Sam Allardyce is dealing with his first difficult run as Everton boss, the Toffees now winless in four matches following a 2-0 home loss to Manchester United.
His side has scored once in those four matches, two against relegation battlers, and Big Sam’s putting it down to Everton’s lack of a top class striker.
“No shot on target? That’s normal for us,” he said. “We know where our problems are, the club knew before I got here that was the problem. We’re trying to cure that in this window by getting a frontline that can threaten and score goals. Until then we have to be a team who can only win if we get a clean sheet, for me.”
Everton was in 13th place when Allardyce first hit the dugout for a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town. The Toffees have since, in no order, drawn Liverpool, Chelsea, and West Brom, beating Newcastle and Swansea, while losing to Bournemouth and Manchester United.
They’re still ninth, nine points clear of the drop zone, and have Spurs, West Brom, and Leicester next, the latter two at home. If form follows and Allardyce sees his men lose to Spurs but beat West Brom, that visit from Leicester City will be huge in separating the two sides (as well as 10th place Watford, who has a match-in-hand and will play the Foxes in that span.
Allardyce has done a very good job at shoring up what was a porous defensive unit, but hasn’t found a way to manufacture goals. Winger Yannick Bolasie agreed:
“It’s been known we probably need a striker,” he said. “It’s a difficult job for any club to replace Romelu Lukaku. It’s obvious but I’m not the manager.”
He says he’ll know within 24 hours whether the club’s big Cenk Tosun recruiting push comes through for him.
The latter is going to be enough to keep Everton up, but the latter may put Alladyce in the same position he was at West Ham: unable to make an ambitious side into a top performer.