Everton supporters have been quite buoyant in the Transfer Tavern during the international break, what with their team entering the fortnight’s interruption off the back of winning for just the second time on the road in the Premier League this season.
Sam Allardyce’s men went into their most recent league meeting with Stoke City having picked up just one victory in their preceding 15 league matches on their travels, a run which saw them earn a paltry eight points along the way. Nevertheless, the Toffees finally recorded their second win away from Goodison Park last time out as a Cenk Tosun double either side of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s equaliser secured the three points for the Merseysiders, in turn moving them to the 40-point mark and 12 points clear of the division’s relegation zone.
Consequently, there have been many happy Evertonians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their team can build upon that success between now and the end of the season, and thus build some momentum heading into the 2018/19 campaign.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Toffees fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that manager Allardyce is set to be sacked over the summer.
And given the frustration amongst the club’s supporters regarding the style of play, alongside the ultimate lack of significant improvement seen since his arrival, axing the 63-year-old this summer is the best decision the Everton hierarchy can make.
Clearly, the former England chief deserves credit for making an immediate impact at Goodison Park, having taken over a side languishing in the bottom three, and then preceding over a run of four victories in five matches.
But as soon as their unbeaten start under the ex-West Ham and Bolton Wanderers boss came to an end at the hands of Bournemouth, the new manager effect completed subsided, with Allardyce since then overseeing just four wins in 11 games, which included a five-match losing streak on the road.
Thus, while they have improved slightly under Allardyce, it’s arguable that they haven’t quite hit the heights expected of the club’s supporters following a summer of investment – the away form in particular has been woeful and frankly embarrassing for a club of Everton’s stature.
Significantly though, the style of play is not something that, in the long term, is going to move the Toffees into top six contention.
Allardyce has been renowned during his career for making his teams difficult to beat and ultimately playing reasonably negative, which has certainly worked at times given he has never avoided relegation in his career.
And while that is what was called for at the start of his Everton reign, developments in that style should have been made by now, and that simply hasn’t happened to emphasise that the 63-year-old is not the man to take Everton forward.
Ultimately, the club’s hierarchy panicked and were genuinely concerned by relegation back in November, hence they turned to Allardyce. But he was never going to be the long-term appointment they need.
As such, the Toffees must seek to axe the former England boss come the summer, and doing so would be the best decision they can make during the close season.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!