Options: Revisited

Now I don’t usually swear during these articles (which is a lot harder than you’d think) so for this I apologise.

THANK FUCK FOR THAT. ABOUT FUCKING TIME EVERTON, YOU MASSIVE GANG OF SHIT-THE-BEDS.

At the time of writing this, there has been no formal statement from the club but it looks like an announcement is imminent. It’s sad that the club let it get to this stage and for that they have nobody but themselves to blame.

Anyway, much has changed since I wrote the first Options. Leicester City have a league title to their name, Aston Villa have seen their stay in the Premier League come to an end and the “family atmosphere” at Upton Park welcomed Manchester United with a barrage of friendly missiles. The latest being that Everton are reportedly now on searching for their next manager, so here are a few more names to be linked with the Goodison Park hot seat.

Quique Sanchez Flores: It seems utterly ridiculous that a newly promoted side who have comfortably seen off relegation and made it to an FA Cup semi-final are even thinking about getting rid of their manager. That’s modern football though ay. The Pozzo family are thought to be exploring other options and will use a break clause to terminate Flores’ contact this summer. During his brief time at Watford he has successfully managed the basics of football, while using 4-4-2, maintaining a rigid defence with efficient counter-attacking. Although the second half of the season has been a disappointing one for Watford, Flores’ work at the club will most probably have been enough to see him return to the higher echelons of management. Many may not see it as an ambitious appointment by Everton. However, he entered Watford at a time when player turnover had been astronomically high and he quickly established his system when his side needed to hit the ground running. This would be a bonus for an Everton side expected to see major changes to the playing staff in the summer.

Joachim Löw: The links to the world cup winner are tenuous to say the least, slashed odds are rarely an indicator of an impending arrival. His career in club management is nothing to write home about, with his only limited success coming 20 years ago when he guided Stuttgart to 4th place and the DFB-Pokal (German cup). Lacklustre stints at Fenerbache, Karlsruher SC, Adanaspor and FK Austria Wein followed, with Löw not managing any longer than two years during any of these stints. Although in the middle of this he did win the Austrian Bundesliga with FC Tirol Innsbruck, shortly before their liquidation. It was at this point that Löw became involved in the German national setup, at a time when German football would enter somewhat of a renaissance. It is difficult to determine just how much of an input that Löw had within the overhauling of German youth football but it cannot be argued that he has overseen one of the best German national sides within modern times. Another bonus is that he would bring with him an extensive knowledge not just of German players but also reports on opposition internationals from around the globe. With a clause in his contract with Germany allowing him to speak to any interested club sides, merged with his alleged interest in the Everton job, it may not be too far-fetched to see another German manager take charge on Merseyside.

Mark Hughes: After an underwhelming stint at Manchester City, a strange 11 month spell at Fulham and a calamitous time in charge of QPR, the Welshman has been tasked with rebuilding his career at Stoke City. It’s fair to say he has repaired the damage to his reputation somewhat. Building on the defensive solidity of Tony Pulis, Hughes has added flair (Bojan, Arnautovic & Shaqiri) while maintaining the defensive foundations. With two consecutive ninth place finishes already achieved, the best in Stoke’s history, it looks likely that another top half finish is on the cards. Despite this, it would be an underwhelming appointment and would smack of a lack of ambition. Besides which, Stoke seem hell bent on keeping him.

 

Cocu

 

Phillip Cocu: While much has been made of Frank De Boer’s claim that he would love to manage Everton, another manager in the Eredivisie should also be interesting Everton. Cocu has quietly gone about improving PSV Eindhoven on both a domestic and a European level, most notably being only side to stop Atletico Madrid scoring over two legs in this year’s Champions League, only exiting the competition on penalties. He has also won both this and last year’s Eredivisie titles, ending the domination of Frank De Boer’s Ajax. Although he has previously promised to honour his contract with PSV, surely he will be a coach approached with offers if his fortunes remain on the same trajectory.

David Moyes: Worthy of a mention as these links to the former Everton manager just won’t go away. Although Moyes had a more than adequate spell at Goodison, he had taken us as far as his abilities could achieve and, since his departure, he has burnt most of his bridges with the fans. It would definitely be a quick fix to the defensive, staffing and fitness problems that have taken hold at Everton, which is about the only rational argument in favour of such a move… They say never go back and in this case it’s probably justified.

Lucien Favre: Although he may not be a name universally mentioned by Everton fans, he should be. During his time at Borussia Mönchengladbach he managed to secure the clubs top flight status, despite joining with the side rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga with just 16 points from 22 games. During his four full seasons in charge the club finished fourth, eighth, sixth and third. The most recent provided Gladbach with Champions League football just five years after the club seemed like it was all but relegated. Another thing to note, during his most recent full season, his side boasted the second best defensive record in the entire division. He is a manager that prioritises tactical flexibility and defensive solidity, his sides have become notorious for their quick counter-attacking brand of football, which would be very well suited to the current Premier League. Although his departure from Gladbach was acrimonious to say the least, his tactically astute game management and reputation within the development of young players (Marco Reus, Marc Andre Ter-Stegen, Christoph Kramer), as well as his ability to wake a so-called “sleeping giant” show that Favre may have the qualities to take over at Goodison Park.

Rafa Benitez: Another manager worthy of a mention purely through persistent rumours, and boy are they persistent. Although I haven’t seen a single Evertonian propose it yet, fancy that ay… (Expect complete bias here) Since his time at Beelzebub’s XI he seems to have consistently left clubs in a worse position than when he arrived. After taking over the winners of the Champions League in Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in June 2010, by December his side were 13 points off the top. He was soon sacked. Then came a move to Napoli where he managed to reduce them from their position as title challengers to a Europa League side. Onto Real Madrid where he quickly scuppered any chance of a title challenge while alienating many of his key players, only for Madrid’s season to kick-start once he had been removed from his position. Then comes his current position managing the club of those who punch horses, the only logical way he would join us is if they were relegated. Another relegated manager may not be the way to go for Everton, after all, it didn’t really work out last time.

Marcelino Garcia Toral: Known simply as Marcelino, he has thrived at Villarreal despite the clubs shaky economic mode, which consists of unearthing unknown talents and improving youngsters before selling them at far improved prices. He has constantly improved Villarreal in spite of this. When he took the job in January 2013 the side were languishing in the second division, 17 points behind the leaders Elche. “There’s a lot of suffering to do, but we’ll go up” and sure enough, victory on the final day ensured automatic promotion back to the first division. After promotion two consecutive sixth placed finishes exceeded all expectations. After consolidating their place in the Europa league over the past couple of seasons, they have recently qualified for next season’s Champions League with a fourth place finish. Tactically, Marcelino has shown his dissatisfaction for endless possession based football, “If we can finish a move in five successive passes on the ground, we won’t do it in twenty.” I’m sure that in itself would be music to the ears of many an Evertonian. It may be disingenuous to say he has deserved a move away from Villarreal, it may be fairer to say that deserves a much more stable economic model, rather than that which comes with The Yellow Submarine.

Well there’s eight more names for you to think about, making it 18 in total (it would have been more but I couldn’t even build up the strength to write about Martin O’Neil). So it’s fair to say there are a few options out there.

Michael De Asha
Michael De Asha

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