This is getting all too predictable. When Everton play well and win, Sam Allardyce claims all the credit for preparing the team and getting the tactics right. And when the Blues are awful and lose, then none of it is his fault and the players didn’t listen to him. The loss at Watford FC on Saturday as expected falls into the latter category.
It’s getting bad enough now that Big Sam is quickly becoming one of the most unpopular and widely disliked managers in the 141 years this great club has been around. The atmosphere of apathy in this lost season is catching on like an infectious disease.
Meanwhile Allardyce continues to deflect any and all blame that comes his way.
“They get the ball and pass it, not me.
“So, if you get the ball and move it forward to one of your front men, your front men get in the game and they attack the other teams defence. But you can’t blame me if they don’t pass the ball to each other.”
He then went into this ramble about how he expected more from his players.
“Yes, no doubt about that.
“But you see Everton is in an inflated price bracket because everyone knew it had got money to spend so every player they went for ended up at a certain price for Everton. If it was Manchester United it would be even more, but if it’s less than Everton it’s less.
“We are in that bracket now so we either say we pay that price and bring the player in or we don’t. And that’s what you live with today. Yes I would say the players need to be dealing with it more for the money we’ve paid for them.”
Oh you mean the same players that you so happily drove the coach over and then went back and forth a couple of times for good measure?
Allardyce was then asked if he had considered bringing in a sports psychologist if the issue was indeed that deep-rooted.
“There are a lot of sports psychologists out there, but not one who would benefit us at this moment. We have one anyway, but we don’t use him collectively in group sessions.
“For me it’s [about] the players’ own desire and determination to put this right. They need to believe in themselves away from home. The home form is the complete reverse. Away games are about results, not how we perform. If we don’t perform to our best, make sure we nick it. Doesn’t matter how.
“We’ve got Burnley away next week. We need to get a result.”
And then.. more deflection on why this season has gone wrong.
“I think expectations are always raised at every club at the start of the season.
“What the club achieved last year was exceptionally good. What happened was we haven’t really found the goalscorer we had last season. Whatever the rest of the team is or isn’t, without that goalscorer you’re going to struggle more than you did the season before and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
“The other circumstances are, this is our 41 game and too many players all at once accumulated together, none of those being a clinical, out and out goalscorer, and hence you fall into the trouble you’re in.
“We’ve just got to get ourselves out of it. We’ve done a good job up to now. You have to remember we were only two points off relegation when I arrived so everyone was talking about how we were going to go down. We’ve been in the top half a long time since.”
And somehow, that was not the worst of it either, because he ended with the absolute kicker.
“We got a disappointing result today but we’ve still got the opportunity with 10 games to go to stay in the top half of the table and then I’d say it’s been a decent season.”
Decent season indeed. Just leave now Big Sam.