Everton fans have started catching on to Sam Allardyce’s habit of always blaming someone else whenever things don’t go right. He’s certainly quick to take credit when there’s even a glimmer of something positive, but when mistakes happen or the results go south, there he is throwing someone else under the bus.
The Blues were doomed an hour before the game at Arsenal kicked off with the seven-man-defence that Allardyce selected, and a Gunners side that was easily dismantled at Swansea midweek came out looking like worldbeaters, buoyed on by all the possession and space Everton afforded them in the middle.
After the game, Allardyce immediately pointed the finger at his players, who to be fair, looked hopelessly lost and disorganized too - a trait that really only reflects on the manager.
“It was a disaster. I think I have a lot of trouble with the players taking onto the pitch what we asked them to do. Consistency has been a worry since that burst when I came in, the fact we can perform at that level against Leicester then dip so low in the first 45 minutes against Arsenal.
”The longer and longer I go on, the players are showing so much inconsistency that I face an uphill battle trying to get them to play at their best week in, week out. It was a pathetic first-half performance.”
What is indeed ironic though is Allardyce bemoaning inconsistency, when he cannot line up the same team more than once.
Allardyce wants consistency from players but offers no platform for it. In the last 9 games, he's made 40 changes to the starting XI and rotated the centre-backs 8 times. Some players don't play for weeks, play once and then disappear again. Just pick a team and stick with it.— Luke O'Farrell (@lukeofarrell) February 3, 2018
Now we have to agree that pushing Seamus Coleman to play again today would have made no sense after over ten months out, but not only did Allardyce replace the Irishman, he made five other changes as well as rolled out a new formation with seven defensive-minded players including one making his Everton debut.
He talks a good game, but as we’re learning, that’s all it is.. talk. His execution, like his man-management, is absolutely terrible.
“You set out to block the areas Arsenal like to play in, we had the same gameplan that Swansea had on Tuesday. We studied how Swansea played, how defensively sound they were and how they limited Arsenal to very few chances.
”Swansea only had 30% possession but created chances, but I may as well have been talking in a foreign language. We didn’t implement my plans either defensively or offensively and the game was dead and buried.
”It doesn’t matter what system I pick, it’s about players playing to their best. You can show them but it’s up to the players.
”I’m not frustated, I’m angry, very angry at the players performing to that level. It’s unacceptable.”
| "Bitterly disappointed and angry" - the manager's verdict on a difficult evening at Emirates Stadium. #EFCawayday pic.twitter.com/xrRdR4q18j— Everton (@Everton) February 3, 2018
Allardyce commended Tom Davies who made an immediate difference after the break, but said nothing about why he didn’t start, especially after how well he played against Leicester City on Wednesday.
“There was one player that showed anything like what we needed and that was young Tom when he came on. He made us play, he got amongst the Arsenal midfield, he got us going forward. We got a goal and could have got another one, and then the fifth goal...where was our defence?
”I’m baffled, and I need to say to the players ‘have a look at yourselves, look at your mistakes and how you can improve’. There’s no hiding place.”
Indeed Big Sam, there’s no hiding place, especially now that you’ve made Everton a worldwide laughing stock. It’s time for you to stand up and take responsibility, or step aside and leave our club.