With Rafa Benitez out at Everton, there is plenty of speculation as to who will take charge at Goodison Park.
Duncan Ferguson has been installed as interim manager for the second time, and the 50-year-old will now remain in charge until a more long-term decision is made. Ferguson last served in such a role in 2019, when Marco Silva was let go and the club worked to hire Carlo Ancelotti.
The Toffees sit in 16th place, and while there is still a six-point gap between them and the relegation zone, the situation feels far more precarious than it should for a club of Everton’s stature.
Everton has brought in a big-name manager with significant pedigree in each of the last two hires, as Ancelotti and Benitez have both previously won the Champions League. That hasn’t exactly worked out, as Ancelotti was tempted by a return to Real Madrid before Benitez’s disastrous tenure.
The current list of likely favorites, however, speaks less to a desire for Champions League experience and more to a newfound wish for English coaching talent and previous ties to the club.
Betting favorites to be next Everton manager
Odds courtesy of SkyBet in the UK
|Duncan Ferguson||Everton (interim)||7/4|
|Wayne Rooney||Derby County||3/1|
|Graham Potter||Brighton & Hove Albion||16/1|
|Jose Mourinho||AS Roma||8/1|
|Nuno Espirito Santo||Unattached||16/1|
The current interim boss always has the chance to earn a permanent role, and Ferguson is even more likely than most to find himself in charge permenantly. A former Everton defender and fan favorite during his four-year playing spell with the club, Ferguson has been a part of the first-team staff at Everton since 2014. His no-nonsense, brutish reputation as a player endeared him to the fans, and nobody else on the list has roots at Goodison Park like Ferguson.
There were rumors he would get the job during his last interim tenure, especially after he went five matches without a loss, and this time the bookmakers have responded by naming him the current betting favorite. Much of this will depend on how Everton responds to his time in charge.
The other Everton man on this list, Rooney would make a lot of sense as the new Toffees boss. Rooney played for Everton in two spells that bookended his memorable time with Manchester United, most recently from 2017-2018 before he departed to Major League Soccer. Now 36, Rooney has spent the last two years managing Derby County, first as a rare player/coach and now just as the permanent manager.
He had done quite well with the Rams, narrowly missing out on promotion twice in the famously random Championship Playoffs, but this season has been difficult after the club was docked 21 points by the league for a breach of financial rules. The club is facing relegation to League One, sitting second-from-bottom and with a mountain to climb, but Rooney has the team believing. If he can guide the Rams to safety, it would represent a defining moment in his budding managerial career.
While Ferguson and Rooney have direct ties to Everton, an English boss may prove enough. Everton hasn’t had an Englishman in charge since Sam Allardyce left in May of 2018. Lampard has top-level experience after two years at the helm of Chelsea, and while it came to a tumultous end with Chelsea floundering in ninth, his Premier League pedigree would be enough to get fans excited.
While the capture of a former, successful boss would give promise of a resounding turnaround, this feels more unlikely than anything. It would be a coup to pry Martinez away from his current position in charge of European powers Belgium, especially in a World Cup year with the nation having already secured qualification to this coming winter’s tournament. It would make a ton of sense for the club, and Martinez is probably the best choice on this list, but it makes little sense for Martinez himself. It’s worth a call from the club, though, for sure.
The 46-year-old Brighton boss has done extremely well for himself this season, and continued connections to jobs at bigger clubs are sure to follow. Potter still has very little experience in England, with stops at Swansea City and Brighton all since 2018 the only ones on his resume, but the Seagulls have picked up consistent results this season against more talented sides like Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Leicester City, leading to plenty of chatter. Like Rooney, there would be questions about his managerial resume if hired, but this season’s results with the squad available to him at Brighton do speak for themselves.
After two unsuccessful hires in Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez, links to Jose Mourinho have drawn plenty of criticism. However, they don’t seem to hold water. Sky Sports reported the link on Tuesday via social media before squashing their own rumor literally less than a half-hour later. Hiring Mourinho would involve bringing in a divisive figure who has not seen much recent success at any of his stops, and amid an impending Premier League relegation battle, that would be more circus than needed at Goodison Park.