Thursday 18 October 2018

Allardyce planning mind games for Everton

Sam Allardyce: perfect start. Photo: PA
Sam Allardyce: perfect start. Photo: PA

Chris Bascombe

Sam Allardyce plans to appoint Everton's first psychologist, with his new club already benefiting from a dose of shock therapy.

A week ago, a relegation fight looked inevitable, with defeat by Southampton provoking emergency measures. At that stage, coming to terms with Allardyce's appointment was tough to accept for many, but the mood has shifted in four days.

Huddersfield were beaten more comfortably than the 2-0 scoreline suggested on Saturday, with the first stage of an appeasement campaign reassuring cynics.

Results will decide how long the warm reception he was granted upon his formal introduction lasts, but Allardyce was deferential as well as self-confident in early statements.

Aside from his brief tenure with England, Allardyce has never had such an opportunity to disprove those who believe his philosophy belongs with the exhibits in the Natural History Museum.

Those who have worked for him often state he is more in tune with modern methods than some think.

"I haven't got the psychologist yet, but I will be. I am doing it all myself at the minute," said Allardyce.

"I think that will be very important. If the brain is clouded and doubtful you don't see a player produce the abilities he has got.

"That has obviously been seen on a couple of occasions here with the lack of confidence from the lack of results. You have to turn that round as quick as you can and build that confidence and let it grow.

"Hopefully we can do that as quick as we can. But there is nothing better than two wins on the trot."

At West Ham and Crystal Palace, Allardyce hired former Oldham player Lee Richardson, currently working with Lancashire Cricket Club, and it is no stretch to presume he is the preferred choice.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, who struck the first against Huddersfield, and Wayne Rooney will be the first invited to the psychologist's chair.

Sigurdsson was hopeless in the first-half, but more impressive after his goal. The manager's relationship with Rooney, who created the second for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, has started well.

"I've every admiration for Wayne because he never seems to be fazed by the criticism," said Allardyce.

"He has had more criticism in the last couple of years than he has had praise and I think he has handled that brilliantly." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport