Why the board must take responsibility for the cycle of managerial failures

It’s much easier to blame the failing manager than those who appointed him.

When Ronald Koeman parted ways with Everton, only one man ever seemed to be in Farhad Moshiri’s sights to replace the Dutchman, who had tremendously disappointed Evertonian’s during his short tenure.

It is October 2017. A humiliating 5-2 home defeat to a below par Arsenal side had left Moshiri with no choice. It was the end for Koeman. Everton had real aspirations at the beginning of the season to break into the top four for only the second time in the Premier League era. It had been the first summer transfer window were Moshiri had really dropped his war chest on to Koeman’s desk at Finch Farm. But as always seems to be the case with Everton, the start to the season was a massive let down. A disaster, truth be told. October 23rd; multiple humbling’s, summer signings seemingly not up to scratch, baffling managerial decisions, bottom of the group in the Europa League, now in the bottom three of the Premier League. Ronald Koeman was axed.

Moshiri seemed to have one man, and only really one man, in his vision during the search to replace Koeman.

Watford were attracting attention after an eye-catching beginning to the Premier League season. Sitting in sixth place and entertaining not only Watford fans, but neutral spectators alike with their exciting and expansive performances against the so called ‘big teams’, Watford became one of the most likeable teams for Premier League viewers. Their coach? Marco Silva. A Young European manager with a hunger and a style. It seemed he had his own way of doing things. His team’s willingness to play football the ‘right way’ against the top teams as well as the rest, portrayed a manager who instilled a fearless and arrogant streak into his players. He was ticking all the boxes for Farhad Moshiri. He met the criteria. For Moshiri, For Everton as a club. Moshiri pushed and pushed, but Watford denied. Silva was staying put.

Things change rapidly in football. What seems to be a young talented manager full of charisma one minute – sacked in January after eight defeats from eleven matches, with a face like a smacked arse in every TV interview the next because he didn’t get the move he wanted. Marco Silva joined the list of Premier League managers who fizzled out, despite at one point seemingly destined for a career at the top. Sacked by Watford after less than year in charge, Silva was a forgotten man.

So, when another managerial vacancy at Everton opened up in May 2018 after Sam Allardyce was axed to the delight of most Everton fans after months of ponderous and in truth, dreadful football, the search for another manager who ‘fit the criteria’ begun. Moshiri was one of the few who had not forgotten about Silva. He, and most Everton fans who backed the appointment, viewed Silva’s horrendous run, which led to him being dismissed as Watford manager, as being the result of ‘dressing room unrest’ since Everton had tried to poach their Portuguese coach. The approach had ‘disrupted’ the team and manager, said Blues who backed the hiring of Silva. Does this not present a manager who sulked for months and let a hiccup in his journey as a manager get the best of him, anyway? At least that’s what his sacking had proved to me. The opening nine matches into Watford’s Premier League campaign had been enough for Farhad Moshiri and the Everton board to warrant Marco Silva’s appointment in the hotseat at Goodison. Nine matches.

Fast forward to now, November 2019. Now two whole years since Everton tried to nab Silva from Watford. Silva’s blues sit 17th in the league after eleven games. Eleven games into the season were Everton have had, with all due respect, a relatively comfortable run of matches. Away games to Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Burnley and Brighton, and Everton have collected one point. Last Tuesday’s cup victory, which actually put Everton into the Carabao Cup Quarter Final, against Watford ironically, highlighted just how poor this Everton team is. The first half display was one of the most flat, abject halves of football Goodison has seen for a while – and that’s some going. A first 45 display which was actually so dire, despite the score still being 0-0, it was greeted with a chorus of boos. Now I am not condemning booing an Everton side. I have never booed the team off in my life, nor will I ever, but the reaction just presents the magnitude of the discontent amongst fans right now. Our last two league outings have been dominated by VAR controversy and the Andre Gomes horror injury, but it has deflected more lifeless and uninspiring performances from Silva’s team. There just seems to be no improvement.

It is in all likelihood too, that Everton’s results and league position will only worsen during the winter months. A December fixture list which includes Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal, means it is time to panic as an Evertonian. No one wants to embrace the feeling of panic, but it is a necessity to realise the predicament Everton are in at the moment. The performances have been mostly abysmal viewing.

It seems an inevitability as to the fate of Marco Silva. After years and years of misery, so many Blues know when it is nearly the end for a manager.

If, and in all likelihood when the Everton hierarchy decides to replace Marco Silva, it will be the fourth sacking of a manager since Farhad Moshiri became majority shareholder, which was just less than 4 years ago. It has been clearly evident that the managers who Moshiri and the Everton board appointed have not been adequate and have massively underachieved during their reigns. The managers have taken more than their share of criticism. But the boards decision to appoint those managers never really seems to be scrutinised. It is important they need to take a proportion of the blame for these failed tenures too.

Why was Marco Silva appointed as Everton manager? If there is to be a search for a new Everton manager in the near future, the Everton board have to take time and seriously consider potential employees. Ultimately, no Blue wants to see an Everton manager sacked, because it symbolises that the team is struggling, and the club is in a deficient position. After multiple managerial comings and goings at Everton since Farhad Moshiri became majority shareholder, the time comes whereby the process of managerial recruitment must be questioned, not just the managers performance at the club. We all love what Moshiri has given us as Evertonian’s since he came to the club. The Bramley Moore Project and the excitement as a result of many big money signings. But what is the use in signing players for massive prices, if there isn’t a manager at the club who can utilise the supplies handed to him properly? Inevitably in my eyes, when the club come to recruit their next manager, they need to broaden their search, because this seems like a continuing and tiring process.

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