With Rafa Benitez’s short tenure as Everton manager over, could the Toffee’s begin to look abroad for a potential replacement?
Step in Niko Kovac. A man unlikely to be well known here on British soil, but possibly the appointment that could change the fortunes of Everton Football Club.
The 50-year-old has expressed a keen interest to work in the Premier League, and Everton may be a perfect fit for the Croatian.
But what exactly makes Niko Kovac a potential fit here at Everton?
His Experience and Successes
The German Born has shown glimmers of greatness at the various clubs he’s managed over his career.
Kovac was highly praised for revolutionising Eintrac§ht Frankfurt in his 2-year stint at the club, beating Bayern Munich to win the DFB-Pokal final in 2018, and ensuring a top-eight finish for the German side. He also kept Frankfurt in the Bundesliga 2 years previous, winning the 2016 relegation playoffs against FC Nürnberg. He achieved a Fair Play Award by the German Olympic Sports confederation for consoling the FC Nürnberg players at full time.
His time at Bayern Munich showcased the Croatian’s appetite for success. A domestic double win for the German born and a 7-2 win over Tottenham in the Champions League showed his ability get the very best out of players.
In 2021, Kovac was praised for leading AS Monaco to a 3rd place finish last season and to the Coupe de France 2021 finals. A well-earned 2-1 victory over PSG by the Monégasques at the Parc des Princes reverberated around French football as Monaco hadn’t beaten them in Paris since 2016.
AS Monaco ranked as the 3rd youngest team in Ligue 1 last season, showcasing a manager who is willing to utilise youth talent into his side. This could tempt Moshiri to consider Kovac as the Toffee’s experience a surge in talent coming through the ranks.
Kovac preferred formation is a 3-5-2, playing an abrasive, direct and exciting style of football. Kovac looks to utilise his wingers’ speed and technical abilities to move the team up the pitch.
Kovac’s tactics look to keep the opposition central to guarantee there’s always a free man on the flanks. Rotating the centre backs out wide and pushing an attacker back to fill the space ensures that the opposition are forced to play in central areas. This means that Kovac’s teams can dominate teams down the left and right channels.
With more emphasis given to positional play, building up from the back and utilising the creativity of the wide men, Kovac would likely look to add another top-class winger and a more technically gifted centre back to implement is desired tactics.
I have mixed feelings about the unlikely appointment of Niko Kovac. It’s a considerable gamble to bring in a manager who lacks any previous Premier League experience. In some cases, this would arguably be one of the biggest challenges in his managerial career.
However, Kovac has shown that he has all the attributes that could make him a successful manager at Goodison Park. His résumé so far has shown glimpses of the success that Kovac could build upon at a football club like Everton. A recognisable style of play, trust in youth talent, likability and experience in adversity, Kovac may just need a chance like this to prove himself.
This is undoubtedly a managerial appointment that would both excite and intrigue the Everton faithful.