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Why Everton's Marco Silva still commands great respect in Portugal; Why those in his homeland believe Blues boss can turn things around.

Byline: Chris Beesley

Farhad Moshiri insists he will play the long game with Marco Silva so is Everton's majority shareholder's faith justified?

Joao Seixas from Record, Portugal's leading sports newspaper certainly believes so.

Silva'sfirst year was always going to be a transitional period considering what both supporters and the club's top brass alike were craving stability after the dismissal of three of his predecessors --Roberto Martinez,Ronald KoemanandSam Allardyce-- in the space of just two years.

Seemingly all he had to do was keep the team's head above water and play more attractive football than the man who came immediately before him but after a post Merseyside Derby slump at the start of December which includes a humbling FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship strugglers Millwall, even such a forgiving brief has looked strained.

Earlier this month,Mr Moshirioffered a message of support to his under-fire man in the hotseat, insisting that Silva is a talented coach planning long-term and developing young players and that he himself as an owner had to hold his nerve in a situation that is "a project."

Was this a timely boost for Silva at a difficult moment or the dreaded 'vote of confidence'?

Although the jury remains out for now in regards to Silva's Premier League credentials, his early work at Estoril, the town famed as a luxury entertainment destination on the Portuguese Riviera, ensures he retains an impressive reputation in his homeland.

"In Portugal Marco Silva is a very respected manager", Seixas told the ECHO.

"Last month Benfica were searching for a new manager and the name of Marco Silva was seen as an ideal option.

"But it's impossible to say that someone who is in the Premier League will return home.

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"He managed to get this aura of being a good coach and a good leader of players because he is not the funny type, the always smiling coach and in Portugal people tend to respect more the ones that seem to take the profession more seriously.

"What he did in Estoril, Sporting and Olympiakos was amazing. Then he went to 'dreamland' Premier League and has showed that he has what it takes to 'survive' in the best league of the world.

"I can say that he is one of the most respected managers in Portugal."

That journey began as stated previously some seven-and-a-half years ago when Silva, now 41, was just 34.

Estoril had been the club where the Lisbon-born right-back had spent the longest spell of his playing career -- some six seasons -- and after hanging up his boots he was installed as their director of football.

Early in the season though with the side in 10 place of the second tier in Portugal, Silva replaced Vinicius Eutropio as head coach and despite losing his opening game in charge, he steered Estoril to promotion and a return to the top flight for the first time in seven years.

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Seixas said: "The pundits and the football experts always said Silva was destined to go into coaching.

"He was a player that assumed the role of a coach on the pitch while still playing.

"He was serious, intelligent and with a lot of tactical expertise so it was easy to understand that he would be a manager when still very young and when Mr Eutropio suffered some bad results, he was immediately named as manager."

Given the troubled circumstances in which Silva started off at Estoril, guiding them to promotion in his first season was viewed as a remarkable achievement.

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Seixas said: "It was huge, mainly because the club had some financial issues, which is normal in Portuguese football, and the work of Marco was really good.

"Not only did he got the best from players that weren't top class, obviously, but he also good at speaking to the media and was always very reserved, something that he still his actually.

"I can even say that even after Marco's departure, the club benefited from his work for some seasons. As we say in Portugal: 'He really did a good job cleaning the house.'"


Credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Marco Silva looks dejected during the match between Watford and Everton

Credit: Michal Cizek/EuroFootball/Getty Images

Marco Silva while coach of Estoril
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Crosby Herald (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:Feb 23, 2019
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