Awful Everton lose again

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Lucas Digne of Everton reacts during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Everton FC at St Mary's Stadium on January 19, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Lucas Digne of Everton reacts during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Everton FC at St Mary's Stadium on January 19, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) /

Another trip to the south coast and another damaging defeat for Everton as the Blues go down to a loss at Southampton.

Everton have lost once more this season, today going down to an awful1-2 defeat at Southampton. This latest loss leaves the Blues hopes of finishing anywhere near the top six very debatable, without a highly unlikely improvement in form.

It really does look like it is becoming yet another lost and barren season as the Toffees bump long in mid-table mediocrity, again. Frankly much more of this and some Evertoninans might even begin to miss the Sam Allardyce era – well maybe that’s going too far!

But how much more of this kind of thing are Everton supporters supposed to take?

The Blues have gone down to defeat away from home for the sixth time already this campaign. This was yet another utterly underwhelming effort from a group of players who seem to have lost their way and are playing without any urgency, energy, quality or composure.

I’m getting so tired of writing match reports of this kind, with Everton once more failing abysmally to make a game of it against very beatable opponents.

This match isn’t one where the Toffees were up against a top-level side was it?  As I’ve said before if you want to have any hope of competing for a European place, let alone winning a trophy you simply have to be winning games like this.

Yes the Saints have been revived by their new coach Ralph Hassenhuttl but even so, surely the Blues should have enough about them to find a way to get the points.

There really is nothing positive to say about this performance so I won’t even try. But I will say that I don’t know where this leaves the reign of Marco Silva, who seems increasingly clueless as his side turn in one mediocre performance after another.

This Everton season is starting to look more like Watford’s campaign last time out. After a bright and optimistic start it’s getting very frustrating as the team’s form subsides.

I wrote recently that Silva would probably survive until the summer given the protracted effort Everton have made getting him, and the money he has spent on players. However much more of this and I think the crowd will start to turn against him leaving the Blues board with another awkward decision to make.

Talking of the board, all the optimistic talk at the recent AGM of challenging for titles etc seem increasingly absurd and far-fetched given these wretched efforts.

In truth though where do the Blues go from here? Sacking Silva will cost yet more money in compensation payments and then the search would begin for what would be Everton’s fifth manager in six years.

And I don’t think there are any outstanding candidates around who would be persuaded to take what is becoming an increasingly poisoned chalice.  The effort of trying to revive this once great club seems to be getting more and more difficult.

Since David Moyes left in 2013, Everton have tried an attacking coach with an almost demented sense of over-optimism in Roberto Martinez, before retuning to a much more sober approach under Ronald Koeman. And after he had failed, the club, in desperation, brought in the dour and defensive-minded Sam Allardyce to stave off relegation.

Now we have another youngish foreign coach with a positive mentality but again it just doesn’t seem to be working. Silva has spent another large pot of money on players and apart from Lucas Digne, (even given his horrendous own-goal today), none have really proved worth it.

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Richarlison has been good, occasionally very good but his form has dropped off recently while the much-vaunted Yerry Mina can’t get in the team.

Even Andre Gomes who looked excellent when he first broke into the side hasn’t maintained that excellence.

There is another aspect to this. Perhaps some of the blame should lie with Marcel Brands, who is leading the Toffees player recruitment.

I think Brands is an astute talent-spotter and he has had plenty of success in his native Holland, but again, at the moment something’s not right. That said though regardless of what happens to Silva, Brands will get more time to put his philosophy into practice.

I don’t have an answer for these problems and I’m not sure that any Everton fan would say they did – time for Jose Mourinho anyone!?