Sam Allardyce was happy to see Everton eventually prevail against struggling Swansea City after seeing his charges concede a soft goal to go 1-0 down in the first half.
The manager joked afterwards that he knew the identity of the player who had lost his man so disappointingly as Leroy Fer put the Welsh club ahead from a corner but he credited the home fans for their patience as the Blues turned the match around in the second half.
Having accepted the gift of a penalty in first-half stoppage time and equalised when Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted the rebound from Wayne Rooney's missed penalty, the Blues went on to win by two clear goals thanks to a stunner from Gylfi Sigurdsson and another penalty which Rooney successfully scored.
“With a pretty mediocre first half performance, I'm absolutely delighted with the turnaround and the lift of performance we gave in the second half because we really did need it.” the manager said.
“I was very pleased with the patience from the Everton fans in the first half where they still tried to give encouragement even though we weren't playing as well as we wanted.
“As we progressed in the second half and made a substitution, got Tom [Davies] on to get further forward with Wayne rather than Morgan sitting back that bit and then Gylfi comes out with a wonder goal.
“When you've got players like that they turn the game in your favour and with a better performance in the second half and that wonder goal, I think that finally that knocked Swansea down and we won it comfortably in the end 3-1.”
The win was Everton's fourth in five matches in all competitions since Allardyce took the reins from David Unsworth and, combined with the 4-0 win over West Ham on the day his appointment was confirmed, it has helped push the Blues into ninth place in the Premier League, just six points off Tottenham in seventh.
Asked what he has done at Goodison Park to not only stop the rot that had set in and was threatening Everton's top-flight status but to also put the team on this winning streak, Allardyce
“From a tactical point of view, it's simplifying the game and from a management point of view, it's man-managing the players with the rest of the staff.
“I just want everybody to get better — not just the players but every member of staff who works with the first team.
“To turn around so quickly is great credit to everybody, not just me for coming in now but everybody working so hard behind the scenes and to the players for going out on the pitch and turning what looked like quite a desperate situation into quite a comfortable one now.
“Some of us are looking up now and saying how far can we finish up the table rather than looking down and that's very, very pleasing for me because — believe you me — at the last couple of clubs it was a lot tougher to turn around in the early stages than this one has.
“We've got to try and get a result against Chelsea; then we'll really know what we're made of. If, with this confidence, we can go and get a result against Chelsea on Saturday then we really are going on the right track to finish in the top half and as high as possible.”
Reader Comments (47)
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1 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:00:04
The humorously barbed “I know the identity“ comment made me laugh.
It's good that he is saying that he will really know what we are made of after we have played Chelsea.
We will need to be a whole lot better to get something out of that match. A performance like last night's first half will see us punished. Hazard etc will have a field day.
2 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:05:44
Sam again talks sense.
Good result but plenty of problems left for Sam to solve.
3 Posted 19/12/2017 at 08:50:26
What we can say is that Sam and co. are a safe pair of hands if the going gets tough, which I think is likely at some stage. We can at least stop worrying about relegation which takes the stress out of the situation.
We still need Moshiri and rest of the owners to put their hands deep into their pockets and come up with the money to buy 2 preferably 3 special players, difficult I know but that's what we need. If we are serious about competing with the best in the League that's got to happen. Do I think it will? It's not likely in my opinion but you never know.
4 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:00:11
Let's hope for the same against Chelsea. Stop their wingbacks and Hazard and they don't do have much of an attack, others are wasteful. Palace and West Ham kept them quiet, so why can't the mighty blues?
Long may this unbeaten run continue. It's Conte's turn to be Big Sam'd.
5 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:09:04
6 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:27:37
Also anyone who can generate such hate from Liverpool can't be bad; seeing Klopp's post match interview meltdown and watching him prowl the touch line with such an expression of sheer contempt and frustration was a delight to behold.
In retrospect, it seems Sam has played the hand he has been dealt at other clubs with the players available dictating the tactics. He is clearly a pragmatist and the Premier League is littered with the corpses of innovative and experimental managers with their own unique philosophy; we have endured two such phenomena recently. We have very good players here who been inexplicably under-performing and the recent run of games looked like an oasis after the very tough start to the season we had.
I feel we have learned a great deal regarding the players in recent weeks but I think we will see more of what Sam is made of now. There are plenty of big decisions coming up, for example the defence: I'm worried how Hazard and Moratta may fare against last night's line up.
There is also of course the January window and who he can attract. I hope to continue to be impressed by Sam and his regime even Sammy Lee seems less offensive.
7 Posted 19/12/2017 at 09:40:51
More importantly, let's hope too, he noticed the total game change when Schneiderlin went off. The team was more fluid, and at least started attacking, rather than just passing the ball back, sideways and anywhere but forward.
Like the others have said, the acid test will be Saturday, against Chelsea; he will have to get team selection spot on no passengers. Martina, although improved in a different position, will have to be alert.
I felt that Sandro was not given enough time last night as Sub, to make any impact or build his confidence.
Christmas wish list, Moussa Dembele, Somouaro, Nzonzi and the young lad Konza from Charlton for grooming into the production line.
Offload Schneiderlin, Mirallas and any other ne'er do wells, and deadwood.
8 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:05:05
I lost count of the number of times players just got caught in possession (especially Rooney) or misplaced simple passes. Luckily they have been getting by and getting the points but it is awful to watch.
Most can't wait until January to see what improvements can be made as the product on the pitch is still sub-par. Early on it was clear Martina was out of his depth playing at left back against a quick Narsingh as he was against Salah in the derby match. He is just too slow!
It is crucial that Sam get's them focused for the next 2 games against ''top'' opposition.
9 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:17:29
Our shape changed for the better when Davies came on, I like his movement and forward thinking not back and sideways all the time, you have to accept he will lose possession a bit more with that outlook though.
Calvert-Lewin is growing each game never stops running and chasing down defenders needs some more support in Jan to take a bit of pressure off him.
10 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:37:34
I couldn't be happier with him and his team so far, especially given the sorry shite we were served under Bobby & Ron.
I wasn't 100% on Allardyce, but I always found him to be good copy, and pretty funny at other clubs now he's here, it's all been positive so far. I'm quite excited to see what he can do with some talented players and a bit of money to spend.
This is his last hurrah as a manager, and he's clearly going to go at it both barrels.
11 Posted 19/12/2017 at 10:39:03
On the whole, he's been in the right position, made vital interceptions through good positional play that go unnoticed and his use of the ball is usually pretty decent. He's also a very willing runner. I like him!! There, I've said it and I'm not ashamed.
14 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:34:02
15 Posted 19/12/2017 at 12:35:24
Since Allardyce arrived he's been good to my eyes, he seems to one of many who have benefited from being told in simple English what his task is.
16 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:15:10
There are no doubt still many detractors out there who will never take Sam to heart for their own reasons but I've not felt this positive in a very long time.
Allardyce is showing respect to the Club in every interview and seems to have toned down his own ego to boot. Everton aren't fashionable and neither is Sam, at the moment the fit seems perfect and the whole vibe around the Club seems positive.
17 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:15:20
He is 25% of a settled back 4 that has seen us return our best run of form, in both results and defensively, not just this season but including the tail end of last season also.
That he is doing so being played out of position at left back is all the more credit to him.
Swansea carried real threat and pace down both flanks last night, but Martina and Kenny repelled most attacks. Indeed, by the game's end one of those flank players Dyer was replaced.
As the 2nd half progressed, both our full-backs, having covered their defensive duties, were more often well advanced supporting the attack in and around Swansea's penalty area.
Most of our young left back cover is out on loan and probably we are unable to recall them, so more cover is needed.
Top drawer Martina ain't, but completely forlorn and hapless he ain't also. Better will come in, but overall he's doing just fine.
18 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:52:51
We need a replacement for Baines not Martina someone better than Baines is the only option really.
I'd also love to see what a Mahrez-type player would bring to this team...
19 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:17:36
Really tough test coming up against Chelsea but we will know more afterwards. I just hope we don't continue with Schneiderlin and Gueye together, it just doesn't work.
I don't think we have too much to lose on Saturday so I hope Big Sam has a go at them and is a little more attacking in his set up.
Good on the youngsters last night, by the way. One in, all in!!! COYB.
20 Posted 19/12/2017 at 15:56:55
I also agree with previous comments regards to Martina but I fear he is going to be caught out at the weekend when he comes up against Willian and/or Pedro.
I really want to give a big shout to Kenny and Calvert-Lewin thrilled at their progress.
21 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:19:13
I was glad to see, but was a little disappointed with Lookman, he could've passed it to Sandro at the very end.
I'm just wondering what Vlasic would have done if he had come in instead of Lookman. Credit to Lookman for working hard though.
22 Posted 19/12/2017 at 16:27:22
A name I don't see often mentioned is Danny Rose who wants out of Spurs. He would be a significant upgrade on our current crop.
I don't rate Van Aanholt and Luke Shaw has rumoured personal problems of the substance abuse type which may explain why he hasn't made more of his talent.
I also wouldn't mind Nzonzi although I don't see that as a priority.
If we get Tyias Browning back I don't see the need for another centre-back either especially with Funes Mori on the way back to fitness.
Hopefully Kieran Dowell will come back a better and more consistent creative force too.
So that leaves my only other Xmas wish as a goalscoring centre-forward. Giroud, Dzeko or Dembele for me. I don't want Benteke due to his inconsistency and injury problems. We need an upgrade on Lukaku not a down grade.
Players to cash in on:- Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Sandro, Barkley, Stekelenburg, Besic and reluctantly Mirallas.
24 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:06:00
We haven't anyone, except Schneiderlin with a range of passing either. Rooney was abject in this regard yesterday which really worries me. We just don't have a great midfield dynamo.
25 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:17:18
26 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:04:09
This is why fans need to be patient and give new managers time. Did Unsworth get sufficient time? Or is Premier League experience or experience in other top European leagues, a basic necessity. I do think that the "Allardyce Effect", is not just good fortune on his part. Dave Unsworth is obviously a fine person, but I don't think he would garner the immediate respect that an experienced manager brings to a club.
While I have to be very hopeful that Allardyce continues to be successful I, like most supporters, need to reserve judgement. At the very least, we should wait until the end of this season before making any decisions on his ability as a manager. Man-management is the most essential asset for any manager. I feel he can do well, in that area.
I now look forward to post-game interviews, having someone who seems to know what they are talking about. Koeman was useless in that area, as are many other coaches. Forget all the other teams Sam has worked for. This is Everton. I think he realizes this fact. We have a history and expectations are far higher. We have been in the shadows far too long.
27 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:10:36
I believe rightly or wrongly that Kevin Mirallas at his best is one of the biggest goal threats we have and is just frustrated by a succession of managers not having the opportunity to see him at his best. Just watch Moyes snap him up and make a player out of him again.
Sadly, I think his days at EFC are numbered and he has gone from being a fans favourite to a whipping boy.
28 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:13:28
Holgate and Williams have done very well but we have to phase in Keane. I'd say the same for Klaassen. How he and Sandro haven't been played in the Under-23s along with Vlasic is astonishing. Who gave Mirallas another deal?
I'm glad I didn't go last night. The support is the worst in the league. Everyone sits there silent waiting for Messi and Ronaldo to come on. If we are 9th there must be some poor players in other squads.
Points on the board with a good run of easy games. So now let's see if we can develop that with some joined up football.
29 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:25:24
30 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:31:39
31 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:38:25
Which is why I always love to see a player like Aaron Lennon who gives it everything he has, and it clearly means the world to him.
32 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:44:44
You can bet a significant sum he got somebody else to propose for him!
33 Posted 19/12/2017 at 21:48:23
Given his athleticism and ball skill, he should have done better than he has. 4 managers in, I'm confident the reason Kevin hasn't done better is Kevin.
Whatever the mental determination is needed to really excel, he doesn't have it. And he's not going to.
He's the exact guy we don't need signing anymore.
34 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:19:36
35 Posted 19/12/2017 at 22:31:38
Combine his diminishing powers with his petulance and he's a certainty for the exit for me. I think we did do our best to get rid of him in the summer, but the Greeks wanted him for free, and we wanted cash. Knowing him, he probably wanted a pay-off too.
36 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:31:32
37 Posted 19/12/2017 at 23:53:02
Still withholding judgement but he is doing okay. It seems to me one philosophy is for him to say "these are good players, just keep it simple and do the simple thing well, and you will get the breaks".
It's working so far. Bring on January. If he make even one cracking signing, he's nearly won me over. Nearly.
38 Posted 20/12/2017 at 00:26:15
However, Cuco does something that Bainsey doesn't. He stops the crosses coming in. Last night, Narsingh got past him once & wasted it. After that, Cuco either nicked the ball away or blocked the cross.
He deserves his place on merit. Part of a defence that has conceded 2 goals in 5 games.
BTW, I used to love Kevin Mirallas, highly skilful with a bit of snide in him. Now, for whatever reason, I think he'll be gone in January. A real shame.
39 Posted 20/12/2017 at 00:35:38
Schneiderlin, Klaassen and up to a point Sandro; those millstones tied round our necks by agent orange, need cutting free asap.
The £120M we got for Stones and Lukaku, effectively bottomlines out at £120M for Rooney & Sigurdsson... Oh how we laughed at Spurs and the Bale money.
If Jagielka, Baines, Williams and Funes Mori also haven't 'left' the Club before Allardyce's 18 months is up... then he'll be not getting his extension if it were up to me.
There's 14 months between now and the end of the January 2019 window. I would like to be able to compare that roster with now and see a reduction in Quantity and an increase in Quality.
Over to you Secret Santa Sam.
40 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:02:28
It isn't pretty but the points are coming in, along with the clean sheets. I didn't want either of the Sams, but cant knock the passion they both have for the club.
The youngsters are doing a hell of a job, Kenny, Holgate and Calvert-Lewin, committed and passionate.
Just loving it.
41 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:21:16
"I was against Big Sam, I eat humble pie."
"I knew we were headed for the drop, needed Big Sam, told you so!"
Is amusing and simplistic.
Fuck knows if Unsworth or Marco Silva would have performed any better or worse if given a permanent role.
What we know is that, having harboured top 6 ambitions, our board spectacularly shot itself in the foot with a disastrous succession plan once they rightly fired Koeman.
A stretched-out managerial search and game-to-game brief for Unsworth contributed to dismal performances against Lyon (where he had to save players for the Watford game), Atalanta (ditto for the Southampton game) and then Southampton themselves.
The back-slapping tone of those who wanted Allardyce forgets that this is a badly imbalanced squad that has shown an alarming tendency to suffer a complete collapse in form. Caution is the watch word until we get to January and address some fundamental areas.
As for Allardyce's performance, this season stability is the priority as Moshiri stated when he announced the appointment. The pressure will be on Big Sam to challenge for the top 6 again next season.
42 Posted 20/12/2017 at 13:33:18
We have to play the way we do at the moment, its very tactical but is getting us to safety, which after that Southampton game, I thought we would never see. Staring into the abyss sprang to mind after that one.
It will be interesting to see what happens next season when I am positive we will be in a challenging position.
43 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:25:21
Cast your minds back to the Southampton game, did we panic or was OCM a genius appointment?
44 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:29:07
You closed a thread. Can we continue the Turnaround conversation here!!!
Merry Christmas to you and the Editorial team. You guys have the patients of saints..
45 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:32:12
46 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:32:13
47 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:46:01
From what I've seen of Allardyce's style of play up to now, I think the Frenchman would be perfectly suited.
48 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:17:21
50 Posted 21/12/2017 at 09:17:02
51 Posted 21/12/2017 at 09:18:05
Overall, much better though #COYB
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