Rooney secures first away win in 11 months

Wednesday, 13 December, 2017 209comments  |  Jump to most recent
Newcastle United 0 - 1 Everton

Mason Holgate is rewarded for his recent displays by keeping his place in the defence despite Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane both being fit

A solitary Wayne Rooney strike earned Everton victory at St James's Park in what was a mostly dire encounter against a poor Newcastle United side.

The veteran striker celebrated his 100th appearance in all competitions for the Blues by scoring, albeit in fortuitous circumstances, when he react quickly to knock home a loose ball following a howler by goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Newcastle twice hit the woodwork in a first-half which they largely dominated and Darlow had to be at his best to prevent Ashley Williams from killing the game with a second-half header, but the home side ran out of ideas and steam allowing Everton to see out the win in fairly comfortable circumstances.

Sam Allardyce named a slightly changed line-up from the one that started the Merseyside derby, with Aaron Lennon and Morgan Schneiderlin replacing Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies.

At the back, Mason Holgate kept his place alongside Ashley Williams while Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane were on the bench.

Everton started on the back foot, with Newcastle hoping to avoid a fourth successive home defeat by putting some early pressure on the visitors.

Rooney sold Martina short with a headed pass with just a minute gone that was intercepted and the defender tripped his man right on the edge of the box. Mark Ritchie's low shot deflected off Schneiderlin and behind, however.

Though they kept the ball much more than was the case at Anfield, Everton offered very little going forward in the early minutes. Sigurdsson tried to release Calvert-Lewinbut an apparent block off by Lascelles on the young striker wasn't deemed a foul by referee Atkinson.

A decent passing move ended with Sigurdsson laying Lennon's cross off to Gueye but he fluffed a shot with his weaker left foot.

Article continues below video content

Ritchie then had a low shot in the 20th minute saved by Pickford after the ball ricocheted off Schneiderlin on the edge of the box but the contest would pivot on a couple of incidents, one at either end.

Sigurdsson's cross in the 24th minute just eluded the straining neck of Calvert-Lewin and Newcastle countered, with Ritchie going on a slaloming run before slamming a shot off the post.

A minute later, Lennon popped up on the end of a cross from Calvert-Lewin following a neat interchange just outside the box that was spilled by Darlow and Rooney reacted quickest to stab the loose ball home.

Newcastle responded and Merino cracked a shot off the inside of the post while Ritchie had an effort saved late in the half but Everton managed to get in at the break ahead at 1-0.

Lejeune went close for the Magpies when his header bounced wide of the post but chances remained few and far between for either side.

Nikola Vlasic replaced Lennon on the hour mark before Holgate deflected Shelvey's speculative drive behind for a corner that Pickford punched clear.

Great work by Vlasic opened things up for Gueye to prod into space for Sigurdsson but the Iceland international miscued his shot badly and it flew high over the crossbar.

Vlasic was on the ball again when he was bundled over, handing Sigurdsson a free kick from a deep position from which he picked out Williams unmarked but Darlow made an excellent save diving to his right to push the Welsh international's header behind.

Davies came on to replace Rooney with a quarter of an hour to go as Allardyce's second change of the night.

Newcastle continued to struggle to make chances but Atsu had a sight of goal with eight minutes to go but it made for a routine save for Pickford.

The final change for Everton followed shortly afterwards as Jagielka was introduced in place of Sigurdsson as Allardyce bolstered his defensive unit in an attempt to see the game out.

With less than three minutes of the regulation 90 left, Davies was fouled by Yedlin setting up a free kick wide on the left which Schneiderlin took short to Davies to take into the corner flag.

Four minutes of added time went up on the board as Shelvey hoisted a high ball that Williams managed to head behind but the resulting corner was cleared.

Gueye tried to carry the ball clear in the final minute of added time and was scythed down by Shelvey who was shown a second yellow card.

The victory, Everton's third in four matches since going down 4-1 at Southampton, closes the points gap between the Blues in 10th and Watford in 9th and sets Allardyce's men up nicely for consecutive home games before Christmas.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday 13 December 2017
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Last Time: Newcastle 0 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Lennon, Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Robles, Keane, Jagielka, Davies, Vlasic, Lookman, Niasse

Full details: ToffeeWeb Match Page

Reader Comments (209)

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 13/12/2017 at 19:16:06
Allerdyce isn’t doing the complete opposite of both Koeman, and Unsworth, and trying to keep the team as settled as he can? But I wonder if Twatkinson, will look to give Newcastle a soft penalty tonight?
Jeff Armstrong
2 Posted 13/12/2017 at 19:26:06
Schneiderlin and Gana in the same midfield... has nobody had a word in Allardyce‘s ear?
Darren Hind
3 Posted 13/12/2017 at 19:26:43
He's doing the right thing, Tony. He is sticking closely to the team Unsworth picked against West Ham... he'd be a mug not to.
Chris Gould
4 Posted 13/12/2017 at 19:32:36
So Allardyce also thinks Gueye and Schneiderlin can work alongside each other? Apart from Lennon, this is a very Koeman-like line-up.

I hope Sam can find the formula that Koeman couldn't. I like everything he has done so far. Hopefully tonight he will continue to impress.

Bill Gienapp
5 Posted 13/12/2017 at 19:35:56
Not thrilled about Schneiderlin sashaying back into the starting XI, though I agree that Davies could use a rest.
Darren Hind
6 Posted 13/12/2017 at 19:36:16
Not sure he does, Chris, but Schneiderlin cost a lot of money and Allardyce, is going to see if he can get a tune out of him. Tom needed resting, don't you think?
Ciarán McGlone
7 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:07:00
A Koeman selection with Allardyce tactics...

Let's hope we can get a lucky penalty like Sunday, so we can all gush over this man's prehistoric management.

Les Martin
8 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:07:17
The midfield axis has to be experienced by Sam even though it was not looking good when Koeman was in charge.

Maybe Sam has a totally different way of using the pairing, and if it doe not work in his eyes he can then disband it and move on.

He is still experimenting and learning about his squad and it will take time for him to formulate who and what works, patience is the key.

John Graham
9 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:20:28
Prehistoric management, one – Newcastle, nil.
John G Davies
10 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:36:25
Do us all a favour, Sam. Fuck off with these monotonous passages of possession, 20 plus passes all on the floor? Who the fuck do you think you are?

He's getting a tune out of Schneiderlin as well.

Jay Wood
11 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:37:05
Nice interplay between the master and the apprentice, Rooney and Calvert-Lewin, in the build up for the goal.

Got lucky with the 2nd shot hitting the inside of the post and keeping out, but we look far more solid and keeping better shape than we have for most of the season.

A second would be nice to finally secure a long over due away win.

George Cumiskey
12 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:42:44
Schneiderlin has done absolutely nothing in defence or attack, and £45mil for Sigurdsson!
Olalekan Taofik
13 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:45:28
Guys, keep the goals coming. Let's keep winning. Best of luck in the second half.
Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 13/12/2017 at 20:47:37
I think Siggy is getting wasted out wide George. He’s a good player, but you will never get the best out of a player with little pace on the wing, especially when a team only plays with one forward?
Lev Vellene
15 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:39:38
Oh, ye of little faith...



John G Davies
16 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:43:14
Jonjoe Kenny... I love this kid. A proper old-fashioned full back who never gives up.

Gana the best player on the pitch for me.

Chris Gould
17 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:45:32
Well I'm chuffed to bits with that. Watched a dodgy stream with no sound, but it was comfortable viewing. An away win and a clean sheet. Not to be scoffed at.

Well done, Mr Allardyce.

I agree John, Gueye was excellent.

Christy Ring
18 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:45:51
Another big result under Sam, onwards and upwards.
Lev Vellene
19 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:48:29
Just in case righteousness wins out, we WON! Ta-da! And I can't think of any soppy tune for a Wednesday win... Still grinning, though!
Phil Walling
20 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:50:30
Funny how the manager gets all the praise and the players all the criticism. How perception of the game has changed over the Sky Years.
John G Davies
21 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:51:35
Jay Wood
22 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:52:07
Finally! A win to mark up in the away column. LONG overdue.

Sluggish start to both halves by Everton, but other than the 2 shots against the woodwork Pickford was again well protected and had nothing of serious note to deal with.

The goal and the part played by Lennon, Calvert-Lewin and Rooney was the standout quality moment of the game.

And who enjoyed the waggish nature of our two young scousers towards the end, Tom Davies smiling at the baying mob after being fouled and counting out time deep in their corner. Then Kenny looking around for the 'lost' ball from a throw in.

And then the icing on the cake at the end – a red card for Shelvey!

It ain't yet pretty, but I do like the growing number of shut-outs we are chalking up.

Agree with JGD – Gana MotM for me.

Darren Hind
23 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:56:32
Rooney keeps producing (thank fuck) and we are getting results, but we were not much better than relegation certainties tonight. Long arl road back, but at least we're on it.

Calvert-Lewin performing really well doing the hardest job in the game at his age... He's gonna be some player.

Holgate and Kenny will deservedly take the plaudits, but a little shout out for Martina, it takes a lot to come back and fight after the sort of Weston he had on Sunday. Made up for him.

Not doing cartwheels, but a satisfying performance and it was great to get that away win monkey off our back.

Michael Lynch
24 Posted 13/12/2017 at 21:58:38
Gana great tonight, Kenny looking better with each match.

Big Sam doing a superb job so far.

James Byrne
25 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:02:17
That was a massive win tonight and full credit to the players and the manager. I don't know the stats but I'm sure Newcastle is a ground we don't win too often at.

Once again, Kenny a possible MotM and a revelation. Big Sam and Little Sam winning a lot of Evertonians over.

Just to rub salt in, Klopp the Knob and LFC had a goal disallowed at the end of a 0-0 draw. That was with Coutinho, Fimino, Salah and Mane on the pitch. Fucken gobshites.

Stephen Brown
26 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:02:36
Rooney goals have earned us about 12 points already this season!! Class!!!
John G Davies
27 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:05:27
Michael (#24),

The difference in organisation, shape and discipline defensively is clear. For the new coaching team to achieve this with the same players who conceded the amount they did before Sam took over is a credit to Sam, Sammy, and Craig.

Michael Lynch
28 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:07:48
Definitely John. We're getting some lucky breaks too, but the improvement is very noticeable. And with growing confidence at the back, it's giving us a platform to knock the ball around better, with improved movement off the ball too. We're still fairly poor, but there's a decent team appearing now.
Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:07:50
Phil, I've seen praise for quite a few players on here already, but I also think the manager and his staff should take credit because, only 18 days ago, most of us were looking at the worst ever organised Everton team that we had ever seen.

No fight, no leadership, and very, very fragile; we have just looked like Burnley looked at Goodison earlier in the season – never in trouble defensively, defenders getting bodies in the way, and I have to agree with those praising Gana Gueye because he's the player (along with Williams) who is benefiting most from this new-found discipline in our ranks now.

Brian Williams
30 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:08:19
And what makes things so much sweeter is that it looks like we've written the blueprint for others to follow on how to upset Klipperty.

Kevin Tully
31 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:09:27
Fantastic three points. That away record was becoming an embarrassment. I think we all have to take a good look at our starting eleven and realise the best we can hope for are these sort of wins. We aren't going to dominate games, and we won't be witnessing any sumptuous type football any time soon.

We will have to raise some funds from sales and hope we can persuade a decent striker to join us. I would also hope to add some flair to this side, we are just a bog-average team to watch at the moment, but we can take some joy from seeing the young lads holding their own.

It won't be pretty, but the bar is low, and we should end the season comfortably in the top half of the table.

Terry White
32 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:14:18
Thank you, Darren (#23) for singling out Martina. I thought all the back line played well but he gets an awful lot of unnecessary stick on this site and he has stuck to his job. After all he is not a left back by profession but is doing his best in an unfamiliar position. 3 clean sheets in 4 league games while he has been playing there must say something about his character. Nobody claims he is the 2nd coming of Ray Wilson but he is doing his best without complaint.

James (#25) I can recall at least 2 wins there in recent times, Cleverley's last minute winner and a 3-0 win started by Barkley's solo effort. I also recall some good wins there in the '80s but I can also remember some Shearer-led thumpings.

Lev Vellene
33 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:14:56
Phil (#20)

Funny how we won, and both the players and the manager should get credit. We fans know, what do the media understand, or care???

But, of course, this is a very bad result! We won without running circles around that other lot... Oh well, next time!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
34 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:15:15
Rooney has added 9 points, 4 winners and an equaliser. 9 goals already matches his 04-05 total, his best for the club.

Washed Up?

P4 W3 D1 F8 A1 Pts 10. Not a bad couple of weeks.

Looking forward to Christmas now.

John G Davies
35 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:15:33

I mentioned we would achieve a top half finish 3 weeks ago and you laughed.
Good to see the change of heart.

James Byrne
36 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:15:54
Well done to David Moyes and West Ham tonight. It just goes to show the difference a new manager coming in can make a huge difference to the whole club!

Let's hope Allardyce can keep the momentum going at Everton. COYB's.

Mike Hughes
37 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:16:20
Sam Allardyce is proving the doubters wrong with ease.

The best start ever to an Everton managerial career?
And with the crap he inherited.
And not a penny of his own in transfer funds.
And no bullshit / boring press conferences.

A result at Anfield; a Klopp meltdown and 3points off Benitez away. Lovely.

And the derogatory comments on ToffeeWeb.
(Boo-hoo - we need someone with a foreign name; a 'philosophy'; a 'footballing brand'; a time capsule back to 1963; a slim waistline; a cabinet full of trophies.)

Apologies to all the doubters – but it looks like winning football is back based on the evidence to date. Thankfully.

Paul Birmingham
38 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:18:08
Rooney, Gana, Kenny, and for me Holgate, Williams and Pickford were very good in general... and the rest of the team now have belief. It's a different team.

Sigurdsson is running and let's hope it continues. It's a difficult run of fixtures ahead but, whatever anyone says, Sam and Sammy and Craig and the backroom staff have turned around results in the last month.

Let's hope we can beat Swansea. Well done to the Fans who went the game and a safe journey home.

Good days ahead, as 2 months ago we faced Armageddon with Koeman; regardless of how good a footballer he was, he isn't a manager or a good coach, in my opinion.

Well done to the new EFC management team. Sam is reality and no bull, time will prove. Good defending and even Martina has rode the storm, and he's shown some bottle to do it. He's out of position, and wrong-footed, but he's done great in dire circumstances.

The RS result caps a good night. Here's to a Good Down Hill Slalom for all Evertonians around the world, for this week.

Kevin Tully
39 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:19:42
Nothing new there, John G, all your posts make me laugh. Easy now tiger.
Lev Vellene
40 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:20:01
Anonymous praise? Heh, lighten up!
Carl Allan
42 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:20:57
Good win tonight and it looks like we have set a precedent to fuck up the redshites goal machine judging by how West Brom played to get a point at Anfield tonight.

Let's hope Swansea don't pull the same trick on us a Goodison on Monday night, 3 points is a must.

David Owen
43 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:24:49
Pretty it was not; Newcastle look relegation fodder, but it's another 3 points and a clean sheet.

Big decision for the board in January: do they think we will be comfortable in mid table with this squad and keep the funds for a new manager for next season? Or give Sam the go-ahead for new signings???

Stephen Brown
44 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:25:24
Rooney goals for wins v Stoke, West Ham, Newcastle

Goals for points v Burnley, Man City, Man Utd.

Paul Kennedy
45 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:26:05
Looking for the humble pie line – I want to be first, init! Against Allardyce (now Big Sam) before, but results and performances do not lie – we are not pretty but looking so much harder to beat. COYB!!!
George Cumiskey
46 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:26:11
Surely he's seen enough of Schneiderlin tonight to realise he brings absolutely nothing to the team.
Stephen Brown
47 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:30:16
Brighton, not Burnley.
John G Davies
48 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:30:42
Glad to be of service, Kevin.

Are they still the same flip-flops you have worn for many a year? Or did they wear out?

Barry Williams
49 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:35:37
What is not to like at the moment given the circumstances of what went on previously this season?

5 games, 4 wins, 1 draw. 11 scored, 1 conceded. Only the 2nd penalty at Anfield in 80 years and the first away win in 11 months!

I thought we looked disciplined tonight and the game management has come into its own with things like taking the ball into the corner and centre halves coming on to tighten things up.

Just a mention for Martina, out of position, derided, he played well tonight, always wants the ball, doesn't hide and looks to get forward.

I am not sure what is happening, but I am enjoying Everton again! Weird hey!?

Peter F. Murray
50 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:36:01
Sam the Man...
Klopp der Flopp?
Charlie Lloyd
51 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:37:06
It was pretty horrible wasn't it. But it was 3 points which were earned by hard graft.

Who would have thought that a defence of Kenny - Holgate - Williams - Martina would have been so tight 3 weeks ago.

Good to see the passion from the bench too. I wasn't that enamoured by the thought of Sammy Lee but he certainly gets involved along with a rejuvenated Duncan.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:39:41
John G Davies – how soon are we going to collect on the 'staying up' bet?
John Keating
53 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:40:02
I mentioned in numerous posts that at this time it is the result that matters far more than the performance. Tonight was another small building block.

Not the best game of football but an absolute fantastic result with yet another clean sheet.

Yes, we are getting some unbelievable luck in games, so what? Let's take everything we can while it lasts as for sure we won't get so lucky throughout the season.

We are still closer to the bottom 3 than European spots and right now I'll take that.

The youngsters again take centre stage though I must say Williams is getting steadier each passing game.

Like them or not, want them or not, Allardyce and Lee are slowly turning our disastrous season around. Long may it continue. No doubt we will get some bad results as we go on but, as long as we see signs of improvement, I for one won't complain.

Don Alexander
54 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:43:50
Can't disagree with Darren @ #23. well said, and well said on the other thread about Allardyce confronting the players too.

Ugly but honest (don't laugh!) is the Allardyce way as we all know but with us he has the chance to manage a big club to success for the first (and probably last) time in his life.

Why is his contract 18 months though? What are the board going to provide for new signings, because their commitment to the club and their manager will be judged accordingly, and rightly so? Would a three-year contract have shown the football world that Sam's the man, with a war-chest to boot, and thereby becoming attractive to better players? Without that support, can we lambast him alone, as some lambasted Koeman alone, for transfer failure that would've defied even Jesus H Christ's chance of managing an attractive winning football team?

The board has a lot to answer for. January should be interesting.

Andy Meighan
55 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:45:04
Allardyce has got us an away win. got right under Klippety's skin, and given us our pride back in what was a disastrous season so far.

Hope the Koeman bros are squirming in their seats tonight. Sam's making them look a right pair of mugs. Happy Xmas, Ron and Erwin... Nah, I don't mean it. Hope you choke on your eggnog.

Peter Roberts
56 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:51:11
Surely you also mean Liverpool not Man Utd Stephen..
Paul Wyndham
57 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:51:31
Big Sam was the only manager I could see sorting that fucking shambles Koeman left. Despite the negative image, he's a pragmatist: horses for courses. That doesn't mean he can't get better players playing positive attacking football.

He is tactically astute, was one of the first to adopt sports science and psychology, and is a good man-manger. He also wont tolerate some of the cowardly behaviour we've seen from some players this season. Great on the sideline too giving players and officials a gobfull.

Welcome to the new EFC – in your face, no hand-jobs in the tunnel before the game, and fighting for everything. Onwards and upwards – the phoenix rises.

Andy Meighan
58 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:51:32
It wasn't so long back, there were quite a few on here advocating that gobshite Benitez as our next manager. Yeah, sure.... If ever a side was in freefall, it's Benitez's Newcastle.

I don't understand the mindset of some of our so-called fans at times. I doubt even Kenwright would think about employing a former Red Shite manager

Paul Birmingham
59 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:54:55
A win's a win, and regardless of how we win, based on where we've been the last 18 months, it's better days – especially with some, (not all) Sega mega drive RS giving it loads and slowly going schtum.

Reality check again tonight, and the so-called unbeatables have ran out of juice again.

Sam and Sammy all day and a point of unity today for all EFC fans to unite and back the team for the future.

Onwards to the grind; self-belief and consistency and climbing up the table.

Stephen Brown
60 Posted 13/12/2017 at 22:55:53
Correct Peter!! Long day!
Mike Jones
62 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:01:36
I said Sam Allardyce was a good appointment two weeks ago. I just kept posting ‘good appointment' on various forums with no other text. It's nice to be right occasionally.
John Pierce
63 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:03:53
No better than what we've seen for the majority of the season, but there were tiny glimpses like under Unsworth of some attacking play.

Rooney consummate; Sigurdsson endeavour; Kenny, Holgate & Calvert-Lewin continue to adjust well.

Lennon gives us shape; Martina & Williams have been told to boot it. That means 1/10 times they can have space to play it on the floor.

Picking the same side, in the main, and sticking to it, really has started to give us some stability.

Well done to the manager. Makes Sunday's effort worthwhile.

Paul Wyndham
64 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:06:17
Let's raid Leicester in January and get Vardy, Mahrez and Chilwell. We must have a way of tapping them up with the Walsh and Shakespeare links?
Derek Knox
65 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:09:11
I can't say in all honesty that I expected a win, I did say in the pre-match post that a draw would be acceptable.

Surprised, yes in a way; I know for once we had Lady Luck on our side, especially in the first half. Second half we almost camped in their half, as I've always said, confidence is a major factor, and confidence breeds results.

Hat's off to Sam, although it's only early days, he has certainly galvanised the players in a way that neither of his two predecessors could.

A good Xmas run could give us not only safety, but a platform to, dare I say it, venture into Europe again?

Peter Mills
66 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:11:55
Absolutely made up with the result – and at present I don't care how results are obtained. But if we are going to play in a defensive manner, someone needs to get a grip on balls falling 30m out, because we struck lucky with the woodwork tonight.
Peter Jansson
67 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:15:51
I have complained a lot about Schneiderlin. Actually I thing Schneiderlin was pretty decent today. The best match for him in a long time. It was pretty clear that he was taking the most defensive role in the midfield. He calmed things down and passing was good, I think.
Barry Williams
68 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:18:58
Peter Jansson - 67

Agreed, looked like the proper Schneiderlin this evening. Williams has looked good too compared to previously! Holgate has been a pleasant surprise at centre-back!

Paul Wyndham
69 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:24:20
Come on, lads! Schneiderlin was useless as usual, offers nothing defensively or going forward, just gets in the way. He is also a terrible ball watcher and drifts across the pitch leaving the centre of our defence wide open. Personally, I'd get shut in January.
Jay Wood
71 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:28:57
Some had better games than others.

Nobody had a bad game.

Too much presumption on TW by some posters at times on how a player has performed, based on previous performances, rather than watching the actual events in the current game.

Raymond Fox
72 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:35:25
I could say "I told you so" about Allardyce being the man best suited to sort us out, but I wont!

We are getting the rub of the green though at the moment; things are going our way.

No doubt the opposite will come to bite us given time, but we have learned that Sam can organise a team alright at the very least.

If we can add a bit of extra quality in one or two positions I'm sure Allardyce will show us that he can also get us playing more on the front foot.

The management team are looking good at the moment and I can't see why they can't carry on with the good work – after all, they're experienced enough.

Dan Davies
73 Posted 13/12/2017 at 23:50:07
Big Sam - Mick. Everton - Rocky! COYBB.
Paul Birmingham
74 Posted 13/12/2017 at 00:00:20
Let's take the win and focus on the next game. Dark, dark days 2 months ago, and I seriously believe the fraud manager would still have no clue.

The Trogaladite Danny Murphy as a BBC MotD pundit, as a crap a phoney RS as you get, is such a joke. They are really deluded and are proper Red Necks... Deliverance...

Kase Chow
75 Posted 13/12/2017 at 00:03:54
Fantastic win!! Fair play to Big Sam, he's come in and totally transformed our season so far. Very, very impressive.

Slightly surprised to see so few comments on here after our first away win after almost a year. And at a difficult away ground. Would there have been more if we'd lost?

Have to say Sam's appointment has been totally vindicated so far: banished the spectre of relegation and he's got us looking up.

Remember, this man bought Anelka, Ockacha and Dyirkiof (sic) in, so he likes a flair player. Can't wait to see who he looks to buy to get us to the next level

C'mon the blues!!

Paul Birmingham
76 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:10:54
Deffo, better days ahead for EFC. Pride, fight, guts, belief and the rest, for the team and the supporters is slowly returning, and long may it last.

George Stuart
77 Posted 13/12/2017 at 00:12:27
I thought we'd get spanked, not because Toon are any good but because the luck would run out and we are Everton. The luck didn't run out and the old adage may well be true, you make your own luck.

The Swans on Monday. Bottom of the table at the old Lady. Formidable task for them but they will be smarting. Could this be an Everton moment? Miserable get that I am.

Glass half-full, could this be the season we remember always as the only team to take points off Man City?

While I'm rambling, this from ESPN:

"For the second time in four days, Klopp was left raging at the officials after substitute Dominic Solanke's late goal was ruled out for handball by an assistant referee after having initially been given by referee Paul Tierney."


Dan Davies
78 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:17:47
Yes Kase, it would be nice to see some positive reaction to the win.

If we had lost tonight it would have been 300 posts of despair and anger.

TW, come on give credit where it's due. Balance and fairness not personal biase. Smile.

Sean Patton
79 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:30:22
Lovely move for the goal. Not much else in the way of attack and, considering Newcastle hit the post twice, a draw would have been fair. But it was delicious to hear Benitez whinging in his after-match interview.

Aw diddums... the 'small club' wins again!

Derek Thomas
80 Posted 13/12/2017 at 00:42:57
Big Sam; Putting just enough of the right kind of snide into Everton one game at a time.

Mike Hughes @37; Re.'63, That team were accused of being 'too rough' by the glory, glory, double winning, Spurs loving, Southern Media.

Ciaran; As for Allardyce being Prehistoric, there is a time and a place for it...because it's effective.
The 5m. Croc & Great White are still, after 300M yrs. the apex predators in large areas of the world and if you choose to interact with them you do so on their terms.

I was literally and figuratively, totally against the whole 'Idea' of Big Sam. But as me arl granny used to should only speak as you find and I have seen and heard (found) Nothing! up to now I haven't liked...just what is it you've found not to like about being a bit better organized, scoring at one end, not conceding at the other, winning games, not to mention causing Uber Teutonic Apoplexy.

Allardyce might not be what we both wanted, but he maybe just what we needed...for now. Who knows? he may grow into the role...We both might be the making of each other.

Other than that - lets just go one game at a time.

Clive Mitchell
81 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:44:34
Well done blues. Wasn't Gueye immense?

Some on here wondering about Schneiderlin getting a game. Seems pretty clear to me (a) that Sam thinks Tom needs protecting/a rest/not to play 10 games in a month, (b) that Sam thinks Schneiderlin is all he's got just now if he doesn't play Tom.

Whether Schneiderlin wins a place in Sam's plans looking ahead I'm not so sure. I've seen Schneiderlin live a lot this season, and I've never seen a 'good player' perform so poorly so consistently.

Laurie Hartley
82 Posted 13/12/2017 at 00:46:58
What a great result – 3 more points.

Kenny, Holgate and Calvert Lewin start; Lookman, Vlasic, and Davies on the bench!

Don Alexander (#54) – My guess is he got 18 months in case it doesn't work out and he has to be paid off.

My tip is he will be offered a contract extension early next year (after the Christmas Party).

Things are looking up.

Jason Broome
83 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:57:53
Rooney is turning out to be the bargain of the season.
Jason Wilkinson
84 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:02:30
Not pretty but got the job done. We need to show the ability to dominate possession. Versus Man Utd away in the second half we kept the ball brilliantly. Passed well and stretched their defenders. I know we fell apart after Williams gave the ball straight to an opponent with a wayward pass. I believe that 25-30 mins was the best we have played all season away from Goodison Park.

I hope Sam and team have got phase one sorted (defensive solidity) and will move on to phase two (keeping possession of the ball) before moving onto phase three (ten plus shots on target per game).

None of this will be easy with the squad we have as we are lacking top quality and have a number of one-dimensional players. We are short of goalscorers. Our midfield is devoid of game changers and without Seamus we have not got any attacking full backs. (Jonjoe still learning at top level, Martina is a squad player at best and Baines has lost his pace.)

Small but encouraging steps the last 4 Premier League games. 10 points from a possible 12 with Swansea to come next. Even if we only draw our next three, as long as we continue to look solid, I would be confident for the second half of the season.

Derek Knox
85 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:06:25
Although Schneiderlin was better tonight, it is a poor show when a £25M player has one and a half decent games in eighteen months.

Only in my opinion, I would not shed a tear if he never played for us again, ever. However, thanks to Koeman we are lumbered with not only him, but several others.

Which poses a major problem, when the window opens in January, unless we can even take a loss on the likes of him, we are hardly likely to bring more in. That is assuming anyone would be interested.

Don Alexander
86 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:14:52
Laurie, #82, the romantic in me hopes you're right in so far as good results to come will result in a contract extension. His personal morality is immaterial to me.

What worries me is a boardroom with Kenwright and Elstone in it. They are synonymous with consistent failure, most recently exemplified by Kenwright extolling Martinez as "What a manager" on account of defeating a Chelsea team who were in a melt-down insurrection against their own manager, the Portuguese Dyche.

Until Moshiri sorts out the boardroom (and himself, football-wise) I'm sorry to say we're all on a wing and a prayer with regard to establishing consistent success in the future.

As an aside there's plenty of comment on here about the two Sam's but next to nothing on Craig Shakespeare. I just wonder if after his experience coaching a bog-standard squad to the pinnacle, followed by a bruising first experience as manager; he now might just be the best man to be a successful successor to Allardyce if 18 months turns out to be the full extent?

Jason Wilkinson
87 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:18:59
Is Jurgen Klopp under pressure? Read his post match comments (V W Brom) – he is starting to sound like Roberto. Nonsensical clap trap.

His time as the darling of the media might be coming to an end. Just like his "philosophy" – ha fucking ha.

Brian Cleveland
88 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:25:35
Sorry to those who thought Schneiderlin was better tonight... well, he couldn't get any worse could he? And what about sliding in on the half way and completely selling himself out leaving them on a break and then just jogging back towards our goal leaving others to sprint and cover the gaps.

Sure perhaps Davies needs a break, but I wouldn't say there is nothing to replace him. Baningime has shown he can do well there, and there is Besic although he can be a bit unpredictable at times! I think even McCarthy injured might be better than that lump who cost £24 million.

He's still on honeymoon.

Nicholas Ryan
89 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:26:26
So, we've only conceded 1 goal since Big Sam took charge (and that was an unstoppable Salah masterpiece). Just about says it all, really.
Brent Stephens
90 Posted 14/12/2017 at 01:54:51
A bleak drive home over the A66 but a welcome 3 points again. Kenny again held his own. Love him. Gana very good. Apart from the 2 off the woodwork, I thought we were reasonably tight again in defence. There's a shape to defence and midfield that's been missing. And a well-worked goal.

The away end was a sell-out but still a few empty seats. Those stairs will be the death of me.

John Raftery
91 Posted 14/12/2017 at 02:00:32
Not pretty, but pretty effective! Simple organisation, players doing their jobs and suddenly we are climbing the league. Grinding out results from a sound defensive base sounds simple. But if it was so simple why did Koeman fail to do it? Well done Sam.

All of the back line had very good games tonight. Plainly the full backs have been told their first priority is to defend. That is as it should be in a team which reflects the imbalances within the squad. There remains much to be done in the January window.

Ernie Baywood
92 Posted 14/12/2017 at 02:10:36
Sam's doing exactly the job he was asked to do. The only job he's ever asked to do. Stabilise us, organise us, make us hard to beat, make sure we're in the league next year.

All credit to him. So far he's delivering on all of that.

But the "I told you so" comments don't sit well with me. I still believe 5 or 6 weeks to appoint a bloke who was available the whole time was a shambles. And the eventual appointment shows a complete lack of ambition.

We're aiming to bore our way to mid-table... and Evertonians are gloating about it!

We've still got a short term negative appointment at the helm. Just watch and see what does for us in January.

Jason Wilkinson
93 Posted 14/12/2017 at 02:23:50
Ernie. I think that's why it took six weeks to appoint Allardyce. We looked all over for another manager but got turned down or refused permission to speak about the vacancy.

Like it or not. No one could have achieved more with what is there right now. I don't see Sam continuing next season if we don't get back into Europe.

Julian Wait
94 Posted 14/12/2017 at 03:29:27
My brother wanted Sam Allardyce after Moyes, and again after Martinez. I thought he was mad. I was however quite happy when he got the England job as I thought we needed a bit of tournament nouse.

I really hope I am proven very wrong re Sam at Everton. So far, it's getting better. Baby steps.

7th would be a major achievement after the start we had. 6th seems impossible but if you look at the table, if you make 7th you can make 4th there's only a point or two in it; oh yes, baby steps. ;-)

Onwards and upwards. Let's have a run and see what end of January looks like after a few more wins and some transfers in (and out?).

John Pierce
95 Posted 14/12/2017 at 03:33:43

My sentiments are very similar to yourself. I think you sum it up well, one caveat.

This is his chance to change a lasting reputation of how he is perceived.

My only hope about an appointment which leaves me cold is that he grasps the nettle, and finds an evolution in his style. He has a club, squad & budget never before in his grasp.

Ernie Baywood
96 Posted 14/12/2017 at 04:07:45
You know what, John? You won't find a happier bloke than me if he does!

I think I need to be clear that I don't really have anything against Sam, just his appointment.

To me, it's kind of like if we signed Andy Carroll in January. I'd be supporting him and hoping he could deliver goals. I'd just be disappointed that we'd opted for a bloke who hasn't looked top level in years.

By the way, I think we'll finish 7th or 8th. I'd consider that a massive success for Sam considering where we were and how we were playing. But if I hadn't seen anything to indicate he could push on next year I'd let him go.

John Smith
97 Posted 14/12/2017 at 04:32:10
That's 4 wins and 1 draw in the Premier League so far under Big Sam. Pat on the back to those that wanted him in.
Jamie Crowley
98 Posted 14/12/2017 at 05:16:11
The three men I was most fearful of seeing time on the pitch played very well.

Martina, Williams, and Schneids all played, in my opinion, wonderfully. Did what they had to, played intelligently, played within themselves and kept it simple.

Great overall team effort.

I also thought Vlasic Pickles looked the business when he came on. Kid to me looks like he's got oodles of talent.

Onwards. Three points. Hell ya.

Laurie Hartley
99 Posted 14/12/2017 at 05:19:49
Don (#86) – regarding matters in the boardroom:

Throughout the turmoil of the last two months the only thing I have heard Bill Kenwright comment on is Joe Royle leaving the club. There is nothing I can find regarding the curtailing of Ronald Koeman's contract or the appointment of Sam Allardyce to replace him.

Similarly – Nothing from Robert Elstone.

In the circumstances I regard that as quite significant.

Farhad Moshiri has been doing the talking. He has his man Alexander Ryazantsev on the board – not sure about where Dr Keith Harris fits into the dynamic.

On the footballing side he now has Sam Allardyce an experienced football man who has in turn brought in another two very experienced and respected footballing men – Sammy Lee and Craig Shakespeare.

Farhad Moshiri may have appointed Sam Allardyce in desperation but I bet you now he is glad he did – I am.

As in football so in business – sometimes you need a little bit of luck. Lets see how it pans out.

In the meantime – Up the Blues!!

Geoff Evans
101 Posted 14/12/2017 at 06:31:33
Optimism, lovely!
Dermot Byrne
102 Posted 14/12/2017 at 07:21:53
I think Schneiderlin has it in him to be good and he was when he came. What happened... I have no idea. I think there were signs of improvement last night and, if anyone can get him playing with some grit and confidence, it is big Sam.

However I suspect he will need to up his game quickly or he will be off. Football being what it is, a good goal at home could change everything for him. But continuing scardy-cat play will mean he is off.

Sigurdsson seems to be developing slowly which is good.

Rooney, Davies and Kenny show passion for the club.

Calvert-Lewin developing well and with a solo role he is showing he is not a wimp.

Gana just brill at what he does.

Williams getting back to his game and Holgate played well.

Martina no real opinion.

Lennon and Vlasic :Good and have some of the pace we need.

Pickford - not finished article but best we have had for a bit.

Paul Smith
103 Posted 14/12/2017 at 08:06:04
To think in my mind relegation was a real possibility 5 weeks ago, I am now full of gratitude. Make no mistake, we were playing the worse football in the division.

A new manager bounce? Perhaps. Still, a definite plan & style to our play lacking with Koeman. He wasn't my choice but I am tucking in to the best-tasting humble pie this morning; tastes great as well.

Feels so much better knowing I shouldn't have to be.

Ajay Gopal
104 Posted 14/12/2017 at 08:43:35
I notice here that people are giving Allardyce credit for the West Ham win – may I remind them that Unsy was in charge and Sam got lucky with the back 4 that Unsy stumbled upon in his last game as manager?

Sam was smart enough to continue with that team, and of course instilled some self-belief and fight in the side. In my opinion, we are just a couple of signings and some talented players returning from injury away from becoming a very good side.

Raymond Fox
105 Posted 14/12/2017 at 08:45:29
Ernie, if you give Allardyce players that are good enough I'm convinced he will be able to get us playing 'good football'.

It's not rocket science is it, he's far from daft and he will know that fans at this club like to see us playing well and knocking the ball around.

He has himself an immense experience of the Premier League; add his staff, who are also highly experienced... what's not to like.

Lee Whitehead
106 Posted 14/12/2017 at 08:52:04
Couple of my Bolton mates "can't believe how negative you are about the Sams; we played the best football we have seen when he was in charge.Give them a bit of time and you will be top 6".


Dale Rose
107 Posted 14/12/2017 at 08:55:52
Well I didn't want big Sam or little Sam but have been really impressed. Things coming together nicely. Youngsters coming along well. All good at the present. Making the most of what we have.
Brian Williams
108 Posted 14/12/2017 at 08:57:28
Another welcome three points, made up.

I think creativity is the number one priority, even over a striker, someone to pick that ball up in midfield and drive the team forward with speed. The transition from middle third to last third needs to be quicker.

I watched Man City last night on MotD, wow! That's the way to move from your own box to the opponents box in the shortest space of time before the opposition can settle and organize.

I think we have the players to improve on that (a bit) in Vlasic and Lookman and dare I say Barkley!

Gareth Clark
110 Posted 14/12/2017 at 09:10:01
Squad for Swansea at home:

I'd like to see Idrissa given a rest – as he's one yellow away from a booking, Davies or Klaassen to come in for him – I would choose Klaassen for this one & Davies on the bench. Calvert-Lewin to get a rest too, looks a bit leggy & need him for the Chelsea game – Niasse starting for him. Vlasic to start instead of Lennon, also allows Lennon a little break & gives Vlasic the chance he deserves.

Kenny Holgate Williams Martina
Klaassen Schneiderlin Rooney
Vlasic Sigurdsson

Subs: Robles, Jagielka, Keane, Baningime, Davies, Lennon, Lookman

Rooney & Sigurdsson to come off again so they have a bit less recovery time needed for Chelsea. Baningime, Lookman to get a chance off the bench.

John G Davies
112 Posted 14/12/2017 at 09:16:02

I thought we may have had a bit more praise for Sam and the players.
People have made their mind up early it seems and will take a bit of changing.

Mike Kehoe
113 Posted 14/12/2017 at 09:28:58
I would love to think Barkley may see the post-Koeman era as something he get behind and sign a new contract. Barkley may respond well to Allardyce's regime and fulfill his potential here: who knows how he may link up with Rooney.

Optimism is so refreshing, a couple of signings in January, players returning from injury with a new found defensive solidity, things are looking up.

Len Hawkins
114 Posted 14/12/2017 at 09:41:32
A fortnight is a long time in football three weeks ago the team looked like 11 natives dragged from the worlds remotest places thrown a football and a blue shirt and told get on with it.

The team was shipping goals like there was a bonus for every goal conceded. I wanted Unsworth to stake his claim but the players looked incapable of playing together.

Now the change is miraculous the defence which has been under the microscope most of the season has become a revelation the pressure is soaked up and the ball is treated like a bomb ready to go off and is cleared from the area with the speed of a squad players Bentley Continental GT.

The cancelling of the Christmas do with the promise of a reward in the New Year if the Christmas programme is successful is a great piece of carrot and stick.

I did say on a thread when Allardyce was appointed that I didn't want him but I hoped he made the position his own and made himself unsackable, what's the point, after 22 years of nothing, wanting him to fail so that an untried foreigner can come in? Do people want another 22 years of sod all???

Onwards and upwards is, or should be, the new motto.

James Morgan
115 Posted 14/12/2017 at 09:46:48
John (#95), spot on. This is the best squad he's had since Bolton. With two transfer windows, I reckon he could build a really strong team. Maybe an English Simeone/Atletico!

Not always pretty but hard to beat and very competitive with some quality in the mix. I'm made up with last night's result, any win will do at the moment, especially away.

John Keating
116 Posted 14/12/2017 at 09:59:12
John Davies (#112).

You are right people made their minds up regarding Allardyce before he signed.

Many were happy he was quoted. Many were prepared to give him a chance and many were dead set against him.

We had posters promising to boycott the team until he's gone. In fact we had another one yesterday.

We have posters on here stipulating minimum requirements before Allardyce can even be mentioned. I can't remember any Everton manager since Carey's time being given minimum requirements.

The fact is a few weeks ago we were cannon fodder for every team in the league. We were abysmal with no sign of turning things around. We were in real danger of getting involved in a relegation battle.

The facts are, Allardyce and his team are here, and, for whatever reason things are slowly turning around.

I would have thought the correct and decent thing is to at least show him and his team a bit of respect and support. Unfortunately for some, it appears that is not possible.

Les Fitzpatrick
117 Posted 14/12/2017 at 10:06:00
Nice posts (#22, #29, #37)... Nicer attitudes towards Sam recently; I think he has saved our club.

Love the way he keeps dishing out the humble pie for his detractors to choke on including a lot of posters on here.

Some might even find some decency within themselves to apologise for condemning the man before even giving him a chance.

Anyway... onwards and upwards... COYB and all that.

Dave Williams
118 Posted 14/12/2017 at 10:09:27
As Laurie says above, Moshiri is sorting out the boardroom.

Don't blame Koeman for Schneiderlin- he was brilliant for us when he arrived but has gone completely off the ball since he got married. I remember Catterick remarking how getting married can result in a temporary decline in performance- hopefully he can recover his form.

Too many people appearing to have the need to slag off players who are now trying their best – Williams and Holgate are looking a decent pairing and has anyone ever tried playing left back when you are a natural right back who is better going forward than defending? It isn't easy and Martina is giving it a good go.

Tom needs some coaching from Sammy as to how to play in midfield but at only 19 he doesn't deserve the abuse that some are giving him. Young lads in particular need encouragement from the crowd – not vile abuse.

Sam is going along nicely.

Oliver Molloy
119 Posted 14/12/2017 at 10:09:39
Sammy Lee's enthusiasm seems to have brushed off on Ferguson. Quite funny to watch him bouncing about the sideline encouraging the players for that little bit more and then Ferguson gets up.

Maybe Ferguson feels a little embarrassed by the former red!

Mike Hughes
120 Posted 14/12/2017 at 10:10:55
Derek Thomas #80

Mike Hughes @37; Re.'63, That team were accused of being 'too rough' by the glory, glory, double winning, Spurs loving, Southern Media.

I didn't realise that, Derek. I was born in '66 so assumed around that era '63-'69 was the point at which the School of Science tag was adopted.

But I'm sure you get my broader point. Sam is doing a great job.

Laurie Hartley
121 Posted 14/12/2017 at 10:21:34
Len (#114) – as you point out the turnaround in our defensive performances has been quite dramatic.

As Ajay (#104) said – Sam Allardyce was lucky that David Unsworth stumbled on the back 4 against West Ham. Actually it was the only back 4 that was available for the game so a double stroke of luck.

However, Sam Allardyce must take some credit for sticking with the same back 4 for the Huddersfield game and even more so for the Anfield derby.

So it was no surprise to me that he stuck with them for Newcastle. I suspect many managers would have reintroduced Phil Jagielka and or Michael Keane when available - but he didn't.

The players have rewarded him handsomely for showing faith in them.

We now have Ashley Williams "in charge" of the back four, Jonjoe Kenny and Mason Holgate as the right sided partnership who are used to playing together, and last but not least Cuco Martina growing in confidence and a player who showed yesterday that he can play out from the back.

An unlikely, but on the evidence, a very effective defensive unit. Who would have thought it?

It's a funny old game, football.

Christopher Timmins
122 Posted 14/12/2017 at 10:23:08
Amazing you much difference a bit of confidence can make to a team and to the individual players. Let's hope we can keep the run going over the busy Christmas period.

If we beat the Swans on Monday, that would be 10 points from 4 games under the new manager, that's some start folks!

Phil Williams
123 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:01:21
A big well done to the fans as well. Another sellout away allocation. 3200 travelling fans to watch what is to be fair, a bang average team, 200 miles away on a midweek night and only a week and a half away from Xmas. Top support as always.
James Morgan
124 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:01:27
John (#95), spot on. This is the best squad he's had since Bolton. With two transfer windows I reckon he could build a really strong team. Maybe an English Simeone/Atletico!

Not always pretty but hard to beat and very competitive with some quality in the mix. I'm made up with last nights result, any win will do at the moment, especially away.

Terry Underwood
125 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:03:32
Another one in the eye for the Rooney naysayers. Also for the Allardyce naysayers, of which I admit to being one. An ugly win, but a win.
Phil Walling
126 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:04:30
Amazing how quickly we have returned to 'only three players away from a great team' status since the Big Fella arrived. I hope he realises that three defeats in a row will see his transformation back to pantomime villain status!

Fickle ain't the word.

Jay Griffiths
127 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:05:20
Got stuck behind a bad crash on the A1. Got into the ground on 40 mins. Brent – use the lift mate. Had it to myself as my lads bounded up to tier 7! The stairs are cool if you've won. A good jolly on the way down.

Now that we're stabilizing, I do want to see some expression on the pitch. I could barely see 3 passes put together in the opposition half.

All said, I'm not frightened and dismayed for the rest of the season. Stage 1 complete.

Les Martin
128 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:10:26
A great result from places where its easy to lose, especially beating a team hungry to win a game and being at home.

I reckon if Sam and Son (Sammy) can get us winning at home and drawing or nicking a win away (even if its not always pretty) then that will do for me and I would think the majority.

Let's give Sam time to sort out who he wants and who he can bring in before any "naysayers" bemoan the football style he has supposedly been labelled with. I think we are all going to be surprised, just give him time !

Derek Thomas
129 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:12:32
Ajay, Allardyce was, as was recently said, 'in the building' prior to the West Ham game. Just how much impact and input he had is, at the moment, anybody's guess.

Based on what I have seen since, if the West Ham game was a suddenly found painting lacking an actual signature, it would be attributed 'School of Allardyce'. There is a long tradition of having 'pupils' knock out work for the 'Master' – who would lay down a quick sketch, then the pupil would do the rest.

The Board (and Allardyce) were magnanimous... and canny enough to let Unsworth front it / take the blame if it bombed – or the kudos if it went well...and boy did it go well = smiles alround.

Anyway, that's my take on it.

Darren Hind
130 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:34:37
I think we are seeing history repeat itself here.

These calls for posters to come and on and praise Allardyce are, for me acutely embarrassing, so are the claims from people who rather amusingly think they have been proved right.

I had to do a double take at the post which claimed "Sam is proving the doubters wrong... " When will people learn?

Since Allardyce's name was first mentioned, I have watched the "Should we? Shouldn't we?" debate very closely. The case from those who were opposed to his appointment was that he would bring a primitive brand of football that would not be to their satisfaction. So far, this group have been 100% right. Sam hasn't even come close to challenging their viewpoint, let alone disproving it.

Sam Allardyce was brought in for a reason. The board were deeply concerned about the club losing Premier League status. That's it. I don't think anyone thought he and his entourage would be bringing Samba football to our club. I didn't see anyone claim it and I haven't met anyone who expects it.

This is not an anti-Allardyce post. He has the gig and even those who didn't want him, have little option but to give him his chance... but please, Praise????

Big Sam did not inherit a team in free fall. Before he was given the job, we had already dragged ourselves up from 18th to 13th. We were on the back of a confidence-boosting performance of the season. Three of the next four fixtures were against teams who will most definitely be in a fight for Premier League survival between now and the end of the season.

Three weeks ago, I described last night's opponents as relegation certainties and nothing I have seen since has changed my mind. It will be a huge surprise if Huddersfield don't finish bottom of the "goals scored away from home" table. Swansea, many people's favourites for the drop, are up next.

I'm fully aware that a few will seize on me stating these facts as an attempt to denigrate the wins we have gained recently. Far from it. I welcome them, I realise that failure to win these games would have meant we were in the same position as the teams we played.

The bouquets are premature, the praise, slightly ridiculous -- there is a very strong argument to suggest we'd have won these games with or without Sam Alladyce. although there is no way of proving that one way or the other, Apart from the point at Anfield, has he not simply done what was reasonable for us to expect?

The point at Anfield was a welcome one but, rightly or wrongly, an awful lot of people feel it was achieved by sacrificing the essence and integrity of the game. Isn't that what the doubters feared? How on earth does that prove them wrong?

If I was filling in a report on Sam Allardyce's performances so far, I would describe them as satisfactory. I feel some of the calls for "praise" are coming from people who have in the past nailed their colours to more rotten masts than Cut Throat Jake... and they're doing it again.

Let's, for a change, make this one prove he can bring us the football and the results -- BEFORE we start planning the coronation!

Brent Stephens
131 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:34:53
Jay (#127) the traffic was a nightmare. Left myself plenty of time and still only just got in on time (a slow crawl up and down the car park at John Lewis). Sods law, my seat was Row X so all those double steps to "bound up". Keeps yer fit.
John G Davies
132 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:40:53
I understand your trepidation, Darren, we have been here before. But surely some credit is due?

In your opinion, do you consider Sam has improved us defensively?

Sam Hoare
133 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:41:42
We are now playing how I expected us to play this season under Koeman. Solid at the back and relying on some Rooney magic, a Sigurdsson set piece or a bit of luck and fortune to get the needed goals. Not pretty but effective.

If we had been playing this way at the start of the season under Koeman, having finished 6th last season, I would be content, unimpressed but content.

As it is I'm pretty joyous! I have greater ambitions for our team and I believe a team that spends £150m should be playing something approaching attractive football but, considering where we were and how we looked 6 weeks ago this is definitely a step up.

We look solid. And that is the perfect foundation. I'm sure Sam would like us to be passing and moving better but to make the defense more effective was a crucial first task that the new management have achieved admirably. Confidence is flooding back into this team and it's amazing how it transforms players. Williams suddenly looks back to his Swansea best and even the lamentable Schneiderlin passed for a professional footballer last night. The kids have been tremendous and that's something I believe Unsworth deserves a lot of credit for.

The question now is can Sam build upon that solidity and make us better on the ball? He has some good players coming back and will have some money to spend in January, one way or another. So far he has done what people expected him to do and he has done it well. I suspect that he will be itching to show his critics that he can coach teams to play attractive attacking football as well as being solid and I very much hope this Everton team proves him right.

Jer Kiernan
134 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:48:52
I was against Allardyce's appointment, he is so far doing what he was brought in to do. Has brought organization and discipline to this bunch which is no mean feat so I tip my hat. I genuinely think our squad is good enough for 6/7th place and have always thought that they were not trying under Koeman and Unsworth

They are now which is good but his brand of football will only get you so far I will pass judgement at the end of the season. I didn't think we would get relegated under Unsy but we will never know.

I think all of us on here appreciate endeavour and hard work but we are all I believe hoping that Allardyce will allow some free-flowing attacking football also.

Can a leopard change his spots?

Steve Brown
135 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:51:50
Derek (#129), honestly, it is pure nonsense to attribute the West Ham win to Allardyce. Even he said he only spoke to the team for only five minutes. That result was all Unsy, as was the fact he'd already lifted us up to 13th, as Darren Hind said.
Don Alexander
136 Posted 14/12/2017 at 11:58:39
Darren (#130) the very nature of being a fan surely means cold logic goes out of the window, especially re matches and especially when we've at last won away from home. If you take your stance, Goodison'd might be like a morgue as we all wait for us to break into the top four places and only then cue "the Coronation".

It doesn't work like that, as you know, and most fans still cling on to hope in spite of it being repeatedly dashed, for us Toffees at least. Still, all the best, and let's see what the board provide in January and how Allardyce chooses to spend it.

I hope he's realised this'll be his best and last chance to establish a reputation as a manager capable of winning, attractive football.

Kevin Tully
137 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:07:47
One thing we've had lately, is a massive dollop of good luck. It's all very un-Everton. Ever since the Watford game, where defenders slipped into giving us penalties, and the opposition missed penalties or open goals, we've come out of the other side smiling. Even last night, the woodwork was playing in goal for us. They say you make your own luck, we we must be working overtime on that one.

Maybe it's our year to fluke the F.A. Cup?

Brian Harrison
138 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:12:57

I like you didn't want Allardyce and do find the posters saying they said all along he was the right man for Everton a little puzzling. As I have posted before, I wait to see this 63 year old leopard change his spots. So far, he has reverted to type – 10 men behind the ball, and try and nick something. Now Moyes took enormous flack for playing that way mainly against the top 6, but he at least tried to play some attacking football against the rest.

So I wait to be convinced that, next season, the same posters on here praising Allardyce will be back on complaining about his style of football. Mind you, Allardyce isn't alone Pulis and Pardew believe in the same philosophy. But I don't really want to watch my side play, week-in and week-out, with 9 or 10 behind the ball. I don't mean they go-gung ho but at least look like you are trying to score.

I hope I am proved wrong and as the results improve our position the style also improves. Yes, football is about results but please let's show some ambition.

John G Davies
139 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:22:40
Kevin 137,

I was thinking the same thing during the game. When have we ever had luck like that.

Apologies for jumping in with both feet on your post. It was a good reply from you. 👍

George Cumiskey
140 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:26:52
Brian @138 – you have hit every nail on the head for me.

Allardyce isn't the best manager in the Premier league, but he's definitely one of the luckiest.

Mike Hughes
141 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:38:44
I had to do a double-take at a post which claimed:

The bouquets are premature, The praise, slightly ridiculous, there is a very strong argument to suggest we'd have won these games with or without Sam Allardyce. although there is no way of proving that one way or the other, Apart from the point at Anfield, has he not simply done what was reasonable for us to expect?

Apologies in advance for the poor English / grammar but I am just mirroring a response:

Well, the rotten tomatoes were premature, the criticism slightly ridiculous, there is a very weak argument to suggest we'd have won these games without Allardyce etc.

When will people learn?

Entrenched positions.
Why bother?
Move on.

Paul Mackie
142 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:45:55
I'm in complete agreement with Darren Hind (130). This has never happened to me before and now I'm questioning my worldview.
Dave Williams
143 Posted 14/12/2017 at 12:57:55
Darren (#130),

It's called "human nature"!

Raymond Fox
144 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:06:28
We all know or we should do, that luck or fate whatever you want to call it plays a large part in any walk of life. We have had the rub of the green lately but you can bet your bottom dollar that some bad luck will arrive, its a certainty.

All I would say in defence of Allardyce (sorry) is, whats he done wrong? To answer my own question, nothing in my opinion.

What's important is what happens in the future. I happen to believe he has the nouse and experience to produce a top side given the right quality of players. I don't see any reason why he can't.

We all want success; the difference is: Do you believe he can bring success while at the same time playing attractive football? As I say, I believe he can given the players.

Jay Griffiths
145 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:32:31
This is an incremental process. Rather than Unsworth would've, Big Sam should've etc etc. Let's just keep to stage 1 complete. Taking the fear away.

Darren, believe me, mate, if you felt the atmosphere of fear and shock after the Southampton debacle, coupled with Leicester, Lyon, Atalanta et al, then taking away the fear is the first priority.

Make no mistake, for the time, effort and money we put in then I will expect aesthetics to compliment substance once our position is cemented.

Ian Edwards
146 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:35:09
The anti-Allardyce comments are just silly. It is only since he arrived we have defended with two banks of four and made it difficult to breach.

Williams looks a far better player as does Martina. Even Kenny has improved in the last few games. I thought he was a weak link initially and goals conceded had been coming from his side.

As for the comments about the style of football, all you need to do is look at our goal last night, and the one-touch back-heel football was sublime.

Those saying we would have won recent games under Koeman or even Unsworth are way off beam. Unsworth's defensive set up at Southampton and Atalanta were embarrassing for a top flight club.

Johnny Rainford
147 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:40:47
Sorry folks but some of the posts on here are frankly ludicrous. Less than 4 weeks ago this team was in absolute free-fall with nobody stepping forward to get us out of it.

I don't think Allardyce was anybodies choice but at least he did and I for one am delighted with the response from the team so let's give the fella a chance and forget about pretty patterns on the pitch at the moment. I never heard any complaints when Royle did it with the Dogs of War.

The alternative right now would be bottom at Christmas – with all the consequences that usually brings.

John G Davies
148 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:43:11
Williams, along with others, have improved because Sam has asked them to simplify their game. Asking defenders to concentrate on defending? Revolutionary tactics from Allardyce.

Same with Schneiderlin, I thought he played his best game for a while, without pulling trees up, chased by keeper and centre halves when he tried to drop alongside them to pick the ball up. The centre halves did not split for the majority of the game, and forced Schneiderlin slightly higher up the pitch. The knock-on effect of that was a MotM performance from Gana.

Michael Lynch
149 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:45:47
It's impossible to argue with those who say we would have won the games even if Sam had not come in. Of course that's a possibility. But it's a bit like the drowning man refusing to thank the lifeguard for rescuing him because he was definitely about to learn how to swim at that very moment

Brent Stephens
150 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:48:08
"There is a very strong argument to suggest we'd have won these games with or without Sam Allardyce. Although there is no way of proving that one way or the other".

Not sure what the argument is for that, given the goals conceded in the run of previous games.

But it is premature to start arguing one way or the other for Big Sam's "success". I'll keep my powder dry on that for a while.

Craig Walker
151 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:53:46
I was massively against us getting Allardyce but I have to admit that he deserves a lot of credit for the results and for putting a bit of pride back into us supporters. We were a laughing stock after the Southampton and Atalanta debacles and a lot of people's tips for relegation.

In the past I've been quick to jump on the we've-got-a-great-manager bandwagon only to see it all turn sour. I thought Martinez was the real deal during that first season and I thought the glory days would return under Koeman. I was wrong.

Allardyce has put a bit more belief into the players and a lot more resilience. He's still a way off being a great Everton manager and I'd love to see our style improve but he's made a very good start and anyone who disagrees is being a bit churlish.

Raymond Fox
152 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:54:40
To add to my last post (#144), I want winning football first and foremost I'm not that choosey how its achieved to be honest, especially this season.

To play like Man City, we first need players as good as Man City have – there lies the problem!

Jack Ledwidge
153 Posted 14/12/2017 at 13:54:59
Confidence is now a lot higher in the camp and the players now know who is boss. Whether we are all pleased with the backroom staff doesn't matter one bit now.

Sam Allardyce has put shape on things both behind the scenes in coaching and on the pitch. Players have responded and egos have gone out the window. Yes sure we've had a bit of luck.

Management will know this and correct certain aspects of our play over the coming weeks and with players coming back after injury and the January window opening it bodes well.

The feeling i'm getting is there are no cliques or favoritism. Play well and you're in and do exactly as you are told. Pragmatism is the order of the day. The other thing I kind of like is Sam, Sammy and Craig have this big job right now. They I genuinely believe (at their stage of career) will not get much better clubs and will work their arses off to achieve some semblance of success. This is not a stepping stone to something else.

On the playing side I don't believe as one contributor said Williams back to his best Swansea days. He is 2 years older and a yard slower but to credit he has defended manfully. We will target a younger central defender with both height and pace. Nzonzi is unhappy at Sevilla and would be a perfect midfield fit. I

don't see us acquiring a centre forward in this window. Sam will be thinking of first consolidation and then as high a place finish he can muster. Assuming this is achieved, the next target will be good summer business and a challenge for Europe next season.

Jay Wood
154 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:15:32
Results, team organization and resilience have all radically improved since Sam Allardyce was appointed, performances marginally so.

I see plenty of posts and posters acknowledging this and very, very few crowing 'I told you so'.

I see no one calling Sam the Messiah, singing Hosanna, or preparing to lay palm leaves in preparation for his victorious procession to Goodison Park.

On the other hand, there were those who really wanted David Unsworth to make a good fist of it and be appointed full time. I was among them. Before his final 4-0 victory over West Ham, I acknowledged it wasn't working out and we needed an alternative solution.

Others continued to believe David had the situation in hand and should still get the appointment. It struck me as misplaced conviction win ning over from the reality of his tenure.

I wondered, for example, it was still Ronald Koeman selecting the teams and tactics David Unsworth did in his short tenure, returning the poor results and performances the team produced, that there would have been some extremely vitriolic and bilious posts from those very same posters lobbying for Rhino to land the full time gig.

It was apparent to all what any new appointee needed to prioritize.


That box is checked.

Last night another box was checked: win an away game.

Further boxes to be checked before season's end are:

* Improve our ball retention
* Improve our passing
* Improve our goal threat
* Improve the squad balance (only possible in January)

Get incremental improvement across all those areas and we have a chance to improve our league position and even have a shout at the FA Cup. Why not?

Given that Sam and his coaching staff have overseen only 4 games to date, I for one am more than content how things have gone thus far.

Am I allowed to say that?

John McFarlane [Snr]
155 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:21:31
Hi all, I didn't see the game last night, I listened to the Radio Merseyside commentary, and watched the Match of the Day highlights.

I don't feel that I can pass judgement on individual players' performances, but I will however say that I feel a lot better now than I did four or five weeks ago.

Like all supporters I would like a swift return to a more stylish approach, but at the moment results are paramount, I would much rather 'win ugly' than lose ' gracefully'.

Hi Derek [80] I can't recall the 1963 Championship winning side being labelled too rough in he media, but I'm not suggesting that it didn't happen.

Hi Mike, [120] the 'School of Science' tribute was bestowed on Everton in the 1920s, by Steve Bloomer, a renowned footballer and manager.

Paul Underhill
156 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:21:32
I'm 58 and have been an Evertonian since my first game vs West Brom aged 7. I just cannot believe there are a handfull of blues on here being negative about Big Sam.

Okay, I love Unsy too but it didn't happen for many reasons... he even hardly played Rooney – now that's a big point!!!

But now Sam's played 5... okay, Sam was only in the stands for the first, so played 4, won 3, drew at the hell-hole, 3 clean sheets. Give the man a break and support the badge! NSNO

Nigel Gregson
157 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:29:31
I am not a fan of Big Sam and whatever he has historically stood for in football. I did not want him and I still think the football so far is shite (at least we're winning for now)

But yesterday I saw very interesting. Watch carefully as Aaron Lennon was being subbed out for Vlasic. As Aaron walks out, Sammy Lee, Big Sam's caricaturist deputy gives him a big bear hug.

This was a great gesture for a job well done by someone who showed that they really cared – both for the player and the performance. Aaron has also been through a lot of off field issues but he's one of the few guys who have shown that they gave a shit.

And for that I appreciated Sammy's gesture. Sam's guys seem to know how to make players feel good – and I do respect that.

Frank Crewe
158 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:33:40
Koeman complaining that the fixtures got him sacked is the equivalent of saying his side needed an easier start. I have no doubt that attitude transmitted itself to the squad who were virtually beaten before they got on the pitch.

Maybe if Allardyce had been manager at the start of the season, the early season results would have been better and we would still be in the Europa League. Unlike Koeman, he appears to have given the players the confidence that if they apply themselves and work hard they can achieve a respectable result regardless of who or where we are playing.

Brian Furey
159 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:46:11
Heard last night that when Klopp was struggling to beat West Brom at Anfield, his wife was scoring back at home but sadly she didn't manage to keep a clean sheet, as Jurgen found out later that night.
Paul Tran
160 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:47:28
Allardyce has been here three weeks. The results have been good. Defensively, we have improved notably. The players look like they have been well-drilled and coached effectively.

I don't particularly care whether this might have happened under another coach. It's happened under Allardyce.

My view of Allardyce has always been that he'll get us fitter, more disciplined and harder to beat. That's panned out already in three weeks. The real question is what else he can do? We don't know yet, same as if anyone else was in charge.

While we wait to find out, I'd rather see a team play badly and grind out wins than a shapeless mess shipping goals and points.

Greg Hasbrouck
161 Posted 14/12/2017 at 14:58:50
I suspect we'll be facing a welcome dilemma come summer.

I expect most of us felt that we would take Sam for a few months, get him to save the club, and then eat the last 12 months of his contract in the summer. But *if* he can get this club to finish in the top half of the table, I'd be very tempted to keep him.

He has consistently demonstrated he can do more with less. The idea that youth would be relegated to to the bench has been completely debunked. And I suspect once he have some striking options we'll see him move towards a more open style of play.

That said, would we really have any assurances that bringing a well dressed 40-something European lad who has never coached in the Premier League would do better than Big Sam? Especially a Big Sam working with a checkbook for the first time in his career?

Still a ways to go and anything can happen. But if we finish 8th in the table (let's say), I'd be hard pressed to bring in a Fonseca, simply because he wears an Italian cut suit better than Sam.

Darren Hind
162 Posted 14/12/2017 at 15:29:20
Reasons for our defence being improved:

1) The reintroduction of the best centre-half at the club after injury. Jagielka, Keane and Williams were stuck in a collective nightmare and this defensive unit needed to be broken up.

2) The confidence of our brilliant goalkeeper returning after a spell where the above defenders were so fearful they spent much of the games standing on his toes.

3) The continued development of our exceptionally talented right back – vitally important

4) The luxury of not having our defence decimated through injury and fatigue – Southampton, four defenders out, two taken off injured, and a captain who ran himself to a standstill trying to plug the gaps.

Sam Allardyce was not responsible for any of the above, so he'll get no praise/criticism from me for it.

I will acknowledge that he has made us more defensively minded, a bank of five in front of a bank of four every time we loose possession will make it difficult for lesser teams to progress, but that is more about packing the defence out than getting better performances from his players and it is most definitely to the detriment of our attacking play.

That said Liverpool's profligacy, Newcastle's desperate luck, and Huddersfield's struggle to get an away shot on target since the opening day of the season, would have all contributed to the recently improved goals against column.

Maybe Sam is lucky? The efforts that hit the woodwork last night and went wide of the posts on Sunday were finding the net when the accursed Koeman was in charge.

Like I say. Early days... and if Sam is to be a lucky manager, as several have suggested, you won't hear me complaining.

Jay Harris
163 Posted 14/12/2017 at 15:56:09

I know you like to provoke debate but if you cant see the difference Allardyce and his team have made to the players individually and collectively then I pity you.

When Koeman was sacked we were already in freefall and every player looked devoid of ability.

Unsy tried his best but as one man with little internal support, he was swimming against the tide and looked out of his depth.

The worrying thing for me was his statement that he spoke to Bill 4 or 5 times a day. What for?

Do we hear Sam saying he speaks to Kenwright numerous times a day. Absolutely not because he knows his jib and gets on with it.

All the so-called top class managers were either not interested or unavailable and I remain unconvinced about "in the moment" managers like Silva.

I expected better from Koeman but my reckoning is he lost interest when Lukaku was let go and not replaced and was not invested enough in the club to give a shit.

Personally I thing Sam Allardyce is the right man at the right time. We need consolidation and rebuilding from head to foot and he will give us the time and ability to do just that. So stick with the program you might just enjoy it in due course.

Jay Griffiths
164 Posted 14/12/2017 at 15:56:14
Psychological impact, unity, belief. No credit to Allardyce and his team for this? Jesus wept, I'm not his biggest fan but surely these things are noticeable! The players wouldn't even warm up by us at away grounds nor acknowledge us at the end.

There's been a shift in belief in the players and the fans. Who initiated the process?

Again, stage 1 complete now let's look for more.

As an aside, I watched the coaching team a lot through the second half. Sammy Lee does not take a break. Non stop guiding and cajoling. All this contributes to building each player up then building the collective up. I'm taking to him more than Allardyce.

What do we expect for stage 2? That's my next thought.

Si Cooper
165 Posted 14/12/2017 at 15:56:20
I very much agree with Darren's post at #162. I'm very happy with the results that Sam Allardyce has achieved but feel that good fortune has played possibly as much a role as any improvements he will realistically have been able to coerce from the players.

To credit him with significantly improving their fitness in 3 weeks ignores how incremental the fitness gains usually are, once you get to the upper levels. If the players are fitter now than under Koeman, then we are seeing the fruits of the labour that David Unsworth must have begun.

Sam Allardyce has said himself there was no reason the defence he has inherited was performing at such a low level. I welcome the confidence bounce, the run of luck and whatever improvements getting back to basics has brought, but the new manager and coaches will have to prove themselves capable of better overall performances before I'd call for them to be given a longer term contract.

Steven Jones
166 Posted 14/12/2017 at 16:01:57
Darren (#130), antagonistically wrong again. You have a negative view on anything Everton – I like to see the positive and be optimistic, even if Martinez or Koeman eventually failed through their weaknesses – different people and different strokes, okay? However you are factually wrong about Sam. Your lack of insight and knowledge of his management style and approach is obvious to everyone on here.

My insight and my position on Sam Allardyce is that he is one of the most professional managers around. His use of science, data, fitness, psychology etc is ahead of all other managers. His choice of backroom staff is the best we have seen at EFC. His press conferences and the way he conducts himself is better than all the managers since Joe Royle.

He will create a wonderful culture at the club, there will be no cliques and there will be no excuses for players not performing. He will make the best of every Everton asset in the squad and raves about our Academy set-up.

He talks and exudes pride at being at Everton – he is not a mercenary like the previous failure. His views on Jonjoe Kenny and the rest of the young stars have been so refreshing.

He may also, as some on here have said, have a chip on his shoulder and a big ego – which is a good thing going to Anfield or other top six grounds – I don't think he has anything but a bundle of fun when he faces Wenger!

His Leadership is excellent, his man-management is one-to-one and is excellent. He is pragmatic and sets up differently for each game. He studies the weaknesses of the opposition and his attention to detail and knowledge of all tactics and flows in a game is unmatched. He plays formations, styles to match the squads. He played attractive football at Bolton where he recruited a number of flair players including a number of top European experienced players – who believed in him: Jay-Jay OKocha, Djorkaeff, Campo, N'Gotty – flair, World Cup winners and European Cup winners.

With Everton as a platform and Moshiri's money, I expect more towards that than Route One football or an impression of the Crazy Gang or Graham Turner's Watford. (There I go with my optimism again...)

I for one expected this type or organisation and motivation in the first month – he is excellent at it. He deserves recognition and praise – not bouquets – but solid praise and thanks from me.

I also expect him to develop the squad and the team play in phases. He has already talked about keeping the ball, flowing football and passing moves. I also expect him to get into the heads of the players and increasingly get them to express themselves. We have had backs-to-the-wall solid performances but we have also had free-flowing passing and skills for some of the goals, eg, Gylfi's goal assisted by Calvert-Lewin and a good sharp passing movement.

I also expect a few reverses in the coming weeks and the luck we have had to reverse and some of the results. However, I expect the assets in the squad to get better and the performances over time to get better.

Pep took a while to get Man City playing his way and Mourinho is always touted as a second-season manager. Sam has just arrived and I and a lot of others have been very impressed with what he has done in the background as well as the results-oriented pragmatic approach to the games. We now have pride back and he has banished fear.

I for one hope Mr Sam Allardyce stays at Everton for 10 years! As we know that would mean he has been successful and put us where we all want us to be.

I am backing Sam and hope everyone else does – especially when there is the odd reverse.

Darren Hind
168 Posted 14/12/2017 at 16:25:46
Steve Jones,

Let's gets something straight here; I was asked for my opinion... you don't understand that don't you ?

So I'm negative about all things Everton and you are supremely positive? I'm afraid that is "factually wrong". Go back to my post and count how many people I praise... then go to your post and count how many people you praise... do you see the inaccuracy of your claim?

Oh, and the factually wrong bit – Go ahead, tell me where I was factually wrong?? I'm all ears?!?

Gary Russell
169 Posted 14/12/2017 at 16:35:01
Debate is one thing, but this continuation of "I said this, I thought that, and he/they said this," to claim one-upmanship is getting tiresome indeed. Some egoes need to take a sabbatical south on a ship out of Punta Arenas and keep heading that direction for a while.

The Dutchman was shocking. Since Sam took over, we have improved rather quickly. Instead of analysing all the variables, like the opponents, maybe he was lucky with Unsworth's 'defensive find', the law of averages, or the change to Tetley Teabags from PG Tips in the USM canteen... it's all utter bollicks as we will never know.

Also, this 'luck' thang.... When a player hits the post or crossbar, I see it as he didn't connect or hit it good enough, as in, he missed. Otherwise, if he'd hit it a tad more precise and on target, he'd have beaten the keeper and scored.

It seems hard for some on here to simply enjoy it when Everton win, with the usual posters trying to take more glory than Everton, with their opinoins, nouse and higher intelligence and sometimes just downright arrogance with 'me, me I, I, I...' filling up too many sentences.

I'm uplifted anyway. Cheers, Sam and your backroom staff.

Steve Brown
170 Posted 14/12/2017 at 16:37:03
Darren (#162) is simply being objective and factual. He is not making any negative claims about Allardyce, nor is he attributing all the improvements we have seen to him either since that would be inaccurate. He will achieve with Everton precisely what he has achieved with every club since he moved into management in 1991. That is organise the team to be compact, defensively sound and move the team to mid-table.

Comparing him to Pep or Mourinho is frankly amazing. Mourinho has won 8 league titles and 2 Champions Leagues, while Guardiola has won 6 league titles and 2 Champions Leagues. Allardyce has won the Division Three title with Notts County in his quarter of a century as manager. It is that type of exaggeration and crowing that Darren is calling embarrassing.

Allardyce has achieved nothing at Everton yet. My worry is that he has never achieved anything that looks like sustainable success anywhere else. In terms of the keeping the ball, flowing football and passing moves mentioned, I have never seen one of his teams play in that manner. If he does... hallelujah, miracles do happen. I am not going to hold my breath.

John G Davies
171 Posted 14/12/2017 at 16:40:13

Sam hasn't give us better organisation than the defensive shambles of the games before he took over?

Now that's just silly if that's what you'er actually saying.

Steve Brown
173 Posted 14/12/2017 at 16:58:46
John, that is all he will ever give us. And in 6 months time that will already not be enough.
David Barks
174 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:06:06
Nothing Darren said was incorrect. I think he has been improving our defensive set up. I also think the squad has had a big reaction to a permanent manager being named.

But the quality of our attacking play is severely lacking, which Sam has openly stated himself. It's not as if Sam is some messiah that has rode in and transformed Everton over night, but I do think he has had a positive impact.

But I do not think anything that I've seen so far is good enough for Everton in the future. I just think Allardyce has admitted as much and would want us to be much better in attack. The simple fact is, none of us know how that will turn out yet. That's not negative, that's just being objective.

John G Davies
175 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:06:55
Maybe. Maybe not Steve.
The future wasn't my question.
David Pearl
176 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:14:36
I'm surprised ToffeeWeb has still got the posters considering the amount of people not wanting Rooney back and not wanting Allardyce (that's it for me and you'll never see me at Goodison etc etc).

This is an opportunity for Everton to be coached properly for the first time in ages, with a background staff of old-school coaches undermined by the influx of foreign coaches (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'd like to see what Pep and Mourinho could do at a club without the unlimited resources they are used to.

Sam and Pep are both rather smug at the moment. Some people want to see Sam fail... that's Evertonians wanting that, even now. We had young players in a team full of non-confidence. They will listen to him and get better. Holgate and Kenny are really improving and playing with no fear.

This is also an opportunity for Sam, his biggest club job and probably his last. Hopefully we can play joined up football going forwards soon, very soon.

Christopher Nicholls
177 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:17:40
Everton's goal was a very well worked sequence of football. The ball was played by 9 of Everton's outfield players. 16 passes (6 first time) not including the initial tackle by Sigurdsson, Lennon's header or Rooney's finish.

Good sequence of football that demonstrated much more movement, awareness and ability to pass the ball well across the entire field, than we have seen much of this season. So, on top of the defensive shape and discipline, there is some football emerging.

Many good performances on the night, but I am really enjoying watching the development of Calvert-Lewin. As Mr Hind pointed out on that forum... a very talented young player, playing one of the most difficult roles in the Premier League. It was another strong showing to lead the line. Technically gifted and intelligent. For me, maybe the player who could benefit most from Allardyce and Ferguson.

Allardyce might not have been who everyone wanted, but it looks more and more likely that he is what the team needed. Too early for the "told you so"s, but past the time for hand-wringing. Credit where credit is due, the team simply looks better these last few games.


I''m bringing the whole family on Monday and massively excited. If you're around the Park End, it would be great to say hello. Traveling in from LA.

Kevin Hudson
178 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:18:04
In the recent ToffeeWeb poll, I voted ‘NO,' to the prospect of Allardyce but I have to concede that his impact has been intrinsically positive thus far.

I like the fact that he talks a lot of sense, especially after a couple of years worth of disingenuous bullshit.

I love the fact he was angrily roaring at the players 7 minutes into the Derby.,, and that he made Klopp completely lose his shit on live television.

Right now I couldn't give two fecks about his ‘ale house footie,' or any questionable trousering of a few extra quid: I just want him to organise the players properly and sort their heads out – which looked completely shot at St. Mary's.

There's also massive potential in the quality of the squad and the funding, but right now, I think he's exactly what we need..

Mick Conalty
179 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:40:28
Hello, I"v been behind the Sofa since Sunday, is it safe to come out yet???
Steve Hogan
180 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:43:01
Gary (#169) makes a valid point, the soothsayer's need to give it a rest. None of us know for sure whether Allardyce can keep the current momentum going short or long term, but as an Evertonian, I'm feeling a damn sight better than I was five week's ago.

That team under Koeman was 'sinking fast' and only going in one direction. It was patently obvious the players had stopped listening to him long ago.

Something's happened to stop the rot and reverse the trend, it's not pretty on the eye, but given the depths to which we had sunk, it was never going to be a case of free flowing football just a week after Sam had taken over.

I feared a right old hiding was on the cards for us in the derby, and yes we certainly rode our luck, but the sight of so many RS heads falling right off in the aftermath, almost gave me as much pleasure as the actual result itself.

Let's see where we are after the January window closes; the management team under Allardyce seem to have identified the problem areas pretty quickly.

I'm just enjoying the ride.

Mike Hughes
181 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:46:45
We don't know how Allardyce gets on here in the medium-long term. We can only judge him on what he has done here so far – with the resources, confidence levels, injury list etc. available to him. On that basis, I think he has done really well.

Has there been a better EFC management performance over the same number of initial matches?

I do attribute full credit to him for the improvement in results since he has taken over. That might be debateable for some but I happen to think the manager – any manager – is responsible as soon as he / she takes over. That includes anything that can be put down to good luck, bad luck and so on.

The question I have for those who differ from that position is this.

If another manager had gained exactly the same results Sam Allardyce has done so far, with the same level of performances, same comments in pre- and post-match interviews – but just happened to have a different name (e.g. Dyche, Simeone, Fonseca, Tuchel, Ancelloti or whatever) would you still hold that same position?

Of course, we will never know and I'm not bothered about debating the point as I have more important things to do. But as I have 5 minutes to spare before disappearing off to the gym, I just thought I'd let that one float out there as it did strike me as being pertinent to some comments on here. (I think that's my allotted number of posts anyway.)

Well done Sam (and coaching team).

(As Jay Wood @154 posted – am I allowed to say that?)

Mick Conalty
182 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:46:51
Big Sam seems to be a lucky manager (thank god); imagine if he was in charge of the RS – there would be enough luck to get to Mars and back.
Joe McMahon
184 Posted 14/12/2017 at 17:55:41
Does anyone think how strange it is we are keeping clean sheets without Baines? Do we really miss him these days? He doesn't stop crosses anymore and sadly has lost pace.
Terry Farrell
185 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:00:28
Gary Russell – amen to that. From up in the gods last night you can see the whole team from a plainview and also the 2 Sams. Loads more energy and desire. Good performances all over the pitch.

He made the right subs at the right time and we played some great stuff. All played well but Jonjoe, Mason, Dom and Ashley were all 9 out of 10s.

Now Sam is a blue, I now notice he is charismatic and is a real leader. The change is like night and day!

David Pearl
186 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:03:01
Joe, he's the only one with a left foot. His pace might not be as it was but his positional sense is better. He can still cross a ball and l'd pick my mum at left back over Martina. She can't play over the Xmas period as she's away on holiday.
Johnny Rainford
187 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:03:48
Yeh, I thought the same the last time he was out, Joe.
Peter Lee
188 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:08:20
It would be a mistake to characterise Allardyce as organising the defence and keeping it simple.

Contrast what he has done with David Moyes impact at West Ham. Moyes has gone for 4-5-1, absolutely prioritising defence, admittedly against three top sides. SA has gone 4-4-1-1. And whilst we've not seen much flowing football we've done enough.

Last night was not even 4-4-1-1. When they had the ball, either Gueye or Schneiderlin pushed out to press deep lying Shelvey or Merino. So, without the bal,l we were often 4-3-2-1. Even after three games it's easy to see that there is clear thinking about changing roles and tactics.

All this with the injuries we have been carrying and a starting eleven so unbalanced that we had just one left-footed player, Pickford!!

How anyone can be critical of the impact so far is beyond me.

Dave Abrahams
189 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:32:50
I think Everton have greatly improved, especially defensively, since Sam took over and has eased, for now the very real threat of relegation. I acknowledge the improvement has come against three poor teams plus Liverpool.

I'm hoping the upturn will continue when we play some better teams in the figure. Until then, let's continue to get behind Allardyce and his coaching staff; we are always backing the team.

Phil Walling
190 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:33:23
With all this eulogizing of Big Sam, the players have become superfluous. Think of all that money there's no need to spend now the magician is here!!!
Jack Convery
191 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:35:37
Danny Murphy said the ref was wrong to give Shelvey a second yellow – what tosh! Ex-red supports ex-red. I bet Rafa was furious with Shelvey – I know Shearer was, given his reaction to Murphy's twaddle.
David Currie
192 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:39:47
Chris 189, How did you get tickets for the Swansea game on Monday? Saw that you live in LA, I live just outside San Diego and plan on taking my family to Goodison next Christmas to watch hopefully a couple of games. What is the best way to get tickets, thx for any help.
Brent Stephens
193 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:44:24
"It's not pretty on the eye".

Sure, I'd like more "pretty on the eye" on the creative / attacking side (though there have been some examples of that). But also "pretty on the eye" is the more solid defensive performances of late. The defence is there to do that, and it gives me pleasure to watch it. And anybody who's played in defence will know the skill there is to that side of the game. Enjoy the ride as Steve #180 says.

And as Mike #181 says, if the manager's name was Tuchel or some such, we'd be drooling over the rapid turnaround so far not naysaying.

Paul Tran
194 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:44:55
Darren, I've always wanted us to have a lucky manager, so if Sam's that man, it'll be long overdue.
Lenny Kingman
195 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:45:37
Big old Sam is getting it. He will be more grateful than the son of God when he totally recognizes what he is involved in here. The end game for the good and great of this game.
Paul Wyndham
196 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:21:37
Steve Jones (#166),

I totally agree with everything you've said. There are some fans on here who are just waiting for the first blip in Big Sam's tenure so they can jump in with their "I told you so's!"

Despite the negative image usually generated by the lower end of the press ranks, Allardyce is not just very tactically astute, he also embraces all the sports science and psychology needed to get the best from the modern-day player. I also like his handling of the media – he's a breath of fresh air after the dullness of Koeman.

Ciarán McGlone
197 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:44:17
Derek @80.

I can't disagree with the sentiment of your post at all.

My match thread postings are always reactionary, based on what I'm watching... I didn't like what I saw, or what I saw on Sunday for that matter.

However, I'm not daft (enough) and realise our current malaise required results and confidence. Great result last night, awful performance (again).

I'll certainly back our current management at this early stage and hope I'm manifestly wrong... However, I can't entertain the suggestion that Allardyce is some sort of tactical butterfly, looking to pupate from the cocoon of his entire career. Nor do I buy the argument that we needed a relegation fire fighter in the first place.

I'm willing to accept these performances now as we need the results, but I fear this is all the man knows. I'm happy to be proven utterly clueless... if that comes to pass, I'll join the gushing.

Terry Farrell
198 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:00:15
Ciaran the performance last night was definitely not awful.
Colin Gee
199 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:29:51
What a difference an away win makes!

Got to Sid James Park last night just in time for kick off having been caught up in all the traffic on the A1 after a nasty looking accident.

Saw the blues grind out their first away win for what seems like ages, walk back past loads of unhappy Geordies to get back to the car and home for just after 1 am after driving through some terrible weather and up for work at 5 o'clock. Under our two previous Managers we'd have lost that game 2-1, whatever Allardyce has done it seems to be working!

My eyes felt like two piss holes in the snow all day but it was worth it!

Up the Toffees!

Laurie Hartley
200 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:54:48
Brian Furey (#159) – your post is way out of order. By all means have a pop at Klopp but leave the man's wife out of it.
Raymond Fox
201 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:59:32
Colin, I've got to admire your enthusiasm and get up and go. I include Brent also on here, plus any I've missed, talk about dedication.

Unfortunately I'm up to the doddering stage now, only need a walking stick for a full set. My best days are well gone, good luck.

John Boon
202 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:01:12
I always watch the games live. Unfortunately I could only get it 12 hours later and I knew we had won. This led to complete relaxation, something that is very rare when I am watching a game. I also think you can get a much better perspective to assess progress or lack of it.

I felt we did just okay. Certainly nothing to make one assume that we are going to shoot up the table. However Allardyce has at least got the players making shape. The defence was more solid although really lucky on a number of occasions. I would still like to see Keene playing, but perhaps he has to earn his place back.

I think Calvin-Lewin has so much to offer. Unfortunately he rarely gets balls that he can run on to and use his speed. Those passes need to come from midfield.

Vlasic came on late but he was obviously trying. I think , with the proper training and maturity he could be a dynamic player.

Rooney is now being used wisely and,whether you like them or not, Gana,Schneiderlin, Williams and Martina have all improved. That does not mean that they are great players but they are making far less mistakes. We have some very good young players who need patience and time. Fans also need to be just as patient.

Koeman was the worst manager we have ever had and I have been watching Everton since I was eight, seventy years ago. Other weak managers didn't have money to spend like he did. He should be sued for fraud along with gross negligence. What he did was criminal and we have sixty thousand witnesses.

Christopher Nicholls
203 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:58:06
David at #193,

I have a friend who helps me out. My parents also still live in Liverpool. If I can help, happy to do so.

I took the family to opening day last year and it was amazing. Of course, I already knew that...but it was totally new for the family. I had taken my son to see Blues many times in the US, but first trip to Goodison.

Has to be done.

Laurie Hartley
204 Posted 14/12/2017 at 22:02:51
I am hoping once we have 30 points plus to see some better football from Sam Allardyce and the team.

There is a distinct possibility that this will happen if the move between, Holgate, Williams, Martina, Sigurdsson, Rooney, and Martina whose cross just eluded the in -ushing Calvert-Lewin is anything to go by. It would have been some goal that.


First passage of play on the 5 minutes highlights.

That is the sort of football I am hoping for.

Jamie Crowley
205 Posted 14/12/2017 at 22:47:46
Laurie you're spot on.

Our football last night wasn't dire. Was it defensive in the main? Absolutely.

I was texting with another Blue before the game last night, and said I wanted to see more a more attacking team – be that on the counter or more possession I didn't care a bit. And we did see that last night in my humble opinion.

I was NOT in favor of Big Sam coming in. But he's gotten results, and I think everyone should give him some time to stamp his image on the team. I believe Sam knows he has to put together a team that can defend first, but simply must attack and play decent, pretty stuff as well.

We had some flashes – that first goal you correctly pointed out – that give some hope that we'll be going forward with more aplomb in the future.

Sam's our manager. Let's see what he can do after a few windows and some money – something he really has never had. The early results speak for themselves, and whereas it's not always pretty stuff, I don't give a shit about that in the main.

I want results. Period.

So far so good. Prettier football would be nice, but just win. If we start losing and playing defensive turgid shit, then I'll light my torch and grab my pitchfork.

Danny O'Neill
206 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:40:41
Hear, hear, Ciaran.

I reacted badly to what I saw Sunday too. Probably too emotionally.

You call it how I see it.

This type of manager gets away with it when the results go well; when they don't, patience wears thin quicker than those who entertain. That's why they usually follow a pattern of come in, act as saviour, stabilise, then fail to live up to higher expectation.

I too hope I am proven wrong. As I said when I defended / criticised previous managers, I support Everton, not the manager.

Clive Mitchell
207 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:44:57
Phil Walling (#126),

Can you see the headlines? "Everton claim title as Allardyce goes 50 unbeaten in the Premier League. Phil Walling says he's been lucky."

Of course there are defeats ahead, the only top-half side we've beaten was Watford and they played us off the park for an hour. But Allardyce meets two key requirements – he's not Koeman and he expects the players to work hard under strong direction.

Danny O'Neill
208 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:45:18
Depends on your view on football, Terry. Defended well or got lucky? Invited trouble and the woodwork saved us. I'll give you that we look far more organised but it could easily have gone the other way. Like I say, depends how you view it.
Danny O'Neill
209 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:54:13
So did Moyes, Clive. Like I say, gets you so far so depends on the ambition.
Clive Mitchell
210 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:10:11
Danny, in the 10 years immediately before Moyes we finished on average 14th. Our ambition was to somehow move away from the perennial relegation battles we'd come to expect. In his decade at the club Moyes finished on average 7th. That's one hell of an achievement.

Right now, our ambition has to be to put as much safe distance between the club and Ronald Koeman's disastrous tenure as possible. If yours is to win the Premier League and the Champions League in the next three years, I'm very pleased for you.

Mike Connolly
211 Posted 15/12/2017 at 00:15:02
I know fans are saying it was Unsworth's team against West Ham and rightly so. However, I'm sure that the watching manager Big Sam had quite an impact on the players without saying a word.

Also Sam has been target by sections of the fans saying he'll bring older players in like at Bolton (Campo). First thing he does is gives three of our younger players extended contracts. The previous manager would not entertain Kenny until near the end of his reign. I'm happier than I was a few weeks back.

Danny O'Neill
212 Posted 15/12/2017 at 00:32:06
I actually got and understood Moyes in the earlier years of his tenure, Clive; I understood what had to be done then. I actually probably defended him longer than some on here despite the obvious limitations in where he could take us.

As you say, going from an average of 14th to 7th was an achievement to a degree and I wouldn't call it tremendous personally, just stabilising. Moyes had 11 years; whilst I wouldn't expect the league and Champion's League in 3, are we going to put up with this (again) for another 11 years only to still be 7th?

Yes the Martinez years set us back despite "that" first season and yes, Koeman didn't deliver but the manager that takes over now has a far better platform than the manager that took over in 2002 in my opinion.

I just think if Moshiri is serious about the ambition then Allardyce – or any of the British underachievers on that Premier League British Manager recycle machine – isn't the answer. Think big and act big (like Man City for example). Otherwise we will just be here again in 11 years time talking about 7th being a success.

Derek Thomas
213 Posted 15/12/2017 at 00:37:10
Allardyce has always been able to build a decent enough foundation good enough to stop the rot. Has he ever been in a real position to build on it?

Well, if he can't do it here, he won't anywhere.

Can he? Who knows...will he? Again, who knows.

I think we need to revisit this 3 times; The end of the season, after the summer window and round about now next year. We should have some idea where we are then.

Until then – one game at a time.

Danny O'Neill
214 Posted 15/12/2017 at 00:40:32
Wise words, Derek, and I did forget to add that I will gladly stand corrected or proven wrong. Ultimately, like everyone on here, I want Everton to succeed regardless of whether I agree with the choice of manager or not.
Terry Farrell
215 Posted 15/12/2017 at 00:55:03
Danny, as you say, it's subjective. My view is we defended well; we also got lucky, we also played some neat stuff and we worked our socks off – therefore, not awful.

Awful to me is Southampton away.


David Currie
216 Posted 15/12/2017 at 23:33:57
Chris (#203), thanks and any help would be great with regards tickets. We last went back 4 years ago so my wife and son are ready to go again next December. Have a great trip!
Mark Stone
217 Posted 17/12/2017 at 02:11:32
Danny, do you think there is a manager in the world that could have transformed us from the 5th best team in the country (which we had become under Moyes by around 2009-10) into genuine and consistent champions league challengers, on the budget Moyes worked within?

Was overtaking one of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool whilst also fighting off the challenge from the nouveau riche Manchester City a realistic target for Moyes in the early years of this decade?

Eric Myles
218 Posted 17/12/2017 at 03:20:06
Mark (#217), Rainieri did it with a lesser team.

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