Sam Allardyce ambitious for long-term Everton stay
By James Dale
Last Updated: 01/12/17 4:19pm
Sam Allardyce insists he wants to deliver more than just the "stability" he was brought to Everton for.
The 63-year-old came out of retirement to take over at Everton - his seventh Premier League club, more than any other manager - on an 18-month deal on Wednesday, watching from the Goodison Park stands as they beat West Ham 4-0.
Allardyce, who confirmed he hoped to bring in Craig Shakespeare to his backroom staff before the weekend, has been tasked with steering the club away from an unexpected relegation fight following the sacking of Ronald Koeman last month, but aims to meet the long-term ambitions of owner Farhad Moshiri and the Toffees supporters.
"It's in a difficult place at the moment which no one expected, which is why they came and asked me to bring a bit of stability," Allardyce said in his first Everton press conference, ahead of facing Huddersfield on Saturday.
"But this time I want it to be much more than that really because I want to see the club grow and live along with the ambition it's had recently. It finished seventh, got into Europe and everyone expected that it would be a good season and they might be able to move on.
"That hasn't happened.
'England's most underrated manager'
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri thinks new boss Sam Allardyce is England's most underrated manager
"For whatever reason it's my job to steer them back in the right direction then try and get them back in the European places, FA Cup final or Carabao Cup final. First and foremost get the team back to winning ways, bring stability."
Asked if he could be at the club beyond the end of his deal which is set to expire in June 2019, Allardyce said: "Yeah because contracts don't mean anything much today apart from you need to sign something written down but if you do well the contract gets extended, if you don't you get sacked."
Allardyce's appointment has been met with mixed reactions on Merseyside, with his last club managerial roles having been seen as short-term relegation rescue missions at Crystal Palace and Sunderland.
The Dudley-born manager has a reputation of bringing defensive, 'route-one' football to sides, a direct contrast to Ajax and Barcelona-influenced Koeman's philosophy.
I've never played the same way at any club I managed.
But former England boss Allardyce, who previously led Bolton into the Europa League [in its previous UEFA Cup capacity], is unfazed by the response.
"Everybody has to win over the fans," he said. "Whatever perception the fans have of me there's nothing I can do about that.
"It's been over me many years, and it's not true because we play a game of football to try and win it.
"With the players we have available my job is to allow the players to play to their strengths. I've never played the same way at any club I managed.
"Each club has had a different philosophy. All I've tried to do is live to that. Luckily enough for me I've managed to leave the club in a far better position than when I took over."
Allardyce revealed he did intervene ahead of David Unsworth's final game in caretaker charge at Everton to deliver a message to the players, before the team went on to earn just their fourth win of the season against the Hammers.
"I spoke to the players briefly, and I'm taking nothing away from David, about two things," said Allardyce. "One, keeping a clean sheet and two, scoring the first goal.
"Just putting those two things in place gave the platform to climb up the table pretty quickly."
He added: "Everybody knows the defensive solidarity of a team defines the success of a football club."
Pick your dream team for the Champions League final to be the latest £50k jackpot winner.