Will Everton make a change before weekend

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: David Moyes, Manager of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at London Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: David Moyes, Manager of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at London Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images) /

So finally it seems like the wheels at Goodison Park are beginning to turn and the Everton hierarchy are discussing a change in manager before this weekend’s Premier League game at Leicester City.

It’s good to hear, I hope, that at last the board are supposedly contemplating making an immediate change; it’s about time! According to press reports, the prime candidate though seems to be ex-boss David Moyes, who left the club in 2013. Is this the right move for Everton?

In my view the answer is no. I wrote on this site in desperation, during a now familiar slump in form last season under Marco Silva, that I thought Moyes might be a possible option to take the Blues safely through the last few months to the end of that campaign.

I have a lot of time for him. The Scot did a fine job lifting Everton out of the doldrums when he took over in 2002. Remarkably he took the Toffees into the Champions League in 2005 and the club were a regular contender for the top four after that, although often frustratingly falling just short. And he did all this on a shoestring budget.

But that was then, and now I feel given how times have moved on, that if the Toffees do make a change, then it should be an individual that we as Evertonians can all get behind. I’m not sure Moyes is that man.

The club also desperately need some stability after so many managerial upheavals. Bringing back Moyes, presumably on an interim basis, would seem like yet another short-term answer, as Sam Allardyce was, and would presumably mean the club having to go through this process again in the summer – can we cope with this farce once more in six months time?

So if not Moyes then who?

There are a number of other candidates being mentioned. According to Sky Sports the next name on the list after Moyes, is the Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.

I like Howe, he’s certainly one of the better and most well-respected young coaches in the game. His Cherries’ teams play with plenty of enthusiasm and he has a strong commitment to progressive, attacking football.

However, although Bournemouth have stayed up since coming into the top flight, they have been stuck in the lower reaches of the table and Howe’s open approach means his sides do concede a lot of goals at times. Is that sort of caviller football right for the Blues at the moment?

He’s obviously not won anything of course either, although that’s hardly a fair criticism given the lack of financial resources at the Vitality Stadium.

Howe is also supposedly an Evertonian, not that this alleged team loyalty should be a determinant factor in the decision!

I think appointing Howe would be yet another gamble for Everton, as he is a young coach, like Silva, without a proven track record at a major club. It might pay off but can the Toffees take that chance once more…

After all managers like Howe can never establish a reputation if they don’t get one of the bigger jobs, it’s a chicken and egg scenario. So could he be the next Mauricio Pochettino?

Another supposed candidate is ex-Everton centre-forward Mark Hughes. I sincerely hope this one can be safely put to bed, and I highly doubt there’s any chance of him being appointed!

Next we move on to Mikel Arteta, This one is more intriguing. The Spaniard is a cult hero at Goodison Park and was a fine player in his time at Everton during the Moyes’ era.

He has since cut his teeth in coaching most recently under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, not a bad apprenticeship.

Would Arteta though leave City for the very choppy waters of Goodison Park? In addition, again despite his obvious coaching credentials, he has no experience in club management.

I also think if he wants a management role he will likely hold out for a shot at the Arsenal job, which looks like it might become available soon too!

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So that basically leaves Rafa Benitez, who is I think the best candidate. We’ve already gone over the various reasons why the former Liverpool boss would be a pretty good fit, despite his Reds past. Benitez seems open to a return to English football and would perhaps be especially keen to be living back here in Merseyside with his family.

There is a potential fly in the anointment however. Rumours are building that yet another London club, West Ham, are contemplating making a managerial change; replacing Manuel Pellegrini and Benitez is apparently on their shortlist. The lure of the capital might also be tempting for him.

Whatever the board at Everton decide to do, they simply must get this done as soon as possible and get it right, something I’ve said before too. This great club just can’t afford to continue to drift so aimlessly from one disastrous situation to another.