Everton are once again in the hunt for a manager after sacking Rafael Benitez last week, with the Spaniard lasting just over six months in the Goodison Park dugout. The Toffees are now searching for their sixth permanent manager in less than six years.
According to The Daily Express, Everton’s shortlist for the managerial vacancy is down to three names. Derby County manager and former Everton player Wayne Rooney, as well as former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, are two names that Everton fans will know well. Also on the list is Fabio Cannavaro who had a stellar playing career.
The Italian is yet to manage a European club after stints with Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande – where he won the Super League title in 2019 – Saudi side Al Nassr and the Chinese national team.
The 48-year-old has been out of work since last September and is believed to have interviewed well for the position in Merseyside. However, there has been a suggestion from Chinese football expert Zhao Xiaoou that Cannavaro may not be suited for the role, labelling the former Italy captain “the fall guy”.
Xiaoou, the owner of Wild East Football, told The Daily Mail: “First time round at Evergrande, everyone’s expectations were really high, believing he was the protege and natural successor to Lippi. It didn’t pan out but you can blame injury problems and praise his audacity to use young players in really big games.
“His time at Quanjian is somewhat a success. He got them into the Champions League and beat Evergrande to exact some revenge, leading to the second spell with them. Critics would say it is hard not to be successful with the amount of money that was spent at Quanjian.
“Cannavaro’s second spell at Evergrande is harder to assess. The main criticism was still his tactics and touchline adjustments in game that are not up to scratch. And a lack of silverware at Evergrande equals failure though a lot of people believe he’s just the fall guy.”
Despite the suggestion that he was impressive in his interview, Cannavaro does not appear to be the sort of candidate that Everton will want to steady the ship and lead a revolution at Goodison Park.
The 48-year-old’s managerial record speaks for itself – no experience at a single European club, let alone in Europe’s top five leagues, as well as relatively underwhelming stints in Asia.
Of course, the experience that Cannavaro the player could offer Everton would be invaluable, having won the World Cup, Ballon D’Or and UEFA Cup, as well as numerous other titles in both Italy and Spain. That doesn’t immediately make him a strong managerial candidate, though.
Now seeking their sixth manager in five-and-a-half years, Everton need stability and the indication that their next appointment would be for the long term. The Toffees haven’t seen a manager enter his third season in charge at Goodison Park since Roberto Martinez, who was at the helm between June 2013 and May 2016.
Moreover, their precarious position towards the foot of the Premier League means that Everton desperately need a quick turnaround in results. A lack of Premier League experience from Cannavaro could prove costly should the Italian be appointed.
It is absolutely vital that the Everton hierarchy get this appointment right, as otherwise there could be dire consequences on the blue side of Merseyside. Hiring the relatively unproven Italian could result in the same sort of chaos in the stands which characterised Benitez’s brief, unhappy reign.