Silva sounding like an Everton coach but now he needs time
When his style of play was criticised by former manager Sam Allardyce, the feisty Portuguese stood his ground
There was a moment last week when, for the first time since he was appointed, Marco Silva sounded like an Everton manager. It came in response to predecessor Sam Allardyce’s jibe about Silva’s style of football, the former Goodison manager claiming criticism of his reign last season was more about perception than reality.
Silva stood his ground, stating he would acknowledge criticism only from fans or former managers who truly loved the club rather than those with their own agenda.
“If it is David Moyes, maybe I would listen because he did something really important at this club,” Silva said.
Whether a planned response or not, Silva demonstrated the difference between Allardyce and himself. He said what every Evertonian was thinking. This is the kind of empathy and feistiness the fans want.
It might sound trivial. It is better to have a coach who gets results than one who wins over the crowd with public comments, but never underestimate the importance of a manager “getting” what his club represent. In the city of Liverpool, it is especially crucial. I would say it is as important at Everton as anywhere else to play to the gallery occasionally, giving the supporters hope there are better times ahead during another transitional period.
Silva is usually reserved in the media, rarely making headlinegrabbing remarks. It would serve him well at Everton to open up more. When an opportunity comes to defend yourself and the club, embrace it.
No manager will survive if results and performances are poor, but they can buy themselves time by connecting with the fan base. The most successful Everton managers excelled at this as much as building a team to be proud of.
There has been plenty of unfair revisionism of Moyes’s Everton reign since he left, but he won himself instant goodwill when declaring Everton “The People’s Club” upon his appointment. The club still use that in all their promotional material. Moyes enjoyed good times and dips, and throughout the supporters always felt he was “one of them” because of his remarks on day one.
Silva needs to find his voice in the job to reassure increasingly anxious supporters he will live up to expectations.
Everton’s board certainly understand the need to serve regular helpings of hope. At this week’s general meeting, chief executive
Denise Barrettbaxendale announced the lofty ambition to compete for the Premier League and Champions League over the next decade.