Mirallas & Schneiderlin: Don’t Let Them Bring Back The NegativityBy Ryan Grant • Nov 6th, 2017 • Category: News |
Everton have been guilty – amongst a dozen other things – of failing to get the best out of their players this season.
Their imbalanced squad lacks strengths but boasts a host of weakness and has struggled all season.
The win against Watford was nothing short of a miracle.
A team full of youth and the very experienced with not much inbetween never really looked like scoring from open play but clawed back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to two quality set pieces – from Baines NOT Sigurdsson – and a very fortuitous Niasse goal – which should have actually seen their player sent off!
Credit where it is due – Unsworth made very effective and bold substitutions, but Everton made hard work of the task by not taking their earlier chances in the form of Baines and Sigurdsson. There was even time for Everton to go back to their old ways by giving away a 100th minute penalty. Thankfully, Cleverely was in Martinez mode and missed the target.
That win was lucky, and so Everton now need to find a style that suits them and gets results by playing effectively. Moyes loved overloading the flanks to create opportunities to cross. Martinez loved shifting the ball across to find space to penetrate but Koeman didn’t really have a clear style rather than sporadic pressing. Where Everton go from here is down to whoever the new manager is – and whoever he is, he may now have a little bit of confidence within some of his players to work with.
Everton’s negative cycle – the start?
I was asked yesterday by a Cardiff fan why it all went wrong for Everton so far this season – with two cup exits and a lowly league position.
I explained initially, I was never too excited by this summer’s transfer business. Apart from singing Pickford and Keane, I was incredibly underwhelmed. We had sold our best player to a side just one place above us, yet we were supposedly ambitous. 25 goals a season sold for a poultry £75m.
This EFC side was crying out for a consistent, ruthless winger, a dynamic and athletic central midfielder with ability on the ball plus an all-round centre forward. The club also really needed left back cover and a left centre back with pace.
Looking back at the fixtures, I couldn’t honestly say I had seen Everton play well even in the pre-season. The negative cycle, for me, started with Holgate’s shocking header to gift Sterling the equaliser at Man City. With confidence knocked as a result of that devestating blow, more poor results followed.
The lack of experience meant young players made costly mistakes, hampering confidence across the squad. This lack of confidence meant the negative cycle continued, with more poor results down to horrific performances, errors from seasoned pros and all this of course complimented with a lack of effective strategy within the personnel available. A lack of pace evident too but that shouldn’t stop Everton moving the ball quickly with urgency..
EFC’s previous management failed to motivate the players, with so many half time substitutions and lacklustre performances lacking quality, urgency and a desire. Everton’s need to maximise what they have in the coming games, and if that involves leaving out players who can bring back this negative cycle – then so be it.
We already had one false dawn vs Bournemouth, let’s not have another.
Mirallas and Schneiderlin – Keep Them Away and Keep The Positivity
Koeman got good use out of Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin last season.
The Belgian didn’t have the best record in terms of goals and assists, but his general play justified his 30+ appearances last season. The latter, a France international, was a revelation.
And Everton needed players of their ilk to match their European aspirations this season.
But this season has been nothing short of catastrophic for the pair. Let’s get this straight, nobody apart from perhaps Pickford and at times Rooney, Niasse and Calvert-Lewin deserves much credit.
Mirallas, a Belgian international, has desires of making his nation’s squad for the World Cup but has seen his chances hampered by a “lack of first team opportunity”. He has fallen out with now three of his past managers, and whilst this suggests a problem with him as an individual, it also highlights a failure to work with the player as a person, rather than as footballer. Perhaps he needs an arm round his shoulder rather than tough love.
Morgan Schneiderlin has been a pathetic excuse for a footballer this season. Sloppy, rash and useless in posession. For a side lacking a real ability to keep the ball, he has been at the heart of Everton’s misfortunes.
The likes of Williams, Jagielka and co have performed so poorly this season but at least they want to work hard and rectify the situation.
But Everton need to keep Morgan and Kevin away from the squad until they change their attitude, as the good feeling after the Watford win must continue. That negative cycle ends now.
They, alongside Klassen and Sandro, can be given an opportunity in those two Europa League games. Games Everton – being Everton – will now probably win.