By Dave Downie
Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and now Marco Silva. Four men who’ve each guzzled hungrily at the teat of a wealthy Premier League club, with fixtures to be found on black type coupon, only to fail miserably when they can suckle no more.
Sure, what they’ve splurged on might’ve changed over the years, but each has ended up in the same mind-numbingly painful place, with one common trait: absolutely no self awareness.
The latest, Marco Silva, looks certain to suffer the same fate as his three pig-headed predecessors and will become the latest off the line of abject failures thousands of Evertonians have had to endure despite having the resources at his disposal to do much better.
The infuriating aspect of it all is that Silva, like Allardyce and Koeman, needn’t have looked far to see exactly what not to do when results began to turn. Of course, managing a Premier League club is no easy task, but is it so difficult to have the capacity to realise that results will not change without enforcing change yourself?
The same predictable, tiresome formation. The same inept players, tactics, style and performance; You could write those words about each of the quartet of the aforementioned managers, yet nothing ever changes.
Hundreds of millions of pounds quite literally frittered away for Everton to end up in 17th place in the Premier League after 8 games having played just one of last season’s top 6. Embarrassing.
Sean Dyche could’ve taken a week off in preparation for his side’s victory yesterday.
The same cumbersome, lethargic effort in the now immovable 4-2-3-1 formation. How is it not apparent to anybody within Marco Silva’s staff that none of this is working after losing 19 of 46 games?
But the plight Silva and Everton are now in feels much worse than that of his predecessors given that the Portuguese, like the rest of us, has bore witness to this exact situation play out more than once. The fact he’s fallen foul of the same stubbornness and reluctance to change that’s done for Martinez, Koeman and Allardyce is truly baffling and pathetic in equal measure.
And so where do Everton go from here? The irony in all this is that in doing the very thing these managers have failed to do, has invariably brought about the same result.
It appears to be an impossible situation. To not act could be critical, but relieving Silva of his duties without a replacement takes the club back to a situation similar to when Ronald Koeman was sacked and a five week period of limbo ensued before the panic appointment of Sam Allardyce.
One key difference on this occasion is the influence of Marcel Brands. As Director of Football with a seat on the board, it would appear the club’s next move is in his hands as opposed to Bill Kenwright and Farhad Moshiri.
That may or may not ease concerns, because as with the playing staff and Marco Silva, nobody is infallible for the situation Everton find themselves in.
The wider context of these failings also can’t be ignored. The cash cow Everton have become since Farhad Moshiri’s investment surely won’t continue – the owner himself has hinted as much. But then, it’s abundantly clear that throwing money about recklessly hasn’t worked either.
The club’s answer continuously seems to be the same – they are nothing if not consistent. Maybe it’s time to look at asking the right questions. What they are is anybody’s guess.