Marco Silva has started well but he must improve

You could quite fairly attribute this to any football club in the world, professional or otherwise, but it really seems extra important when managing Everton to win over the supporters and have them on your side.

Yes, poor results are always factor. Yes, the relationship between manager and owner can be just as integral. Yes, the manager can simply decide he has had enough.

But Everton, currently in seventh place after four league games, is a club drenched in emotion, it is a club whose home games are typically played through the dense cacophony of the fans’ vocalised joyfulness or despair, depending on the mood of the times.

New owner Farhad Moshiri’s capturing of Ronald Koeman in 2016 was viewed as a brilliantly shrewd piece of recruitment. The former Barcelona player and Dutch international had shown during his brief time at Southampton that he had a formula, one which worked, and more importantly, he worked well with young players and allowed them to prove themselves and flourish under him.

But it wasn’t meant to be, and perhaps for Evertonians it is a shame that it never blossomed like it could have.

David Unsworth stepped in while Moshiri and Bill Kenwright began the recruitment process all over again, and while the former Everton player did not in his brief time in charge collect a whole lot of praise for the team’s performances on the pitch, you could argue his time as caretaker-manager lasted longer simply because the fans liked him, and also because Unsworth himself was aware of what the fans wanted.

There was a bond, and as such, when the poor results fell, Unsworth was always first to acknowledge it, to address it, like any supporter would.

Then in came Sam Allardyce, after the pursuit of now current manager Marco Silva failed, and things went downhill. The club, within the space of a year or so, had gone from looking forward to a bright new era with a fresh and innovative manager in Koeman, to hiring a coach to whom the phrase “fix-it man” is now most appropriately attributed.

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They were never going to be relegated, yet it looked from the outside as though the Everton board panicked when it became apparent Watford wouldn’t be letting Silva leave.

Fast-forward to now, and Everton have their man. Before he arrived at Hull, he wasn’t a known name. But when he was hired by the Tigers midway through the 16/17 season to try and save them from relegation, he in fact nearly pulled it off. There was no doubting the fight and spirit he had injected into a previously flat and uninspired Hull side.

Despite eventually being unable to keep Hull in the Premier League, his efforts caught the attention of quite a number of top flight clubs with managerial vacancies to fill. It was Watford who snatched him up, and his further positive contributions clearly charmed those at Everton who, after Allardyce had made way, made no secret of their desire to swoop for the Portuguese.

He brought with him to Goodison Park Brazilian playmaker Richarlison, whose start for the Toffees has served as a microcosm of his entire season at Watford, where he performed brilliantly from August to December, and then failed to score once for the rest of the season. Richarlison scored three times in his first two games for Everton, then received a straight red card in game four, landing him a three-game ban.

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Aside from this minor blotch, Silva and Everton have enjoyed a fairly steady and competent opening to this season, though perhaps their latest outing against Huddersfield at home should have seen the Toffees claim all three points.

But, Silva’s former club are performing like and have secured the results that no doubt Everton supporters had been hoping to kick this season off with. Both Watford and Everton have scored seven goals in four games, yet the Hornets are six points and four places better off, with title challengers Tottenham being seen off by Javi Gracia’s side before the international break.

Spaniard Gracia, perhaps just as anonymous as Silva was when he first arrived in England, earned himself August’s Manager of the Month award after Watford’s four successive victories.

There is still much for Silva to address at Everton, namely his striker options. Since Romelu Lukaku’s departure, there hasn’t been anyone to come and consistently provide the goals for which the big Belgian was so reliable.  Dominic Calvert-Lewin has a goal to his name so far this campaign but his minutes on the pitch are in short supply.

Cenk Tosun, who signed from Besiktas in January this year for £27 million, has failed to convert this season, despite playing the bulk of ninety minutes in all games.

There have been two players to join the ranks at Everton in recent years that could have radically upgraded their quality going forward, but Gylfi Sigurdsson has been a shadow of the player he was at Swansea, as is the case for Yannick Bolasie, who this season has been loaned out to Championship side Aston Villa.

Everton this weekend host West Ham, the team whom Everton have both beaten the most and scored most goals against. It is a chance for Silva to really get this season going and start towards challenging  for a place in the top six, which is the highest ambition for this club at present, and if the fans buy into Silva and his methods, if they trust in him and believe he is the man to take them forward, it could turn out to be a very interesting season for the Blue half of Merseyside.

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