Who: Brighton vs Everton
When: Saturday, October 26th @ 10:00am ET
Line: Brighton +185 | Draw +225 | Everton +155
Everton placed themselves back on the right track with an impressive 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison Park. The win eased mounting pressure on under fire manager Marco Silva.
Last Saturday the Everton faithful, increasingly critical of Silva, were treated to a bustling and aggressive performance.
The Toffees were in desperate need of a result after four successive defeats in the Premier League, including as shock reverse at home to newly promoted Sheffield United.
Silva responded to the defeat against Burnley over two weeks ago by making five changes to the team, including dropping record transfer buy Gyfie Sigurdsson.
Tom Davies reclaimed his midfield spot alongside Andre Gomes, while Alex Owobi started in the number ten role.
Richarlison was pushed into the central striker role. Theo Walcott was also brought back into the side.
Bernard opened the scoring with an impressive individual goal after 17 minutes, with Sigurdsson wrapping the game up in injury time with a spectacular effort.
After the match, Silva described the pressure that he has been under as a “privilege.”
Everton Look to Improve Form
Everton have only won three out of their opening nine EPL fixtures, with the other two victories also coming at home to Watford in August and Wolves last month.
Yet their away form has been lamentable, winning only a single point on their travels with a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season.
The Merseysiders will now have the chance to put that record right with a trip to Brighton this weekend.
As the Seagulls have only won one of their last five matches, it could be a good time for a visit to the south coast.
On a brighter note, Everton are building a cup run in the Carabao Cup after victories away at Lincoln and Sheffield Wednesday.
Next week sees them have the luxury of a home draw against Watford, the excitement of a cup run is just what Silva needs to prove that the team is making progress under his leadership.
Especially as the club has not won a major trophy since capturing the FA Cup in 1995, with a memorable 1-0 win over Manchester United.
Silva Needs to Turn Everton’s Fortunes Around
Although Everton fans are far more likely to judge Silva on the club’s EPL results.
At the end of last season, their form suggested that they were in pole position to try break into the top six. The Toffees had just one defeat in the final eight matches, ensuring an eighth place finish.
A run of form that included victories over Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal without conceding.
Everton have failed to finish in the top six since the 2012/13 season, which was Robert Martinez’s first year in charge.
The club made a statement this summer, with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri backing Silva with a £108 million spending spree.
Alex Iwobi was the most expensive signing after a £34 million from Arsenal. He has shown glimpses of his best form, scoring his first Premier League goal in the victory over Wolves.
Yet missed two good opportunities to score in that catastrophic defeat to Burnley.
At 23 he has time on his side, but currently its hard to judge whether he will be consistent creator and scorer for the club.
The promising Moise Kean arrived from Juventus for an initial £25 million, but so far has failed to hit the net.
While Jean Phillipe Gbamin, bought for £22.5 million from Mainz to replace Idrissa Gueye, was ruled out for two months in what was only his second game.
Everton have looked defensively vulnerable so far this season, particularly from set pieces, and have conceded 13 goals in the opening nine Premier League games.
So far that amounts to 1.44 goals being shipped per match this campaign, in comparison to 1.21 goals throughout last season.
Although pass accuracy is only one per cent down from last season at 77%, and tackle success has increased.
Silva Managerial Career Lacking in Longevity
Silva is currently in his sixth managerial position in the past eight years at the age of 42, and strangely it was only in his first job at Portuguese club Estoril, where he has managed a club for more than 100 games.
The Portuguese was in charge of Sporting Lisbon for one season for 53 games, and did win the domestic cup.
In the 2015/16 season he moved to Olympiakos where he won his biggest major honour to date, capturing the club’s 43rd title. However, he quickly resigned due to personal reasons.
His time in England has been mixed so far, he failed to keep Hull City in the Premier League, despite having an initial positive impact.
Silva’s tenure at Watford was brought to a surprising and abrupt end in January 2018 after just six months, due to interest in Everton following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.
So far at Goodison Park, Silva has certainly improved the style of play compared to his predecessor Sam Allardyce, whose long ball approach was heavily criticised.
Now in his second season in a three year contract, and having spent nearly £200 million, Everton supporters are now looking for evidence that the team are on the right track to challenge the very best in the EPL.
The result against West Ham is an undoubted step in the right direction, but Silva can expect to face intense scrutiny in the coming months.