Something had better change

Darren Hind 28/12/2017 100comments  |  Jump to last

Ever since Sam Allardyce rocked up at Goodison Park, the "performances versus results" debate has raged almost incessantly. Many didn't want him in the first place; many still don't; some called for his appointment and some have come around to him. Let's face it, he has hardly surprised us. He is doing exactly what we expected him to do. Results have improved – for now – but at what cost?

Down the years, we Evertonians have had to suffer season after season of boring, unimaginative football served up by some of the most dour stubborn managers the Premier League has thrown up. Why is that? Why do we persist in employing these guys? It's not as if it has brought rewards. A tame capitulation against Chelsea nearly a decade ago is the closest we have come to a trophy since Big Joe landed the FA Cup.

As a club, we are regressing. Many of us prayed for Moyes to go, but three managers later and having spent hundreds of millions of pounds, we can't even sustain a decent position, have a decent tilt at a cup, or trouble the big boys at their grounds. It's not just that we don't trouble the big boys – the football our team plays gets ever uglier... Why is this? Is it our fault? Do we give these managers too much support?

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The performance at the Hawthorns was hideous. I felt absolutely ashamed as I watched us go up against a team who have not won in 18 games, with the sole intention of spoiling the game.

I know Sam's supporters will point to the goals we have conceded in the last six games, but should we not take into consideration the goals we have scored in that time? In the five Premier League games before Sam arrived, we scored 10 goals. We have scored 7 in the six games he has been in charge. Surely its fair to suggest he has only improved the Goals Against column by sacrificing the Goals For?

I would have accepted the odd backs-to-the-wall game like the derby, as the result is the be-all and end-all, but we did the same again against a Chelsea side who has been turned over by West Ham, Burnley and Palace, simply because they were prepared to go for three points rather than settle for one. Is there another team who will play West Brom this season with such a cowardly approach?

Allardyce is happy to take credit for the points but is very reluctant to take blame for the performances. Three times on the bounce he has pointed the finger at the players' inability to pass the ball... but his tactics make decent football almost impossible. He gets 9-10 men behind the ball, sometimes around our own area, and the only outlet ball is a 50-yard hoof in the general direction of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a youngster trying to carve out a career under the most difficult circumstances. If he does not want his players hoofing it, why hasn't he stopped them? Why didn't he stop his previous teams doing it?

We are not facing a relegation fight; we will not qualify for Champions League football, and we will not win the FA Cup playing like this, so why on earth do it? Sam's supporters will tell you we will get hammered if we open up against the big boys... yet we still defend deep and launch 50- or 60-yard missiles against teams who cost a fraction of ours. Be of no doubt: we will do it again against Premier League paupers Bournemouth. SDLL – Sit deep, launch long...

We've enjoyed incredible luck these past few games; we've been awarded penalties which weren't penalties, we have had our woodwork rattled repeatedly... and we have witnessed astonishing misses from opposition strikers who would normally bury them. I'm not complaining about the luck (it's been long overdue) but we won't keep getting away with it. We certainly can't rely on it the way we have been.

Something had better change...

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Michael Penley
1 Posted 30/12/2017 at 08:42:39
Good article. I do wish they would stop awarding 1 point for a draw. Spoiling the game shouldn't be an achievement in any sport.
Nitesh Kanchan
2 Posted 30/12/2017 at 08:56:25
Darren, the problem for sitting too deep is a lack of pace in defence for Williams and Jagielka and inexperience of Holgate. Mobile forwards and wingers will easily exploit that and turn us over in 45 mins with nothing to play for in the second half. That is why Big Sam is trying to stay in the game for the first 45 mins or so and then thinking of taking risks.

The last two games just indicate that by bringing Sandro and Niasse in second half. Barring Kenny, I don't think any of them can stay with pacy players. I expected away games to be like this under Big Sam.

I think Rooney was a big miss in last 2 games; we could have won it keeping clean sheets and no-one would be complaining. We need one centre-back who could bring ball out of defence to push us further up the pitch.

Sam Morrison
3 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:00:58
I've cringed watching us too.

But I think the time to judge Sam is at the start of next season, to be honest. If we're still playing that way then, then I doubt many will be rooting for him.

Six games in I'm still grateful right now because I genuinely thought we were going down under Koeman. In the bigger picture I agree, the football is dire to watch. I just think we have to give him a bit longer before judging – Sam himself has said what we do in possession worries him so I'd presume he intends to address it.

Bill Griffiths
4 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:15:10
I appreciate your viewing this, Darren, but I am sure if we win nearly all our games 1-0 and drew a few others 0-0 to win the league or break through to the top, the majority of our fans would be happy

First and foremost, most fans want a winning team.

Dennis Stevens
5 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:15:15
No, no, no Darren - it's been made quite clear on these hallowed pages:

Unsworth was the manager who dragged us out of the relegation zone with the benefit of sheer luck, whereas as Allardyce has taken us on into the top half of the table based purely on his pragmatic approach!

Next, you'll be telling us that Allardyce has had a more favourable run of fixtures than either Unsworth or Koeman.

John G Davies
6 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:16:20
Something had better change.

It undoubtedly will when we bring a few players in and get some of our injured back.

In the meantime, Darren, you have set the precedent for change. You are posting in a more relaxed manner lately. It definitely suits you so all due credit there.

Dan Kemp
7 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:16:45
I admit I've been thinking along these lines too, Darren. It's been horrible to watch and I'm really not sure I can be bothered to watch the next game against Bournemouth.

And yet, I still feel it's too early to judge. I think as a football club, particularly as fans, we've been naive for a good long time. It's not that long ago we were a big club. But ever since the Premier League started, we've not been anywhere near.

I think it was about time we got in a shrewd, no-nonsense manager. Sam knows the Premier League inside out. He won't be the man to get us back to the top – but he may be the man who gets us behaving and believing like a Premier League club.

This isn't unprecedented – I believe Harry Redknapp – another hard-nosed, experienced manager, had a similar effect at Spurs. He wasn't the man that got them to the top, but he got them moving in the right direction after a series of unsuccessful foreign managers.

That all said, I'm not yet convinced. Let's see how we feel at the end of this season. If Sam's only objective when he signed on was to keep us clear of relegation... then of course he's going to play to get at least a point every game. That guarantees survival.

If he has no ambition beyond that (because he knows he can walk away with a big pay packet, and the future of the club isn't his concern), then we'd better get rid as soon as possible and hope we strike gold with the next managerial appointment.

Dan Kemp
8 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:16:47
I admit I've been thinking along these lines too Darren. It's been horrible to watch and I'm really not sure I can be bothered to watch the next game against Bournemouth.

And yet, I still feel it's too early to judge. I think as a football club, particularly as fans, we've been naive for a good long time. It's not that long ago we were a big club. But ever since the Premier League started, we've not been anywhere near.

I think it was about time we got in a shrewd, no-nonsense manager. Sam knows the Premier League inside out. He won't be the man to get us back to the top – but he may be the man who gets us behaving and believing like a Premier League club.

This isn't unprecedented - I believe Harry Redknapp - another hard-nosed, experienced manager, had a similar effect at Spurs. He wasn't the man that got them to the top, but he got them moving in the right direction after a series of unsuccessful foreign managers.

That all said, I'm not yet convinced. Let's see how we feel at the end of this season. If Sam's only objective when he signed on was to keep us clear of relegation... then of course he's going to play to get at least a point every game. That guarantees survival. If he has no ambition beyond that (because he knows he can walk away with a big pay packet, and the future of the club isn't his concern), then we'd better get rid as soon as possible and hope we strike gold with the next managerial appointment.

Mark Murphy
9 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:25:39
Something had better change or what?

I can't believe we are even having this argument.

We were in free fall – doomed! Now we're not. We're top half and in the top three form wise. The defence has been sorted first, which was the priority, next will come the pruning of the deadwood and the improvement of the attack. All of this can now be done without fear of relegation.

Those ten goals in 5 matches included 4 in the West Ham game which was played out in front of the new manager. You can't just discount Allardyce's influence on those goals as if Unsy had had us attacking fluently before he arrived. 3 of those were scored by our top scorer and talisman who wasn't available be West Brom don't forget.

I howled with rage when Allardyce was appointed but even I can see what he's doing. Step-by-step improvement and even faster than we could have hoped for.

Give it time!

Philip Ashton
10 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:33:22
Something has changed... we were the Premier League (and European) whipping boys a few weeks ago.

We have no proven striker; we have a free transfer right-back playing left-back. Sam has worked a miracle, albeit with a bit of luck. Give the man and team a chance!

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 30/12/2017 at 09:47:25
Darren you are right to say/demand that the football we are watching now cannot continue to go on once January and new players and unfit players are coming back to make the squad stronger.

I doubt if many are satisfied with the performances since Sam came in, but they were necessary to improve confidence and get points to lift us out of the relegation places.

Now that we are relatively free from moving out of the Premier League the performances will start to improve with a much more balanced and able squad.

If they don't Darren, you will be joined by an avalanche of voices rushing to have a go at Sam, and if he doesn't know that he's not the shrewd operator I think he is. I think it will be onwards and upwards and watching very good football in the next few weeks.

Andy Walker
12 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:01:03
It's fine to be able to have the debate of results vs performance now, but let's not lose sight of the position we were in before Allardyce arrived. The priority was to stop, not just losing, but getting thrashed, and avoid the very real threat of relegation.

Allardyce was brought in to do a specific job, namely keep us in the top league. That's it, I'm surprised we now have to debate style of play versus results. Surely we all knew what we'd get with Sam?

What Allardyce has shown us, is that it is possible to stop losing and instead gain points and move up the league, and not by playing different players but by tactics and organisation. That's not an easy thing to do, Swansea, West Brom, Bournemouth etc haven't been able to do it.

Organisation and tactics can only get us so far; Allardyce has exposed the limitations of many of our players. I don't recognise the "get 9 men behind the ball then hoof it up the field every time" comment. That's a criticism which panders to the lazy media narrative created around Allardyce (similar to, "Mourinho can't work with young players", "Wenger is stubborn", "Klopp teams can't defend", "Guardiola is God", "Benitez is quality" etc).

Sure we have done that on occasions, as do most teams, in order to mix things up, but most of the time we try and play out. The problem is too many of our players lack the ability to do this. Look at Davies, Gueye, Williams – they are particularly prone to the inability to complete basic passes to a team mate only a few yards away.

There are others who offer little going forward, Kenny, Schneiderlin for example. We then have a young lad up front who really shouldn't be in the team week in week out, but has to be as the alternative Niasse has little close ball control.

The players are mainly second rate, but despite this Allardyce has, through his tactical approach, got us up the table which has to be our priority this season. We need to get to the end of this season still in the top league, and then get better players in for next season, don't rely on the youngsters and we may see some better football.

Our terrible purchases in the summer got us in this mess.

John G Davies
13 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:10:55
Andy (#12),

Excellent post.

If it is so easy to defend by getting 9-10 men behind the ball... why didn't Unsworth do it?

Tony Hill
14 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:18:02
I largely agree with Andy Walker. It is simply too soon to judge Allardyce on any basis, especially on the aesthetics of his football. If we are playing in the same way in, say, March with no signs of improvement in style then I will be worried.

The priority is to strengthen confidence and I think that is being done, however painful the process.

My main concern is not about the manager but about those who are running the club, especially those with responsibility for transfers. That, however, is another story and a very old one.

Brian Harrison
15 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:21:56
I didn't want him here and the sooner he is gone the better, I said when he arrived he is not capable of playing any other way than we are now. The players may be changed but the style of football wont, I mean did anybody really expect a 63-year-old to change his ways.

He has been successful at keeping teams up so fair play to him for that, but when the fans of the clubs he kept up wanted a better style of football he couldn't deliver. The only real success he had was with Bolton playing the same style and how long ago was that. Time as moved on but Allardyce hasn't.

The sad thing is I will renew my season ticket whether Allardyce is here or not. This is my club for life and has been for the 64 years I have been going to Goodison. I just hope the board don't see fans renewing season tickets (as we all will) as an endorsement of Allardyce's style of football.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:31:38
The sad thing about Unsworth, John G, is that he found a very good balance, in his first match in-charge at Chelsea, but still kept changing formations, which started to drag us back down.

The stats will tell us he got us higher up the table, but I only saw his team, organised once after that Chelsea game, and I'm not sure it was a co-incidence that it was the West Ham game?

I don't think many Evertonians will accept this football for long but we were badly broken imo so I'm prepared to have a bit more pain, if it makes us better long-term.

I think a lot depends on the Cup game at Anfield with a victory giving this reluctant football a bit more time; but a loss will bring forward the demand for what Darren is saying...

Bob Parrington
17 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:37:57
OMG. No wonder the Aussies here call the English whingeing Poms (Prisoners of mother England, apparently).

Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Put up with it for now and shut up, FFS. Results are the main requirement for now and then we can learn again, hopefully, to play the pretty stuff. Some on here have zero feckin' patience.

John G Davies
18 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:40:42
I agree, Tony, re the Chelsea game. The games afterwards, in my opinion, Unsy used as an audition to get the managers job.

He used the phrase "We will play in the Everton Way" before the Leicester game. Played the wrong formation, went down 2-0 and changed it too late.

He should have done what Allardyce is doing now.

Stan Schofield
19 Posted 30/12/2017 at 10:43:38
Everton's problems (if you can call our record over the past decade and more, of averaging 58 points and finishing 8th, a problem) run far deeper than the matter of who the manager is.

So far as we know, Allardyce was brought in to sort out a specific problem, primarily to avoid the relegation zone and steady the ship so that Moshiri's 'project' can continue. He is clearly doing that, so far.

If Moshiri wants us to be regular top-6 with consistent attacking flair and defensively solid, we might need bigger financial resources than he seems to be providing. We still sell our best players and buy inferior ones. We develop very good young players, but there's always a likelihood they'll depart to a bigger club sooner rather than later. Our basic problem is trying to break out of that pattern.

Allardyce being here and orchestrating defensive football is merely a symptom of the deeper problem we have. Expecting him to achieve more in terms of flair may be unrealistic. He might surprise us, but I wouldn't bet on it. And once he goes his successor will face the same issues of limited resources compared with the top-6 sides.

Jay Woods
[LAT]

20 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:00:38
Stan, finishing 8th on average most certainly is a problem for a club of our historic standing.

The article above though is reprehensible and Darren Hind should be put in stocks and pelted for writing it.

We lack playing staff to peg teams back – zero attacking threat from our fullbacks, no top-half Premier League striker, limited options on the wings (and don't try to argue that Lookman or Vlasic are the answer there yet).

The real kernel of this article and most of the concomitant comments is raw, predisposed dislike of Allardyce. It would be nice if that could at least be admitted.

Mike Hughes
21 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:05:09
Darren – stick to “poetry”. It wasn't up to much but was less repetitive than this same old tosh. (Yawn).
John G Davies
22 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:08:47
Roses are red
Violets are blue
If you think Darren will change
It's more fool you.
Laurie Hartley
23 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:19:24
Darren, like him or loathe him Sam Allardyce will save our bacon by making sure we retain our premier league status. Without that there will be no new stadium and no further investment. That truth, unpalatable as it may be to many fans, is the big picture.

My stance is we should be prepared to take short-term pain for long-term gain.

Unlike most football fans however, I believe given a few months and a couple of decent signings, he and his management team is more than capable of producing a team that plays attractive winning football.

I am of the opinion that he has earned some breathing space and our backing.

James Marshall
24 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:19:43
4 or 5 weeks ago everyone was freaking out about us getting relegated. Now we're what, 9th and unbeaten in 7? Something like that anyway, yet we have people whinging about the style of football we've played recently!

I sometimes wonder what planet people live on.

Darren, your OP is predictable at best, it's also pointless as well. You're often on here complaining about the style of football we play, and have openly stated that you believe football is primarily about entertainment – that is patently untrue, and a complete fantasy. Ask any manager, player, board member at any professional football club in any league, in any country and I guarantee you, they will all say that results come first every time.

Yes, we all want to play like Man City, but we all want to play like Man City in the Premier League. It strikes me that you struggle with the reality of the situation your club finds itself in -– can I suggest a little more acceptance that we need to get points on the board might make you feel less uppity about the whole experience!

Peter Gorman
25 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:26:13
Darren, you've pretty much summed up what I think (and feel) at the moment. I don't actually enjoy watching us 'play' so mostly just keep an eye our for the result whilst doing anything else.

Mike Hughes – back again with a complete non-contribution.

Andy Walker – "Allardyce was brought in to do a specific job, namely keep us in the top league. That's it; I'm surprised we now have to debate style of play versus results. Surely we all knew what we'd get with Sam?"

Yes Andy, we did and you are right but on one of the other threads incessantly debating this style vs results, I've been asking what do we want in the long-term. We do know exactly what we are getting with Sam but do we want it? It scares me to think Allardyce will be given a transfer window to sign yet more players who are not up to standard, let alone several.

With this club it is one duff manager after another, not a clue or a bollock to be found at board level. You look at Spurs and wonder what could have been; a club that hauled themselves from the mid table into the big time by being shrewd with their appointments and purchases.

Believe me, outside of our little fan bubble, the stock of the club based on our performances in Europe and the Premier League is pretty low.

Derek Thomas
26 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:37:13
Early days yet, maybe Sam has it in him to kick us on into the top 6 mix.

If he can't, isn't backed, or signs poor players, round and round we go again and Moshiri better get it right next time, after all its his money on the line... in theory.

Brian Williams
27 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:42:47
In order for things to change we have to start buying the right players. Previously we didn't really have the money to buy the type of players who would/could get us into the top four (I fucking hate this top six/eight shite). Lesser teams (dare I say it) have often had one or two standout, exciting players but invariably finished below us.

Our modus operandi has been to buy players to fit into a team that can compete "towards" the top end but not "at" the top end.

Recently we "seem" to have acquired the money to buy better players but Koeman, Walsh, whoever, fucked it up royally and we found ourselves floundering at the bottom of the league.

It's fine with hindsight (not even the slightest attempt at a pun there) to say "we were never in a relegation scrap." – Oh yes we fucking well were! < So something HAD to change there and it did. We stopped leaking goals and we scraped a couple of wins.

We haven't got the players (a travesty) to play attractive, expansive football at the moment, just haven't got 'em. What change is needed is the recruitment policy and the scouting network so that we can get more of the players that the likes of Watford, Crystal Palace, Southampton, even Stoke seem to be able to get one or two of.

These teams, and there's more of them, are the ones I alluded to at the start of my post who manage to get one or two very, very good players who by themselves aren't enough to get the team in question up the league.

What we need to do is beat two or three clubs (or more) to these very good players and get them ourselves to build a team/squad that can compete nearer the top.

Nothing's going to change radically for the rest of this season IMO. Allardyce will do what he's been brought in to do and that's stabilize things. If he's still here next season things MAY change depending on the cash he's given.

I can empathise with Darren's frustration after what seems a lifetime of unattractive, negative football, but our present predicament is not the fault of Allardyce and his team.

Stan Schofield
28 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:42:59
Jay @20: My own view is that I find Allardyce's presence here: (a) fascinating; (b) positive (in that he's clearly sorting out the specific problem we had); and (c) potentially even more positive (in that there's a chance he'll get us to develop into more attacking and attractive football).

He brings organisation and discipline which we have patently lacked. Once you have those things, you can get a group of players to perform much better, as we've seen defensively. It'll be fascinating to see if he can also get us to perform much better in attack.

We don't know what will transpire, but that hasn't stopped some folks wringing their hands at the prospect of an 18 month future of tedious football, based on what appears to be a stereotype of Allardyce as a dinosaur. The media, of course, survives on stereotypes, so they will help the mindset to persist.

Micky Norman
29 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:43:52
Totally agree with your post, Darren, except that I think you've posted it about six or seven games too early. Sam has done what he always does albeit faster than usual. Considering the shambles at the start of this season I'm willing to give him more time before asking for better football.

What worries me more is what happened at West Ham where he steadied the club but then didn't improve the football and lost support. I'm already thinking What Next? after the Allerdyce era.

Looking at the league table as it is we may be close enough soon to the same situation as last year where the teams above us are too far away, but the teams below won't threaten us. We'll see what happens then.

John McFarlane
30 Posted 30/12/2017 at 11:56:32
Hi Darren, you are obviously preaching to the converted – I can't think that there is an Everton supporter who doesn't want the team to play attacking, entertaining, winning football.

Yes, you're right in saying, 'something had better change'. I accept that we' re now unlikely to be drawn as deeply into the battle against relegation as we were before Sam Allardyce took charge, but we're not out of the woods yet. A run of poor results would indeed constitute a change, but I suspect not the sort of change you are looking for.

It would appear from the response to your posting, that the majority endorse the need for caution, and are prepared to give Sam Allardyce a chance to prove his doubters wrong.

Mark Hughes
31 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:05:02
Stopping Relegation was Sam's Number One priority. When we get to 40 points, we can look at creative football in preparation for next season.
Peter Gorman
32 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:11:17
Preaching to the converted, John? Darren obviously isn't, there are people on this very thread convinced we shall soon see the mother of all attractive football, once the team is stable and solid, as if we haven't seen what Big Sam considers attractive for over a decade.


Declan Brown
33 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:12:28
Can of worms you've opened up there Darren.

With Sam, he jets in, saves the club from the threat of relegation and everyone is relieved. But with time, after the fear goes, the fans want more and eventually they turn on his style of football. I'd say, if we're still playing like this in a year's time, our fans will be demanding a lot more.

I like his verbal spats and honesty, the derby aftermath was a joy, Klopp's meltdown and Sam's response was pure gold; we haven't had a manager who dismisses them like that since Big Joe and can get the results against the bigger teams like Joe did.

4 weeks ago, I dreaded the Derby and the Big 6 games because we were onto a bad beating, eg, we conceded 5 at home to Arsenal.

Koeman's done a bad job (I wanted him and thought he would be good for us, but I often said to friends that Wee Sam (Lee) was part of the excellent work he did at Southampton. I'm all for giving Sam time, Rome wasn't built in a day. Koeman wrecked our Rome and a few weeks can't fix the damage he done.

In the summer, I came close to cancelling Sky for good, bottled it at the last minute purely for the football, but football is not what it was 20+ years ago; it's all money now, money has sucked the soul out of the game. I can remember the days of Watford, QPR and Luton up in the top 5/6, even Norwich came close to winning it under Mike Walker, those days are long gone now.

We play pragmatic football, it's horrible to watch; for us it's the outcome that matters not the means. My Sky is due this time next year, if I'm still feeling this disconnected to football, it will definitely go and save me the £65 per month (for everything, TV, Broadband and Phone, I'm a tough negotiator... LOL).

Getting utterly sick of the pundits (now I record it, start a bit later, and only just watch the football) and their drivel they spout. Isn't half time the best time to use the toilet for an armchair supporter? Even Match of the Day has lost its sparkle for me too.

One last point, I'm not a big fan of the 3 pts for a win and 1 for a draw, I'd be open to changing the points system, more points for goals scored or winning margins, eg, 4 points for a 1 goal margin win, 5 points for a 2 goal margin win, 6 points for a 3 goal margin win and so on, 2 points for 2-2 or higher scoring draw. Why settle for a 2-0 win when you can keep going for more goals thus more points for it? But looking at the goal difference of the Premier League's top 6, this idea would hugely benefit the top 6 making the gap between them and the other 14 even larger, but hey wouldn't it create mayhem at the bottom end of the league every now and then if one team wins by 3 or 4 goals? I know it will never happen but it's just a suggestion that could spice things up a bit, that from someone who is becoming more and more turned off by football.

Stan Schofield
34 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:22:46
Peter @32:

I haven't actually noticed anyone on this thread saying we'll see attractive football, let alone the mother of it.

Folks have indicated that it's possible, albeit it unlikely. I think it's possible, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

Don Alexander
35 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:32:12
The bog-standard "told-you-so" attitude is to lay into any manager from his get-go, but fans and supporters should be more positive and hopeful shouldn't they, and give the manager a chance? From what I remember of Moyes when he first got here nobody gave a damn how we won the points that made us safe from relegation, and rightly so.

Allardyce has been here for only weeks, on an eighteen month contract that to me is mystifying. What do the owner/board expect him to achieve in eighteen months? No other manager I can remember got such a short contract. To me it indicates nothing is settled or certain even from the owner/board point of view and that has ramifications for any player offered even a bog-standard three-year contract. That's bonkers but so "Everton owner/board" these days.

Like him or not Allardyce is conspicuous in showing leadership, a quality sadly lacking throughout the club with the notable exception of Seamus Coleman in my opinion.

I just hope he sees us as his last chance to show himself as a manager capable of winning, attractive football but it sure would help if the board took action to reinforce his position by way of monies and contract.

Peter Gorman
36 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:36:25
Stan, at the very least that is how I read Laurie's post. I am of course exaggerating for effect but the idea that Allardyce will produce a side playing attractive football suggests there is a gulf in people's definition of attractive or people have not paid any attention to his team's when he was a manager. Never, ever as good as Moyes, and that man took untold stick for dour football and achieving eff all.

Jay Woods asks people to admit we have a predisposed dislike of him; I'll take you up on that Jay.

I am happy with the recent points haul, I am not a maniac. I don't think we will be relegated this season so I am relieved. However, that doesn't mean we are beholden to Big Sam after this disaster of a season but I think we all know we will be. In an ideal world, come the end of the season he will be given a firm handshake, a watercolour of Dixie Dean and let go.

Andrew Clare
37 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:36:28
If we finish 8th or 9th with no improvement in performances I would expect a new manager to be appointed in the summer.
Anyone expecting improvements when the injured players return are delusional.
Bolasie is not much better than Mirallis, Baines is past it, Barkley is leaving Coleman and Funes Moro have been out so long I doubt they will ever be the same etc etc. The players we are buying are not good enough to take us to the next level so the right manager is vital.
It is not Allardyce.
Eric Myles
38 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:45:36
Peter #25, Spurs have been a basket case for managers, changing them literally every season, sometimes twice a season, for the last 30 years except for a 4 year stint by Rednapp.
Dave Richman
39 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:50:27
Is it "lucky" when the opposition keep hitting the woodwork? Or is it shite finishing? The latter in my opinion, as the result is the same as blazing it into Row Z. Was Lingard "unlucky" when he took it round the keeper the other day and hit the post, or was it an embarrassingly bad effort on goal?

We went approximately 10 months without being awarded a single penalty, and now we've had quite a few in a relatively short space of time Again, are we "lucky", or are things evening out for the first time in decades?

Jack Convery
40 Posted 30/12/2017 at 12:50:41
I believe this sums EFC up and how pathetic we are as a Football Organisation. We scouted players at MK Dons. We bought Brendan Galloway, Spurs bought Deli Ali who was in the same team. What were are so called scouts looking at ?

I was annoyed (possibly livid is a better word), with Sams tactics against WBA, given their run of form or lack of it. However I doubt the same tactics will work today to give us a result. I hope I'm wrong.

Eric Myles
41 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:01:27
Don #35, it was reported that a sticking point in the appointment was the length of contract offered with Sam wanting a longer term.

So I expect the length of the contract is a compromise between the need to avoid relegation this season and Sam's need to make it worth his while.

So if he gets sacked at the end of the season, after acheiving his kpi, he'll get a handsome pay-off. Otherwise we pay him twice as much for 6 months and take the risk he succeeds in keeping us up.

Stan Schofield
42 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:12:51
Peter@36: Much of what you say is right, but don't you think expectstions can be confounded? When Koeman arrived I thought we'd play organised, expressive attacking football as well as being solid in defence, because of what he did at Southampton plus his Dutch and Barca pedigree. However, we mainly saw hoof ball, and many posts on ToffeeWeb said it was the worst football they'd seen from Everton.

Similarly, the image of Allardyce, and the evidence so far with us, doesn't necessarily mean we won't play decent football. He has done it before to a degree, and he could do it more even with the constraints of this squad. So there's a likelihood, but not a big one, that's all I'm saying.

Michael Williams
43 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:16:30
I thought I got stuffed over the holidays yet here I have more of the same SA "better change the style of play" vs "give Sam more time." Can anything be added that hasn't been written ad nauseam in the comments these past two weeks?

Hence, I will keep it short. There are many reasons we scored only eight goals in our first 11 EPL games. I support giving him more time to try and sort it out. His results have earned that.
Kevin Tully
44 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:19:15
I've no problem with the results and huge improvement in our defending. Players are regaining confidence, and we are now free from any relegation worries.

The question is, how will the defenders, who were in pieces before they had permission to hoof it anywhere, go back to passing the ball? It's very difficult to suddenly start playing out of defence when any modicum of success has come from 'getting rid' at every opportunity.

Too many managers are able to get away with this ale house footy at the expense of entertainment because they can keep teams in the League. Pulis, Moyes, Allardyce, Hughes, Pardew, the list goes on.

Can Sam change his spots? I sincerely hope so. I like his demeanour, and he speaks a lot of sense. With the financial backing, there is a possibility he can get this team playing. Not like Barca, or Man City, but please, no twatting it long to a single striker up against three defenders again and again. It's brainless as well as being awful to watch. Moyes with Saha or Andy Johnson anyone?

Conceding possession for 80% of the game for any team in the same League is shameful, and is something we witness when the plumbers and accountants of San Marino play England. We shouldn't defend this approach from Everton - ever! Especially when we are spending fortunes in wages and transfer fees.

Alex Bonnar
45 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:22:12
I don’t understand why people assume that SA and his management team cannot produce a improved winning, playing style once he has the opportunity to have his own players and systems in place. He was selected to manage England remember.
In recent seasons he successfully did what was needed to save clubs from relegation and at Bolton he over-performed with limited resources. At EFC he has a better chance to develop and expand our style but I think that to be fairly judged he will need 18 months. We may all be surprised and delighted by then, let’s give him a chance.
Michael Lynch
46 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:35:27
Team having disastrous season employs manager to stop the rot. Manager fulfills his brief beyond anyone's wildest expectations with a run of results second only to runaway leaders Man City. Fan growls "something better change". Head scratcher.

Something has changed - we've stopped being hammered by every other team in the division and a couple of the worst teams in Europe. "At what cost" has something changed, you ask. At no cost, cos we were playing dull football before, but getting tonked.

Sam has been with us for less than a month. You can only change one thing at a time.

John Keating
47 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:36:32
Darren
very clever.

Your 5000 posts almost word for word since Alllardyce has arrived has now become an Article

Well done.

Alastair Donaldson
48 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:47:50
I'm not enamoured with the Sams, but decisive action had to be taken to steady the ship on the playing side of things, I think Allardyce is the sort of guy to do that, he has the track record. He has a tough few games next so expect the backs to the wall defending to continue.

As a man manager he clearly knows what he's doing, which at this moment is to determine how many on the playing staff have the guts and are worth keeping and how many need to be shipped out..however hard that is.

Whether he should remain beyond this season I think that is a difficult call, see what he does till the summer.

Is the club going in the right direction is the bigger question, based on recent evidence it's difficult to say, Moshiri seems determined to take the club forward but he needs the right staff top to bottom to do that, it's clear some are not fit for purpose.

Somehow we need to get to the point where a top manager can be brought in, arguably all recent appointments came out of the same tier, Koeman maybe had the best credentials but had 1 good season. I wonder if the club are planning for the after-Sam? Doubt it.

This season is clearly another write off.

Hope the recent luck continues today and next week.

John Daley
49 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:51:47
He hasn't turned water into wine. He's simply stopped people from pissing in the well. It's obviously more palatable than it was prior to his arrival, but it's still plain, boring and gritty, with a serious lack of sparkle.
David Israel
50 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:55:02
Jay in Latvia #20, your last paragraph nails it! I've said the same on other threads. All this carping about the lack of 'expansive, free-flowing, football' is mainly a euphemism for 'I don't like Sam Allardyce'. I didn't see many complaints about the lack of that style of football under David Unsworth, presumably because most people were too scared at the prospect of relegation to even give 'style' a thought.

It all sounds like the moaners about rationing at the end of the War. Not that I had been born, but I've heard and read about it. My grandfather used to say they apparently missed the Blitz.

Barry Williams
51 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:55:30
Were Everton playing scintillating possession based attacking football before Allardyce came in?

How long is his stay of execution?

It will take a lot longer than some are giving him to play in a way that satisfies. He has inherited a team that was playing terrible football and getting terrible results. The most important thing, the results, have changed overnight, the football will take longer. The change in results were much much needed!

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

52 Posted 30/12/2017 at 13:57:35
“Do we give these managers too much support?”

Hmmm… some on TW never give any manager any support, either straight from the off, or shortly into his contract.

80% of those who answered the poll on TW did not want Sam as manager. However, once appointed, reading the posts on TW it would appear plenty of that 80% were prepared to give him time to see what he can do. And he has done very well. Both results wise and PR wise. There is simple common sense, direct honesty and a BS-free zone to Sam’s utterances.

It is indisputable that Sam immediately and effectively addressed THE most pressing issue on taking the job: to stop us conceding 2-3-4 even 5 goals a game. There is universal acknowledgement the performances leave a lot to be desired. Some are more tolerant at this time, given what Sam inherited. Others are not.

Disapproving and dissenting voices will certainly increase if the quality of football remains the same until, say, the end of the season. It is pure speculation to assume now that this will indeed be the case.

So it is refreshing to read the many replies in this thread who, like myself, consider the OP way too premature in making judgement on Sam Allardyce’s tenure.

It is also a false claim that Allardyce is “happy to take credit for the points but very reluctant to take blame for the performances” simply because he accurately describes what any sighted person with a minimum knowledge of football can see: Everton is (currently) very poor at possession and passing.

To further say his tactics make decent football almost impossible because he sets up the team to ALWAYS have 9-10 men behind the ball, is also inaccurate. ALL teams attempt to get 9-10 behind the ball on losing possession. The starting XI and the intended tactic vs WBA was clearly aimed to be more offensive. It stalled because, exactly as the manager stated, we were awful in possession and passing.

John Keating
53 Posted 30/12/2017 at 14:08:15
Some people are going to be overjoyed after our first defeat.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

54 Posted 30/12/2017 at 14:22:51
On the question of 'luck' under Sam Allardyce and an attempt to talk up the performances under David Unsworth, consider the following:

In Unsworth's 5 PL games he achieved 2 wins - 3-2 vs Watford and 4-0 vs WHU.

If you are going to offer 'luck' as being influential in gaining positive results under Sam, then to be fair and consistent you absolutely MUST apply the same moniker to those 2 wins under Unsworth.

2-0 down with just 23 minutes to go, Watford threatening to score with every attack, when their keeper goes off injured.

A hapless cock-up twixt centre back and the replacement keeper allows Niasse to score. DCL levels, Watford continue to threaten, then in the 91st minute an unintentionally slip by a defender brings down Lennon - penalty awarded - 3-2 Everton.

An excruciating 10 minutes of injury time follows...and in the last of those minutes, Everton concedes a penalty...and Blues old boy Cleverley fires meekly wide.

Always delighted with an Everton win, but - boy! - did we ride our luck that day.

Then Unsworth's final game in charge, with Allardyce already announced as full-time manager sat in the house.

First goal, Rooney heads in the rebound after seeing his penalty saved. Nice second, but then WHU see a penalty of their own saved.

Early 2nd half and WHU are absolutely pounding us and a cracking shot thunders back off the cross bar. Wayne then scores his worldy which 9 times out of 10 would have been shanked off target.

No shortage of 'luck' in that game, even though winning 4-0.

Throw into the mix the 2-2 draw at Palace when we were awarded a penalty the FA panel decided was won by simulation and the 2nd goal came from an awful clearance by their keeper under no pressure whatsoever.

Thank Gawd for ole mother luck, whoever the manager is!

Alan J Thompson
56 Posted 30/12/2017 at 14:58:13
I've said it before, he wasn't my choice and the football under Mr Allardyce has been woeful but by hook or by crook he has got the necessary results/points.

However, I suggest we reread his press conferences and interviews where he roughly outlines the football he would prefer and gives some sort of time frame. Then, at the appropriate time we hold him to those aims and may be in the meantime ask him to be more specific.

Mark Murphy
57 Posted 30/12/2017 at 15:22:01
I’ve got a predisposed dislike for Allardycecand didn’t want him anywhere near Everton.
But right now I’m glad I was wrong and glad he’s in charge and not one of:
Silva
Benitez
Wagner
Unsworth
Royle
Etc
All of who were championed on here in preference to Allardyce.
I’ll give him a chance to convince me - and that’s a lot more than 6 games!
Stephen Williams
58 Posted 30/12/2017 at 17:04:05
Sack him now. Get this corrupt fraudster out of our great club. He plays anti-football everywhere he goes. Don't think that the last 7 games have been the exception - its the norm.
We've picked up some points against bottom 3/4 teams (West Ham, Swansea, Newcastle, WBA, Bournemouth) who are worse than us having played no football - we should be beating all of them anyway and playimg a decent brand of football (forget the Shite and Chelsea games - we should have been hammered in those).
I gave my WBA and Bournemouth tickets away because I can't bear to watch this shite.
Sack him now!
Those Blues preaching Fat Sam should have more respect for themselves and certainly for the Club and its traditions.
Rob Dolby
59 Posted 30/12/2017 at 17:21:57
I think that with the players available we are playing as expected.

We have defenders who can block but not really pass forward with Kenny being the exeption.

We have midfielders who lack guile and strikers who don't offer much of a threat.

As soon as we try and play expansive football we are exposed. We don't offer a threat going forward unless Rooney is on the pitch.

I honestly don't think that Guardiola could get a tune out of these players.
Sam is doing what he does best and has made us hard to beat. It's not nice to watch but until we get better players in we are screwed. Lukaku's goals were the difference between us and relegation struggles and the same goes for Rooney this season.

We are miles away from the top 5. I would try and sell the lot of them besides the goalie and a few young lads.
We just aren't good enough no matter who the manager is.

James Stewart
60 Posted 30/12/2017 at 17:27:30
Garbage from start to finish. I can accept the negative style of play against the top teams but 3 defensive mids against a bottom 3 side whose weakness is defence, give me a break!

If this is his philosophy, and history suggests it is, then he should be sent packing as quickly as 40 points are obtained. We are Everton not fucking Bury. This negative style of play is not acceptable and is exactly the reason no one wanted Moyes back.

Disgusting.

Bill Gall
62 Posted 30/12/2017 at 18:12:14
Some things did change, we lost ,playing the same style and tactics that the manager is noted for.
Bill Gall
63 Posted 30/12/2017 at 18:12:14
Some things did change, we lost ,playing the same style and tactics that the manager is noted for.
Jerome Shields
64 Posted 30/12/2017 at 18:48:01
I've just heard Allardyce's response to defeat. Talking about next season.

I am worried about next year as far as project Big Sam is concerned. He is beginning to look lacking in tactical ability going forward, easily neutralised by the opposition, and forwards easily isolated. Even his defensive tactics fell apart today.

I don't like the fibs of pushing the project out to next season, when his weaknesses are glaringly obvious in the last three matches. He's beginning to sound like Koeman blaming players, mouthing his thoughts about players on Sky.

Doesn't look good; he's at a Club where the fans can't be bullshited.

John G Davies
65 Posted 30/12/2017 at 19:32:13
Your all in trouble when the op gets out of bed. What's the time difference in Talacre?
Joe McMahon
66 Posted 30/12/2017 at 19:59:07
Stephen Williams (58), I agree to an extent, but what traditions are associated with Everton? We have done diddly-squat since the mid 90's with the FA Cup and one new stand. Since then (the Kenwright years) we've done nothing but keep running to stand still. Managers have included from Tin pot scottish leagues, an alchoholic Kendall MK III, Preston and Wigan. We have a stadium that has restricted views and a wooden stand. As I've read earlier today we are still are very much are in decay and have been for the past 30 years. I've been an Everton supporter now for 41 years, not as long as many fans but still a long time and It's been a downward spiral, for most of those years.
Stephen Williams
67 Posted 30/12/2017 at 20:44:05
Joe,

I penned my comment in a fury after watching complete and utter shite for the umpteenth game running. My view on tradition only goes back to the 60's but in all the time since I've never seen as much consistent negative shite.

However I've calmed down now and give it more rational thought. Therefore my revised feeling is:

SACK HIM NOW!!!

Thank you.

Laurie Hartley
68 Posted 30/12/2017 at 20:46:03
Peter # 36 - I have nailed my colours to the mast - I think he will produce a good footballing team provided he gets a couple of decent signings. I have NZonzi an Tosun in mind. I'll stand by that.

Regarding the comparison with David Moyes, when Sam Allardyce did have some decent players, he tore us apart at Goodison 0-4.

We obviously have very different views about is capabilities, however if I am proved wrong by the end of the season I will admit it to you in person.

Peter Gorman
69 Posted 30/12/2017 at 23:49:44
Laurie, I appreciate the offer but since the concept of 'good footballing team' is so subjective I am not sure how we'll be able to judge at the end of the season.

My point almost entirely is that I don't see the need to employ him beyond that time. It'd be a step in the wrong direction on the road to nowhere.

I am not sure which game you refer to, the 4-0 drubbing. Bolton were in the Prem for many years and the lasting impression they gave was Kevin Davies holding up the long ball, Kevin Nolan providing the thuggery and any of the retiring foreigners providing the modicum of entertainment. Never finished higher than Moyes' Everton either.

In any case, here's to a Happy New Year to all on TW.

Darren Hind
71 Posted 30/12/2017 at 00:06:32
Funny

You pen an article about Sam Allardyce and all some people can offer as a counter argument is The luck we had when Rooney scored a worldy in a match we won 4-0.

Look I was able to say how we would play before the match (its right up there) and If I knew how we would play so did everyone else on here and if everyone else on here knew, Eddie how knew.

We could have promoted the tea lady to beat Swansea Huddersfield and Newcastle. Our squad of players cost a great deal more and is vastly superior to those three teams... Now, after gaining just one point against West Brom and Bournemouth (two teams in proper whipping boy form), we will start to run into some decent opposition

I don't know which is the most heart breaking, witnessing this dross or listening to people defend it.

we will not achieve anything playing the way Big Sam wants to play; not now, not ever.

John Raftery
72 Posted 31/12/2017 at 00:34:29
We cannot play expansive football at present because most of the players are useless. Koeman left an absolute shambles. Until we sign some decent players the only viable option for any manager is to set up a strong defensive block and hope we can grab something at the other end.

Yesterday we played the final 20+5 minutes with only one holding midfielder, namely the slow and particularly useless Schneiderlin. We had two wingers in Lennon and Bolasie, plus Niasse, Rooney and Sigurdsson. Although we had five attacking players on the field, only once did we look like scoring when the slow and often useless Sigurdsson failed to get his shot off. With our defence exposed it was no surprise to see Bournemouth score a winner.

Two league away wins in 2017 provide an accurate reflection of this squad's capability. Barring a miracle it will take at least three years to build a team capable of matching the one we had a few years ago.

Laurie Hartley
73 Posted 31/12/2017 at 01:11:32
Peter, I thought Davis was good at what he did, but never had any respect for Nolan especially after what he did to Victor Anichebe.

If you can bear it here is a link to the game in question.
Link

It seems we are still giving the ball away after all these years - let's hope he can at least sort that out to begin with.

All the best for the New Year.

Eric Myles
74 Posted 31/12/2017 at 04:45:56
"Never finished higher than Moyes' Everton either"

Oh yes he did, twice.

John G Davies
75 Posted 31/12/2017 at 10:42:11
I know how City will play today, if I know Roy Hodgson knows.

I know how Arsenal will play today. If I know Pardew knows.

Cut to dressing room Selhurst Park.
" here you are dear a nice cuppa tea for you. Would you like a piece of toast me darlin? No, OK while your drinking your tea. I want you to stay tight in midfield, Tuck the full backs in narrow and let them have it in the wide areas.
Another cuppa?"

Ray Robinson
76 Posted 31/12/2017 at 10:52:51
I agree with John's first paragraph at #72. Whatever you think about Allardyce and his tactics, I actually think he's done well to get us to 27 points already.

With the current imbalance in the squad, lack of pace and goal threat, we badly need to get over that 40 point mark as quickly as possible by whatever means - and then completely overhaul. Whether that is with Sam or not remains to be seen.

Admittedly starting yesterday with three holding midfielders was excessively cautious but if this current squad tries to go gung-ho against any other Premier League side, it will expose its soft underbelly. I've rarely seen an Everton side with such limited firepower. That isn't Allardyce's fault. You can only play the hand that you're dealt.

Stan Schofield
77 Posted 31/12/2017 at 11:36:23
Darren@71: What is heartbreaking is Everton's underlying problem, which is at board level. Until that changes, probably only with much bigger investment than Moshiri offers, there's not much reason to anticipate anything beyond what we've been achieving for a decade and longer.

We still sell our best players, because ultimately they don't want to be at a non-achieving club, and it'll likely take some time, effort and considerable money to change that. Whether it's Allardyce here or another manager, doesn't change that basic problem. He's here for a specific short-term fix, and nobody realistically expects anything more from him. If he does deliver more (and that is possible, albeit unlikely), that would be a bonus.

There's no point in criticising fellow Evertonians for simply pointing out that Allardyce is doing what he came here to do on his short-term contract. Being an Evertonian is trying, but Allardyce is not the problem, nor is the fact that some of us are trying to see some positives in a disappointing situation.

Something had better change, you say? Well, don't hold your breath mate, Allardyce or no Allardyce.

Don Alexander
78 Posted 31/12/2017 at 11:45:14
Well said Stan (#77), but there's one or two of us who like to "scweem and scweem and scweem until they're sick" when it comes to, erm, "analysis". Most of us are more grown up though.

All the best.

Brent Stephens
79 Posted 31/12/2017 at 12:41:39
Sam was employed to get us out of the mess the previous guys didn't get us out of. The dross of goals conceded has been replaced by the dross of points squeezed out, to get us out of trouble. Job done. First test passed (though why did it take him so long!).

His next test is to get us into the top group. Pass that test and he can stay. Fail it and he'll be replaced. He can't be judged on the second test yet.

Paul Tran
81 Posted 31/12/2017 at 14:23:58
Something will change in the next month, Darren. How much difference it will make is the question.

In many ways we're In the same position as this time last season; poor to watch, reasonably solid in defence, manager doesn't trust the 'creative' players. Last season the manager didn't do anything. Allardyce is talking like he wants to do something. It'll all be about who he buys and how quickly & effectively he integrates them.

A couple of players with purpose and some spark is what we desperately need, otherwise we'll be treading mid-table water till the end of the season.

John G Davies
82 Posted 31/12/2017 at 14:26:20
Paul,

Did you get on Poetic Rythm yesterday.

Paul Tran
83 Posted 31/12/2017 at 14:35:12
Yes, thanks, John, 10/3 early morning. Bookies got it badly wrong with that one. Never in doubt, just like our performance yesterday when I saw the team.
Andy Crooks
84 Posted 31/12/2017 at 14:40:57
John G, I got on at 11/4. Even better, I backed Shecouldcouldntshe on Friday at 12/1. Even a casual look at the the form flagged it up.

However, in case this sounds like bragging, I should admit that I am posting this from the poorhouse. It has been a hellish season for this football punter.

Terry Farrell
85 Posted 31/12/2017 at 14:49:55
I agree with Michael Lynch. Darren, what needs to change is fans need some patience. I wanted Koeman to be given more time but his disastrous summer transfer window did for him. With your attitude, Kendall would have been shown the door before he became our most successful manager.

We know you approved of Unsworth and he wasn't given time either. Sam has had little time but has improved results quickly. Obviously there comes a point when a manager has to go but, if we all back the team, positive energy helps.

Also, Moshiri needs time but I think he is taking us in the right direction.

Si Cooper
86 Posted 31/12/2017 at 15:05:49
So we are now out of trouble are we? A run of defeats and uninspiring draws will soon have us gnawing our fingernails again, I suspect.

What about the trouble of retaining our best players and attracting the additional ones everyone agrees we need.

Not getting relegated was/ is the priority. Appointing Sam Allardyce being the best / only way to achieve that out of the options the board had available to them is unprovable and, therefore, remains debatable.

Big Sam's approach has been purely pragmatic, concentrating all on an attempt to avoid conceding goals. Was David Unsworth's simple mistake to try something more holistic that needed more time to bear fruit? Have Big Sam's improvements already peaked? Only time now will tell and we won't get answers to everything we could ask.

I think we will avoid relegation so the manager's appointment is not disastrous. Unfortunately, having witnessed how poorly thought out short term gains have preceded longer term and overall losses, I need to see a lot more positives before I can concede this was a wholly necessary appointment and the best available at the time for the future of our club.

Tony Abrahams
87 Posted 31/12/2017 at 15:06:18
I didn't watch the game, I was made-up when I phoned my oldest son, to see where he was on route to yesterday's game, and he told me he was in bed sick!

I know he's got a job to do, I know we were badly broken, but after this summer's transfer policy, I'm astounded that Steve Walsh, has still got a job at Everton?

I hope he's playing Schneiderlin, to try and sell him, and wouldn't mind starting a game, with the same formation (but not personnel) that we ended the one yesterday.

It's not easy watching, but we lack both craft and pace, so signing a centre-forward won't improve us that much, unless there are also changes made to the midfield, and we can add some pace out-wide.

He doesn't trust the younger players Lookman, or Vlasic, so we are going to have to wait for Bolasie to get up to speed. I'm aware that the hardest discipline to put into any team, is defending as a unit, but I hope it's nearly complete because the natives are already getting restless, even if we are not completely out of danger just yet? I think John Daley has given us the best description so far!

John G Davies
88 Posted 31/12/2017 at 15:09:22
Good lad Paul.

I posted it yesterday morning, wasn't sure you had seen it but should have known better 👍

Andy, well in mate. Hard work the football coupons, banker goes down every week.

Peter Gorman
89 Posted 31/12/2017 at 15:12:12
Eric @74 - I stand corrected.
Michael Lynch
90 Posted 31/12/2017 at 15:13:39
John Raftery @72 - exactly. I have nothing to add to that.

Paul Tran
91 Posted 31/12/2017 at 15:51:16
John, I didn't see that post, thanks anyway!
Danny O'Neill
92 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:37:50
Darren,

We have disagreed in the past, but I couldn't agree with you more on this.

I didn't ever want Allardyce anywhere near Everton and the sooner he goes the better. We will never progress with this type of manager. He and others like him keep getting recycled around the Premier League despite never achieving anything other than mediocracy at best or a reputation for keeping teams up. Basically they keep getting plumb jobs despite persistently failing (hence them always getting sacked).

With regards to Allardyce in particular. I don't discount the inbalanced & fragile squad he inherited. I don't discount that he needs to do "what Big Sam does". All I would say is that fast forward 2 years and if he's still in charge, he will be doing the same things with his own squad because that's what he's done for 20 years. If our ambition is to stay in the Premier League watching awful football, having your expectation set to seeing 10th as successful and having a manager who in footballing terms embodies "English Disease" then Sam is your man.

I was home for Christmas and a Kopite cousin of mine reminded me that one of the reasons we go to the match is to be entertained; and they have their own issues. I begrudgingly could not disagree. Isn't that why even the likes of me eventually turned on Moyes? I get it but it cannot be a long-term strategy.

Anyway, I'm on the Austrian slopes for New Year; the other half is looking at me suspiciously as I've promised to stop banging on about Everton & Sam Allaydyce! I shall however be listening in from Innsbruck Airport tomorrow!!

Regardless of opinion. We are all Everton on here and give a shit; that's why we debate. Best wishes to all!

Danny O'Neill
93 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:51:49
Ray @ 76; Allardyce has got us 12 points, not 27.
Dave Ganley
94 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:53:12
I agree with Darren to an extent. Football poor, dull uninspiring rubbish that we have got used to over the last few years. I don't blame Allardyce though, I blame the club, the heirarchy and also the fans.

As a club, since Kendall mk1 left we have hired a succession of average to rubbish managers. Colin Harvey was never a good manager, great coach but no manager. Then we've had Kendall mk2 and 3, Mike walker, big Joe, Walter, Moyes, Martinez and Koeman. Out of all of them we only have big Joe to thank for a trophy and Moyes did a decent job of getting us out of the mire that Walter left. Kenwright has nothing but my contempt for what he has/hasn't done for the club. Even now he can't just gracefully go he has to have overall control with his minions on the bored, retaining chair and overseeing another crumble of a battered old empire. Bup we as fans deserve our share of the blame for continually putting up with the shite served up to us week after week. Looking at the posts justifying the shite that we are currently having to endure, it's no wonder we are where we are. I get that Sam does what he does and that we are in a mess and needs to be sorted but that doesn't mean to say that we should have tolerated the Martinez mess, the Koeman mess, the Walter mess and all the other crap football we have witnessed over the years. We just put up with it. We have let kenwright run our club into the ground with shit appointments and no forward thinking with idiotic schemes and bullshit excuses why they fail. We have been virtually asleep since the mid 80s. The biggest thing to happen to us aside from the FA cup in 95 is avoiding relegation on the last day of the season. It makes me sick to see supporters tolerating the shit state we are in. The last time we played good football was probably 2008/9. Martinez scraped by with an alright defence and a lot of lucky wins first season but God was it dull. That's nearly 10 years of not so good football.

I have no answers, I wish I did. As I say I don't blame Allardyce, we knew what his portfolio was/is. I didn't want him in the first place but he has stabilised us but don't expect me thank him for the rubbish football that got us there. I blame the club from top to bottom for letting us get to this position, again, and the fans for letting them do it.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:01:58
Kenwright, has kidded a lot of people Dave. Good old Bill, or The Blue Union, was like the poll, asking wether Allardyce, should be the new manager on T/W. 80% would have prepared the actor, whilst the real true blues, would have acquired only 20% of the vote.

He was prepared to take us out the city, so maybe KEOIC, might have acquired around 35% of the vote in a similar poll, but I’m like you, and can’t stand “OUR SAVIOUR”

Jay Harris
96 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:47:01
Totally agree with you about Kenwright, Tony, but as regards Allardyce does anyone still prefer to have Silva now.

And as regards all these other superstar managers that would have us playing like Real Madrid in a few months who are they and where are they.

Allegedly Ancellotti, Tuchel, Simeone etc were all approached and were either unwilling or unavailable.

I for one did not want Allardyce and thought until this season that Koeman should have had more support and I think back to Kendal Mk 1 when the football was atrocious for the first few years but gradually as results, confidence and the acquisition of good new players took place we looked one of the best teams in the world until Heysel destroyed that dream and team.

That was seven years in the making so lets please cut Allardyce some slack and give him some time to sort out what looked like the worst team in the Premier League until he took over.

Danny O'Neill
97 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:06:35
Allardyce has had 20 years to demonstrate his ability to change his approach once he achieved what he is brought into do initially. I'd gladly be proven wrong but doubt it.
Darren Hind
98 Posted 31/12/2017 at 21:08:25
Stan @77

Not much of that I can disagree with... but at six million quid the guy simply has to be accountable for performances.

We none of us (at least very few of us) have any confidence left in this board to deliver, but that should not mean the guy paid the big bucks to look after the team should be beyond criticism.

During the possession obsession period under Martinez, there was a point when one of our players was about to play the umpteenth pointless pass in our own half. I can't remember who it was (somebody will hopefully remind me), but the faithful suddenly turned. They had had enough and they made their feelings very clear to the players and the manager that they would no longer tolerate it.... That was the beginning of the end for Martinez.

We've gone from one extreme to another. Where as we would fuck about with it too much under Martinez, we can't get rid of it quick enough under Allardyce. Goodison will turn. I have absolutely no doubt about that. In my nightmares, I can see us once again having to wash our dirty laundry in public. The point when the faithful can no longer tolerate the big boot will surely come. Patience will run out sooner than you think.

In just over four and a half years, we have had four different managers – five if you count the caretaker. Many are already speculating as to who the next one will be. We have become one of those clubs who keep going through managers because we don't ever appoint the right one.

I don't care what anybody says: For me, it's obvious when a wrong decision has been made. It's this terrible habit that seems to have developed of supporting duff managers until all hope is abandoned, until it has been proved beyond all doubt that he has been a shit appointment which bothers me. Why do some persist on hoping the leopard will change its spots?

As the Stranglers told us all those years ago "Something better change".

John G Davies
99 Posted 01/01/2018 at 00:47:12
https://youtu.be/WIX_6EVf7pI
Terry Farrell
100 Posted 01/01/2018 at 01:41:19
Darren,

Jay's point is that you don't know until you give them time and mine is the same. Let's see how things pan out before you vent your spleen. That had to be 12 months surely .

Steve Brown
101 Posted 01/01/2018 at 03:42:17
Tolerate him until the end of the season when we reach 40+ points and safety, then get a forward-looking, constructive and positive choice in.

Proposing we be patient beyond that ignores the fact that we all know what Allardyce will bring – he has already done it in shoring up the defence by sitting the midfield deep. Simplification is what he called it. Beyond that he will be unable to build a success-winning platform for the club. Evidence? 26 years of managerial track record where he is done the same thing everywhere.

So let's stop slagging his backward gameplan and selections off and get to the end of the season.

Steve Brown
102 Posted 01/01/2018 at 03:45:19
As some posters also say, the root cause of all this is chronic mismanagement of the club and a history of terrible managerial choices.
Paul Tran
103 Posted 01/01/2018 at 10:07:06
Darren, if you have a strong gut instinct early on the something is wrong, that's fine. Some of us prefer to give things more time, let evidence emerge. Doesn't mean we 'accept mediocrity', we just think a bit differently. There's room for all of us.

Anyway. Happy New Year to Blues everywhere. We deserve one.

Stan Schofield
104 Posted 02/01/2018 at 11:42:38
Darren@98: Dead right, at £6M/year he should be accountable, no question of that. Actually, he should be accountable whatever he's paid.

He probably won't, or can't, 'change his spots', and he'll probably not get a contract extension. Then we'll get a new manager, hopefully full of invention, discipline, tactical nous and leadership skills. Which will bring out the best in our squad, making best use of what we have.

But then what? Even with all that, chances are we'll still hover around where we've been, finishing top end of mid table, maybe getting into the top-6 with a fair wind behind us.

Getting beyond that, to consistent top-6 and possibly actually winning stuff, will probably require a major change in culture at the top, founded on much more money than we have currently.

Until that happens, all of us arguing on ToffeeWeb are basically trying to rearrange the deck chairs on a ship that's going in circles, when we all want that ship to go towards the top of the heap and trophies.

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