Just a few months after Sam Allardyce “retired” from club management he’s back in the thick of things, having held positive talks with Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright and agreeing to take charge of an Everton side who have been struggling hugely in the opening stages of the 2017-18 campaign.
Whilst you’re likely to hear a wide range of opinions from Palace fans over the news of Big Sam taking up residence in a Premier League dugout once again, the Toffees’ decision to tempt him back has provoked all manner of debate on Merseyside too. Following a summer in which the playing staff was changed dramatically at Goodison Park, many of the club’s fans have voiced concerns over the long-term ambition being shown by such a “safe” appointment.
It would be easy for me to get bent out of shape by Sam’s decision to get back into football after comments to the contrary this summer but with Palace having more pressing concerns at present, I’m content at picking up the £2 million we’re due in compensation and moving on with our season. We’ve had drawn out managerial sagas involving the likes of Freedman and Pulis in recent years and although the sight of Big Sam in Everton’s dugout may sting a little, there are bigger fish to fry for us between now and May.
In fact, Everton’s December fixture list will give Allardyce every chance of helping us out from afar. Games against Huddersfield, Newcastle, Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth all take place before the start of 2018, meaning he could do us one hell of a favour by going on a decent run of form in his new role. Our results may have improved over the last six weeks but there’s never any harm in getting a little boost from elsewhere along the way.
With the likes of Pardew, Moyes and Big Sam being given top flight jobs in the last couple of weeks it’s clear to see that “experience” counts for a great deal when the threat of relegation looms large. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Palace would be well clear of the drop-zone ourselves had Allardyce decided to stick around for another year but life moves on.
I wonder what we’ll be spending that £2 million on?