A question mark continues to hover over Everton’s midfield for yet another season, especially with Marco Silva’s insistence on using two defensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation. However, the focus of fans’ ire has been Morgan Schneiderlin pretty much ever since he’s transferred to the Blues from Manchester United.
Whether it’s his laidback demeanour on the pitch or apparent propensity for passing the ball sideways or behind, complaints about the Frenchman have been legion no matter how well he’s played, or not.
Marco Silva has preferred to use Schneiderlin instead of youngster Tom Davies much to the irritation of the fans, and the Toffees’ poor start to the season has only made that worse.
Speaking to the BBC though, the 29-year-old attributes the criticism to fans not understanding that he keeps the midfield ticking over beneficially.
“That’s the perception of people and what they say but I would love to watch a game with them.
”If you are in midfield, you are 1-0 down and your team has run after the ball for a minute and I try a long pass and miss it, people might clap because it is an attacking move, but my team-mates might have to for another two minutes to get the ball back.
”If we are winning 1-0 and I make a short pass that allows the team to breathe, people think it is clever.
”Some people say I pass square but I don’t see it. Look at [Sergio] Busquets at Barcelona. I don’t compare myself to him but tell me the passes he does that I don’t? Because they win games everyone says he’s the cleverest midfielder in football. I don’t compare myself to Busquets.
”Football is about perception. You can play the same game but it will be analysed differently depending on whether you have won or lost.”
After switching to the Red Devils from Southampton in 2015, Schneiderlin struggled to make an impression on Louis van Gaal then Jose Mourinho. He insists that he has no regrets in leaving for Everton, but did feel he had unfinished business at Old Trafford.
“I wanted to do more and I had the capacity to do more.
”Maybe I jumped out of the boat too quickly when I didn’t play for three months. When I look at other players having a great career at Manchester United, they all had a spell of four or five months when they didn’t play.”
It’s unlikely that his comments will go towards placating the negative feelings the fans bear towards him, and it’ll certainly be a surprise if Marco Silva changes a winning lineup today at Brighton & Hove Albion by removing Davies and reinstating Schneiderlin.