This game threatened to get out of control very early on. Liverpool had already launched the ball into the Everton box twice in the first minute of play with the visitors struggling to clear their lines. So when the hosts raced into a 2-0 lead at Anfield less than twenty minutes in, it was looking like a rout was on.
Yet, Marco Silva persisted with his woeful experiment of having Michael Keane anchor a static three-man backline, with the English defender anchoring it alright, right to the bottom of Bramley-Moore docks where the Blues will move to in a few seasons. Whether they’ll be in the Premier League at that point is still a subject of plenty of upcoming debate.
Speaking after the embarrassing 5-2 loss that stretches to twenty years the last time the Blues won a Merseyside Derby across Stanley Park, Silva stuck to his guns that the formation was right and the players blew assignments. We might have believed him were this his first game in charge, but after 18 months at the helm, surely even he knew better than what he was asking of the awful players he has.
“It was a tough night for us. We knew before the match it would be tough for us, we had to be competitive. We conceded two quick goals and that was really tough for us. We knew what they would try to do, we knew everything, we cannot concede goals in that way at the level we are.
”Our two defenders were in a good position but again, Origi scores. It is impossible, we have to track these players. It does not make sense, we did not plan that way.
“Last season we had the fourth best defence in the Premier League, but tonight it was not good enough. Just not good enough.
”It is really tough for us to be in the relegation zone but if you are there you are making the same mistakes. I’m not here to talk about the fight of the players, our opponent was more brave than us. We should do better of course, we were not good enough.”
The question about his future has clearly shifted at this point to when he’s getting sacked and not if it’s happening. Cue this scene in the box seats early in the first half, as reported by Dominic King of the Daily Mail.
Then there was the scene in the Directors Box. Marcel Brands, the Director of Football, and Alexander Ryazantsev, the Chief Financial Officer, angrily gesticulated about the scene that unfolded before them in the first 45 minutes. Welcome to Everton, December 2019.
When asked if he still expected to be in charge come the early game on Saturday against Chelsea at Goodison Park, Silva said -
”I am not the right person to answer. Every game I get the same question. My words here will change nothing, this question is for different people.
“We are making some mistakes which put us under big, big pressure. The type of mistakes we are making is because the players are playing under big pressure because of the position in the table. They are making some mistakes that are not normal for the level we are.”
It’s saying something that Jurgen Klopp decided to rest five of his regular starters in this game - I mean, who wouldn’t, league leaders at home against a low-on-confidence, weak-willed 17th-placed side? For the record, the Blues are now actually in 18th place, in the relegation zone, but still Silva harps on about mistakes.
“We cannot concede goals in the way we conceded. We knew everything about them before the match and how they like to play whether with Origi, Salah or Firmino, we know how they would play.
”There was a lot of mistakes we made. The second goal conceded created a big big problem for us. We showed fight to make it 2-1. We had a chance to make it 2-2. But they deserved the three points and the win.”
Clearly he’s lost the dressing room and is not getting through to the players. Since it’s almost impossible to sack a dozen players, let’s start with the dysfunctional manager and work our way from there. After all, why would the players change anything when they can’t even see the manager being held accountable by the Board.
And the absolute breaking point for many today, including on the RBM editorial staff, was when with twenty minutes to go and the Blues two goals behind, he chose to pull off Tom Davies for Morgan Schneiderlin, a defensive midfielder.
I mean, the game is already lost you coward, do something aggressive and at least go out with more than a pathetic attempt to play out the remaining few minutes of your Everton career.