It has been a long time since booing was seen as the last resort of fed up football fans but that doesn’t dilute the significance of the jeers heard today.
The natives are not happy and Marco Silva knows that.
They are angry, frustrated but, possibly above all else, shocked.
And if the manager was at a loss about one aspect of Everton’s performance today, then so are the supporters.
A favourable run of fixtures to start the season were meant to provide this revamped team with a launch pad for an assault on the top six and give them a head start on their rivals.
The way things are going, with only two wins from the opening six games and with Manchester City to come next, Everton are putting themselves on the back foot.
It’s still only September, it’s very early in the season it’s wise to take a deep breath think about this rationally, but, nevertheless afternoons like this will have left many Evertonians with the feeling that the team is standing still rather than, as we all hoped and expected, progressing and building on the finish to last season.
It’s also difficult to pin-point exactly where it has been going wrong. In defeats to Villa, Bournemouth and now Sheffield United, there hasn’t been one glaringly obvious flaw, but several, different ones and with each game it seems, new issues rear their head.
Silva says Everton’s players must “embrace” the challenge and not shy away from the frustrations of the fans but you have to wonder if he needs to put a lid on talk about not being able to fightback.
He says he has spoken about it a lot with the players but in sensing issues over set-pieces were becoming a mental block last season, and that talking about them in public was not helping, he refused to discuss them any further.
Following the defeat to Man City, Silva put an end to talk about conceding from free-kicks and corners. Coincidence, maybe, but it wasn’t long before the issue was ironed out.
We all know Everton have not won a league game having conceded the first goal, under Silva, so maybe he needs take it off the agenda, because going behind is, quite clearly, playing on their minds.
Today showed that. What else can it have been? The Goodison faithful backed them throughout and while there were the usually moans and groans at overhit passes, there was nothing out of the ordinary, the atmosphere was good, all things considered.
The place lifted when Silva made a double substitution early in the second-half and so the players cannot put down an edgy display to a tense atmosphere.
The problem is in their heads and it has to be to do with going behind. Silva must do everything to alleviate that stress from them.
Everton had 70% of possession but the sum of their afternoon’s work was three shots on target, all as instantly forgettable as each other.
Silva’s team had all of the ball but did next to nothing with it and, worst of all, didn’t really looked as though they would after a bright start fizzled out.
Undeniably, there were shades of the end of the Roberto Martinez-era in this performance.
Some said it had a roll-of-the-dice feel, with Silva using a 3-1-2-4 formation late on, that bore resemblance to the dying days of Ronald Koeman’s reign.
We are absolutely nowhere near there yet and Silva deserves to be given due time to sort this out and work with the new players the club brought in the summer. Without question.
But he’ll know he needs to put such similarities to bed quickly and remind everyone that history is not repeating itself.
Silva’s gung-ho tactics in the second-half were also said to have been a sign of a manager panicking, and that by not sticking to his beliefs he was showing pure desperation.
The 41-year-old didn’t cut the figure of a man who is panicking, afterwards, although he would have every right to be concerned about this performance.
His changes were about putting on the most threatening and mobile attackers he could for the situation that unfolded in front of him.
Sure, some of Everton’s play may have looked desperate, but this wasn’t a manager stabbing in the dark and hoping to find an equaliser.
Silva has been under pressure before at Everton, far deeper in a mire than he finds himself now, but after this defeat, and the disappointing start to the season, he knows the heat is being turned up.
The boos from the stands at full-time told him that.
There was understanding, when a start to his reign yielded just six points from the opening six games last season.
This was a new manager, some new players, new ideas and a different way of playing.
There are new players again this term, the loss of important ones and a seemingly revolving door of injuries to his central midfielders, but a better squad than the one before and so people expected the opening six games to produce more than seven points.
He takes the team to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night for a League Cup tie that was already feeling like a high-stakes affair but now comes with an added layer of pressure nobody, the manager especially, needs.
And so this defeat, as well as being infuriating and concerning, is also unhelpful given the importance of the cups to everyone at the club.
And that anxiety has been added to a list of problems that includes set-piece concerns and an inability to come-from-behind, is another headache for Silva.
He was at a loss as to why his players, at Goodison, were so nervous for the best part an hour of this following Yerry Mina’s own goal, which handed Sheffield United the lead.
Everton hadn’t lost here since February, it was the antidote to their travel sickness and a place where Silva’s side have played their best football.
Everton are good at Goodison, right?
The opening half an hour aside, not today.
It was an issue the manager didn’t expect, certainly one he didn’t need and it has just added to the sense of confusion among supporters who are struggling to understand what is going on.
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