Marco Silva sacked by Everton with club in relegation zone, Duncan Ferguson takes temporary charge

Portuguese was in charge for 18 months and spent more than £100m on players

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Marco Silva was sacked as Everton manager on Thursday night with the club in the relegation zone as former striker Duncan Ferguson was placed in temporary charge.

Silva's final game was the 5-2 thrashing at city rivals Liverpool on Wednesday which left Everton in the bottom three after 15 games of the Premier League season. The Toffees have won just four games and lost nine this term.

"Everton Football Club can confirm that manager Marco Silva has left the Club," the club wrote in a statement.

"Majority Shareholder Farhad Moshiri, Chairman Bill Kenwright and the Board of Directors would like to thank Marco for his service over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.

"Duncan Ferguson has taken temporary charge of the first team and will manage the side for the game against Chelsea on Saturday.

"The Club aims to confirm a new permanent manager as swiftly as possible."

David Moyes has been linked with a return to Goodison as Silva's successor as a stop-gap until the end of the season.

A run of eight defeats in 11 games sealed Silva's fate after the club assembled a squad that was expected to challenge for European qualification at the other end of the table.

Everton fans called for the Portuguese to go after a 2-0 home defeat to Norwich on November 23.

He was handed a reprieve and an improved performance despite conceding a late winner to Leicester City in a 2-1 defeat last weekend saw him limp into the Merseyside derby.

However, that was the final straw as Everton conceded five times to Liverpool for the first time since 1982.

Silva becomes the fourth Premier League manager to be sacked in little over two weeks after Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Watford also fired Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery and Quique Sanchez Flores respectively.

The former Hull and Watford manager becomes the fourth managerial casualty since Farhad Moshiri took charge of Everton in 2016 after Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce.

Silva was heavily backed in the transfer market with over £100 million (Dh483m) spent on the likes Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes, Yeray Mina, Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi over the past two summers.

An eighth place finish last season was seen as scant return on that investment and things went from bad to worse this season, ultimately costing Silva his job.