Marco Silva is on the brink of losing his job as the manager of Everton but this messy situation is not simply the fault of the manager. The Merseyside outfit languish in 15th position after a miserable 2-0 home defeat to Norwich City but this disappointing situation had been brewing for some time.
Marco Silva Decline Not His Own Fault
Punters had Everton down as a team that could break into the top-six but that was always going to be a near-impossible task. Losing Idrissa Gana Gueye and Kurt Zouma was a massive blow to the defensive side of the team. Zouma had formed a formidable partnership with Michael Keane and that played a large part in Everton’s strong finish to the 2018/19 season. With Gueye sitting just in-front, the Toffees had a strong resolve.
Silva promised a big summer of business but it never really happened. They didn’t get that centre-back, for starters. They had to take Alex Iwobi instead of Wilfried Zaha; Djibril Sidibe wasn’t an improvement on Seamus Coleman; Moise Kean is a youngster with great potential but he isn’t the natural goal-scorer that they craved.
People will say that Silva got money. He did. They actually spent over £100 million this summer but they brought in the wrong players. Fabian Delph, at £8 million, was probably the highlight of this scatter-gun approach, but it felt like a desperate attempt to please their manager instead of a calculated and methodical approach to bringing players in.
It is a complete contrast to Leicester City, who consistently nail their transfer business. Brendan Rodgers has a great squad at his disposal with virtually two players per-position. They have chopped and changed their managers but their excellent recruitment has always had them in good stead. Rodgers is now the man at the helm and he appears to be reaping the rewards of that success.
The idea that they were ready to push on from last season was misguided. Gylfi Sigurdsson has just turned 30 and has never really given the impression of a dynamic midfielder; it’s no surprise he struggled when he moved to Tottenham Hostpur. The team needs to be built around the Icelander if he is to thrive
Richarlison has been excellent since his move from Watford but he needs help from his team-mates. The Brazilian is hard-working, skilful and has an eye for goal but opposing teams recognise his excellence and make sure that he is tightly marked. Bernard has moments but Theo Walcott too often flatters to deceive and Dominic Calvert-Lewin never looks like setting the world on fire.
Silva has a pretty average squad and people forget that. It is certainly better than the current position but it shouldn’t really be finishing any higher than eighth or ninth.
It’s still clear that the Toffees are under-performing. When Silva arrived at Hull City, he quickly brought an intense level of training to the club and was heavily tactical. The Telegraph noted in 2017 that Silva had always been a demanding coach and that his players have to buy into his methods. The Hull players did and almost pulled off a miraculous escape from relegation. The Watford players did before he was sacked because of exterior factors. At Everton, the goal isn’t clear. They know that they aren’t really equipped to be pushing for Europe and that mindset makes it difficult for the players to truly invest in their manager’s demands. Hence, there are now games where it looks like the players are simply going through the motions.
As a result, Everton have abandoned Silva’s build-up approach for long balls and crosses as they seek to find a quick solution. Patience is running thin everywhere.
Farhad Moshiri will be reluctant to pull the plug. Silva was a man he chased for a long time; Everton even got into a verbal scrap with Watford over their handling of the situation. The Portuguese manager was seen as the man who could bridge the gap between the top half and the top six, so Moshiri will desperately not want to bail out on that plan. He knows that appointing David Moyes comes with a downgrade in expectancy.
It looks like a repeat of the Ronald Koeman situation. The Dutchman was replaced by the underwhelming Sam Allardyce and the mission to push for Europe became the mission to finish mid-table. Moyes has been mooted and the Scot would probably receive a warm welcome because of his history with the club, but it would indicate a club that just cannot get the manager to take that next step.
Marco Silva Sacking is Inevitable
Marco Silva is a dead-man walking. Many fans simply see a team that is under-performing and lay the fault at the door of the manager. An elite-level manager would struggle to take that team into the Europa League. Moyes would restore some harmony and stability and that’s what this club always seems to crave. Any football club needs to overcome some obstacles and hurdles before they achieve greatness. Otherwise, they can sit comfortably on the fence and do nothing. Everton need to start making better decisions across the board if they are to avoid another failure to better themselves.