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'HONEST GUY' WHO HIS PLAYERS GIVE EVERYTHING for; How Blues boss Silva is viewed in Portugal as he looks to finally stick around at one club.

Byline: CHRIS BEESLEY Sports Writer chris.beesley@reachplc.com @CBEESLEYECHO

'SECOND season syndrome", or as Americans call it, the "Sophomore Slump" - the dip that people, including football managers, can suffer once the flush of newness has worn away - isn't an ailment Marco Silva is used to experiencing ... he's seldom gone that far in a position.

After a largely nomadic coaching career so far, it seems that the Blues boss will be getting a second season in charge at Goodison Park, following Farhad Moshiri's public backing of his manager earlier this month.

The fact remains that so far, in a coaching career that stretches back to 2011, Silva has only gone into a second season with a club once in five previous positions, and that was back in his first job at Estoril.

At Sporting CP, he lasted one season while the same went for his time in Greece with Olympiakos.

That was despite winning a cup with the former and a league title with the latter.

His tenures in England to date have been even shorter, with approximately half a season at Hull City and Watford respectively.

Both Silva and Everton need such issues to be rectified, for both their sakes.

In part two of his inside track look on the Blues boss' formative years in the profession, Joao Seixas, from Record, Portugal's leading sports newspaper, offers his expert take.

Given the itchy feet to come, just what kept Silva at Estoril for three years? Seixas told the ECHO: "Marco was a former Estoril player and had a strong relationship to the club, the supporters and the board.

"He ended his career as a player in Estoril in 2010/11 and was invited to be Sports Director of Estoril.

"Things went very well and in the next season (2011/12) when he was the manager responsible for the promotion to the Portuguese Premier League.

"It was a dream come true to get back to the top flight and in 2012/13 he finished in fifth place and 2013/14 he finished fourth, the best position ever for Estoril.

"So, besides the good relationship with the club, he got amazing results that kept him in the place for three years."

Given that they had just returned to the Portuguese Premier League after seven years away, a fifth place finish at the first time of asking was an amazing achievement for Estoril, which helped Silva forge his reputation in his homeland.

Seixas said: "It was a big surprise, because besides FC Porto, Benfica and Sporting, only Braga and, in the 1990s, Boavista were capable of doing this kind of thing.

"Marco Silva played a big part in being responsible for these dream years.

"It is also important to say that he had some good players, like Renan Ribeira (now at Sporting), Jefferson (now at Sporting), Carlitos (now at FC Sion), Evandro (now at Hull City) and Carlos Eduardo (now with Jorge Jesus, in Saudi Arabia).

"They were good, but Marco got the best from them, so I can say that it was a mix between some talented players and excellent leadership from the manager. I think that, in his managerial career, he has always got the best from his players. They see him as a very honest guy and they are prepared to 'die for him' on the pitch."

The following season, his third and final year at Estoril, Silva did even better by steering them to a club record fourth place finish - something that Seixas finds astonishing.

He said: "It was very interesting, because Estoril is not a big club in Portugal.

"The best way to explain the 'Estoril Phenomenon' on that season is telling you to imagine that Wolves, who, of course, also have a Portuguese coach, finish this season fourth or fifth in the Premier League. It would be amazing, for sure.

"In Portugal, the big three - FC Porto, Benfica and Sporting get all the media attention, and it's difficult for people to pay attention to what the other clubs are doing.

"But that year everyone was happy because everyone loves to see the little ones in the middle of the big ones.

"They were also pleased because of the good football that the team played."

Before leaving for abroad, Silva, of course, had a single season back in his home city of Lisbon, in charge of Sporting CP, but, despite leading them to victory in the Taca de Portugal (Portuguese Cup) - their first major trophy for seven years - he was controversially sacked for the seemingly arbitrary reason of supposedly not wearing an official club suit in an earlier tie. Seixas sheds light on the strange parting of the ways.

He said: "The 'club suit' was seen by everyone as a 'soap opera' moment. He had a difficult relationship with then Sporting president, Bruno de Carvalho, and was not on good terms with him.

"Then, he created this diversion to kick Marco out of the club.

"It was a decision that left supporters in pain, because they know that Marco had everything to do a really good job at the Alvalade Stadium."

While, like their manager, Evertonians will have no doubt been expecting better results overall, given the quality of on-field recruitments since his appointments, Silva's ability to attract a clutch of silkier talents to Goodison Park this season has added a new dimension to the Blues players.

As well as sharing a common tongue with Brazilian pair Richarlison and Bernard, Silva convinced compatriot Andre Gomes to swap Barcelona for Merseyside.

So, what does Seixas think of Silva's chances are when it comes to getting the midfielder to make a permanent switch from the Camp Nou? He said: "In Portugal, everyone sees Marco's work at Everton as being very positive.

"The experts believe that this time he will stay for a long spell, because the club gives him all the conditions to work and to implement his ideas with time.

"We also love to see Portuguese players and managers in the best league of the world, so everyone will be delighted to see Andre Gomes stay at Goodison Park.

"Andre is a good kid and a very intelligent person, so I strongly believe that he can be convinced to stay because of the fascination of the Premier League and also the opportunity to work with someone from the same country that usually can get the best of players like him."

CAPTION(S):

|Marco Silva points to Sporting's supporters as he celebrates their victory in the Portuguese Cup final, in Lisbon, in May, 2015

|Andre Gomes, pictured during training at USM Finch Farm this week, could be convinced to stay with Everton next season, says Portuguese journalist Joao Seixas Picture: TONY MCARDLE/ EVERTON FC
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:Feb 24, 2019
Words:1124
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