pressure is growing on Marco Silva and what a better way to relieve it than beating the team directly below you in the league.
The past few weeks have been difficult for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, after their 9-0 home thrashing at the hands of Leicester, the Saints were hit with consecutive trips to the Etihad.
They seemed to respond well – without getting a result – and will head into this home game against Everton with a point to prove.
A loss at the St Mary’s would push the Blues into the drop-zone and Silva reveals that, like every game, it is a must-win.
“They are all must-win games for a club like Everton football club but it is a must-win game for both teams.
“It is a really important, tough game and even though they have come from a few bad results, they will want to react.
“They will want to show a good performance and reaction for their fans and we want the same, go there to compete and do our best to take the three points.”
(Image – Everton FC)