Sometimes, a manager is sacked and it’s easy to feel sympathy for them. Often the gaffer is the one that that pays the ultimate price for an underperforming set of players, and that’s a bit harsh given that they aren’t the ones out on the pitch missing chances and making basic mistakes.
But in Ronald Koeman’s case you would suggest the scapegoating has been wholly deserved. The Dutchman has attempted to replace the goals and the out-ball that Romelu Lukaku provided with two ageing midfielders (Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney) and two unknown quantities (Davy Klaasen and Sandro Ramirez), and you don’t need to be Columbo to know how that would work out.
Of course, Sandro and Klaasen may turn out to be stars of the game one day, but that long-term outlook does not keep managers in jobs anymore – it’s very much the here and now as far as their perceived success is concerned.
And that is where the problems lay for Koeman, with his side conceding at a rate of two goals per match and scoring at less than one per 90 minutes. Neither facet of Everton’s game is working properly, and the solution as far as the owners are concerned is to hand the Dutchman his P45.
Club legend David Unsworth has been handed the reins on a temporary basis, and given that he has overseen their outstanding Under 23 side, many of whom have stepped up to first team action in the past 12 months, he must be considered a genuine contender for the job on a permanent basis. It’s no wonder the bookmakers have installed Unsworth as the 3/1 favourite to be appointed full-time manager.
But you suspect the club’s owners would want a more experienced manager in the dugout, and a former favourite on the terraces has been made a short-priced second favourite behind Unsworth.
One man who has been linked with the post is David Moyes, the Scot who enjoyed a fairly successful time of things at Goodison Park from 2002 to 2013. In that that time he oversaw more than 500 matches, and maintained a decent win ratio of 42%, so naturally he is in the frame for what would presumably be a lukewarm return amongst the supporters.
The main thing going against Moyes is that clearly his stock has fallen since he left the Toffees. He took on the poisoned chalice of Manchester United boss after Sir Alex Ferguson, and while that was a brave move it was also one doomed to failure. Then he took on two equally bold moves: trying to resurrect the fortunes of Real Sociedad, despite not knowing a word of Spanish, and Sunderland, a club always likely to struggle as soon as the owner cut the purse-strings.
So the perception of Moyes in the UK is now one of failure, when he could have taken a cushy job – such as that of Celtic – and enhanced his reputation with a series of title wins. You have to applaud Moyes for doing things the hard way, but you can’t help shaking the feeling that Everton fans would be rather underwhelmed if their old boss was appointed as their next manager.
Dyche to the Rescue?
All of which makes the 3/1 currently available on Sean Dyche to be appointed next Everton manager all the more tempting.
The gravel-voiced strawberry blonde has worked wonders at Burnley, but you can’t help but think his head would be turned should the Everton board get in touch. He has probably taken the Clarets as far as they can go, and the quality of player at the Toffees, plus a rather more grandiose budget, would presumably be a challenge right up his street.
You don’t imagine that they will want an expensive transfer window in January, and so the board will be appointing a new manager that can make the best of the players already at the club.
There can be few better in the Premier League at making the best of what you’ve got than Dyche, who has transformed Burnley into a hard-to-beat side with one eye on a top-half finish despite having a modest budget that many Championship sides would sniff at.
When quizzed about the possibility of the Leicester job just last week, Dyche replied: “I’m not running away from Burnley, I’ve never said I want to move on, but I can’t say for definite I wouldn’t in the future, because that happens in life. People change jobs.”
It’s hardly the firmest of rebuttals, and those who read into subtexts would suggest that Dyche would be happy to discuss a move to a bigger club. Everton fits the bill, and it would be no surprise if he is unveiled by the end of the week.