Everton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating their team’s final game of the Premier League season at West Ham on Sunday, with their side looking to end an ultimately underwhelming campaign on a high in East London.
Sam Allardyce’s men were tipped by many back in pre-season to sustain a challenge to the top six this term following a summer of big spending, but the Toffees have fallen well short of expectations. Ronald Koeman lost his job back in October after a woeful start to the season, and while Allardyce has come in and done a fine job in moving the Merseysiders away from the relegation zone, he has come under heavy criticism from supporters for the style of play and tactics used in achieving that goal.
Nonetheless, there are some optimistic Evertonians in the Tavern ahead of this weekend’s clash against West Ham, what with their team going into the encounter having lost just one of their last eight league games, and knowing that victory would secure an eighth place finish.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Toffees supporters to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that Wayne Rooney could well leave this summer, although a change in manager could well see the 32-year-old remain at Goodison Park.
As such, in a toss-up between retaining England’s record goal-scorer or the unpopular Allardyce, it’s clear that getting rid of the latter is a no-brainer for the Toffees hierarchy this summer.
Ultimately, while some of those Everton fans at the bar haven’t been overly impressed with Rooney this term, the midfielder sits top of their goal-scoring charts with 11 goals in all competitions, many of which coming in the opening phase of the campaign when the Toffees were seriously struggling.
Without those contributions, the situation when Allardyce was appointed would have been a whole lot worse, but it’s not just the goals he scored in the first half of the season, it’s the vision and control Rooney brings to this Everton side which would certainly be missed.
Whereas were Allardyce to be relieved of his duties this summer, not many Evertonians would batter an eyelid.
Yes, the former England chief deserves great credit for steering the Merseysiders away from the relegation zone, but it’s evident that he is not the man to take the club forward – the criticism of him and his style has been intensifying as the weeks have gone on.
It’s clear that the Toffees hierarchy panicked at the thought of potentially going down this season, so as a short-term fix Allardyce was seen as a decent appointment.
But for the long-term, he’s simply not the answer, and as such the club’s hierarchy should be looking at a more forward-thinking and progressive manager to take the club on in the coming years – after all, a new stadium is on the way, and there’s little doubt that owner Farhad Moshiri will want the club to play European football in it on a regular basis.
That doesn’t look like happening under Allardyce, whereas Rooney could still play a part in delivering that ambition.
And with it seeming that the 32-year-old would be open to staying were there to be a change of manager this summer, relieving Allardyce of his duties is an absolute no-brainer.
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