What Big Sam Needs To Do At Everton!

Everton have finally turned to troubleshooting manager Sam Allardyce as they look to get themselves away from a relegation battle this season.

Watford boss Marco Silva seemed to be the Toffees first choice for the Goodison hotseat but the Hornets resisted Everton’s eager approaches.

Now with just twelve points from their opening thirteen Premier League fixtures, lying in seventeenth place and with a Europa League campaign in tatters, the club’s hierarchy have decided that the former England boss is the man to get them out of trouble.

It should have been so different for the Merseyside team. They seemingly had a talented gaffer in Ronald Koeman and had spent very big in the summer transfer market. As well as bringing back club legend Wayne Rooney, they also brought in exiciting England prospects (Jordan Pickford & Micheal Keane) and established Premier Leagues star Gylfi Sigurdsson.

In total, over £140m was spent on the squad as Everton chased the dream of breaking into the top four.

Alas it has been a miserable campaign for the Blues of Merseyside. Koeman was sacked and caretaker boss David Unsworth hasn’t managed to turn things around. It looks as though Unsworth is too close to the squad and isn’t feared by the players.

Big Sam will have a huge job on his hands when he takes over at Goodison.

It’s not a task he isn’t used to. He’s famous for saving the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland and Crystal Palace from the dreaded drop zone. At Everton the rewards will be greater and he should have better foundations to build from, as long as he changes the team’s on-field fortunes.

Allardyce has stated recently that the first thing to do when turning things round at a club is fixing the defence.

“Clean sheets give you the platform to be successful in a season. You can’t always score two or three goals.”

He used his transfer window at Palace to bring in stronger, better defenders and it worked perfectly.

Everton have conceded the most amount of goals (28) in the English top flight so far this term, so Allardyce will have to once again rebuild the backline first.

There’s plenty of experience in the Toffees defence, that’s not in question. But with ageing defenders like Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams you can see a distinct lack of pace in the back four. Even new recruit Keane doesn’t possess a great amount of speed.

These veterans should be leaders, yet whenever I’ve seen Everton this season they seem to shout a lot but are they making any real points? Plus are they taking ownership of their own mistakes?

You’d like to think that Sam can at least organise them and have them well drilled to stop them being quite as leaky. I’d imagine he would still want to strengthen that area when the winter transfer window opens.

I also wonder about Morgan Schniederlin. Does he have the heart and desire to become one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League again?

You watch on as Idrissa Gueye charges across the park trying his upmost to tackle and win the ball back, sometimes his high work-rate has a negative impact on his own game. But is he working like two men at times because Morgan isn’t pulling his weight?

The French internationalist looks to have been harmed by his spell at Manchester United but he needs to buck his ideas up or he’ll end up going from club to club and dropping down the leagues.

The new manager will have to workout what’s wrong with Schniederlin and will probably have to put an arm around him and coax the best out of him.

With the defence being slow and weak, it becomes essential that you have two defensive minded midfielders who have legs, passion and that are smart enough to plug any gaps.

Allardyce has to be wary of the talented youngsters he’ll have at his disposal at Goodison. He cannot rely on them, especially at this juncture. If you give them too much exposure, when the teams playing so poorly, it can have a detrimental impact on their progression as footballers.

Big Sam will also need to deal with Wayne Rooney.

The former England captain still has something about him but what’s his best position? You also have to workout if he’s a distraction or an influence to those around him.

Even though Everton were thumped at Southampton on the Sunday, I think it was clear to see that major summer signing Sigurdsson is best as a number ten. On the left the former Swansea City man is wasted and he goes missing, The Icelandic international can be a match winner in the hole and needs to play there and to do it regularly.

The team as a whole lacks pace. So it will be a huge boost to have Yannick Bolasie return to full fitness.

Another big issue that Allardyce has to solve is the main striking position.

Rooney can play there but does he offer enough of a threat? Sandro hasn’t settled into life in the Premier League yet and Oumar Niasse offers endeavour but can he really be your top scorer and get you out of trouble?

Everton didn’t invest wisely enough and replace hitman Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgian guaranteed the Merseyside club goals and they’ve no longer got that in their ranks.

Christian Benteke is already being linked with the Toffees as he worked previously under Sam at Crystal Palace. I think Everton should enquire about Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi’s availability. You’d imagine the champions might loan him out if they can get someone else in during the window.

Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott are two other names being linked with the club at the moment and they’d offer different options up top.

It will be interesting to see if Sam Allardyce can once again save another team from a grizzly fate. The Evertonian supporters will take to him as long as he brings positive results. Can he then make them a top half force again?

Well first things first, he has a whole lot of problems to solve at Goodison and he needs to solve them fast!


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