Everton’s disastrous 2-0 home defeat to Norwich City has left Marco Silva staring into the abyss.
It was only mere months ago that Everton were beating the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal at home without conceding a goal, with Silva looking like he had really turned things around.
But the 2019/20 season has been one crippling defeat after another and now, the Toffees are languishing in 15th place, just four points above the relegation zone with four wins from 13 games.
While chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” coming from the Goodison Park crowd are little short of a disgrace from apparent supporters, but they do also go a long way to show just how little faith Evertonians now have in Silva.
It is hard to see the Portuguese coming back from this latest defeat given that he is now as short as 11/4 to be the ‘next Premier League manager to go’.
So, if Bill Kenwright and Farhad Moshiri do pull the trigger, who could they bring in as a replacement? Here are some dream, realistic and wildcard options available to the Toffees:
He’s available and Everton fans would absolutely love his appointment. However, that is about as far as this one goes.
Supporters can push their board to be as ambitious as possible as much as they want but appointing Mauricio Pochettino as manager is nothing more than a pipedream.
The Argentine’s sacking at Spurs has done nothing to harm his reputation and reports suggest that Bayern Munich are hungrily eyeing him up after dispensing with Niko Kovac – while Real Madrid and Manchester United remain long-time admirers.
Furthermore, given how quickly the Goodison Park crowd can turn hostile, coupled with an ever-increasing line of managers to have experienced failure with Everton recently – Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman among them – why would Pochettino want to take that risk when he could play the waiting game and potentially secure a role with a club competing in the Champions League?
River Plate’s late collapse to Flamengo in the recent Copa Libertadores final was heartbreaking for Marcelo Gallardo, but his stock in the game has never been higher.
This was the third final the 43-year-old had taken the Argentine giants to in just five years, winning the other two in 2015 and 2018, while he’s also lead River to Copa Sudamericana, Repcopa Sudamericana, Copa Argentina and Supercopa Argentina titles during his time with the club.
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at Silva has been his tactical stubbornness and unwillingness to change formation and personnel. In this sense, Gallardo would be an Evertonian’s dream, with the former midfielder renowned for not only mixing things up game-to-game, but also for making in-game changes in reaction to opposition tactics. He’s as proactive as they come.
However, just like Pochettino, Gallardo is being linked with much bigger clubs – not least Barcelona. He’s now at a critical time in his career where if he’s to transition from South American to European football, it has to be for the right club. At the moment, Everton looks far too risky for him.
Squawka suggests: Neither seem likely at all but if Everton did actually have a shot, Pochettino would just about be the more attractive choice.
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This one has split the Everton fanbase right down the middle. On one side, the romantics are yearning for the second coming of David Moyes, feeling that, in the short term at least, he could tighten up the defence and field a side committed to the club – one the fans could relate to and get behind.
But on the other side, naysayers believe this would be a huge signal that the powers that be at Everton are willing to settle for mediocrity – budget or no budget, Moyes managed just one Cup final and one top-four finish during his 11 years at Goodison Park.
In reality, this one seems more attractive to Moyes than Everton given the fall from grace the Scotsman has suffered since leaving for Manchester United in 2013. But when Evertonians look at the bookies’ favourites and other realistic options right now, they might well be throwing a parade for Moyes…
On behalf of Evertonians everywhere: no, please no.
There was a time, back in his days with Blackburn Rovers, where Mark Hughes was an exciting up-and-comer, getting the best out of an unfancied side on a shoestring budget. However, those days are long gone.
Since then, Hughes has tried and failed at Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke City and Southampton and hasn’t managed a win percentage higher than 35.5% in his past five jobs.
The Welshman has become known more for his post-match rants against referees than his exploits as a tactician and has offered up some of the most reductive, turgid football the Premier League has seen in recent years.
This would be like re-appointing Sam Allardyce, but worse.
Squawka suggests: Neither will excite the Everton fans but out of these two, it simply has to be Moyes.
If Everton are going to make an appointment to excite their fans, Mikel Arteta comes as close as anyone to ticking all the right boxes.
The Spaniard spent six-and-a-half excellent years at Goodison Park during his playing days and is still held in very high regard at the club, despite leaving for Arsenal in 2011.
Arteta has spent the last three-and-a-half years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City, learning everything the legendary Catalan manager has to teach and winning two Premier League titles along the way.
The 37-year-old would certainly bring attacking football to Everton and would likely be given favourable treatment from the fans, for a time at least. Just one problem: with Unai Emery also looking on the verge of losing his job, they may have to compete with Arsenal for his signature.
Eddie Howe has done a wonderful job in firing Bournemouth up the Football League and establishing them as a Premier League side for five seasons now. The 41-year-old has received widespread praise for his expansive football and has helped turn the likes of Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser from lower league hopefuls to bona fide Premier League stars.
Sure, the Cherries are prone to the odd crushing defeat, but the South Coast side are working on a totally different financial plain to many of their top-flight rivals – finishes of ninth and 12th during their time in the Premier League should absolutely be lauded.
Howe is a boyhood Evertonian and would likely jump at a potential move to Merseyside, while Everton’s superior financial muscle would perhaps leave Bournemouth with little choice but to yield.
Squawka suggests: Despite his achievements with Bournemouth, ‘Everton Twitter’ seems to hate the idea of Howe, so he would likely be under pressure from the off. Arteta would be given more time and the fact he isn’t actually a manager or head coach makes him the cheaper option. His years spent learning under Guardiola are the cherry on top.