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Better off with Koeman: Why appointing this 56-year-old would be a backwards step for Everton

Everton fans were left to drown their sorrows once again in the Transfer Tavern over the weekend after seeing the Toffees lose at home to Burnley.

Ronald Koeman’s men got back to winning ways in the Premier League a week ago with victory over Bournemouth, but couldn’t quite get out of the rut entirely by only mustering a 2-2 draw at home to Apollon Limassol in the Europa League on Thursday.

And things got even worse for manager Koeman as Jeff Hendrick’s first half strike was enough to secure the Clarets a deserved 1-0 win on Sunday, leaving the Toffees, who spent over £100 million in the summer, languishing in 16th place in the Premier League.

And, as such, speculation has been building in the last few days that the Merseyside club could be about to part with the Dutchman, and one man who has reportedly been lined up by the Toffees hierarchy is former Watford chief Walter Mazzarri.

The 56-year-old took over at Vicarage Road back in the summer of 2016 and led the Hornets to 17th place in the Premier League, thus ensuring their top-flight status for at least another campaign.

However, he was relieved of his duties at the end of the season and remains without a job, yet reports suggest that he is being lined up by Everton as a possible replacement for Koeman, should they decide to sack the former Southampton chief.

Nonetheless, the Everton board may be better off sticking with Koeman, as Mazzarri’s troubling time at Watford suggests that he is not the man to take Everton forward.

Ultimately, the 56-year-old is clearly a good manager given that he has led Napoli and Inter Milan during his career, leading the former to a second place finish in Serie A back in 2013, and the Coppa Italia title a year earlier.

But it is in England where there are huge question marks, as although Mazzarri did well in keeping Watford in the Premier League, it wasn’t without its problems.

Reported bust-ups with players and an apparent struggle to learn the language left the Italian with few fans at Vicarage Road, and although there were some impressive wins over Manchester United, Everton, and Arsenal, there seems to be too much baggage from that stint in Hertfordshire to make him a viable candidate for Everton.

More importantly though, Mazzarri showed no ability to turn things around as the season drew to a close, with a six-game losing streak seeing the Hornets slump from tenth in the Premier League on April 15 to 17th at the conclusion of the campaign.

That must be of concern to the Everton hierarchy.

Yes, Mazzarri was reportedly close to landing the job back in 2016 when they appointed Koeman, but the Toffees have moved on as a club since then, regardless of their current position in the division.

They spent in excess of £100 million last season, and are a club who are looking upwards, what with a new stadium to come, and European football this season.

Thus, they have to weigh up whether to keep faith with someone who has proven his qualities in English football with both them and Southampton, regardless of how much of a struggle it is at present, or appoint Mazzarri, whose one-year stint in the Premier League was far from straight-forward.

Ultimately, sacking Koeman for the Italian would be a backwards step, and one that could do even greater harm to a club ambitious and hoping to challenge the top six over the coming years.


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Article title: Better off with Koeman: Why appointing this 56-year-old would be a backwards step for Everton

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