Eric Kostadinov discusses the challenges facing Everton in their continued hunt for a Ronald Koeman replacement.
Allardyce, Dyche, Silva, Simeone and Unsworth. Not quite a usual managerial list for any premier league club. Immediately, you can sense which candidates are the choices of longtime chairman Bill Kenwright, and which are those of billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri. Kenwright clearly wants to see former Everton player David Unsworth given a chance to lead the side on a permanent basis. However, the five matches Unsworth has taken charge of so far indicate no major differences from the abysmal performances seen under Ronald Koeman. Yes, there have been spells of good football under Unsworth, notably the first 70 minutes of the game against Lyon and the final half an hour of the comeback thriller with Watford. But this was also the case with Koeman – Everton sides being unable to put in a performance for a full 90 minutes. It is unfair to judge Unsworth as a manager after five games with a squad of players he did not buy, devoured with a lack of confidence. However, appointing Unsworth would show a severe lack of ambition from the Everton board. No top six club would appoint a new manager from within, so why should Everton, considering the top six is where they wanted to be at the start of the season?
Clearly, Everton are currently nowhere near the top 6. The abysmal showing against Atalanta, last night, demonstrating just how far off European contention they are. However, if they could prize a quality manager for the long term, and sign a striker in the January transfer window, there is every chance they could have a positive second half to the season and hit a similar points total to last season. Everton are not going to get relegated. The club has had 4 games at home in which they were the favourites (Stoke, Bournemouth, Burnley and Watford) and they have won 3. Obviously this isn’t an amazing feat for a club which spent 140 million in the summer, but it is enough to suggest that they aren’t one of the three worst sides in the league.
Everton are at a crossroads. For a big club with big finances, it is not enough for them to settle for a second rate manager. Farhad Moshiri is right to aim high. This means David Unsworth can only be a last resort answer if there is truly no-one better available until next summer.
Watch the latest highlights of Everton’s european campaign here:
By Eric Kostadinov