MANCHESTER UNITED V EVERTON, SUNDAY 4.00 PM

Manchester United are the top-six’s most vulnerable – Everton can make a big statement at Old Trafford

Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe has his say on the big talking points at Goodison Park this week.

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Marco Silva and Jose Mourinho, look on during the EFL Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Manchester United and Hull City (Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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I really enjoyed what Marco Silva was trying to do in the second half against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

I’ve seen Everton in positions like that before and watched them shut up shop, so I found it great that he tried to affect the game through his substitutions.

The subs who came on were positive ones and the crowd really reacted to that, too.

He brought on Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Cenk Tosun and Ademola Lookman and they all played a huge part in the win.

I’ve not seen Everton be as really proactive as that for a while.

It put Palace on the back foot and it was quite nice to see positive substitutions and watch Everton go for the victory.

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Everton 2-0 Crystal Palace

  • As it happened
  • André Gomes reacts during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on October 21, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
    Everton player ratings
  • André Gomes in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on October 21, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
    Andre Gomes assessed
  • Verdict
  • Unexpected hero
  • Silva on Gomes
  • Post-Game podcast

They don’t always work admittedly and it will be key to not criticise when Silva does try to change it like that and it doesn’t work, but the ones he made on Sunday were spot on.

Teams get into a habit of winning and Everton are starting learn that now under Silva with three successive Premier League victories.

Hopefully that continues this weekend against Manchester United, but if there is ever a good time to play a United side then it is now.

They are a little bit unsettled and if you look at some of the teams who have taken points off them this season – especially at Old Trafford – it bodes well.

Roy Hodgson and Marco Silva looks on during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on October 21, 2018
Roy Hodgson and Marco Silva looks on during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on October 21, 2018 (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

There doesn’t seem to be much happiness around United now and the manager and the players have been coming in for plenty of criticism.

That always comes with a big club, but you have to be able to take the rough with the smooth, and they aren’t taking the rough too good now.

If you look at the teams above us, you’d make an argument that Everton are as good as some of them – if not better – and you would like to think the Blues can claw their way above them.

Then you look at United and think they are maybe the most vulnerable of the teams who finished in the top six last season and Everton have to try and get one of those teams out of the way to take a place in there.

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Everton now to have to just maintain the consistency they have shown of late to capitalise on any team in the top six who perhaps suffer a bit of a dip in form.

Silva is still finding out about his players and vice versa and in time, judgement on this Everton team may be in a year or so, but in the meantime, we are definitely seeing an improvement – and that’s great to see.

There looks now at Goodison Park that there’s a real them ethos and togetherness with everyone involved, whereas before, that hasn’t always been the case.

Consistency now key for Gomes

Andre Gomes on the ball during the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park
Andre Gomes on the ball during the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park (Image: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Andre Gomes did well against Palace on Sunday on his first Premier League start – but he’s now got to do it again and again at Goodison Park.

The Premier League is probably very different to what he has been used to in Spain with Valencia and Barcelona and there’s a consistency that Everton have to get out of him.

It was a very promising debut but the task now is to produce that form for the next six months and that’s what he has to do.

He certainly adds something different to Everton’s midfield and that can only be a good thing.

He brings composure on the ball and it was good to see him want the ball under pressure.

He looks like he can spot a pass, he tracks back and he seems to have all the things you want in a midfield player.

I’ve said it many times that once you set a standard you have to stay at that level and if you fall below it, you only have yourself to look at as you’ve already delivered and shown what you can do.

I think Everton will be a better team if he can keep producing the form like he did at the weekend.

Neville comments a bit strange

(left to right) Everton’s losing finalists Joleon Lescott, Phil Neville, Jose Baxter and Jack Rodwell stand dejected as the Chelsea players collect the 2009 FA Cup

I found Phil Neville’s comments over Chelsea coach Marco Ianni a bit strange.

Being the manager of the England women’s national side, it was a bit odd to hear him asking for another staff member to be sacked after the Chelsea coach’s touchline bust-up with Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Neville was asking for Ianni to be axed from his job and I thought that was a bit naughty for someone in his position.

https://get.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.liverpoolecho.co.uk%2Fsport%2Ffootball%2Ffootball-news%2Fmanchester-united-top-sixs-most-15328352&cre=bottom&cip=39I know how hard it is to get jobs in the game – as Phil will too – and he’s asking for someone to be sacked!

You have to remember you are not a pundit anymore, you can’t say that.

Pundits, OK, maybe they can say things like that, but not a manager, especially one who is in charge of an English national team.

He said it, I totally disagree with him and I believe that’s not the first time he’s said something like that, either.

I thought the comments were a little bit wrong.

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