3-weeks have passed since Carlo Ancelotti decided to abandon his ‘project' at Everton to re-join La Liga giants Real Madrid and while many names have been linked to the vacancy at Goodison Park, it feels like we are no closer to finding out who will take over at the Merseysiders.
Nuno Espirito Santo, Duncan Ferguson, Eddie Howe, and David Moyes have all at one time been the favourites to secure the manager's position since the departure of Ancelotti, but none have been supported by the majority of the Everton fans. The current favourite, Rafa Benitez, is a Liverpool legend who lead the Toffee's local rivals to Champions League success and once called Everton a ‘small club', so it is no surprise that the Everton faithful have been very vocal in their objections to the Spaniard taking up the hot seat at Goodison Park.
Who do the fans want?
In truth, there haven't been many names linked with the Everton job that the fans are truly inspired by. Antonio Conte is the biggest name that was tenuously linked and a lot of Evertonians wanted the board to push for his signature, not realising that his standing in the game right now makes him out of reach and far too expensive. Christophe Galtier won the Ligue 1 title with Lille and then left the club having agreed to join Nice.
There were a lot of calls for Everton to sign the Frenchman up as he is known as a great motivator and has just pipped PSG to the league title, but it looks like he was hoping for an offer from a ‘bigger' club than Everton. Ralf Rangnick has also been mooted as a possible option but his age and the fact that he has been a director of football rather than a manager over the last few years is a little offputting.
Paulo Fonseca is one name that a selection of Everton fans would like to see at the club and following the breakdown in talks between the Portuguese manager and Spurs, he has become a possible option. Lucian Favre is apparently in talks with Crystal Palace and the former Dortmund manager is on Everton's list of candidates, while former manager Roberto Martinez has been heavily linked with a return to Goodison Park but he doesn't have much fan support. Graham Potter's name has been bandied around a lot and he has impressed with his style of play at Brighton but a lot of Everton fans are concerned by the low finishes the Seagulls have had under his guidance.
Right now, anyone would be better than Benitez, well that seems to be the feeling amongst most Everton fans. The Spaniard has won a lot during his career and is known to be keen on managing Everton, though, that might just be down to his desire to move back to Merseyside. The tension between Benitez and the majority of the Everton fans has lead to banners being hung outside Goodison Park and huge questions being asked of the board.
While Benitez remains the favourite with the bookmakers, many believe that the last few days of silence suggest that the people in charge at Everton have realised that bringing in Benitez would be met with such a negative reaction from the fans and the pressure would be so high on the former Liverpool coach that any mistakes would be jumped upon and that the fans would soon turn on the board, putting pressure on them to get rid of the Spaniard.
Handing the vacant manager's position to Duncan Ferguson would please a large number of fans but there are those that feel he isn't ready for the job or that taking it could risk his legendary status at the club. The Everton job is not for the faint-hearted, there is a lot of work to do at Goodison Park and if Ferguson were to come in and fail he would likely leave the club and probably not return.
Right now, Ferguson has been learning under a number of coaches that he has seen come and go and many fans believe he has earned his shot at the job. Let's not forget that Ferguson has all his coaching badges and is certainly no fool, as to whether or not he has the tactical knowledge to succeed, only time will tell. He also has the questionable honour of being the player with the most red cards in Premier League history!
Next Everton Manager Odds
Betting on the next manager at any football club is always a popular market and the Everton manager's job has been available a number of times over the last decade and is proving just as popular this time around as well. The Toffees tend to take a month to chose their managers and right now they are into week three of Carlo Ancelotti's departure, so now is the best time to place your bets on who you think their next gaffer will be.
Rafa Benitez remains the odds on favourites @ 4/9
Nuno Espirito Santo is next in line @ 4/1
Paulo Fonseca‘s odds have shortened today and he is currently priced @ 10/1
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez is priced @ 12/1
Graham Potter has slipped down the odds and is now priced @ 12/1
Lucien Favre is moving up the pecking order @ 14/1
Everton legend Duncan Ferguson is @ 16/1
Antonio Conte remains in the top few candidates @ 20/1
*all of these odds were provided by bet365 and you can bet on this market here.
Our feeling is that while there haven't been too many outstanding candidates for the Everton job, the fans may well see this as a good time for Duncan Ferguson to have his chance. Ferguson knows the club inside out and would certainly get a much better reception than Rafa Benitez. Ferguson would work well with the Director of Football, Marcel Brands, who is in charge of bringing in new players and getting rid of the unwanted ones, which would leave Ferguson to concentrate on the football side of things.
However, the Everton board seem keen on bringing in someone with experience but in order to do this they would need to find someone willing to work alongside Brands and it could prove tricky to secure an experienced manager that will be happy to leave player recruitment to someone else. We believe a Ferguson or Potter would be a good fit at Goodison Park and that either's appointment would be greeted much more fondly than appointing a former Liverpool manager.