When thinking about the way that Marco Silva’s teams play, the immediate methods that come to mind are attacking, fast flowing and some brilliant counter-attacking football.
However, with Everton’s poor display against West Ham and some shocking defeats while managing Watford, many football fans are asking the question; is Marco Silva a tactical genius or is he merely one of the most overrated managers in the Premier League?
Well, his defensive record would suggest the latter. Since the Portuguese arrived at Hull in 2017, he has conceded precisely 100 goals in the space of 54 games, with the three sides he has managed in England sharing only nine clean sheets between them with Silva in charge. This stat is alarming for Everton fans by itself, but Silva also doesn’t seem to learn from his own mistakes and work on them, with his sides conceding an astonishing 37 goals from set pieces. Incredible for a manager who is known to be one of the best young coaches around.
The 41-year-old is also known for disloyalty and dishonesty at some of his clubs. Silva has had previous run-ins with boards and fans of the clubs he’s managed, for instance when Sporting sacked him for not wearing the club’s official suit in a cup match. However, his most recent break down came here in England.
Watford were high flying at the start of the 2017/18 season, with the likes of Doucoure and Richarlsion announcing themselves to the football world through a string of excellent performances; most notably a victory against Arsenal at Vicarage Road. With Watford and Silva punching above their weight in the opening exchanges of the season, Everton seemed to be having some very different fortunes on Merseyside.
After nine games Ronald Koeman had been sacked by the Toffees and Everton’s number one target was Marco Silva. The Portuguese manager immediately lost interest and was desperate to leave Vicarage Road but to the Hornets credit, the owners refused to let the Portuguese leave and from that point, Watford’s season went downhill.
Silva was sacked after a dreadful run, and eventually, Javi Gracia came in to steady the ship and keep Watford up.
Marco had the potential to take Watford into Europe and go to a huge European giant; however, his lack of commitment has left a sour taste in the mouth of many Watford fans who were glad to see the back of him.
Although, Silva’s football can be pleasing on the eye from a neutral perspective, his “all-out attack” philosophy has resulted in a return of 74 goals in 54 games. Coupled with the assumption Silva’s teams fight until the end of each game, with Watford salvaging two wins and a draw from goals in the last minute.
His Hull side also managed to shock Liverpool and Manchester United, as his attacking brand became recognised by many managers in the league who started to become more compact against his teams.
His man management is also something which is extremely impressive. Whether it was Clucas of Hull or Walcott of Everton, Silva seems to know how to get the best out of his attacking players, in particular, Richarlison who followed him on shortly to Merseyside.
Marco Silva is a young manager with bags of potential to compete with Europe’s best. His attacking style of play is attractive and overall, effective and I think he can do great things in England and around the world.
He will only do this if he fixes his attitude when things don’t go his way at his club. He needs to remain loyal, focused and remember the task ahead and what is at stake. I think Everton is a perfect match for both parties and I also believe this is Silva’s last chance in the Premier League, even at this early stage of his career.
Now he may not be living up to expectations, but will Silva live up to his expectations of a tactical philosopher, or will he leave his mark as a fraud who was extremely overrated?
Only time will tell.