A Time for Patience

By Lyndon Lloyd 28/05/2016  0 Comments  [Jump to last]

As the days tick towards the end of May and the 2015-16 season officially comes to and end with this weekend's Football League playoffs and the Uefa Champions League final, there's a fair bit of restlessness creeping into the collective Evertonian psyche.

That's understandable — it's 16 days since Everton parted company with Roberto Martinez and there has been nothing but press speculation as to who the club could be looking at to replace him. In that time the number of potential candidates has already diminished and is likely to do so still further as rumoured targets move elsewhere or count themselves out of the running by committing to their existing clubs.

Jose Mourinho has made the only move he was likely to make as soon as Manchester United made the decision to sack Louis van Gaal; Rafael Benitez has taken up the unfamiliar challenge of trying to manage a fallen club back to the top flight; and Lucien Favre has gone to Nice.

Meanwhile, all the indications from the press are that Ronald Koeman will stay at Southampton, either to see out his contract in the hope of landing a plum role elsewhere this time next year or to continue his project at St Mary's Stadium with a bigger salary. And the suggestions that Unai Emery is either interested in the Everton role or his agent has already heard the Blues' offer could simply turn out to be a bargaining tactic to improve his lot at Sevilla.

No one really knows and, as days go by, that's part of the problem, particularly with one David Moyes still floating around on the periphery, jobless and having expressed an interest in returning to Goodison Park. With that unwanted spectre in mind, together with some good old-fashioned impatience, some supporters, in the digital realm at least, are starting to vent their frustration at the deafening silence from Goodison Park.

In times gone by, a lack of communication has been viewed as a failing of the Everton hierarchy but in this instance it's the right policy if there isn't much to say and the club are doing their due diligence behind the scenes. Farhad Moshiri hasn't really said much at all since he arrived in February as the club's biggest shareholder and that appears to be his modus operandi. His actions, however, have spoken much louder.

It's the Iranian-born billionaire's financial muscle and connections that have transformed Everton's search for a stadium solution from fruitless to possible, with even the prospect of a waterfront location returning to the table. It's also more or less accepted that it was his decision to sack Martinez, most likely around the time of the defeat at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final, and he has been taking the lead in interviewing the potential candidates to become Everton's next manager. If the whisperings that are filtering out of the club are true, Mr Moshiri has his sights set high and his ambitions are very much in line with those of the fans.

Whether or not he is able to realise those ambitions straight away remains to be seen. Moshiri may have grandiose plans for Everton but the club's profile doesn't yet match them and tempting the cream of Europe's managerial talent to Goodison could prove difficult. Manchester City were able to name their next boss — the man accepted to be the Continent's best manager, no less — halfway through the season; Manchester United just had to open their door to Mourinho to take a job for which many believe he was hankering when Moyes was first appointed to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson three years ago.

It's important to keep in mind, though, that it has only been 16 days. After all, Martinez was appointed on 4th June, 2013 — 16 days after the end of the 2012-13 season… although the fact that Moyes was leaving was known long before that. And while the transfer merry-go-round is starting to turn and players' agents are putting out their feelers, the European Championships will inevitably have a delaying effect on the summer market and that could buy Everton a little more time.

Given the scale of the job that awaits the new man in terms of players leaving and the calibre of personnel needed to replace them, this is a hugely important summer for the club and it makes choosing the right candidate an equally massive decision. If that means taking a thorough approach to the vetting and interviewing process, then so be it. Better to find the right man than rush in the wrong appointment.

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