The 3 ‘D’s - Deluded – Dinosaur – Destructive

James Hourigan 31/12/2017 109comments  |  Jump to last

Deluded

I am quite happy to be corrected but has there ever been a manager at the top level who has reinvented themselves and changed their style of play with any degree of success?

I have read countless posts on ToffeeWeb from people who believe Big Sam will start to play attacking, expansive, watchable football once he has steadied the ship. Where is the evidence? Why would someone who has made a successful living out of a particular style of play change to something that is alien to them and inherently full of risks?

Please don’t quote Bolton because they were never enjoyable to watch and those of us who remember, with any degree of honesty, always hated playing them because of their long-ball defensive style. I certainly never went to any game against Bolton expecting an open expansive match.

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So sadly, those of you expecting the leopard to change his spots are deluded and need to take your Everton specs off and see Big Sam for what he is, has always been, and always will be. Yes, you love Everton and want to believe he can change and take us forward... but seriously, on what evidence?

Dinosaur

I readily acknowledge Big Sam was one of the first managers (if not the first), to make use of Sportzone and its analytics. The technology showed that most goals are scored inside the box and that a high percentage are scored from set-pieces. Equally, and most importantly, it also showed that the least number of passes often provided the most number of chances.

That was 15 years ago and, whilst those statistics are still likely to have some resonance, the method of scoring those goals has changed dramatically. Counter-attacking football with a swift transition from defence to attack is the norm. Possession football, patient passing (often boring!), and switching from side to side is also the norm now.

Leicester, in their fantastic season, were the epitome of swift counter-attacking football and Man City show all the benefits of a patient passing style – where are the successes of percentage football? – ie, get the ball into the box in the shortest number of passes and play for set-pieces?

Big Sam was lauded for his use of technology 15 years ago, indeed he often spoke at coaches' and managers' seminars on its use. But it's now a relic of the past, one that he is still clearly wedded to when you pick through his most recent interviews. Note his regular references to defending, not switching off, attacking the ball etc... why? Because he still passionately believes in the use of set-pieces and getting the ball into the box quickly and that’s what he expects the opposition to do.

His reliance on data is used to support his philosophy which is no longer relevant to the football being played today. Yes it may stifle a few teams but it's never going to win matches against good sides and hence will never bring any degree of success. He’s a dinosaur manager, with dinosaur tactics.

Destructive

By common consent, we have some very talented young players at the club. The numbers involved in the recent successes by England’s youth teams on the international stage bears testimony to that; when supported by the quality of some of the other internationals on our books, the future looks very positive.

But will those players thrive and grow under a first-team system that appears completely at odds with the way the teams below that play? All managers want the sides below the first team to play the same way so that, when injuries or form require changes, they can slot in seamlessly.

How will defenders who are comfortable on the ball and want to pass out from the back fare under Big Sam’s system? Will he trust to youth? Or, as his record shows, will he bring in players who ‘play his way’? Then, what happens to the talent below? Can anyone name a single young player at any of Sam’s clubs that has grown and thrived and possibly been picked up by a bigger club? I can't!!!

Then I watch Kenny and Holgate of late, where have the overlapping runs from Kenny gone? How many times does he now ‘hit long balls into the channel’ rather than pass inside to a midfield player? How often does Holgate step forward and then launch a long aimless ball to Calvert-Lewin? Is Big Sam going to help our young players progress or will he destroy them?

I clearly don’t need to ‘pin my colours‘ to the mast much more; I can only hope and pray that, come May when the season is over, and we are still in the Premier League, the club have the bottle to replace him and look forward and not backward.

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Reader Comments (109)

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:12:30
Bang on the money.
Alan Burnham
2 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:15:47
Thanks for a thoughtful and well-reasoned article. Sadly, after 52 years of watching this wonderful club, I have reached the conclusion that collectively Everton fans will accept just about any kind of rubbish served up to us, be it the performances on the pitch or the laughably inept management at corporate level.

To accept Allardyce is to acknowledge that we have joined the ranks of those clubs whose ambition extends no further than clinging on to Premier League status and the money this entails.

Kevin Prytherch
3 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:31:28
I must admit after the first couple of games I was optimistic.

Holgate was proving he was a centre back.

Davies was providing the energy to compliment Gueye's tenacity and Rooney's guile.

Kenny was a carbon copy of Coleman, defending and attacking in equal measure.

Calvert-Lewin was thriving with Rooney making late runs and providing options.

Lookman excelled in Europe (where Schneiderlin was one of the worst performers).

We were solid, creating chances and passionate.

Now, a few games on, Holgate and Davies are benched. Kenny is just waiting to get replaced by Coleman, Calvert-Lewin is foraging alone up front, Lookman might as well be Lookout. The defence is broken up and sideways Schneiderlin is back.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:31:41
James, Big Sam will be off to pastures new in May. He was brought in to stop our drop into the championship. I think we'll end up 8-9th and the board will give him his ٤M cheque and wish him well.

Who will come in after him? I haven't a clue (my preference would be for Ancellotti and Clement) but until our custodians decide on what type of club we want to be then I think we will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis and fall even further behind the top 6.

Moshiri, if he's serious, needs to get rid of Kewright, Woods, Elstone, Walsh and all the other brain-dead dimbos we've got at the club. Until those zombies leave, we'll never progress as a professional outfit.

Brian Williams
5 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:44:43
I've never understood when people say "we'll accept" this type or that type of football. What does that mean exactly?

How do we show we're "accepting" it? How do we show we're not?

If not accepting it means you stop going the game, stop renewing your season ticket, stop buying merchandise, does that make you a fair-weather supporter?

I wonder if supporters of teams who constantly finish in the bottom quarter of the league and yet turn up every other week (or more) are "accepting" their lot? I find it a strange concept!

David Barks
6 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:53:12
It was one of the things that Martinez had right – you need the entire youth set up playing the same system of football. He wanted a ball dominant passing style to be implemented. The problem was that he wasn't as good a manager as Guardiola and relied too much on possession for possession's sake, as opposed to Guardiola, who stresses that each pass should have a purpose in moving forward.

Allardyce damages the club with the horrific negative style of football. The skill level drops significantly and you won't attract skillful players to join while we play as we did against Liverpool and Chelsea, and going into a match with Bournemouth starting with three defensive midfielders.

He plays for draws while hoping there is a mistake that allows a cheap goal. It's a terrible way to go about the game. All he has us do is worry about what the opposition is going to do to us instead of making them worry about us.

We have attacking players but he won't even put them on the bench. Mirallas, Vlasic, Lookman, Klaassen, Sandro all removed entirely from the team. Some will respond to that with a simplistic “Klaassen is shite”. To that I'd ask what is Schneiderlin that has Allardyce selecting him every match? Klaassen was the Ajax captain, scored goals, has worked hard in the few matches he's been allowed to play. Sandro runs his ass off when given a rare opportunity. I only mention the running because I hear so many praise that aspect of certain player's game as if we are a track and field outfit and not a football club.

Lennon? I hear people say he's there for defensive support. How does it make any sense to have one of only three attacking players in the lineup be primarily for defensive support? It's lunacy, but it's been eaten up by a surprisingly large number of people on this forum.

He won't change. In fact, I'd say if anything what we're seeing is him continue to put his stamp on the team. As he's been here we've gone more and more defensive against worsening opposition. I shudder to think of him being here next season.

Chris Perry
7 Posted 31/12/2017 at 16:54:59
Colin G. Bang on. The morons you mention are holding us back. The fact that we have only one winner in Rooney, the rest at best are serial survival experts all lacking in drive, ideas, passion and leadership, but most lacking is the winning mentality, major clear out at board and player level urgently required.
John Daley
8 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:02:07
"Everton-Eezer Screwed!!", the strangely accented street urchins cried, as the shambolic, scowling, figure wrapped in an overcoat caked in more shit than Columbo's struggled to stop his hand from shaking long enough to get his key in the damn lock.

To think he was once a proud prince around these parts. Praised, admired and envied in equal measure. Now he was nothing but a barely relevant relic ripe for belittlement. A miserable, scruffy, meff who thought himself well off if he managed to make it all the way home without getting sparked out by some happy slapper. Yet, it wasn't a cocky young twat with a YouTube channel that was causing him to tremble so this cold Christmas night. Rather, it was the still fresh words of Marley reverberating in his fevered mind.

Marley, who had been his sole visitor this festive period.

Marley, the strangely gobby, soccer loving, ghost of the dog out of the shit movie 'Marley & Me'.

Entwined in burdensome chains and money boxes, the phantom Labrador luvvie had regaled 'Everton' with the harrowing tale of how he hit upon hard times once his acting roles began to dry up, as a new breed of exotic, expensively groomed, 'designer' dogs began dominating the canine casting scene. The inexorable ascent of the four-legged playthings of the rich and famous led directly to the loyal Labradors decline in popularity, along with rapidly dwindling appearances in run-of-the-mill popcorn fare. Soon, a formerly golden 'grand old dog' was left sniffing it's own arse in the gutter, searching forlornly for the faintest scent of it's former glory.

You can predict how things proceeded from there on out. Mediocrity. Resentment. Depression. Millions squandered. Drugs, hookers and a short-lived marriage to Katie Price. Then, the poor blonde bastard ate a discarded Pukka Pie and puked itself to death.

"Heed my words, Everton-Eezer Screwed, for a similar fate awaits you if you fanny about and allow yourself to fade much further into the shadows", the dread dog had barked. "Soon, you will be visited by three spirits who will beseech thee to sort thou bloody self out. Best listen well to what they say, lad."

Marley had told him that the first of these apparitions was due to arrive dead on One AM this very night and, yet, it was already half-past the hour and Screwed had not seen or heard anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps the horrible hound had merely been pulling his leg from his purgatorial prison, or maybe he was a figment of his own imagination, as illusory and fanciful as the Fortress Sports Fund.

Suddenly, a shimmering rotund shape began to rise from the floor as the temperature in the room dropped rapidly, from decidedly chilly to a deadly biting frost commensurate to Ronald Koeman's bare charisma made fucking corporeal.

"I am the Spirit Of Christmas Past..", enounced the ectoplasmic blob, "...and I am not sorry in the slightest that I am so late. You should consider yourself lucky that I lowered myself to manifest even momentarily in this losers mausoleum. Besides, I had more pressing business to attend to first", the Ghost tutted as he tossed his golf bag to the ground.

Without a word of warning, reality seemed to shift around Screwed, his surroundings becoming freakishly distorted, like he was looking at a reflection in a funhouse mirror, or sporting a VR headset that simulated the wearer waking up with Andy Van der Meyde vision. Through the undulating trippy visuals a tale 'Everton' knew all too well proceeded to unfurl.

Barely eighteen months ago he was a shrivelled-balled 'big shot' from a bygone era, said to be finally starting back on the road toward former glories, greatly reinvigorated as he was by new found riches. Yet, beyond repeatedly stating his ambition through some weird bloke on the box, he didn't bother coming up with anything remotely resembling a plan in order to bring about his promised Phoenix like rebirth.

A large chunk of his fortune was improvidently pissed away on frivolous piles of crap. His ham-fisted opulence not helped by opportunistic chancers hastily altering the price tag when they heard arl Screwed coming.

His crack team of hand-picked, hot-shot, advisors were soon revealed to be little more than a squad of absolute hoopleheads, content to sit back and half-arse it while stuffing their pockets to the brim with his coin. When shit hit the fan they simply feigned a look of complete surprise, before craning their neck back slightly and sneakily nodding toward the fella sat next to them as if to silently suggest "it's fucking his fault".

Screwed became known amongst his competitors as a still neutered, soft-touch, whom they could easily shove out the way, before wading through his shit and wandering off with a big sack of goodies, completely scott free. He became a prolific gift giver, not by personal choice, but by virtue of being calamitously gash.

"Wow, revelatory that, Ron", rasped the unimpressed 'Everton'. "A quick run through of recent memories is hardly going to have me quaking in my boots, is it? For what you must be raking in I thought you might have at least been able to rouse yourself beyond basic conjuring and chuck a bit of poltergeist activity into the mix. What a waste of my time".

With a shrug of his shoulders and a feigned look of surprise, the Ghost Of Christmas Past craned his neck back, but with no other wraith about who could conveniently take a share of the blame he simply made himself look a right tit by reflexively nodding toward a blank wall. "There is another bloke there, honest", the lame spook lied. "He..err...just isn't visible to the human eye". The Ghost of Christmas Past kept up his piss weak masquerade by making his way toward the wall, nodding his head and mumbling as though in mid- conversation with some other entity, before making his cowardly escape by evaporating into thin air.

No sooner had one transparent tubby terror departed, a second turned up. This one was larger than his predecessor and seemed considerably jollier, as though pleased as punch to have been called forth from his soulless slumber. He sported a long, inky black, robe that seemed to possess a life of it's own, omitting a screeching sound from the sleeves and recoiling rapidly whenever it's hem happened to come into contact with the floor. Whenever the self conscious garb fluttered up into the air, Screwed found he could not prevent his gaze from being drawn to the shoes his new spooky buddy wore on his feet. Bright red and polished to within an inch of their life, the strange legend 'Hoof made in Hell' stitched into the heel.

Spreading his robe open wide, the Ghost Of Christmas Present pulled 'Everton' close, and whispered in his ear, "Come in and know me better, man".

He showed 'Everton' visions of how he had swiftly become perceived as a stingy bastard amongst his peers. A "tight git" who gave nothing away if he could help it. A dour spoiler who denied paupers, those with money to chuck about with abandon, and even his closest neighbours, the chance to pick up any pleasing Xmas presents, no matter how hard they pissed and moaned or hammered at his door. "Fuck 'em" was now his festive mantra and, from that point forth, he would fight tooth and nail to make sure nobody was ever gifted anything for free again. The words "We've been Screwed" sweet music enough to a misers ear to allow him to enjoy his Christmas scran with an eerie smirk of contentment.

"I'll settle for that!", exclaimed 'Everton', "Especially after the year I've had. 'Annus Horribilis'? You want to try walking a mile in my Dutch clogs you doddery, crown wearing, arl crone".

With a shrug of his shoulders and a subtle adjustment of his ear piece, the Ghost Of Christmas Present prepared to make his exit. First, he stooped to pick up his spectral sack, stuffed to overflowing with wads of netherworldly notes, a Scotch egg and shitloads of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum. Secondly, he pointed to his scabbard and it was only then that Screwed noticed it contained no sword. "Soz. Probably should have mentioned that before, but I'll get it sorted soon, I swear".

With those last words of reassurance ringing in his ears, 'Everton' watched the shimmering form of his new spiritual guardian gradually fade from existence, before settling down to sleep, content that the lack of a sharp offensive weapon would not prove an insurmountable stumbling block going forward.

No sooner did the newly at peace 'Everton' find himself nodding then a fantastical nightmare began. Stood before him was a tall, shadowy, skeletal, figure that looked to be comprised entirely of dust encrusted wood, it's wrangly bones seemingly whittled out of a shamefully discarded trophy cabinet. Grabbing Screwed by the hand, the Ghost propelled the pair forward through time, before plonking them both down on a small mountain made of scrunched up match day tickets. "Welcome to the future", cackled the kindling Casper.

Screwed saw before him a graveyard and a gathering of two funeral parties seperated by a vast chasm. The first group seemed strangely boisterous for a squad assembled to bid farewell to a fallen friend or acquaintance. Indeed, some were already arseholed and were actually taking a slash on the headstone. Despite a continual deluge of urine splattering the stone slab from all conceivable angles, the name of the deceased could still be clearly discerned. It was the passing of the threat of 'Relegation' that had prompted plentiful revelry and the raining of piss.

Across the way, a more traditional manner of mourning appeared to be taking place, though a tad too melodramatic for Screwed's buttoned up taste. People were wailing, screaming such things as "Why? Why?", "We'll never see the likes again" etc and beating the ground with their fists, before turning their back and traipsing away, unable to watch any further. Inscribed on the tombstone were the words 'Attacking Football' and it seemed the premature snuffing out of it's light had led directly to such over the top anguish and dismay.

'Everton' knew not what to make of it all, other than he was relieved he himself wasn't rotting in the ground as he had half expected. As though reading his thoughts, the Ghost Of Christmas Future beckoned with his bony figure for Screwed to direct his gaze far beyond the grave gashers and lugubrious lamenters.

Lurching forward in the distance, a tattily dressed, parched dry, figure theatrically put his hands to his throat and begged loudly for "A shot. I'd kill for just one lousy shot, you bastards". Screwed knew that voice well. It was the same one that said "what a great idea" when he wondered out loud whether a well intentioned scratch of his gonads should morph into a sly wank each morning. For, the voice was his own and the viciously dehydrated dosser was he.

"I end up a bloody alky?" asked the bemused Screwed. "Fitting I suppose, seeing as though I've spent years driving others to drink". He watched passers by divert their gaze as his dog rough gait got in the way of rather more pleasurable sights, such as watching paint dry or a plastic bag blowing in the wind. "'Everton' as some arl dry alcoholic or 'Everton' built on Sam Allardyce anabolic?", asked the Ghost enigmatically.

With that Screwed awoke in his sweat drenched pit, utterly perplexed at what the spectral triumvirate were trying to say.

Far too tired to try and figure it out what it all meant, 'Everton' decided he would just get on the blower to that weird bloke on the box again and have him tell anyone who would listen that brilliant things lay ahead for Everton-Eezer Screwed in the new year, before hiding his head under the covers and hibernating as he had for the best part of three fucking decades.

Stan Schofield
9 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:06:05
What is deluded here is the focus on Allardyce. Everton's problems run far deeper than the current choice of manager, and Allardyce being here is simply a symptom of the underlying problem at board level.

He's here on a short-term contract as a quick fix to an immediate problem (ensuring we stay in the Premier League and have some stability so that Moshiri's so-called 'project' can continue). If he does better than that, it's a bonus, and we all realise that.

We sell our best players and replace them with inferior ones. We develop very good younger players, but ultimately sell them sooner rather than later to bigger clubs. In the 1960s we were one of the biggest clubs, and bought who we wanted, but no more.

That will not change, and we will likely remain at the level we've been at for quite a few years (top end of mid table) unless we have far more investment than Moshiri can offer. Changing managers, even to ones being paid circa £6M/year is no substitute for correcting the underlying problem.

Andy Crooks
10 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:07:55
John, that is worthy of a bigger audience. Have you optioned the film rights?
Brian Williams
11 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:10:27
Jesus somebody's bored!
Ray Robinson
12 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:14:00
James, I compliment you on a well written piece - one that I can more than partially identify with. However, is it not perhaps a tad simplistic? I got to thinking, if by some miracle, Guardiola were to be appointed as manager at Everton, given that we don't have the resources that he requires to collect the best players in the world to match his philosophy, how do you think he'd set us up? I'm not sure Martina, Jags, Williams would be comfortable playing the ball out from the back, I can't see any of our midfield breaking out of defence at pace like de Bruyne, I can't see any of our forwards finishing off moves like Aguero and so on and so on. Yes, maybe he'd set us up differently eventually, I accept.

Martinez had a more expansive philosophy but I can't say I enjoyed his second and third season with us - in fact I remember a 2-0 defeat at Stoke on a wet, windy Wednesday in February when the football was equally as turgid as anything under Allardyce.

Allardyce for all his "failings" has a motivational , game management, organisation skills etc and generally gets the best out of his players. In the situation we were in, he was the "right" appointment, in my opinion and I was "happy" with it. If and when we get to 40 points, let's see what he does then. I guess, Moshiri thinks the same as you - that's why he's only on an 18 month contract.

It's perhaps too early to expect anything else or to expect Allardyce to change his spots. Why would he anyway? He was brought in to firefight and has been dealt a set of cards he cannot change all in one go.

John G Davies
13 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:17:56
John 8

Pardon?

Jon Withey
14 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:29:31
Brian (5) my feeling exactly - what is this 'acceptance' and what to do about it ? Stop watching Everton until they magically turn into City or Utd ?

If anything, the 'acceptance' of Sam is more of an unwillingness to 'accept' Everton lurching into the Championship following the clubs previous mismanagement.

At some point Kenwright will shuffle off of this mortal coil and then some will have to find somebody else to blame for the fact that the club isn't an international money-making titan or plaything of an impossibly rich individual and so can't just pick and choose managers and players at will like City, Barcelona or Madrid.

Even Utd and Chelsea are feeling the pinch of 'not quite' at the moment, such is the competitive nature of the European leagues - and they have far more resource than us.

I don't accept rubbish from Everton, I also don't think that sacking everybody every time we lose a match - or changing managers every ten games - will do anything other than turn us into Swansea, Newcastle, Watford or Palace.

Perhaps a bit of patience might actually be a virtue - and the reason that we are still in the top league after so much time as opposed to some truly bi-polar behaviour by other clubs.

If Everton are complete rubbish at the end of this season then I expect Allardyce will be moved on - for now he is there to keep us in the division - and there is no delusion there.

The worst that can happen is that we are relegated - the second worse thing is that we muddle through and change nothing.

Luckily I doubt this lack of support for Sam will derail him from doing what he does, making the team competitive enough for the PL.

So sue us if we are hoping for a bit more from Sam, a chance that he might actually be able to make a silk purse out of a sows ear and right a few previous wrongs - these are the sort of little hopes that keep me entertained through dreadful seasons like this.

Steavey Buckley
15 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:33:54
Acquiring players who can turn defending into attacks are of a limited supply and cost a fortune. Not just in transfers but in wages. The real problem not finding quality players in England is due to an insuffiecient supply of good techniquel coaches, and young players who already have techniquel abilities. When Everton played Atlanta and Lyon they played with a fair amount of players who came through their academies who were techniqually better than Everton's academy players promoted to the first team and Everton's seasoned pros.
Chris Jones [Burton]
16 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:36:27
Ray #12. Spot on. Sam was brought in to do a vitally needed job and he's doing it. Let's face it, if all was rosy in the garden he would never have got the job - nor even made the short-list.

Sad as it is, those of us hoping to see free-flowing, get up out of your seats beautiful football need to get real and curb our ambition for a year or two.

In the meantime, just be grateful that Sam will likley get us to 40 points and ensure we start season 2018/19 in a league higher than the Championship.

I'm not saying we should like it, but we bloody well have to lump it (no pun intended). It ain't Sam's fault that that's how it is. Lay off him and let him do his job, while he has it.

John Keating
17 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:41:09
I'll be glad when Allardyce goes and the haters can find someone else to hate cos this is getting beyond a joke.

The guy has been here about a month or so and he is the deliver of all our ills.

It must have been his fault King's Dock fell through, the Titanic sank and the Toxteth riots of course.

I was/am prepared to give Allardyce a chance after being served up 30 years of shite. Some require instant success, especially from a squad Allardyce had nil input in employing.

It's like asking Lewis Hamilton to drive a fucking Robin Reliant at the next Grand Prix.

Sixty odd years of supporting this Club and never have I heard - NOT AT THE MATCH by the way - such pure anti feeling against any Everton manager.
A fucking disgrace.

Paul Tran
18 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:43:02
Stan, you're talking plenty of sense there. Moshiri is clearly learning to play with the train set and is probably realising things aren't as simple as he/we hoped.

He's wiped out the debt, recruited his first-choice manager and director of football, then backed them and let them get on with it. And they royally messed it up.

The comparison with Guardiola, Martinez and Koeman is simple. All three areversed in the Cruyff school of coaching and tactics (read his excellent book). One of them can explain what he wants, two of them can't.

Moshiri, wrongly in my view, believed the hype that we were going to get relegated and brought in Sam to 'save' us. Very similar to Koeman, just jollier and more articulate.

We've been dreadful to watch for four years now, which tells me that we've recruited badly and let way, way too many players stay too long, which means the overhaul becomes ever larger.

Easy and accurate to condemn the football so far under Allardyce. Harder to predict who will be brought in and how well they'll be integrated.

Question is, will we bring in at least two players with pace and creativity? That's what we need short-term. Can't see any manager telling that kind of player to play slowly & backwards.

Stan, I'd argue that Moshiri has wiped the debt and sold two players who were inevitably going to leave for good money. From now on, it's about who he recruits, who they recruit and how much he wants to keep the best ones.

David Barks
19 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:46:31
Brian and John,

Please see Chris Jones' post for what we're taking about, being told to accept this dross.

As for going beyond this manager, never in a million years would Kenwright have been allowed to remain as chairman with this level of sustained failure at our neighbors. They woulda have driven him out of town just as they did their prior owners. At Everton, so many of the “true supporters” say how we don't want to be anything like them. Well not to worry, one club plays football at the highest level while the other is seemingly happy to just exist.

John G Davies
20 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:54:30
Throughout the years of misery, poor players, poor managers, failed ground moves,operating under a mountain of accumulated debt, there is one common denominator.
The sooner we get shut of him the sooner this club can progress
Tony Hill
21 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:58:12
John (#17), agreed. The venom which Allardyce has attracted, and continues to attract, from a significant portion of our fans is an embarrassment one month into his tenure. The Everton which these people support exists only in their heads.
Ian Hollingworth
22 Posted 31/12/2017 at 17:58:43
So who comes next after Big Sam?
What's the answer to our problems?

It's not the manager we should be concerned about because until the club is sorted from the top down and we have some real ambition then it doesn't really matter who the manager is as they will have the same shit hand to deal with.

But in the meantime let's just bemoan shite football, I mean it's not like we are not used to it.

Ian Hollingworth
23 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:05:13
John(17) and Tony (21) bang on the money.
Geoff Lambert
24 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:21:13
What a spoilt little boy at Christmas rant.

Are there any of the Sam haters on here that would swap the last 9 games for the previous 9 games?

Did you really expect us to be playing a Barca type passing game and banging 4 or 5 past the poor little bottom half teams with Sam in charge? He will stop the rot keep us up give us more time etc.

It's not good to watch I agree, so if you don't like it don't watch it and come back when we are challenging for the title again.

See you in 5 or 10 years with a bit of luck.

David Barks
25 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:27:36
Geoff,

I realize this might be difficult for you, given your pathetic straw man argument, but there is a middle ground between going to Bournemouth with three defensive midfielders and playing like Barcelona scoring 4-5 goals. Difficult for you, I know. But it is in fact possible to defend AND go into a match wanting to win and maybe, I don't know, try to score a goal.

Brent Stephens
26 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:32:21
John Daley. Superb! Can we have some more, sir.
Stan Schofield
27 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:35:43
David@19: I don't agree that Liverpool are that much different. We are 'top end of mid table, whilst they are 'bottom end of top-6'. I think that Moshiri wants to be at the level of Liverpool (I can't prove that, but think it based on what he said 18 months ago). I think Liverpool's aim is to not just be top-6, but actually win stuff.

But Liverpool no longer win stuff, not consistently anyway, for some years now. They too have to sell their best, like Coutinho will go to Barca, and I'd bet Salah will be off similarly if he keeps up this form.

I think it's down to money. Liverpool generally have spent more than us, and obviously quite well with their forward line at the moment, but they've also mis-spent a lot in the recent past. But like us lately.

Neither us nor Liverpool are the forces we once were. The forces are in Manchester and London, not Merseyside anymore. That won't change unless we have comparable finances to the likes of City, Utd and Chelsea.

I think we can reach top-6 with the current squad and a few additions provided we are well organised and disciplined by a good manager. But getting to the next level, of actually winning trophies, will (like Liverpool) be very hard without mega money.

Colin Glassar
28 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:43:09
Stan, they have Mane, Salah and Firminho. We have Lennon, DCL and (insert players name). There's a gulf (quality) in our recruiting and theirs.
Stan Schofield
29 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:47:23
Colin, yes, that was one of my points, that they've spent wisely recently, but that they'd also often spent badly before then. That's why Klopp ensured that the infamous recruitment 'committee' at Anfield didn't call the shots, but that he called the shots, on player recruitment, before he agreed to join them.
David Israel
30 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:50:25
People are now seemingly queueing up to write anti-Allardyce pamphlets. We are now getting one a day, and this is just for starters. The queue starts at the Kingsway tunnel.

It all reminds me of a piece by an American newspaper columnist who, five days into Richard Nixon's term, said that he was one of the country's worst-ever presidents (he may also have said that Nixon wouldn't change his spots, which he didn't, but that's beside the point).

I sometimes wish David Unsworth had been 'given until Christmas'.

It is probably all down to climate change, anyway.

Happy New Year to all!

Stan Schofield
31 Posted 31/12/2017 at 18:58:30
David, one of the recent ToffeeWeb threads went off onto a debate about climate change, and that turned out to be mainly the usual polarised 'believers' versus 'deniers'. It seems that most (if not all debates) quickly go like that. Nothing changes. Maybe even the climate.
Peter Gorman
32 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:01:19
John 17, Tony 21 and now Ian 23 - actually bullshit and a complete misrepresentation of pretty much every 'anti-Sam's feelings on this matter. But then again you know this.

David Barks - you get my vote for 'bang on'

Danny O'Neill
33 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:05:18
Only read the post, not any comments. In short and as I've said on previous posts, totally agree.

The sooner this luddite that epitomises everything wrong with the English game is out of our club, the better in my opinion.

I will reluctantly accept he's been brought in to do what he does but hopefully we will only endure his brand of anti-football until the end of this season.

David Israel
34 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:08:06
Yes, Stan #31, I read the 'climate change' debate and was none the wiser for it. ;-)
Kevin Prytherch
35 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:09:13
I find it laughable that when Unsworth lost he was out of his depth.
When Allardyce loses, it's the players fault and no one could have done better.

Why is it so hard for some to accept that Allardyce has made massive mistakes in the last couple of games and is not the infallible knight in shining armour that some make him out to be.

I was optimistic at first, however I'm worried now.

John Keating
36 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:15:01
No, Allardyce has to go asap. An absolute disgrace of a man and manager. He's ruining our Club. OK fair enough he is not responsible for bringing one player in of the present squad, but that's got nothing to do with it.

I mean look at West Brom, yes West Brom, bottom of the league, an absolute disgrace. We should have hammered them, at least half a dozen goals playing open attacking School of Science football. A draw, what a nightmare !

I wish I was able to support one of the leagues open attacking teams like . say .Arsenal ! Can you imagine what they'd do to a shit bottom of the league team like West Brom.

But I suppose being from Liverpool. maybe best to support Man City. Best in the league by far. They're top by playing wonderful School of Science stuff.
Can you imagine what they'd do to one of these bottom of the league teams like .say . Palace ?

Oh to go back to the good old days of Moyes, Martinez and Koeman. Every week a beautiful win. Those were the days.

Allardyce out.

Dan Davies
37 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:15:56
Let's not kid ourselves Allardyce wasn't employed to bring a 'style' or a 'philosophy' to EFC, he was brought in to sort out the mess and pull us away from the relegation spots.

Hence the length of his contract. He doesn't care about playing like Barca or City, he will be happy if we finish in the top ten. Job done. No more no less.

He will walk off into the sunset with his pockets rammed full of Moshiri's cash. Then Simeone will take the reigns and everything will be rosy in Evertonland! (Joke)

I understand people sticking up for Allardyce but come on three defensive midfielders against Bournemouth is taking the piss.

David Israel
38 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:17:17
Kevin, to be perfectly honest, I haven't read a single soul on this site saying that Sam Allardyce is an infallible knight in shining armour.

And the last couple of games were utter tosh, indeed.

Tony Hill
39 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:23:21
The anti-Allardyce theme is that we should be adopting a more expansive, attacking game. My problem with that analysis is that it fails to acknowledge the extent of the damage done to fitness and confidence by Koeman and it also fails to acknowledge that our players are not currently up to it in terms of attacking threat.

The absence of pace and striking quality was commonly accepted on here a few months ago. We then went on to combine that deficit with a woeful failure to defend – a combination which made relegation a serious risk, despite airy views from some that we were never really in danger.

Allardyce has settled us defensively and will now have to go on to develop some attacking potency but that isn't going to arrive within a month. The real bullshit is from those who won't admit that they just loathe the manager and always will.

Kevin Prytherch
40 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:34:54
David, maybe it's a bit over the top. But there's plenty on here who wanted Allardyce who refuse to criticise him for glaringly obvious mistakes, but criticised others for making the same mistakes.

The reservations about Allardyce before he came (apart from his dodginess) were a reluctance to trust youth and a dour defensive set up. Unfortunately both seem to be happening in the last couple of games.

I hope I'm wrong and it doesn't continue, but I'm scared it will.

Also, if it does happen and Walsh was the one who wanted Allardyce, what does that say about his judgement? The jury's already out on him.

Joe Foster
41 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:39:20
Personally I don't think this will be how we play in the future under Sam's time. He knows this is a great chance for him to prove to his critics he can manage a team (his biggest yet) to go onto better things.

I say give the man a chance.

Chris Leyland
42 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:43:53
Tony Hill – your last sentence is bang in the money. Some people just hate Allardyce and are seemingly willing for him to fail.

We were shambolically shite when he took over. We were conceding for fun. He has tightened us up at the back and got us organised. He has achieved this in a short space of time with no signings of his own. I'm more than willing to accept a pragmatic approach to getting points on the board and securing Premier League safety this season over playing in some imaginary ‘Everton Way' that has never really existed for any significant period of our history apart from in some people's heads.

David Barks
43 Posted 31/12/2017 at 19:55:34
John Keating,

If you couldn't see the difference between how we went to West Brom and hardly had an attempt on goal the entire 90 minutes, setting up to simply defend and hope to get a draw versus Arsenal going there and having the lead, only drawing due to a completely ridiculous penalty decision in the last minutes, then I don't know what to say.

You have usually been one of the more pragmatic and sensible posters but lately you've fallen into this Sam Allardyce position that is not making any sense. Arsenal went to West Brom for a win and had it until the ref screwed them. We went here set up to not concede and fight for a 0-0. Arsenal left fuming while we had people claiming it was a good and well earned point.

Peter Lee
44 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:11:20
I suspect that the only thing we can agree upon is that we have a squad which is larger than average, massively unbalanced and which performed at a level which, up to a month ago, was moving us down the table rather than up.

I haven't seen anybody argue that that squad was capable of delivering the exciting football we all would like to see. It follows that, since it wasn't a month ago, it's hardly likely to do so now.

Major restructuring is required, some experimentation with current players and the integration of new players, youth players perhaps, over time. Inconsistency is to be anticipated.

All that needs to be achieved whilst preserving our PL status and pushing on as high as we can.

The current manager, indeed any manager, has more experience of how this might be done than any of us. Some are better at it than others, some would tackle it in different ways, some would be more successful, some less. None would merit being judged after a month.

Close this and similar threads until at least the end of the season, preferably for twelve months, to allow sanity to prevail. I realise that many will be deprived of an opportunity to vent their spleens but they'll find other hobbyhorses to ride I reckon.

David Israel
45 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:13:44
Kevin (#40), fair enough, but I'm sure you'll recognise that most 'pro-Allardyce' posters on here mostly take up that position in response to an almost hysterical anti-Allardyce brigade.

The majority of people who defend Allardyce here tend to do it on a 'give-him-time' basis, rather like the Unsworth people used to say 'give him until Christmas'. It is not like Allardyce has a big fan club here, rather that people just want to treat him fairly and decently.

John Keating
46 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:15:30
David,

My stance on Allardyce has not changed. I did not want him here and don't see him being here that long.

I certainly understand why Allardyce is here and to be honest I am now glad it was him who got the job of all the names who were mentioned. He is doing the job he was brought in to do no more no less. As far as I am concerned the writing on the wall for this season was there in pre-season. A complete write off.

More important than anything was our Premier League survival and hopefully we can now see that in sight.

What has pissed me off is the continual, non stop anti Allardyce rhetoric that I read on here but certainly do not hear in during the game. I never went to the West Brom game or other away games so can't comment on what is or is not said although my cousins say, as usual, the away support is only encouraging. Home games I have heard nothing like what I read on here.

From day one I have asked people to show the manager the respect I would have thought any Everton manager deserves, especially one coming in to the disaster of a squad and season we were having.

Unfortunately the usual suspects have continued blaming Allardyce for everything. They want him to get Bolasie and McCarthy back in, he does, he's shit. They want him to rotate at the back because Williams is shite, he does, he's shit. They want Rooney out , he's too old not performing. he gets left out we have nobody with any sort of vision and he's shit. It is continuous.

Allardyce has been here a dog's watch and can do nothing right.

Is it not possible to give him just a bit of time? Look where we are at the end of the season and make a decision then ?

As I've mentioned on other threads I've been going since Carey and never seen anything like this at the start of a managers reign. Totally out of order and I just thought we might be a bit better than that.

At the end of the day West Brom drew with Arsenal, Arsenal got 1 point, exactly the same as us and until the end of the season that to me is more important than getting beat 5-2, 5-1, 3-0 at home.

Give the man a chance.

Rob Dolby
47 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:25:20
I could understand the op if we where still in the relegation zone after 7 games under big Sam but we aren't.

We have scrabbled and fought for points to get us out of the mess. It hasn't been pretty but football at the bottom never is .

Hysterical posting about Big Sam is losing credibility with me. I am sure that similar people are posting about Guardiola being shite on Man City fan sites and probably not all of them are City fans.

I have watched us for years and have witnessed some rubbish. From Gordon Lee to Big Sam and I am sure he won't be the last manager to produce shit football.

David Barks
48 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:27:16
John,

I will never accept the need to go into a match against Bournemouth with three defensive midfielders and a single isolated striker. There is simply no need for that and it does not help the cause, it hurts it, for the reasons I outlined earlier. When you pose no threat to the opposition you've already made it easier for them. I don't care who the manager is.

Peter Lee
49 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:40:23
David, I presume your CV includes loads of football management experience with intimate knowledge of our current squad.

No?

What you are really saying is you don't like what someone who has both of those things has decided. Like the rest of us fans your choice is like it or lump it.

I propose we have a thread called "Catharsis Corner", maybe sponsored by Angry Birds, where you and others can vent to your hearts content.

Grant Rorrison
50 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:47:14
I don't know what anyone seriously expects. We weren't just shit to watch prior to arrival of Allardyce were shit in every other respect. We looked an absolute cert for relegation and plenty of independent observers couldn't see a team worse than us in the premier league.

SA has made us competitive. Even if it is awful and uninspiring to watch. We stay 'in' every game and could have won any of them.

Expecting to play like Man City of whatever with a vastly over-rated group of plodders is just not realistic. Had our 'world beating' 㿙 million pound record signing been capable of running on to a ball and hitting it first time we might have got 3 points against Bournemouth. Who knows what would have happened?

Amit Vithlani
51 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:52:49
"David, I presume your CV includes loads of football management experience with intimate knowledge of our current squad."

You don't need to have been a horse to be a jockey.

Or, to put it more bluntly, you don't need to be a football manager to see and say the bleeding obvious.

David Barks
52 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:53:26
Peter,

Presumably that would apply to you and every other poster on this site, indeed even Lyndon and Michael. Fantastic, I assume you only ever discuss matters directly related to your profession? I also suppose we can quit this whole democracy and voting thing. After all, how many of us have loads of experience governing? Right, keep quiet you miserable lot, how dare you have an opinion!!!

John Daley
53 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:54:53
"It's like asking Lewis Hamilton to drive a fucking Robin Reliant at the next Grand Prix."

....and, in return, Lewis Hamilton backing his Robin Reliant into a heavily secured garage, lowering the door, then people patting him on the back and saying "Look, not a fucking scratch. You can't ask for anymore than that."

Probably no other manager in Everton's history has arrived with so many blues openly against his appointment. It's not a normal situation for a new guy to be handed the reigns, when a fortnight earlier the result of every single fan poll on the subject screamed "no fucking way". Not a single Evertonian I know wanted, or thought we needed, Allardyce (either that or they weren't prepared to admit it). Hardly surprising then that he is going to have a harder time of it than his predecessors in trying to win supporters over.

Considering what we've seen his team produce so far has consisted solely of the constituent parts comprising the very case made against him (abandon almost all attacking intent, tighten up at the back, take absolutely no risks, twat it forward, play for a set-piece for they are our salvation, say you're merely being 'pragmatic' when people point out the performance was pig ugly and they had the piss bored out of them) then it's obviously not going to be enough to have the doubters climbing over each other to declare themselves as having come around already.

It may seem 'unfair' in your book, but Allardyce was always going to have to move beyond the expected bare minimum to even merit the blank slate most new managers stroll in with. The man surely knows that himself, and admitted as much in interviews when he said all he can do is try to prove he is the right man by getting the team to produce regularly out on the pitch.

You say 'He's only been here a month, give him time to change things' and you're exactly right, but the same applies to those supporters who believed his appointment a premature press of the panic button: 'He's only been here a month, give them time to change their mind'.

Brian Williams
54 Posted 31/12/2017 at 20:57:20
As an aside there won't be a better chance to beat Utd for a good while with some of the players they have out. No Ibrahimovic, no Lukaku, no Young and several other injuries to boot.

Hahaha what am I talking about????
Nuuuuuurse!

Peter Lee
55 Posted 31/12/2017 at 21:06:23
Amit, doesn't work. You should have said you have to have been a horse to talk about horses. Or a jockey to talk about jockeys.

David, of course everyone is entitled to an opinion and a moan but for heavens sake back the opinion up with at least some observations and practical, argued alternatives. The moans and foot-stamping may be cathartic but it sure is boring. Give the moaners their own thread unless they have an argument to make.

John Keating
56 Posted 31/12/2017 at 21:21:06
John
you're correct give them time to change their minds. Spot on.
But he's been continually slagged since before he signed on. It's non stop.

Give him time, a realistic time. God knows he was getting slagged after the Huddersfield game !

Maybe - maybe not - after a realistic amount of time fans may well change their minds but it seems to me there are a number who are not prepared to give him a minute. They had it in for him before he arrived and it seems whatever happens nothing will change their minds.

To all intents and purpose the season is already over so would it not be possible to look where we are at the end of the season and come to some conclusion ?

The only chance he has to in any way alter the squad to any extent is this window. None of us know how much he will be given. He has said more or less he has to sell before buying a midfielder. Who knows the restrictions cash wise.

All's I'm saying and have been since he signed on is to give him a chance. Like Unsworth he has been left a bunch of crap with which he had/has to somehow get something out of. He has to give everyone a chance to see if he can use them. I have no doubt he is having to play, like Unsworth, players normally he wouldn't.

Whoever comes here in January more than likely will be possibly not who would be available in the close season but at least improve the present mob.

Andrew James
57 Posted 31/12/2017 at 21:23:17
My problem is that I was perfectly happy to get bore draw points off Chelsea and the RS but then to go and play 3 CDM's at Bournemouth is unforgiveable. That followed turgid football at the Hawthorns.

But most worrying is that the same mistakes in line-ups are being made by Allardyce that were by Koeman. Morgan Schneiderlin and Gana were two reasons we have been so bad this term. Enough has been said about the poor form of the former but when put next to another player of the same ilk, we have no out ball and that brings teams onto us and exposes an often makeshift, inexperienced or lacking confidence back four.

Yes, we've defended well of late but for me you go to West Brom and Bournemouth to go toe to toe with them. The superior quality of our squad should mean, if we're positive and attacking, we go ahead and then lock up later on. Not the other way round which leaves you playing catch up if they get a break or a hit a screamer or something.

Geoff Lambert
59 Posted 31/12/2017 at 21:29:19
David Barks!

Would you rather we are still bottom three or are you so blind that you can't see he has taken us away from the bottom three and done the job he was hired to do.

He has dragged us up to 9th.., yes, 9th with the shit squad that was not of his making and for one I am happy with the outcome, but like a lot of others on here not happy with having to watch the awful football on display.

Lets see what the January transfer window brings in and see how we are at the end of the season.

If you don't think he has done a great job in getting us to where we are now you are deluded.

Jon Withey
60 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:02:03
I can't claim to read every post here but I don't remember any of them making out Sam was the second coming – I've read plenty expecting some pragmatic football to reach 40 points.

If he can't improve the rubbish being served up all season he will be out soon enough as were Koeman and Martinez.

Andrew James
61 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:04:04
Geoff

I would respectfully suggest the squad is not how you describe it. Disjointed, yes. Lacking cover in certain positions? Yes

But we have numbers and plenty of talented players, some of whom just have been shoved into systems which didn't suit them.

I cannot accept any squad with Pickford, Jagielka, Kenny, Holgate, Davies, Gueye, Rooney, Lennon, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse and Sigurdsson in it is bad. There's a semblance of a very good side in there.

John Pierce
62 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:21:12
I couldn't give a fig which school of thought you come from, 1/6 points from those games against sides who historically and and no less recently we should expect to beat was atrocious.

Whether it is Allardyce, Martinez or whoever call it out for what it was, pathetic.

The criticism is fair and not just because it's Allardyce.

People seem to forget WBA haven't won since August, Bournemouth no win in 9 and consistently shooting themselves in the foot.

The arguement above is clear why we should have overlooked a manager who has lived most of his life in the bottom half of the league.

I'd go as far too say he's done whst he was enlisted for why keep him on any further?

My greatest fear is the marginalisation of younger players. In all reality we don't need average senior players usurping minutes when Vlasic, Lookman et al could become more seasoned players without consequence.

If Everton haven't got his replacement already lined up, and locked up in a dark room somewhere, then hard to have any sympathy towards Moshiri.

Very hard to feel anything other than apathy towards the club under Allardyce. We are just treading muddy water.


Ian Bennett
63 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:29:09
Andrew, I'll spin it around. Players over 25 typically win games and appear at the top end. Sigurdsson, Coleman and Gana are the only quality we've got.

The rest are either not good enough or are over the hill. The young lads might come good, but they'll playing in a sub standard team. The top 6 seems a yawning gap, and the players we are linked with don't appear to close that gap. A team going backwards despite the millions.

Si Cooper
64 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:33:51
“If you don't think he has done a great job in getting us to where we are now you are deluded.” Even Big Sam doesn't think he's done a ‘great job' as there are loads of examples from his pressers where he effectively says he can't understand why we had been so poor prior to him rocking up.

He has done a job that can only be judged as effective (and thanks for that) and he has done it by concentrating on only a few of the many issues that the players have at the moment.

However, if you don't agree it is a ‘great' job then you are ‘deluded' and a ‘hater'.

John Daley – pure class and entertainment.

All the best for 2018 to everyone!

Geoff Lambert
65 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:44:36
Andrew!

How many of the players you mentioned as being good enough:

"Pickford, Jagielka, Kenny, Holgate, Davies, Gueye, Rooney, Lennon, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse and Sigurdsson" would get in to a top 7 side?

Pickford? I think so, Gueye maybe, the others nowhere near a top 7 team.

Geoff Lambert
66 Posted 31/12/2017 at 22:48:09
Must go now Party time.

All the best to you all, and for our beloved Blues in 2018.

Jay Tee
67 Posted 31/12/2017 at 23:03:21
Oh Dear, I have read nearly all the articles on this thread and despair. For the last 2 seasons of Martinez and then the Koeman's stint we were absolute garbage. Signings were poor, apart from Pickford and our best players went. How did we end up with Klaassen, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Sandro, Lennon who runs and runs but how often in his career has he scored and whoever else then no one to replace Lukaku and Barkley wanting to leave.

So moving forward to this season I am sure that if we had kept Koeman we would have gone down. The players had given up. Why, we probably will not know for many years. There seemed to be no preparation to know the opposition, no plan for attack or defence and definitely no plan B. The defence had more holes in it than a fisherman's net. Perhaps that's where our crab like sideways passing came from, side side back forward a bit back and sideways again then give the ball away. Utter shite.

I was totally against Big Sam coming to Goodison but I prefer now to what we were like several weeks ago; 9th is better than 16th and moving lower. Yes we are playing rubbish but it is organised rubbish. This period now needs to be stable, the players need to regain their confidence and skills. Then we start rebuilding and move forward. We cannot move anywhere with the mess we have at the moment. What's that saying that gives me a buzz, oh I know: "To infinity and beyond" – that's our goal.

Paul Kelly
68 Posted 31/12/2017 at 23:38:17
John Keating, I was unfortunately at the game yesterday I can tell you there was ‘Fuck Off, Allardyce” shouts as early as the half-hour mark, several too.
Andrew James
69 Posted 31/12/2017 at 00:15:04
Wow Ian & Geoff

Jags on his day is still better than many centre halves in the fictional, nonsensical media derived Top 6 hence the defensive problems Arsenal and the RS have had. You seem to have forgotten Rooney was playing for one of those top sides last season and is doing pretty well for us. Lennon might not get in those teams but can do a really good job. Barkley, who I didn't mention, would walk into Arsenal's team and arguably United's because they don't have anything like him.

The Sigg would get into one of them as would Gueye. Maybe Kenny and Davies as well. I think some people swallow what the media tell us when Harry Winks walks into the England squad after a handful of matches when Tom Davies is clearly more proven.

We have good players; not so much the management and coaching.

And if Allardyce had got the last two matches right, we'd be right on top of the media 6.


Derek Thomas
70 Posted 01/01/2018 at 00:54:20
James; I fear you may be right, but my deluded side hopes you're not.

But its not just Sam who we let delude us, how many manager since Mike Walker??

At my age, baring a miracle I don't see a league title on the horizon, I'd settle for just 1 decent go in the CL and an FA Cup win...hopefully while I can still handle longhaul flights.

Back when we were endlessly debating the Kenwright-Moyes axis / glass ceiling, Michael Kenrick called it spot on; nothing will change until some unforseen thing happens. I decided then, if we have to be perennial 5th, 6th, then can we at least play some decent stuff...I think that still stands.

The clock clicks over, the year moves on and we watch the game every week, it's what we do...and a good pinch of delusion is required, nay compulsory.

Kenn Crawford
71 Posted 01/01/2018 at 01:41:28
Lose to Bournemouth 2-1 with 3 defensive mids playing... wow, he has really done a good job of stopping relegation... NOT! We still only have 27 points and in the last 2 games we have taken 1 – yes that's right – 1 point from 2 of the bottom 3 clubs.

Stopped the rot? I think not. Sorry, Sam Allardyce... go home!!!!!!

Rick Tarleton
72 Posted 01/01/2018 at 08:08:45
Like most Evertonians, I did not want Allardyce on two levels. Firstly as a man his past record made him a morally dubious choice to lead the club I've supported for over sixty years. Secondly, in football terms, his style and his approach screamed out pragmatism at its worst.
However, he was appointed on a relatively short contract, eighteen months I believe, and at the time we were leaking goals. The display against a woeful Southampton team had me fearing that I'd see Everton again in the second tier of English football. He has managed in his pragmatic way to get Everton defending again, Keane again is beginning to look like an England defender.
Did anyone seriously think that Allardyce, with the players at his disposal, would have us playing the kind of football that would have the Gwladys Street purring?
I hope that at the end of the season Everton have in place a new manager, someone who can plan a long term strategy. "Thank-you, Mr Allardyce, " the Board should say, "you've done what we needed. Go back to your Iberian villa and enjoy your golf and your grandchildren."
Allardyce's appointment was a short-term necessity, not a blue-print for our future. Like most people I'd prefer Everton to be the school of science rather than the dogs of war if we have to have an epiphet. I don't "accept" lousy football, but Everton and their managers have served it up fairly frequently in the last few years whether I "accept" it or not.

And a Happy New Year to all Evertonians.

Jim Hourigan
73 Posted 01/01/2018 at 08:36:27
Interestingly those having a pop do so apparently because I had the temerity to criticise Big Sam. I am still waiting for:
a) an example of a manger who has changed their philosophy with any degree of success;
b) an example of a manager who has had any success playing percentage football;
c) any young players who have flourished and developed under Big Sam.

I did not call for his immediate removal, I just wished he had never been appointed and that he will be gone before he damages the club I love too much.

On a side note I think todays game could be billed as the "Battle of Jurrasic Park" not Goodison Park - 2 dinosaur managers. One who has been able to buy the largest animals, with big sharp teeth and fear, and the second who has uses slow bigger lumbering monsters. However with 2 scary ones missing you just never know who might come out on top.

Steve Brown
74 Posted 01/01/2018 at 08:51:58
Have realised it's not really worth arguing over Allardyce as he will be gone at the end of the season. Unto then, let's suck up the dross served and count ourselves lucky we were saved from the relegation that wasnt going to happen.
Ian Hollingworth
75 Posted 01/01/2018 at 10:08:22
Nobody is pleased with the recent performances and I would guess that includes Sam.

Sadly we are in a position with people dead against Sam and therefore we will get these debates on a game by game basis depending on the result and how we play.

However you can recognise that the ship has been steadied and be prepared to give him a chance. That does not mean you are happy with the performances.

I would like Everton to show more ambition as a club, I have said this for years. They don't and therefore what we get is what we see in front of us. It has been this way for over 20 years.

Ian Hollingworth
76 Posted 01/01/2018 at 10:11:37
Mouriniho a dinosaur manager? Wow!
I would love the trophies that dinosaur has won.
Love him or hate him you cannot deny his success.
Steve Pugh
77 Posted 01/01/2018 at 10:55:51
"You don't have to have been a horse to be a jockey"

Correct, but watching the Grand National doesn't mean you know how to ride.

When I was in my twenties and thirties Evertonians used to slag of Geordies because they believed they should be beating other clubs. Now Evertonians think that we should be beating teams like West Brom. I hate to tell you but we have no right to beat West Brom and we very rarely do. In fact we have only beaten them four times since they were last promoted to the PL. In that time they have beaten us three times so recent history tells us that we are relatively equal when it comes to head to head results.

Premier League Everton are not a winning club and the Premier League has been going on for long enough for things that happened before its conception to be nothing more than a nice memory. Dreams are lovely and we all have them but expectations need to be based on where we are now and were we have been in recent times. Based on the last few years my expectations are to get back to where we were under Moyes, 'best of the rest' and then I will change my expectations and expect us to push on to play better football and break the top six on a consistent basis. Then I will change again and expect us to challenge for the title and win trophies.

Finally if you don't want to support the team during this period of dross put your tickets up on stubhut and let somebody else go.

Amit Vithlani
78 Posted 01/01/2018 at 11:09:49
"Amit, doesn't work. You should have said you have to have been a horse to talk about horses. Or a jockey to talk about jockeys."

Righto. I look forward to tuning in to the next edition of Blue Planet, presented and narrated by an assortment of creatures from the Animal Kingdom.

Unfortunately, Peter, I can't take the credit for this quote. It came from Arrigo Sacchi, architect of the great Milan side of the late 80s, whose credentials to manage were questioned by journalists as he had zero professional playing experience and for a while was a shoe salesman.

Christopher Dover
79 Posted 01/01/2018 at 11:29:54
The team Sam has is what he has inherited, it would help if the players could pass the ball to each other instead of just giving it away.

The players are professional so surely they can pass which would help in keeping the ball this should be a basic for any team, and this has not just happened since Sam arrived it's a failing that has been happening for a season or more.

Get the defence solid re learn to pass the ball and we may just start to play better football.

Trevor Peers
80 Posted 01/01/2018 at 11:33:45
A lot of posters on TW suffering from the 3d,s I reckon. School of science days ? Your having a laugh, take a reality check it's 2018. It would take billions, switch your support to Citee if you can't handle it.

Allardyce is needed because we had forgotten how to defend or have some of you just not noticed. To get success you need the building blocks first, not the pipe dream. He won't be here long, but at least he'll hand over a decent defence to any future manager. We should be eternally grateful to him for saving us from certain relegation.

Some people are just never satisfied though , I remember after winning the league with Howard Kendall a guy turned round at the end of the game and said .' glad we won the league but I just can't stand Kendall ! there's just something about him ' I see a lot of that attitude on here, what planet do some of you guys live on ?

Frank Wade
81 Posted 01/01/2018 at 11:54:24
One line jumped out at me in James' post above. "where have the overlapping runs from Kenny gone?"

There were several in the game, but two stand out, as they coincided with the two goals. I am a big fan of JonJoe from his time in u23s, but I would like to see him exercise a bit more caution when venturing forward and a lot more urgency in getting back into position. I noticed Bolasie 'chasing' back in another situation, not really bothered whether he got goal side or not - I know he has been out but he's deemed fit to play.

The defensive 'efforts' at holding up Wilson for his botched attempt early on, at blocking, nay 'evading', the cross for first goal and shot for the second were abysmal.

These were aspects of our play that I thought would have improved significantly under Allardyce. I didn't expect the Barcelona stuff but as David Barks pointed out above, there is a middle ground. I watched a recent Man City match where an opponent made a break up the left wing and there were no less than 4 City players in hot pursuit and within 7/8 yards to pounce on their victim.

Happy New Year greetings to all ToffeeWebbers. Keep the faith.

Brent Stephens
82 Posted 01/01/2018 at 11:55:08
Amit #78 "Righto. I look forward to tuning in to the next edition of Blue Planet, presented and narrated by an assortment of creatures from the Animal Kingdom".

My first chuckle of the new year!

Amit Vithlani
83 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:02:54
"Now Evertonians think that we should be beating teams like West Brom. I hate to tell you but we have no right to beat West Brom and we very rarely do. In fact we have only beaten them four times since they were last promoted to the PL. In that time they have beaten us three times so recent history tells us that we are relatively equal when it comes to head to head results."

A highly selective use of statistics. Ok then, prior to the loss to Bournemouth, our record read: Pl 5 W3 D1 L1. So history there suggests we should have gone there and won.

We had won 3 of our last 4 PL games against WBA and won on our previous two visits to the Hawthorns. So recent history would have pointed to a win.

We played two sides fighting relegation and picked up a point and registered 4 shots on goal in 180 minutes. That is simply not good enough.

David Baxter
84 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:04:05
John Daley 8
Wish you had been my English Literature teacher at school,I might have paid attention and learned something.I had to listen to Chaucer and The Bard.
Great read,John,very entertaining.
Amit Vithlani
85 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:06:43
Brent - let us hope 2018 brings us more laughter than tears. The very best to you and yours, sir.
Christine Foster
86 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:16:46
Happy New Year to all of you no matter where you are in the world, many thanks for the wonderful contributions and the brilliant site we have due to the efforts of Michael and Lyndon, Thank you guys!

Deep breath.. ok guys, lets face it many of you have the memory capacity of goldfish, many others are relishing in the "I told you his football is crap" moments given on his appointment.
But whether you like it or not we were heading for the drop or a fight that would have been lost in my opinion. Allardyce's appointment was a pragmatic short term appointment with nothing else but a "get us out of the crap" objective. Its not there yet and the football is dire, but infinitely better than the previous month and more importantly we have the points on the board.
Of course that isn't enough to pin our colours to the mast and say he is the future but he has my respect for doing his job. Something unusual in Everton Football club of late but welcome nonetheless.
The fabled footballing project got shelved whilst we concentrated on the immediate relegation and pure, utter dire situation we were in, thanks no less to Koeman, Walsh and a board bereft of doing their job.

His job is not the prettiest but at least we have 11 players who are playing like a team and under orders. Its not a team I like, I want or for the future. But how many of you will grumble ( quite a few I guess) if we qualify for Europe? Long term ( or even post this season) the team will improve, but the fundamental issue for Everton FC and us as supporters. If, as the OP suggests, football has moved on past Sam Allardyce, then 88 teams in the Football leagues may as well pack up shop. Because there isn't the quality, the players, the coaches or the money to make large scale improvements.

I don't agree with the analysis that football has moved on and there is no place for a manager like Allardyce. In fact I would like to see ( as I am sure he would love the opportunity) to show exactly what he can do with a team with ambition, money and not in relegation trouble. He is tarred with the brush of his own making, he gets clubs out of trouble playing a no nonsense game, right now it can be dire to watch but honestly I will take the points it generates until we can build a team once more.

Who builds that team? well frankly if we finish top 6 or 7 and qualify for Europe then why should he not be given that year to see what he can do? if we finish 10th or lower then he has stabilised the ship and the board can build on that with a new manager, but until the end of the season we need to get behind him and the team to do their job.

Happy New Year everyone, especially to every player too.. who knows some may just read what we say!

John McFarlane
87 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:39:41
Hi Christine, [86] in my opinion a balanced view of the situation, my initial reaction when the name of Sam Allardyce was put forward, was to be against his appointment.

But as there is nothing I can do about it, he will get my full support, because he is the Manager of Everton Football Club. Likewise any player either already with the club, or about to join.

Paul Tran
88 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:48:11
Interesting questions, Jim.

I don't know about changing philosophy, but I admired Alex Ferguson for changing his coaching staff and the way he man-managed differently when wages started getting silly.

Only percentage title winner I can think of is the guy that coached that dreadful Greek side that won the Euros.

Was Pickford at Sunderland when Allardyce was there? Also remember that youngster Whatmore. He got a degree and Allardyce presented it to him in front of all the players and staff, citing him as an example of the importance of learning. What happened to Whatmore?

Jim, I can't understand anyone having a go at anyone for criticising a manager for playing poor football. Mind you, I can't understand the rapid-fire condemnation of a manager that inherited a disorganised mess and has it just behind City in the current form table.

Eric Myles
89 Posted 01/01/2018 at 12:55:46
Steve #77, "Based on the last few years my expectations are to get back to where we were under Moyes, 'best of the rest'."

Maybe Moyes is the manager to take us there? We'll see in 18 months time?

Geoff Lambert
90 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:04:27
Steve Brown (#74),

I laughed last week when my old man said Everton could be relegated!! I'm not laughing now!!

Not going to happen hmm..

Mark Murphy
91 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:05:06
I'm struggling to remember these countless posts expecting Allardyce to play attractive football once he's settled in but I do see lots of post advocating giving him more time than a month.

I'm also struggling to understand the vehement hatred shown towards him and the at times desperate determination to make the more patient of us join in with the hate.

I'm with John Keating – I'm not over the moon with Allardyce being here but I can understand why he was brought in and why he's gone about it the way he has.

Andy Crooks
92 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:05:15
There are no "Sam haters", on this site. Perhaps Sam doubters which is entirely different. He was, in my view, badly treated by the FA. I had an open mind about him and praised his tightening up of our team.

However, the performances against West Brom and Bournemouth demonstrated a worrying lack of ambition. He does what he does, no more it seems.

Danny O'Neill
93 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:37:33
Well said Andy. I don't "hate" Sam Allardyce. I don't even know him.

What I do know is that I have disliked his brand of football all the way through his managerial career. That view won't change just because he is now Everton manager. The only thing that does is now it's the team I support who will be playing the Allardyce way for as long as he is at the helm.

Dave Abrahams
94 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:42:16
Paul (88) the coach, can't remember his name, who guided Greece to the European Nations title was the man Moyes took his plan off at the start of the season when we finished fourth, defend at all costs and try and score one or two at the other end,

Whatmore of Sunderland, rated very highly, has had a bad injury and is currently on the injured list.

Liked your article Christine (86), open, honest and to the point, as usual, I voted for Sam to be given the job as I was almost sure Sammie Lee would come with him, a very good coach, big Sam has his critics, about ten to every one who likes him, but he was the only one who I thought could guarantee us staying in the premier league, he started off better than most expected, he has stalled with not going in a more attacking sense in the last two games, we could have got more than one point out of those two games but let's see how we shape up after the transfer window is shut, better I hope, although we are still not out of trouble and by the end of January a lot of will be looking at the bottom of the league table than the top half, but I am now more confident we will stay up because we were in desperate trouble, no doubt about that, the last two games have shown how poor the squad is.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

95 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:45:08
I see the 'R' word has been raised again following 2 very poor away results over Christmas.

Can we put all thoughts of relegation aside? It ain't gonna happen.

The '40 points to be safe' mantra is a myth.

In the 22 seasons since the PL switched to a 20 team, 38 game format, the average final points tally for the teams finishing in the bottom 3 are as follows:

18th - 35
19th - 32
20th - 25

In all that time - 66 examples, if you will - only 3 teams have been relegated with 40+ points, Sunderland in 96-97 and Bolton in 97-98, both with 40 points, then WHU with an all-time high for relegated clubs in that 22 year time span, with 42.

Ergo, there are currently 11 clubs below us in the league. It would take a spectacular collapse of form by Everton to fail to earn a further 9 points in the remaining 17 games to take us above the 35 point medium of 18th placed clubs relegated over the past 22 seasons, AND a serious upswing in fortunes of at least 9 of the 11 clubs below us.

To still fear relegation from the position we are now in is not even a glass half empty mentality. It smacks of not having a glass at all and no breweries to produce the golden nectar to pour into said missing glass.

Paul Tran
96 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:56:07
Cheers Dave, I wondered what happened with Whatmore, who looked a very promising player to me.
Henrik Lyngsie
97 Posted 01/01/2018 at 13:57:55
Dave. Must have been Otto Rehhagel
Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 01/01/2018 at 14:03:27
You are welcome Paul(96) and thanks Henrik (97).
Ray Robinson
99 Posted 01/01/2018 at 14:32:55
Jay #95 but I'd hate to have "enough" points to stay up on the last day but still have to rely on a series of results going our way. Best to avoid that last day agony altogether even if it turns out you had enough points anyway.

Best get to 40 points as early as possible, relax a little and then judge Allardyce on how he sets the team up. Best to judge the leopard when he has no further excuse not to change his spots

Mike Dixon
100 Posted 01/01/2018 at 14:33:01
Sam has been dealt 4 cards, the clubs above us have 6, 7 and 8 each and we are playing 5 card poker. He is doing a good job given the shambles he inherited.

Everyone wanted to give Koeman time, until he had a summer window. Now he is vilified. Why doesn't Allardyce get the same treatment?

Prejudice before he came, sadly. Blind prejudice. Judge him next Christmas or you are not comparing eggs with eggs.

Sam Hoare
101 Posted 01/01/2018 at 14:36:25
Jay@95, interesting.

At no point this season did I think we would get relegated and that why I was disappointed with the appointment of Allardyce which seemed a desperate short -term measure taken to prevent something I never thought we were in danger of.

But he's here now and has done pretty well in terms of results so far, though we've had a few dollops of luck along the way.

I'm resigned to the Colin Glasar prediction that Sam will stay the season, lead us to 7th-10th playing mediocre football and that will be his job done. If he can get these players doing better and passing the football around a bit then maybe he will have earned the right to stay beyond the Summer but there's been little sign of it so far.

Ray Robinson
102 Posted 01/01/2018 at 14:37:01
As Dave said earlier, Whatmore had a serious leg injury and then suffered an immediate relapse on his return.
Danny O'Neill
103 Posted 01/01/2018 at 15:36:13
Sam Hoare; you say it pretty much how I see it.

Christine,

Best wishes to you too. A very balanced and entitled view. We have a divisive figure who will naturally attract divided opinion. I think we are all going to have to live with that more so than previous managers.

I personally put Allardyce in a category alongside all of the similar (not identical) breed of British managers of their generation. Allardyce, Moyes, Pullis, Hughes, Pardew etc. They all set up not to lose and hope they can some how pull off the odd decent result. Deliberately play down expectation and play the plucky card; this allows mediocracy to be claimed as success.

I have to disagree with your view that you would like to see him "show exactly what he can do with a team with ambition, money and not in relegation trouble".

Clearly the Evertonian in me would like to see him succeed but the football purist in me cannot as it is rewarding an awful approach to the game I love.

Also, reverting back to my analysis of this breed of British manager; didn't David Moyes get handed the Champions of England and one of the biggest & richest (if not the biggest & richest) clubs on the planet. What did he do? Took Steve Round inclusive of head set with him, tried to buy Leighton Baines and then bought Fellaini at 23:59pm on deadline day for £4m more than he could have had him for after much dithering.

He basically tried to do what he'd done at Everton for 11 years when presented with one of the biggest platforms he could have wished for. The history books show how that went.

Allardyce will be Allardyce, regardless of the club or players at his disposal.

In my opinion obviously. If I am proven wrong, I will eat the humblest of pies!!

James Hughes
104 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:03:41
Now doing what has become the norm over the past few seasons. Looking forward to the game whilst dreading what may come at the same time. I keep saying I am not to watch but still do. I feel like an addict in denial, just one more, I promise I will stop tomorrow!

I hope Sam sorts this sack of shit he calls football out very soon... Look on the bright side: we could still win the FA Cup.

Tom Bowers
105 Posted 01/01/2018 at 16:12:15
I know what you mean James # 104.

It has come down to this with me also.

Never having confidence we can win any game let alone against Manure at Goodison.

The form of the team has been very depressing and no matter what the manager or any manager seems to do to change the players up they always seem to come out without any real intensity or belief they can win or even hold on to something late on.

Still, we live in hope something bright will happen that will spark our excitement again.

James Stewart
106 Posted 01/01/2018 at 20:19:23
A well written piece, which perfectly articulates the mood of most blues I know.

I did not want Sam Allardyce anywhere near my beloved Everton and the sooner the season is over and he is removed the better as far as I am concerned.

We are the worst side to watch in the league by some margin and the current tactics are a disgrace. David (6) flagged it up, the 3 DM's at Bournemouth was the end for me. Embarrassing to be going to a bottom 3 side set up like a non league team in a cup tie, and after the money we have spent Disgusting.

The whole club just feels UnEverton to me.

Ash Moore
107 Posted 01/01/2018 at 22:28:17
Alan Burnham (#2), and others with similar musings, I agree with you. Modern football just saddens me, it's so so much shitter somehow than it ought to be. What other industry would exponentially spend more and more on arguably and demonstrably an inferior product?

I even used to believe that "Evertonians are born bla bla" bit until coming here made me realise that, if anything, the Blues percentage of wanker fans per capita is probably above the average. Some of the posters here are quite frankly unreadable, whilst at the same time being omnipresent. I do still encounter the odd gem here, but buried in threads of the same old dross by the same old names.

The average age here scares me a lot as well. There'd be model railway clubs with a younger demographic than here, I'd venture. I'm willing to bet I'm well below the site's median and mean age, at a paltry 36. Part of the reason a lot of the posters here come across as curmudgeonly, crabby whining arl arses is because a large percentage of the posters here are exactly that. Curmudgeonly crabby whining arl arses.

But anyway it is what it is. Isn't it. Happy New Year, maybe this is the window we get Riquelme?


Stan Schofield
108 Posted 02/01/2018 at 12:21:32
Ash, if modern football saddened me, I suspect I wouldn't watch it at all. Why waste time being saddened, when there are so many other things to do?

I've been on ToffeeWeb for about 2 years, and once or twice I've nearly decided not to bother, because some of the posts are a bit depressing. But then I adjusted my reading to skim over depressing or overly-repetitive posts, as best I could, which works OK. That said, I can be a bit repetitive myself at times, which I think just reflects that you think you have something worthwhile to say.

The age demographic does appear quite high, but there are other sites where it's lower. I'm 63, and could bore you to tears with recollections of the Alex Young and Alan Ball years. But that's just relating great experiences, which we all want as Evertonians.

In my experience, there are plenty of curmudgeonly crabby arses of all ages, Evertonians included. The older ones I know were pretty much like that when they were younger, they just get more confident in their curmudgeonliness as they get older.

Happy New Year.

Dale Rose
109 Posted 03/01/2018 at 12:48:41
It is a sorry state of affairs at the present. Its a bit like a perfect storm, all the conditions at the end of last season were good for a campaign this season.

However, the failure to replace Lukaku, the Barkley affair, the injuries to Bolasie and Coleman and the selling of Barry have effectively robbed us of a team that could have done some serious damage to the top five or six teams in the Premier League. The management issues, lack of a quality striker and buying players that no one else wanted for inflated prices have brought about this situation.

There is no doubt that we needed Big Sam, we were well and truly in the cart. He has got us moving in the right direction but is very limited with what he has.

The youth in the team have done very well, and there is no doubt they are the building blocks of the future for what could be a seriously challenging for honours team. I'm not down-hearted about the future, I think it looks very bright, we have quality in the wings.

There is no doubt that football is eating itself at the present. I don't see how things can be sustained at this level. The gulf in the Premier League is now like the Grand Canyon, wide and, rocky for the clubs that can't keep up. We will not be a top five team for a few years. The green shoots are there, and need to be nurtured. I'm just glad the club had the presence of mind to concentrate on the youngsters, and would like to think it has been a strategy for the future.

There is much talk of tactics on here at the moment, but we don't have the players to play the forward pressing game. We do have a very defensive outfit, which at the present will have to do the job. It's not pretty but it's an investment in our future we have to pay to stay in the Premier League. It's back to basics for the club, one tactic I would like to see improved on is basic passing and ball control, I have lost count over the last few games the amount of times we gave the ball away, and also failed to control it, this is basic stuff. It's time for heads down and show some character.

On a final note, I think both Sam's are very committed to the club. This is very important, and bodes well for the future.

This was a well written piece, with a lot of food for thought.

Get dug in, COYB.

Andy Crooks
110 Posted 04/01/2018 at 12:45:28
Jay, 95, I found your post reassuring. However, I am a fretful 40 points sort of guy who analyses every bleak scenario. So, let us get 40 points.

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