A season that promised so much has failed to live up to expectations for Everton and any chance of threatening to break into the top six has long since passed.
Last summer’s spending spree seemed to herald a new era at Goodison Park but, with a managerial change in November last year, it has been very much a case of one step forward and two back.
Sam Allardyce has steadied the ship and three wins from five has ended any talk of relegation, but there are clearly issues that need to be addressed as thoughts turn to next season’s challenge.
It seems as though spending £150m on recruitment is not enough for success these days and, as politicians clash over bookmaker shirt sponsorship, it seems as though the Toffees, who recently announced SportPesa as their new shirt sponsor, will have to find more money in the summer to solve a number of problems.
Big Sam will doubtless start from the back and the centre half position needs work in the off-season, with Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka not getting any younger.
Michael Keane arrived to much fanfare but has failed to hit the heights while the jury is still out on Ramiro Funes Mori.
The Blues shipped 50 goals in their first 31 games this season and that is not something you normally associate with an Allardyce side.
Leighton Baines has never let anyone down in his 11 seasons at the club but is also the wrong side of 30, while Séamus Coleman will need to prove himself after his injury absence but has the class and work ethic to get back to his best.
Goals have been hard to come by, especially away from home with just 12 on the road all season, and it is a collective failing of the attacking players and cannot be levelled at just the strikers.
Romelu Lukaku’s goals were always going to be hard to replace and it is telling that Wayne Rooney leads the goalscoring charts with just 10.
The former England captain has played with passion and no little skill but Allardyce has made it clear that he does not want to partner Rooney with Gylfi Sigurdsson, and it is open to question whether the current set-up is getting the best out of the Iceland international.
He will surely be persevered with as he has obvious class but other big-name players might be on their way at the end of the season.
Strikers feed off the midfielders and Morgan Schneiderlin has failed to make much of an impact despite having plenty of top-flight experience, and it seems inevitable that Allardyce will look to strengthen his midfield ranks at the end of the campaign.
Cenk Tosun has started to find his feet and the net after his winter arrival but the fans are crying out for a 20-goal man up front.
It is not all doom and gloom at Everton, however, and, with the upheaval of Ronald Koeman’s departure, it always seemed as though the remainder of the campaign would be about consolidation.
That will not be enough next season and it looks set to be a busy summer for the veteran coach as he plots a way back to the right end of the table.
Reader Comments (36)
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1 Posted 20/03/2018 at 09:09:39
As to the transfer market, well it's not rocket science, you do your homework on players before you buy. Since Moyes left, the recruitment drive has been little short of pathetic. Players have seemingly been bought without any kind of plan where to play them, whether they will fit in with the dressing room, whether they will fight like hell to save a lost cause, will they upset teammates with bad attitude, the list is endless.
There have been very few players that you can look back on in the last 5 years and say he's been an excellent buy, the club have been lucky to have them. Gareth Barry maybe, Sigurdsson may turn out like that, Pickford maybe when he matures a bit more, the point being that I'm really struggling to find players who were right for the club.
Lukaku being one of the worst despite his goal scoring record. We became totally reliant on him and he knew it. Rarely if ever (Chelski cup game excepted) did he turn up for big games, he just did it when he could be arsed, Man Utd are seeing that now and are complaining bitterly. All the attributes for a fine player but it's all about him, definitely not a team player.
The shift from Moyes teams to the current lot is stark. No team spirit, no willingness to fight for each other, basics shocking, no appreciation for the fans. By the way I'm not extolling Moyes just showing how poor the decline has been since he left. At least his teams cared.
As I pointed out earlier, it's not rocket science and you don't need to spend a fortune, just do homework on players and if they don't fit then don't buy them. The last 5 years seems like players have been just pulled out of a hat and said "Yeah we'll have him". Same could be said about the last 3 managers too (Unsworth excepted).
Shocking planning all round. Let's start with identifying a manager who has a plan, can execute said plan and has a plan to get players who can fit into a system. Let this manager be someone who has proven he can motivate players and doesn't unnecessarily fall out with players. Let this manager be someone who has a decent defensive record but can also attack. The board need to do their homework as much as the next manager.
If Sam Allardyce is still our manager next season, then God help us.
2 Posted 20/03/2018 at 10:26:02
It is of course a matter of opinion as to whether or not he has "steadied the ship" since he was foisted on we supporters mine is that, if a man whose sole supposed strength is being able to organise a defence cannot achieve more than one clean sheet in his last twelve games, even his "strength" is weak (if that's not a contradiction in terms!)
3 Posted 20/03/2018 at 11:26:41
4 Posted 20/03/2018 at 12:21:14
Maybe some of the 7% who are voting for Sam to be kept on can educate us fans why they think he can be the man to make us proud of the club.
5 Posted 20/03/2018 at 12:54:33
His first game against Huddersfield, and they brought a load of first-team players back, because they had been rested against Arsenal, thinking Everton was their better chance of getting 3 points?
The league is poor, but so are we. Walsh, has got to be taken to account for such an unbalanced squad, but at least recruitment has improved under Allardyce, whilst the football has stayed the same as his predecessor, which was also just unadulterated shite!
I'd love someone like Fonseca, but if not give it to little Arteta, who knows the league, knows the club, seems to possess a lot of (football) intelligence, and is someone I'm sure the fans will get behind, which is something the club hasn't had for a few years now.
The league is shite, so let's stop wasting money, and let's start building from with-in.
6 Posted 20/03/2018 at 13:14:32
With Sam... if we did really well, we would go into the summer as a club that under-performed but got 'saved' by a manager who makes teams hard to beat. If we did really badly, we'd be seen as a team that needs a complete rebuild with a new manager. Even with the best case, we'd go into the summer with little expectation.
If we now thanked Sam for our 40 points and brought in a new man... if we did really well, we'd be looked at as a team ready to challenge again with a new manager who can finally deliver for us. If we went badly, we'd be seen as a club that had some turmoil but is ready to rebuild with a manager who has had time to assess the squad.
Is that a fair assessment?
I'm struggling to see any benefit of retaining Sam. If we're going to attract any players to improve this squad, we need one of the last two scenarios, don't we? Who is going to join Sam's Everton, or even post-Sam's Everton?
Surely the best case here is we bring a manager in. The players can play for their Everton careers who really thinks that they'll be playing for Sam next season?
8 Posted 20/03/2018 at 14:18:16
It's probably rude of me to point it out, but you recently held your hand up as one of those who canvased for Sam Allardyce to be appointed.
Now I write that not to ridicule or castigate you. You are fully entitled to that opinion, as you are now entitled to change your stance on Sam.
Nor were you alone. The rationale was that he was the ideal appointment in the situation we found ourselves in after the Koeman-Unsworth double act after 14 games.
Others considered it a panicked and unnecessary appointment. Yes, the team and performances were dire, but the most challenging of opening fixtures compounded our problems.
But a quick glance at the fixture list Sam inherited would have told you Everton could and indeed did start picking up points and move up the table.
He immediately addressed the season-long problem we had encountered: 28 goals conceded in the opening 14 fixtures, averaging 2 a game - and tightened up the defence. In his first 6 Premier League games we had 4 clean sheets and gave up just 2 goals.
He did this with a largely settled back four of Kenny, Holgate, Williams and Martina. Due to the congested Xmas and New Year fixture list, out of necessity, to give players a break, he tinkered with that line-up and... we started conceding goals again and he never reverted back to what had proven to be his most reliable back four.
For me, that has been the most curious aspect of Sam's tenure at Everton. He seemingly quickly addressed and identified the best and most effective back four available to him... but then, broke it up and didn't revert back to it when other combinations did not perform as effectively. Very un-aSm-like for me...
Whilst your enthusiasm for Sam's candidature waned, Dave, your fear of relegation did not, even when presented with ample evidence that we were never seriously under threat of relegation since his appointment.
Ron Marr recently posted this link showing the league table of all teams' form since Sam was appointed:
This further reinforces that there are clearly many more worse teams than Everton in the PL as in that table we sit a very heady sixth. SIXTH!
Just 2 points behind Chelsea, 2 points clear of Leicester and even with the two twattings by Arsenal 5 points clear of the Arse (admittedly, all three of those have a game in hand on us).
I personally don't think it is particularly meritorious. Like brother Tony, I think it rather reflects just how impoverished the overall standard of the Premier League now is that we could occupy sixth in such a form table.
But such data could be enough to sway the powers that be to allow Sam to see out the full-term of his contract. I would rather hope otherwise, but it is far from a foregone conclusion for me that Sam will be released in the summer, or that other necessary management changes will be the order of the day.
9 Posted 20/03/2018 at 15:03:41
Can or should anything be read into this?
10 Posted 20/03/2018 at 15:41:11
11 Posted 20/03/2018 at 16:10:15
12 Posted 20/03/2018 at 16:17:49
In addition to that, we need to clarify the manager's situation. I am torn between wanting a new manager to come in, and Allardyce staying.
If he stays, I would like to think he will ship out the likes of Williams, Schneiderlin etc and hopefully he has identified where our weaknesses lie by now and will be able to bring in some players to improve the squad. We need to get rid of this soft centre we have throughout the squad, we are paying mega bucks to players who are so precious that they can't play away from home.
If he goes who replaces him? There's no outstanding candidate for me. The other thing is that any new manager will wipe the slate clean and give some of these players who have now stunk the house out under 4 managers a chance to impress again. We all know that there are 7/8 players that need shifting. Will getting a new manager prevent this from happening?
We are caught between 2 stools, I don't know what Moshiri will do...
13 Posted 20/03/2018 at 16:21:52
However, I started having misgivings about Sam not too long after he came, with the two away games around Christmas: Bournemouth and West Brom... plus the home game versus West Brom when his lacklustre team selections and gameplans (if any) were woeful to watch.
Since then, he hasn't given any indication he can make us a better team over the long term, although I give him credit for signing Walcott and possibly Tosun.
I admit I was terrified of relegation and what it would do to the long-term of Everton's future and to me relegation was very realistic. No matter what stats yourself and other people were sending, I looked at how Everton were performing and couldn't see a worse team in the league than them.
Now I don't want Allardyce at all and think Moshiri was pushed into giving him the longer contract after Sam refused the shorter one of just the rest of this season. I believe he will go before next season, hopefully at the end of this season.
Finally I have never been more glad to be wrong over Everton going down and I am very pleased you and a few more on ToffeeWeb were proved correct.
15 Posted 20/03/2018 at 16:40:53
Howard Kendall used to say that becoming a new manager in the close season was the worst time. You didn't have a chance to assess your players properly, and could waste weeks persuading someone to stay and sign a new contract and then realize they were surplus to requirements.
Far better, he said, to change manager with 8-10 games of a season remaining, so that the new boss can use that period to assess the squad and go into the close season with a much more accurate idea of who might stay, who might go, and what the real squad needs were.
16 Posted 20/03/2018 at 17:27:34
How you can appoint someone who was basically a PE teacher to recommend potential purchases, puzzles me. I know when Koeman was here and again under Allardyce it has been stated quite publicly that Walsh has 50% say on any new signings. Doesn't seem as he has unearthed too many stars so far.
Then an even bigger question for Moshiri is do you stick or twist on Allardyce. I don't think he will take much notice of our poll on ToffeeWeb, so what will he take into consideration come the end of the season? He may well think if we finish 7th "I cant possibly sack Allardyce," finish between 9th and 11th it makes his choices harder. Does he think most have renewed their season tickets as I and many have done, so there wont be a down turn in fans attending matches.
He might have picked up that a lot of match going fans don't like Allardyce, but does he think if he gives him more money in the summer and he turns things around then more fans will be onside. I guess in Moshiri's position all these thoughts will be going round in his head.
He might think Allardyce is incapable of playing the style of football that will get the fans onside. So he may end his contract in the summer. But, if he does dispense with Allardyce, then that will have been the 3rd manager he has sacked in a very short amount of time. So the pressure on him to get it right will be immense, and does he have the knowledge to appoint the right man?
I personally hope he does dispense with Allardyce, I cant see any scenario under Allardyce were we could even dream of challenging the top 6. I would suggest that, if he does change, make sure that you ask the next manager does he want a Director of Footballl so heavily involved in player purchases.
17 Posted 20/03/2018 at 21:53:53
Allardyce still there this week is a real problem. Not in a million years would he be up to the task to fulfil your necessary requirements. The quicker he is gone, the better. The Board should have the necessary Manager resourced and ready to take over charge.
It's obvious that Allardyce has no tactical or coaching ability. He relies on old professionals stifling the game. It makes you wonder about the England set-up, who engaged Big Sam. No wonder Southgate isn't bothered if the World Cup is boycotted, a good way for him to stay in place without the inevitable scrutiny a World Cup would put on his ability.
18 Posted 21/03/2018 at 16:13:53
19 Posted 21/03/2018 at 16:54:49
There was a reason he brought him here but he can have no reason for keeping him long term and everyday now is a day wasted by the club in holding on to him. Some people are cutting him slack because he signed Theo and Tosun but they have proved nothing yet. I hope they do but I have my doubts.
The games we have won lately were won in ponderous displays against shockingly poor teams so let's get real with the praise. If Adams had not walked last week, then it's a different game.
Very soon he will be back blaming the players because they can't pass to each other or missed the only chance we create in a game.
If I see Williams and Schneiderlin in our team together soon I will know then that negotiations for an extension on his contract are not going well for him and he is just trying to piss us all off before he leaves. I can suffer that one!
20 Posted 21/03/2018 at 18:50:54
21 Posted 21/03/2018 at 19:10:39
If he is still here this summer, making decisions for next season, I'm done. His appointment was the lowest point in our history... an insult to all those who have gone before.
His continuance in the role will only confirm the depths to which we have sunk.
22 Posted 21/03/2018 at 19:56:53
Allardyce was chosen because we were two points off the bottom three and we were awful. As Dave said, if we weren't the worst in the league, we were almost as bad. Moshiri protected his investment at the cost of this season.
I have never, repeat, never in all my years seen an Everton team as bad, so I understand why and how we came to have Allardyce. He has done his job and hopefully Moshiri will pay the man, show him the door and thank him for keeping us in the Premier League because, under Koeman or Unsworth, it was never going to happen.
But that's it. He should replace him in the summer and get the project back on track. But is Moshiri strong enough to do it? Will he find the right replacement? We need a better team in the boardroom as well as on the pitch.
So, we got there as a result of the mismanagement of the board and the playing management. It's worth noting too that, no matter who was appointed to replace Koeman, the result would be the same, with the fractured squad, lame ducks and lemons, a real poisoned chalice; it would take a miracle to transform them into a top six side.
We were let down as supporters by incompetence way before Allardyce was appointed. He has become the focal point of all that is wrong at the club not the reason it happened and that's letting the board, Walsh and co off the hook. I hope Moshiri replaces all concerned asap. Fresh management on and off the field required.
23 Posted 21/03/2018 at 20:36:42
I have supported Everton since 1954 don't ask me why, but it happened. I was satisfied/dissatisfied with Moyes, Martinez and Koeman but never asked for any of them to be dismissed. Even Unsworth did an admirable job. Allardyce, however, is a completely different animal.
You dismiss Koeman and Unsworth as not able, yet commend Allardyce on saving us? Allardyce is as contemptible an individual inside or outside of football as you could wish to find.
I commend your support of this club which I have admired from afar, but your acceptance of this despicable individual purely on the questionable basis that he kept us up is, to my mind, un-Evertonian.
I don't care what he is attributed as doing. He should not have been appointed in the first place to a club with a culture such as ours.
24 Posted 21/03/2018 at 21:04:50
Panic move hiring him? I'd say. It's irrelevant at this point, though. His job is done.
There's no way he's staying beyond the end of the season.
25 Posted 21/03/2018 at 21:12:20
Should he have been appointed in the first place?
We should not have been where we were and where Moshiri felt he had no option but to protect his money. He is not and was not our choice. The fact remains we are not going down, the rest is conjecture. Moshiri will feel vindicated, does it sit well with me? No, of course not don't confuse pragmatism with praise or satisfaction, the man's sole claim to management is his ability to keep clubs from being relegated. Not to play football. Certainly not in my eyes in keeping with the culture we all believe in.
No matter who or how we get there, we will play in the Premier League next season. But don't for a moment think I would praise Allardyce for his style or attitude or his personal values, or think he is the answer to our future.
As I said.. his job is done; move him on.
26 Posted 21/03/2018 at 21:34:28
Until Mr Moshiri arrived, this club had been brought to its knees by boardroom inertia and that's putting it very mildly for decades. With him, we've just about prised one knee off the floor despite squandering more money than all but half-a-dozen other clubs in Europe spent over the past 18 months.
And then there's the stadium issue.
Moshiri must surely be ruing the day he took the advice of the inadequates around the table in the boardroom and if I was him I'd be searching for much better qualified people to occupy all of those chairs.
EiTC does not need a club director to run it for instance, eminently worthy as the enterprise is. If we need to see tears at the ground, we could hire Gazza for the day so that's Kenwright's part covered.
And why it's taken so long to establish that Elstone is more comfortable with different shaped balls amazes me. The two new guys need to have their record made known so that appropriate verdicts can be made because, right now, they're tarnished with the same Blue-Bill brush.
27 Posted 21/03/2018 at 22:11:01
28 Posted 21/03/2018 at 22:34:34
Next season, we will be still as bad as we are now unless the squad on the field is changed in quite a few positions, starting with the centre of midfield.
If the team in the boardroom and the managing staff, manager and coaches are not dramatically changed, the panic will start all over again in early August.
Allardyce, the manager, came and did what he was asked to do, at the time he came. To be honest, I wasn't worried about Allardyce the man he could have been a serial killer as long as he kept us up.
29 Posted 21/03/2018 at 23:29:14
Unsworth is nine years into a non-playing career and is already 44 years old. Howe, Dyche, Pocchettino, Wagner and Guardiola are more or less the same age. Unsworth hasn't wanted to leave his role with us. He is, by definition, complacent, unlike the five I mention above. That, I suggest, surely transmits to any senior squad he's allowed to manage, "good bloke" as he may well be.
We surely have to aim way higher than a youth team manager/coach if we have any hope of hitting the targets we all agree we aspire to don't we?
The Kenwright-inspired "He Gets Everton" mentality has resulted in grossly indulgent contracts being afforded certain people who have clearly demonstrated their individual and collective inability to deliver the coaching/managing goods for decades, Unsworth admittedly excepted lately in his relatively minor duties with the Reserves but come on, the only club to court him as a manager seems to have been Hibernian who he knocked back causing them to hire Alan Stubbs.
Alan Stubbs was an Everton coach at the time who in 2013 was interviewed by Kenwright as our prospective successor to Moyesy (he chose Martinez instead)! Stubbs did well enough at Hibs to then win a management job at real-world Rotherham United. He lasted a mere four months before getting the chop and evidently realising management wasn't for him, even though I'm sure "He Still Gets Everton".
If Kenwright's still there next season, I'm sure Stubbsy's looking forward to answering the tearful plea to "Come back Alan we need you!"
30 Posted 21/03/2018 at 23:53:30
31 Posted 22/03/2018 at 00:15:28
32 Posted 22/03/2018 at 20:02:51
34 Posted 22/03/2018 at 21:39:52
Eight games to go and, if recent history is a guide, this is the period when we are most likely to fall in a complete heap.
So I see these last eight games as the real test for Sam Allardyce. If we do well, he'll stay; if we do badly, he will go.
For the record, I am in the undecided camp as far as Sam Allardyce is concerned. I called for him before the West Ham game for reasons that have been stated a 1000 times by others on here.
I have to say though that a couple of posters, for whom I have a great respect, have made me take stock of where I stand on this matter. This is because of their obvious long-lasting love for the club, their fair-mindedness, and their view that he is most definitely not the man for Everton Football Club.
The upcoming period will tell me all I need to know to make my mind up. The squad has some talented players but some glaring weaknesses. The games against Man City and Liverpool in particular, are the acid test for Sam Allardyce.
Now that the pressure is off, can he get them playing better football and get some decent results? If yes, I think Farhad Moshiri will keep him on. If it goes the other way, we will be back on the manager and transfer merry-go-round.
35 Posted 22/03/2018 at 22:19:45
He's a safe pair of hands. All the moral judgements are a bit rich; in the modern world, dig deep enough and you'll find the dirt on most people climbing the greasy pole to monetary success.
The injury list we have will make the next two games even harder to gain a result but, if things go badly, stand by for the inevitable personal abuse, which is becoming laughable and totally predictable, also sadly irrelevant.
36 Posted 22/03/2018 at 22:46:43
I'm eager for this current board to be gone and the managerial team to follow once a new board has been appointed. Only will we then, I feel, start a new chapter otherwise it will more of the same shit like seasons gone by. The change is imperative and must be made this summer at board level.
37 Posted 22/03/2018 at 23:52:22
My next thought is that any more turmoil before the derby may throw our very fragile bunch of players into chaos; to avoid a real thumping, he is better with us.
Beyond that, I will have run out of reasons for him to be here.
38 Posted 24/03/2018 at 14:01:49
His ego and arrogance know no bounds. He is the only reason we ever win games and bears no responsibility for any game we lose. He constantly self-promotes himself up as one of the best managers around by virtue of the fact that none of the teams he has managed have been relegated. Really? Is that the criterion?
No, the best managers around just like players are the ones who have actually won something. It's the winning of trophies that entitles a manager to claim to be successful.
So no, Allardyce is not a safe pair of hands if this fabulous club of ours is ever going to find its way out of the gloom that currently surrounds it if Moshiri hangs onto him, we might as well all throw our season tickets in the bin.
39 Posted 11/04/2018 at 10:57:14
Take your payoff and GO!!
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