Is it high time Everton called for ‘Big Sam’?
Everton were dumped out of the Europa League on Thursday night after a humbling 3-0 defeat to a dominant Lyon side. For most, European participation has been something of a sideshow for Everton this term, an unnecessary distraction from a domestic season spiralling out of control.
Everton finally parted ways with Ronald Koeman after yet another crushing defeat, this time at the hands of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. David Unsworth has subsequently been placed in temporary charge, but despite an impressive record with the U-23s, he too is finding life in the Premier League a considerable challenge. Languishing in a lowly 18th place, this season has the potential to go from disappointing to disastrous for the Toffees if Farhad Moshiri fails to right the ship, after a summer that offered so much hope to the club.
What next for Everton?
The general debate seems to be around whether to steady things in a survival at all costs type move, or to be slightly more ambitious and start planning for the long-term future of the club (in other words: Sean Dyche/ Sam Allardyce vs Marco Silva/ Thomas Tuchel).
Realistically, November of a Premier League campaign is no time for a long-term managerial change, at least not a calculated change with a view to a change in philosophy. It is no surprise that someone like Tuchel has distanced himself from the role; it just doesn’t make sense for him to take the risk when this season will be a case of fighting fires rather than long-term development.
What Everton truly require is a relegation survival specialist, because despite many refusing to admit it this is exactly what the club are staring at. The squad remains talented if severely unbalanced, but clearly has enough with the right management to be staying up. With Harry Redknapp seemingly comfortable in retirement, the only serious candidate for this role is Sam Allardyce. The man that for decades now has ground out results for sides with far less talent than the one potentially at his disposal on Merseyside.
Everton are desperate right now, not only are results going awry but they are demonstrating a worrying lack of heart and application. This is not the time for a highly technical manager, but one that in simple terms knows how to energise a revival quickly and provide a short term fix.
This isn’t intended to be a Sam Allardyce managerial tribute article, in fact Everton would be wise to tie the Englishman down to a short term incentivised deal, even just to the end of the current Premier League season. From there, Moshiri has the time to adopt a more pragmatic and reasoned approach and appoint someone with the time and resources in the transfer market to attack 2018/19 in a far more productive manner. The likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Thomas Tuchel are far more likely to join with a fresh slate and time to work at the beginning of the summer break.
Effectively the appointment of Allardyce would right off the season for Everton, but this is necessary and fans that think other wise are kidding themselves. The struggle and indeed threat of relegation for Everton is very real and shouldn’t be dismissed. Equally talented sides have slipped through the trap door from similar positions.
Everton return to Premier League action at the weekend where they host Watford in a crucial tie. Watford have made an impressive start the 2017/18 campaign and for many are favourites going into the crunch clash, a sure sign of the recent downturn at Goodison Park. The following international break should provide Moshiri with the chance to appoint Koeman’s successor.
Is Sam Allardyce the man to be Everton’s saviour?