Sam Allardyce must get stay of exectuion if Everton secure seventh-place finish

It’s fair to say that even though Everton found themselves in a difficult situation in November with caretaker boss David Unsworth struggling after Ronald Koeman had been sacked the previous month, there weren’t too many Toffees supporters that would have been keen on the idea of Sam Allardyce taking charge.

The Merseyside outfit looked to be in serious danger of suffering relegation from the Premier League for the first time since the inauguration of the division in 1992, and the 63-year-old is renowned with never suffering demotion to the Championship despite managing the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Newcastle United during his career.

Unfortunately for the former England boss, he is also regularly tarnished with the brush of playing unattractive, long ball football, and that is something that would have influenced Everton fans when it was announced that Allardyce was going to take the reins just prior to their clash against fellow strugglers West Ham United at Goodison Park on November 29.

The Toffees came into the clash on the back of a successive 5-1 and 4-1 defeats against Atalanta and Southampton, and they were lying just two points above the relegation zone and with just 12 points from their 13 top flight fixtures.

They also had the second worst goal difference in the division of minus 15 at the time and Allardyce would have been tasked with not only turning results around, but also to stop the side leaking goals.

Unsworth oversaw a brilliant 4-0 success against the Irons, before the 63-year-old took the helm for the first time when they hosted Huddersfield Town just three days later.

A 2-0 victory against the Terriers certainly got him off to a positive start, and he quickly tightened up the defence and started getting the points on the board that the Merseyside outfit desperately needed.

Allardyce and Everton took 12 points from his first six Premier League matches in charge, and it was needed to keep the Goodison Park faithful on side.

However, things started to go sour – and the Toffees fans certainly didn’t need any excuse to turn on the 63-year-old – at the end of 2017 when they were beaten 2-1 by Bournemouth.

Three successive defeats followed – including a 4-0 loss against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley – and Allardyce suggested that they needed to be “more boring” after the huge reverse in the capital.

That remark outraged Everton fans given that their side had only had one shot on target in their opening three games of 2018, and while they took seven points from their next three home games they were also beaten 5-1 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

They currently lie in ninth position and eight points above the relegation zone, but it would be hard to argue that the Merseyside outfit have made significant progress under Allardyce in overall terms.

The January addition of Cenk Tosun hasn’t paid off so far with the player struggling with the pace of the Premier League and the English weather, he failed to sign a left-back when it looked as though it should have been their January priority, while Ademola Lookman left on loan after struggling to get first-team starts and summer arrival Davy Klaassen has failed to get a look in.

That said, Everton are just two points adrift of seventh-place Burnley and if results go their way in the final 11 top flight fixtures of the campaign, they remain on course to secure the position as the best of the rest outside of the top six clubs.

If Allardyce does that it would certainly be an impressive achievement given the disastrous start the club made to the season, and the 63-year-old would deserve a full summer to sign his own players and work with the team during pre-season in preparation of making an ambitious tilt for the top six positions next term.

It would be a controversial choice for the supporters, but Allardyce must get the opportunity to try and take the club forward if he leads Everton to the highest possible finish it looks as though they can secure in remaining 11 fixtures – seventh.