Date: 17th June 2018 at 7:00am
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Everton’s pre-season plans for Marco Silva continued to take shape on Friday afternoon.

Football has been around long enough now for fans to know that it’s a process. The first few weeks of pre-season is all about core fitness, pushing yourself and building up that baseline level necessary for the season ahead. It’s why players go on long runs at the beginning of a campaign and not in May.

It’s replicated in the pre-season game schedule. The initial games aren’t about winning necessarily, not even for confidence and spirit purposes. These days the pattern in the Premier League seems to largely be a training camp abroad with 45 minute or full games (two teams each half). You return home and move to League 1, League 2 level and then build to Championship opposition. Late pre-season you have a plum home friendly or spend the rest of the time abroad again with higher quality European opposition.

With the plum home friendly already announced as Valencia.

Everton Announce Plum Home Friendly – Fans Wanted Besiktas

Confirmation that Bury and Blackburn Rovers would be opposition simply follows the norm.

We head to Gigg Lane on Wednesday, July 18th before heading to Ewood Park on Thursday, July 26. Both matches are 7.45pm kickoffs.

Admittedly, the dating seems a little off in terms of the lateness of July but I can see a possible sense in that.

Marco Silva is a manager with a football philosophy that most certainly differs from Sam Allardyce. Arguably it’s also different from Ronald Koeman in many ways.

Pre-season is about fitness, but as time goes on it’s about style and a manager’s wants and desires. Could Silva have simply requested ‘on paper’ presumed easier opposition for the period where tactics take more precedence?

He may have done thinking of late transfer additions to help them get on board more easily. He may have done as a means to drill home specific points at that stage and ensure players who had not ‘got it’ stood out with a couple of weeks still left to drill them. If he’s decided the first team group has an A side and a B side, the games could be the opportunity for now fully fit youngsters to have two games to impress – whether that’s impress and give me an extra option or impress and take the place of an A side player who has disappointed him.

There could be countless reasons that Silva felt it beneficial to him. Even simply, everything has gone great, the players are now performing how I want, I know my starting squad…go and do it against sides more likely to kick you and sit back and prove you can do it in those circumstances.

That’s why I don’t get the reaction and there were plenty more.