A bit of light relief from yesterday's Guardian..........
BIG SAM’S SCHOOL OF SCIENCE
A cynic could conceivably argue that Everton are not having a great season. Under Ronald Koeman, the Merseyside club finished seventh and went on an expensive summer trolley dash. Supporters were buoyant with optimism for a brave new dawn, with hopes high that their team would once again finish seventh, but in a swashbuckling style befitting a club that had spent the thick end of £180m on the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane, Davy Klassen and Jordan Pickford, as well as bringing in Wayne Rooney, Sandro and Cuco Martínez.
Sam Allardyce claims Everton in ‘very good position’ and hits back over style
Having assembled these expensive new acquisitions, Koeman set about putting them together with all the dexterity and skill of a drunk trying to assemble an Ikea kitchen cabinet without instructions and was soon sent packing, making way for “Unzy”, who it soon became apparent was hopelessly out of his depth. With the very real prospect of relegation looming, there was only one thing to do and the Big Sam insignia could soon be seen lighting up the sky over Goodison Park. Now Everton are ninth, playing the kind of agricultural percentage football for which Big Sam has long been renowned despite his dogged insistence, in the face of all available evidence to the contrary, that it is not the kind of agricultural percentage football that his teams play.
“At the moment we are in a very good position,” said Sam earlier, when it was put to him that his team is not in a very good position and that he might be ordered to do one at the end of the season. “I am slightly surprised about the [speculation] but you can look at the two differences between us: good at home and not good enough away from home.” Sam also put forward the tenuous argument that Everton must be having a good season, because they’re only three points behind Burnley and everyone seems to think they are doing great. That’s the same Burnley, who spent about £30m last summer and have failed to win any of their past 11 top-flight games.
While there is every chance that Everton will reel in Burnley and finish seventh again, the fact of the matter is that they are currently 13 points worse off than at the corresponding time last season. While the blame for this cannot be laid at the door of a manager who only took over in late November, the style in which they are going about their business most certainly can. “Style of play is only brought up by previous people making out from many years ago we were playing this type of football, which is 10 years ago past,” sniffed Sam, accusing those who take umbrage at his overly-cautious approach of yearning for halcyon, long gone days of yore. Indeed, who can forget the samba-style tiki-taka approach of Tony Hibbert, Nuno Valente and Steven Pienaar under David Moyes, at a time when Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur were both bobbins and the Scot led them to the dizzy heights of fifth.