Sam Allardyce has defended the style of football he implemented while Everton manager last season.
The former England boss took over from Ronald Koeman to steady the ship at Goodison Park but received criticism for playing negative football, something he has been linked with throughout his managerial career.
Why were Everton so negative under Allardyce? Five key things to know…
- Allardyce was brought in last season to turn Everton’s campaign around after Ronald Koeman’s sacking.
- The Englishman led the Toffees to an eighth-place finish but was sacked at the end of the season with fans unhappy over his style of play.
- Nikola Vlasic, who played under Allardyce, had labelled the style of football implemented as “awful“.
- But Allardyce has since hit back, claiming he was only playing to the capabilities of the Everton squad.
- Everton only managed 213 shots on goal during Allardyce’s six-month tenure, the worst in the Premier League during that time.
Allardyce was sacked after just six months in charge at Everton despite leading the club to an eighth-place finish, with the hierarchy saying the decision was part of a longer plan.
And, speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, Allardyce defended the way he set his team out, claiming it was as a result of Everton’s capabilities.
“If I have a little bit of bitterness it’s that the players weren’t mine, they were somebody else’s,” he said.
“And I thought that stabilising that club and certainly finishing eighth was a pretty good season.
“In terms of the style of football, the style of football that we played was to the capabilities of the players that were out there on the field and their capabilities proved that the style of football was what they were capable of.
“It wasn’t me saying you have to restrict and play this so-called way, but of course that comes with my past reputation and everyone jumps on the back of that, which is a falsehood, that’s actually a lie, but that’s what follows.
“So the capabilities of the players were, this is what they’re capable of for now – and I think we got them into a very good position to build and move forward from that.”
Marco Silva replaced the Englishman but has not made the impact many expected him to have, with Everton currently 11th in the Premier League.
The Toffees’ 2-1 defeat against Southampton on Saturday was their ninth in the Premier League this season, more than they had in 24 matches under Allardyce.
Vlasic slams Allardyce’s “awful” football
As well as the Everton fans’ groans about Allardyce’s style of play, one star who featured under the Englishman has also spoken out about the negative football.
Nikola Vlasic signed for Everton with Koeman in charge but failed to impress Allardyce following the Dutchman’s sacking.
Now on loan at CSKA Moscow, Vlasic slammed Allardyce’s appointment and the style of play he brought to Goodison Park.
“Everything changed after Koeman left,” he said.
“The football played by Big Sam was awful, if it could even be called football.
“In such football, I do not have a place. The football team was terrified by everything, the fans mostly.”