Everton interim boss David Unsworth has questioned the desire of the Toffees squad after they suffered an embarrassing 5-1 home defeat against Italian side Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The defeat was the Toffees biggest home defeat in European football and it leaves the Merseysiders with just one point from their five group games in the competition.
The defeat was just another disappointing day at the office for the Toffees this season.
Expected to be competing for the top-six spots this season, instead, they are just above the relegation zone after a poor run of form.
In an interview with BT Sport after last night’s game, Unsworth said
I’d like to think every single player is hurting the way I am at the moment and if they are not then they shouldn’t be here at this great club, The minimum requirement is 100 percent effort. Only those players will know themselves when they look themselves in the mirror at night
Unsworth has struggled to revive the Toffees fortunes in his six games in temporary charge, suffering four defeats and winning just once.
However, the former Everton defender may not be in charge for much longer. According to Sky presenter Jim White, a confidant of Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, the club are close to appointing a new boss.
White revealed the news via Twitter, while also talking about the issue on his radio show on TalkSPORT.
Farhad Moshiri, majority shareholder @Everton :"The first priority is to stabilise the Club and finalise the appointment of a manager – we are close."
— Jim White (@JimWhite) 24 November 2017
The rumour mill and speculation suggests that the Toffees have a shortlist of three bosses. One of those bosses is unlikely to be Watford’s Marco Silva after the Hertfordshire reportedly threatened the Merseysiders with legal action if they continued to pursue their boss.
Other names that have been in the frame are Unsworth himself, Sean Dyche and even RB Leipzig Director of Football Ralf Rangnick. The latter has been out of management since 2011 and a stint at Schalke in the Bundesliga.
Unsworth is likely to take charge of Sunday’s visit to Southampton, as the Toffees look for their first Premier League away win since last January. A number of first-team players look set to return to the squad for that clash. The likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Idrissa Gueye and Leighton Baines were all left out of the clash with Atalanta.
Young Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez will be competing for a place up front against the Saints in the absence of the suspended Oumar Niasse. Sandro has struggled to hit form on Merseyside since his summer arrival from Malaga. However, he did open his goalscoring account for the Toffees against Atalanta, so could be in line for another chance up front.
Sunday’s opponents Southampton have a terrible recent home record in the Premier League, winning just two of their last 12 home games in the top-flight. The Saints have also scored in just three of those 12 games on home soil. If the Toffees record a victory at St Mary’s, then they will move above the team from the south coast in the Premier League table.