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An open letter to Marco Silva following Everton’s collapse at Newcastle United

Marco, we need to talk

Newcastle United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Hi Marco,

How’d you sleep last night? I can’t imagine very well — I know the last time I thought I might lose my job at any time I was stressed as all hell.

Is it that you want to get fired? Is that why this keeps happening the way that it does?

I guess I’d find that hard to believe at this point, given that you went to great lengths to grab a draw against Liverpool last weekend. If you’d truly wanted to get fired, you could have set Everton up to roll over and die against the title-chasing Reds last week — so I suppose it isn’t that you want to fail.

And yet I am utterly mystified by the ways in which you continue to repeat the same sins again and again — not to mention finding new ways to fail!

For a little while Saturday, I actually thought you were starting to catch on, too. I’ve been clamoring all season for you to play a playmaking winger (one of Bernard or Ademola Lookman) opposite a scoring winger (one of Richarlison and Theo Walcott).

And for the second straight week, you did just that. And for a little while, it worked! Bernard and Lucas Digne combined for an absolutely gorgeous early goal, off the head of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Every time the left-side pair got on the ball, it felt like they could create another goal, too — even more so when Gylfi Sigurdsson got involved.

There they were, Everton’s three most creative players on the field, absolutely fleecing an overwhelmed right-side defense for Newcastle United.

And yet, you still insisted that play go primarily through the right side of the Everton attack — through Richarlison and Jonjoe Kenny. Can you explain this graphic to me, please?

I guess my follow-up question is this: have you ever actually watched Jonjoe Kenny and Richarlison play this sport?

I mean, you’re managing a Premier League club and insisted upon a big money move to bring your Brazilian adopted son to Goodison, so you surely have seen him play right? And yet, every single week, you try to play through his wing, when you surely must know that the man cannot pass.

Richarlison is a great goalscoring winger, mind you. I don’t regret in any way that you brought him to the club. His goal yesterday was the perfect example of what he does so well — he just has an uncanny sense for being in the right place at the right time, and burying most of the chances that fall to him as a result.

But let’s compare the creative output of Richarlison and Kenny to that of Bernard and Digne.

And yet despite your insistence upon using the former instead of the latter, the team still led 2-0 at the break!

Even when Salomon Rondon scored to cut the Toffees’ advantage to one, it felt like your team was still in control enough to see out the match.

That is, until you elected to bring on Yerry Mina and move to a back five.

Look, I get the idea here, okay? Bring on another center-back — an enormous one at that — to help deal with the threat of Rondon’s size.

But Marco, Yerry hadn’t played in two goddamn months, and every time he’s been thrust into a back five this season, he’s looked completely and utterly lost.

Instead of shoring things up, what happened was your team invited constant pressure from Newcastle, and when Ayoze Perez scored to level the match, even you must have known which team was going to get the next goal.

And when that goal came, you forced us to endure one final masterclass of idiocy. Now, this event didn’t really change anything, but I need to understand what in the everloving hell you were thinking.

You brought on Theo Walcott down a goal with just a few minutes to play — which I completely understand! brought him on for Jonjoe Kenny and moved Kurt Zouma to right-back.


Okay, okay, I’m sorry, I let my emotions get the best of me there. But, seriously, if you wanted to move back to a back four to get Walcott on, why not just take out a center-back instead?

I’m sure you had some reason that seemed incredibly logical to you, when you decided “yes I want to close out this game with Kurt Zouma as my right-back.” But the funny thing about decisions like that is that they don’t make you look intelligent — they make you look like you think you’re intelligent.

Unfortunately for you, we’re all out here watching too, and you’ve given us more than enough proof this season for us to know better. You’re a fraud, Marco, and every week it gets a little bit clearer.

If it’s any consolation, I think Farhad Moshiri will give you until the end of the season to try to turn things around. And that’s fair, after the managerial roller coaster his club endured last season.

And I want very deeply for you to get things moving in the right direction, Marco. I love Everton Football Club, and nothing would make me happier than a late charge up the table that vindicates you and your tactics.

But frankly, I have absolutely no hope that you can do it. We’re at the stage of the season where you are what your record says you are — and Marco, your record says you’re in over your head.

Sincerely yours,