Following a disappointing start to the Women’s Super League season, Willie Kirk was dismissed as manager of Everton.
Expectations at Everton had been high going into the WSL season. The club had made a number of high-profile signings, including Toni Duggan and Hanna Bennison, and were hoping to battle for a spot in the Women’s Champions League.
The side were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City and Chelsea respectively in the opening weeks of the season, however, before losing 3-0 to Arsenal last weekend.
The Toffees have racked up victories against Birmingham City and Reading, but a 5-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Continental Cup on Wednesday seemed to seal Kirk’s fate.
The 43-year-old, who was appointed to the role in 2018, said he was “thankful” to Everton for the opportunity with the club.
“During that time, we have made tremendous progress both on and off the pitch and I leave the Club in a better place,” he said. “Without a doubt, the highlight was the FA Cup final less than a year ago, a memory that will stay with me forever.”
With the international break now in full swing, Everton revealed they would be aiming to have a new manager in place by the team’s next match against Leicester City on November 3rd.
According to the MailOnline, former Lyon manager Jean-Luc Vasseur has been selected to replace Kirk. The Frenchman will reportedly sign a two-and-a-half year deal with the club.
GiveMeSport Women takes a look at Everton’s rumoured new manager.
Who is Jean-Luc Vasseur?
The 52-year-old Vasseur is a former footballer, playing for Paris Saint-Germain, Stade Rennais, Saint-Étienne, US Créteil, Racing Paris and FCM Aubervilliers during a 15-year career.
After three seasons spent managing US Créteil, Vasseur was appointed the new manager of Stade de Reims in 2014. He was sacked a year later, however, before spending a season at Paris FC and Châteauroux respectively.
In 2019, Vasseur made the move into women’s football. He was appointed manager of Olympique Lyonnais, one of the most successful women’s football clubs in history.
During his time at Lyon, Vasseur won the Division 1 Féminine, the Coupe de France Féminine and the Women’s Champions League, earning the 2019-2020 UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year accolade for his efforts.
He was dismissed from his position in April after Lyon’s five-year reign as European champions was ended by Paris St-Germain in the semi-finals. Lyon also failed to defend their Division 1 Féminine title.
What has the reaction been?
The reaction to Vasseur’s rumoured appointment has not been overwhelmingly positive.
In response to MailOnline’s women’s football correspondent Kathryn Batte, one Twitter user wrote: “Jean-Luc Vasseur wasn’t able to react to PSG’s improvement. Injuries also didn’t help in his last season at Lyon.
“This could be a sort of trial of fire for him – was he successful because of all the great players Lyon had or WITH them?”
Analytics FC writer Abdullah Abdullah wrote: “Hmm, I’m not 100% sure about this appointment. Led Lyon to a couple titles but his last season was stagnant. Interested to see if he can stamp some tactical authority at Everton.”
Another Twitter user posted: “An interesting appointment. Someone who’s used to having a bigger than average budget to splash… Everton will be a different challenge!”