After the results of this past weekend’s match versus Tottenham Hotspur, I am even more firmly convinced that Marco Silva should remain the manager of Everton until the end of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that drawing a Spurs side that can’t get out of its own way this season is some sort of banner result that proves anything about Silva’s quality as a manager.
Rather, with Gomes now out for an extended period of time I think we have reached a point where the season is likely no longer salvageable. Without the Portuguese midfielder in the lineup, I do not think there is a manager available who is likely to come to Everton who will do anything more meaningful than survive relegation and perhaps finish 11th or 12th so there is no reason to move right now on a manager who can probably achieve the same thing.
Appointing managers mid-season is a dangerous game. Sometimes, they turn out like Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, and usher in a new era of prosperity for the club who makes the move. More often, they end up like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, doing just enough to get a long term contract before getting exposed as unable to keep up and then just costing the team even more money. Instead of finding ourselves paying two severances in a summer, as we did with Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce, why not just ride out the season with Silva and then make a change next summer?
If you believe that Everton currently being three points above the relegation zone is indicative of where they will be for the rest of the season, I completely understand if you want a manager change now to ensure survival. I personally do not think that is the concern, as Everton is currently fifth in expected points and fourth in non-penalty expected goal difference on the season according to understat.com. Eventually, the results will start reflecting the predictives better than they are now (this is exactly what happened in a negative way to to Solskjaer’s United) and our position in the table will stabilize and likely consolidate to somewhere in the middle.
There is no practical difference to a club of Everton’s resources between finishing 8th and finishing 17th. None of those places secure European football, so you might as well play some young players, focus on cup competitions, and ride it out with the manager currently in charge. At the end of the season if the results have been middling all year, then identify promising managerial prospects quickly and move on.
Where the support stands with a manager matters more in football than it does nearly every other sport. I for one still think Silva is a pretty good Premier League manager but his current stock with the supporters makes his long term outlook at Everton very bleak. I’m completely fine with moving on from him, I just think that it will be better for the club long term if we wait until the end of the season, that way when the new manager arrives he can have Gomes back and also have a full summer to adjust the squad to his strengths, instead of performing the sort of January meatball surgery that netted us Walcott and Tosun under Sam Allardyce, only to see both players fall out of favor with the next regime.
Give Silva until the end of the year not because drawing Spurs was some great coup, but because without Gomes our season isn’t going anywhere regardless of who comes in to replace him.