Allardyce says I’m staying at Everton

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Sam Allardyce manager of Everton during the Premier League match between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor on March 3, 2018 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Sam Allardyce manager of Everton during the Premier League match between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor on March 3, 2018 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images) /

So we appear to have the final confirmation that Sam Allardyce will be Everton manager next season. Allardyce has said he has had talks with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and he will be the Blues boss next season.

This will not be news welcomed by most Everton fans and with understandable reason.

As I’ve said before Allardyce has done what he does, he steadied the ship and secured Premier League survival for the Blues after a dreadful start to the season.

You know what you are going to get from Allardyce. He will organise his teams, make them hard to beat and grind out the points.

But Everton’s football has been drab, unimaginative, and frustratingly ineffective so often this season. The Blues latest outing against Newcastle United on Monday night was a game that underlined all these problems.

Everton laboured to a very unconvincing win against an ordinary and defensive Newcastle side. The team lacked creativity and penetration and right from the off the Blues resorted to long, hopeful balls out of defence.

It was stone-age football. If this is all Evertonians have to look forward to then next season is going to be another very long and disappointing one.

In my opinion if there is a person who is responsible for the feeling of drift and the lack of cohesive strategy that’s brought Everton to this situation, it is Moshiri.

He came in amidst much talk of reviving Everton’s fortunes and re-establishing the club amongst the elite in the English game.

Instead he has overseen a rapid decline in the club’s situation. After an initially positive bounce following the appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager last season, things have gone badly wrong this term.

In truth Everton’s performances last season were misleading. The Blues usually beat the weaker sides but looked outclassed whenever they played one of the leagues better teams and of course were very reliant on the goals of Romelu Lukaku to win matches.

This season Koeman’s relations with some players in the team seemed to have deteriorated badly and most of the high-price signings made by him and Director of Football Steve Walsh (who Moshiri also brought in), failed spectacularly.

Everton crashed to heavy defeat after heavy defeat and the confidence visibly drained out of the players.

Then when the decision to fire Koeman was finally made Everton focussed all their attention and effort on one man to replace him, Watford’s then boss Marco Silva.

It seemed again that there was a lack of cohesive thinking from the club’s hierarchy.

The main reason he was being sought for the job at Goodison was the fact he was in vogue as the next ‘big thing’ (just as Koeman had been a year earlier) even though he’d actually overseen Hull City’s relegation last term.

So when it finally became clear that Watford weren’t going to let him leave, Everton apparently had no plan B and finally had to turn to Allardyce, who could then hold the club to ransom over his terms.

Moshiri might be reluctant to fork out another huge pay-out to get rid of Allardyce so soon after paying Koeman massive financial compensation when he left. So now it looks like the Blues are stuck with him.

But given how much his relationship with the fans have deteriorated these past few months it’s hard to see how Allardyce can carry on for all of the summer and into next season.

It’s virtually impossible these days for a manager to stay long-term if the fans have so completely lost faith in him. Evertonians can’t ensure another lost season like this one.

Even Arsene Wenger has been forced to quit at least in part because of fan discontent, despite his huge success over the last twenty years.

There should be some vital lessons learned here. As I’ve said before, instead of just trying to secure a big-name and hope that he will inspire an upturn in fortunes, Everton need to have a properly thought out, long-term strategy.

That means carefully identifying the right kind of manager (and possibly back-room support) for the club’s culture and actual situation rather than just seeking someone with a high-profile, or a famous name.

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Then it’s about giving that person the time and resources to succeed. Again I’ve mentioned that I think both Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe fit that bill.

Dyche might at first seem the more traditional ‘old-school’ type although actually his Burnley teams play some very good and effective attacking football.

But they also rarely get turned over easily and he has a terrific knack of bringing out the best in his players. Their strong upturn in form this season is also proof of his capacity to learn and adapt his approach.

Howe is the more youthful manager with an unshakable commitment to attacking, even reckless football. He and his teams exude confidence and a positive attitude.

Given his resources he has been relatively successful, keeping Bournemouth up despite the fact they do sometimes get heavily beaten.

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But neither of these two seems to be on the radar and so we blunder on with Big Sam. My message to Moshiri is you really need to get all this right or sell up and give someone else the chance to revive Everton Football Club.