(Reuters) – Marco Silva became the latest managerial departure at Everton when he was sacked on Thursday having failed to get anywhere near their lofty ambition of joining the Premier League elite.
When Everton appointed Dutchman Ronald Koeman in 2016, owner Farhad Moshiri talked of breaking into the ‘big six’.
The billionaire said he wanted the club to become part of the “Hollywood of football” in the North West, competing with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Instead, Everton have become an example of how not to run a successful football club.
In that period they have spent 450 million pounds ($577.35 million) on players but are now looking for their fourth manager since the British-Iranian businessman took the helm.
After Koeman, Everton steadied the ship with the experienced Sam Allardyce but there was nothing Hollywood about his style of football and the demanding supporters craved another big name.
Moshiri had his heart set on Portuguese coach Silva but there was little in the 42-year-old’s record that suggested he was capable of pushing the club into the elite.
Silva’s brief battle against relegation with Hull City ended in failure and after a good start at Watford their form faded.
The blame for that was put on the distraction of Everton’s interest in the Portuguese but, even though the Merseysiders ended last season well to finish in eighth place, Silva never seemed close to finding the right approach.
However, major questions need to be asked about the club’s recruitment strategy which has seen heavy investment in players who have given little return.
The two big money signings in the last window, Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean, have made little impact with only Brazilian Richarlison, who arrived with Silva from Watford, having truly impressed.
It has been the same story in almost every window throughout the Moshiri era — with a series of signings failing to live up to expectations.
Davy Klaassen, Cenk Tosun, Nikola Vlasic and Sandro Ramirez are just some of the players who were supposed to lift Everton towards the top six but who never came close to the standard required.
The next man in charge, whether that be a stop-gap in former boss David Moyes or a more ambitious appointment, will inherit an over-sized squad of players brought in by three previous managers, with the under-used squad members wondering if they might be better off moving elsewhere.
Many Everton fans expect a big name, another declaration of ambition and ‘Hollywood’ intent. Others might prefer a younger, up and coming manager like Eddie Howe of Bournemouth.
But whichever direction Moshiri decides to follow, the next man faces an unenviable task trying to sort out the existing mess and then living up to goals that seem ever more distant.
($1 = 0.7794 pounds)
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris
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