When Marco Silva came to the Premier League in January 2017, he was a relatively unknown and unproven quantity.
Just over two and a half years later, Silva is now a household name of the league – but he is still yet to prove himself as one of the top managers in the division.
After the former Olympiacos boss took over at Hull City, he instilled an attacking brand of football that helped the East Yorkshire side claw themselves from the foot of the table.
Silva’s efforts were in vain though, as his side were unable to recover from a terrible start to the season, and after a drop in form towards the end of their campaign, his side was duly relegated.
Despite failing in his assignment of keeping Hull in the division, Silva gained an array of admirers for his style of play and earned himself a move to Watford for the 2017-18 season.
Silva started well again at Vicarage Road and guided Watford into the top four in mid-October.
But after an approach from Everton for Silva’s services, the Hornets’ form dropped off dramatically, winning just 11 points from 16 matches.
Silva eventually departed Watford after that poor run and was appointed Everton manager in May 2018.
There was widespread optimism about Silva at Everton, despite the fact he had effectively failed at both of his previous jobs in England.
Perhaps the attractive style of football he introduced to a weak Hull team, and the excuse of Everton’s interest derailing his winning start at Watford created the illusion that he was a top-level manager.
Everton were largely inconsistent throughout Silva’s first season at Goodison Park, but he guided them to a respectable 8th place finish – albeit 12 points off the top six.
Again, Silva was excused for his sides erratic form and frail defence, with many insisting that he was the long-term solution, rather than a quick-fix like Sam Allardyce.
For that to be the case though, Everton would need to show some progress this season– which they, of course, they haven’t.
After a season to implement his style, and spending nearly £200million across two summer windows with the Toffee’s, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest Silva should be challenging for a top-six finish.
Despite this though, he hasn’t been able to find a system that consistently produces goals – or one that prevents them.
His sides dismal 2-0 home loss to newly-promoted Sheffield United on Saturday highlighted the long-standing issues that he has failed to solve so far during his time at the club.
After six games this season, and managing just two wins, Everton sit in 14th place.
There are very little, if any, signs of improvement from last season, which brings Silva’s job into question.
In reality, if Everton finish 8th or lower this season, they haven’t improved at all under Silva’s guidance, and are no closer to European football than they were under Allardyce.
Should a win percentage of under 50% be acceptable at a club like Everton?
In truth, Silva has been protected from the threat of dismissal because of his attacking football – protection that Allardyce didn’t have, despite a similar points return.
Now though, the prospect of Silva being sacked is becoming ever more likely.
Effectively, it’d be a third sacking at a third English club, after a third failure for the Portuguese.
Surely now, the allure that Silva is one of the best managers in the league has to be quashed.
He can no longer hide behind his fast starts at Hull and Watford, as he has now been given vast resources at a top-half club – and failed.
It would be no surprise to see another, more experienced manager be appointed in a few weeks, and put those resources to better use.