Oh what the heck is going on?
Nothing is ever simple for Everton. When Farhad Moshiri summoned manager Sam Allardyce and Director of Football Steve Walsh down to London yesterday to speak about their futures, Evertonians were certain they would be handed their marching papers.
News reports late last night seemed to indicate that the Board had refused to give Allardyce their public backing which would only mean one thing, that he was going to be gone. Twitter rumours circulated that despite his contract being worth £6 million for the remaining year, he would accept a £4.8 million payoff and leave at the end of the season.
And then this morning during his press conference he debunked all that saying he would be around next season.
“We discussed plans for next season yesterday with Farhad (Moshiri). We have some clarity moving forward now.”
When asked point blank to confirm if he would be here next season, Allardyce insisted -
“Didn’t I just say that? For clarification, yes.”
He then went into conversations about the pre-season planning.
“I think our pre-season in terms of when we start back and where we go is nearly in place.
“The ins and outs of players is a pure wait-and-see basis in terms of what we can try and achieve and then under those circumstances what players do we move on.
“We’ve had a discussion in that manner and we try and move forward at the end of the season as quick as we can.”
On the transfer policy for the squad this summer -
“I certainly think that the development of younger players is blocked up when you have a first team squad as big as it is. I still think that, when you look at a squad as big as ours, managing the numbers is a difficult task.
”I think reducing the squad is what we need to do and when we sign a player I think we need to sign one for the first team, not for the squad.
“We need a player or two and he needs to be a top player to go straight in the team and make us better. Whether we get to that level in such difficult circumstances this summer due to the World Cup is one which we’ll try hard to do.”
There was a certain amount of delusion on his part as well, and it started with talking about supporters’ expectations of him -
“We can always strive to do better. We started my reign so well that we built up a great expectation that it might even be better than it is now,” he said.
”I think with how hard we’ve all worked behind the scenes we’ve achieved a good way forward in the space of only five months - and it is only five months.
”It’s been pretty satisfying so far, but one is never satisfied as a manager. You always want your team to do better but overall it’s pretty satisfying.”
And just like when he defended his ‘playing style’ on Monday night, he made an extraordinary comparison -
“What is entertainment? Entertainment is the mastering of defence in Europe - Simeone. Is that entertainment?
”He’s called the master of his trade, has only conceded four goals at home all season. I’m seen as a defensive and too negative. I don’t think it’s unfair, no. I think that we all want to be more entertaining.
“From where we started to where we are now, we’ve not only achieved the goal we achieved, but we have achieved some extremely entertaining games that we’ve played and when you look at Newcastle why was it difficult?
”It takes two to tango. Did Newcastle come and want to try and come out their own half? No. Did Newcastle ever try and attack apart from the last 10 minutes? No.
”Entertainment comes by both teams being a bit more open and adventurous. Newcastle were not adventurous whatsoever so that’s why we controlled the game and had to be very, very patient to wait for our opportunity and when we got our opportunity we struck.
”Newcastle then came out the last 10 minutes and we had to defend, and we did that very well to win the match.
Make of it what you will, but it’s sounding like Everton are going to give Sam Allardyce next season as well.