Portuguese manager Marco Silva always knew he had a huge task on his hands when he took over flailing Hull City in January of this year. The club has been hugely mismanaged in recent years, and the effect has been felt with two relegations in three seasons. This year, however, Hull took a gamble by appointing ex-Manchester United assistant coach Mike Phelan as head coach and that has cost them dearly.
What Next for Marco Silva?
In Silva’s six months in charge, he’s recorded more points than Phelan despite playing fewer games and performances have seen an immense improvement.
His style of management has earned high praise and there is no doubt that he will have a long list of suitors for him following Hull’s relegation from the Premier League. Upon taking the job, he held an astounding home record of not losing since March 2014, when he was still Estoril boss in Portugal, but that came to end in a shock defeat to Sunderland earlier in May and was later thumped 7-1 by Tottenham on the final day of the season.
Nevertheless, he has proved his worth in England, having led Hull to their first win over Manchester United since 1974, and other notable results including victories over Liverpool, West Ham United and Watford.
Should Marco Silva decide to remain in the Premier League in England, his likeliest option would be Southampton. The Saints enjoyed a decent season in terms of results, having secured an eighth-placed finish and going on to play in the EFL Cup final that ended in defeat to Manchester United. However, fans and the board alike are disappointed with the team’s performances, and rumours link Claude Puel to be the next manager to receive the sack.
Similarly, he could be appointed in the capital with West Ham United, who have also endured a difficult season under Croatian boss Slaven Bilić. The ex-Hammers defender has been unable to replicate the impressive form of last season and has failed to adapt to their new surroundings at the Olympic Stadium as they’ve flirted with relegation. A fresh start will be more than welcomed, although getting this job looks very unlikely as they look to be in the hunt for a more experienced name.
Perhaps an easier option would be at Leicester City, who are managed by Craig Shakespeare following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking in February. Shakespeare has done a fine job as he steered the former champions away from relegation and helped them on the way to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, but his frailties were exposed towards the end of the season as Leicester seemed very lacklustre after reaching their target of earning survival in the Premier League, winning just two of their final eight games.
Finally, Silva could find another job in London in the form of Watford, who sacked Walter Mazzarri last week after a torrid season with the Hornets. Despite some positive results, Mazzarri’s Watford rarely played like a Premier League club and the former Napoli and Inter Milan boss has come under intense scrutiny from the Watford faithful, with jeers, posters and banners being a frequent sighting at Vicarage Road.
Recent reports have been linking them to a more experienced name in the form of Russian manager Leonid Slutsky and trigger-happy owner Gino Pozzo will be a factor to consider if Silva does think of taking the job.
There has been strong talk of him returning home to Portugal with FC Porto. Similar to Southampton and West Ham, Porto still have Nuno Espírito Santo under contract, however, their failure to win Liga NOS and poor performances in the UEFA Champions League have put his job in doubt. Should he take the job in Portugal, Marco Silva will have greater exposure to the Champions League and will be at a club that has always been chasing him – the Porto board wanted him to be their boss while Silva was still at Sporting CP.
Another choice could be in Italy with Inter Milan, who, after another horrible season, are looking for a manager to lead them into a new era. Former boss Stefano Pioli enjoyed a fine start, but that faded away drastically towards the end of the season and he was sacked earlier in May. There’s talk of a more esteemed name, such as Antonio Conte and Diego Simeone and a deal has reportedly been struck with Roma manager Luciano Spalletti, but Marco Silva is sure to be a cheaper option. He’s been efficient with his financial resources as well, and that could be a major plus if they are seriously considering him
There are choices in Spain as well, with Celta Vigo looking for a new manager following the departure of Eduardo Berizzo, who is likely to replace departing Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli as he takes the reigns of his native Argentina ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
There are no shortage of suitors for the impressive 39-year-old manager, but his decision will be based on a number of factors including the financial capabilities of the club and negotiating out of his contract. One thing can be certain if he can carry his work from Hull City, however – appointing Marco Silva will guarantee a stellar improvement wherever he goes.