It is the appointment Everton wanted to make back in November and, in failing to do so, ensured the second half of their underwhelming campaign was one of frustration, often verging on civil war.
The Toffees approached Watford regarding their manager Marco Silva but were rebuffed in their efforts to do so.
Subsequently, the Hornets form plummeted and the Portuguese was dismissed in January. While Everton eventually turned to Sam Allardyce, that marriage of convenience was swift and lacked any element of joy.
While Allardyce is regarded as the league’s ultimate ‘firefighter’ – usually appointed by a struggling side midway through a campaign before an upturn in results sees relegation avoided.
He is often portrayed, perhaps a little unfairly, as consistently making sure the basic bar (survival) is reached but unable to develop his approach beyond that.
The beginnings of greatness
For Silva, it is an entirely different story.
This is the man behind the tiny Estoril’s incredible rise in Portugal, winning promotion to the top flight before guiding them to fifth and European football.
His potential was recognised by Sporting CP, who appointed him on a four-year deal in 2014.
Despite guiding them to the Taça de Portugal – the club’s first piece of silverware – in seven years, he was relieved of his duties at the end of that campaign.
The official reason for the former defender’s departure was he did not wear a club suit in a cup clash against FC Vizela, but many suspected he was unfairly moved on in order to secure the appointment of Jorge Jesus from fierce Lisbon rivals Benfica.
Silva had no problem securing work straight away and took the reins at Olympiakos, whom he guided to the Greek league title.
He guided the Greek giants to a domestic winning run of 17 wins – a European record in the 21st century, while he also masterminded a shock Champions League victory at Arsenal. Winning the title with six games to spare, he left the club at the end of the campaign.
Life in England
Everton are now his third club in England having also enjoyed stints in charge of Hull City and Watford.
Despite being relegated with the Tigers, he galvanised them following his arrival in January and coped admirably in the face of multiple player departures and financial problems.
His Watford side were fifth in October, but their form derailed following Everton’s interest and a complete breakdown of communications within the club.
Silva will be joined at Everton by long-term assistant manager Joao Pedro, plus goalkeeping coach Hugo Olivera, technical scout Antonis Lemonakis and fitness coach Pedro Conceicao – the tightly-knit unit who have provided the backbone of success elsewhere.
“I know what our fans expect. I want our fans to be proud when they see our team on the pitch,” Silva said.
“I know the huge history of Everton as a club and what the fans expect. I’m sure with everybody working together I will be ready for this challenge.”
Making a name for himself
Silva has already won league titles, domestic cup competitions, broken European winning streaks and generally overachieved at every club he has managed.
His next step now is to establish himself long-term at an underachieving club with potential. Everton feel like the perfect fit.
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