There are some big games in the Premier League this weekend, at the bottom and the top.
Among them, in a low-key sort of way, is Southampton v Everton: for the Saints, a chance to build on the creditable performance against Manchester City last weekend and prove they have recovered from the thrashing by Leicester.
For Everton, the stakes might be even bigger. Or rather, the stakes might be even bigger for their manager, Marco Silva.
“In all the years I’ve been playing and talking about football I’ve never said “the manager must go”, but with Everton I am unbelievably close,” said Pat Nevin on the Totally Football Show this week.
“This team have enough good players, if they are organised and playing well, to be in the top six. But there they are in 17th, and playing stinking football.”
Everton almost certainly won’t actually finish the weekend in the relegation zone – they’re three points ahead of Southampton and, quite obviously, have a much better goal difference – but defeat would lower the mood at Goodison Park even further, when things aren’t exactly jumping there as it is.
“I was at the Tottenham game last Sunday, and that was the quietest I’ve ever, ever heard Goodison Park in my entire life,” said Pat, who made over 100 appearances for the Toffees in the late 1980s and 90s.
“The fans looked as if they’ve chucked it – they couldn’t even bring themselves to boo, it was that bad. It was as if they were just waiting for the hangman to turn up.
“He needs to do something in this game. I’d be amazed if they kept him on for much longer, unless they go on a good run.”
And it might have to be this game too: after the Southampton game Everton face Norwich, but their next five fixtures are against Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
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