Here's a good article for those of you interested:http://outsideoftheboot.com/2017/02/16/tactical-philosophy-marco-silva/
I see a lot of positives:
- It seems like his primary focus is to improve his players' understanding of the game in training, giving them a lot of freedom to make decisions on their own during matches. That's music to my ears.
- The work he's done with a poor Hull squad and a pretty average Watford squad suggests that he's adaptable (which makes sense based on the previous). So he can probably work with the poorly constructed mess we have.
- He cares about defensive organization. I like the 4-1-4-1 defensive configuration for the players we have. And I like the stuff about positioning players meticulously in training. We have quite a few players on our books who would improve massively if they learned proper defensive positioning.
- He knows how to coach a counter-attack. In the past three plus seasons, our best football has come on the break, so that seems sensible (although counter-attacking monster Romelu Lukaku probably had a fair bit to do with that). Vlasic, Lookman, Sandro, Niasse, and Calvert-Lewin have their flaws but there's enough pace and skill in that group to fashion a decent counter. And if Barkley comes back and can be convinced to sign a new deal... he's always had the potential to destroy teams on the break.
- Is there any strategy for playing against fixed defenses? Olympiacos are the best team in Greece and his approach was to counter. So we might find ourselves in trouble against super-organized low blocks.
- His defensive record at Watford and Hull isn't that impressive (whether you look at goals conceded or, if you're into football analytics, expected goals conceded) so who knows how much the alleged focus on defensive organization really counts. Player quality makes either measure a bit noisy, though.
- I don't know how he is with academy players. Not that this is 100% essential but we have a lot of promising players coming through (Davies, Baningime, Kenny, Dowell, Walsh, etc.) and it would be nice to have someone in charge who can work with them.
- I don't know how he is in terms of fitness. Koeman was generally underwhelming but he got a lot of mileage out of keeping us fit and winning points late in games. The same was true for Moyes (the fitness part). One of the things I hated most about Martinez was that we ran out of steam after 60 minutes way too often, which wasted a lot of good work we did in the first halves of matches. I'm not sure I could handle that again, in the event that that's what Silva is like. With all of that said, his fitness training is probably fine.
There's a lot to like but there's no way he's worth that much (the rumoured compensation or likely salary, i.e. what Koeman was on). Kind of like the Gylfi Sigurdsson of managers. Although, in Silva's case, he actually fills an area of genuine need, so I think it's a little more justified if he's who we really want.
So... mixed feelings about this. I don't hate it but I'm not totally sold either. Although, to be fair, in our current position, I don't think we're capable of finding someone who ticks all the boxes.