It was all going so well. A new owner, talk of a stadium move and the kind of spending spree that Evertonians had been dreaming of for years. The 2017/18 season began with optimism but, this time, it felt different. This wasn’t the usual wishful-thinking that had welcomed in previous seasons; this was realistic optimism built on solid foundations. Or was it?
Looking back, it is easy to say that Everton fans should have seen this season coming. But it’s hard to see the failures when you so crave success. Of course, as the catastrophe unfolded, it was the manager who took the brunt of the criticism. And perhaps Ronald Koeman was not the right man to lead Everton, but you could see in his eyes early in the campaign that he knew his squad wasn’t complete. He had lost his star man in Romelu Lukaku and was hoping for Giroud or Costa as a replacement; instead, he was left with Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney. And while Rooney has performed well this season, you can’t help feeling how things might have been had he been linking up with a striker of the calibre mentioned.
So, while the summer business looked good on paper, in reality, the Toffees were left with a squad lacking in two crucial areas – pace and attack. But the question remains; is Sam Allardyce the right man to put things right?
Upon his arrival, Ronald Koeman was seen as a forward-thinking manager who could take the club to the next level. Someone who could build on the attacking philosophy started by Roberto Martinez and someone who could lead the club into a new era of success. So how did Sam Allardyce end up in the chair? After all, he is not a coach you associate with success or attacking football. The truth is, the club panicked.
Image Source: Ronald Koeman on Facebook.
Sam Allardyce is a man with a blueprint for survival. In fact, the Toffees were 11/2 with bet365 to get relegated when he arrived but they had drifted to 66/1 by December 19. However, Everton want someone with a blueprint for success. So, who is the right man for the job? As we approach the summer, the major football betting websites will be full of speculation but there have already been suggestions that the club will renew their interest in Marc Silva. The Portuguese coach impressed during his time at Watford before a run of poor results saw him dismissed. However, there is a feeling that he lost focus after an earlier approach from Everton. Aside from Silva, Paolo Fonseca, Mikel Arteta and Sean Dyche have all been touted as potential replacements should Allardyce leave in the summer. Carlo Ancelotti was 10/1 with bet365 to takeover before Allardyce got the job.
Whoever comes in will need proper backing in the transfer market and not false promises. Only the two Manchester clubs had a higher net spend across the two transfer windows this season yet that money was not wisely spent. So, while Ronald Koeman must take his share of the blame for the dismal start to the season, the recruitment team also need to be held accountable. Only when all departments of the club are working in harmony will the Toffees be able to make the most of the opportunities that lay before them.
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