Everton’s move to bring in Sam Allardyce at the beginning of December had looked to be a masterstroke following a difficult start to the season under Ronald Koeman.
The former England boss initially rejuvenated the Toffees and helped them climb the table in no time. But Everton fans are already beginning to grow restless of the style of football that inevitably comes with Big Sam and there are already rumours that the Goodison Park faithful want him gone already.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, despite their win over Crystal Palace last weekend, but would it be a good decision to part ways with Big Sam so soon after appointing him?
Three of our writers have their say on the matter below…
For me it isn’t a case of should Everton sack Allardyce, it is when they will do it. Yes, the 63-year-old has picked up some home results that you perhaps would have expected them to get, but the results on the road in recent weeks have been really poor and simply not good enough.
It is always going to be difficult for Allardyce because the majority of the fans don’t want him, and the board will be better off sacking him in the summer and bringing in a new manager that can take the club forward and have the backing of the Goodison Park faithful.
Not right now. They’re safe, barring a simply ridiculous collapse between now and the end of the season, and all they have left to play for is seventh place and the hope that it affords them another crack at the Europa League qualifying rounds, in the event that a top six team wins the FA Cup this year.
In that case, it’d actually be par for the course. Despite all the humiliation and the terrible season, it may have an acceptable outcome, even if the means of getting there is unacceptable.
What is a worry, though, is what Everton are building. When Allardyce arrived, it felt as though he was finally given a big job and there was a sense that he might have attempted to find another way of winning.
Instead, he’s almost turned into a parody of himself, out-Allardyce-ing Big Sam. In the summer, they might well part ways mutually rather than the club actually having to sack him, but if I were an Evertonian, I would not be looking forward to another season of mediocrity under the former England manager.
It always felt like an uneasy alliance and the mentality just isn’t right for where Everton want to be – something that the 5-1 defeat to Arsenal directly alluded to. Sam Allardyce represents a safe pair of hands but his lack of ambition in terms of style of play is already proving problematic and has alienated a large section of the fan base.
It might be different after the summer when Allardyce can make more signings that suit his game-plan, but there are few signs suggesting Everton will ever play a more expansive game under the former England man.
Everton would be wise to end the partnership when the season closes before they invest too much money in creating what is essentially an incredibly expensive version of Crystal Palace.