Everton: Is Marco Silva a good fit for the club?
With news that Sam Allardyce could be replaced by the fledgling Portuguese manager, could there be a cloud to this Silva lining?
He’s young, he’s in vogue and he’s a firm believer in expansive football. Marco Silva is the antithesis to Sam Allardyce in so many ways.
Allardyce has undoubtedly improved the Toffees over the past six months. However, in judging him by the standards he himself outlined in January, it’s safe to say he’s ultimately fallen short.
“My length of stay at Everton is purely based on two things – results and entertainment – and we’ve got to put both things together, we’ve got to be entertaining and we’ve got to win football matches.”
With the fire now put out, Silva is the manager to step over the burning embers on Merseyside.
Relegated with Hull, sacked by Watford, and yet to last anywhere longer than a season, is this really the manager to lead Everton back to times of glory?
The second call
After being courted by the Toffees last November, it’s clear that this is the man the Everton board want to lead their team forward.
While there’s a certain lack of integrity in the way they pursued a manager who was only nine games into his job when rumours began circulating, it also highlights just how far Silva’s star has risen in a short space of time.
With Watford still muddying the waters for Everton by submitting an official complaint for what they consider an illegal approach last year, the second coming may have to be put on hold for a short while.
He’s not the Messiah
Silva achieved the remarkable with Hull, an enhanced profile despite his team suffering relegation. Fondly remembered as a manager who did the best possible with limited resources, Silva’s charisma is uncanny.
The rose-tinted glasses should be slightly adjusted to take in the true picture which he painted on Humberside.
Known as a manager who’s home form was his side’s major strength, Hull took only two points from the nine away games he masterminded while he also saw his side lose five of their final seven matches.
A 2-0 home defeat to Sunderland was the prelude to a 4-0 loss at Crystal Palace which sealed their fate before Spurs knocked seven past them in their one last hurrah in the league.
Roberto Martínez Mk2?
Like the Spanish manager who guided Everton for three years recently, Silva arrives on Merseyside having claimed silverware in a cup competition and having built up a glowing reputation for delivering a pleasing brand of attacking football.
With question marks over the defensive resilience of his teams, Silva will need to prove that unlike Martínez, he can strike a balance in Everton’s set-up.
For a manager who has a modern approach to how football should be played, he also has a firm grasp on the fundamentals of what his players need to deliver.
One of the biggest changes he brought into the Watford dressing room at the start of the season was a heavily increased workrate.
Under Walter Mazzarri, Watford ambled their way around the pitch to record the 17th highest distance covered in the league. Silva prised an extra 5km per game from these players on average each game, transforming them to a fourth-placed standing amongst their rivals.
Identity or naivety?
It is the attacking philosophies for which he’s best known, a trait which when mentioned amongst Everton fans now triggers a Pavlovian reaction following Allardyce’s dry reign.
While his death or glory approach to football is commendable from an aesthetic point of view, it may not necessarily provide all of the answers the Toffees need.
An all-out attacking approach to every game can deliver great results but it can also deliver the opposite too.
His first nine games with Watford produced four victories. It also saw a 6-0 mauling by Manchester City while Chelsea beat them 4-2 with three late goals, spoiling what had been a dominant performance which the Hornets had not capitalised on by closing down the game.
The managers who have performed well this season have done so with fluid in-game tactics that have controlled the games. Death or glory needs to evolve in this direction or it will prove a frustrating spell on Merseyside for Silva.
Stand and deliver
So what do you get for your Silva these days? Excitement will definitely be the main course of this footballing feast but it remains to be seen just how filling it is.
Having already served at two Premier League clubs, Silva will not require any time to adjust to the league’s demands.
There is a raw brilliance to the football he will bring but it remains to be seen how long he can maintain initial performance levels.
He also remains untested in turning around a club’s fortunes after they’ve dipped under his charge, something which can be the most challenging thing for a manager.
Silva will undoubtedly bring optimism and he should quickly win over any lingering doubts on Merseyside.
Having the crowd behind him could also play heavily into Everton’s favour after their recent run of games under hostile, oppressive circumstances.
For a club that is sick of attritional football, Silva is the perfect antidote. But can he prove the cure that Everton are truly seeking in their quest for success?
For the good of the Premier League, let’s hope he can.
What do you think? Will Silva succeed at Goodison Park next season? Let us know by commenting below.