European dreams in taters and 18th place in the league, just 2 months after Everton’s most promising summer in a long time, Ronald Koeman has been sacked and thank lord it’s happened. Mediocrity has oozed into Everton on and off the pitch over many years now, so maybe sacking Ronald this early in the season may be a sign of the board showing some balls. Positive thoughts now and with the number of decent mangers on the cards, it looks like we’ve done it the right time. Here is my analysis on who is right for the job.
At this moment
On field it’s an absolute mess, we have a squad that’s horrifically imbalanced, a defence which is afraid to do its job and a disturbing lack of speed and energy. October has always been the barometer month for Everton and after winning no game away from home all season (so far) it was only going to go from worse to unthinkable levels if it continued. I do strongly believe however that behind the scenes the board do want to build the best Everton team since 85’ but the next appointment will be crucial to how the fans view their work. We have good players in the team, there’s no doubt about that, but the team has no game plan and no system to work on. Martinez was hounded by Everton fans for not training on set-pieces at all, but it feels like Koeman genuinely didn’t train them anything, just Pickford on how to smash it long to Calvert-Lewin. It can change.
What we’re looking for
- A clear structure within the team selection with multiple plans A, B and C if we’re incapable of breaking through.
- Get the best out of new signings (Klaassen, Sigurdsson especially)
- Hard worker
- Ability to stick to one formation which works
- Believe in youth players because our academy is boss
As always, the betting companies like to throw in another 7/8 candidates into the mixer and as always, they’re mortifying. Simon Mullock from the Mirror genuinely wrote an article on how David Moyes is lined-up to return and called it “sensational.” Big Sam is also a favourite, which is the absolute last thing we need – another long ball merchant. An interesting shout I heard was Mikel Arteta, the player we still haven’t replaced after six years. I like the idea of it and working with Guardiola as an assistant coach is going to make him a huge draw in the future, but there are easier jobs for him to take at this stage. Marco Silva is a name I’ve seen quite a lot of fans mention, however his new job at Watford is unlikely to see him change positions anytime soon. The likes of Duncan Ferguson and Alan Stubbs are always thrown about, but with no coaching experience it won’t happen.
The likely candidates
David Unsworth (Everton U-23s)
Age: 44, Trophies as manager: 0, Preferred Formation: 4231, Win Ratio: 40.4%
Rhino has already had one game at the dugout, taking charge of Everton’s last game in the 15-16 season alongside Joe Royle. Everton beat Norwich 3-0 with the likes of Kenny, Dowell and Davies all in the side. After the success of the Under-23s, I can see why Unsy is a massive favourite for Evertonians and he has a head-start as he is set to take over as caretaker.
The uncertainty for me is can he get the best out of our first-team like he has for the under-23s? Maybe, is my answer. The likes of Sigurdsson and Klaassen need a manager who can develop them and gel them into a system that makes them perform at the greatest level. For Unsworth, there are so many young players he can develop, Vlasic, Lookman and Kenny have all shown mega potential and Unsy can certainly give them more game time.
Unsworth has at least a couple of games to show his worth, interim managers often improve the team whether that’s only slightly or significantly. We will see if he can do the business.
Sean Dyche (Burnley)
Age: 46, Trophies as manager: 1, Preferred Formation: 442, Win Ratio: 38.8%
Dyche is arguably one of the best defensive coaches in the league so it was going to be obvious that he was going to be linked with the Everton job. He loves a 442 and to frustrate the hell out of opposition teams, after all attacking two banks of four is much more difficult than just one. It’s fair to say that Burnley are one of the hardest teams to break down, which is expected from a mid-table team.
However, offensive play has never been in Dyche’s locker. Burnley have averaged just 43.8% possession in Premier League games this season and have also averaged the highest amount of long balls than any other team – 77 per game. If you want to see an Everton side who are very dangerous on the attack soon, then please look for someone else.
The worrying thing for me is the fact we have players (DCL, Klaassen, Sigurdsson) who can play football with speed but can’t perform. We need a manager who can develop our attacking system and fast, Dyche isn’t that person.
Carlo Ancelotti (Career break)
Age: 58, Trophies as manager: 20, Preferred Formation: 4231, Win Ratio: 59%
And how odd it is to go from Sean Dyche to Carlo Ancelotti in the space of 5 seconds (the bookies say this is likely so I’m going with it). Regardless of what you think of him, he is very, very experienced, managing the likes of Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Carlo is arguably one of the most successful managers ever, but even if we get the chance would he be right in the current situation we are in? Bayern players were reported training behind Ancelotti’s back after numerous complaints about his sessions earlier on this month. Arjen Robben stated that “There’s better training at my son’s youth team” towards his sessions.
Carlo is a fan of the 4231, which is a concern for me if he ever comes in considering how diabolical we are in that system. The Italian boss has been able to adapt however into multiple formations, his biggest success coming in a 433 at Madrid, which enabled them to have two attacking midfielders in a midfield three (something that we’ve been crying out for weeks).
The Ancelotti story is probably a whole lot of nonsense, but if true it’d be a huge financial gamble for the club to take. He won’t come in for a low wage and let’s be honest, he’d much rather go into a laid-back job than Everton, but if it ever happens it’d be a big statement.
Lucien Favre (OGC Nice)
Age: 59, Trophies as manager: 4, Preferred Formation: 433, Win Ratio: 47.6%
Favre brings several different attacking styles and systems which can a thousand percent improve Everton. He is currently manager of French side Nice, leading them to a 3rd placed finish last season, where they lost just 4 games. Favre has changed his teams around and did so last season, however this has enabled them to have plan a and b, either controlling the play or hitting the opposition on the counter.
For me, the Swiss man has had tougher to deal with in his career and is well capable of bringing the best out of players, Balotelli is a great example of this. After his poor spells at Liverpool and Milan, Balotelli has scored 20 goals in 29 games and having creative players such as Jean Seri, Lees-Melou and Sneijder has really benefitted him.
Everton’s new signings would benefit from him massively and Favre would bring a whole new different style to Everton’s attacking play. Defensively is a concern, they have conceded 16 this season, but for me Favre would be a strong candidate.
Thomas Tuchel (Unemployed)
Age: 44, Trophies as manager: 1, Preferred Formation: 4141, Win Ratio: 45.6%
Tuchel has enjoyed stints at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in recent times and has been known to bring young players into his systems. The recruitment of the second most expensive ever player, Ousmane Dembele and Euro winner, Raphael Guerrerio are most notable of his signings. Players such as Julian Weigl also benefitted from his work during his two-year spell which ended at the end of last season.
Thomas’s style involved pressure play in the opposing half, filled with energy and speed. With the likes of Aubameyang, Reus, Dembele all in the team, it would be obvious to set the team out like this and speed-play is being cried out by Evertonians everywhere.
Tuchel elevated Mainz from a relegation-threatened side into one of the most exciting teams in the Bundesliga, it’s about time Goodison Park was elevated into a similar sort of fashion.
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle)
Age: 57, Trophies as manager: 15, Preferred Formation: 4411, Win Ratio: 51.2%
Ok, so this mention probably won’t go down well considering his success over the pond and calling us a “small club”, but is it hard to argue he’s the most qualified for the job? He’s had very successful spells at Valencia and Napoli, bloody hell he even won the Champions League with a side containing Djimi Traore!
Benitez’s work at Newcastle has gone under the radar after the summer they had, currently sitting in 7th place and only 2 points behind fourth place. He’s developed a reputation of being a hard man to please and is significantly strong in setting up teams for set-pieces. Everton have recently been very poor at chance creativity and shot productivity, only ranking 11.2 shots per game and 8.9 key passes per game. For Newcastle, they’ve averaged 13 shots and 9.2 chances created per game, crazy for a team where you could argue not a single player would get into our squad.
The way Newcastle are going and the history between Benitez and Everton, it probably won’t happen, but if he wants the job then it’s certainly worth considering.
Paulo Fonseca (Shakhtar)
Age: 44, Trophies as manager: 5, Preferred Formation: 4231, Win Ratio: 50%
The Portuguese man is probably the most popular “outsider” for the job and after doing the double for Donetsk last season, they’ve grown into a very entertaining team to watch in the Champions League this season (they’ve beaten Napoli and Feyenoord in their group). Fonseca sets his team in a 4231, wanting to create a huge number of options from midfield going forward. He sets his team out to control the ball, but rather than backpassing for 90 minutes like the Martinez era, he prefers the ball in the opposition half and using the ball more effectively in the final third.
He sets his full-backs to overlap (imagine the development of Kenny under him) and attacking in a variety of different ways. Donetsk are currently on top of the Premier Liga, having lost just one game and scoring 26 goals in 13 games.
The chances of Everton going this far for a manager is very, very slim, however Fonseca provides a brilliant philosophy to the table and his contract at Shakhtar does run out in the summer. A good candidate.
For me, we’ve sacked Koeman at the perfect time. Not many clubs are looking for new managers at this stage and there are very, very good candidates out there. Tuchel is my first choice and if he brings in the right players in January then the first couple of months of the season can become a distant memory. With new stadium plans and a huge investor, the next appointment is massive. It took the likes of Man City and Tottenham to go through a good few managers before finding the right formula, let’s be patient.
Stats via WhoScored.
Up the Toffees.