Former Watford and Hull City manager Marco Silva was appointed as Everton manager earlier this week as the club looks to head in a new direction following a somewhat chaotic and disfunction season.
There was considerable excitement around Goodison Park at the start of the campaign after majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri invested over £100 million on players in the summer, yet that money appears to have been unwisely invested.
The Toffees struggled for results and resided on the periphery of the relegation zone, with Ronald Koeman sacked in October and replaced by survival expert Sam Allardyce.
Everton were never in danger of being relegated once ‘Big Sam’ was appointed, yet his pragmatic style of play also meant that he was never going to be a long-term solution for the ambitious Moshiri.
Enter Marco Silva.
The 40-year-old becomes Everton’s third permanent managerial appointment in two years and will be charged with building a team capable of challenging for European football.
Here, The Boot Room highlights three keys things that Silva needs to address at Everton.
Invest in a long-term project and build slowly
Marco Silva is not exactly renowned for sticking with the same club for a prolonged period of time.
All four of the 40-year-old’s previous appointments have been short-term occupations that have lasted no longer than a year and his latest managerial stint at Watford ended acrimoniously after just eight months.
It is now time for Silva to settle at one club and concentrate on building a lasting legacy with a clear long-term plan. At Everton, he will be provided with the time and funds to build a team capable of making a long-term impression on the Premier League.
However, he will need to build a team gradually and with a clear plan in mind.
Last summer Everton attempted to do too much, too soon in the transfer market and Ronald Koeman’s scattergun strategy resulted in the arrival of talented players but that a team was vastly unbalanced and not suited to the Dutchman’s style or system of play.
It is time for Silva and Everton to think long-term and build something special by gradually building the club over a three or four year period.
Find a system that suits Everton’s underperforming stars
When Farhad Moshiri handed Ronald Koeman a blank chequebook last summer there was an expectancy that the Dutch manager would build a team capable of challenging for Champions League football.
However, the club’s scattergun transfer strategy left The Toffees in chaos.
Koeman was the master of his own demise as he constructed an unbalanced squad but, more importantly, he also failed to find a system that suited the players that he had at his disposal.
This was exemplified by £45 million signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was shoe-horned into the starting eleven as a wide-player when he had performed best for Swansea City as a number ten.
A quick glance through Everton’s squad proves that there is no lack of quality – Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Morgan Schneiderlin, Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen, Michael Kean and Theo Walcott to name but a few.
The challenge for Marco Silva will be to find a system that suits the current group of players and maximising their ability.
Trust in youth and improve the young players at his disposal.
Over the previous two decades, Everton have a developed a reputation for producing talented young players in their academy system and facilitating the transition into first-team football.
There is a deluge of talent that is currently sitting on the periphery of the first team squad including the likes of Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jonjoe Kenny.
However, over the previous twelve months none of the above have been able to cement their place in the starting eleven or significantly improve under either Ronald Koeman or Sam Allardyce.
Ademola Lookman, who undoubtedly has an abundance of talent, was forced to facilitate a loan deal in January in order to find regular first-team football.
The winger, who joined RB Leipzig, has demonstrated that the club’s young players can make an impact if given the opportunity, as shown by his string of outstanding performances in Germany.
Marco Silva has demonstrated in the past that he is capable of improving players and simply throwing money around at new players in the summer is no guarantee of success.
The 40-year-old should look to put some of his faith in youth next year.