Sam Allardyce is taking no chances at all as he steps into the salvage job at Everton. The Blues have strung together their first two consecutive wins, both clean sheets to boot, and go into a Merseyside Derby ready to have their fragile egos shattered once again.
However Big Sam is already thinking ahead and has mentioned hiring the club’s first ever sports psychologist, specifically to boost £45 million signing Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Allardyce feels that the Icelander, who has now scored two goals in two weeks, is one of the players who would benefit the most from the additional support, adding that the pressures of playing for the Toffees differ from at Swansea City.
“Absolutely. No disrespect to Swansea, you are playing on a bigger stage and arena so you have to have a greater mentality to come out and produce because the demand is higher.
“No disrespect to Swansea and the Swansea fans, these fans have greater demand for a player that comes to play for Everton.”
The usage of sports psychology is not new to either the Premier League where multiple clubs in the top flights have them on full time staff, and in other sports right up to the international stage of the Olympics and beyond.
Everton this season has shown the propensity to collapse when things are going against them. This breakdown of structure, especially in the midfield and defence, has been one of the biggest culprits in some truly one-sided scores the Blues have been on the wrong side of. It’s great to see a manager who has been widely (wrongly?) considered one of the last of the ‘old school’ bosses actually embrace the future of the sport. Let’s see how this works out.