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Paul Merson criticises Everton manager Marco Silva

General view of the stadium away fans section to the Premier League match between Everton FC and West Ham United at Goodison Park on September 16, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Marco Silva’s Everton lost to Southampton in the Carabao Cup this week.

(EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Marco Silva speaks to the media during the Everton training session at USM Finch Farm on October 5, 2018 in Halewood, England.

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has criticised Everton manager Marco Silva in The Daily Star for not fielding a strong team against Southampton this week.

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.

Merson wrote in The Daily Star: “I nearly fell over when I saw the team the Toffees put out. They were at home to Southampton in a competition they could win. Why rest players?

“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."

Everton manager \ head coach Marco Silva during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park on October 2, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

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.

Everton manager \ head coach Marco Silva during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Fulham FC at Goodison Park on September 29, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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