The sooner we make a change, the better. The new manager boost is our best chance of salvaging anything from this season and, generally speaking, probably our best chance of seeing a product on the field that we can actually enjoy.
At this point, I think our best move is to sack Koeman and Walsh, hire Unsworth as interim manager until the end of the season, and focus on doing an in-depth search for a qualified director of football. That is, someone who can help not only with recruitment but also with managerial appointments and the hiring of other backroom staff. This is the most important position at the club and we can't have another rush job like Walsh. It would be worth it for us to pay top dollar to get the very best DoF we can because the biggest edge for us to exploit is in the market for backroom staff, not in the market for players (where the richest clubs reign supreme).
I know Unsworth will be unpopular so let me explain why I think it's the right move for the rest of the season:
- We have enough to talent to stay clear of a relegation scrap.
- Unsworth's U23s are always well-organized, which is a 100% transferable skill to first-team management. He might get schooled by more experienced managers on occasion but we will not suddenly become a shambles (or more shambolic than we already are). He wouldn't be doing so well at the level he's at if his side wasn't disciplined tactically.
- Whatever tactical nous (not much on current form) or "experience" we lose by letting Koeman go will be offset by the improvement in man management. The U23s will pretty much run through a wall for this guy. Maybe his act won't be as effective on older pros but keep in mind that we have a lot of young, hungry players who are already important contributors (Pickford, Keane, Holgate, Kenny, Davies, Klaassen, Vlasic, Lookman, Sandro, Calvert-Lewin, etc.). There's plenty there for him to work with, and a lot of those players already love and respect him. Plus, I have to imagine that he'll be pretty popular with a lot of the old guard, like Coleman, Baines, and Jagielka.
- Investing more minutes in the younger players now will pay dividends down the road.
I doubt we do anything at all but, if we do decide to act, I think that's our best play. As much as I'd like someone like Tuchel, I'm afraid that we'll continue to be a mess if we rush into finding a manager before we take care of the larger backroom problems at the club. (And if the backroom problems are Moshiri and Kenwright? Then we're well and truly fucked and no director of football or manager is going to sort it out, which is the scariest scenario and one that I prefer not to think about.)