With the end of the 2015/2016 has resulted in the end of the reign in charge at Goodison Park for Roberto Martinez. The season was a massive disappointment for the club as a whole despite two semi-final appearances in the domestic cups this season, but with this surely with the squad Martinez had at his disposal a push for the Europa League places had to be considered a bare minimum for the season to be considered a success. The Everton fans are regarded as the some of the most loyal and patient fans in England, so when you witness the disillusion from the fans towards the manager then it is safe to say that Roberto Martinez thoroughly deserved to be sacked by the club. Everton are a club with a prestigious history and now with a new major shareholder on the board they are looking to add to this history. Iranian businessman Farhad Moshir has already stated his intentions for the club declaring that a major investment on the squad this summer is set to ensure exciting fans for the Everton fans. The question now is who will get the big opportunity to manage this club and the investment?
There are some imminent departures from the current squad which will be set the club back losing players of such talent and ability. Romelu Lukaku has scored 61 goals during his three years at Goodison Park, although considered a top class striker Lukaku’s departure has been public knowledge for a length of time now so plans to replace the Belgian international must be well under way. A big money move for the promising John Stones might just materialise this summer, Stones had an extremely indifferent season and perhaps has struggled to live up to the hype surrounding him. Defensively Everton were shambolic during the season, the neglect of this area from a coaching perspective from Roberto Martinez has cost the development of John Stones, and however the ability he possesses is not in question. With such a good core of players in the current Everton squad, this is a job that would appeal to a host of top managers across the continent. Keeping the likes of Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Gerard Deulofeu will be yet again one of the top priorities for the next manager.
Already there have been a host of names linked with the current Everton job; the two leading contenders are believed to be Frank De Boer and Ronald Koeman at this early stage. Bringing in Koeman would have to be considered a major coup for Everton; questions would have to be asked if he swapped his current role at the exciting Southampton for the job at Everton. The Southampton board will need to work seriously hard to keep Koeman at St Mary’s this summer, as he could be a target for clubs across Europe this summer. Frank De Boer would be a risk for Everton to bring to the club. Despite the success De Boer had in the Eredevisie, Ajax took a step backwards when it came to competing in European competitions. With the money available De Boer is not a proven transfer dealer in the market so a move for the iconic Dutchman would bring its own risks with a move. There have been reports that due to a good relationship between Moshir and Jose Mourinho that the controversial Portuguese manager could be in contention for the job, perhaps if Mourinho’s pursuit of the Manchester United job does not work out then Mourinho could see a move to Merseyside. One of the latest names added to the mix for this position is Lucien Favre. The Swiss manager is highly regarded is Germany and after the success he had at Borussia Mönchengladbach it is easy to see why, the problem the Everton hierarchy need to consider was that during the summer of 2015 Favre had money available to him in Germany and this was not spent fantastically well, resulting in him stepping down from the job, another risky move if appointed by the club.
Everton could very well stay in England when in search for their next manager, Mark Hughes was mentioned early when Martinez was sacked but now the foreign names are thrown into the mix, it looks like an approach for the popular Welshman looks unlikely. Hughes has all the attributes that Everton are looking for in their current position, a highly underrated manager who has a fantastic knowledge of the current transfer market. No characters are bigger than Hughes; he is a manager who ticks all the boxes right now for the club. Eddie Howe is another name who was linked early with the job, with Bill Kenwright known to be a big fan. Howe is a highly regarded young manager and this move might just be too soon for him. Keeping Bournemouth in the league was a big achievement for Howe however his wasted money during the summer and in January cannot be ignored. Might a return to Goodison Park be on the cards for David Moyes? At this stage it would look highly unlikely and would perhaps look a panic appointment if it worked out that way. The Scotsman is still very popular amongst the Everton faithful, but there is always a hesitation on managers going back to previous roles, so a move back to Goodison Park might just the last possibility for the club. Surprisingly Rafa Benitez’s name has been amongst the list of contenders for this job, perhaps if Benitez had not managed the club’s arch enemies then he might just look the perfect and ideal man to take charge of the club. Then there is the possibility of a move for now out of work Quique Flores, the popular Spaniard enjoyed a terrific season at Watford. How can Everton not be taking a closer look at the classy and tactically gifted Flores, the achievement of keeping Watford in the league, reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup and integrating 15 new signings during last summer is nothing short of top class. A move for the Spaniard would have to be considered a smart and successful appointment for Everton.
There are some names that could still be added to the frame for this role, a move for the tactically superior Marcelo Bielsa would be considered a massive appointment for the club. The top move the club could potentially get would be the charismatic Unai Emery, now three time winner in a row of the Europa League with Sevilla. A move to Goodison Park might look unlikely considering the success he has had at Sevilla but surely if West Ham approached him last summer, Everton would be missing a trick if they didn’t try to get him. One man who is constantly linked with vacant English clubs in the last few seasons is the current Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini. Another manager who has a positive relationship with Everton’s new shareholder, Mancini would be a massive outsider for the role but would be a very capable and smart move if approached for the job.
No doubt the Everton job is an appealing proposition for many a manager, but they need to consider who they can trust most, not just to match the ambitions of the club but also with the money of the club. The top two men if I was a fan or associated with the club I would want walking into the club would have to be Unai Emery and Mark Hughes.