The international break has mercifully come to an end.
Heading into the two week break, Toffees were excited to come out the other end with key players coming off the injury list and the squad starting to look like the team Marco SIlva envisioned when he made signings this summer.
As it would be, things went completely in the other direction and Silva now has even more players in the physio’s office than he did before the break.
First, Seamus Coleman got hurt.
Like, hurt hurt.
Now let me say my first thoughts are about the Irishman as a person.
We all know how competitive he is and how much he loves to play for Everton, and having sat out such an extensive stretch with his leg break that he returned from earlier this year this injury must be eating him up inside.
We are here for you Seamus!
As for the impact on our team, all I can say is COME ON!
Just like much of the last 18 months, the Toffees just can’t seem to catch a break.
It’s September 14th and how many games have Everton summer signings, Richarlison excluded, played so far??
2 1⁄18 (Zouma 2 games, Bernard 5 minutes)
Basically, we are playing with the same team as last season.
Which is a weird statement, because it’s both a negative (see above) and a positive (Marco Silva has improved the squad with things like “training” and “tactics” that were missing in the previous regimes).
I can hear you now under your breath:
Is he really blaming Sam Allardyce?
Yes. Yes I am.
Speaking of injuries, the list has gotten SO long that the injured XI is actually quite impressive.
This starting outfield of injured Everton players would beat West Ham.— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 13, 2018
Coleman - Mina - Keane - Jagielka - McCarthy
Gueye - Baningime - Gomes
Walcott - Calvert-Lewin - Bernard
Marco Silva must be pulling out his beautiful hair at the thought of anymore injuries.
Luckily for him, there was ONE notable standout performer who also returned to Merseyside in one piece:
I can’t hear you, but I’m sure you got it right:
Toss in drawing a penalty for the opening goal and Richarlison’s first start for Brazil can be labeled nothing short of a rousing success.
(Shout out to on-loan Antonee Robinson for his match-winning assist in a 35 minute substitution appearance for the US against arch rival Mexico.)
I am sure after watching the last round of friendlies wrap up, Marco Silva had a few ideas for keeping his players safe.
The next eight weeks will set the Toffees up to head into a busy December with either hopes of seriously entering into the conversation for Top Six or settling in for another mid-table finish or worse.
If Silva and Co. can keep things going in the right direction as he slowly gets reinforcements from off the injury list there is a great chance that the excitement of the trickle of incoming talent can push them into uncharted territory.
We can only hope so!
In case you missed it, the last week has been a busy one in Toffees Mailbag Land.
First, I made an appearance on the outstanding SOS Radio Podcast.
School of Science Radio Episode 3 is LIVE. We rounded up some guests to talk players on loan, check in on the EFC women's side, and then take your questions. Link: https://t.co/4fau0C9oYR— School of Science Radio (@SOSRadioRBM) September 10, 2018
If you haven’t already started listening, make sure to subscribe via your favorite music/ podcast app.
Secondly, I did a live mailbag that covered a lot of topics. If you missed it, I round it all up into an article below.
After Sunday’s match be on the lookout as the Mailbag is going to be looking for your questions after the first run out for the side after the break.
The Turkish striker has led the line for each of the Toffees league matches, and thus far has fialed to find the back of the net. This has raised alarm bells for some fans, who were hoping the former Besiktas man would be a 15-20 goal scorer for Everton and carry the bulk of— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
to get forward and move opposing back lines towards their own goal and given time for Marco Silva's attacking patterns to develop. He has also provided a number of key passes and assists, and been a general persistent threat. While I would love to see Cenk get his first goal— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
sooner rather than later, if he can continue to create opportunities for his teammates I see no reason to be gravely concerned as we know he can finish. pic.twitter.com/uN4xY9t8dv— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
4 matches in, how do you think Silva has done so far? I'd give him a B rating, but am excited to see what he can do when we have a healthier and fully available squad.— Kevin Rea (@DatDudeKR) September 7, 2018
Silva has obviously reinvigorated the players after the Sam Allardyce era, as he has largely the same side as Big Sam did, but the two teams couldn't be more different. While dropping leads and set-piece defending have been major issues, a healthy Yerry Mina should help in both— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
aspects, and once competition for places heats up I would expect the squad to round into form. The current point total could be higher, but I am racking up our short-comings to still adjusting to the new additions and coaching staff. I believe Silva will only improve from here. pic.twitter.com/vDeQw2RQ4x— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
whats your take on lookman staying. can he fit in or is he gone mentally?— Aidan Perhacs (@aperhacs76) September 7, 2018
There is no doubt that Lookman has abilities that few players do, but was is also just as obvious is that he has been nothing short of unsettled after his loan trip to Germany and I, like many fans, thought the Toffees would cash in and ship him off before his value dropped— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
I have confidence Lookman will come around now that his future (at least for 4 months) is settled. A motivated and effective Lookman, combined with Richarlison and Theo, will give the Toffees an attack the likes of which haven't been seen at Goodison in decades. pic.twitter.com/B0dH3bClJw— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
I love the term false dawns, it perfectly encapsulates the disappointment Everton fans have felt the past few seasons. I GENUINLEY believe Silva and Brands are different from say Koeman and Walsh. The key player really is Brands though. Reardless of Silva's talents, circumstance— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
With the continued progress on the stadium there is no doubt the future is bright for the Toffees. This year and beyond..... pic.twitter.com/PohhR63Eun— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
I love me some Davies too. But aren't you a little concerned about his passing in the opposition half? And I don't just mean the forward passing in the final third. Which was, and still looks to be, Barkley's main problem.— Luke Milik (@LMilik) September 7, 2018
While he certainly covers ground, Davies isn't the presence Gana Gueye is, so he has to be a better distributor in order to fit into the squad. I am not an impatient person, but think this is a pivotal season for the young midfielder to establish himself as a top-level midfielder— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
At least he has Marco Silva in charge now, whose attacking approach will force Davies to up his game or risk being left behind. Hey Tom..... pic.twitter.com/Fkrfcr177C— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
Does Zonal (zonel?) marking work for any top teams? I’d rather Mina and Zouma bodying up opposing players— Keenan (@keenan_osborne) September 7, 2018
in that I would like Mina and Zouma to body up whoever the opposing teams best attackers are go after it that way. Having to watch the ball AND your zone at the same time is just too much to track and leads to slow reactions....Marco... pic.twitter.com/nRdend8VAV— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
Can we end the Lookman bash? Yes he posted childish things on social media, yes in friendly he looked apathetic, but also delivered what should have been game winning cross last week & looked lively, not afraid to attack (even if he lost the ball). He’s 20, perspective is needed.— Christian Freymeyer (@cfreymeyer) September 7, 2018
won the last match with his creative flair. I hope he takes the international break to reset and come back ready to go!!— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
Unfortunately, no. It seems after an initial burst of news and movings when Usmanov sold his Arsenal shares the investment news seems to have dried up. If I were a betting man I would bet he is laying low and will pop back up towards the end of the season. Wearing blue. pic.twitter.com/94zAhQ1o9s— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
First step.....DON'T HEADBUTT PEOPLE!! pic.twitter.com/gwSvhzbFmL— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
and with Lookman and other pushing him for time, the Brazilian winger should be in prime competitive form all season long. If Silva can keep Richarlison in August/ September form all year he has the chance to drastically improve the fortunes of the Toffees. Unfortunately, pic.twitter.com/UjxReQk09A— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
@foleysthoughts The hype was high last year but the hype seems more controlled this season. What’s going to measure success for the toffees this year?— Kevin Foley (@t_bonefoley) September 7, 2018
season before checking out for the rest of the campaign. Toffees fans learned that having money is one thing, but spending it is a whole different animal. Steve Walsh/Ronald Koeman was obviously not the right combo for Farhad Moshiri's vision, but Brands/ Silva seem to be— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
more comfortable with the current setup. If I had to list the top 3 expectations for this season it would be:— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) September 7, 2018
1. Play attacking soccer
2. Put in consistent performances
3. Finish Top 7
Those 3 (and maybe a cup run?) would be gargantuan steps forward after such a shambolic year