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Phil Hall named top 3 advisor for sports and crisis management

Phil Hall named top 3 advisor for sports and crisis management

Phil Hall is named in the top 3 advisor’s in the country for sports and crisis management

We are proud to announce that our Chairman, Phil Hall, has been named as number three in the top ten sports PR advisor’s in the PR Week Power Book 2018.

Described by PRWeek UK editor-in-chief Danny Rogers as “the most rigorously compiled edition since I launched it in 2007”, the book lists the most influential and respected comms professionals in the UK today.

PR Week says Hall remains the “go-to for sports people (and business people) facing a crisis”.

As the former editor of the world’s best-selling newspaper, Phil is recognised for his crisis and reputation work. He has acted for sporting stars as well sovereign states, notable individuals as well as blue chip companies and business leaders.

You can read more about the Power Book listings on the PR Week website here.

Four rugby campaigns that knocked our socks off

Rugby. When major events such as the World Cup, Six Nations or the British and Irish Lions are touring the subcontinent, rugby mania sweeps the nation. Providing a perfect opportunity for brands to implement short, sharp successful marketing campaigns.

We’ve scrolled through the archives and listed our four favourite campaigns showcasing creativity, results and well they just made us giggle!

02 #WearTheRose

When England hosted the World Cup in 2015, England’s main sponsor, O2, had the perfect platform to execute a well thought out campaign. It began with the strap-line ‘#WearTheRose’ being unveiled on the roof of the O2 arena.

More was to follow, as O2 went on to produce a stunning amination video, which gained 2.6m views on YouTube alone.

O2 declared it as the most successful digital campaign it had ever run, and according to Twitter, O2 had 67% share of voice for the whole tournament due to the #WearTheRose hashtag. It’s just a shame that England went out in the group stages of the tournament, but that’s for another day…

Samsung ‘School of Rugby’

Samsung’s aim was to create a series of one-minute comedy clips, to help demystify and enhance people’s enjoyment of the sport, using comedian Jack Whitehall as the lynchpin. Whitehall learnt about the core elements of the game whilst making some quips and gags at former England players. The miniseries amassed over two million views on YouTube.


The clothing brand Jacamo didn’t have millions to spend to promote their brand to a global audience. In 2015, Jacamo had no affiliation to the World Cup but this didn’t stop them from hijacking the news agenda and creating the ‘Hakarena’. The results were staggering, in just five days it generated a combined 2.3m video views and was shown on BBC, ITV, Fox and CNN. The press coverage reached almost 40 million people and it trended in not only the UK, but Australia and New Zealand too.

Guinness Rugby – Gareth’s Story

Guinness as a brand is synonymous with rugby, so when Heineken won the rights to be the only beer supplier during the World Cup, Guinness had to get creative.

Guinness hedged their bets that competitor brands would focus on physical challenges in their campaigns in the build-up to the World Cup, so Guinness instead decided to focus on the mental and social challenges. The campaign focused on Welsh captain Gareth Thomas and his struggle to go public with his sexuality. Thomas became the world’s first openly gay rugby player.

The results were unbelievable, 23 million people tuned in to watch the TV advert which aired between England vs Wales. Arguably the comments below on YouTube were the biggest success.

If you’re looking to create a knockout campaign, speak to a member of our award-winning public relations team today.

If Public Relations were Football

The dizzying world of Public Relations, explained through the prism of clichéd football analogies. It’s the blog you never knew that you needed, because frankly, you don’t.

Simpler than a James Milner interview, more packed with information than a Rafa Benitez team talk, sexier than Mesut Ozil signing a new contract. Who’s who and what do they do? Read on and become enlightened.

The Intern – Wonderkid winger, no doubt. All pace, energy and unpredictability. Could go down the outside and look to whip in a cross, or could scythe inside their marker and slam some research into the back of the net. More performances like this, and a regular first-team berth awaits.

The Account Executive – The goal poacher/fox in the box. There is only one thing on this deadly finisher’s mind – coverage, coverage, coverage (or goals, goals, goals). Think Francis Jeffers or Michael Owen. Could their build up play improve? Maybe, but who cares when they keep slamming coverage into the back of the net.

The Sports PR – Defensive midfielder/Claude Makelele. The shield that guards the realms of sports. The watcher in the Wardour. Work rate that puts everybody else to shame, tenacious ball-winning capabilities, phenomenal determination. The Sports PR is so relentlessly effective that they can occasionally slip under the radar, but make no mistake, they’re the heartbeat of the side.

The Creative team – The mercurial #10, at their happiest and best when given free rein to roam around, looking to create. Beware of loading them up with defensive responsibilities, you don’t want to go all Jose and destroy these rare beasts. Anointed set piece takers for their creative routines.

The Corporate PR team – You might not know it to look at them, but the corporate actually started out as an agricultural centre back, all crunching tackles and barking orders down the phone at journalists. No longer, they’ve refined their play to become elegant, ball-playing defenders. Crunching tackles aren’t likely anymore, they don’t want to ruin their suit trousers, do they?

The Crisis Expert – Goalkeeper. You know it. I know it. A specialist position, they can see the whole game unfolding in front of them. But while they are a safe pair of hands, they are eccentric. What’s going on in their head? What’s their next move? Do they know what I did on last week’s social? Or are they just smiling at me to be friendly? I don’t know. Only another Crisis Keeper knows.

The Public Affairs/Political expert – Deep-lying Playmaker. Are they smashing in 30-yarders and ripping their shirt off? Probably not. Are they pulling strings in the background, making everybody else look good? Probably. Not flashy, and only really appreciated by those who know what they’re watching. They captain our side because they know how not to upset people.

The Account Director – Gaffer. The brains behind the operation. When they’re not formulating devilish strategy and media formations, they’re cajoling their star players, instilling confidence ready for another assault on the industry awards.


If you’re looking to become man of the match speak to a member of our award-winning public relations team today.

2018 Six Nations: England vs Wales – 5 key battles

3 minutes to read

The 2018 Natwest Six Nations kicked on Saturday 3 February and delivered a thrilling weekend of fast-flowing rugby, dashed expectations, good old-fashioned grit and last-gasp winners all on display.

England and Wales opened their accounts with the two most convincing displays of the first round, sweeping aside Italy and Scotland respectively. Sitting level on points at the top of the table, the sides meet at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday afternoon for yet another highly anticipated Anglo-Welsh clash.

For fans of both sides, it’s the fixture they daren’t lose and this second round meeting is already shaping up to be a definitive point in this year’s championship, as England bid to make history by becoming the first team to win three consecutive Five/Six Nations titles outright.

With four of the past five meetings decided by five points or less, we take a look at the five key battles which could tip the balance this weekend……

Dylan Hartley vs. Ken Owens

Hooker Hartley continues to face questions over his continued leadership of the team due to his Northampton Saints’ struggles this season and his indifferent form for his club side. Eddie Jones has been staunch in his defence of his captain and having held off the challenge of one Lions hooker in Jamie George, he must face another in Wales’ Ken Owens.

The set-piece is where it all starts and in games of this magnitude, the team that nails the basics often comes out on top. Owens is undisputedly solid in the scrum and lineout, whereas Hartley has struggled at times this season, particularly with his throwing. This, coupled with the contrasting fortunes of their club sides, suggests the momentum could be with the Welshman.

Maro Itoje vs. Alun Wyn Jones

Lions tours are famed for producing unlikely friendships and the 2017 tour to New Zealand was no different. Not only did Maro Itoje and Alun Wyn Jones partner each other in the second row in the second and third Tests against the All Blacks, they struck up an accord off the pitch also.

Their friendship will be set aside on Saturday. The ageless Wales captain Wyn Jones once famously claimed that had he been born English, he would have moved across the border and played for Wales anyway, and there will be no love lost as he looks to lead his side from the front on enemy territory. The lineout battle will be a key area and whoever comes out on top between these wily operators will have claimed a significant advantage for their country.Rugby scrum

Danny Care vs. Gareth Davies

Harlequins talisman Danny Care benefits from the misfortune of the injured Ben Youngs to start, where he will become England’s most-capped scrum-half with 78 appearances. Care has been in fine form for his club this season and has added a varied kicking game to his fast-tempo, whippet-like performances.

His opposite man however has history against England, scoring a critical late try at Twickenham in the 2015 Rugby World Cup which contributed to England’s painful exit from the tournament. Like Care, Davies is benefiting from the absence of his side’s first-choice No. 9 and both players will be looking to take this opportunity to impress. Their penchant for running rugby and unpredictability could set the benchmark for an exciting, end-to-end match.

George Ford vs. Rhys Patchell

England head coach Eddie Jones turned up the heat this week on Wales’ third-choice fly-half Patchell, suggested he may lack ‘the bottle’ to cope with the pressure he’ll come under at Twickenham. Patchell was instrumental in Wales’ demolition of Scotland last weekend, pulling the strings in midfield and compensating for the loss of Wales’ first choice 10s, Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland. Patchell is one of 10 Scarlets players in the Wales XV and has been flying high all season, so Jones’ comments can be taken with a pinch of salt.

Ford was equally impressive against Italy, combining with Farrell beautifully and scoring a try himself. His international form has far outweighed his club form with Leicester Tigers but the dial will be turned up to 11 on Saturday and he will be feeling the heat from a large, mobile Welsh back row which will almost certainly target his perceived weak defence.

Anthony Watson vs. Steff Evans

The pre-match build-up may not be the only fireworks on display at Twickenham, with these two flyers lining up opposite each other. The pace and skill of Bath’s Anthony Watson has been known for some time and he appears ready to step into the category of genuine world-class international winger.

This has been a breakthrough season for Evans, who has been in fine form in the Pro14 and demonstrated his first-rate finishing skills last week against Scotland, notching Wales’ critical fourth, bonus point-winning try with a spectacular one-handed, diving touchdown. The crowd will rise to their feet in unison at the sight of either of these players with an open field in front of them.


An Idiot’s Guide to the Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is nearly upon us. This weekend sees the 52nd edition of a game that has brought in well over 100 million viewers every year of late. If you don’t know your touchdown from your touchback though, we’re here to help with all you need to know ahead of the big game. So, put your feet up, get your chicken wings at the ready, and we’ll take it from here.

What is it?

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League. Think Champions League Final. After a 16-game regular season, followed by three knockout playoff games, just two teams are left standing to fight it out for the coveted main prize – the Lombardi Trophy.

Who’s playing?

This year Philadelphia Eagles take on New England Patriots. After both finishing with 13 wins and three losses apiece in the regular season, the two sides entered the playoffs as the no.1 seeds in their respective conferences.

Where is the game?

It is being played at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis. Minnesota Vikings were hoping to become the first ever NFL team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium, before the Eagles defeated them in the NFC Championship Game (semi-finals).

Who do we want to win?

The Patriots are the bookies’ favourites. They are the defending champions after all. Led by quarterback Tom Brady, the Pats are competing in their 10th Super Bowl – the most by any team in NFL history. Brady himself has been at the helm for all five of the Patriots’ Super Bowl wins. A sixth win for the 40-year-old would set him apart from all other players to have ever played the game before.

The Eagles, meanwhile, are playing in their third ever Super Bowl. Their most recent loss came in 2005 against, you guessed it, the Patriots. Brady’s seven Super Bowl appearances to date matches those made by the entire Eagles roster. Everyone loves an underdog, and we’re no different – let’s go Eagles.

What key phrases should I drop into conversation to fit in?

“Even if Brady wins a record sixth Super Bowl ring, his legacy will forever be tainted by Deflategate.”

Context: Deflategate was a controversy that stunned the NFL in the 2014/15 Playoffs. Brady and his Patriots were deemed to have deliberately used under-inflated balls to gain an advantage over the opposition, resulting in a four-game ban for the quarterback and a $1million fine for the organization.

“I don’t care what you say… there is absolutely no way that was pass interference!”

Context: Pass interference is when a member of the defense is penalised for illegally obstructing a member of the offense with the ball in the air. Whilst there are clear signs referees look out for when deciding whether to call a foul, some hugely contested decisions still remain.

So there you have it. You are now officially ready for the Super Bowl. Remember… anyone can win on any given Sunday.


We try…Meta-Row at Metabolic London

As we come to the end of week two in our #30for30 campaign, new classes and fitness inspiration have been very welcome here in the Sport & Fitness team. Partly because we love trying the latest creations of course, but mainly to help break up the endless runs and spinning classes that have been churned out day-after-day to date.

So, when I heard about Metabolic London, and their innovative Meta-Row class, I was instantly intrigued (if not slightly intimidated) by the class description. It simply read: “Not for the faint-hearted. This class is brutal and will test the best”. Despite my better judgement, I signed up then and there.

Sunday morning soon came around and I was on my way to Mornington Crescent for the class. Having dropped off my bag in the changing rooms, I was good to go. Meta-Row was London’s first boutique group rowing class when it launched in summer 2017. The gym itself is unlike anything I’ve seen before – a huge open space decked out with black walls and more equipment than you could ever wish for.

Scott, the instructor for our class, gathered us together to walk everyone through what we were about to do. Asking if anyone was nursing a hangover, I must admit I was tempted to raise my hand – only to make it less embarrassing for when I inevitably passed out mid-class, but I ultimately thought better of it.

The class itself is made up of row and total body circuit intervals, with interchangeable rounds. With all of the rowing machines lined up, we kicked off with a four minute row. Straight on to the first circuit, which entailed a combination of medicine ball throws, burpees, squats and crunches. One round down and I’m already feeling it. No time to let up, however, as we are into another four minute row and then back on to the mats for the next circuit – featuring kettle bell swings and lifts, followed by a crawl into a press up.

Back on the rowing machine we went – this time for a five minute stint – to try and beat our stats from before, cheered on willingly by the ever-present Scott. A final circuit which included “explosive” burpees and I was well and truly spent. Despite the physical trauma I’d just been through, the feeling of achievement was unparalleled.

The best thing about Meta-Row is it’s suitable for all levels of fitness – you can go at your own pace. At £10 for your first class, it’s cheaper than the majority of boutique classes out there, and you’ll do well to find a better workout. We’ll be back, just as soon as our DOMS ease up.

We try…. RIDE at Digme Fitness

As part of the PHA 30/30 challenge, I decided to check out the renowned RIDE class at Digme Fitness in Moorgate. It is described on the website as ‘45 minutes of the best indoor cycling imaginable’ – understandably my expectations were high.

Conveniently located just a couple of minutes from Moorgate tube station, I arrived at the studio with plenty of time to collect my cycling shoes and get myself set up on the bike.

The spin studio itself is amazing and the Keiser M3i bikes are the most stylish and modern that I have ever seen in a spin class.

Each of the bikes has a small screen that lets you know your watts, RPM and heart rate throughout the duration of the ride. The gears are also displayed on the screen and are adjusted using a lever that you pull up and down, rather than the traditional handle. This makes it easy to know which gear you are sitting in and how hard you are working.

The bikes are connected to two large flat screen TVs at the front of the studio, which show each member of the class racing virtually through different mountainous landscapes.  All the bikes are assigned a specific number that corresponds to a virtual cyclist on the screen and this means you can follow your bike as it cycles along. You know exactly how well you are doing compared to the others in the class… zero slacking allowed!

At first, I was slightly nervous about the two large screens in front of me and the data popping up on the screen as I started to pedal. However, during the warm-up any apprehension, I had quickly disappeared as our instructor, Chloe, talked us through what all the data meant and what we should be aiming for throughout the ride.

When we were ready to go, Chloe led the class through 40 minutes of brutal hill climbs and sprint training, all set to a series of motivational tracks and flashing lights. We finished the gruelling 40-minute session with a tough 3-minute challenge which involved each member of the class trying to cycle as far as they could within the time limit. It’s safe to say that I was exhausted and dripping with sweat.

Immediately after the session, I was surprised to check my emails to find a full summary of my ride sitting in my inbox – calories burned, average watts, RPM and heart rate. It’s a great way to help track the progress you are making as the weeks and months go by.

The RIDE class is perfect for those with a competitive streak. Personally, I loved being able to see where you are ranked against everyone else in the class – it was great motivation, especially when you felt like you had nothing left to give!

Does your Fitness PR strategy deliver the results you want?

January is a popular month amongst consumers to get fit. With that in mind, January is clearly one of the most important times for fitness brands to communicate their offerings and take advantage of the widespread media attention that is placed on the industry.

At The PHA Group, the Sport and Fitness team work with many leading brands in the fitness sector including leading budget gym chain Xercise4Less, sports nutrition brand USN and LDN Muscle. Here we take another look at some of our clients and other brands that have successfully taken advantage of the crucial January period.


Sweatcoin is a digital currency (cryptocurrency) where app users earn coins by walking or running. The app tracks your outdoor steps throughout the day and rewards you with one Sweatcoin for every 1,000 steps you make. These coins can then be redeemed through gifts including; magazines, healthy energy drinks, music downloads, digital watches, running shoes, electronics and many more.

The growth of the company has been incredible with five million users joining in the last year and revenue increasing by 267%.

The company will surely be crediting this to the fantastic PR strategy they employed during January, which saw them secure blanket coverage in the tech media. The company’s recent win at the London Tech Innovation Awards also helped them secure coverage on many national tabloid websites.


Xercise4Less are of the leading budget gym chains with 49 sites across the UK.

Two years ago, they had a small presence in the trade and regional media but were falling short when it came to securing coverage around successful member transformation stories and the value of their offering.

However, in the last few years, Xercise4Less have successfully positioned themselves as the leading budget gym in the media landscape which has seen them secure regular coverage on national online tabloid sites and within the personal finance pages of the national newspapers. January 2018 has been another incredible example month in terms of delivery, with over 50 pieces of coverage secured in titles such as The Sunday Times, Metro, Mail Online, Mirror Online and Daily Star Online.

USN Nutrition

The sports nutrition sector is one of the most crowded in the fitness industry at the moment and there is a great opportunity for one brand to really position themselves as the market leader in the UK.

One brand making waves at present is Birmingham based sports nutrition brand USN. The brand

recently launched a “Face of USN” campaign to find a new female and male ambassador. To promote the campaign, they employed the help of their current ambassadors which included “The UK’S Fittest Man”- Ryan Terry, “The UK’s Fittest Teacher”- Mark Hoban and two-time Isle of Man TT winner and motorcyclist Ivan Lintin.

The campaign was a huge success with over 40 pieces of coverage secured in titles read by the brands core demographic including; Mail Online, Mirror Online, Daily Star Online, Men’s Health Online, The Sun Online and The Sunday People.

In the past four months, it’s quite evident that USN’s main rivals in the nutrition sector haven’t even come close to securing that level of coverage and USN have firmly established themselves as the market leader within the industry.

If you are looking for a PR agency to kick-start your PR or deliver the results you want get in touch today.

Top 10 sporting events to watch in 2018

The festive holidays are one that we all relish but often we find the time off disappears before we know it. In fact, Christmas turkeys, crackers and glorious mulled wine seem a distant fading memory right now.

But as Christmas departs a new year begins and with that fresh optimism is born. (could it really be England’s year?)

With us now already a week into 2018, it’s time to look forward and see what the sporting calendar has in store for us. It promises to be a jam-packed 12 months!

Here are my Top 10 events for the year to come:

  • Winter Olympics & Paralympics, Pyeongchang 9th – 25th February & 9th – 18th March

Any event which includes a sport where four athletes race from the top of a mountain to the bottom as fast as they can is a winner in my book. Of course, Ski – Cross is just one of many exhilarating sports the Winter Olympics has on offer. Even the staunchest traditionist would struggle not to get excited at the prospect of an athlete hurling themselves downhill on what is effectively a dinner tray at up to 80 mph.

  • Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia 4th – 15th April

After a month of snow-related sports, you might be in need of some sun. So from South Korea, we move our attention to the Gold Coast. The 21st Commonwealth Games and what a fabulous location for them indeed. Will England’s male sprinters stand up and put on another gold winning performance like they did last year at the World Championships in London whilst representing Team GB? Can anyone get near Adam Peaty in the 100m Breaststroke? Heptathlete Katarina Johnson – Thompson competes in her first games and will be aiming for a podium finish.

  • The Masters, Augusta National, Georgia 5th – 8th April

You’ll have to be on your A-Game to make sure you don’t miss out on any sport in an action-packed April. Although the picturesque sight of the 13th at Augusta will be enough to convince you that you really don’t need that seven hours of sleep you had previously promised yourself…

  • FA Cup Final, Wembley 19th May

Always one of the standout weekends in the sporting calendar, the history of the Cup speaks for itself. This year there’s a twist. With the Royal Wedding scheduled for the same date, HRH Prince William will be relieved that his beloved Aston Villa were knocked out in the 3rd round of the competition.

  • FIFA World Cup, Russia 14th June – 15th July

The groups have been drawn, the fixture dates have been released, football’s biggest competition is starting to feel very close. Can Gareth Southgate’s men find the blend between attacking football and winning games that England fans so desperately crave?

  • Wimbledon 2nd – 15th July

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Wimbledon is certainly one of the classiest events in the sporting calendar. An event steeped in rich history and traditions. Homemade strawberries and cream accompanied with a Pimm’s is mandatory of course, but would you want it any other way?

Time will tell if Murray Mount will get to see their namesake at this year’s tournament but in Johanna Konta the Brits have a new fan favourite to get behind.


  • Women’s Hockey World Cup, London 21st July – 5th August

Not only is it the first time the women’s World Cup has been hosted in the UK, it’s also expected to be the biggest hockey event ever in the UK. The English team are currently ranked 2nd in the World behind the Netherlands. Can they build on the success from the Commonwealth Games earlier in the year perhaps?

  • T20 Blast Finals Day, Edgbaston 15th September

Three games of cricket sandwiched into one day. Finals Day guarantees to deliver roller-coaster finishes, monster hits, fancy dress and a good old sing along. You won’t be left disappointed.

  •  Ryder Cup, Le Golf National, Paris 28th – 30th September

A sport which is well known for its individual competitiveness, but when Europe take on the USA all bets are off. There is always a twist and a turn during a Ryder Cup weekend. Who can forget the Miracle at Medinah in 2012?

  • ICC Women’s World Twenty20, West Indies 3rd – 24th November

Can they do the double? With the World Cup ODI trophy in the bag from last year, England will be looking to return home from the West Indies with the World Twenty20 trophy too. In the meantime, let’s reminisce about one of the best sporting moments of 2017.

Direction and Identity are top of Everton’s Christmas list

A month has passed since Ronald Koeman was relieved of his duties at Goodison Park, and yet we are still no closer to knowing who will take up the reins as his full-time replacement.

A lot of speculation has been made in the press over two men in particular who have both made storming starts to the season with their respective clubs. But who, if either will be unveiled as the next Everton manager.

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

The men in question? Sean Dyche of Burnley & Marco Silva of Watford.

Two men with contrasting methods and approaches to coaching but both who have proven to be shrewd tacticians and have excelled at getting their teams to perform to the best of their abilities consistently this season.

Make no bones about it, one of Everton’s biggest problems with their pedestrian approach to this campaign is a major lack of identity. Mr Moshiri splashed the cash in the summer almost £150m of it, but for what?

By not adequately replacing hitman Romelu Lukuku and almost bulk buying No.10’s has left the Everton squad looking very thin in certain departments.

The toffees historically have been a club that has used its fullbacks well, with the crossing threat of Leighton Baines and the acceleration of Seamus Coleman as key figures.

The gamble to sign Wayne Rooney & Gylfi Sigurdsson hasn’t worked so far. Koeman hoped that they could dovetail off each other, instead, they have clashed, with both wanting to lead and dictate the tempo of games.

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

Someone needs to decide what direction the club is going to go from here before relegation becomes a real prospect.

Let’s take a deeper look at the two men who have been made the bookies’ favourites.

Marco Silva

If Messrs Kenwright & Moshiri want a quick fix, Silva is your man. He has breathed new life into Watford. After a lacklustre season under Walter Mazzarri, Watford fans are now having the time of their life, what a contrast of emotions.

In a matter of months, Silva has taken a team who narrowly avoided relegation to arguably the most improved side in the league. He’s re-installed fight and passion to an uninspiring Watford and made smart signings like the impressive Richarlison and Will Hughes.

They play expansive football, it’s fast, dynamic and end-to-end action. It’s been all positive for Watford fans this season bar the 6-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

Watford FC Formation. Image courtesy of Fantasy Premier League

It’s clear to see that Silva is an ambitious man who has big plans for his future, so the opportunity to take over at Everton, a club with a glorious history, a fantastic fan base and an owner who backs his manager must be incredibly appealing. Only time will tell if he leaves the Hornets, but Watford fans must know that his time at Vicarage Road is numbered, as his stock continues to rise with each victory.

So far in his short managerial career at Watford, Silva has favoured flooding the midfield with a solid back three in defence which can allow the more creative players such as the aforementioned Richarlison to wreak havoc on the opposition. A big difference to Watford this season compared to last is the intensity which Marco Silva has installed, they are also getting many more touches on the ball.

Jose Holebas was the only Watford player to break into the Premier League top 50 for touches during last season’s campaign, and he came 40th in the list. This season Abdoulaye Doucoure is taking Watford to new levels, sitting 11th in the same listing.


Sean Dyche 

Man of the moment Dyche has certainly proved his doubters wrong. After a superb start to his coaching career with Watford and ensuring their best-placed finish in 4 years, Dyche found himself fall foul of Watford’s ‘manager a season’ approach.

Watford’s loss led to Burnley’s gain. It’s been refreshing to see a manager be given considerable time to set in place his philosophy and tactics and see them come to fruition. Even more impressive is that Burnley stuck with him even after relegation from the Premier League after 1 season, what a decision that has turned out to be.

Burnley currently sit 7th in the league on the same amount of points as Arsenal, quite the turn around from Championship football only a few years ago.

As much as Burnley fans like to dream, Everton would be a major step up for Dyche. He would bring with him a stability that Everton crave, but without the attacking gusto and intensity that Silva would install.

He’s made his Burnley sides hard to beat and often praised for their herculean effort in terms of distance covered in games. Although sometimes it’s fair to say style has been sacrificed for the result, something Everton supporters would relish to see now from their beloved Toffees.

Do the Everton board go down the pathway towards attacking flair or welcome the stability that Sean Dyche will undoubtedly bring with him.

If it was my decision I’d go for Silva, but make sure he signs a very long-term contract because it won’t be long until Europe’s elite will come calling for Marco.