West Ham and Everton both target Marco Silva after day of managerial mayhem
At 9:46am, Everton made the less-than-shocking announcement that Sam Allardyce had left as he arrived – fired with enthusiasm.
The Everton board simply could not wait to rid themselves of the man who had marched into Goodison Park on November 30, equally determined to mark a new beginning at the club.
Had his arrival actually marked the start of a fresh season, by May Everton would have been in the top six.
Was that not the aim, after all?
As it was, their last game turned into a damp squib.
Everton failed to show up against a buoyant West Ham side enjoying a much happier London Stadium than they had inhabited several months earlier.
Then, the club had been staring a financially calamitous relegation starkly in the face under Slaven Bilic, only for David Moyes to come in, restructure the whole football side of the club and turn results around.
Moreover, in the course of one afternoon, that final 3-1 win over the Toffees saw the Hammers climb two additional places and put £4m extra in prize money straight into the pockets of the owners.
At 12:26pm yesterday, though, it was announced that Moyes’ services also were no longer required, either.
The added irony is that Everton aspire to success they have not been close to since Moyes left for Manchester United in 2013. At the same time, West Ham need the structure to underpin their aspirations that Allardyce provided in four years at the club that saw from promoted from the Championship and established comfortably as a mid-table side with aspirations for Europe.
Now both clubs have Marco Silva in their sights – a more flamboyant manager, maybe, but one who could not save Hull from relegation and left Watford after a poor run of results.
Everton are favourites, with new owner Farhad Moshiri focusing – alongside the large majority of fans who refused to accept Allardyce at the club – on how things are done rather than what is achieved.
Partly it was Big Sam’s fault. He was cantankerous and curmudgeonly and at times acted as though he was bigger than the club. That was something he could get away with at Bolton, but not here.
Yes, Everton were in a hole. But worse than calling a spade a spade, Allardyce insisted on voicing what it was they needed to dig them out of it. Namely discipline, shape and a more rigid defence.
Moyes, on the other hand, did little wrong, having been on the charm offensive from the start. He is simply another victim of the most terrifying three-headed beast outside Greek mythology – the West Ham executive board.
David Gold, who only on Tuesday had expressed a desire for Moyes to stay, David Sullivan and Karren Brady, say they want a manager with proven Premier League experience. Yet Paulo Fonseca from Shakhtar Donetsk is top of their hit-list.
Failing that, Manuel Pellegrini and Rafa Benitez are in the frame, although an appointment is not expected any time soon.
Why rush to make a bad decision when you can do so in a thoughtful and considered manner?
“We are already taking steps to identify and recruit the manager we believe can take West Ham United forward in line with our ambitions,” Sullivan’s statement said yesterday.
“We aim to appoint a high-calibre figure who we feel will lead the club into an exciting future for our loyal supporters within the next 10 days.”
The problem is that West Ham and Everton are among a dozen or so clubs who think they should be in the top six.
After all, at the very head of the business plan for the London Stadium unveiled by Brady before West Ham’s move was “regular Champions League football”.
At the same time, Everton supporters had hoped that some sugar-daddy investment was all that was preventing them from achieving the same.
In the end, though, it was only the footballing pragmatism of Moyes and Allardyce that took the two clubs on the up and up.
“Having taken stock of the situation, we feel that it is right to move in a different direction,” that Sullivan statement continues.