Trying to be positive with Sam the Man

Allardyce EvertonAfter over five weeks of… well, I’m not sure, who does know what’s been going on these last five weeks? Not the fans, thats for sure. We’ve had numerous managers linked with us over that time and favourite in the betting has been passed between candidates almost on a daily basis.

When I first heard about the appointment I was disappointed. Even though I didn’t agree with the Roberto Martinez appointment and one or two others over the years, I’d never felt so flat over a new manager coming. It’s completely split the fans with some threatening to give up their season tickets and many refusing to attend games until a new manager is brought in. I actually felt like our future had been taken away with safety first taking precedence over winning trophies.

It’s not that we don’t need him, we probably do. One ex pro on a radio football show suggested the appointment may not sound exciting but it was needed. His football is more pragmatic than cavalier and he left the England job under a shadow. Even though I didn’t want either, I would have preferred Silva or Dyche. Maybe the reason O’Neill was suddenly mentioned last weekend was because after that we’d be grateful with anyone else?

To get a wider perspective on who Evertonians wanted as the new boss, I took to Facebook and Twitter like most people do. Every manager that was mentioned as leading the betting was both liked and disliked in pretty much equal quantities I think the last 5 weeks we have had Allardyce, Dyche, Silva, Fonseca, Tuchel, Rangnick, Moyes and O’Neill all touted strongly. Apart from the last two, who gained almost universal disapproval, the names were greeted by as many disliking as liking. I would suggest that Whoever the club appointed there would be a large section of disapproval. Even when Simeone was mentioned as being Moshiri’s favoured candidate, a great many blues mocked and suggested we were entertaining ideas above our station. You can’t win.

So here is me, trying to put a positive spin on it all. I think we have to. Maybe it was the heady heights of a 4-0 victory but I’m feeling slightly better after sleeping on it. My first concern was that he had (reportedly) signed for 2.5 years. He was never going to sign until the end of the season only so I believe a 1.5  year contract is reasonable. He’s being paid a fortune, £6 million per year, apparently earning more than Zinedine Zidane does, but that’s up to Zidane to sort out. The cost of relegation would be so much more costly though.

Koeman’s appointment was generally greeted positively yet look where he has left us? You can criticise the Allardyce style of football but what kind of football were we playing when Roberto left? The side is so flimsy at the moment and he will build a solid foundation. The old school saying of building solidly through the middle appears to have been neglected, Pickford apart and Allardyce would sort that out.

This is not going to make me popular but Joe Royle was a very similar style of manager. I don’t remember Oldham playing free flowing football, wasn’t Ian Marshall up front? We all remember Joes ‘dogs of war?’ Not only did they get us out of relegation, they got us to our last trophy. When he stabilised us he added Kanchelskis and a match winning Hard work, counter attacking style. It’s well known that when Sam had established Bolton, he added the likes of Okocha and Djorkaeff. Bolton had nowhere near as much money as most of the premier league so couldn’t compete for the better flair players. But Joe was a blue!

I’m hoping his style of play was dependent on the amount of money available to him. This is the biggest club he has managed and he will have a lot more money than he is used to, so let’s see. If it’s not the case then in 18 months he goes and we look for someone else.

He has pretty much said he wasn’t going to take another job. This is his last chance with a ‘big’ club and maybe, just maybe he will show something he’s always said he possessed but never given the chance. Of course the really big issue I and many other blues have is with Sammy Lee. I remember wondering why on earth we had bought Gary Ablett but soon realised what a shrewd signing he’d been (and a great bloke to top it all). I’m not for one minute saying that Lee is in the same category but I do believe he will be feeling a lot worse than us when he enters the dugout at Anfield a week on Sunday. I’d feel worse if a blue was to go to Liverpool and become a red. Ultimately they are professionals and are paid a good wage to make Everton win again. Just put him in an Everton tracksuit and parade him in front The Kop.

Allardyce is far from my first choice of manager but I believe the last two managers have left us in a bigger mess than some realised. We still have the new stadium to look forward to and even though it was only West Ham, Wednesday night was a return to winning ways and actually a decent performance as well. Whoever is in charge at Goodison we have to give our full support as the alternative is unthinkable. COYB’s.

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Paul Chaloner

Paul Chaloner was born less than a mile from Goodison Park in 1962. He retired to Spain where he follows Everton from afar. He went to his first Everton match in 1970 (5-2 v chelsea), sold cushions in the stands throughout the 1970s until they were abandoned in the early 1980s and continued to watch the blues until relatively recently before going to live in Spain. He has three sons, all blues!

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