As the season heads towards the finish line, Everton manager Roberto Martínez looks like he may be on borrowed time.
A wretched run of form that has seen his side win just two Premier League games in their last twelve – and one of those was against Aston Villa so that barely counts – has left his job at Goodison Park hanging by a thread.
Chairman Bill Kenwright has shown an unflinching loyalty to Martínez amid the fan protests, but new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is likely to take heed of the fan unrest and poor performances and be far less likely to keep the manager on out of sentimentality.
The live television cameras have been there to witness three of Everton’s last four matches – conceding four to Liverpool and three each to Leicester an Sunderland – and the abject displays by the team suggest that the players have lost confidence in the manager and are simply going through the motions until he is replaced.
That time could come at the beginning of next week (provided they don’t sack him today, which is entirely possible), as a leading contender to replace the Spaniard has just become available.
This morning, Dutch side Ajax have confirmed that manager Frank de Boer has left the club after five and a half years in charge at the Amsterdam ArenA.
— AFC Ajax (English) (@AFCAjax_EN) May 12, 2016
De Boer leaves the club on something of a disappointing note, as a 1-1 draw away at De Graafschap last week allowed rivals PSV to swoop in and claim the Eredivisie title on the last day of the season. Their KNVB cup run also ended prematurely, going down 1-0 to Feyenoord in the third round in October.
The four time Eredivise winning manager has long rumoured to harbour a desire to manage in England, and has been linked with posts at Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle in the past.
He has, however, claimed that he may yet decide to take some time out of the game. In a statement released via the Ajax website, De Boer said:
“I began to realise more that it was time for me for something else. That is better for me and I think also for Ajax. What I will do, I do not know yet. A year without a club is also an option, I’ll see what comes my way.”
Worryingly for Martínez, De Boer’s agent has already name-dropped Everton as a club that the former Dutch international would like to manage at.
In an interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS just last week, Guido Albers revealed that his client would like to take on either Everton or LA Liga side Valencia for his next role:
“He would love to join a club like Everton or Valencia. It’s all about the right philosophy and how they play football. That is what Frank is looking for.”
It could be a mere coincidence that a manger whom Everton have been strongly linked with and whose agent has already mentioned the club in conversation has left his job when Martínez is at his most vulnerable – but in all likelihood, the Toffees manager should probably start packing up his stuff now to save time.