After 16 months in charge, the search for Ronald Koeman’s replacement at Everton has begun.
The Dutch manager, who was sacked Monday, leaves the Toffees in the bottom three of the Premier League after a dreadful start to the season that saw the club register just four wins during 15 matches in all competitions.
Here’s a look at the possible candidates capable of cleaning up the mess at Goodison Park:
Sean Dyche is seemingly everyone’s favourite to make the jump from Burnley to manage a “bigger” club.
And with good reason, considering the Northamptonshire native’s success with limited resources at Burnley since taking charge in 2012. The team’s performances this season have triggered plenty of speculation after Dyche’s men followed a shock away win over Chelsea by snatching points from Tottenham, Liverpool, and (of course) Everton.
Suggestions that Dyche is near the top of Everton’s list follow speculation from last week when he was tipped to fill the void at Leicester City after Craig Shakespeare was sacked.
But Dyche has insisted he continues to focus all his attention on Burnley.
“I’ve had to answer these questions so many times, but I’m still here,” Dyche said, according to the Evening Standard.
“That doesn’t guarantee anything and one day it will change, in my control or out of my control. It’s the nature of football.”
David Moyes’ name has become synonymous with failure with just about every fan base except Everton‘s.
The Toffees were on the upswing around the same time the Scottish gaffer was lured away from Goodison Park with the irresistible opportunity in 2013 to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
His abysmal time at Old Trafford is well documented, along with a pair of unsuccessful stints at Real Sociedad and Sunderland. But Everton supporters may welcome Moyes back with open arms if the two parties are willing to rekindle thoughts of happier times.
Carlo Ancelotti can add Everton to the growing list of teams he’s been linked to since Bayern Munich relieved the Itailian of his managerial duties last month.
Although it seems Ancelotti isn’t in a hurry to return to the touchline, there’s been plenty of chatter regarding a possible return to England following a successful spell at Chelsea, where he added the Premier League trophy to his silverware collection.
Passing up a chance to sign a manager who’s won the Champions League seems foolish, but the decision likely isn’t up to Everton. There could be a possible job opening in the near future that’ll surely raise Ancelotti’s Spockian brow, if AC Milan opts to part ways with Vincenzo Montella following the team’s poor start to the season.
If Everton’s in the market for a local, then Rafa Benitez is quite possibly the most qualified Merseyside resident.
Whether Everton fans would welcome the Newcastle manager – who’s previously hinted at leaving the Magpies – is a dilemma that would undoubtedly be on the minds of club officials considering Benitez’s close ties to Liverpool, whom he led to Champions League glory in 2005.
Benitez may also be unwilling to leave St. James’ Park if the club is successfully sold with the promise of a massive investment.
Few doubt David Unsworth’s ability to evolve into a competent manager, but the timing might be a bit off for the former Everton defender to assume first-team duties.
Despite Unsworth’s positive record as manager of the Under-23 team, Everton could opt for more experience to replace Koeman because of the massive investment that was made last summer when the club spent almost £140 million on transfers.
He could get another shot at caretaker duties – a position he previously held for one match when Roberto Martinez was sacked – but the lack of clarity as to who will take charge Wednesday when Everton faces Chelsea in the Carabao Cup has led some to suggest the club may be ready to go in a different direction.
Honourable mentions: Eddie Howe, Duncan Ferguson, Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)