It’s not a great time to be an Everton fan. After a summer transfer window that promised so much, the Merseyside club has slipped into the bottom three after ten games. Their latest defeat, to Leicester City, destroyed any optimism fans might have had after a promising performance against Chelsea last week. Some of them have even started to turn on Wayne Rooney.
The news that Sam Allardyce is in the running to be the next manager won’t necessarily cheer the fanbase up. Everton fans like to see the game played a certain way, and Allardyce’s preferred brand of football doesn’t quite fit with that. Could it be the right appointment for the club, though?
Allardyce has said that he’d be interested in talking to Everton about the job, and the online betting markets currently have him as the second favourite behind David Unsworth. He’s previously stated that he has no plans to take another job in football, but a club with the stature of Everton would surely hold some appeal to him. He’s already had his say on the current situation at Goodison Park.
“It’s really going to be tough for Everton to get out of that position,” he’s been quoted as saying. “Not because the lads are not trying, but as a team collectively they can’t keep a clean sheet and can’t score a goal. Those are the two problems, if you resolve one, you’ll end up resolving the other and that will start with the clean sheet.”
Allardyce went on to say that he’d encourage the team to get back to basics. He admitted that what’s required to get points on the board is unlikely to be entertaining – and that comment is exactly why some Everton fans will not be happy with his appointment should it happen.
The bottom line, however, is that Everton could potentially be in a relegation fight this season. The old adage of “too good to go down” has been disproved time and time again, and even the most blinkered Everton fan would admit that some of the team’s performances this season have been relegation standard. Allardyce might just be the right man to turn things around, as his track record speaks for itself.
Crystal Palace were in a similar situation to Everton last season. Allardyce was appointed as manager with the club just one point above the relegation zone, and he had an immediate impact. His new team responded to his methods and recorded six wins in his first eight matches in charge. There isn’t an Everton fan alive who wouldn’t be happy with that kind of run right now!
David Unsworth remains the most likely appointment, and Sean Dyche is a possibility too. Allardyce is definitely in with a shout, though, whether the fans like it or not.