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Everton confirmed on Wednesday that the club and Sam Allardyce have parted ways.
The club’s official Twitter account relayed the news, bringing an end to the 63-year-old’s stay as manager at Goodison Park:
🔵 | Sam Allardyce has left his role as manager.
More: https://t.co/0kJowzOX0r https://t.co/ErJpWEEN7T
Allardyce was appointed by the Toffees in November on an 18-month deal following the decision to move on from Ronald Koeman.
The former England manager took over with Everton in 13th position in the Premier League and pushed the team up to eighth place, away from a relegation battle. However, Allardyce and his approach have been unpopular with the supporters.
As relayed by Luke O’Farrell of ESPN, while Allardyce defended the style of football he used at Goodison Park, the statistics paint a picture of a team lacking in attacking imagination:
Luke O’Farrell @lukeofarrell
Allardyce: “You can’t knock our football.”
Everton are 19th on shots, shots on target, chances created and dribbling since his arrival. Everton are in the bottom half for all other significant attacking statistics across his 21 league games.
While the recruitment of players like Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott helped Everton improve in January, Allardyce’s cautious approach also alienated some exciting young attackers on the club’s books, including Nikola Vlasic and Ademola Lookman.
The latter, in particular, has made the decision to send him out on loan to RB Leipzig look foolish, as he’s been excellent since moving to the Bundesliga. As noted by Matt Cheetham of Sky Sports, the Toffees would’ve benefitted from having someone like Lookman around:
Matt Cheetham @Matt_Cheetham
Lookman now involved in more goals in last 5 apps for Leipzig (7) than any Everton player’s managed in all 25 games under Sam Allardyce.
While Allardcye has not endeared himself to supporters at Everton, he’s by no means solely responsible for the malaise the club finds itself in.
Ahead of the 2017-18 season the club invested heavily in the transfer market, although director of football Steve Walsh and Koeman failed to find an adequate replacement for top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who moved to Manchester United.
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New signings Michael Keane, Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaassen failed to find their feet, and the team lurched towards the relegation zone. When Koeman was sacked after a 5-2 loss to Arsenal, Everton found themselves in 18th position in the table.
Allardyce steadied the ship from that point on, although as noted by Royal Blue Mersey, his record doesn’t compare favourably to his predecessors:
🎶 We Don’t Have Sam Allardyce 🎶 @RBMersey
Sam Allardyce’s win percentage at Everton is 38.5%. Ronald Koeman’s was 41.3%, Roberto Martinez’s 42.7%.
We’re going backwards.
Any successor has some talented players to work with in the likes of Walcott, Tosun, Pickford and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Youngsters such as Lookman, Vlasic, Tom Davies and Mason Holgate also have a bright future ahead if they’re nurtured correctly.
Silva would potentially invigorate the team with attacking and high-intensity football if he was to come in. Everton supporters will hope he can lift the club off its haunches after a spectacular false dawn.