Yeah, I think he may have been getting it right in that last game, although there could've been a lift in performance due to the threat/hope of a new regime coming in as well.
The important point, though, was that he got the team selection right that night against West Ham, whereas before it was seriously all over the place, much like Allardyce since his honeymoon period ended.
I really feel he was hampered by Big Joe's involvement (as lovely as he is) and I think if we binned Allardyce now, Unsworth would be more confident this time around, and we would easily ride out the season with improved performances.
However, we would look like a poisoned chalice if we had four managerial changes in one season, and that could affect our chances of making good managerial appointments in the near future.
Performance when the pressure was taken off, imagine that had happened earlier or he got more game in those conditions? You don't win 4-0 because you have a gammon headed nob in the stands, it's more design than luck. No one ever mentions it was against Moyes who have done well since, or he beat Silva who was everyone's flavour of the month at the time. Hindsight shows us it was more the players producing a performance for Unsworth as well as some pride in beating Moyes, than hope of impressing Allardyce, as that's vanished in 2 months since.
Team against West Ham only had Pickford, Martina and Sig from this season, but it had balance. We had Kenny, Holgate, Davies, DCL in first team, Beni, Vlasic and Lookman off the bench. Unsworth didn't come in with all the answers, but he was asking the right questions and making the necessary changes. We sacked that off to get old pudding chops sending out everyone to kick it long and run about a lot. He won't get back to that team, it's not in his nature, he lost his magic recipe he inherited, so he's copying Swansea.
Who would Niasse, DCL, Lookman, Davies, Kenny, Beni, Holgate want to play for out of Allardyce or Unsworth? Who would Jags, Rooney, Baines, Coleman, Lennon rather play for? Find the players not in this group who have contributed much to this season. I think Gueye performances said he was happier playing for Unsworth, Sandro got his only 90 mins and goal playing for Unsworth, Vlasic featured in half of Unsworth's games. The only players he struggled with was the expected ones, Schneiderlin keeps his tools on the ground most days, but he got chances. He got subbed off early in 2, red card in another, only 90 coming in 4-1 defeat to Southampton. Schneiderlin is a decent player when he can be arsed, it's just not that often nowadays and not when he can outlive a manager from start.
Lookman, Sandro out on loan, DCL wanting a move, Barkley gone. I'm not sure he'd have got Barkley to stay, you never know. But I'm 100% sure we wouldn't have the exodus of younger players wanting out, I think many of them would be playing and rated much more highly. But importantly they would be enjoying football, making some mistakes, but playing with confidence and developing into key players and valuable assets longer term.
I'm grateful for Royle, I think he did as much to help and as little to hinder as he could, I wouldn't expect any more. Unsworth was taking first serious steps in senior management adapting to intense scrutiny, living on borrowed time. Royle has seen how the role has adapted, understands the responsibilities and priorities for a manager. He did a hell of a lot more in terms of helping Unsworth, than Walsh or Moshiri. With Royle, it's a bit like people blaming Kenwright, Ferguson or Elstone, it's often just personal. Most people complaining about them and joining in, don't seem to know what they do in the first place. It's just another face to scream at or blame for something, whatever it is they supposedly do.
You can already see a similar pattern in Jan window, with blame being shifted to Klaassen and Sandro, those were the Koeman ones that caused the problems. This is part of the reason why I think a lot of the problems lead to Walsh's door, even if via Moshiri's. As anyone Walsh didn't sign, seems to be undervalued and shafted by the club, it's like a hostile takeover. We've always promoted from within and we've never had such talent available, so we decide to block it's route to first team. You have to have a nucleus of a team to graft onto and it seems we can;t get rid of the bad ideas, because the source is still present.