Making his debut in View from the Gwladys Street this week is Steven Neill (@steneill) from Liverpool city centre.
Ste answered our shout out earlier in the month for new contributors and if you fancy having a go yourself please contact us with details below.
How important was it for Everton to show a reaction at Huddersfield after the FA Cup result?
Absolutely critical. It wasn’t so much the defeat against Millwall that concerned me (not that I was pleased with getting knocked out by a Championship team), it was more the level or performance – or lack of – against a struggling side.
To get back to winning ways immediately, and away from home where our record this season is poor, was vital.
Also, the fact that Huddersfield had a new manager taking charge for the first time was a concern going into the game as, even though they haven’t scored in half of their home games this season, this was the type of banana skin that we’ve slipped up on far too many times in the past. What did you make of the Blues performance against the Terriers, were you encouraged?
The result was all that bothered me about last night, so I was delighted that we won.
The performance wasn’t great, but given our poor run of results of late, that’s only to be expected.
I was, however, really pleased to keep a clean sheet – only our sixth in the league this season – as we’ve been soft at the back on too many occasions this season, and not conceding has to be the base we build from.
It’s clear the players are low on confidence at the moment – a weak defence, passive midfield, and toothless attack – so hopefully the win will help to improve that as we have two important home games coming up.
Idrissa Gueye situation and if he was to leave, how would Everton’s midfield adjust without him?
He’s an important player, no doubt, but not indispensable.
Given that he’s a regular first team player it would take time to adjust without him, so selling at this stage of the season (let alone this stage of the transfer window) isn’t wise.
That said, in terms of passing ability he is one of the weakest players in the team, but if Manchester City and Arsenal have joined PSG in being interested, then he’s clearly of calibre to perform at the top level.
I do, however, expect him to move to France before the January transfer window closes (and I wouldn’t accept anything less than £35m). And if he does, hopefully that will force Silva out of the 4-2-3-1 set-up that appears too slow and passive for the players we currently have.
As touched on before, it was the level of performance that was of most concern on Saturday.
Worryingly, the players who started against Millwall were, more-or-less, what most Evertonians would consider to be our strongest XI. The performance was akin to school pupils who had the supply teacher in for the day – too many of them looked disinterested and unmotivated.
Given the talk from the recent AGM about giving the FA Cup a good go this season – Mr Moshiri has changed his tune on the importance of the competition from his last words on the subject – to be out so early is such a missed opportunity, particularly with the relatively few Premier League sides left
Are you satisfied with the work that Marco Silva is doing as manager and do you have confidence that he can improve things going forward?
I’m not satisfied with the recent form – and I don’t think any Evertonian is – but when you consider he’s got players in the squad from Moyes, Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce, let alone his own buys, then this was always going to be a transitional and challenging season.
We’ve played well in patches and underperformed at other times, so on balance I am satisfied with the overall progress being made.
It’s clear in Silva’s demeanour and appearance he’s feeling the pressure, and he has to shoulder that responsibility as a lot of it has been brought on himself, but so long as he learns from his mistakes and improves us. We all need to get behind him and the team.
Realistically, if Everton could add to the squad before the transfer window shuts, who would you bring in?
Unless something dramatic happens in the last 24 hours of the window (and we all know how our chairman enjoys the theatrics and drama of late Everton transfers and deals) then I don’t believe there’ll be any incomings.
It’s clear we need a striker, however I’d rather wait until the summer to sign a preferred target than end up with a panic buy now that will add to a squad where we already have too many players overpaid who are nowhere near the first team.
Cenk Tosun, for example, whilst his attitude and application aren’t in doubt, has not really been the success so far that we’d all hoped for this time last year.
What other business would you like to discuss?
I think Everton face a massive summer. There are too many players in the squad who are not good enough or don’t want to be here and it’s going to be difficult to get them off the wage bill.
The excesses of the Walsh/Koeman era of purchasing players who are not up to it are there for all to see – Williams (out of contract in the summer), Bolasie, Ramirez, Martina and Schneiderlin – and it’s only right that Mr Moshiri has said we need to sell before we can buy; that’s not him taking his train-set home, but applying some sense to past excess spending.
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