Sam Allardyce has steadied the ship at Everton and took a team with a genuine fear of a relegation scrap to a comfortable position in mid-table. Often the story when Allardyce gets a job in the Premier League.
But perhaps unsurprisingly, he isn’t the most popular man on Merseyside, with his drab style of play and negative football turning most fans against him. Not the first time Allardyce’s effective but limited methods have been criticised by home fans, with West Ham and Newcastle fans feeling the same way during his stints there.
News coming out of Everton recently has revealed the club have sent a survey out to fans, allowing them to rate their confidence in the current management system. In a supposed attempt to discover how connected fans feel to the club, the survey asks fans how much confidence they have in the current management team in regards to making decisions, and also asks whether fans believe the current squad is loyal and performing to the best.
This is not a new phenomenon with Everton, who regularly send out fan surveys, and sent a similar one out last May, asking similar questions of then manager Ronald Koeman. Everton have endured one of their worst seasons in recent history, especially when you consider the money they spent in the summer, and the increased expectations that brought.
The debate amongst fans is whether Allardyce deserves a chance to bring his own players in, and a full preseason program, or whether he just isn’t the right man for the job. Meaning the results of this survey may have some effect on the future of Allardyce, as an overwhelmingly negative response may have an influence on the boards decision. And with Marco Silva and Shakhtar Donetsk gaffer Paulo Fonseca waiting in the wings, owner Farhad Moshiri will not be short of alternatives if he does decide to wield the axe.
But is it right that the board have sent out this survey? Knowing there is a high chance the response will not be positive. Allardyce has done the job he was brought in to do, and perhaps deserves a little more respect from the board, who have basically threw him under the bus. While the idea of giving the fans a voice at the club is a brilliant one, this should not include the manager, and is possibly giving fans more power and influence than they deserve.
Allardyce signed a contract until 2019, meaning he has one year left to run on his deal, but will he still be there come the start of the 18/19 season?