The Cure

by   |   04/03/2018  13 Comments  [Jump to last]

It is customary now to preface any comments with a disclaimer. So, I never wanted Allardyce, I thought it was a panic appointment but I was prepared to give him a chance. I expected harsh medicine and dour football as he weaved his malevolent magic. He has done it before with lesser teams, therefore I was content to see him do what he does.

In return for dull uninspiring football we would become solid at the back, hard to beat and a team that no one likes to play against. We would move up the table with the foundations laid for better times next season. Sadly, the sacrifices have been made but the rewards have not been forthcoming. Sam’s medicine has not worked,; the patient rallied briefly but is once more at deaths door. Why did it work for lesser teams and, apart from a brief placebo effect, fail miserably for us?

We are not hard to beat, we are a shambles in defence and no one fears us. Is there a referee in the land who dreads Everton? Did anyone ever imagine that Allardyce would manage a team that are spineless? As we are bullied from pillar to post, Sam Allardyce stands on the sideline like some demented apothecary, utterly bewildered that his toxic medicine is failing before his eyes. The patient is unresponsive and the coach’s response is to increase the dose. He has no choice because Sam Allardyce has never had a Plan B.

I am thankful that, during Sam’s placebo period, we gathered some fortuitous points because this is one patient incapable of raging against the dying of the light. In my view David Unsworth has developed young players who are indeed up for the fight. Sadly, however, just when I believe we were turning the corner, a different treatment was introduced.

In the eighties, the stars aligned, circumstances combined, the right coach and players, perhaps with a great deal of luck, blended perfectly and something special happened. It happened at Leicester recently too. It is happening at Everton right now ... but in reverse. I believe we have a malign combination which has been inadvertently assembled. We have a poisonous mixture of nice guys, has-beens and some who really do not care. There are too few who are hurt as much as the supporters. They are too rich to really, really hurt. Add this mix to a coach who has seen his outdated methods work before and clings to the belief that they will work again and this is where we are.

In my view, there is no hope for this squad, whatever they are like as individual players. They are a failed team beyond any quick cure. We must limp along to safety while planning ahead. A new coach, and what a crucial appointment this is, must implement surgery. We are going to take a big loss on some players but there are few worth saving. Time to rip it up and start again.

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Reader Comments (13)

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Neil Cremin
1 Posted 04/03/2018 at 15:37:52
Firstly, with Brighton's result today we are going to slip into the bottom half of the table.

Secondly, I do believe there is a team there but I cannot for the life of me see what Sam has brought. Remember our best performance was Unsy last game in charge. Unsy was not appointed because he didn't get the results but most of his games were away from home. Sam's recorded is not any better.

We are now in serious trouble as I cannot see three worse teams with the possible exception of West Brom, We are only 7 points ahead of the second from bottom and all of these are getting significant results.

My biggest worry is Sam, his lack of responsibility for what is going on, his substitutions. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say that it would suit Sam that we go down because then we would not get the high profile manager we need and he would be in a prime position to say I can bring you straight back up because I have the experience.

Maybe I am paranoid but nothing at the moment makes any sense.

Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 04/03/2018 at 20:27:28
Andy, good article and read. Nick, agreed.

Our position will be perilous, if we don't beat Brighton, and Stoke seem to be getting their act together. Man City and the RS, will need both to have off days and it's not happened much this season.

There's a total lack of confidence and belief in the back 4. Keane should be dropped as his bottle has gone, and it looks like he wanted the ground to open and swallow him up on Saturday. Even Pickford is being affected now but he's been a hero all season, and is learning his trade.

The team needs leaders all over the park and that's when the going gets tough, this team goes missing.

I think Williams has lost the plot and his body language on the park is similar to Keane and he's had enough. That rash act has him out now hopefully for the season..

What a mess... this if we can scrape over the line needs a proper thought out plan to take the club forward.

The Everton brand has been battered this season, and the sponsors won't take another year of mediocrity. As for fans, we are the most patient and pain-tolerant in the world. 30 years of mediocrity on and off the park has caused this.

Transcending the negativity these days is tough, but we look for the promised land. Will the board find it? And, if they find it, will they look after it?

Andrew James
3 Posted 04/03/2018 at 00:05:36
Good, Andy – do you still walk up and down that hill thinking about all things Everton?

Allardyce was never the manager for a set of players purchased to play on the floor. I defy anyone in that there isn't a good team in there. We strengthened it with Walcott.

Pickford, Coleman, Jagielka, Holgate, Baines, Walcott, Gana, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney and ? up front still would be a good side.

Shame our manager persists with Williams but not having Baines & Coleman isn't his fault.

Nicholas Ryan
4 Posted 05/03/2018 at 01:13:43
The Cure... one of the most underrated bands of all time!
Don Alexander
5 Posted 05/03/2018 at 01:44:33
Allardyce is a convenient (useless) scapegoat for the board and Moshiri (who knows, as ever?!!). Mostly he's been appointed to manage teams in the shit but with players who fundamentally see themselves as "workman-like" at best. On that basis he/they've got the relegation-avoiding job done.

With our shower of indecently conceited tarts, it's very different for him though, and therefore us and, probably, our hapless owner.

Unless some cohesive performances emerge in the next week or two, they having been missing for a year or so of course, we are likely to be descending to another "dodgy-keeper" / Barry Horne relegation-avoiding scenario.

Well done, Everton. "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" my arse.

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 05/03/2018 at 11:05:10
I completely reject the Allardyce mantra of success because he has "done it before with lesser teams". Done what exactly? Kept them up?

I said it countless times before he came, he comes in and spends fortunes, he buys old players, he has a 6-month or 12-month plan, and then he gets out.

His record is atrocious. If staying up was all that matters, then sure, he does that. But we weren't Palace, Sunderland or West Ham. We didn't need saving, we were 13th, not 20th and adrift.

His record of never ever winning more games at any of the seven Premier League clubs he's managed continues. That's his record. Abject mediocrity at best. We could have had that under Unsworth.

We didn't need Fireman Sam. We just needed to play those initial 4 games or so Allardyce had that bumped us up to 8th. I firmly believe it would have happened under Unsworth or whoever else came in.

All he's doing now is wrecking the club long-term by upsetting the club more and more with his attitude towards the players, because he clearly doesn't give a shit about them, knowing he's off in the summer, and the players know it too.

Why wait until the summer to get a new manager in? Only if the new manager cannot come in now, if it's Fonseca or someone of that ilk. But we need more than a promise. We got that off Giroud and it wrecked our season. If we can't get a written commitment off Fonseca, and Tuchel and Co do not want to come, then let's go back to Plan A: get Silva in now, let him have 9 games to assess the squad, start the summer planning, and hit the ground running next season.

Why wait? And if you think we're going down, then have a look at our fixture list and tell me we cannot get 1 win and 1 draw from the remaining games. Two wins if you want. I expect 4 as a minimum, I would not be surprised with 6, and then that only gives Big Head an argument for more time. Get him out now.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 05/03/2018 at 11:27:00
Steve (6), I agree with nearly everything you have posted except the last paragraph. I'm not usually as pessimistic over things about Everton as I have been this season but even one win and a draw looks beyond this team – especially under this manager.

It seems so easy on paper to manage four to six points until you see them, as on Saturday, and then you just despair.

I'm like Doubting Thomas – I will not believe until I see the points on the table... and Thomas was just being pragmatic, same as me.

Steve Ferns
8 Posted 05/03/2018 at 11:55:14
Agreed, Dave. But remember Everton always let you down. They always infuriate you. Then, just as you think you can give up on them, they surprise you, and draw you back in, only to let you down again.
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 05/03/2018 at 12:54:46
Steve (#8), so true. I can never leave the bastards, will be renewing my season ticket soon, hope we are were you expect them to be.
Steve Cotton
10 Posted 05/03/2018 at 17:27:12
First and foremost we need to address the defence. I would say the only one worth keeping is Coleman. Baines is finished and the others are poor. No height either so any team with a big target man will throw the ball in until we give up.

we need pace up front so play Walcott and Niasse for the last 9 games and please try and find a winger from somewhere who can pick a cross out.

I do think the lack of height in the team makes us vulnerable too, we need a big guy at the back, in midfield, and upfront to be an aerial threat.

John Kavanagh
11 Posted 05/03/2018 at 19:46:59
Steve (6) I admire your optimism, but Brighton have just trashed Arsenal (an impossibility for us!) and are organised and confident.

Stoke away is not for the faint-hearted (we are stuffed full of cowardly lions). The RS and City will run up four or five before having a rest (probably after 30 minutes). Swansea are much improved and getting big results. By then we could be in big trouble.

Newcastle are capable of getting a draw or even sneaking a win. At Huddersfield Allardyce will go for a big point a la Watford and likely get none. Southampton put four past us with consummate ease last time out.

This leaves us facing Moyes's West Ham away, with a very real possibility that both sides will need a win to stay up.

I get more worried each time I look at the fixtures. Every single opponent will be motivated to win; something that is now completely lacking in Everton under our genius manager.

Only a big win on Saturday will avoid our being dragged into a scrap we are patently unsuited to fighting. The Championship is full of sides that thought they had an easy run-in and enough points in January to avoid a relegation fight.

John Kavanagh
12 Posted 05/03/2018 at 20:01:50
Steve Fearns (#8). This is the one great certainty in life. You can always rely on Everton to let you down.
Alan McGuffog
13 Posted 05/03/2018 at 20:05:12
From time to time, I comfort myself with the thought that things cannot get worse. Some clubs bump along the bottom. We continue excavating. What it is to be a blue...

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