Stayaway fans

by   |   02/12/2017  27 Comments  [Jump to last]

Sam Allardyce certainly isn't the answer to all my prayers. But I'm curious: more than just a few fans are declaring that they won't watch Everton / renew their season ticket while he's in charge. Why?

There appear to be three main lines of argument:

1. The appointment shows that Everton are a small-time club / lack ambition

I don't buy this for one minute. Since Moshiri took over, Everton's ambition has grown. Six of our seven biggest money signings have come under his watch. Again and again, new signings have referred to Everton's ambition as a club as a key thing that persuaded them to come. (Obviously much of this money was not well spent, but that's hardly Moshiri's fault.) Further evidence of Everton's ambition lies in the fact that we have a training facility, an U-23 squad and youth development programme which are the envy of many of our rivals, and our commitment to the new waterfront stadium.

The argument hinges on the supposition that Allardyce has been hired to save us from relegation. I believe that a lot more than this is expected of Allardyce, and he'll need to demonstrate improvement in many areas if he wants to be kept on long term.

2. Allardyce's style of football

Various myths are being touted about as fact: he favours a long-ball game; his teams don't play passing football; he doesn't believe in bringing on young players. Running battles with fans while he was at West Ham have contributed to this perception. Allardyce says this is all nonsense: he'll do the right thing at whatever club he's at in order to win games.

My view is let's wait and see what he actually does before passing judgement. I think any manager coming in is going to be excited to see the breadth of young talent that we have and is going to want to give them opportunities. Unsworth is still on the payroll, and he'll be passing on his thoughts about the U-23s as well as the senior squad.

3. Corruption allegations

It can hardly have escaped the notice of anyone who supports a Premier League club that football is dominated by money and greed. It's an inescapable fact of life. The Moyes - Kenwright regime had a reputation for decency, for doing the right thing. But fans wanted more: we demanded ambition and success. Kenwright was castigated for failing to sell the club despite his explaining that he was looking for a buyer who would have Everton's interests at heart.

A buyer though was eventually found, so welcome to Everton, Farhad Moshiri, a financial wheeler-dealer who chooses to live in Monaco, a place where residents don't have to pay income tax. But before anyone rushes to accuse Moshiri of corrupting our morals, the most questionable signing in our recent history, that of Oumar Niasse, was made just before Moshiri's arrival.

The allegations hanging over Allardyce may be unproven but it's good that fans are raising these issues and questioning his character. The fact that fans care about this just as much as we care about being a successful club says a lot about who we are. Everton is a club which has pride in its history and its identity and this will remain the case as long as fans continue to stand up for values of integrity and sense of purpose.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone that Allardyce's appointment should be welcomed. My point is more that it doesn't change anything fundamentally at our club. For me, what's a lot more shameful than this appointment is the fact that Everton carry the name SportPesa on their shirt, but I don't see many fans boycotting the shirt.

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Reader Comments (27)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 02/12/2017 at 15:29:26
If you're an Evertonian, it's not possible to simply stay away, or to stop being interested. It's in your blood, it's not a choice. It's just a curse at times, and a joy at other times.

All the talk about corruption is bullshit. Football supporters, including Evertonians, don't really care where an owner's cash comes from so long as the team does well, and don't really care about what managers might or might not have done in their financial dealings, so long as they get the team playing well.

The whole thing is simple. Allardyce is like any other manager of Everton. If he gets us playing well with good results, he'll be a hero. If he fails to do that, he'll be a pariah.

Dave Ganley
2 Posted 02/12/2017 at 20:06:45
That just about sums up the life of an Evertonian, Stan. Nothing to disagree with there.

I've watched a lot of dross in my time, some good too in the 80s. I've even uttered the immortal words "I'm not renewing my season ticket next year" when Martinez was in charge. It was all hot air and bluster though.

When renewal time comes it's always a case of "I'll still be here when the current lot are gone; why should I be driven away?"

We are where we are and we support Everton through thin and thinner. I would never not go just because we have a manager who I may or may not like. I support the team always.

Nicholas Ryan
3 Posted 03/12/2017 at 00:53:58
If I remember correctly, didn't the famous Sam interview end with the words: "But, of course, you'd have to get approval from the FA..."

If SA was proposing fraud, it beggars belief that the FA would approve it.

David Barks
4 Posted 03/12/2017 at 01:14:02
Nicholas,

So Allardyce agreed to leave his dream job after one match and be publicly disgraced for doing nothing wrong? Come on now.

John Daley
5 Posted 03/12/2017 at 01:28:28
Nicholas,

What Allardyce said the FA would have to approve was his appearance as a key note speaker. The part of the ruse that actually got him into rusty water was his explaining how someone could circumvent the strict rules regarding third party ownership. Rules put in place by, his then employer, the FA.

He certainly wasn't going to be asking the governing body if they would give him the green light to show a few wealthy guys how to get around guidelines they themselves had set out.

Don Alexander
6 Posted 03/12/2017 at 01:50:14
Sam Allardyce has been on record regretting his pursuit of money above career as a player. That was in the 70s though when most footballers, even those at the top, could aspire to little more than owning a pub or a shop when they finished. Most of them also lived in the one detached house in a street of semis too. They weren't loaded for life in any sense.

Since then, he's almost certainly as a manager sought the very best terms his potential employer would provide. Who wouldn't?

The "England-Manager-Is-Corrupt" saga did him (or football, or therefore the FA, its guardians) no favours and he paid the price, as he should. He was a berk, and possibly, but only possibly, a corrupt berk.

My distaste for him is chiefly down to the tactics he's employed on saving the skins of a series of basket-case clubs from relegation, and nothing more.

I am heartened that he's co-opted Shakespeare and Lee because I've always doubted whether any of Kenwright's Goodison old lags coaching at Finch Farm have any credentials at all in, err, coaching.

Lee has established a reputation for thoroughness from sources I respect and Shakespeare was on the Leicester training ground daily the year they won the league. He must therefore be deemed very competent as a coach. I'm also really happy to see that Allardyce wants Ryland Morgans, a fitness guru, in the coaching team too. Not before time with regard to the visible shape of a number of our players.

Stan Schofield
7 Posted 03/12/2017 at 10:52:44
The trick to enjoying being any supporter is to focus on the football on the pitch, both highs and lows of it. That's what you do as a kid, but as an adult you can get diverted by peripheral matters about which we know very little, if anything, about. That trick is not 'blissful ignorance', but rather 'blissfully ignoring misinformation', or 'blissfully ignoring potted information presented out of context by the media', but the latter is more of a mouthful.

On any subject I know something about, I've found that the press are generally ignorant, stupid, simplistic, and a load of other adjectives that underline how unprofessional they generally are. While folks are enthusiastically devouring what they pump out, they're diverted from bigger fish to fry.

If supporters are really concerned about financial and other apparent wrongdoings in the world of football, perhaps they should stop watching the game, and boycott all the businesses, such as the Murdoch empire, that profit from it, and have nothing to do with individuals suspected of wrongdoing. The time saved could then be directed onto worthwhile humanitarian causes.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 03/12/2017 at 11:11:01
I didn't see much absenteeism at Goodison Park yesterday.

Stan #7 "If supporters are really concerned about financial and other apparent wrongdoings in the world of football, perhaps they should stop watching the game, and boycott all the businesses, such as the Murdoch empire, that profit from it, and have nothing to do with individuals suspected of wrongdoing".

Yes, where's the consistency in not turning up at Goodison Park, because a "rotten" manager is there, and then: watching on streams which of questionable legality; watching on Murdoch's empire, which pumps money into this corrupt game?

Simon Dalzell
9 Posted 04/12/2017 at 23:49:06
Very good article. I feel embarrassed by some people's attitude towards our new manager. This is a good opportunity to prove his detractors (often ill-informed) to show with the right materials he is more than just a hoof-ball merchant.

Lee and Shakespeare are quality additions. The "I support Everton not Allardyce" idiots disgust me, and hope my quiet optimism isn't unfounded. Go on, Sam, prove them wrong! (Including Lyndon Lloyd.)


Si Cooper
10 Posted 05/12/2017 at 01:41:32
I don't think the 3 alternatives given in the OP cover all the bases. For me the appointment of Sam Allardyce was unappetising simply because it would be (is) an admission that our ambition for this season had shrunk to mere survival.

He has never before been appointed by any club with realistic ambition of reaching the Champions League and he is regarded as a specialist at digging you out of deep holes not as someone who is at all likely to propel you into the stratosphere.

I'm sure there are plenty who will insist we were in it up to our necks and an escape artist was essential but I didn't really think we had yet sunk that far and I was hopeful the board would find someone who could both get us performing for the remainder of this season but also start transforming us for the future. I'm not convinced Allardyce is the appointment that will turn Ross Barkley's head or attract a top class striker in January and that is why I twice voted against him.

Now he is here, he gets my unalloyed support and I hope he can become another legendary figure for our club because that would mean success for our club which is what I want (though not at ANY cost).

John Pierce
12 Posted 05/12/2017 at 02:08:54
My opposition to his appointment is not one of a moral objection, if it was, then I'd have given up on football – let alone Everton – some time ago.

It's also predicated on the fact I did not think we were in the mess as deep as some; it just felt desperate. That was because our incompetent leaders made it so.

Everton are lodged in no-man's land, way better than the dross below us not quite good enough to be at the top. So the way Everton play, the inclusion of youth and due respect to all cup competitions is paramount to how I feel.

For me, if he can tick those boxes, I'll drink the gravy and chew the gum. I need to see meaningful progression, and players of all types improve.

My ire with Koeman was he failed to hit any those metrics at all. Allardyce has a lot to prove, maybe that hunger might translate into something. But he starts with the least amount of ‘credit' of an Everton manager I can remember since Lee or Bingham.

One point I will make is he already looks the most professional manager – a point well made by Paul A Smith – we've ever had. Looks undaunted by the task at hand and focused. If, as we often point out, the team is a reflection of their coach, it will be a start.

Don Alexander
13 Posted 05/12/2017 at 02:34:56
These days Allardyce comes across as the archetypal "ugly but dishonest" modern-day football manager. He is now, however, well into his sixties, having just blown his life-long-desired "Top Job" as soon as he got it.

To me that fact begs two questions; Is he still determined to try to win for himself (and whichever club daft/perceptive enough to employ him) the distinction of internationally acclaimed grandeur as a winner or very close to it, or is he just A N Other managerial leech taking whoever's daft enough to employ him (and the club's fans) to the cleaners for their money, and bollocks to the results?

I now suspect/hope the former proposition is the case regarding Allardyce. I also hope, however, that he's able to free himself from the stylistic constraints he's endured elsewhere as "Fireman Sam" given that he's now with the one club in his career with a feasible plan to attain real, recognized-around-the-world, success.

David Ellis
14 Posted 05/12/2017 at 04:08:02
Don (#13) – to answer your question, I'm a sure he wants success... to get into Europe at least and to win things. He won't want to retire with a record of only winning the 3rd Division Championship (or whatever it was). He can only be judged a great manager if he does something with us – it's now or never. I'm sure he's financially pretty comfortable, he'll want to win things.

Will Mabon
15 Posted 05/12/2017 at 05:24:10
Financially comfortable he certainly is. Back when he was still manager at Newcastle I think, he was listed as the world's thirteenth richest football manager (wealth not salary). Of course he was no doubt even richer when given the England job but that didn't seem to affect the love of a nice extra bung.

I guess there must come a point when it simply isn't just about the money. After all, managing in the Premier League must be one hell of a demanding job at the best of times, the responsibility and the commitment needed. I doubt even Allardyce is thick-skinned enough to not care about results and his reputation, for the money alone.

We must hope he doesn't simply default to his long-standing, tried and tested "Model" of football management to maintain his record. Not too old to change?

John G Davies
16 Posted 05/12/2017 at 06:29:28
If he takes us up the table, that will do me. I'm not the slightest bit interested in bungs or any moral judgement on him.
Sam Hoare
17 Posted 05/12/2017 at 07:37:21
I agree with Si Cooper@10. My objection was one relating to ambition. Allardyce has little or no history of winning trophies or taking teams into the top positions. His experience and expertise pertaining more to 'rescuing' clubs who were in danger of relegation and benefitting them in the short term.

Unlike others, I was still looking up and not down and wanted someone who I believed more capable of building a long-term project, someone ideally with experience of winning leagues and trophies.

For me the appointment of Allardyce was indicative of panic and desperation by the board and a step back in terms of the long-term ambitions of the club.

But he is the manager now and has my full backing. Hopefully he will show that he is capable of winning trophies and achieving higher league finishes at a bigger club and with better resources than he has had at his disposal before.

Mike Hughes
18 Posted 05/12/2017 at 08:26:17
Si Cooper (#10),

Your post does eventually support Sam Allardyce which I do as well. There was some inconsistency in your comment, though, for me:

"He has never before been appointed by any club with realistic ambition of reaching the Champions League"

That is true – but what about his predecessors? Martinez recruited from Wigan, Moyes from Preston, Walker from Norwich. Did you object to them on the same grounds? And Koeman and Smith had managed clubs at that level but we all know how that ended.

It seems to me that Allardyce has been judged unfairly by many due to this apparent lack of ambition by the club. But we are where we are and I think he is a good fit. I hope he succeeds and I have a level of confidence with Allardyce that I did not have with Martinez.

Koeman was a huge disappointment who stunk the place out this season despite massive investment.

Mike Hughes
19 Posted 05/12/2017 at 08:30:27
Simon Dalzell (#9) – nail on the head.

The original article by Nick Wall raised some very good points – ones that grated with me in the past week. I actually thought TW had been infiltrated by wind-up merchants at one point last week given the bizarre comments.

I, too, hope Sam Allardyce proves his detractors wrong.

Sam Hoare
20 Posted 05/12/2017 at 09:36:05
Mike Hughes @18

I see no inconsistency. Moyes was appointed at a time when our ambitions were much lower, we hadn't been a top 6 club for some time when he came in. And even then there were many saying he was not good enough as he had not managed in the top league.

Martinez, who I was no fan of, had just won the FA Cup. His team had been relegated and many rightly pointed to that as a great concern but at least he was manager who had won a trophy against the odds. Allardyce has won nothing in over 20 years as a manager.

Walker was before my time.

Of course appointing trophy-winning managers is no guarantee and you are right to highlight Koeman as an example of past glories being no indicator of future success. But nonetheless, Si and myself, and others, would have preferred a more aspirational coach rather than one known for a specialism in relegation fighting.

Hopefully the chance to show that he is capable of more than that will bring the best out of Allardyce and, as all Everton managers, he will be judged on the results he achieves at the club we all love far more than whatever has gone before.

Mike Hughes
21 Posted 05/12/2017 at 10:39:47
Sam Hoare (#20),

We'll have to agree to (partly) disagree on this occasion.

I see inconsistencies in that it appears to be one rule for Sam Allardyce (whether that be his football or apparent off-field activities) and another for everyone who is not Sam Allardyce. (It's been debated to death on here so let's pass on the wider issues of appointing someone who has won trophies and is whiter-than-white.)

Allardyce was appointed when we were only a few points from the relegation zone... fact. And we were deservedly in that precarious position having spent £millions on apparently aspirational players. Therefore, in my opinion, 'aspirational' has to be adapted away from any top 4 target to one of a more realistic nature given the circumstances.

You point to Martinez who, despite an FA Cup win, was relegated from the top flight, something that can't be levelled at Sam Allardyce.
Personally I attribute greater significance to Premier League survival than a Cup win. (I mean Birmingham City have won a cup since we last did so but let's not debate that one.)

Where we agree is that we both wanted more aspirational coaches. However, we need to be in a position to appoint one and did not appear to do so having recently been royally thrashed by fairly mediocre opposition. Performances had also been dire with players looking like rabbits in car headlights at times.

Who were the aspirational coaches? Dyche? I've nothing against him but what has he achieved? The more exotic-sounding coaches were featured mainly on betting websites. I doubt too many of them were realistic propositions at this point in time.

Those aspirational coaches did not appear to be knocking on our door and I, for one, would prefer a manager with desire (Allardyce) than someone – like Koeman – who seemed to have little appetite for the role.

Once again, I fully welcome and support Sam Allardyce as the Everton manager, echoing sentiments you express in your final paragraph.


Sam Hoare
22 Posted 05/12/2017 at 13:45:05
Mike, it's true there was no plethora of aspirational managers seemingly knocking on our door, though its difficult to know what really goes on in the corridors of power. For me I felt that someone like Fonseca or my top pick, Silva, would have been more in that category. I would agree too that cup wins are no great marker and I was fairly against the Martinez appointment at the time for that reason.

I think the crux of the disagreement for me is that I felt our position in the table was a false one. Especially with two winnable home games coming up I was not as worried about the threat of relegation as many others were. Though the performances against Atalanta (from our B side) and Southampton (disrupted by injury) were pretty calamitous I still believed for the most part that things were not quite as bad as many made out. And I think others felt the same. Many clearly felt that we were in dire trouble and most of those are the ones who were most supportive of the Allardyce appointment.

Either way, I think emotions have calmed on both sides for now and we are all hopefully united behind the manager and desperate to get a result this weekend.

Si Cooper
23 Posted 05/12/2017 at 20:11:30
Mike Hughes, the difference being we all thought the club had made a huge step-change when Farhad Moshiri turned up. Koeman might have failed but his appointment smacked of an attempt to reach the heights.

The disintegration since then with the apparent failure of the appointment of Walsh and the unimpressive scramble for Koeman's successor has severely dented the credentials of the top man.

Mike Hughes
24 Posted 05/12/2017 at 22:02:48
Sam / Si

All fair points (almost as good as my own ones!)

There is no simple answer to any of this and we all have our viewpoints based on our own reading of the situation. That, in turn, is based on our own experiences. And expectations.

Walsh has got off lightly but Koeman had absolutely no spark about him at all. It bores me just to type his name. Did we actually interview that bloke? If so, he must either have put on a fake voice or Moshiri was a mug.

The past week on TW has at least been ‘interesting' which is more than can be said for the footy much of this season! Ultimately we all want the same thing. As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. I'm happy with Sam Allardyce.

Let's hope we can stuff the RS on Sunday .I have to say that I'm more confident with Allardyce on board than without him.

Is it me or does there seem to be a bit of positivity about the players now?< I think Lallardyce will have them drilled, motivated and with a Plan A, B and C. And we are massive underdogs which should reduce the pressure a lot, hopefully with a positive outcome. He does have some form against them.

Here's hoping.


Steve Solomon
25 Posted 06/12/2017 at 08:36:18
I think Sam's label is unfair. He has only had relegation threatened clubs with no money in the past. This is different, let's see what he can do. I am optimistic.

The players look happier than they have in a long time and seem to be enjoying their football again. I'm looking forward to Sunday's game, whereas up until now I have been dreading it.

Ash Moore
26 Posted 09/12/2017 at 18:30:18
If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always gotten.

It is what it is. Good luck to him, and I hope he takes us up the table. But for me well it's not the club I grew up supporting. Letting this shady bastard back into football was the sort of shit I used to hang on Leeds fans with George Graham. That's how far the wheel has turned I suppose, and part of the reason I feel less attached to football than at any point in my life.

Perhaps it'll turn again. Perhaps it won't. It is what it is. Good luck to him. Expectations have possibly (probably?) never been lower, so the only way is up.

Andy McNabb
27 Posted 10/12/2017 at 01:44:00
Good article, Nick. I agree with your last comment re 'Sportpesa'. The fact that our main sponsor makes its money by deliberately preying on the weaknesses of individuals and bring so much misery to them and their families, is of far greater shame to this Club than the appointment of a manager who was caught trying to do the wrong thing financially.

Maybe it was always so, with so much of our earlier success built on the revenue of the footy 'Pools' industry but let's face it, financially, the game is screwed.

I refuse to object to Sammy Lee simply because he played for the other lot and also agree with John Pierce that at least Allardyce looks like he knows what he's doing. I never really took to the man when he managed other teams but after this debacle of a season, I'll settle for that.

Hugh A Ross
28 Posted 12/12/2017 at 15:31:58
Ash. I cannot comment on the parents of Mr Allardyce, however "Crime" was discussed at great length and he was punished. We now have him as the manager of our club, "by definition a coming together"!

Let's watch with interest, if the purse that he is presented with is spent well, let's not second guess. We can speculate and enjoy our speculations – the cold hard facts are we need quality and a lot of it.

I am a supporter for over 60 yrs and am still suffering from the embarrassment of our Dutch "Saviour" but hope springs eternal; the top 4 beckons...

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