Everton have parted ways with manager Marco Silva, 18 months after the Portuguese took charge of the Merseyside club.
The Toffees are currently sitting in the relegation zone, third from bottom of the Premier League table, after they received a 5-2 drubbing from local rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.
That result left the club with just 14 points from the opening 15 matches of the season, with just one win in their last five games, and an increasing anxiety about their status in the top flight.
Silva leaves the club with a win percentage of 40% and a points-per-game of 1.28. According to Opta, their 14-point tally is their joint-third worst in the competition after 15 matches.
Everton released a statement on Thursday evening confirming the manager’s departure from the club, in which they thanked him “for his service over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.” They also confirmed that Duncan Ferguson will be taking charge of the first team until a permanent successor can be found.
🔵 | Everton Football Club can confirm that manager Marco Silva has left the Club. #EFC pic.twitter.com/R2JqAMBdu2
— Everton (@Everton) December 5, 2019
The reaction to Silva’s firing has been somewhat more mixed than one might have expected, with many showing sympathy while at the same time acknowledging that it was the right decision.
The club spent an awful lot of money on transfers to improve the squad in the time Silva has been in charge, but the results have not followed. However, Idrissa Gana Gueye, one of their key players last season, was sold to PSG, while Kurt Zouma returned to Chelsea after spending last season on loan. Neither player was replaced, greatly weakening the back six.
There’s also a recognition among supporters that, while Silva was probably not the man to bring back the glory days of Everton, there are deeper problems with how the club is run, such as poor recruitment, that means whoever takes over will have similar problems to his predecessor.
There is also a sense that the hierarchy have not treated their former manager properly throughout this whole process, including waiting until late this evening to give him his marching orders after he was at the club’s training base the entire day.
A new chemistry teacher required at the school of science. Marco Silva has been sacked.
— Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) December 5, 2019
The end of a torturous day. Marco Silva was hamstrung by his results but the slow death that Everton have given him is dreadful. The lack of communication has been an affront to the supporters.
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) December 5, 2019
The way the club have handled this has been disgraceful and classless, completely hung Marco Silva out to dry. A good guy but the wrong appointment who has had to battle transfer failures, injuries and shite officials. Players need to take their part of the blame and perform now.
— Vic 💫 (@victoriacarlin_) December 5, 2019
Make no mistake, our troubles are not over with the news of Marco Silva’s sacking, we have a long way to go
— Alan Myers (@ALANMYERSMEDIA) December 5, 2019
Let’s be honest here. Marco Silva did nothing before Everton hired him, and they’re in the same position as they were before they got him in. But millions more in debt. That’s a bad club board/chairman/whatever decision, not all on Marco. Players didn’t perform
— … (@ASAP__Rossy) December 5, 2019
like the general consensus the sacking means nothing as the club is in a shambles and has been on the decline for a number of years. Find another manager and support him and the squad needs a major overhaul #MarcoSilva
— Alejandro (@NoelProcter) December 5, 2019
Marco Silva has been at Finch Farm since first thing this morning.
The board there since after lunchtime.
I'd really like to hope they didn't make him wait all this time to learn his fate #EFC
— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) December 5, 2019
1 – Marco Silva is the first ever Everton manager to leave the club having faced Merseyside rivals Liverpool in his final game in charge, with Wednesday's 5-2 defeat being the 234th Merseyside Derby in all competitions. Kiss. pic.twitter.com/Jv3z3dDF6S
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 5, 2019
And of course, fans of a certain club couldn’t help but twist the knife a little bit.
Last year: Shaqiri scores twice vs United, Mourinho sacked 2 days later.
This year: Shaqiri scores vs Everton, Marco Silva sacked the next day.
The Shaqiri curse. pic.twitter.com/N5h0W3aKyo
— Sam (@SamueILFC) December 5, 2019
David Moyes has been widely tipped for a return to the club, but the bookmakers are also providing odds on Rafael Benitez, Mark Hughes, and former Everton players Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta.
Read: Klopp beams following win over Everton
See Also: Five of the Premier League’s shortest managerial reigns