Marco Silva was sacked on Thursday night, but Everton took their sweet time about it despite the inevitability of the decision.
Silva was a dead man walking in the wake of the Merseyside derby defeat on Wednesday night, but Everton owner Farhad Moshiri still wanted to sleep on his next move. Moshiri was not present at Anfield, nor it seems was chairman Bill Kenwright, but the Liverpool Echo tracked the owner making the Thursday morning journey from London to Runcorn by train, arriving at Finch Farm around lunchtime.
Still, there were five hours of talks to be had between Moshiri and the board of directors before Silva was finally given his marching orders. By that time, the doomed manager had been hanging around the training ground for more than ten hours, pretending to prepare for a game this weekend he knew he was was never going to be in charge of.
The Sun had the stopwatch on – 11 hours and ten minutes passed between Silva showing up for work and leaving Finch Farm for the final time. Even when they announced his exit just after 7pm, it was half an hour after the news had already leaked.
But the players left the training ground on Thursday afternoon under the impression Silva would be taking training on Friday morning. They were told to stay behind after their session to be addressed by Moshiri, at which point it seems there was still little clarity over the board’s next move.
Everton’s players have been asked to stay behind after training where they will be addressed by Farhad Moshiri
— Alan Myers (@ALANMYERSMEDIA) December 5, 2019
The Athletic has been told by a source close to one squad member that Moshiri sought the opinions of those in the dressing room. “You are all good players,” he said, “I think of all of you as my sons.” But few players spoke up to defend or condemn the manager.
Moshiri’s next meeting was with Marcel Brands and Silva, when it seems the owner might have been swayed towards axing the boss whom he perhaps hoped would have made a convincing case to stay.
The players expected to see Silva on Friday morning – which might have been awkward for Michael Keane following reports the defender had a go at Silva.
The Sun reckons Keane went for Silva over an approach that was perceived as being two-faced. The players could not fathom how the boss could be ‘so human in the dressing room only to savage them in post-match interviews’. Maybe because he grew tired of defending indefensible defenders?
One of the factors in Silva’s failure is Everton’s recruitment and it is no secret that the former manager wanted another centre-back during the summer. Phil Jagielka was released and they chased Kurt Zouma for far too long after it became evident that Chelsea were not going to sell following their transfer ban.
The Athletic says Silva really wanted to sign Marcos Rojo from Manchester United but Marcel Brands vetoed that particular deal, leaving the manager short and Rojo stuck at Old Trafford.
Silva has paid the price for a miserable summer but Brands remains. He also didn’t get behind bids for Wilfried Zaha, who was the player Moshiri wanted most, but Brands was happy to do Mino Raiola a favour by signing Moise Kean from Juventus. Kean is still looking for his first Premier League goal while his father has already said what everyone else is thinking.
For this weekend, getting a tune out of Kean, Keane and the countless other underperforming Toffees is Duncan Ferguson’s concern. Beyond that, Everton don’t appear to have a plan, despite Silva’s struggles being clear for weeks.
David Moyes has been linked with a return and, according to The Athletic, that idea was first mooted five weeks ago. But a fan backlash as well as the former manager’s reluctance to accept an interim role, appears to have scuppered the idea. Let’s hope Moyesey isn’t waiting for a better offer.
Who else? Various reports suggest Shaghai SIPG boss Vitor Pereira is in the frame following an impressive interview. Six sodding years ago.
Carlo Ancelotti is also said to be a target but surely the Italian has grander plans should he part with Napoli?
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