The clock is ticking down for Roberto Martinez.
In fact the clock has been ticking for quite a while, as Everton cough and splutter through a season that many thought would end in a top 10 finish at least.
After last Wednesday’s no-show against local rivals Liverpool, the Everton boss is now under more pressure than ever, despite an FA Cup semi-final looming – and the result of this may, according to reports at least – be enough to see the axe make contact with the Spaniard’s neck.
At the beginning of his tenure, three seasons ago, Martinez declared that he would bring Champions League football to Goodison Park, but currently there is no hope of that any time soon, with the club sitting 11th in the league and way off the pace.
In February this year, Everton announced the investment of a major new shareholder with Farhad Moshiri taking a 49.9 per cent stake in the club. There is a pledge of investment in the first-team squad as well as investment in a stadium, which is likely to result in Everton moving to a new ground.
But the club need a manager that can take them forward, and the new shareholder will be looking to attract either a star name or maybe an up and coming manager with Premier League experience.
So here are FIVE options…
The current Burnley manager led the Clarets to the Premier League two seasons ago and suffered instant relegation. However, the Championship side are now pushing again for another promotion and Dyche is being hailed as one of the better emerging managers in England. It’s obvious that he has quite an affinity with the Turf Moor club, but a bigger challenge at a great club can sway any coach…
The Ex-Liverpool boss is certainly an experienced pair of hands, but would would he be accepted at Goodison? And would he cross the divide to the blue half of Merseyside? His name has been widely aligned with a return to Swansea City, but he will need some convincing to go back. Everton, with the possible investment from the new shareholder, may appeal to him, while his playing style could get the best from some of the team’s talented youngsters.
The Argentine ex-Marseille boss is a long shot, but the Toffees may well go for a more left-field approach, just like so many other teams in the Premier League. At l’OM he came with a sparkling reputation for being one of the most revered tactical thinkers in the game, while his ‘crazy’ persona also stood him out from the crowd. His teams press hard, run tirelessly and are taught the advantages of good positioning… much like their city rivals!
Another long-shot, but who knows the club better? Moyes left Goodison Park for the allure of the bright lights of Old Trafford, but after failing miserably there, he failed just as miserably in Spain with Real Sociedad. Moyes is currently available, but is strongly linked with Celtic now, so the clock is ticking. The Everton faithful had a soft spot for Moyes, so who knows?
The last is a split between Steve McClaren and Tim Sherwood. Both actually could end up at Everton and despite McClaren’s woeful time at Newcastle, someone will employ him. Tim Sherwood has the exploits at Aston Villa on his CV, but will be recognised for his work at Spurs. If Everton cannot persuade a more stellar name to join them, then expect Plan B and it could be either of these two.