Everton manager Marco Silva has said there is not one single factor behind the Blues’ dreadful start to the season, ahead of a daunting Merseyside derby at league leaders Liverpool on Wednesday evening.
Silva’s squad has been decimated by injuries, particularly the long-term setbacks to midfielders André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, and have been on the receiving end of some questionable decisions made by VAR this term.
But, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip across Stanley Park, Silva was not in a mood to use either of these elements, or the lack of summer signings in certain areas of the pitch, to vindicate the Blues’ poor form this term:
“There was not just one or two [signings missed out on]. Of course, the main thing is to always look at ourselves; at what we did or didn’t do well since the start of the season. This is the way we should go. Things like VAR, we cannot control. It’s not for us to talk every single week about.
“Some of the injuries we’ve had until now have been really tough for us. They have not been normal injuries; Gbamin, André, or even Bernard’s knee injury were not normal injuries as well. It wasn’t the best for us because many of the injuries came in the middle of the pitch and caused us some problems. but other situations have been about ourselves. Some games we were winning and should’ve managed in a different way; some games we were better than our opponent and didn’t score.
“But it is what it is, and now isn’t the moment to talk about it. It’s the moment to look forward, and I’m here to find solutions. We have injuries - we have to find solutions, so its a moment for other players to play.
“To talk about what we did or didn’t do last summer, or the injuries we have, will change nothing for tomorrow’s game. It will change nothing for the game in four days as well [against Chelsea]. I’m not here to talk about these situations just to create more things for you all to talk about; it’s not something that will really help, whether it’s true or not. I’m here to always protect the club, not to create problems.”
Defeat at Anfield, a ground Everton have not won at since 1999, would be the Blues’ third successive Premier League loss, and would move into the relegation zone should Southampton also beat Norwich City at St Mary’s tomorrow.
And with reports surfacing that Silva will lose his job after the derby if his side are beaten at Anfield, the manager stressed that he has not held any discussions with the club hierarchy about the security of his position:
“They didn’t say anything to me about what they expect. They don’t need to say anything to me as they know the type of manager I am.”
On the injury front, Silva confirmed Theo Walcott has made a full recovery from the setback that kept him out of Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester City.
But he also added that fellow short-term absentees, Seamus Coleman and Fabian Delph, are not far away from a return but will miss Wednesday’s derby:
“Theo will be OK for tomorrow. He was sick but has worked the last two sessions with the team and is in a condition to be in the squad.
“Coleman tried again this morning, but is not in a condition to be fit for the match, and Delph isn’t training with the team at the moment. Let’s see how they are in the next few days.”
Silva also offered his thoughts on Monday’s FA Cup draw, which handed Everton a trip to Anfield in the third round for the second time in the last three years.
And though he admitted he was hoping for a kinder tie, he said he is sure Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool would have felt the same way, too:
“It’s not just unkind for us, but for them as well. The only difference is that they will be at home and we’ll play away, but I think both teams would’ve expected a different draw.”