Everton open talks with Marco Silva after Sam Allardyce and director of football Steve Walsh are sacked
Everton have opened talks with Marco Silva to become their new manager after formally ending Sam Allardyce’s acrimonious reign on a day the axe fell with frequency at Goodison Park.
Director of football Steve Walsh was also dismissed within hours of Allardyce, along with the outgoing manager’s backroom staff. Walsh is replaced by Dutchman Marcel Brands, who immediately prioritised appointing the next head coach. Meetings with Silva’s representative were stepped up instantly.
Silva was Everton’s first choice when Ronald Koeman was sacked in November, so there is no surprise his agent, Carlos Goncalves, was swiftly contacted with another recruitment process under way.
Watford are seeking compensation from Everton so it may yet cost £8 million to settle differences with the Vicarage Road club, who reserve the right to pursue a Premier League complaint for an alleged illegal approach to their ex-coach dating back to before Silva’s sacking in January.
Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri had concluded due diligence on Silva before feeling compelled to appoint Allardyce.
It is hoped Silva will bring youth, dynamism, ambition and a pacier style to Goodison Park, something the supporters feel was lost in a torturous campaign which has seen three managers try and fail to secure their position.
Allardyce was called to a scheduled meeting with Moshiri in London at 8.30am yesterday. Confirmation of his dismissal came 75 minutes later.
Newly appointed chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale explained why. “We have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately,” she said.
Allardyce leaves with neutrals offering more sympathy than Everton fans, who never wanted him before he was recruited and grew increasingly intolerant while he was in post.
He was employed at a time when the club was genuinely threatened with relegation in the aftermath of a dismal summer of recruitment, and Koeman’s poor start to the season.
David Unsworth was given the chance as a caretaker, but could not acquire the necessary points during a tough run of fixtures to convince he should be retained as head coach.
Allardyce arrived just as Unsworth had overseen the most encouraging performance of the season – a 4-0 win over West Ham – and the controversy of who deserved credit for that victory summed up the divisiveness of reign. The new manager was in the stands, but Unsworth was still in charge.
Evertonians partially understood why he was given the job short-term, but did not welcome his receiving an extra year on his contract.
He made two significant signings in January, adding Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun, but it irked Evertonians when exciting youngster Ademola Lookman moved to RB Leipzig on loan, where he performed well.
Allardyce’s was not the only blood on the carpet on Wednesday. Six hours later, Everton announced Brands’ arrival and Walsh’s exit.
Walsh was headhunted from Leicester City having been credited for overseeing their triumphant title season. Moshiri hoped he would be equally intuitive at Goodison Park, but the return on his investment last season was pitiful. Of last summer’s deals – costing in excess of £100 million – only goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was a success.
Now the Merseyside club turns to Dutchman Brands, 56, who joined PSV Eindhoven having previously been instrumental in transforming the fortunes of RKC Waalwijk and AZ Alkmaar.
“It is a privilege to be joining Everton as director of football and I am incredibly excited to take on this challenge,” said Brands.
“The fantastic passion of the fans for their club, the magnificent history of the club over the years and the ambition and purpose we have as people tasked with driving the club forward all mean that we need to be competing for honours against the Premier League elite.
“It is only a challenge such as this which could have persuaded me to leave PSV.”
Moshiri claimed Brands’ arrival will make the club “better and more equipped to challenge the top teams in the Premier League”.
He needs the changes to work after some expensive missteps during his tenure so far. Since Moshiri invested in Everton, the club has sacked three managers – Roberto Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce.
Wayne Rooney’s future should also become clearer by the end of this week.
If it becomes clear to him the likely next manager does not see him as a key part of his plans, the former England captain may accept the offer to join DC United.