Why Everton’s manager search is totally confusing

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Are you confused by Everton’s pursuit of a new manager?

If not, then you soon will be.

Right (takes deep breath), 22 days ago Ronald Koeman was sacked as Blues boss after a run of two wins in nine league games bringing an end to his 16 month reign in charge.

Sean Dyche, the over-achieving gravel voiced Burnley manager, was installed as immediate favourite with promises of an approach from Everton in the next 24 hours that never came.

We’re still waiting. Maybe he is too.

Joining Dyche on the Everton short-list – that looked more like a long-list – was Thomas Tuchel, Eddie Howe, Carlo Ancelotti, Mikel Arteta and the man who was to take temporary charge, David Unsworth.

But muddying the waters was that the caretaker boss was also being given the chance to audition for the job on a permanent basis and being willed to succeed while, at the same time, other managers were being sounded out.

Er, right ok.

Managers who have all been linked with the Everton manager's job include ... David Unsworth, Marco Silva, Sean Dyche, Sam Allardyce, Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone. Confusing!

An encouraging performance against Chelsea was followed by defeats to Leicester and Lyon and Unsworth’s chances appeared to be slipping away in a hail of quite baffling, and totally unnecessary, taunts from Joey Barton who decided the way he looked determined his suitability for the job.

Enter, stage right, Big Sam, hardly svelte himself.

Backed from inside Finch Farm by old friend and director of football Steve Walsh, Allardyce went from the back of the queue to the front as quickly, and direct, as one of his team’s long balls.

Who do YOU want as next Everton manager

Well organised and hard to beat, Big Sam looked like he’d weathered the storm, defended well and won Everton managerial race with one of his trademark, boring 1-0s.

But….

The fishhook eyebrow-wearing Carlo Ancelotti made it clear he was not willing to listen to offers until the end of the season yet Allardyce, it was said, would only sign a deal at Everton if it meant that there was no job to offer him at the end of the season…because, er, he’d still be in charge.

But the feeling was that Farhad Moshiri only wanted him to come in until the end of the season, firefight and then make way for someone better.

Still following?

And then Watford at home happened, where the Blues, despite being rubbish for an hour – and then lucky at the end – emerged from the chaos to win a game for the first time since the end of September.

Unsworth had got his first victory in charge and had done his chances of landing the job no harm at all – it felt like he was back in the race.

Allardyce gave cryptic answers to questions on radio stations about the Everton job yet spoke at length about their problems and it is widely understood that he had met Moshiri for talks even though, confusingly, he insisted: “No, no, no”.

As clear as mud, right?

And then, as if generated by the most frivolous of rumour mills, Diego Simeone was linked with the Everton job – only this was no joke.

Seriously, there had been contact, but it was only about the end of the season, not now.

Certainly exciting, quite probably unrealistic and most definitely unhelpful for the club’s current search but, hey, it’s Diego Simeone so you give his representatives all the time they want.

It was looking like a two-horse race, Unsworth vs Allardyce, but movement over the weekend – and then firmed up on Monday night – Silva came up on the rails.

Everton had made an approach, Watford rejected it but there was clarity in the managerial search at last as the 40-year-old was identified as the one….oh, wait, the Hornets really meant no didn’t they?

Having seemed to have gone round in circles for three weeks, Everton were back to square one today.

Will they go back in with another offer for Silva?

If Moshiri is serious about the Portuguese boss then it makes sense that he will, but Watford are going to play the hardest of hard ball.

And what of Unsworth? He seems almost certain to be in charge for the weekend’s crunch game with Crystal Palace but, probably like you and me, totally confused about who is going to be in charge beyond then.

That much seems clear.

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