Everton made the decision yesterday to sack Marco Silva and his staff, installing assistant coach Duncan Ferguson as the caretaker manager for tomorrow’s visit from Chelsea. While the search for the next permanent manager goes on in earnest behind the scenes, the editorial staff at Royal Blue Mersey got together to share a few thoughts on the Portuguese manager’s 18-month tenure with the Blues.
Chime in in the comments below with a couple of lines about your feelings about Marco, from the time he was brought in, his time here, and the way it all ended.
Struck me as a curious decision from the start. He didn’t have much of a winning pedigree prior to his appointment at Everton, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately he didn’t seem up to the job and hopefully we can get a better long term manager in place as soon as possible.
When Marco Silva came to Everton, I wasn’t sure how good of a manager he was. 18 months later, he leaves Everton and I’m frankly still not sure.
He was, to an extent, a victim of the same backroom shenanigans and recruitment strategy issues that his predecessors suffered from. He inherited a disjointed squad that was part Ronald Koeman, part Sam Allardyce, and part Roberto Martinez, and managed an 8th place finish last year -- not what we hoped for, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of either.
His downfall will likely long-term be associated with this week’s capitulation at Liverpool, but that’s not what got him fired. What got him fired was his consistent inability to beat teams with clearly less talent than Everton. Last season, the Toffees drew at home against AFC Bournemouth, Huddersfield Town, Newcastle and Watford FC, at lost away to Brighton & Hove Albion, Southampton, Watford, Newcastle, and Fulham. That trend carried over into this season, and he just never seemed to have new ideas as to how to convert his squad’s superior talent into points in those type of matches.
Does club leadership shoulder some of the blame for the continued lack of overall cohesion within the squad due to erratic transfer strategies? Absolutely. But Marco Silva was not handed a relegation-threatened squad this season, and ultimately he has no one to blame but himself.
I’m sad it unravelled so horribly for Marco Silva. He made going to the match enjoyable again for a while after the misery of Sam Allardyce’s reign, and has left behind a far better squad - if perhaps not team - than the one he inherited.
There were some great highlights - the away games at Wolves and Leicester City last season stand out, as do the Goodison wins over Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea and even the battling draw with Liverpool.
But ultimately, he’s got too much wrong. His inability to turn a game Everton have trailed in their favour, his bizarre substitutions, and his total absence of a plan B particularly rankle. The defeats to Sheffield United and Burnley, for me, felt like the beginning of the end. And since then, we’ve seen little evidence to suggest it was anything other than that.
The way it ended felt rather undignified, from seemingly hanging him out to dry since the Norwich City defeat, from coming so close to a result at Leicester, to being destroyed at Liverpool, to being made to wait most of Thursday for his fate to be sealed. But it’s happened, it probably should have happened, and we have to move on. Silva was not the right man, but was a thoroughly decent man who gave his all for Everton in trying circumstances. I hope he goes on to better things.
I’m sad it’s not worked out. The way he had us playing at Goodison at the back end of last season gave me real hope - not just because of the results, but the style and performances too. He had us going toe-to-toe with all top sides. Unfortunately he just couldn’t instil a winning mentality, nor could he, like Roberto Martinez, figure out how to beat a team that sits deep. The board gave him every chance, but it’s for his own good that he won’t be there on Saturday.
Marco seemed a throughly decent and honourable man who has behaved with dignity during a tortuous few months, refusing to make excuses or blame others for the team’s poor form, despite being on the end of some rotten luck at times. I’m sure most Evertonians will wish him well.
But, ultimately, the results have simply not been good enough and a change was probably overdue, even if the problems at Everton extend way beyond the manager.
I was probably excited when he was hired, but now all I really have is apathy. It has been obvious for awhile that Silva doesn’t have that ability to mold an entire club into a long-term success. Not many managers can and once again we are going to have to try to find that manager who can actually build the club like a David Moyes. Though I don’t want him anywhere near the club anymore.
From the time he was brought in, I’m sure many of us including myself were a bit nervy about the appointment seeing as Watford weren’t one of the most prestigious clubs in the world at the time. I feel like that negative feeling basically summed up his time at the club, as many supporters thought we should be striving for much better. At times, his pre-match and post-match conferences were dull, uninspiring, and plain boring. It was time for him to go and (hopefully) it is only onwards and upwards from here.
Like many have said, Silva was afforded nearly every chance to be successful at Everton. There still remains some dysfunction at the Board level, and we really should have signed an established striker and a central defender over the summer, but that aside he had a lot of very expensively-assembled talent that he failed to mould into a team that played well consistently enough.
To me, that was his downfall, consistency. As supporters we could not be sure week-to-week which team would show up on the pitch, even if the lineup was unchanged. On paper, the side that demolished Manchester United 4-0 last season was probably not as good as the one that folded limply against Norwich City, also at Goodison.
A very relevant point to note brought up by the readers of RBM is what makes me think it was time for Marco to go - looking up and down the squad list, it’s hard to say that any of the names on it are having a better (or even equal to) season than last year. As in any job, if you are not constantly improving and raising those you are in charge of, then you are likely to face measures, and Silva has paid the price.