Everton as a whole looked static and uninspired in yesterday’s loss against Blackburn Rovers, especially when the second string XI played the first half. Things looked much better in the second half when more of the regular starters got on, but once again the Toffees looked rusty, which is disappointing considering they’ve been in training together for over three weeks now and last night was their fifth preseason friendly.
Nevertheless, manager Marco Silva was pleased with how new signing Richarlison looked just a couple of days after joining the club (from evertonfc.com) -
“He’s settled in over these first two days. I know him very well. He’s one more player to improve our squad and to create competition is important for me.
“He’s a different winger to what we have, he can give us different options. We need to support him but he’ll have a good impact on our squad.”
Silva defended his charges despite their abject performances, saying that he was working on fitness more than anything else.
“We are working really hard. We have been using two different teams, giving 45 minutes each because it’s important we give time to many players and we will do the same on Saturday [against Rennes] as well.
“The first half was not good for us. It was a bit different in the second half but we made some mistakes and always when you make mistakes they have chances to score.
“But we had very good chances to score, more in the second half. In the first half with Gylfi Sigurdsson and then three or four in the second half. We did not have the final touch in these moments but that is something we are working to improve.”
Everton have just two more chances to vet out the squad and bring it down to the 22 outfield players plus 3 goalkeepers along with 2-3 youth team players that Silva has indicated he would like to keep.
After Saturday’s game at Rennes in France, the Blues play again next Saturday at Goodison Park in Silva’s home debut, hosting Spanish side Valencia. The transfer window closes on 9th August, two days before the first game of the Premier League season away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.