Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double.
At first glance, The Clash were in quite the predicament, but the longer you think about it, the clearer it becomes: you go. You’re in trouble either way, but if you stay, it’s going to be twice as bad. The decision makes itself. Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s major shareholder since February 2016, could be forgiven by some for thinking he’s facing a similar dilemma: whether to clear house of Sam Allardyce in the coming weeks, or let the status quo remain, and see what next year gives us.
One of the most pathetic performances of modern times (and that really is a fiercely contested category), November’s defeat at the hands of Southampton, meant action was needed. Everton, ablaze from the misspending of Moshiri’s money- to the tune of almost a quarter of a billion pounds- with all players underperforming, and some unprofessional. The board went full nominative determinism, and pulled the chord for Fireman Sam.
The victory over West Ham before Allardyce was installed as manager did go some way towards settling some nerves, though it would be remiss to give credit to anyone other than David Unsworth and the players that evening, despite the ham-handed self-aggrandising of Allardyce, who claimed his impact was important for the win.
A boys club of media sorts have circled of late to protect Allardyce, and praise the work he has done. Everton were 13th when Allardyce was appointed as manager, having averaged 1.07 points per game through our first 14 games. Allardyce has since gone on to say “West Bromwich Albion were above us when I arrived. Look where we are now and look where West Brom are”, but that isn’t true. West Brom were 17th when Allardyce first took charge of Everton, and whilst it might have been an honest mistake, comments like those have contributed to a sense of distrust and dislike for Allardyce. Contempt has, at times, been mutual. Allardyce has sought to drive the narrative that he has rescued Everton, and that we would’ve been West Brom, if not for him. There might be some truth to that, and we certainly have picked up more points in his time since he’s been here (averaging 1.5 points per game). This is the paradox of the Dudley Diplodocus. We’ve picked up points at a reasonable rate, given the start of the season, but is it that simple?
Since Allardyce has come in, we’ve been creating 3.69 chances per 90 minutes, only Swansea (3.29 per 90) averaging fewer. Over the course of the season, only Swansea (8.15) average fewer shots per 90 than Everton (9.43). Only Swansea (2.47), and Huddersfield (2.97) average fewer shots on target per 90 than Everton (3.06). Throughout the course of the season, we’ve conceded more corners than our opponents, more shots, more shots on target, and of course: more goals
|Shots on Target||3.06||4.91|
So what does all of this mean? It means the underlying statistics behind Allardyce’s time at Everton point towards his ‘success’ being unsustainable. While you can hit on 17 and still make blackjack, if you keep doing it, you’ll end up broke. Yes, it’s easy for lazy pundits to point towards Everton having managed to pull clear of the chaos of the bottom of the table, but this is a side that finished seventh last year, and has had major investment. The best we can hope for with this manager is to continue to beat the bottom feeders of the league, and accept the dross we’ve been served up for the majority of the time we’ve watched. All of our wins this season have come against sides beneath us in the league. This mess isn’t of his doing, the blame for this lays with Koeman and Walsh, but Allardyce isn’t the man to take Everton forward. Wait any longer, and it will cause more disharmony in the club, alienate fans further, risk the futures of some of the marginalised promising youngsters on our books. Everton need a plan, starting with the appointment of Marcel Brands. Allardyce should be no part of it. If he goes, there will still be trouble shifting underperforming players on large contracts to reinvest back into the squad. But if he stays, there will be double.
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