Everton lost to Premier League rivals Southampton at Goodison Park in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening.
The tie finished 1-1 after normal time, and the Saints won the penalty shootout 4-3.
Silva did not field his strongest available team against the Saints, with the Everton boss starting the likes of Richarlison and Theo Walcott on the substitutes’ bench.
Former Arsenal star Merson, who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports, has strongly criticised Silva for not taking the Carabao Cup seriously.
“They’re not going to win the league, so play your strongest team. What an opportunity for supporters to see a cup run and maybe win some silverware.
“If I was an Everton fan I’d be absolutely fuming. I’d have gone ballistic. There’s a two-week break coming up."
Merson added: "Those fans want to see their team win a trophy, not finish seventh. Manchester United are out.
"Other teams have their minds elsewhere. Have a go. But no, he rests half his team and they go out. It’s mind-blowing."
Being serious about Carabao Cup
Everton may have a good team, but it is hard to see the Toffees finishing in the top six of the Premier League this season.
Although the Carabao Cup is not exactly a very lucrative competition, the Toffees should have taken it seriously, as it would have given them the chance to win a trophy.
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