Everton’s season started with buckets of promise, potential and the excitement that Marco Silva could kick-start an exciting new era at the club.
Fast-forward to the current day and the Toffees are in somewhat of a sticky patch. They’ve once again flopped in both domestic cup competitions - they’ve not won a trophy since 1995 - and are floating in the No Man’s Land region of the Premier League: no chance of relegation, and no chance of a top-six finish.
A sorry sequence of seven defeats and only three wins from a dozen top-flight matches has forced bookmakers to install Silva as the favourite for the sack.
No Premier League team has conceded more set-piece goals (11) than Everton this season. Leaking goals in this manner is a recurring theme for Silva’s teams: Hull let in 10 set piece goals in 18 games, and Watford 12 in 24 games, bringing the Portuguese's total to 33 set-piece stinkers in 67 top-flight matches.
Earlier this week Silva received the dreaded vote of confidence from Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri (via talkSPORT):
“Marco Silva is a talented coach but he’s planning long-term.
“He will coach and develop those young players and every year those same young players will become stronger.
“In this business you have to hold your nerve.”
False promises and broken pledges are sadly key components of the modern managerial arena, so it would surprise few if Moshiri went back on his word and sacked Silva at some point this month.
Moshiri’s not been hesitant to wield the axe in the past, previously giving the likes of Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce the boot.
Should Silva be sacked this month, Everton would be on the hunt for their fifth manager (including caretakers) in the last 16 months.
His sides have conceded 33 goals from set pieces in 67 PL games (0.49 per game), so addressing this has to be the starting point. #EFC
A Cauldron Of Hostility Awaits
Few will be backing Everton to conjure up a shock victory at home to Man City tonight - they haven’t beaten a top-six side in 25 attempts - although given the unpredictable nature of the current campaign, you simply can’t rule anything out.
Watford fans will be chomping at the bit as their former boss returns to his old stomping ground this weekend for the first time since he departed the club a year ago. A volcanic Vicarage Road will be a cauldron of hostility, and if Everton fail to buzz against the Hornets, then the calls for Silva’s head will be deafining.
Who Would Replace Silva?
If the Merseyside outfit do orchestrate another managerial change, then it’s a case of take your pick in the next Everton manager market.
David Wagner has long been linked with the club, and he’s currently a free agent having recently departed his post at Huddersfield. Former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta could be an option, although whether they’d be able to prize the Spaniard away from his cushty job at Man City is open to debate.
Paulo Fonseca continues to excel at Shakhtar Donetsk but is unlikely to be too keen on a switch at this point in time. That man Moyes is hovering around the frame at 6/1, while Arsene Wenger remains free…
In other words, it would only make sense for Everton to sack Silva if they have a high-quality replacement lined-up. He may be enduring a tough time, but if he can get through this patch then he’ll hope that Moshiri stays true to his word and gives him time to flourish.