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Silva’s rage over VAR is badly misplaced

Manager appears to be pointing fingers everywhere but one direction

Everton v Huddersfield Town - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Try as he might to deflect attention from the failings of his mentally weak side, Marco Silva cannot just explain away Everton’s weak exit from the FA Cup this season.

The Toffees lost 3-2 to a last gasp winner at Millwall yesterday, conceding thrice from setpieces in a poor spectacle played under pouring rain.

The Blues twice took the lead and gave up an equalizer within a couple of minutes both times, and Silva was unhappy with the effort from his players.

“[It is a] big frustration, a disappointing afternoon for us as a club. We were favourites before the match and I told you we needed to prove it on the pitch.

“We knew it would be difficult, it is always difficult here, a good crowd. We started the game like we prepared, every time we took on the pitch what we prepared, we created a chance. We scored twice.

“But in the general game, we had to be more mature on the pitch, more clever in some moments. You cannot concede free-kicks in the middle of the pitch.

“You have to be mature and take responsibility and be focused and do your job. You can spend 20 hours working on the same thing [to prepare] but if you are not mature everything is really difficult.”

The Lions’ second equalizer came off an arm, and Silva was livid about that too.

“It is something that has to be our goal [achieving control in matches], something we are working on. We have been working together the past six months and we have to achieve things faster.

“When you are winning games and scoring goals, there is no reason to give away free kicks in the middle zone. The opponents’ second goal, handball is handball.

“But with the players we have, you cannot permit these types of situations. You are playing for a big club and at a high level.”

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is not in place at non-Premier League stadiums for this tournament.

“It doesn’t make sense. If we are to be fair with all the clubs you have to be fair with the competition and also you have to do it for all the games.

”Now we go home with big frustration. I am not here just to be angry with the referee but it is true. It is a tough game for us. We are winning 2-1 and it made a big impact on the pitch.

“You have to be fair with the competition and not just Everton Football Club because we play here with the competition. It was a clear handball in the moment. The players they saw and went to speak with the assistant and afterwards thousands of people saw on the big screen.

”I think they look also [at the screen] and the referee looks also. We have to be fair with all the clubs and put VAR in all the stadiums.”

When asked if he spoke to referee Michael Oliver about the missed call, Silva sounded irritated.

“No, why? That would change nothing if I were to speak to him. I respect him, of course, but why? I know what he will say because they say always the same thing.”