By 90Min
December 27, 2017

When news broke of the appointment of Rihanna-loving king of the memes Sam Allardyce at Everton, the decision was received in a somewhat negative manner by fans of the blue half of Merseyside. This came as no surprise.

The Blues had started the season with genuine top four aspirations having spent just over £150m on new players in the summer, yet unbelievably found themselves calling on the biggest survival expert of them all to rescue them from the unthinkable prospect of relegation.

But while Everton fans may have felt disillusioned by the appointment, there are plenty of reasons why Sam really was the only option at the time.

Make no mistake about it, the Toffees were in an absolute mess when Big Sam arrived. They had shipped 28 goals in the Premier League by the time Ronald Koeman was shown the door following a 4-1 defeat against Southampton, the third worst in the division.

If there's one thing we know about Sam it is that he can shore up a defence, and that is exactly what he has done. 

Since his appointment Everton have kept five clean sheets in seven league games, and remain unbeaten under his tenure, a remarkable transformation from the team who had won one game in 12 matches in all competitions prior to his appointment.

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Some had also questioned Allardyce's motivation and desire for the job, but this is a man who is still nursing the wounds of his humiliating England exit. He has a point to prove, and with him not getting any younger he will want to see out his managerial career in a positive fashion.

Everton is also by far the biggest club side he has managed. With nine league titles, five FA Cups and a huge fan base, this is historically one of the giants of England, and one that should be nowhere near the bottom of the table.

Relegation would have been catastrophic, and seemed a genuine possibility under Koeman, but Allardyce's influence has seen the Toffees rise up to 9th, and seemingly more likely to challenge for a Europa League spot than fight relegation in the second half of the season.

Much has been written recently criticizing the tendency for Premier League clubs to hire the same old school managers time and time again, such as Allardyce, David Moyes, Roy Hodgson and co.

Critics pointed to the success of unproven foreign managers such as Marco Silva at Hull and Watford, and whilst his work there has been truly commendable, there is a difference in the situations.

Silva joined Hull while they were rooted to the bottom of the table in January, and the pressure was less, with Hull having almost nothing to lose by giving him a chance. Likewise, Watford seemingly hire a new manager almost every season.

Both Hull and Watford are accustomed to life yo-yoing between The Championship and Premier League; Everton are not, and that's why they needed the manager who was the closest thing to guaranteed safety as soon as possible.

The football may not always be pretty, and Everton fans aren't watching the stylish, attack-minded style of play that they had dreamed about at the start of the season, but it is certainly a marked improvement on what they saw under Koeman.

In every fixture you can see the difference in the player's attitude and work-rate, something which comes when you are trying to impress a new manager like Allardyce.

Lynne Cameron/GettyImages

At 63-years-old, Sam is of course not the long-term answer for Everton. But if he can steady the ship until the summer it will mean that The Toffees can at least rebuild and try to break the top four again, with painful lessons hopefully learnt. 

Be positive, Everton fans, and soon you could be dancing like this again:

You May Like