It's that time of the year once again. The Christmas trees are going up, the weather is getting colder and the managerial merry-go-round has begun turning. No more so was a change at the helm more pressing than at Goodison Park.
After the departure of Ronald Koeman back in late October, Everton have been watched over by Under 23's manager and club legend, David Unsworth. Despite his best efforts, the club was balancing delicately above the relegation zone.
Confidence was low, the performances were way below par and it seemed all was lost. Enter Super Sam Allardyce. The Savior of Sunderland heard the cries for help from Evertonians and flown into battle his arch-nemesis 'Premier League Relegation' for yet another season. The former undefeated England manager only needed to be in the stadium to change the fortunes of his new club in midweek.
A 4-0 win over one of his former clubs, West Ham, who themselves have only just instated a new manager. The Everton faithful must have had not been believing their eyes as the Wayne Rooney conundrum had even been solved, with the local lad netting his first hat-trick for the club. A leaky defence had also been fixed, a £45m midfielder was pulling strings and 30,000 die-hard fans finally had something to sing about.
Saturday saw 'Big Sam' take to the dugout for his first official game in charge against a resilient Huddersfield Town. With his sidekick, 'Little Sam', by his side, Allardyce watched as goals from
Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin saw Everton run out 2-0 winners and propel them to 10th in the table. With Allardyce already working his magic at the club, Everton fans and the board can breathe a sigh of relief with eight point gap between them and the relegation zone, leading into the busy Christmas period.
Very few questions marks surrounded the appointment of Allardyce, but question marks certainly do surround his managerial career. A serial relegation survivor is much to his credit, but his playing style has often come under great scrutiny. Bouncing between sides after only a couple of years, Allardyce has built up a good reputation.
But longevity at a club these days is based on success in competitions and the number of trophies you win. Something Allardyce has yet to do in the top flight. With Everton though, there is hope. With a board willing to spend the money, the good base of a squad with some fine emerging young talent and a die-hard fan base. It's early days but this could be the perfect match for both club and manager moving on into the future.