Farhad Moshiri’s Everton reign has been a succession of poor decisions and a spectacular waste of cash… they must fix their terrible recruitment policy and get the right man to replace Marco Silva to avoid a catastrophe
This is no longer about one man’s sacking and another’s appointment. This is now about a crucial moment in Everton‘s history and unravelling the sorry mess they have become.
Marco Silva has been made to take responsibility for Everton’s plunge towards the relegation zone and the shoddy way the club’s hierarchy conducted their business on Wednesday, following an excruciating Merseyside derby, was entirely in keeping with how 2019 has gone.
All managers are judged on results and 14 points from a possible 45 is a dreadful return. He knew what was coming but it is to his credit that not once during the past month did he put himself first or look to apportion blame elsewhere. He wanted to protect the club from negative headlines.
Marco Silva has finally been sacked by Everton after being under pressure for most of 2019
Silva’s Toffees side were well beaten at Anfield as Liverpool ran riot in a rampant 5-2 win
Instead, he had to sit and suffer. It was 2pm before Farhad Moshiri –the club’s major shareholder – arrived at Runcorn train station, where a car was waiting to take him to the Finch Farm training base. Silva, as one source close to the first team told Sportsmail ‘did not deserve a slow death’.
Yet he had lived with the spectre of the axe for most of this calendar year. Moshiri planned to jettison the Portuguese in January, after Millwall had bounced them out of the FA Cup, but changed his mind after a 1-0 win at Huddersfield three days later.
A month later, following three Premier League defeats including one at his old employers Watford, Moshiri was ready to press the button again but a 3-0 victory at Cardiff then a 0-0 draw with Liverpool brought a stay of execution. Everton would go on to finish the campaign positively.
Silva should not take all the blame for the club’s plight as the board have made poor decisions
The problem with this club, however, is they never build purposefully any longer. Moshiri’s arrival in February 2016 was supposed to unlock the potential but all we have seen in the last four years is a succession of poor decisions and a spectacular waste of cash.
Think about these figures: the 18-man squad on duty at Anfield cost close to £330million to assemble. There has been a colossal investment and, from that group, you can count on one hand those who have come close to the required levels.
It is why the blame for the current predicament cannot be solely pinned on him.
‘The responsibility of where we are is not just down to the coach, it is down to the players too,’ Richarlison noted after the 5-2 skewering at Anfield.
The arrival of major shareholder Farhad Moshiri was supposed to unlock the club’s potential
Others, higher up, are also at fault. Moshiri’s big ambition when he came in was to have a Director of Football. He has appointed two so far – the first, Steve Walsh, failed and was sacked. The second, Marcel Brands, is failing.
Walsh surfaced a couple of weeks ago, spotting an opportunity to protect his reputation at the expense of someone else, and in an interview with The Athletic he explained how he had been blocked from doing deals for Andy Robertson, Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire and Erling Haaland.
Funny how he mentioned Haaland, who has been shining for Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League. He never said anything two years ago, when the young Norwegian was brought over to see Everton play a Europa League game against Atalanta.
Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands has not performed after replacing Steve Walsh
Nor, for that matter, did he say anything now about the lamentable records of players such as Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott; signings who have bombed for Everton at great expense. Walsh is a beacon of all that has gone wrong in the Moshiri era.
Brands – his replacement – has not done much better so far. Alex Iwobi, who joined Everton on transfer deadline in August through a series of faxes and phone calls from Dubai where he was on holiday, Moise Kean and Jean Philippe Gbamin – close to £100m for the three – have had no impact.
How can this keep happening? Everton lost Idrissa Gueye to Paris St Germain but failed to replace the holding midfielder, who was so effective at the end of last season. The world and his wife knew a top centre forward and central defender was required in the summer but neither objective was met.
Alex Iwobi has underwhelmed so far at Goodison Park despite arriving from Arsenal for £30m
Then there was the story of Wilfried Zaha. Everton made one bid of £52million on July 28 for the Crystal Palace winger. It was rebuffed and, in some quarters at Goodison, they felt the matter was closed. Moshiri, however, was still eager for the deal to be done on the final day of the window.
An episode such as that only adds to the feeling that things are being made up as they go along. Silva noted last Friday that the first question about his future this season came after a victory over Wolves on September 1. Everything has felt temporary, vulnerable and not conducive to progress.
So now here they are, in the bottom three. They have been in this position before, of course, but the idea that a new manager will come in, click his fingers and make everything better is laughable. There is no trust in this squad, no faith about the club’s direction.
Everton’s hierarchy don’t seem to understand what is required in order for the club to thrive
Everton can talk about the new stadium they want to build on the banks of the Mersey and can trumpet the fact they have bought the Royal Liver Buildings to be their sparkling new office but the only thing the supporters currently care about is on the pitch.
What they see is a rabble, who don’t seem to understand what is required to thrive. They also see in Moshiri and Brands two men whose communication through the deepening malaise – culminating in yesterday’s farce – has left plenty to be desired.
Moshiri has sacked four managers now. Silva, who he courted at Watford, was supposed to be their version of Mauricio Pochettino but the only parallel with the Argentine is that he is out of work. Manager number five has to work. The consequences of another wrong are loaded with peril.