Next Everton manager: Five options to take over Toffees with Martinez on brink
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | April 24, 2016
An FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester United has intensified pressure on under-fire Everton boss Roberto Martinez.
The Toffees are languishing in mid-table, closer to the relegation zone than the European places, yet 2/1 with Coral to finish in the top 10.
Martinez magic fading?
Catalan coach Martinez guided Wigan Athletic to FA Cup glory in 2013, but saw them relegated from the Premier League mere days later, before joining Everton that summer.
His three-season reign at Goodison Park is in jeopardy of ending with supporters criticising the open approach taken to defending. Under Martinez, the Toffees have kept just two clean sheets in 10 and were hammered 4-0 by city rivals Liverpool in the recent Merseyside derby at Anfield.
Coral football experts contemplate five managers who could take over from Martinez, who may not be able to convince Everton’s new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri he is the coach to take the club forward.
Goodison predecessor Moyes is presently out of work, but faces a career crossroads about returning to one of his two former clubs in the Toffees or Celtic, who he played for, with even the Aston Villa vacancy potentially of interest.
A hallmark of the Moyes era at Everton was defensive discipline and strong home form. Just four clean sheets in 21 outings at Goodison this term under Martinez is a far cry from that fortress mentality.
Some sections of the Toffees support have become nostalgic for Scottish boss Moyes to make a Merseyside comeback, because he maintained them in the top eight for several seasons.
Moyes may have his pick of positions, however, and although made 7/4 favourite to succeed Martinez there’s no guarantee he would return to Everton.
With Pep Guardiola confirmed to take over at Manchester City from dignified Chilean coach Pellegrini, he’ll be looking for a job this summer.
Steering the Etihad outfit to three trophies during his time in Manchester, Pellegrini certainly has the profile if Moshiri wants to remove Martinez and name a high-profile replacement.
At 6/1 to be next Toffees boss, it remains to be seen if Pellegrini will remain in the Premier League, as there are other projects further afield that could appeal.
Pellegrini has been linked with taking over at Valencia, having done sterling work in La Liga with Villarreal and Malaga either side of an unlucky stint with Real Madrid.
Another South American coach Everton could turn to is former Athletic Bilbao and Marseille manager Bielsa.
Nicknamed El Loco because of his unorthodox yet curiously effective tactics and unpredictable touchline antics, Argentine boss Bielsa was previously linked with Swansea City.
At 8/1 to be the next coach at Goodison, brilliant Bielsa would need to master English, but compatriot Ramiro Funes Mori would surely welcome a legendary coach from their homeland after his Merseyside derby sending off.
Bielsa’s trademark 3-3-3-1 system might actually get the best out of key Toffees trio ball-playing defender John Stones, number 10 Ross Barkley and star striker Romelu Lukaku.
Tabloid reports claim Bournemouth boss Howe is being lined up to take over from Martinez, and it would be something of a gamble on an admittedly talented young manager.
It is understood Everton board members have been admirers of Cherries coach Howe for some time, and their interest in him stems from before Moshiri became majority shareholder.
Having kept Bournemouth up during their maiden Premier League campaign despite losing important players and signings such as Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel to injury, Howe’s stock is certainly high.
The Toffees hierarchy may want to forget 16/1 shot Howe’s spell at another Northwest team, Burnley, that was rather underwhelming, though.
Appoint a former player
One sure-fire way to placate the Everton fanbase is to bring in someone who knows and has served the club before.
The likes of Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs (14/1), Valencia backroom coach Phil Neville (20/1) and Duncan Ferguson (14/1) would do just that, while Mark Hughes (20/1) has rebuilt his reputation managing Stoke City to what looks like being three top 10 finishes.
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