Sam Allardyce has left Everton after just five and a half months in charge.
The former West Ham, Sunderland and England boss took over at Goodison Park at the end of November after Ronald Koeman was shown the door and guided the Toffees away from danger to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.
But Allardyce was not a popular appointment among Everton fans and rumblings of discontent grew ever louder after a positive start.
A short statement from the club read: “Everton Football Club confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his role as manager.”
The 63-year-old’s style of play, perceived as overly negative, was the prime source of dissent, while Allardyce’s substitutions saw him abused by his own fans from the stands at Burnley during a 2-1 defeat in March.
Allardyce remained publicly bullish about his chances of staying in the job for next season after signing an 18-month contract but speculation continued to grow.
Speaking after Everton’s 3-1 defeat by West Ham in their final match of the season on Sunday, Allardyce acknowledged the doubt, saying: “Contract for next year. Confident? I can’t quite say confident after all the rumours I’m reading in the paper.
“Generally there’s no smoke without fire. We’ll wait and see when we meet
That meeting with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri ended with Allardyce being relieved of his duties, and the club will now hope to move quickly to appoint a successor.
Former Watford manager Marco Silva is the favourite and could complete the move to Goodison Park six months after the club failed to prise him away from Vicarage Road.
The Hornets refused to let Silva go only to sack him in January, citing the disruption caused by Everton’s “unwarranted approach” for a major dip in form.
Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca has also been linked with Everton as well as West Ham, while Louis van Gaal, Andre Villas-Boas, Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe are other names reportedly in the frame.
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