Sunday 22 September 2019

Sam Allardyce set to summon his Premier League survival skills at Everton

Will Sam Allardyce be celebrating survival again come May?
Will Sam Allardyce be celebrating survival again come May?

Sam Allardyce is set to be appointed to lead Everton's fight for Premier League survival.

The former England manager arrived at the club's training ground on Wednesday to finalise a contract but will not take charge of the evening's game against West Ham.

The 63-year-old is an experienced Premier League firefighter - he has n ever been relegated from the top flight and has rescued the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland and most recently Crystal Palace from the drop.

Allardyce's methods are familiar, based around organisation and defensive solidity, but what can the numbers tell us about his chances at Goodison Park?

Familiar situation

Despite the Toffees' ambitious summer recruitment, they have just 12 points from 13 games and take on West Ham looking to improve on a position of 17th in the table.

It is their goal totals at each end, though, which provide a marked similarity to a couple of Allardyce's previous clubs upon his arrival:

Blackburn, 2008-09: 17 games, Scored 17 (1.00 per game), Conceded 34 (2.00 per game)

Sunderland, 2015-16: 8 games, Scored 8 (1.00 per game), Conceded 18 (2.25 per game)

Everton, 2017-18: 13 games, Scored 13 (1.00 per game), Conceded 28 (2.15 per game)

Allardyce improved Rovers' goals-against ratio to 1.24 per game for the remainder of the season en route to a 15th-placed finish, and the Black Cats' to 1.47 as they finished one place above the drop zone.

The pattern was similar, though less pronounced, at Palace last season as the Eagles improved from 1.88 to 1.48 goals conceded per game after Allardyce's arrival.

With the personnel at Everton's disposal - experienced centre-backs Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams and Michael Keane, plus Leighton Baines manning one full-back spot and Seamus Coleman progressing in his recovery from a broken leg on the other side - he will surely have the tools to engineer an upturn once more.

Track record

Allardyce's managerial career includes 488 Premier League games, with three top-flight campaigns with West Ham and half a season at Newcastle to add to the aforementioned clubs.

His teams have won 165, drawn 131 and lost 192 of those, meaning he has a 33.8 per cent win ratio while drawing 26.8 per cent of his games.

Set to take charge of Everton after the West Ham game, their 14th of the season, he will have 24 games to work his magic.

If he lives up to his career ratios that would translate to just over eight wins, six or seven draws and nine or 10 defeats, adding up to around 31 points.

That would take Everton to a total of at least 43, depending on Wednesday night's result, which is more than any relegated team since the top flight was reduced to 20 clubs.

West Ham's 42 points in 2002-03 is the highest tally for a relegated team in that time while over the last 10 seasons, the teams finishing 18th have averaged 35 points.

PA Media

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