FIVE-POINT PLAN

Australian Four Four Two - - PREMIER LEAGUE -

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.

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