Allardyce – Not Mentally Up To It

Ian Burns 21/01/2018 125comments  |  Jump to last

First of all, I want to hold up my hand and say I have never liked Sam Allardyce as a football coach or manager (I don’t know him as a person) and that opinion has been endorsed beyond measure since he has been at my football club which I have followed for 60 years.

You might wish to call me an anorak because, for good or bad, I read just about every post on every thread in response to every article which appears on ToffeeWeb. I comment occasionally but often find myself with little to add to arguments or points already raised or expressed.

I am familiar with many regular posters and sometimes feel I know them personally but of course they are just fellow supporters who show up and express their frustrations, comments or, on occasion, their plaudits on the site.


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These days, not being able to attend at Goodison Park, I watch the game and simultaneously follow the Live Forum, which is particularly entertaining when in fact nothing is happening of interest during the actual game.

The point of this article is in response to the two threads this weekend. One with regards to Allardyce blaming the players' mentality for yet another miserable performance on Saturday against West Brom. The other was the blame Watford put at Everton’s doorstep for the sacking of Marco Silva and the different opinions on ToffeeWeb with regards to the latter... but a large majority of the same opinion with regards to the former.

Allardyce blames his players and Watford blame Everton. Maybe they are both right or maybe they are just using these issues to deflect their own shortcomings.

Allardyce sat in the stands and watched a much improved Everton performance in the 4-0 win over West Ham Utd back in November. We all thought it was his presence in the stands which enthused the players to that performance and we were glad we didn’t take Moyes back into the fold. West Ham may this season finish above us in the Premier League and who would have thought it on that crazy night at Goodison Park?

The new manager had a good starting point, the confidence appeared to be back on track and we were all (well many of us) thinking that, during the next few games, his defensive organisation was beginning to pay off. I was even thinking I might have been wrong and maybe he was the right appointment at the right time.

However, instead of building on that confident start and giving the players belief that they had turned the corner, he has had quite the opposite effect and my dislike of him as a football coach or manager is as strong as any number of the comments displayed on the threads this past weekend after the West Brom debacle.

He showed his lack of courage when he swapped Tosun for Niasse instead of a defensive midfielder. I mention this because the crowed booed showing that the Everton supporters know more than this dinosaur of a manager as to what the team needs and what the fans wish to see.

His tactics are saying to the players, let's defend because you are no good up top, so just hoof the ball up there as much as you can but retain your defensive shape. How is that going to give the players confidence? How is that going to improve their mental strength Mr Allardyce?

Southampton, third from bottom despite them giving us a football lesson not that long ago in a 4-1 slaughter, showed on Sunday (21st) what just a little bit of courage and the confidence of a manager to show his players how to set up; how to fight and yes – also how to play – against a top six side. They had shots on goal and even some of them were on target. How did that happen, Allardyce? – did you watch the game?

Pellegrino despite his team’s position in the league sent them out to win, to fight for every cause and when they had the opportunity they attacked and the truth was they were damned unfortunate not to win the game.

They are third from bottom and only six points behind us – scary thought but I have absolutely no doubt we will play two defensive midfielders; players out of position; told to concentrate on defence and we will go into the rest of the season without a single left footed player even getting a sniff of the bench.

None of this is Allardyce’s fault – it is the players’ fault because mentally they don’t have the courage to pass the ball to each other. Allardyce – that is as much YOUR fault and your expensive coaching set up as it is the players’ fault because they don’t have any confidence in your outdated coaching methods.

There are any number of posters on ToffeeWeb who could – and often do – post far better analysis of how we should play and the fault-lines in Allardyce’s set up; player choice; square pegs in round holes.

They know which players are not up to scratch and shouldn’t be anywhere near first names on the team sheet. They know we need a left back; they know we need a leader in midfield and a midfielder with guile. They also know we need a settled back four with a left footed decent left back.

May I suggest Mr Allardyce that you read TW because you will get some excellent coaching tips from many of the contributors/posters which will help your education no end. You don’t have to admit you have read the site – just make the changes because the supporters who booed the substitution of Niasse for Tosun surely gave you the very clear message that Everton supporters know their onions.

Take note, we know our stuff and, instead of your self serving television interviews, that you start looking at yourself and your coaching staff, decide you are not mentally up to it, modern football has passed you by and then bozz off. As for Watford, get real; you are just using Everton FC as an excuse for your own failings in the way that Allardyce uses a lack of mental strength in his players to cover for his own failings.

Do we want Marco Silva to replace Allardyce? Right now I would take Mrs Silva or even David Moyes, such is my dismay. I think I am sinking into a deep depression!

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Reader Comments (125)

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Guy Hastings
1 Posted 22/01/2018 at 06:47:50
Even Fat Sam has now conceded he can't play Gylfi and Wayne in the same midfield and that we lack 'legs'.

Say what you like about him, and I certainly do, but at least he's getting a grounding in the art of the bleedin' obvious. It begs the questions of how much was Wayne Kenwright's treat (tho thank God he arrived or we'd be down among the dead men by now) and how much Koeman's pig-headed determination to land Siggy disrupted other recruitment.

And returning to my favourite topic, what the fuck was Steve Walsh going all this time?

Peter Warren
2 Posted 22/01/2018 at 08:00:06
Can’t blame Koeman for no left back. He harped on for ages and he’s left and guess what still no left back.
Steavey Buckley
3 Posted 22/01/2018 at 08:26:48
On paper, Southampton have a better squad of players. Yet, are 6 points behind Everton in the league and have to play Everton at home. A clear case of the Southampton manager not getting the best out of his team.
Tony Everan
4 Posted 22/01/2018 at 09:24:25
We have been stinking the place out for a month. Some of the worst football being played that I can remember. The ironic cheers for a shot on target after 5 hours is an appalling indictment.

If the next match ends Everton 0-5 Leicester, will Allardyce be sacked? I doubt it.

We will rumble on playing third-rate hoofball football . Concentrating on damage limitation until the season's end. When we are mathematically safe he will then be given the proverbial size 11.

There is no way on god's earth that Allardyce will be given another season. The results and quality of football over the next 12 weeks will make sure of that.

Andy Meighan
5 Posted 22/01/2018 at 09:33:51
Southampton have played us at home, Steavey. They trounced us and haven't won since. We have to play them at Goodison Park.
Mike Price
6 Posted 22/01/2018 at 09:41:14
Our manager's demeanour indicates he knows he's not popular with supporters and that he doesn't give a toss. He's displaying contempt of anything and is in a no-lose situation; he's getting or walking away with a fortune and can blame Koeman for everything anyway.
Stan Schofield
7 Posted 22/01/2018 at 10:29:13
Ian, I agree with you 100%. My initial impressions of Allardyce were positive, and I was happy to give him a chance and base any judgements on evidence of performance on the pitch. But based on the evidence on the pitch, I'm no longer positive.

Added to that are his recent statements apportioning blame on everything but himself. This is precisely what Koeman did, and to me is utterly unacceptable in any manager (indeed, in any manager in any industry). It is the opposite of leading by example through demonstrating responsibility and accountability, which is especially important when you receive millions of £ per year and are speaking publically to fans who pay hard earned money to watch the game.

Watford is just another example of blaming others for their own failings. It just makes them look a bit stupid. Maybe they should actually look at their own business model, recognise its shortcomings where appropriate, and improve it where necessary. In other words, make a constructive response instead of a defensive one. Just like Allardyce.

Charles Barrow
8 Posted 22/01/2018 at 10:42:13
When Allardyce was appointed, I was gobsmacked. It seemed like Moshiri had panicked and went back to a so-called 'safe' option. I think everyone except Moshiri (who strikes me as being a bit of a buffoon) thought this was a short sighted and dangerous decision.

But, as the newly appointed Everton manager I hoped he'd turn into a world beater (or at least a manager that motivated the team and played the best players in their best position).

Unfortunately it looks like even that modest hope has been extinguished. To sack him will cost £10 million – but considering we waste millions anyway it might be the best option. Silva is available!?

Danny Baily
9 Posted 22/01/2018 at 10:56:06
Silva got Hull relegated and has been sacked by Watford after less than a season. I can't see the attraction.

However, if we look as though we're in real danger of missing the 40 point mark (which were not far from doing) I'd try anything, including a change of manager, regardless of how long he's been here.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 22/01/2018 at 11:22:22
Allardyce was only ever brought in as a troubleshooter, a stabiliser because Moshiri shit himself seeing the position we were in and Big Sam called the tune to an 18-month lavish contract just to “keep up” a squad costing over £200 million.

It's all about staying up this season now; 40 points is probably not going to be reached until April because our win ratio has been pretty appalling all season. We can't win away from home and the Goodison record has been patchy to put it mild.

Allardyce should be expected to bore out three more wins and a smattering if draws to reach an eventual total of 40 to 42 points but Everton need to look at where they go from there in May then.

I don't think Allardyce has ever really proved that he can take a club much further; comparing what he did with Bolton is not real example because football was a different game 14 years ago.

David Moyes had Everton finishing 4th with bargain basement buys and our rivals for the top 6 were clubs like Middlesbrough, Bolton and Blackburn.

The game has changed now; gone are the days when you can just get the top 5 or 6 playing with martial arts experts like Wimbledon had.

You need to have a coaching system that understands how the fitness side of things works, you need to be tactically astute, good at in game management skills and train your players with a ball at their feet.

Even when Leicester won the league, they were arguably the fittest team I have seen in the last 25 years. The endurance levels of that team was exceptional.

You look at Everton now and you feel like you are watching a kids team. None of them can do the basics right of passing to a teammate and moving. Jesus, we can't even maintain possession from a throw-in.

Alan McMillan
11 Posted 22/01/2018 at 11:30:05
Whatever happened to the sports psychologist we were to get in to help the snowflake players become mentally stronger??
Jay Wood

12 Posted 22/01/2018 at 11:36:00
Sorry Ian, but for the most part, this is a nonsensical post.

The squad is full of mentally fragile players. As you yourself point out, Sam Allardyce started his reign with a 7-game unbeaten run – the best start, apparently, by any manager in the history of the club.

Like the manager himself (who expressed he couldn't understand why Everton was so poor defensively before he arrived), many supporters believed he had immediately addressed the most pressing issue for the team: make us more solid defensively.

Having ticked that box, coming into the January window he again said publicly the team now needed to improve its offensive play, both in terms of possession and chance creation. Two weeks into the window he recruited Tosun and Walcott which indisputably reinforce us in that area.

What he has shockingly discovered in the capitulation to Spurs and the tepid fear-filled performance against WBA is just how little bottle this team has.

In the summer I thought initially we were making some really good and necessary signings, not least because each and every one of them seemed to have some 'nark' about them, a real hatred of losing anything – a characteristic sadly lacking in many an Everton player in recent years.

And yet...there is a contradiction here. What is it? Incredible as it may seem, but only Arsenal has earnt more points than Everton this season in coming from behind in losing positions to win or draw. So there is some fight and resilience in there somewhere, but for the most part it is well-hidden.

As for your calling Sam out for 'his lack of courage when he swapped Tosun for Niasse instead of a defensive midfielder', a couple of things:

1) Rooney had already been swapped in for the unfortunate McCarthy 10 minutes earlier. Subbing in Niasse for Tosun was a perfectly legitimate like-for-like substitution given the line-up on the field, the game situation and that it was Sam's final sub of the game, with Bolasie already replacing Vlasic at half-time. NOTE: all three positive attacking substitutions.

2) Niasse scored within a minute of coming on with a well-crafted goal involving all 3 subs and Walcott, so that worked out well, didn't it?

As for quoting Southampton as a stick to beat Sam with, you get a couple of things right: they are third from bottom and they gave us a football lesson in the 4-1 slaughter.

There is a reason Southampton are 3rd from bottom: they were above us before Allardyce arrived. They have not won a single Premier League game in eleven since twatting us. And you want to hold their manager and their team up as an example of what Sam should be striving to achieve...? Bizarre.

As for your final suggestion that Sam Allardyce read TW for 'some excellent coaching help [his] education'.


If he did that he would only read example after example of contradictory 'advice' and 'discover' how every last one of his players is not worthy to wear the shirt.

So, sorry, Ian. A big thumbs down from me for your post.

James Ebden
13 Posted 22/01/2018 at 12:14:53
Can't understand the shouts for Silva. He got a team relegated (after being in a position of safety and then capitulating horribly in the last few games).

He started well at Watford, but appears to have "downed tools" after having his head turned. That to me is not the sort of character we want anywhere near our club. We have enough work shy mercenaries as it is, without the manager being one of them.

Coutinho didn't down tools, he got back on the pitch and started playing his best football again, as did Van Dijk. For the money these people are paid, you should expect professionalism and 100% commitment.

Anthony Hawkins
14 Posted 22/01/2018 at 12:41:49
I have to agree with Jay (#10) – swapping a striker for a striker is positive attacking play – unless Ian meant Sam should have swapped a defensive midfielder for Niasse?
Trevor Peers
15 Posted 22/01/2018 at 13:28:14
So if Allardyce isn't up to it, Koeman wasn't up to it, Martinez and Moyes weren't up to it who in gods name is? We've become an average club, so realistically we should have average expectations, some of us have accepted this; others have not.

Given the amount of money we spend which is only moderate we will never reach the expectations demanded by some on here. Free-flowing football with superb tactics from a dynamic young manager – dream on, never in a million years. That type of manager just wouldn't be interested in coming to Everton, in it's present financial state.

No doubt Allardyce will be gone in the summer, but that won't mean the problems will end. Money, huge amounts of money, is the only route to real success.

Gerard McKean
16 Posted 22/01/2018 at 13:37:07
Whichever way you look at it, it's another fine mess the self-styled Executive Team at EFC has got us into. But naturally they are not to blame. The notion of corporate responsibility struggles to take root in a culture of individual empire building.

So some blame Kenwright, some blame Moshiri, others think Walsh is culpable, or Koeman and so on, but nobody within the club was brave enough to ask any of the above mentioned the tough questions begging to be asked last Summer.

Watford have only themselves to blame for their current predicament. £10 m was a ridiculously good offer for the services of a manager unproven at the highest level, and once he had made clear his own preference it was inevitable that the relationship between manager and players would suffer.

It is correct to claim that highly paid people should always act professionally, but they don't. Some players react to managers who don't want to be their manager or who are living on borrowed time by playing their own little percentage game.

Which brings me onto Allardyce. What exactly is the point of a lucrative short term contract with this man? I can see the logic of a holding manager who has the respect of players, personal integrity and experience of managing club whose fans demand more than setting up not to lose, or even to have shots at goal.

And yes, there were one or two available and for the kind of money being thrown at Allardyce they probably would have come to see the season out safely and maybe even have helped to identify their long-term successor.

So really the only person not to blame for anything is Allardyce. Why would you not take money for old rope? If the players don't perform it's their fault, if he prioritises another wide player to add to the collection rather than a left back it's Koeman's fault.

The guy can't lose. And just like he did to Newcastle fans when he was sacked there, he'll chew his gum, smirk contentedly, and thank us for the payoff to fund another palatial villa in the sun.


John Raftery
18 Posted 22/01/2018 at 14:32:00
The idea that any manager could deliver consistent attacking performances from this squad is ridiculous. If Pep Guardiola arrived tomorrow he would not be able to do any better with this mish-mash of poor quality, one paced trudgers.

A piece of play five minutes from the end of the Spurs match last week symptomised our problems. Sissoko skipped past Schneiderlin and sent a pass to his right which was intercepted by Martina. Martina played a forward ball to Sigurdsson who played it back to Gana, who played it back to Schneiderlin, who played it back to Jags who played it back to Holgate. That was four successive back-passes. By now the ball was deep in our penalty area leaving Holgate with no viable alternative other than to hoof it up the field. We lack anyone in midfield capable of moving the play forward. That is not Sam's fault. These players are not simply good enough. The fault lies with Koeman for creating this mess last year.

I don't understand the argument about Sam showing a lack of courage in the swap of Tosun for Niasse. We were 1-0 down and with Tosun looking spent we needed some extra energy up front. With Rooney in midfield we already had five attack minded players on the field and only the admittedly hopeless Schneiderlin to shield our back line. A minority of the crowd did boo the withdrawal of Tosun. Those booing looked daft 56 seconds later when Niasse scored the equaliser.

After that it was all we could do to hold on to the point as Albion waltzed around our players. The suggestion we should have gone to two strikers, one of them knackered, would have left us even more exposed.

Depending on the starting point it takes time to build a decent squad. Sam and his staff start from a very low base. Walcott brings pace and quality but until we can recruit some mobility and creativity in midfield we will struggle to compete with average teams. Fortunately there are enough below average teams for us not to worry yet about relegation.

Peter Murray
19 Posted 22/01/2018 at 14:48:16
Surely by now most, and definitely after Saturday, supporters must realise that our gang of over paid fairies, wearing Blue are just character less, leaderless"fairies", when it comes down to actually performing – especially after our Spurs debacle!!!

Surely by continually blaming Sam, our manager you are totally missing the point & not completely pointing the finger at the players responsible, who we are asking to play with some pride??

Without showing my age – I was just hoping to actually demonstrate to my grandson, that supporters always get behind their team, but this lot are making it so difficult, if not impossible.

Can anybody see this group of players winning anything in the next 10 years – because, having supported them for nearly 60+ years, I've never felt so deflated – but I'll still be there for Leicester – praying!!!

COYB – Always.

Raymond Fox
20 Posted 22/01/2018 at 14:59:15
Jay @ 12 says it better than I can. Who has got a tune out of our players?

Its always easier to criticise/blame the manager when things are not quite going to plan.

Our defenders rode their luck when Sam first arrived, now they are showing that most of them are not good enough.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 22/01/2018 at 15:02:32
Anthony @14, that's exactly what Ian was saying, and it's why most of the crowd booed. Getting beat at home to 2nd from bottom West Brom, and he stayed with one up front? We scored great, but once we equalized, the baggies, became more dangerous, constantly cutting through the middle of our team like a knife through butter, and Rondon, was leading Williams, a very merry dance.

Put two upfront and still keep six players back, if you have to, but as I've said Schneiderlin, is agitating the crowd, and since Martinez, came to Everton, getting bodies into the oppositions box, has really became a thing of the past for Everton.

Jay Harris
22 Posted 22/01/2018 at 15:17:46
Totally agree with Jay Wood.

With the exception of Schneiderlin most of us were happy with the team selection before kick-off but Sam is rapidly finding out there is no bottle or desire in this squad.

We need a Manny Fernandes or a Mikel Arteta and a Peter Reid type in midfield which is the main area of concern for me.

Terry White
23 Posted 22/01/2018 at 15:31:15
John (#18), I agree with your comment that we lack anyone in midfield who can move the ball forward. Holgate has the ball, nobody is moving ahead of him so he passes it to Kenny who has nowhere to go so he passes it back to Holgate who passes it to Williams who passes it to Martina who passes it to Schneiderlin...etc...

We have no pace and acceleration in midfield to take on and beat opposition players so the ball gets passed sideways or to the full back. There is nobody who can play the through ball in midfield. Compare Eriksen, Silva, De Bruyne, Sanchez, Ali, Hazard. They all can sit in the space between midfield and the back line and one of their defenders/midfielders can thread the ball to them and they are immediately a danger. None of our midfield makes any forward runs, sitting so far back so there is the huge gap between forwards and midfield.

The comparison with Southampton's performance on Sunday is valid for that game. They gave it a go – first half the ball was crossed into the box and they had 4 players with a chance of getting it. We are lucky if we have one! Theo must have discovered very early what it is like to play for us when his inviting crosses first half across the goal found nobody there to turn the ball in. Welcome to Goodison Park, Theo.

Jerome Shields
25 Posted 22/01/2018 at 15:51:25
Good article, Ian. You are right, it is blatantly obvious what's wrong and who is below par. I shy away from blaming players but feel in Jagielka's case he has been a root cause of inconsistency in defence since Moyes times.

But Allardyce really is a dinosaur and his management exasperates the weaknesses rather than build on strengths. I think he realises he is over his head (can't change) and has decided to tough it out as long as he can. He feels the heat of the Everton fans, hence the U-turn on Niasse, and has managed to off load Lennon (a loss) to keep the financial plan he promised Moshiri in line.

Remember, Moshiri authorised and bought into the Koeman purchases so he can't touch them. So we now have a Manager who is going to be all things to all men to save his bacon, and work the team accordingly.

How Silva was considered by the board for the Manager's job is beyond me. All he did was stink the place out with help of Moshiri and makes Unsworth's job more difficult, probably costing him the Managers job.

Watford blaming Everton is just a dig. To their credit, they sacked Silva on poor performance, which is more than Everton will do regarding the poor performance of Allardyce.
Stan Schofield
26 Posted 22/01/2018 at 15:53:20
Jay@22: You say that most of us were happy with team selection apart from the selection of Schneiderlin. His position is vital, his lack of positive influence very significant, which is why folks didn't want him in the team. It follows that most of us were actually NOT happy with the team selection.

It's Allardyce who chose two defensive midfielders, one of whom, Schneiderlin, is currently in hopeless form. Allardyce is responsible and accountable for that.

Stephen Williams
27 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:03:06
We know that the players are deficient but its the manager's job to organise, train, coach and improve the players under his charge. Also he is solely responsible for tactics to get the best from them. Fat Sam has failed spectacularly – as he has everywhere he's been.

The same people who were happy with this fraudulent dinosaur's appointment 2 months ago (!) are now largely the same as those arguing that none of our issues are his responsibility!


With complete lack of ambition like this, there's little wonder the club never moves forward.

Get him and his phoney lieutenant out now!

Mark Murphy
31 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:10:58
Ah but were they booing the substitution?

Whenever Niasse comes on, a good section of the crowd start to chant "OOOuumarrr" ... which comes across as booing sometimes – similar to when Joe Root comes in for the cricket!

Clive Rogers
33 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:12:44
Everybody seems to agree that the main part of the problem lies in midfield. This is in spite of the fact that we have now spent £100M on midfield players, £129M if you include Walcott and Vlasic as midfield players. Plus Rooney on a top wage.

This points the finger at the club's director of football fairly and squarely. Walsh's days at EFC surely must be numbered, especially if Tosun doesn't deliver the goods, which looks probable after Saturday.

Rick Tarleton
34 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:24:53
This lack of forward movement was why Barkley so often looked lost. He'd pick up the ball, move forward and no-one moved to create a run or even better a dummy run by running the channels. Lukaku was an excellent finisher if you gave him the pass, but at Everton he never considered running the channels and creating space for anyone else. We no longer have an excellent finisher or a midfielder of Barkley's ability, so we have problems.

Sigurdsson has talent with the ball, but he isn't going to win the ball, cover or tackle and Schneiderlin is a shadow of the player that once ran Southampton's midfield. Gueye is willing but limited and Davies seems to have lost all confidence. Rooney is at best a one season left solution to anything and I don't think he is even that.

Again, the midfield doesn't exist and that is a huge problem as it leaves the ageing defence exposed and they have no confidence. Martina is no-one's idea of a Premier League right back, and as a left back, he wouldn't get into a Conference (or whatever it's currently called) team.

Williams and Jagielka are past it, Holgate is willing but limited and Keane looks as though he wished he'd stayed at Burnley where he and Ben Mee were so effective together.

I hope Tosun and Walcott make a difference up front, but the service they get will be so limited, they'll be feeding on scraps.

Stan Schofield
35 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:27:30
Clive, we do actually have the players who can take the ball from midfield to attack with pace and skill, especially if you count Walcott and Vlasic. I'm not clear why two defensive mids were selected over more attacking options.

I'm no manager or tactician, but I'm wondering why, given our appalling lack of attacking, we couldn't put an attacking player in midfield instead of Schneiderlin, and put Lookman on the wing.

Maybe there's a simple answer, but it escapes me.

John Daley
36 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:35:38
"What he has shockingly discovered in the capitulation to Spurs and the tepid fear-filled performance against WBA is just how little bottle this team has."

Perhaps the players under his charge have cottoned on to the exact same thing about him as well, Jay?

Not like Allardyce has any right to be aghast at his team putting in 'fear-filled' performances after the cowardly manner in which he himself decided to approach the derby game, or considered it necessary to field three defensive mids against the attacking might of Bournemouth, or sought to do no more than try and completely close up shop in the second-half after conceding against United, or seemingly selected subs on the sole basis of keeping the score down against Spurs, or came out and told the press that his lads are almost certainly fucked if they fail to limit the opposition to a single goal per game.

If the man seriously wants his team to show more 'bottle', less fear and greater attacking intent, then maybe he best start leading by example.

Paul Tran
37 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:44:13
Stan, we keep selecting 'two defensive midfielders' because the back four need protecting and we only have part-midfielders. Gana can tackle but not pass, Schneiderlin has forgotten how to do anything, Rooney plays one good pass out of ten (which usually creates something!) and scores goals, Siggy works his socks off and needs a run in his right position, Klaassen needs a run in the team or selling, Lookman should be playing but needs covering.

We need a strong midfielder with presence. Moyes and Martinez wouldn't buy one. Koeman almost bought one. Allardyce needs to buy one pronto. At the moment our midfield is hollow. It needs stiffening.

Stan Schofield
38 Posted 22/01/2018 at 16:50:59
Paul, I appreciate all that, but, for example, I thought Vlasic could operate in midfield, he did it before coming to Everton. I understand the defence needs protection, but maybe if we're on the front foot a bit more, they'd be under less pressure.

I agree we need a strong midfielder with presence, but the manager's job includes being able to work with what he's got, and make best use of it. He's certainly not doing that, otherwise he wouldn't play Schneiderlin.

Mike Allen
39 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:02:47
Bottom line is the club has not made any progress since Moyes with Matinez, Koeman and Allardyce only able to alienate the fans and for Everton to play some of the worst, most passionless football seen for a long, long time, along with baffling selections and formations and transfers in and out.

If Allardyce had been in at the start of the season he would have been sacked by now. Moyes was best for the club at the time in and around the best of the second tier of the league will take us a long long time to get back even to that level.
Jay Harris
40 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:13:45
So all the guys that had the bonfires lit when Sam was appointed who would you have got as manager?

Tuchel, Ancelotti and Simeone all distanced themselves from the job for one reason or another and Silva was a bullet dodged IMO.

It is so easy to knock people especially if you have a distinct dislike of them but here's another idea why not get behind the man till the end of the season instead of hounding him out only to be replaced by someone inferior.

Koeman and Allardyce both identified the need for a LB and a Lukaku replacement.

Whoever's decision it was to bring Rooney back and not get cover for Bainesy should be thrown in the Mersey.

Sam has a job to do and he is better equipped to do it than everyone on here so give him a chance FFS.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:17:13
In a nutshell Paul Tran, in a fucking nutshell mate!

Stan, after McCarthy got injured, Allardyce said that you should never pass the ball to a player who,is marked, and this is something you learn in junior football. I don't know who he was blaming, but James McCarthy, could have went left once he had turned, but it looked like he didn't want to give it to Martina, and then had to turn again, maybe?

Good players will have the ball anywhere, regardless what the manager says, but this might give us a reason why Schneiderlin doesn't really want the ball! But then again he doesn't really want the ball that much anywhere, so sometimes he does indeed pass it to anyone, regardless if they have got a man on them or not. So why does he keep getting a shirt?

Steve Walsh said last week at the AGM, that both him and the manager have to agree on a player, so he's blew himself right up there IMO. I don't know if he was trying to be clever, in letting everyone know how important his role at the club was, but if he was telling the truth, he's one very lucky man indeed!

Jason Wilkinson
42 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:29:00
I can't agree that Sam is not up to the job he was appointed to do. I'm sure he was given the job on the basis those who voted wanted someone with the best chance of avoiding relegation.

Was this the correct approach? I believe 100% no. We either (as a board of directors/decision makers) believed we had fucked up massively in the transfer window or, God forbid,the only ambition is to survive in the Premier League.

I have seen enough of Sam's approach to football to know it's not for us. We have been used to an identity, a way of playing the game, that primarily has been that we set up at home to beat anyone and everyone. David Moyes has been pilloried on this site as not being good enough. We were never this bad at Goodison Park. Admittedly our away form has been very poor for years now.

I 100% believe that the manager is there to deliver a style, confidence, a positive attitude and emotion to the players' performance. Players must respect, feel inspired and fear (slightly) the manager of the 1st team. Moyes got this from his players. Martinez and Koeman started this way but lost it. Sam Allardyce has not got any of it.

The big question is: Who comes in for next season that can command respect, inspire the group, and put the fear of failure into a squad totally devoid of winning mentality?

Sam Allardyce must be relieved of his duties along with all the failing underlings, as soon as it is mathematically impossible to go down, or at the end of the season.

Hopefully it's not the latter!!!

John Pierce
43 Posted 22/01/2018 at 17:54:12
It really is a big leap to think we will get relegated? Many wobbling at the thought we have a pitiful 6pt advantage on 18th.

Why?!! wake up!!!

You are asking 11 sides already below us, okay 8 sides realistically, many with at least 3/4 games v the top six left to make up 6, 7pts for goal difference, in 14 games?

We have to play 8 games against that lower half too. The probability of that happening is minuscule. Very few sides with our current points total at this stage have ever been relegated.

You would hope the finer analysis has been crunched by Sam’s gargantuan back room squad? Because the fear riddled noises coming from the man himself are just meant to scare the bejesus out of those more prone to hype.

Sam is just setting himself up as a saviour by lowering expectations when actually we should sink no further based on our record.

Saint Sam for finishing 16th I here you cry.

So why put it out there Sam? Is it so we bathe you in wreaths at our narrow escape? Or is it perhaps you haven’t a clue how to be positive, set a team up to attack and defend as one unit, or handle being a club to whom relegation happens to every one else?

The mere fact you talk about relegation at Everton when it is really you should be looking at catching the two teams above you says it all. Lowering expectations each day because you cannot match those expected at a club like ours.

Utterly moribund.

Lawrence Green
44 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:10:14
Everton will finish where they deserve to finish – the league table doesn't lie; however, our current position is not a safe one as the gap between the bottom three and Everton shows. In most other campaigns, we would have been looking up towards Leicester and Burnley with the belief that we could catch both.

If Sam had've been more adventurous at Bournemouth and West Brom, we might indeed have been doing that, but because he played defensively in both of those matches, we find ourselves once again looking over our shoulders. The next few fixtures are not easy... mind you, which fixtures are for this current Everton squad?

Leicester and Arsenal are more than capable of tearing apart our woeful defence; then it's Palace at home followed by trips to Watford and Burnley. If we fail to pick up a few points from those five games, we will be right back in the smelly stuff, with all of our cards played and a team that can't seem to perform under any sort of pressure, likely to wilt under the pressure of truly must-win fixtures.

I'm hoping beyond hope that we can win a couple of the next five games to help alleviate some of the relegation concerns, but this is Everton and, if there is a difficult way to do things, they will find it.

All of the bottom ten clubs have to face each other on many occasions in the 'run-in' and I wouldn't put my house on Everton avoiding the struggle at the bottom in the latter stages of the season – fingers crossed we are safe sooner rather than later.

Kunal Desai
45 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:13:39
I don't want Allardyce, Silva or Moyes. I want Usmanov to come to the club and take over from the shit at the top that offer no value. Get rid of the freeloaders. Only then will we get an exciting and quality manager who will take us places.
Jason Wilkinson
46 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:18:22
John (#43).

Sam saying "I told you I would keep you up" is exactly what I fear. The board should feel totally embarrassed at their appointment.

No manager of EFC should ever get the job on the basis of survival in the top flight. We demand that any manager of our club starts every season with thoughts of winning the domestic treble.

Ludicrous? No! Other teams might have better squads, more money and a more recent pedigree. This is Everton FC. One of the biggest clubs in the British Isles.

Keith Harrison
47 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:37:41
I agree with Ian for the most part. I didn't, don't, and never will want Allardyce here. That doesn't mean I'll hound the guy with pitchfork and flagon as long as he does this club I love a service.

John Daley at #36 is right in his summary for me. Leadership comes from the top.

Jay Harris, I was astonished when I saw the team for Saturday, and it appeared most of The Winslow was too. I also think Sean Dyche would have had this team playing proper footy, with a genuine left back.

Playing Bolasie in front of Lookman, and leaving the kids out of the squad altogether was criminal to me, much like letting Schneiderlin anywhere near Goodison Park. Moreover when Big Sam bemoans our lack of legs after the game.

Bolasie is one who's ability grew daily when he was injured, much like Funes Mori, who will also be hailed as a saviour by those who forget how crap he was before his injury. Bolasie was bang average before his injury, and he's below bang average and not match fit now.

There is no guarantee Seamus will be the player he was – and don't forget, he wasn't the greatest defender in the world.

Allardyce needs to absolutely get back to basics, and when I coached kids 25 years ago, the aim then was to score at least one more than the opposition. I also found, strangely enough, that the more shots you had, you were more likely to score. Spookily, this also meant the opposition were not shooting at your goal, and were less likely to score.

There you go, Sam, that's all the coaching advice you need.

Jay Wood

48 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:49:28
John @ 36.

Sorry fellah, but you seem to be throwing a few cliches around in relation to particular games.

I suggest you go back and look at the starting XI (and the finishing XIs also) of some the games you critique.

In the PL Derby match it was:

Pickford-Kenny-Holgate-Williams-Martina, Davies-Gana-Sigurdsson-Rooney, with 2 up top - Niasse and DCL. That is not an out-and-out defensive and fearful setup.

As the game panned out and as Allardyce himself commented, Everton was very poor in possession and distribution. As a result, it took an heroic defensive display by many (Jonjoe was selected as MoTM by the Beeb) to get a draw, even though the 'poo for all their dominance rarely created a genuine goal-scoring chance.

I was among those post-match who criticised the poverty of Everton's football, but revelled in the draw. The pre-match game plan with that starting XI was one thing. The in-game performance was another.

Against Bournemouth - yes - ostensibly it appeared an overly defensive starting XI. On the other hand, it came right in the thick of the manic Xmas and New Year fixtures and players both needed resting and rotating, as well as attempting to ease back returning long-term injured players like McCarthy and Bolasie.

At half-time in that game Rooney came on for McCarthy and shortly afterwards Niasse for the totally goosed DCL and Bolasie for Gana, so the team was going for it with a midfield and attack of Schneiderlin-Lennon-Sigurdsson-Rooney-Bolasie-Niasse. Again, that is not being meek, passive and fearful

We did gain the upper-hand in the 2nd half, equalised, missed chances of a 2nd and conceded a poor goal in the last 3 minutes to lose. But still, an unacceptable loss.

The United game, all very even-stevens in the 1st half. The team just never switched on at the start of the 2nd half. Even before Sam in his post-match analysis correctly called that no Everton player got near a United player for either of their goals, the 1st starting from the edge of United's penalty area, the 2nd from OUR throw-in, TWer's aplenty had seen and called the same thing. It wasn't the manager who instructed the players to close up shop. It was the players who stood off United, until the introduction of McCarthy whose tenacious tackling lifted the crowd and got the team going again, until shooting ourselves in the foot with Holgate's woeful throw-in late on.

Then there is the Spurs game. Again, the starting XI was not ultra-defensive or 'fearful'. Again, whilst not on equal parity with Spurs in the 1st half as we were against United, the early 2nd goal at the start of the 2nd half clearly had an immediate deflating effect on the team.

From then on until the final whistle they were absolutely pitiful. A totally 'unprofessional performance' as Allardyce again correctly called it.

Of course, many alighted on his comment on the need to make us more boring. They do so taking it out of context, as people still do to this day about Moyes perfectly legitimate comment he once made about 'taking a knife to a gun fight' in reference to playing City.

Moyes made that comment in the broader context about City's purchasing power compared to Everton. Allardyce made his comment after pre-facing it with the observation that - yes - Spurs are capable of scoring a lot of goals against any body, but we didn't even make them work hard for their goals.

As I say, I think your reading and interpretation of the games you referenced are cliched and simplistic.

Allardyce does not get a blank cheque from me. But nor do the players, either.

Jason Wilkinson
49 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:57:15
When it comes to coaching. Sam Allardyce leaves me speechless. We neither get defenders defending properly or attackers attacking.

The game's purpose is very simple. Score goals, don't concede them. Beyond that it starts to get a little more complicated. We have an immobile defence, therefore we probably need to play a little deeper. We have a limited aerial threat so we need to play more on the floor. We are supposed to have superior technically gifted players (to the teams below us) yet we can't keep possession for more than two or three passes.

Surely confidence would return if we start to dictate the pace and play during matches rather than hoofing it up to a lonely striker ill-equipped to hold the ball up and no one within twenty yards to pass it or nod it on to.

Jay Wood

50 Posted 22/01/2018 at 18:58:52
John Pierce @ 43.

You - and a few others - can carry on fretting on my behalf in your belief that relegation remains a possibility.

That lingering doubt (for some) will be null and void by the end of March.

Simply look at Everton's results against the teams above us in the league and our results against the teams below us. Look at our remaining fixtures.

Take into account other teams' form against our own. Even during this poor run, we are not the worst performing club in the league.

Rather than fearing tumbling down the league, I continue to look up. Burnley is in free fall and can be caught for 8th. Leicester is more challenging to overhaul, but 7th is not yet beyond us.

I accept higher than that is a bigggggg stretch.

Is 7th-8th-9th good enough? Is it buggery! But it will salvage something from a train wreck of a season.

Winston Williamson
51 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:04:08
Played 9, Won 2, Drew 2, Lost 5.
Scored 7, Conceded 18.

Win percentage: 22.22%
Points Per Game Ratio: 0.88
Goals Per Game Ratio: 0.77
Conceded Per Game Ratio: 2

Played 5, Won 2, Drew 1, Lost 2.
Scored 10, Conceded 10.

Win percentage: 40%
Points Per Game Ratio: 1.4
Goals Per Game Ratio: 2
Conceded Per Game Ratio: 2

Played 10, Won 3, Drew 4, Lost 3.
Scored 9, Conceded 11.

Win percentage: 30%
Points Per Game Ratio: 1.3
Goals Per Game Ratio: 0.9
Concede Per Game Ratio: 1.1

Brian Williams
52 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:09:31
Jay (#50),

Jay, I have to ask mate if you've watched several of our most recent games?

I ask because taking the most recent, West Brom were much better than us and they're second from bottom. There's a reason for the fear of relegation, the main one being we're absolutely shite!

Winston Williamson
53 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:16:28
Under Koeman and Unsworth we were conceding an average of 2 goals a game. So, credit where it is due, Sam Allardyce has reduced this by just under a goal a game.

I think a lot of the frustration about Sam Allardyce comes from the fact that he's sacrificed the attacking nature of our play. Unsworth improved our goals per game ratio, whilst maintaining our poor defensive record.

Yet, there is very little difference in the points per game ratio of Allardyce and Unsworth. It's just Sam Allardyce achieves his by playing a very dour, negative style.

As I have said, there is very little difference between Allardyces and Unsworths points per game ratio. So, if you were not happy with Unsworth as permanent manager, you surely cannot be thrill by Allardyces approach so far? The results are very similar, but the manner of those results is very different.

I'm not arguing for Unsworth, Koeman or Allardyce. Just showing that if one isn't good enough, they're all not good enough..

Who said what about statistics 😬

John Pierce
54 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:20:16
Jay re. My post. I am in no way thinking relegation is more than a freak mathematical chance.

I outlined that in my post. We aren’t getting relegated and my point is if I can work that out surely Allardyce can, so why talk us down unless hes not capable of looking up or is just protecting his reputation as a saviour?

Either way its unacceptable for Everton.

I am in total agreement with you, somewhat unusually!

Will Mabon
55 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:21:44
Winston, unfortunately Unsworth wasn't a "Name" and "Lacked experience". Bring out the pronouncements of a few ex-pro pundits to maintain the status quo, couple that with enough knee-jerk relegation panic, and the guy never had a chance.
Darren Hind
56 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:26:39
Good OP Ian.

I think you are right: Allardyce is an even bigger Frankie than Koeman... How do we end up with managers who simple want to spoil the game?

Sam does two types of substitutions, The what-we-have-we-hold type and the damage limitation type. I don't remember a single substitution where he has gone for the opposition jugular. That would involve taking a risk and he simply doesn't have the bollocks to do it.

It never ceases to amaze me how people can watch our performances and come on here trying to excuse this imposter – "Its the players, They're mentally fragile" ... fuck me.

Breaking news. all shit teams are mentally fragile, that's generally why they are shit. Its the managers job to either bring in a bit of steel or instil it into the players he has. It's not the managers job to make like the lion out of the Wizzard of fucking Oz, trembling and worrying about what the nasty opposition will do to us if we upset them.

Those defending him should look at the guy Allardyce has always aspired to be. Davey Moyes inherited a situation far worse than Sams.

When Unsworth's team twatted the Irons, he ensured there was enough daylight between us for us to forget about them... but TGT knows the Night King has only ever been a cheap imitation of himself. Now he is breathing down his neck.

Who in the rightful would risk a penny on Grim Sam coming out on top in the battle of the spoilers? Not me and I said so at the time. TGT may not have the London Stadium rocking, but he has the Irons playing a much more entertaining brand of football to the shite we are watching.

Yeah sure, I know. West Ham were not mentally fragile, they were just taking a sabbatical at the foot of the table.

Jay Wood

57 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:33:28
Brian @ 52.

I watch every Everton game Brian.

I also don't look at Everton's form and results in isolation.

That's why I am confident in stating by the end of March the 'R' word so many are getting twitchy about will be a completely moot one.

Stephen Williams
58 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:33:32

To add some more stats:

Shots on target per game:
DU - 3.8
RK - 2.9
FS - 2.5

Average position of opposition played:
DU - 13.2
RK - 7.2
FS - 11.2

Average position of opposition against whom we've got points:
DU - 15
RK - 10.5
FS - 13

Add into the mix that RK didn't get beaten by anyone lower than 7th.

So Jay Harris, to answer your question, RK would appear to have has a better chance of having done a better job than FS (not that I'm particularly advocating him - just that there is always someone out there who would do more than this embarrassing fraudulent dinosaur).

Steve Barr
59 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:39:09
Jay, unfortunately games are not won or lost on paper and based on our performances this season, even a schoolboy team has a chance of beating us, never mind any Premier League team.

I've given up fretting but all you have to do is look at how bad we have been all season, with no signs of improvement anywhere to give hope for the rest of this season. It is therefore no surprise some Evertonians fear relegation, or at least a relegation dogfight.

We really are rubbish at the moment. The worst I've ever seen.

Barry Pearce
60 Posted 22/01/2018 at 19:51:51
Good post, agree with everything you say.
Jack Convery
61 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:47:05
My reading of this weekend is that Silva will be Everton's next manager. Watford knew this, which is why they had the replacement ready to go today.

You don't line up a new manager, if you haven't made your mind up about the guy currently doing the job. The Everton players also know Allardyce is a busted flush at Goodison. Hence they've downed tools yet again.

Once these players know the manager is a dead man walking they don't give a sod about anyone but themselves. If Silva is going to take ever either soon or in the summer, I hope to god he gets to Goodison and watches the shite we've had to put up with and decides who he wants and who can do one.

Attacking football with defenders who can actually defend and a midfield that actually exists and knows how to knit both parts of the game together would be a great start.

By the way, is it me or are EFC even more secretive about what goes on and who does what than the Masons?

Jason Wilkinson
62 Posted 22/01/2018 at 20:52:48
Jay [BRZ], I'm not going down that Wood v Woods thing.
The reason we (a lot of posters on here) are looking over our shoulders is because of the recent form or lack of it.

Drawing at home to Chelsea was a decent display of determination over talent. Losing 4-0 away at Spurs was a wake up call to the widening gap. Home and away draws to West Bromwich was unacceptable given their own fragility. There is a growing malaise to our performance which is looking like no amount of tinkering with the squad can halt.

Many have put alternate formations/personell into the frame, myself included. The thing is even when we get what we had hoped for the results don't follow.

As daft as it may sound maybe Sam's warm weather break might eke out some team bonding.

Or they will have a massive bust up and clear the air. Either way something has to radically change before we see a performance to give us optimism.

Jack Convery
63 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:02:31
Another point I meant to make was that we have played West Brom twice in recent weeks. Twice they were the better team. We got 2 points. Now was that because we got lucky or is it down to a bad team getting something from two games when they actually deserved nothing?

Personally I think we got lucky. I just hope the luck does not run out. We need 12 points to get to 40. 4 wins will do it but where will those 4 wins come from?

Vardy and Co will destroy us if we play against them as we did against WBA. As for the Arsenal game forget it we'll get nothing there.

By that time, those teams currently below us will possibly have picked up some points and the gap to 18th will have narrowed.

Over to you, Sam. Get the whip out and stop trusting to luck.

Jerome Shields
64 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:20:54
Winston (#41). Great stats that tell who should be manager. A missed opportunity.

Sack Allardyce and reinstate him on a longer contract. Stephen's stats (#44) back this up as well.

Eric Myles
65 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:24:06
Ian, you think the fans booing the substitution show they know more about football than the manager?

I'm sure Sam will point out the goal scored by that sub, and the point gained as a result, in disagreeing with them.

Brian Williams
66 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:32:12
Jay (#57).

I hope you're right, mate, I really do.

Colin Glassar
67 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:46:45
Ian (OP), I haven’t read any of the above comments but, are you saying Big Sam is a dotard?
Jason Saggers
68 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:46:53
Fair play to Swansea, not sure how I feel about them getting three points tonight though. On this showing Swansea look a lot better team than our shower.
John Ronnie
69 Posted 22/01/2018 at 21:53:19
We could have done with a draw there, to be fair.
Ray Robinson
70 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:05:16
Amazing some of the stats on here tonight. The Unsworth ones are particularly misleading - i.e. counting a dead rubber against Norwich from two seasons ago (what relevance does that have to the argument? Discounting the 5-1 trouncing by Atalanta too.

Look if you're going to go for Allardyce and I can see plenty of arguments, please at least use sensible statistics to back up the argument.

And Jack #61, my reading of the Silva situation is that he has well and truly blown his chances of becoming the next Everton manager. Looks like we avoided another lame duck there. Why do you think we would appoint a manager whose team has been on an even worse run than ours?

Ian Burns
71 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:14:46
Reading the responses to my OP and for the avoidance of confusion for which I apologise, my point about the substitution of Tosun for Oumar was swapping like for like, despite the equaliser, was not a positive move on behalf of Allardyce and mentally he is not tough enough to make the right calls.

He doesn't have the courage to send out a more balanced, attack minded team onto the pitch, such as just the one defensive midfielder against a team in the relegation places, as called for by many regular and respected posters on TW.

Colin, 67, not sure I would be so rude as to lump him in the same mental state as Trump but as big as Allardyce is on the outside, he is mentally not up to it on the inside.

Trevor Peers
72 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:15:25
Unsworth was an unmitigated disaster; by the end of the Southampton game, he was in tears and reduced to gibbering wreck, "a costume of a man" as Mickey Flanagan would say.

He's a good youth coach, full stop.

Jack Convery
73 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:18:47
Ray – I'm not saying I want him. I just reckon it's happening. Only time will tell if my tea leaves are right or wrong!
Ray Robinson
74 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:21:21
Jack, I converted to teabags some while ago!
Jason Wilkinson
75 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:26:53
Has Sam moved back to the Dudley area? In his post match he sounded more of a yam yam than I've ever noticed before.
Jay Wood

76 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:28:12
Ian @ 71.

There was no confusion associated with your very explicit declaration on the Niasse substitution.

I and others have offered you a perfectly legitimate alternative view that challenges your own, including highlighting Sam's 3 attack-orientated substitutes all contributed to the goal (plus Walcott) within a minute of Niasse coming on.

It rather undermines your claims.

John Daley
77 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:32:27
Jay (what's with the new [BRZ], by the way?) @48,

Irrespective of the starting line up he selected to face the RS (what's with calling them "the poo", by the way?), Allardyce's sole intention in that (league) game was for his team to soak up pressure, stifle, smack it anywhere as long as it was away from our goal and hope for an opportunity from a set-piece or a slip. We offered nothing as an attacking threat, apart from the one ball from Rooney that led to the pen, nor did we even try to.

If that wasn't Allardyce's actual game plan, he didn't look particularly arsed or grim-faced about his men going against his orders, withdrawing completely, camping out in their own half and ceding 70% possession, all of their own accord. He may have claimed post-match to have found it "frustrating" that we couldn't keep hold of the ball for any length of time (and stated it was something they would "work on", like he does after every game, it seems) but his beaming face was evidence enough that it was 'job well done' as far as he was concerned. He looked pleased as a pig in shit. He also had no problem whatsoever accepting the pats on the back for pulling off a 'defensive masterclass', nor any hesitation in trumpeting the fact that they had just "stopped one of the most fluent attacking sides in Europe at the moment" (from...err...scoring for a second time).

"It wasn't the manager who instructed the players to close up shop."

How do you know that, Jay? For sure?

Why was there such a noticeable difference in the players approach from the moment the whistle sounded to signal the start of the second-half?

If Allardyce never instructed them to sit back, or close up shop, then whatever inspirational words he uttered in the dressing room clearly backfired like a turd in a tailpipe because, after a fairly encouraging first-half, they came out as keen to get stuck in as a 'completely out of sheathes' Cliff Richard in a synthetic fanny factory.

Fair enough, he threw McCarthy on to get about them and press, but there's a difference between a manager looking to throw on a sub to add a little tenacity to a lifeless display and a manager actually looking to give his side a greater chance of actually grabbing a goal or two to get back in the game. Taking off an attacking player, who happens to be one of your very few vestiges of goals and creativity, when you're already trailing and the clock is ticking, and replacing him with a defensive midfielder, is not a positive/adventurous move in my book, regardless of whether said defensive player then proceeds to run his plums off, or how many times people try to proclaim it as being so in retrospect because he ruffled a few feathers.

My reference to the Spurs game was limited solely to the no risk, like-for-like, substitutions that added fresh legs, but otherwise signalled a fundamental satisfaction to leave things as they were. I agree the team caved after conceding the first two goals, but when the manager himself has recently been making the case that a second goal signals instant 'game over', because his boys are not equipped to grab more than one a game, then it doesn't surprise me one bit that heads would drop when that dreaded scenario subsequently comes to pass.

Apart from that, I do agree with you that there's no need for relegation piss-teary-aaargh to start up again, despite 'fearless' Sam saying we could quite easily find ourselves being sucked back in.

Kevin Tully
78 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:33:48
Craig Shakespeare got off to a fantastic start when managing Leicester. Then you have Sammy Lee, one hell of an experienced coach who has seen the lot. Then the big fella, who was managing his 1000th game at the weekend, or something like that. The question is, how can three experienced coaches like that drill a side to serve up such utter tripe?

Once you set your stall out at a club, as Allardyce did at Anfield, I believe it's very difficult to then get the players to go from defending like a non-League side in the Cup, to going out and bossing games.

I don't see anything changing, this club has become scared of its own shadow on the pitch. Does that negativity that we witnessed at Anfield and Chelsea destroy any belief the players had in their own abilities? It can't help, can it?

Once a rot sets in like this, extremely difficult to turn things around. New faces tend to just muddy the waters even more. Listening to Moshiri mentioning our very own 'fab four' has me extremely worried. Is this man a dreamer who's money is being frittered away by the old guard hoping for one last stab at some glory?

EFC is broken, and I can't see how it can be fixed. After blowing an absolute fortune, who is accountable?

Jim Bennings
79 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:38:47
What’s that?

Swansea beat Liverpool?

Southampton hold Tottenham??

But if you listen to Everton’s board and a lot of naive supporters apparently “Everton aren’t expected to beat those types of team”!!!

Funny how other clubs can regularly compete and beat the top six though isn’t it???

Si Cooper
80 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:42:45
It certainly wasn't all of us who were convinced that Sam's mere presence in the stands (and maybe a few words at halftime) was the sole reason for the performance/ result against West Ham.

I truly believe David Unsworth instigated some positive momentum as soon as he replaced Koeman but was perhaps undone by trying to fix too many things at the same time (and handicapped by the awareness of the players that he was just a caretaker manager), and Allardyce benefited from the underlying improvements by some very simple throttling back.

What Allardyce hasn't been able to do since then is reintroduce the attacking threat. Since his squad is so unbalanced and potentially limited why isn't he hopping mad and making noises about not being able to bring in the type of players who could make a difference? Risking the ire of the executives by telling it as is would be taking a principled stand in my opinion.

For those who are certain we won't be relegated; to be that sure then surely you have to assume that we won't be beaten in all our remaining fixtures? Can you explain that in any way that shows it isn't just an assumption? It may be a likelihood, but it is certainly not a foregone conclusion.

Ray Robinson
81 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:44:50
Jim, the teams you mentioned also don't "expect" to beat those teams either – sometimes it just happens. And other teams don't "regularly compete and beat the top six" – it happens sometimes. Everton recently drew 0-0 with Chelsea, remember?

Swansea won tonight with barely a shot and 28% possession – hardly attacking football. Allardyce would get panned for statistics like that.

Keith Harrison
82 Posted 22/01/2018 at 22:50:40
Ray, if we beat the RS at home with just 1% possession mate, I'd be delighted.
Christine Foster
83 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:05:25
Many on here never wanted Allardyce to begin with; the first set of results shut them up quick but truth is we were and still are very poor and true to form, the blame game begins again.

When is the penny going to drop with you lot that we are crap irrespective of who manages us. All Allardyce was brought in for was to ensure we didn't get relegated, so far so good.

But a the moment the football is dire, BUT exactly what and who have we got to replace the worst back four I have seen at this club in 30 years? Exactly who or what can we do with no legs in midfield? We complained (rightly) that we have no attacking threat, we have gone out and bought two forwards.

Short of replacing 7 or 8 players (impossible until we are safe) Allardyce's job is to get the best out of what he has got, kids and a bunch of past it players, that's what he inherited.. blame for that doesn't lie with Allardyce, it lies with Koeman, Walsh, and Kenwright.

The abject and complete fuck up of management of this club is directly to blame for where we are.

Right now our priorities, in this order are;

1. Get safe from relegation by ANY means ( style of play) at our disposal. By playing to what little strengths we have and getting the best out of what we have.
2. Hold the fort until key players return. Seamus particularly..
3. Get rid of deadwood and whinners who undermine the team.
4. Coach defence until they are a unit and stop the goals conceded.
5. Sort out the men from the boys (irrespective of age) who will fight.

Right now Allardyce is sorting out the ones who will die for him (McCarthy put himself on the line, that attitude is what is needed, not Jags, Not Williams, Not Holgate.. Not Martina,

But we have nothing to replace them with. Such is the disgraceful set of affairs we are left with.

I am not a lover of Allardyce, but I do believe God would have his work cut out fashioning a working and successful team from the dregs we have...

Lukaku, Barkley, Mirallas, Del Boy.. all saw the writing on the wall... all saw the lack of club ambition. Rooney loves and lives Everton, paints the lone frustrated (leading goalscorer) who cares passionately but hasn't got the legs to drive midfield. The only thing Niasse can do is score goals (thank god) just from sheer bloody persistence.

Allardyce is picking up a tab on behalf of the appalling management of the club. Right now, we need to stick together, support the team, and Allardyce, until we can see daylight.

Ray Robinson
84 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:12:39
Well said, Christine! The only bit that I disagree with is your categorisation of Jags.
Jay Wood

85 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:13:07
John @ 77.

'Jay (what's with the new [BRZ], by the way?)'.

Dunno. Ask Lyndon. Not of my making. It was as much as a surprise to me as anyone. Reading between the lines, I believe it was requested by a poster to make some distinction between eu in Brazil and Jay WOODS [LAT] who resides in Latvia.

As for 'what's with calling the RS "the poo", by the way?', just schoolboy scatological humour in the same way you use an abbreviation of Red Shite in asking the question.

Kids today, eh John?

A very detailed description of what you perceived was Allardyce's sole intention in the league game with the 'poo (oh-er, missus!).

However, I think you lose track of your own line of thoughts as, without saying so, in mid-stream whilst discussing the league game at Analfield (sorry! I can't help myself!) you seemingly switch reference to the Manure game (snigger!) about Everton's 2nd half performance in the game at Goodison.

Is it rude of me to quote straight back at you your challenge to my own reading of...well, I'm not really sure which game you are referencing. Let's be generous and say both:

"How do you know that, [John]? For sure?"

Finally, in your evaluation of the Spud's game (struggling with a scatological synonym for them John. Don't want to cause any blushes with wordplay on Cockrels...titter! titter!), you agree with me (and Sam) that it was a meek and shameful surrender by the collective after the 2nd goal went in.

Nice to know we also share common ground on the likelihood of Everton being relegated. It ain't gonna happen.

Tony Hill
86 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:20:24
Excellent, Christine Foster.
Tom Bowers
87 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:23:56
The bigger question is, are the players mentally up to it? They weren't under Koeman so why do we expect it to change under Allardyce.

Let's face it, no other managers were available, Unsy wasn't acceptable to many and Silva wouldn't or couldn't leave Watford.

Outside of those elite few with the top clubs and making a fortune with fortunes at their finger tips who else was there.

Allardyce is here for the rest of the season at least and mentally challenged with the task or not we will have to suffer what he is and what he has to work with.

Rob Halligan
88 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:27:54
People saying (not on here I might add) that Swansea beating the RS is not good for us. We ain't going down, but if we do (which we won't) then it won't be because Swansea beat the RedShite tonight.

Fuck them, I don't want to see them bastards winning a raffle.

Don Alexander
89 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:32:33
To me it's very dangerous to blithely assume that we'll escape relegation given the way we're playing, the lack of stature and desire in the squad, and the unfitness I see from most of them.

In 2003 West Ham went down with 42 points, two points behind Bolton who were 17th, fourth from bottom. Six points separated 17th from 10th position, whereas right now it's five between 17th and us in 9th.

There might be a small crumb of comfort that two teams, Sunderland and West Brom with 19 and 26 respectively were clearly basket-cases in 2003, unlike anyone this season where Stoke and West Brom already have 20 points at the bottom, just eight behind us. My point is that we will be straying into typical Everton complacency if we just assume that the probability of teams below us nicking points off fellow strugglers will ensure our survival with the median 38 points for most seasons.

An' if yer know yer 'istory you already know that Everton are famed for being the first to introduce all sorts of innovative records but given what we're now seeing let's just hope 43 points doesn't get you relegated because right now I'm struggling to see where our next win is coming from.

Si Cooper
90 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:36:45
Does no-one think Sam Allardyce would be within his rights to demand that this squad be appropriately reinforced in the January transfer window? Surely anyone interviewing for the job would be quite open about that being a priority.

If deals are being worked on but failing what is the point of keeping that quiet? The players involved, the agents and the other clubs will all be aware of any knock-backs. The only reputations being protected are the current hierarchy, though there may be concerns that it could impact season ticket sales.

Personally, I'd rather know they were trying and failing rather than give the impression that the ongoing squad weaknesses have not yet been identified.

Lawrence Green
91 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:46:12
Jim (#79),

Only Burnley have recorded a victory at the home of one of the elite six in the Premier League this season and only seven teams have held their 'superior' hosts to a draw on eleven occasions, Everton have done it twice at City and Liverpool.

Swansea's victory this evening at the Liberty Stadium, made it eight times that clubs outside of the elite have beaten top six sides on their own ground, whilst that group have also held the elite to eleven draws.

Perception is often more powerful than facts but actual results of matches don't depend on perception do they?

Winston Williamson
92 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:47:49
Ray (70) you're right, sorry, I should have given an explain with the stats I put up earlier.

I discounted all cup competitions, for all three managers, as we are predominantly discussing the league games (not just on this thread).

I didn't include Unsworth's Norwich game, as I only counted league games from this season.

I also gave praise to Allardyce for reducing our goals against ratio, as it is a credit worth acknowledging.

Paul Swan
93 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:48:40
Christine – absolutely spot on. The problems at the club go beyond blaming Allardyce alone.

We have a tit of an owner who seems to revel in conducting his business via the media, a chairman who wallows in sentimentality without recognising this has lead to mediocrity, and a Director of Football who is living of a lucky break with a team who flirted with relegation on several occasions.

The sad fact we have to come to terms with is that the Everton ways of old are gone – I hope not forever but at least short term we are having to dine with the devil and hope we can get out of this. Longer term god knows how we get back on track but the fat controller offers a dismal future.

Tony Everan
94 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:50:15
40 points will be needed at least; any of the bottom 11 can go down.

Defeats or 1 point from the next games vs Leicester and Arsenal and it may not look so comfortable. Especially with the likes of Bournemouth and West Bromwich outplaying us recently.

The bottom 14 teams are shite though and luckily we'll be one of the floaters.

Nicholas Ryan
95 Posted 22/01/2018 at 23:56:13
Two things:

1. Recently, I watched a group of young tennis players training; there were half a dozen lads, and one girl. Jokingly, I asked the coach (who I know) "Will any of them get to Wimbledon?" Coach replied: 'The girl; the boys are more talented, but she's got an Iron will'. I wonder if any of the current EFC squad, would be described, as possessing "an Iron will"?!

2. I am shaking my head in disbelief, at those who dismiss Marco Silva; Hull were relegated despite Silva, not because of Silva. He converted the hopeless into the possible, while playing some decent football. Likewise, at Watford, before their recent fall [if you can describe dropping to 10th as a fall !] they were flying high and playing good football. And, unfortunately for us, their decline coincides precisely with the Everton malarkey.

Silva is a talented, forward-thinking young coach, who has been handed two poisoned chalices, and has made a decent fist of both of them. Surely, he would be an improvement on Chewbacca and R2D2 ?!!

Jay Wood

96 Posted 22/01/2018 at 00:17:39
Don @ 89. Revealing.

In the 22 seasons since the Premier League converted to a 20 team, 38 game season, only 3 clubs of the 66 clubs relegated in that time went down with 40 points or more.

Two with 40 points – Sunderland in 1996-97 and Bolton in 1997-98. The other, the example you quoted, West Ham with a Premier League record high points total of 42 points in 2002-03, represents the complete outlier.

Over the 22 seasons, the average points tally of the team filling the final relegation position of 18th in the league is 36 points. In the last 10 seasons, the bottom 3 points tally has got even lower, with the 18th placed club now averaging just 35 points.

You accuse others of being blithe (and by implication, blase) on the risk of relegation to Everton this season.

You, by contrast Don, based on your very, very worst-case scenario (which requires no fewer than 9 clubs to out-perform Everton in the remaining 14 games - some of them radically so) could be called mischievous at best and malicious at worst for such extreme scaremongering.

You are making the mistake that many are doing on this issue: looking at Everton's results and performance in isolation.

In the 10 games since Sam Allardyce took over, no fewer than eight teams have worse league records than us in terms of points gained and goals suffered, six of them radically so.

Not what we hoped for at the start of the season, but more than enough to comfortably avoid relegation.

Relegation? It ain't gonna happen.

Clive Mitchell
97 Posted 22/01/2018 at 00:27:07
Lawrence (# 91) – great point, but you can look at it another way. Burnley, Stoke, Palace, Huddersfield, Leicester, West Ham, Bournemouth and Swansea have all beaten one of the top six this season. We haven't. The only other teams who haven't are Watford, Newcastle, Brighton, West Brom and Southampton.
John Daley
98 Posted 23/01/2018 at 00:43:49
Jay @85,

Not really worth replying to in the main, but seeing as though I suffered severe "tut" strain while scanning it:

How is abbreviating 'red shite' to 'RS' an attempt at humour? It's a widespread and long-standing method of referring to our rivals.

The reason I asked why you repeatedly refer to them as "the poo", was simply because I have never seen, or heard, a soul refer to them as such, other than yourself. Maybe try abbreviating it next time?:


As for switching without warning from one game to another? I (erroneously, it seems) thought quoting your own statement about the Man Utd game (whilst also italicising it) would be sufficient enough to signal the match I was referring to and exactly which point I was responding to.

Don Alexander
99 Posted 23/01/2018 at 00:50:33
John Daley, the sun does strange things to a chap. Jay's doing his best, unfortunately.
Jay Wood

100 Posted 23/01/2018 at 01:30:28
John @98.

'Not really worth replying to in the main...'

And yet...?

Both you and I know what you were doing by opening your post @77 with your 2 'BTW' questions.

I also think you know what I was doing in reply with my contrived scatological humour references.

But if you really wish to make it a serious point, then you stick to the tried and tested 'RS' tag. Me? I prefer to be original and playful with the English language, something I thought you were inclined to as well.

As for you Don @ 99, I had a taste of your conceit, deceit and hypocrisy last week.

You really struggle with genuine debate, especially if it challenges your own narrow view, don't you?

Nighty-night boys.

John Daley
101 Posted 23/01/2018 at 02:43:19
Jay @100,

Well, obviously, I know what I was doing. I was simply looking for answers to a couple of (fairly innocuous, I thought) questions that were nagging at me.

For all I knew, the brand spanking 'BRZ' tag might have been your Hip Hop name, what with Jay-Z already being taken and B.I.G. being overly boastful and that:

"Scarface the movie did more than Scarface the rapper to me,
So that ain't to blame for all the err... poo... that's happened to me,
Now stop the bull pooing
'Til we all without sin, let's quit the pulpittin', c'mon!

This is that ignorant poo you like.
Fuck poo, ass bitch, trick precise, c'mon!
I got that ignorant poo you love etc"

Beyonce would be loving it, Jay. BRZiere off, arse bouncing uncontrollably as you take on all comers in a ToffeeWeb 'battle': "Don't tell me my man is gonna stand for dat, BRZ baybee".

Darren Hind
102 Posted 23/01/2018 at 03:37:39
Sorry Christine @83, but for me, this is not one of your better posts.

Yes a lot of the problems were here long before Sam got here. it was/is a difficult task... but he is being paid a fortune and he has to be accountable.

He hast to be accountable for not having the courage to send his team out with the intention of beating teams like West Brom and Bournemouth.

He has to be held accountable for the man on the ball constantly being isolated because his team mates have been instructed to keep a rigid formation and therefore don't offer themselves.

He has to be held accountable for the disgraceful, cowardly, non-league, anywhere-will-do tactics we saw from his charges against Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool – The embarrassment I feel as I type that is physical.

This fraudster can not be allowed to get away with this sorry excuse for football simply because he inherited a "difficult situation". He's being paid a kings ransom to at least partially rectify the situation, not be excused for it.

Davey Moyes (the guy most of us dreaded) inherited a far worse situation and he is and will continue to make him look a complete mug.

And what's with the people who keep returning to slag Unsworth off? The guy took us out of the relegation places, the team took seven points from the five games he was in charge (despite having to play at Southampton with a decimated defence). Yet, while he was a "disaster", poor old Sam had inherited a train wreck/car crash/mental fragility (insert your own feeble excuse)... Did they inherit a different group of players or something ?????

Sam only had to maintain the seven points from five games rate Unsworth achieved, but he is failing and he is failing in way which shames our club. There can be no excuses for his Hideous approach to the game, I just wish people would stop trying to offer them.

"I guess we will have to become more boring" – He should have been sacked there and then.

John G Davies
103 Posted 23/01/2018 at 06:39:18

Your post at 83 sums the situation up perfectly.

Darryl Ritchie
104 Posted 23/01/2018 at 07:06:51
I'm an Evertonian; fairly new (mid-Moyes), but dedicated and True Blue. The current version of the Toffees is the worst I've seen. Unbalanced, slow, indecisive, directionless.

The manager telling the media one thing, I paraphrase "I keep telling them to attack, but they won't do it." I don't know the truth of it, but Sam's history is not a very swashbuckling one.

It is true, he inherited this mess and his goal is to survive this season in the top flight. He's already written off the current season, and is waiting for the summer to make his mark.

I had a coach tell me once: "You can teach defence; it's system, but you can't teach offence; it's skill." And that is our biggest problem. Not enough skill at key positions. We have two Number 10s, neither of which have lived up to what I had expected.

Our defence is either too old, too young or injured.The midfield is overstocked with average players. It's too early to comment on the forwards. The two new signings may have an impact. One can only hope.

Does Sam have the managerial nous to make something out of this bunch? At this point, I don't think even he can answer that one.

Jim Bennings
105 Posted 23/01/2018 at 08:28:55
Lawrence (#91),

Whatever way you try to dress it up Everton (£200 million spent in 12 months) haven't beaten a top six team since January of last year!!!

These clubs in the top six know not to fear Everton because we can't even prove that we can compete over 90 minutes against one of them.

I fully expect us bent over another table when we go to the Emirates in a few weeks time and we fail to register a shot all game.

Ray Robinson
106 Posted 23/01/2018 at 08:59:38
William (#92). my apologies. You are right regarding Unsworth's league record. We did in fact win two league matches under his management this season – I forgot the Watford match. I'll slap my own wrists.
Paul Tran
107 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:01:52
Can't argue with your analysis, Darren, and I'm sure you'd agree with my view at the time – to give Unsworth till the end of the season. He did as well as Sam has without any authority.

I had and still have absolutely no idea who to go for as manager. Do you?

Christine Foster
108 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:01:27
Darren, it's a matter of opinion as to the state of the team / club that he came into. The facts are that he was certainly brought in to ensure we stopped the free-fall we were in; he has slowed the drop but not the cause.

You and others have a stated dislike for the man and his brand, before he stepped over the door yet many dismiss the facts that we were in the bottom three with no cohesion or ability to stop the rot.

You may look at the appointment as a gross insult to the fans; I see it as purely a means to an end. To get to safety. The 18-month contract was a payoff in my opinion, succeed and stabilise the season whilst a search goes on for another manager quietly (we assume... but frankly after the inability to replace Lukaku I some how doubt the ability of the board) if he performs brilliantly and finishes in top 7 then gets another season.

Stay where we are or worse then he goes with a payoff in summer. That's business. He is backing himself to do it but all those saying Unsworth should have been appointed? Really? We would be firmly rooted in the bottom three by now.

As I said, my opinion, it's not about the football, it's all about the business and the business plan Moshiri had was going down the tubes.

Looking back at the videos of the appointment, there was no sign of Kenwright, before, during or after; plenty of Moshiri which I said at the time was odd. Our illustrious Chairman always takes the opportunity to parade before a camera; Moshiri isn't even on the board yet he did the welcome parade, the interviews etc.. It spoke a million words to me that Kenwright's days are coming to an end.

Unfortunately the incompetence of management is responsible for the fact we hired Allardyce, the fact that we had too (in Moshiri's eyes) the fact that an incompetent Walsh actually ok'd transfers in and out..

As I have said before, Darren, I don't particularly like Allardyce but I don't want to see Everton in the Championship either. I said in a few posts that we were going to be in more trouble with the rerun of fixtures that began the season coming up in December and January, and I repeat, all we could do was move the deckchairs around on the Titanic... The board took to the lifeboat, the SS Allardyce.

We will no doubt agree to differ but we can chew the cud on players, style of management, performances but, at the end of the day, it's about money and Moshiri doesn't want to lose his.

My hope is we will move on from here as a blip to overcome... but we still have to get there.

Tony Abrahams
109 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:11:37
I thought Christine's post was one of her better ones myself, Darren, but that doesn't excuse the football we are witnessing out on the pitch right now though, IMO.

Paul, whoever we get next mate, the first thing we have got to do is get rid of this Director of Football bollocks, IMO!

I can't believe the coach said he couldn't teach attack, because it was all about skill, Darryl, because I see Liverpool make loads of mistakes every time I see them play, when they attack. But they press that high up the pitch with such intensity, that they then force the opposition into mistakes and get the ball back.

If it was all about skill though, I can't believe Lookman, has been totally bombed out since he came off the pitch at Anfield. That's a really strange one IMO.

Chris Leyland
111 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:19:55
Darren (#102) I agree with some of what you have to say but Sam isn't actually too far off maintaining the 7 points in 5 games Unsworth benchmark as he has got 13 from 10, so 6.5 every 5 games. On this basis, we should end up with circa 46 points.

You also have to factor in that all of Unsworth's 5 games were against poor teams:

Leicester, who were really struggling when they beat us having won just 2 of their opening 9 league games prior to playing us.

Watford, who are very poor but we almost managed to make them look good and nearly gifted them a point right at the end having fought our way back.

Palace, who were rock-bottom and had won 1, drawn 1 and lost 7 of their league games before we played them.

Southampton, who had won 1 in 8 in the league until we strolled into town

And West Ham, who had won 1 of the previous 9 league games.

Sam has had to play 4 of the top 5 in his 10 games and despite his 'non-league football' managed not to lose to Chelsea and Liverpool in the process. Not pretty, but effective to a point.

It is his results (and performances) against the likes of Bournemouth and West Brom (twice) that are the most cause for most concern and this is where I agree with you. It is unacceptable and he has to shoulder much of the blame as he sets them up and trains them all week. Otherwise, what is the point of a manager?

Don Alexander
112 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:51:20
Jay (#100), you accuse me of conceit among other things and then have the temerity to say of yourself, to John Daley;

"John, fellah, my contribution on this thread has been civil, playful, offering my opinion with reasoned supporting evidence. If anyone is being a bit prickly, it's you."

The fact that you can't appreciate the rank conceit of your own self-worshiping opinion more than suggests you're of that group spending a great deal of time self-worshiping in another way.

Paul Tran
113 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:57:30
Tony, I'm fine with a Director of Football, as long his role and success measures are clearly defined. I can criticise Allardyce based on the rubbish I'm watching; I'm not sure what Walsh is meant to be doing.

Jay Wood

115 Posted 23/01/2018 at 13:07:03
Hmmm…from what I read I don’t see a tsunami of posters constantly ‘returning to slag off Unsworth’ whilst offering blind support to Allardyce.

I do see one poster in particular repeating this claim and offering the ‘fact’ that David improved the club on his watch and handed over the reins with the team in rude good health.

Let’s look at that a bit more closely.

This was the PL table after week 9, Koeman’s final game in charge, the 5-2 tanking at home to the Arse. In addition to the bottom 10, I also include 6th placed Watford and 7th placed Newcastle because they are now below us.

The goal difference shows Newcastle as the only team in the list who, at that time, had a positive goal difference of 2. All other listed teams had a negative goal difference.

As the table shows, Everton were in 18th place, equal on 8 points with 3 other clubs but with the worst goal difference, with Swansea the best of that group of 4 in 15th. We were a single point behind Leicester, 2 behind WBA and 3 behind Brighton. A mere 4 points separated us from Southampton in 10th and Huddersfield in 11th, both on 12 points.

There was a 9 points difference between Palace in 20th place with 3 points and Southampton on 12 points in 10th.

6 Watford -2 15
7 N'cstle 2 14
10 S'ton -1 12
11 H'field -3 12
12 Brighton -1 11
13 WBA -2 10
14 Leicester -3 9
15 Swansea -4 8
16 WHU -9 8
17 Stoke -10 8
18 Everton -11 8
19 B'mouth -7 7
20 Palace -17 3

Now compare the league table after week 14 and Unsworth’s final game in charge, the 4-0 win over WHU. Yep! We moved up 5 places compared to where Koeman left us, but look at the numbers more closely. We were lying 17th before the WHU win and the 3 points moved us up to 13th, one of 3 clubs on 15 points.

There was an 8 points difference between Palace in 20th place and Leicester and Brighton in 9th and 10th place on 17 points. So the points spread of the bottom end teams was even more squeezed than by the end of Unsworth’s spell than under Koeman.

9 Leicester -1 17
10 Brighton -1 17
11 S'ton -3 16
12 N'cstle -6 15
13 Everton -11 15
14 H'field -15 15
15 B'mouth -4 14
16 Stoke -13 13
17 WBA -9 12
18 WHU -18 10
19 Swansea -9 9
20 Palace -17 9

Let me throw in another comparative table – one based on how all those teams performed during Unsworth’s 5 PL games:

9 Leicester 2 8
10 B'mouth 3 7
11 Everton 0 7
12 Palace 0 6
13 Brighton 0 5
14 Stoke -3 5
15 S'ton -2 4
16 H'field -12 3
17 WBA -7 2
18 WHU -9 2
19 Swansea -5 1
20 N'cstle -8 1

Yep! In that form table we clearly out-performed most of the bottom feeders. What is also clear, is that pretty much half of the clubs in the bottom 12 performed abysmally over those 5 games, and continue to do so.

The bald statement of saying ‘yeah, well, we moved up the table under Unsworth’ needs context. And as the comparative tables show, we were one of 4 clubs lumped together on 8 points after Koeman’s last game and a mere 2 points off 13th place which is where we were placed by the time Unsworth handed over the reigns to Sam.

Considering in his penultimate game Unsworth’s Everton got tanked 4-1 at Southampton (who have failed to register a single win in their last 11 PL games since and now occupy one of the relegation spots) and the ‘move up the table’ under Unsworth really wasn’t a seismic shift or radical improvement at all. It owed as much to other teams results being worse than our own as it did to our own performances. Nor was the team ‘buzzing’ and in rude good health when Sam walked in the door. They still aren’t.

And – yes! – it is Sam Allardyce’s team and responsibility NOW to address that.

Winston Williamson
116 Posted 23/01/2018 at 13:29:00
Jay (115), Interesting reading.

There are a few comments on this thread basically stating that Unsworth was out of his depth and not good enough.

Whilst I agree, to an extent, you have to factor in that Unsworth has never managed a Premier league team over a period of time. Additionally, he held no authority, as opposed to Sam Allardyce's full-time appointment.


Unswoth's teams scored more goals in 5 league matches than Sam's teams have in 10. I concede that our defence under Unsworth was no improvement than what went before under Koeman. However, Unsworth still matches Allardyce on the points-per-game ratio basis.

Surely it's logical that if one is not good enough, then neither is the other.

It's all academic though, isn't it? As Unsworth now manages the U23s and Allardyce is inflicting the worst football I have ever seen at EFC on us fans/supporters.

Hopefully Christine is correct and we can all laugh at this season in one or two years time, as a blip on our way to better things!

Tony Abrahams
117 Posted 23/01/2018 at 13:37:59
Paul, that's fair enough, but I'm not sure that a Director of Football, is the real way forward, although I'm sure people could show me some instances where it has worked.

Walsh defined his role at the AGM, when he said both him and the manager have got to agree before a player is signed, and judging by our recruitment in the last 18 months, then I can't believe he never went with Ronald.

Mike Allen
118 Posted 23/01/2018 at 13:49:21
Only stats that matter is that we don't concede more than we score and we have more points than at least three other teams. The rest of it is just Sky TV American-oriented time-filling nonsense.

One shot on goal and three points will do for now 100%.

Jay Wood

119 Posted 23/01/2018 at 14:01:25
Totally agree with you, Winston.

I was one of many who sincerely hoped that David could step up to the plate and be awarded the gig full-time. Like many others also, I acknowledged he had a helluva lot going against him:

* the state the team he inherited was in
* the heavily congested fixture list
* the prevaricating of the board which effectively gave him no authority, as you yourself reference

That said, from the outset Unsworth declared he was ready for the challenge and he wanted the gig full-time.

I thought his first game in charge away to Chelsea in the League Cup was the best on his watch. He made bold selections, away to the reigning Champions; put out a balanced side, which performed in the image of his Under-23 sides: on the front foot. He and the team deserved something more from the game than the narrow defeat they suffered.

Now maybe due to the 2-games-a-week he was obliged to oversee, he chopped and changed his selection constantly and – yes -– while in the league his teams scored goals (generously boosted by the 4-0 win over West Ham, you have to say), they were still leaking them in 2s-3s-4s and even 5.

You simply cannot airbrush out the Europa League games on his watch as 'dead rubbers' as some try.

The 4-1 hammering at Southampton, so close on the tail of the 5-1 capitulation at home to Atlanta, finally drove the board to take a decision on the manager's position, five weeks after Koeman's departure.

I believe it was a panicked one. I believe it was an unnecessary one. Because then, as now, I never considered we were seriously a relegation candidate.

But Sam Allardyce it was – and is – probably as a bare minimum to the end of this season.

I do not believe Allardyce is the manager to take us to the promised land we all long to reach, but...he is in the manager's seat for now and, for the benefit of the team and the club, I have to hope he can improve the side.

It is an exercise in futility, IMO, to be calling for his dismissal now. It ain't gonna happen anytime soon this side of the final game of the season.

As for Unsworth, I see some still pining for him to be groomed and eventually given the manager's job.

Well sorry, but if as he declared in his first interview on being given the caretaker's job this season he 'was ready', then his ambition to prove that must be greater than passively returning to manage the Under-23s as he has.

If he hasn't done so already, he needs to be applying for vacant first-team manager positions at other clubs. Only then, I believe, can he prove himself and ever again be considered a realistic candidate for the Everton job.

Otherwise, you have to consider his chance at the post has gone forever.

Winston Williamson
120 Posted 23/01/2018 at 16:09:02
Jay, there's nothing I disagree with in your last post. Although I find it exceedingly hard to offer any support to Allardyce when he serves up this type of football, I agree it would be very unsettling to fire him at this point.

I would hope, however, that the board are working tirelessly in the background identifying, approaching, negotiating and securing a manager for the long-term, who can start the day after this nightmare season finishes!

Dave Brierley
121 Posted 23/01/2018 at 16:18:40
For fuck's sake JayBRZ. Give it a rest will you.

Get a job or at least a hobby.

Stephen Williams
122 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:18:17
A quick question:

- Marco Silva was the No1 choice before Fat Sam was considered (and he clearly was), and
- Getting rid of Fat Sam and his entourage would cost no more than the compensation we were prepared to pay for Silva in November (which it probably is), then

Why not just sack the fraudulent dinosaurs and replace them with Silva's lot? At least the investments will be made by a manager that is actually wanted – not a panic appointment.

What has changed?

Ray Robinson
123 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:27:19
Stephen, What has changed?

One win in his last 11 matches?

Perhaps we dodged a bullet?

Stephen Williams
124 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:39:09

Or 1 point more than Fat Sam over last 6 games with 10 out injured during this time on the quicksand that is Watford!

Others might be happy with Fat Sam but I have far more self respect and respect for my club.

Make the change and get in one of the brightest young managers before someone else does.

Ray Robinson
125 Posted 23/01/2018 at 19:16:27
Stephen, you may well be right about his being a bright, young up-and-coming manager but his recent record is hardly a glowing recommendation whatever the mitigating circumstances. An article in The Times at the weekend suggested he can be very high maintenance and temperamental.

I was impressed with what he did at Hull last season until they went into a nosedive again at the very end. Besides, it looks like Southampton are lining him up now.

Ray Robinson
126 Posted 23/01/2018 at 19:20:49
Just to add, the article also mentioned that he had ostracised several players and had lost the dressing room with his apparent couldn't give a damn attitude.
Tony Everan
127 Posted 23/01/2018 at 20:10:47
Sacking Sam and replacing him with Marco Silva is just not going to happen. It would make the club look even dafter than it already does.

That doesn't detract from the the fact that Sam is under scrutiny. It's an audition for him. At the moment, he's failing it, but it's early days with new players too.

Give him until Easter to prove he's good enough. If the team is showing no signs of improvement, there's no way he can stay on. Who would want another year of this?

Darren Hind
128 Posted 23/01/2018 at 20:28:32
Chris 111

Allardyce has cost a fortune... We should be expecting more than "not being too far off" the points per game achieved by the guy he succeeded. Surely for all the money and the bluster we should be seeing an improvement?

Six of Allardyce's games were against Huddersfield, Swansea, Bournemouth, West Brom and Newcastle. None of those sides will be breathing easy for the next few months. I would suggest the bottom three will come from this group.

However you too make some decent points. We will just have to agree to disagree on the other stuff

If I'd spent hours churning up meaningless stats in an attempt to show Allardyce in a better light than his predecessor, or weeks selectively contextualising the last guys results... or posted the most protracted long winded posts on an almost daily basis in a desperate attempt to prove I was right... I would find the fact that despite all of the advantages he has, our boy Sam is failing to match the points per game rate of the guy so readily and persistently dismissed, a bitter pill to swallow.

The incontestable fact is, Big Sam is now more than a quarter of a season in and he has thus far failed to match the points per game rate he inherited from the last guy. Not only has he failed to do that, he made us pug ugly in the process, Worse still. He has promised us we will get even uglier.

And still they apologise...

Stephen Williams
129 Posted 23/01/2018 at 20:47:58

Who's right? We'll probably never know. But one thing's for certain, if we are as indecisive again come the end of the season (and we surely have to change manager then if not before), then who the hell will we end up with? Another mad panic appointment? I can only hope if Silva is not engaged that someone else has been lined up.

Come the end of the season, it's very possible that at the least Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea may be looking to appoint managers. We'd be left feeding on scraps.

In the light of this, unless we do already have someone lined up, I'd throw the dice again now you argue that we dodged a bullet with Silva in November, but no-one can argue that we hit the bullseye with Fat Sam.

I'd much rather we bit (rather than dodged) that bullet now.

John G Davies
130 Posted 23/01/2018 at 20:56:23
It can safely be summed up when comparing Allardyce's and Unsworth's managerial capabilities.

One is crap and the other is crapper.

David McMullen
131 Posted 24/01/2018 at 12:18:48
Allardyce can blame the players if he wishes – let's face it, Koeman did it's up to the manager. We all have a go at the players as well whether it's mistakes or their attitude.

What I would say is Allardyce like Koeman before him picks the team. There's been questionable selections since we had that run probably since the West Brom away game.

What is visible is Allardyce is clearly shocked by the ineptitude of the players once they've crossed the white line. He is the manager – he has to sort that out but, make no mistake, it is the same problem that Koeman had.

Maybe the players don't care. If they care then where is the passion on the pitch? Are they a team that will play for each other as well as the shirt? Answers on a postcard. But Allardyce is charged with sorting that out; if he doesn't, he goes.

I'm hoping we will have enough in the tank to stay above the drop line. I'm even thinking we can still get 7th for all it's worth if we can turn it around. Europa League place or not, it would be 7th like last season. We have to beat Leicester first.

Barry Jones
132 Posted 26/01/2018 at 23:59:46
Ian, I would suggest that it is you who isn't mentally up to it.
Alexander Murphy
133 Posted 27/01/2018 at 09:12:13
Get rid of the oaf and do it now! Imagine the state of our squad by the time he has had his hands all over it for six months or a year ?

Employing this buffoon guarantees no success. Then the size of the repair job virtually ensures that his replacement will need a full season to trade in and out to rebuild a football squad of the quality which we deserve.

Get him gone and right now, please.

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