It is presumed around the footballing world that Farhad Moshiri will move on from Sam Allardyce in the summer. The current Everton manager has done what has been asked of him and kept the club in the Premier League but the underlying feeling is that Moshiri wants more and has loftier ambitions than the former England manager can provide.
Here I will discuss some of the candidates for the job and also discuss some other potential names that may not have been considered or are not known to the masses in England.
The Incumbent …..
Sam Allardyce was appointed Everton Manager 30th November 2017 when the club where coming off the back of two heavy defeats to Southampton and Atalanta. Tasked with ensuring safety Allardyce has completed his task with 7 games to go, but should he be given the further year on his contract?
The answer is No, not that Allardyce is a poor manager or he has done an awful job, in essence his job was to ensure that the club stayed in the premier league and he has done that but it doesn’t jump out at you when you watch Everton that his tactics or style of play will help the club end their long wait for silverware.
The bigger question for me is why let Allardyce continue for another 12 months then have to rebuild when he leaves? Why not bring in a new manager to build a squad over the course of a couple of seasons with the goal to challenge for a top four spot. By keeping Allardyce your delaying that goal, he favours more experienced players in transfer market and hasn’t got a great reputation when it comes to developing young players. For a club of Everton’s size and wealth it’s imperative that they sign younger players and develop them, either to have them long term or to sell then on for a massive profit like Spurs or Liverpool have done. That doesn’t fit with Allardyce’s short termism as a manager and he will want to keep his reputation intact rather than think about the clubs long term future.
Verdict: Thanks for keeping us up but here is £6 million and goodbye!
Eddie Howe has been linked with various jobs since he came into the Premier League with Bournemouth. Howe is young, talented and English, which in a league with very few young English managers means he is a sort after man. Bournemouth under Howe have risen from League 2 to the Premier league playing an exciting passing style of football. Howe has kept Bournemouth in Premier League playing to win every game unlike a lot of pragmatists who occupy the managerial positions of many bottom half clubs.
Howe has a reputation for improving players with rigorous work on the training ground to squeeze every last bit of improvement out of his players. Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Charlie Daniels, Junior Stanislas and Harry Arter are now established Premier league players under Howe’s tutelage which is really impressive considering know one had really heard of them before Bournemouth. He also signs young talented players like Nathan Ake, Joshua King, Jordan Ibe and Lewis Cook and improves them to some degree. These are some of the qualities Everton require in a manager.
I don’t think Howe should ever leave Bournemouth, he has a job for life, players who are willing to run through brick walls for him and has full control over the club. I am not 100% sure his methods would work with players of a higher level, would they commit to Howe’s rigorous self-improvement and buy into his methods? It didn’t go swimmingly at Burnley during his time there in between his two Bournemouth stints.
Verdict: No but the admiration is there
Marco Silva is currently unemployed partly due to Everton, when Ronald Koeman was relieved of his duties Farhad Moshiri made numerous offers to Watford to prise away there impressive manager. When Watford rejected them the team seem to go into a tailspin and never recovered until Silva was sacked and replaced by Javi Gracia.
Up until Everton’s interest Watford performing well 11 games yielded 4 wins and 3 draws playing exciting football but also being solid defensively. Silva oversaw marked improvements in the form of some of his players including Abdoulaye Doucoure, now wanted by the Premier Leagues elite. In his previous job at Hull Silva gave the club hope of survival when there was virtually none and also showed people that Oumar Niasse was a premier league footballer and breathed life back into Lazar Markovic’s career.
My concerns with Silva are twofold. One, he never seems to stay in a job long enough to build anything and his head is turned when he is linked with bigger clubs, this is not something Everton need when they need to build for sustained long term success. Two, apart from brief periods his teams seem defensively naïve which Everton have experienced before when Roberto Martinez was manager. Watford conceded a lot of late goals under his stewardship this season which cost them points.
Verdict: Maybe, he is a good manager but comes with question marks
Paulo Fonseca has rose to prominence in European football by leading Shakthar Donetsk to the Last 16 of The Champions League. What been so impressive is that this isn’t the Shakthar Donetsk of old who spent big on South American imports and won the Europa League. Since the Civil War, Shakthar haven’t been able to play in their own stadium or bring in many new players, since Fonseca arrived at the club they have only spent £4 million on new players.
Despite all this Fonseca has them playing an exciting 4-2-3-1 formation, with Fred and Stepanenko supplying the 4 South American forward players, with the 2 full backs overlapping and creating havoc in the forward areas. This would translate well to the Premier league and isn’t too dissimilar to other top teams systems that have been successful. He gets the most out of what he has got which is important for an Everton team full of underachieving overpriced players. Shakthar on paper shouldn’t really be in last 16 of Champions league but due to their Manager they have overachieved in style.
The obvious risk is he hasn’t managed in Premier League before which is why Mark Hughes, Alan Pardew and Paul Lambert have been given jobs despite their obvious flaws. In my opinion Fonseca is ready he is charismatic, a tactician and an extremely capable coach. If Everton don’t pounce quickly he could be snapped up by bigger fish in Europe. He is a manager capable of getting the maximum out of a group of players, can work under a budget and play an exciting brand of football.
Verdict: Ticks all the Boxes! Welcome Paulo
In Our Dreams……..
Diego Simeone is let’s be honest every Evertonians dream manager. He has broken the Real/Barcelona monopoly in La Liga, his teams play technically efficient football but with a premium on defence and one charismatic but scary man. Atletico’s success under him has been unbelievable 2 Champions League finals, 1 Europa League and 1 La Liga championship.
Despite playing in the shadows of a bigger, more world renowned and successful club he has made Atletico one of the elite. Everton are not too dissimilar in terms of history to Atletico and share the city with a renowned and successful club. Imagine if Simeone could do with Everton what he has done with Atletico that would make him a legend.
Sadly despite Moshiri being very very interested in acquiring him it is probably a pipe dream. Simeone when he leaves Atletico will be able to walk into any job in Europe. I very much doubt that he is interested in rebuilding another club from ground up to try and take on the big boys. I can see him taking a job that gives him a chance at winning the champions league after coming so close twice.
Verdict: We can Dream but then reality bites
Antonio Conte took the Premier League by storm last year playing a 3-4-3 with marauding full backs that waltzed to the League title with ease. It’s all gone a bit wrong this season, Abramovich has a habit of resting on his laurels after success and it usually means a down season for the club. This season is no different with Conte seeming like a dead man walking who won’t be at Chelsea beyond the summer.
Conte will be a free agent in the summer once he is relieved of his Chelsea duties and is a fantastic manager. Tactically there are not many better in football and he has a habit of getting the best out of players as seen with Victor Moses, who before becoming a marauding wing back was a journeyman winger going on loan after loan and Cesar Azpilicueta who Conte turned into a ball playing centre half after a career as a full back.
Despite being a Free Agent I doubt very much Everton would be able to get a meeting with Conte, he will be on all the top clubs radars in the summer with PSG and other looking for a new manager.
Verdict: No Chance
Lucien Favre is a superb manager that not many people known about. He has managed in Switzerland, Germany and France for the majority of his career without winning a great deal but leaving his mark wherever he has been. Favre is a massive overachiever that what he does he gets a group of players and squeezes every last drop of talent and effort out of them.
At Hertha Berlin he led the club to a 4th placed finish despite having the 13th largest budget at his disposal. He then kept Gladbach in the Bundesliga in his first season before leading them to a 4th place finish the following season. He then moved on to Nice in France and in his first season led the club to a 3rd place finish and Champions League qualification. These clubs when he took over where not in dissimilar position to where Everton our now just outside the elite or under achieving and he transformed them.
Favre wanted to become Everton manager when the club appointed Ronald Koeman, he got sick of waiting around so took the Nice job. In hindsight Everton probably should have employed him and may not be in the position they are now. As well as getting the maximum out of his players he has even managed to make Mario Balotelli a consistent player, having scored 29 league goals in 43 games.
Apart from his Age (60) he ticks all the boxes and whilst the squad is being rebuilt he is likely to overachieve and have us qualifying for the Europa league which is important in terms of attracting players.
Verdict: Has to be an option
Thomas Tuchel since leaving Dortmund in the summer has been linked with every vacant manager job in Europe and with good reason. He overachieved at Mainz leading the club to a 5th place finish with a group of young players then at Dortmund where the club finished 2nd behind Pep’s Bayern but playing an exciting fast fluid attacking style of football that had plaudits all around Europe.
Tuchel’s strength is in his coaching and development of players, this makes him very desirable to Everton with the large group of raw but talented youngster who need the right manager to mould them. Julian Weigl, Christian Pulisic and Ilkay Gundogan improved immensely under Tuchel and became much sort after players.
The only perceived negatives with Tuchel is some think he underachieved at Dortmund which is misconception. His first year when they were fantastic was also Pep Guardiola’s last at Bayern, the same Pep who has the highest winning percentage as a manager in Bundesliga history. In his second season they lost Gundogan, Hummels and Mkhitaryan which would be tough for any manager to deal with. The other negative is his fall out with the board and the recruitment team at Dortmund over the failed transfer of Oliver Torres who he wanted to replace Gundogan and the aftermath of the team bus bombing which cost them a place in the semi-finals of Champions league, this led to his departure as the relationships became fractured.
Tuchel ticks all the boxes he is young, ambitious, tactically astute, a great coach and plays the type of exciting attacking football that would have Evertonians excited. There are rumours he was offered the job in November and wasn’t interested.
Verdict: Yes Please but unlikely to come
Simone Inzaghi is a Lazio man through and through, he played 150 plus games for the clubs scored a lot of goals, became U20 manager and then became Manager last year. Since he took over as manager the club has gone from strength to strength, finishing 5th last season and getting to a cup final and being in a position to challenge for a Champions league place this season.
Lazio play an exciting brand of football with a group of players not many outside of Serie A would of heard of, but this summer that will all change with midfield maestro Sergej Milinković-Savić, winger Felipe Anderson and central defender Stefan De Vrij all wanted by Europe’s elite. Ciro Immobile who struggled after his big move to Dortmund is transformed under Inzaghi scoring 60 goals in 77 games since his move to Lazio.
Inzaghi meets the requirements in terms of what Everton need, he develops players, he gets the best out of players who have underachieved, he is tactically flexible (see his use of the 5-3-2 to beat Juventus) and plays exciting football.
Verdict: Good but Lazio for life!
Julian Nagelsmann is only 30 years old! But is one of the hottest managerial prospects in Europe due to the marvellous job he has done at Hoffenheim. Nagelsmann is one of a wave of young german managers taking the Bundesliga by storm and has already been heavily linked with Bayern and Dortmund in recent months.
Nagelsmann took a Hoffenheim team full of young players and journeymen and achieved Champions League qualification in his first full season. Utilising Karim Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri to full effect they play an efficient possession based style that is very fluid tactically they change formations with and without the ball to overload in attack or press efficiently and have banks of four in defence. His former player Niklas Sule now of Bayern described him as a “tactics freak”.
Nagelsmann has been nothing but impressive during his time as Hoffenheim manager getting the best out of his older players and developing his younger players into full internationals. He is a tactical whizzkid that would give Guardiola, Klopp and Mourinho fits with the right team. Everton would be taking a massive gamble to hire a 30 year old manager but still the talent is there why not get ahead of the curve and offer him the keys to Goodison.
Verdict: Tactical Whizzkid that will have better offers sadly
Thinking Outside of the Box…
Slavisa Jokanovic for me is the best manager in the Championship, He led Watford to Promotion before being sacked before they played a premier league game and even in trying circumstances has Fulham playing the most attractive football in the championship and has them chasing promotion once again.
Jokanovic has had to put up with a weird transfer policy at Fulham over the last 18 months that really hindered the clubs process with people above him buying players he didn’t want or need rather than players he wanted and needed. With that resolved Fulham are on a hell of a tear in 2018 racing up the table and scoring goals for fun.
It’s not the norm for a Premier League team to hire a Championship manager but Jokanovic should definitely be under consideration. Fulham have not lost since December and are the joint top scorers in the championship this season and Jokanovic stands by his principles of playing attacking expansive football despite spending his career as a defensive midfielder. He is considered a fantastic man manager which in today’s premier league is a very important trait for a manager.
I think he suits Everton down to the ground! He plays attacking exciting football, excellent man manager gives youth a chance (Ryan Sessengnon) and develops players (Tom Cairney).
Verdict: A Gamble worth taking
Graham Potter was a virtual unknown before his team Ostersunds FK knocked out the mighty Galatasaray to make the UEFA Europa League group stages but that wasn’t the end of the fairy-tale for the English manager in the frozen tundra of Sweden.
I won’t go into too much detail about Potter as there must have been 50 stories on the Swedish clubs meteoric rise under the Englishmen’s management. From team bonding sessions that involved putting on Swan Lake at a local theatre to the condition’s in which they have to work in Potter has done a marvellous job.
He has done an extraordinary job with the Swedish club taking National League and below players and making them Europa league quality players. I just don’t think Everton can take such a risk, he obviously is a very talented and innovative manager but The Premier League is a massive step up from Sweden and the type of players he is used to working with.
Verdict: Championship experience required
Mikel Arteta was a much beloved Everton player, a midfield maestro who along with Steven Pienaar brought the technical ability to take David Moyes’s team to new heights in terms of style. When he left for Arsenal is was probably my saddest day as a football fan much was my love for “the best little Spaniard we know”.
He now after finishing his playing career is one of Pep Guardiola’s most trusted assistant at Manchester City who have absolutely destroyed the field in the premier league this season. Apart from the late great Tito Villanova and Juan Carlos Unzue none of Guardiola’s backroom team have gone into management so it is difficult to gauge what being part of the great man’s backroom team means for your prospects as a manager. Villanova won La Liga before sadly succumbing to Cancer and Unzue who was Guardiola’s goalkeeping coach has gone at to do a good job at Celta this season.
Obviously it would be great to have a fan favourite back in the dugout at Goodison but is Arteta ready and what type of manager would he be. Cloning Pep is a difficult thing to do especially if you don’t have the right players to build his great system around. In conclusion Arteta’s is probably too much of an unknown at this point even if he as Everton manager excites me.
Verdict: Love you but you need more experience
My semi realistic Shortlist
- Paulo Fonseca
- Thomas Tuchel
- Lucien Favre
- Slavisa Jokanovic