We kick off our season preview series for the upcoming 2019-20 Premier League season with a quick roundtable, where we asked each of the Royal Blue Mersey crew one question.
What are your expectations of Marco Silva for 2019-20, his second season in charge at Everton?
Here’s what the writers said, add your thoughts in the comments section below.
My expectations of Marco Silva for 2019-2020 is that he can hopefully make this season more stable and enjoyable. Last season was so up and down but he won over a lot of the players and fans by building a positive culture. They ended with a few good wins, which gave me hope for this season. I expect this season to be slightly better than last season, knock on wood!
The expectations are really going to be based on what happens the rest of the transfer window. If we can score Moise Kean, Kurt Zouma, and perhaps a fullback, I expect to see the Europa League next season one way or another. If a CB doesn’t come in or the move for another forward stalls? Another frustrating year at mid-table. Silva is a fine manager but I don’t expect him to work miracles with a sub par roster. If he has the players he needs? No excuses. 7th or better.
Consistency would be progress. We need to prove that we can replicate the form we showed at the end of last season across the full campaign. If that means we finish 7th, so be it. But we should at least be ready to capitalise if the likes of Arsenal, United or Chelsea stutter. A trophy wouldn’t go amiss either.
To continue where he left off at the end of last season. From the win at Cardiff in late February onwards, Everton showed real signs of finding their identity under Silva, so he needs to stick to his principles which helped the club finish 2018-19 so strongly.
I also expect him to learn from the mistakes he made last term which were detrimental to Everton’s campaign, especially during that dreadful winter run of form. His substitutions were at times predictable and too often ineffective, and his apparent disregard for teaching his team to defend set-pieces cost the Blues dear.
In short, I expect mostly more of the same from Silva, with a few tweaks to his approach. All things considered, I would call his first season acceptable; his second year is where he has to really show tangible progress with Everton.
Brian L -
I want to see a return to early season Marco Silva from the initial campaign. One of the best things to watch was Silva’s willingness to change things and attack an opponent’s weakness. I feel like Everton got away from that for a variety of reasons but this year the squad is more in Silva’s mold rather than his predecessors. I also want to see Everton begin to impose their will on similar level teams. Thinking this squad can challenge for the Champions League is foolish, but there should be fewer headscratcher results against similar or inferior squads.
Marco Silva certainly faced some adversity last season, from the team’s horrid winter run of form to shock defeats against Newcastle and Fulham. However, with the bad comes the good. Silva didn’t let his team’s shaky performances get in the way of achieving some massive results towards the end of the season against Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United. Although Silva’s side narrowly missed out on a Europa League spot, I believe that it was a blessing in disguise for the Blues and I fully expect Silva to lead the team to an impressive start of the new season, especially with our favorable stretch of fixtures.
While the team has most definitely strengthened since last season, I believe that Silva still has a few more new faces he’d like to bring in before the window closes. Although goalscoring has been lacking this preseason and new signings will take some time to adjust, I think Silva will have a much more composed demeanor this season with the backing of the board and especially the fans. I predict Silva leading the team to a top-7 finish this season.
Silva has a big task in front of him, because despite the departure of Idrissa Gueye, it’s hard to argue that Everton have had one of the better transfer windows in the Premier League this summer. That said, business was left to pretty late in the window, and the loss of Gana will necessitate a pretty massive change in overall tactics given the Senegalese midfielder’s incredible importance to last season’s high-pressing style. My guess? Silva struggles in the early part of the season to get the new players and and updated system clicking, but puts together a second half that puts Everton in position to challenge the top six.
Marco Silva was rightly given plenty of leeway in his debut season in charge given the mess he inherited. But after a full pre-season and another transfer window in which to bring in the players he wants, the Portuguese will rightly have to deal with increased expectations this time around.
Reclaiming seventh place – aka ‘the best of the rest’ – should be seen as a minimum, but the turbulence and uncertainty at Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United means a crack at the top six is also a realistic prospect.
Everton’s fine form in the closing weeks of last season suggested things had finally begun to click for Silva and his players. The challenge is to maintain that momentum and ensure there is no repeat of that dreadful mid-season slump we endured last winter which proved so terminal to our European prospects.
Consistency above all else. After an up-down-lower-up season last year, often Blues were left asking who really were. Unfortunately, the activity so far in the transfer window doesn’t really answer that question with Everton now without Idrissa Gueye and Kurt Zouma from last year’s side.
Transfer issues aside, we would really like to see Marco Silva earn his credentials as a tactician who can react to different opponents and different game situations. Yet here again the size and depth of the squad makes a difference - last season he could be forgiven for looking to start the same lineup game in and game out when he only had about 12-14 players he could trust with minutes.
Should Marcel Brands realize Silva’s ambition of having a capable backup for every starter on the pitch, we might get to see a whole other side of the Portuguese manager, one that is not afraid to embrace that we are a side challenging for the top six and will play such, no matter who the opponent. If a cup semi or two along with closing the gap in points against the top six sides emerges from that, then that’ll be even better.