Sam Allardyce is taking the business of keeping Everton up in the Premier League very seriously. Seriously enough that the pies, gravy and eggnog are being put on hold, for the moment at least.
Everton have been on a decent run in recent weeks, with three wins on the trot followed by a draw away in the Merseyside Derby over the weekend, but Allardyce believes the Blues are still nowhere where he wants the team to be and has postponed the club’s Christmas party until after the New Year.
The Toffees host Swansea City on Monday, and a get-together had been planned for after the game, but Big Sam has put a stop to that.
“Yes I’ve stopped the Christmas party because it is not needed at the moment because of the position we were in when I first arrived here.
“I told the players I will pay them back when they come out of Christmas and into January and we will socialise and they can go and socialise at the right time.
“The party is off until there is a period of time when we are in a very good position and I can tell the lads they can have the relaxing time that they deserve. But whatever they do I don’t want a phone call telling me they’ve been in trouble or they will be in even more trouble with me.”
It appears to be a thinly-veiled threat at Wayne Rooney who got himself into trouble with the police for drink driving earlier this season. The festive period tends to be incredibly hectic with matches coming thick and fast, and it appears Allardyce wants his players focused on responsibility.
“As a manager it was very important that the players, in today’s environment with social media, that they were not seen to be out enjoying themselves too much.
“They have turned that around already for me but I’m still going to say, ‘Look lads this is our biggest demand’.”
“It is probably not overall because a lot has been demanded already with their season starting in July with Europe, and the injuries. A lot has been demanded of the players and Christmas will be the same.”
Everton getting their act right and reeling off a series of good results is probably the best Christmas present Evertonians could wish for after how terribly the season started,