1 IMPROVE THE AWAY FORM
Silva has a reputation for excellent home results with lower returns on the road. This has been Everton’s Achilles heel for a couple of seasons, too. Last term the Toffees triumphed just three times on their travels; only three teams won fewer, and two were relegated. Silva and Everton will need to grind out results as well as dazzle.
2 DEFEND THE WINGS BETTER
Although they have experienced full-backs in Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman, Everton did not defend the wings well in 2017-18. This weakness was targeted mercilessly and Silva will have to address it, either tactically or by introducing fresh faces. Cuco Martina isn’t a particularly reliable back-up on either flank, for a start.
3 KEEP THE BALL
The Merseysiders averaged just 46.7 per cent possession during 2017-18 and didn’t do enough with the ball, taking fewer shots than any club bar Swansea. Still, it’s obvious that a Silva outfit will play on the deck much more than any Sam Allardyce arrangement, so expect an increase in percentage-positive possession stats and a more pleasant team to watch.
4 HAVE A LITTLE P ATIENCE...
It’s a quality in short supply – but if Silva isn’t to be whirled straight off the managerial merry-go-round, his overhauled side must be given time to get to know each other. His coterie of coaches have a way of doing things that will differ radically from Big Sam’s backroom setup. While Silva’s results have been almost miraculously instant everywhere he has gone so far, things may not click straight away at Everton.
5 ... AND DON’T GET TOO EXCITED, EITHER
In a turnaround from 2017-18’s nightmarish opening sequence of games (they faced Chelsea, Spurs and both Manchester clubs in their first five games), the Toffees have a favourable start, taking on Wolves, Southampton, Bournemouth, Huddersfield and West Ham to open the campaign. They could be flying high in autumn. That would be good for the spirit – but then the fixture list turns decidedly nastier.