Perhaps the most damning thing I can say about Everton’s 3-2 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend is that the match went pretty much exactly how Marco Silva would have hoped, and his team still lost.
I’ve spent a lot of time this season talking about how his team can’t break down opponents who choose to sit in a deep block, but Brighton turned out not to be that kind of enemy on Saturday. Instead they played a relatively open, possession-oriented style — in fact, the Gulls outpossessed Everton 55/45, which is usually a good thing for Silva’s high-pressing style.
Everton even got goals from its strikers! The opening goal went down as an own goal, but it was powered by Richarlison’s work on a set piece. Dominic Calvert-Lewin came on later and gave Everton a brief lead with a clean finish in the box off a nice through ball from Mason Holgate (???).
And yet, despite all this, Everton left the Amex with zero points.
I don’t have much tactical to say about this one, because frankly Silva got most of what he would have wanted from this one, and Everton still lost. And yeah, the penalty was an absolute shite call, Jordan Pickford should have saved the first goal, and nine times out of ten, Lucas Digne knocks that late cross harmlessly out for a corner rather than into his own net.
I get it.
But Everton has now not won an away match since March, with losses at Aston Villa, AFC Bournemouth, Burnley, and now Brighton this season. The result is that at the quarter mark of the season, all four of those teams are ahead of Everton in the table.
You can analyze this one any way you want, but at the end of the day, Everton are two points better than a Southampton team that just lost 9-0 at home against Leicester City — a Leicester City side currently proving that the Everton dream of penetrating the traditional top four is possible.
There are problems with the makeup of the Everton roster, without a doubt, but it’s much better than its current place in the table, and as the Toffees keep finding new and inventive ways to drop points, the final conclusion is only becoming more and more inevitable.
Marco Silva’s days at Everton are numbered.