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Everton fans are not happy, but why should they be?

Allardyce intensifies long running frustration at Goodison

Dave Downie

“Why aren’t Everton fans ever happy?” is one of the more prominent yet lazy narratives pushed by factions of the media, mostly due to the sheer disdain aimed towards Sam Allardyce from the Goodison faithful.

Indeed, people outside of the football club or those who’ve never had to endure their club’s fortunes being overwhelmingly mis-managed by the former Bolton, Blackburn, West Ham, Newcastle, Sunderland and Crystal Palace boss, don’t appear to understand why his presence alone at Everton has created such a toxic environment that currently engulfs the club.

It’s not an issue of style for many Evertonians, either. Throughout a barren spell that’s spanned the majority of 30 years, Blues are used to their team not playing anything like the football which once saw them labeled “the school of science” in their heyday.

In fact, it was Joe Royle’s “dogs of war” that brought about the only piece of silverware to grace the club’s trophy room since their last league title win in 1987.

But aside from his bewildering tactics and stagnant, reactive footballing mantra, a burning issue with Allardyce is the constant belittling of one of British football’s institutions.

Only three clubs have won England’s highest division more times than Everton, yet to hear Allardyce speak would lead you to believe its greatest achievement was hiring him.

His most memorable soundbites this year include claiming a victory over West Ham that actually took place before he was officially confirmed as Everton manager and saying that his tactics in a 4-0 defeat to Spurs without registering a shot on goal were too adventurous. He also criticised Ademola Lookman’s choice to go on loan to Bundesliga high-flyers RB Leipzig over Derby County and claimed any victory over a top-six side would be a bonus.

Fansbet are offering 27/4 for Everton to win 1-0 when they host Newcastle tonight

For the forty-somethings and over, Everton’s plight since their most successful era must be an incredibly difficult saga to contemplate. As finances have become increasingly important over the years, Everton stood still and the club’s motto “Nil Satis Nisi Optimum” (Nothing but the best is good enough) has become little more than a cheap marketing tool peddled by those with the responsibility of embracing its meaning.

Even for those younger than that, whose finest days as Evertonians probably came under a trophy-less 11-year era under David Moyes, even the current version of their club is a depressing one in comparison under Sam Allardyce.

Everton have spent in excess of£200 million on recruitment in the last year and are undeniably worse than the side that started the 2016/17 season with a squad containing John Stones, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.

From Ronald Koeman’s sacking and taking five weeks to appoint Sam Allardyce, to missing out on double the fee eventually received for Ross Barkley in his transfer to Chelsea, this season has been a complete and utter shambles for Evertonians on almost every level.

The club is used to false dawns – they seem to come along on a regular basis. However, the last nine months have probably been the hardest to take; A summer of vast recruitment and excessive spend spearheaded by a Director of Football in Steve Walsh who was previously responsible for bringing the likes of Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante to a title winning Leicester City, amounted to arguably only Jordan Pickford being a success.

The players themselves have largely escaped some of the wider criticism but only due to the rudderless efforts of the club’s decision makers; whichever way you turn there’s someone else to blame.

There’ve been many occasions when Evertonians have felt a disconnect with their club in the last couple of decades. For most of those, it’s been due to a perceived lack of ambition from Goodison’s hierarchy. However, it’s difficult to think of a time when supporters have been as apathetic and disillusioned with their team and club as they are now, in a season where they’ve smashed all sorts of records for spending on players.

For this season to end under a manager regarded as someone who is limited to survival situations in the Premier League, given the hope and expectation at the start of the campaign under Ronald Koeman, should give some idea as to why there’s such anger and disappointment filling the air inside Goodison Park at the moment.

It might well be true that Everton fans are never happy, but it is certainly not without justification.

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By Dave Downie – follow David on twitter @DavidDownie17

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