Ambitious Marco Silva Shouldn't Be Tempted By The Bright Lights Away From Fulham

The Portuguese boss has a history of moving on when temptation calls his name
14:00, 03 Mar 2023

Marco Silva has transformed the way Fulham Football Club is perceived.

Hopefully, the adventure of this astounding season has changed him too.

There is no argument against the exploits of the Portuguese manager who has delivered massively on his remit to stop London’s oldest football club staggering between divisions like a drunk at kicking out time.

With a large slice of luck he may even rewrite history should Fulham somehow overhaul an improving Liverpool to finish sixth and record their highest finish in the Premier League.


Shortlisted for February Manager of the Month, accolades flying around for his squad, a Fulham nobody considers a soft touch anymore thanks to his astute signings.

It could all go to a coach’s head. And that’s a worry.

Silva has history of being tempted by bright lights. It happened before when Everton batted their eyelids his way five years ago when he should have been focused on keeping Watford in the top flight.

Fulham fans are crossing their fingers that ambitious Silva has learned from his error and will remain loyal to his paymasters at Craven Cottage.

It swiftly became a disaster when Silva jumped ship for Goodison Park. He lasted a year and a half and was sacked with Everton 18th in the table.

This summer will prove a stern test of whether Silva has learned much about loyalty in the intervening years since he was booted out of Watford following what they called ‘an unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival’.

It is looking increasingly likely that Tottenham could be seeking a new head coach. Incumbent Antonio Conte is out of contract and there are no smoke signals that the volatile Italian is going to sign a new one.

West Ham too could use the summer break to refresh their options and dispense with David Moyes after a turbulent campaign in which they have flirted with relegation.

Both of those clubs would offer Silva the opportunity to work at stadiums with 60,000 plus capacities. There would be higher wages for him, a bigger transfer budget, more pressure, more demands, more of the adrenaline rush that managers thrive on.

He also would not need to leave home.

Silva has one more season after this left on his contract. The attraction will be there and Silva would be interested in new opportunities. Rightly so.

How far he can go with Fulham is up to the people at the very top. Owner Shahid Khan is doing what he can and there is a genuine buzz at his club.

They are the only London team left in this season’s FA Cup, the donkey work of midfielders Andreas Pereira and Palhinha is instrumental in the consistency a traditionally flaky set of players is now showing.

Wins at Crystal Palace and Leicester during the Festive season ended a 12 year wait for successive away wins in the Premier League.

Silva getting a tune out of Brazilian veteran Willian, regarded as a busted flush last summer, is a minor miracle.

The age-old problem is that when small clubs do well, what makes them do well is quickly recognised by bigger teams not doing so well, who want a piece of it.

Silva will have every right to question and test the appetite to push Fulham further on next season because only a disaster is going to get in the way of them having a memorable campaign.

But he should also learn from the past. Roy Hodgson’s stock was never higher than when he led little Fulham to the Europa League final in 2010, knocking out two-times European champions Juventus along the way.

When Liverpool came calling he was on his bike, despite being 63 at the time. He was gone from Liverpool within months.

Sometimes what holds smaller clubs back can at times be its biggest weapon. A bigger ground and a bigger budget are not always the keys to success.

What Silva has built at Fulham is a tight knit unit on limited resources where management skills do not play second fiddle to the owner’s PayPal account and where the intimacy makes team spirit and egos easier to handle.

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