Risk and reward: Everton on course for season their fans crave

Manager of Everton Marco Silva looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly between Everton and Valencia at Goodison Park on August 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

Everton begin life under Marco Silva hoping they have learned from the lessons of last year, but what can fans expect?

Marco Silva during the pre-season friendly match between Everton and Valencia at Goodison Park on August 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES - that is the big message that Everton got last season and one that puts perspective on everything they have done this summer.

The 17/18 season was an incredible learning experience for the Toffees and there were two key lessons: it is not as easy as spending lots of money, and style & enjoyment are vital to the fans' expectations.

There have still been some gambles this year, of course, with one above all the others: Marco Silva.

Style and Substance

The Sam Allardyce experiment was a failure, even if he did move the side away from the relegation zone as Ronald Koeman had threatened.

Everton proved, once and for all, that they wanted attacking, passing football over the basic pragmatism of Allardyce, even if it took time and risks to get it.

 

In has come Silva, a coach who is certainly a risk after his dramatic fall from grace at Watford last season, but one who gives Everton a shot at what they really want.

Silva and new Director of Football Marcel Brands have proven that they're not all about style, however, as they have overseen the exits of several failures of last season.

Wayne Rooney left for DC United and they took a hit on Davy Klaassen's fee by selling him to Weder Bremen for 50% of what they signed him for a year ago. Both departures recognise the unnecessary dealings of 2017; neither of them felt necessary once £45m was spent on Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Ashley Williams has gone, too, with Everton being sure to act on their disappointing defence of last year.

Betting on themselves

Everton have brought in five key players this summer, with all of them representing a risk in some way.

Three have come in from Barcelona: Yerry Mina (£27m), Lucas Digne (£18m), and Andre Gomes (loan) - all three of whom were deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou.

It is important to remember that all three demonstrated the ability to earn moves there in the first place, though, and Everton are betting that they can be a better fit on Merseyside.

Yerry Mina poses as a new Everton FC player on August 9, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona is a difficult and unique place to play, after all, with a slow possession style that comes with immense pressure. It was too much for Gomes and Mina, in particular, but taking a step back could be exactly what they need. Similarly, Digne won't have Jordi Alba in front of him.

The biggest story is Richarlison, of course, whose initial £35m fee raised a lot of eyebrows after he failed to score or assist in his last 23 games. But his form under Silva was fantastic and that's why this particular gamble was taken - refind that form and he's well worth the money at 21 years old.

Bernard joined on deadline day on a free transfer; the Brazil international is very talented but this will be his first go at an elite European league.

Ambition and Patience

There is no doubt that Everton have ambitions of the Champions League - something they hoped to move towards a year ago. That ambition will have been tempered by last season but that could be a very good thing.

Silva will get time and so will the players - something they need when risks are being taken. It's unlikely they'll all be a success, like at any other club this year, but it only takes one or two victories in the market to build progress.

Young players like Jordan Pickford, Ademola Lookman, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin already gave them a base that asked for patience and adding to that certainly isn't a bad thing. Make any progress this year and then next summer becomes about making even more.

Everton simply need to prove they have learned the lessons of the Allardyce era; their success will take patience and unity, but they are back on course to get what they really want.

Richarlison de Andrade of Everton during the Pre-Season Friendly between Everton and Valencia at Goodison Park on August 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

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