Marco Silva's journey from unwelcome foreigner to Premier League's most wanted
Marco Silva is interesting Everton as the Toffees continue their search for a new manager. The Telegraph report that Watford had been offered £10 million by their fellow Premier League club to release the Portuguese manager from his current contract, but they have insisted that he won’t be leaving at any price.
The Merseyside club are keen to land the 40-year-old and will hope that their interest could lead to him pushing for an exit from Vicarage Road.
It may seem odd that they are heavily interested in Silva, as he has only been in England since January and has managed two clubs during that time. He only joined Watford a matter of months ago and the two looked to be a great fit since his appointment. The Hornets have established themselves in the top half of the Premier League and delivered excellent performances throughout the season so far.
Silva arrived in this country with a small reputation and his appointment was criticised by many in the media. The most famous of which came from Paul Merson. A selection of his comments were reported by football365:
“I could win the league with Olympiakos. They’ve won it 107 times and it’s only been going 106 years.”
“The thing is, why does it always have to be a foreign manager? I’ve got nothing against foreign managers, but…”
“These ex-footballers are spending four or five years getting their badges, and what for? None of them are getting a chance.”
“What’s he know about the Premier League? What’s he know?”
These show a lack of football knowledge from the media and this spreads into the clubs themselves. Since arriving in England, Silva has proven himself to be an intelligent tactician and improved two teams in a short space of time.
Hull City were relegated last season, but every supporter will look back at their time with the Portuguese manager in charge with fondness. He quickly made the team tougher to play against and there was a lot of hope that they could avoid the drop.
He avoided defeat in half of his matches in charge and won eight of his 22 games at the KCOM Stadium.
It wasn’t enough to keep them in the division, but it represented a remarkable upturn in form and if that form had been maintained over a season, it would have been more than enough to stay in the Premier League.
It was a difficult job at Hull City as the club sold their best player in Robert Snodgrass, while Jake Livermore also left during January. Silva was given money to spend and he used his knowledge of players to sign some very talented individuals to improve the playing squad. Oumar Niasse had his first taste of success in England and the possibility of linking-up with Silva again at Everton will appeal to the striker.
In addition to the sales of key players, Hull City were a mess of a club off the pitch, as tensions rose between the board and supporters. Silva managed to keep the players’ focus on the football and that is no mean feat. There are a number of managers who would have struggled to balance the political side of the job with good results, but he did that and considering this was his first job in England, it is no surprise that he has quickly become flavour of the month.
During the summer, a lot of vacancies arose in the Premier League and Silva was considered the best manager on the market. Lots of clubs were linked, but he ended up taking the post at Watford, which surprised people. They are a good Premier League club, but managers have short spells in charge and there seems to be a glass ceiling that they can’t get past.
Watford have had a great start under Marco Silva, with the performances being even better than the results would suggest. They are currently in the top half of the table, with their most memorable moment coming against Arsenal when they scored a late winner to take the points. The performances against Chelsea and Liverpool were equally as pleasing, but they didn’t take maximum points in either match.
A total of 17 goals means that they have the best attack outside of the top six, but their defence is a troubling position and it could hold Silva back from landing one of the top jobs. They have conceded 21 goals in just 11 matches. It is fair to state that they have had a tough schedule, but a good manager would have limited the number of goals conceded. That is one of the big question marks that remains.
Should he take the Everton job?
In the short-termism age of football, it isn’t surprising that Silva is being targeted by Everton. There are doubts about his longevity, but the Toffees want a manager to come in and deliver imminent success. For that, the Portuguese manager is a great fit.
There may be concerns regarding his sustainability, but he hasn’t been in a Premier League job long enough to give an indication either way. In their current position, the Watford boss is a worthwhile gamble for the Everton board.
For him, there will be a big decision to make if terms can be agreed. He is doing well at Watford and there is no reason to leave as such.
However, he may fear the glass ceiling remains and that there are limitations to what he can achieve. Everton have a lot more potential and they are at their lowest right now. It would be difficult for him to come in and not improve results on the pitch.
It would be incredible for one manager to hold three Premier League managerial posts in one year, but Silva is a driven individual and if he believes it offers the best route to the top, he will do all he can to make it happen.
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