Everton’s up and down form has continued true to how this season has gone, with more lows than highs really. The latest limp, miserable loss away at Watford FC over the weekend despite the squad being away on warm weather training for nearly a week seems to have triggered some action on the tabloid front.
Every day one or more of the mainstream media houses has been speculating on Sam Allardyce’s future at the Blues. The experienced relegation-survivor appeared to have strong-armed owner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright into giving him an 18-month contract when it looked like the Blues were going to get drawn into a relegation scrap earlier in the season.
But the quality of football on display in recent weeks will have given even the staunchest Toffee cause to wilt with despair, and it’s more than likely Moshiri will once again respond to the fans’ wishes as he has in the past when Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman well and truly lost the plot.
Football writer Paul Brown has often proven to be closer to the club’s inner workings than many others, excepting the inestimable Paul Joyce of course. In his latest column for the Daily Star, he speculates that Moshiri will pay off Big Sam at the end of the current season.
He goes on to say that among the managers that Moshiri could be interested in are two names that the Blues have already been linked with - Shakhtar Donetsk’s Paulo Fonseca and currently unemployed Marco Silva.
Everton’s history from this season with Silva is well-documented, and the manner of his exit might have tainted his chances of taking over at the Blues. Fonseca though remains an intriguing possibility, having refused talks of signing a new deal when his current contract expires in June. Watching him lead Shakhtar to a famous 2-1 win over AS Roma in the Champions League last week will only reinforce that opinion.
Another two managers also mentioned are familiar names, but also expected to be out of Everton’s range of ambition - Luis Enrique (who is also currently unemployed after leaving Barcelona at the end of last season) and Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid.
Enrique is widely expected to take over at Chelsea with Antonio Conte’s future there very uncertain, while Simeone just signed a lucrative new extension at the beginning of the season and it would take a huge sum to prise him away if he were even willing to leave.
While the players publicly continue to be politically correct saying all the right things about Allardyce and his indefensibly defensive tactics, privately many of them will be reconsidering their Everton futures if Allardyce stays in charge.
However, if for any reason Moshiri even considers keeping Big Sam around, the public outcry that’ll follow along with the mass uprising of fans will make the Martinez and Koeman protests seem like petty schoolyard fights.
Allardyce must go.