Pochettino v Silva: Who’s more desperate for a win on Sunday?

Aren't these supposed to be good?


As the Premier League moves pass the 10-game mark and into November, it enters a month that has seen more managerial departures than any other since 1992 as clubs typically part with managers to give replacements time to settle before the hectic Christmas schedule.

Sunday’s featured Premier League game pits two under-fire managers against each other who desperately need a win.

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Marco Silva and Mauricio Pochettino are two of the most likely managers to face the axe after almost equally abject starts to the season and it isn’t out of the question that another poor result on Sunday could see them part ways with their respective club.

Of the two, Silva finds himself in a far more perilous situation.

He’s been at Goodison Park for fewer than 18 months and, aside from a run of impressive home results at the tail end of last season, has yet to do anything to convince anyone that he will have Everton challenging for Europe.

A return of 15 wins and 14 defeats last season was decidedly average and it was expected that his Toffees side would improve on their performances and eighth-placed finish last season after another summer of heavy spending.

They have done anything but, however, and currently hover just two places above the relegation zone. It’s not inconceivable that they will be even closer to the bottom three by the time they kick-off against Spurs at Goodison Park on Sunday.

In Silva’s defence, the Premier League table is as congested right now as it is ever likely to be. Man United’s win against Norwich last Sunday saw them jump from 15th to seventh in the table.

Silva’s charges have also improved of late, qualifying for the last eight of the League Cup and thoroughly outplaying West Ham in their last two outings at home.

Sandwiched in between those wins was a 3-2 defeat to Brighton that appears damaging and damning on the surface, but Everton were very unfortunate not to at least come away with a draw there. They’ve lost five of their last six league games and have picked up just one point from five league away games. It is arguable that were it not for home form, Silva would already be out of a job.

If home form deserts him, Silva will find it tough to keep his job for much longer.

There are mitigating factors with Pochettino at least.

He has credit in the bank after several phenomenal seasons with Spurs which saw him transform them from perennial nearly-men in terms of Champions League qualification into a club that is now expected to make Europe’s elite competition, a transformation that culminated in the London club making the Champions League final last June.

Mauricio Pochettino Bayern Munich

However, things have gone very stale for Pochettino very quickly, despite an influx of promising players over the summer.

Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele have yet to make the desired impact they were brought in for, with the former being hampered by injuries. It means that Spurs have mainly had to rely on the same crop of players that they have done for years, including an out-of-sorts Harry Kane and wantaway Christian Eriksen.

There is a growing sense that Pochettino has taken this team as far as he can take it and that is not exactly his fault. Spurs waited too long before investing in their squad, but Pochettino will become the scapegoat if things continue to go wrong.

Currently 11th in the league and already eight points off the top four, it’s unlikely that Spurs will recover to take a place in the competition that they have been used to since 2016.

They’ve failed to beat both Newcastle and Watford at home – two clubs currently residing in the bottom four – and were fortunate to get a home victory over Southampton. That’s not to mention their struggles in domestic and European Cup competition that have seen them regularly humiliated.

Similar to Everton, Spurs’ form on the road has been bad this season. In fact, it has been unforgivably bad all year. They are without a league away since January and have drawn two and lost nine of their last 11 league games away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Another failure on the road against fellow strugglers Everton at the weekend – a club they have been accustomed to trouncing recently and have not lost to since December 2012 – could accelerate Pochettino’s departure.

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