Silva Targeting Goodison Stronghold

by Paul McNamara
@Everton

Marco Silva is urging Everton to produce the same fast and incisive football which overpowered Fulham and Leicester City when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park on Sunday.

Victory over Roy Hodgson’s side would represent a third Premier League win on the bounce for Silva’s team – and their second in succession on home turf.

Everton won 2-1 at Leicester a fortnight ago and have scored six goals and claimed five points on the road this term – despite playing the second half of games at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth one man down.

Manager Silva is now eager for his side to establish momentum at Goodison after beating Fulham 3-0 last time out on Merseyside.

“It is something [a strong home record] I really want and something the players want as well,” Silva told evertontv.

“And, of course, our fans, too.

“We started the season really well at home, in the Southampton match [2-1 win].


“We did not achieve what we wanted in the next two matches [draw with Huddersfield Town and defeat to West Ham United] which took some confidence from the players.

“But the last game at home, in the second half we performed the right way and achieved a good result.

“It is important for us to achieve another result at our stadium and to get the third win in a row is also really important for us.

“The Leicester result has a bigger impact if you then get three points at home.”

Everton have clinically exploited spaces left by more adventurous opponents away from Goodison – the attacking quartet of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Bernard and Theo Walcott routinely singed through Leicester.

But while Silva’s men are profiting from their ability to launch express counters on enemy territory, they are frequently being presented with a different kind of challenge at home.


Teams are typically coming to Goodison and taking up residence behind the ball. Huddersfield, for example, had 42 per cent possession when they smuggled a point back over the Pennines last month.

And Palace are renowned for being explosive on the break. The London side started their season by winning 2-0 at Fulham despite having only 34 per cent of the ball.

“We have to respect our opponent, it will be a tough game,” said Silva, who revealed right-back Seamus Coleman has completed a full week’s training without complaint and is nearing a return from his foot problem.

“It is normal for opponents to come here and respect our squad and team.

"We know we are dangerous if they do not a good defensive job. We have to play in our way, in some moments we have to have the patience to find the right spaces and direction to attack.

“We have to be strong not just with the ball, but without the ball.

“We can press our opponents and win the ball in the middle and take advantage when they are not in a good shape.

“They [Palace] are strong in their offensive organisation and on the counter attack, they have quality players in their forward line.

“We have to control those moments in the right way with a good position and good balance. And with the ball we have to do what we did in the second half against Fulham and against Leicester.

“We have to be fast in some moments and patient in the others to create the chances to score.”


Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is set to continue his ever-present Premier League record since joining from Sunderland in summer 2017.

He returned to USM Finch Farm this week fresh from a starring role in England’s 3-2 victory over Spain.

Still only 24, Pickford is vowing to continue getting better for club and country – and Silva says daily evidence on the training field adds substance to the player’s words.

“It is what I can see every day [Pickford’s commitment to improving]," he added.

“He is a young goalkeeper with a lot of years left to play at a high, high level.

“It is not just him, it is all of them with a desire to improve every day.

“Every day we come here, it is a good opportunity to improve.

“If you have that intent in your mind and the desire and commitment behind you, you can achieve what you want, if you have the quality to do that – and Jordan has this quality.

“It is important today to have a goalkeeper with the capacity and skill to help the team in the build-up.

“Jordan can help us like he is helping the national team. It is part of our model and depends on the idea of the coach.

“You have to do it with a good balance to take normal risks, not big risks.

“In the right moments… he can help us with our build-up play.”

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