Everton manager Marco Silva faces the sack, with the club’s board expected to decide his future on Thursday – and former boss David Moyes under consideration as an interim replacement.
Silva has already survived one round of emergency talks among the club’s hierarchy after the home loss to Norwich City on 23 November but it is increasingly unlikely he will be spared a second time after the humiliating 5-2 thrashing in the Merseyside derby at Anfield left Everton in the relegation zone.
The 42-year-old Portuguese was asked about his future in the aftermath of Everton’s eighth defeat in 11 games and said: “I am not the right person to talk about this situation. You are asking me and I don’t have the answer.”
The answer may be delivered on Thursday, with Silva increasingly unlikely to be in charge for Saturday’s game against Chelsea at Goodison Park.
If he goes, and in the unlikely event Everton announce a long-term replacement, 56-year-old Scot Moyes is in the frame to return, after being discussed behind the scenes at Goodison Park as a temporary solution.
The emergence of Moyes, who spent 11 years as Everton manager, as a potential successor to Silva, albeit temporarily, provoked an angry reaction from many Everton fans who regard his return as a retrograde step given his lack of success since leaving for Manchester United in 2013.
He was sacked at United and Real Socieded and was in charge of Sunderland when they were relegated from the Premier League before having a short spell at West Ham.
It has been suggested that if Moyes does return he could bring another Everton old boy Tim Cahill back as his assistant.
Silva escaped the sack after the Norwich loss because Everton’s hierarchy appreciated he has worked tirelessly and suffered injuries to key midfield players Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Fabian Delph.
Everton director of football Marcel Brands has backed Silva to date and has argued for stability, but he was seen in deep discussion with fellow board member Sasha Ryazantsev, a close associate of owner Farhad Moshiri, as they stayed behind in the Anfield directors’ box at half-time on Wednesday after a shambolic opening 45 minutes.
There are expected to be further discussions on Thursday morning and it looks like this will result in Silva’s time at Everton, which started in May 2018, ending in dismissal.
It will be a blow to majority shareholder Moshiri, who was the main driver behind Silva’s recruitment, even getting Everton involved in an acrimonious row with Watford as he tried to poach the Portuguese coach following Ronald Koeman’s sacking in October 2017.
If Silva is sacked, he would be the fourth man to suffer that fate since Moshiri bought a share in Everton in February 2016, following Roberto Martinez, Koeman and Sam Allardyce.
‘Everton have to make a change’ – reaction
Former Manchester City midfielder Michael Brown on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It wasn’t a great performance from Everton. Defensively it could have been seven or eight – they were out-fought, out-battled.
“They’ve got to make a change. With the budget and what they’ve spent, I don’t think they’ve been left with much choice. A club the size of Everton can’t be in the bottom three. They can’t risk relegation.
“There’s enough ability in that squad to do better than they are doing. I’ve been at clubs where you ask who’s going to lead it.
“There are a few managers around. Surely Everton won’t go back over the ground they’ve already been over in Sam Allardyce.
“The club have to careful they don’t do things too quickly and be greedy.”
Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas on Match of the Day: “It is looking bleak. It has not been going well for a long period and this performance stinks of some bad news coming [Silva’s] way.”
Everton defender Mason Holgate: “We have been unlucky in some games, but we know the quality we have in our team and it’s not acceptable to be where we are.”
On how much players take responsibility for defeats: “We take pretty much all of it. The manager has told us what we need to be doing and we have not done that. We played well in patches of the game, but route one balls are things we should be dealing with and we have not done that.
“The games are coming thick and fast so we have every chance to turn it around by picking up a win. It’s not acceptable where we are now and we know that.”
Everton go from bad to worse – stats
- Silva is the first Everton manager to concede five league goals against Liverpool in a single match since Howard Kendall in November 1982 (5-0 against Bob Paisley’s side)
- Everton find themselves in the relegation zone after playing at least 15 Premier League matches for the first time since April 1999 (after 32 games).
- It was only the second time in 1,053 Premier League games Everton have conceded four first-half goals (also v Arsenal in February 2018)
‘He’s out of his depth’ – what you said on social media
Spirit Blues: Silva makes Roberto Martinez look competent.
Fern Williams: Bill Kenwright and Farhad Moshiri – listen to the fans and do something!
The LFC Community: In a few months Everton fans will be thanking us for putting an end to Silva.
Dennis W: He’s a decent fella, Silva. I don’t dislike him or wish him any bad will. He’s out of his depth though, and this needs ending now.
Red Mist Rising: Silva is having an awful time at Everton but the players have to take responsibility too. Some very good players in that squad really letting him down.