Everton's search for a new manager is over as the club have appointed Sam Allardyce as manager on a one and a half-year deal until June 2019.
Allardyce, 63, becomes the club’s 23rd permanent manager replacing Ronald Koeman who was sacked five weeks ago.
The former England and Crystal Palace boss had pulled out of the running for the role two weeks ago and denied having any contact with Everton but, with the club fearing a potential slip further down the Premier League, returned to Allardyce for his expertise in battling at the bottom of the table.
Speaking to EvertonFC.com, the 63-year-old said: “I’ve always thought Everton was a great club. It is a great club. Obviously the club has gone through a difficult spell & hopefully I can put that behind us as quickly as possible & start looking upwards again.
“Ultimately, it’s the ambition of the club, the ambition of the owner and the board, allied to the fact that it’s Everton and all the fantastic history, which have proved to be key for me.”
“Ambition is important for any manager or coach, owner or director. It’s what you need to have & hopefully we can deliver to the fans to get this Club high up the league. That’s what we’re aiming for.”
The former England boss will take charge of his first game on Saturday afternoon as the Blues host Huddersfield Town at Goodison Park.
Turning it around
The atmosphere around Goodison Park has been anything less than positive. There have been signs of discontent not seen in a number of years but Allardyce wants to change that.
The former England boss watched on from the Goodison Park Main Stand on Thursday night as his new side ran out 4-0 winners against West Ham United, giving the 63-year-old a performance to build upon.
“I think that whatever’s happened before we’ve just got to all rally around together. Because we are all in it together and let’s all pull in the same direction. Let’s try to get a healthy spirit around the club,” he said.
“That’s difficult when you’re losing but the win last night over West Ham and the magnificent atmosphere around Goodison, which was just brilliant, well that’s lifted everybody around the club.”
For the fans
Allardyce may not prove to be a popular choice at Goodison Park but not many will deny his ability to keep the team in the Premier League.
At his former clubs, Big Sam has always had a decent enough relationship with the fans to grant him time to implement his changes on a squad.
He said: “The fans are the most important people at any football club, of course, and we have to give the players every possibility to play to their best, really give them no excuses for not playing to their best and get them right back up to the top level we believe they’re capable of.”
The 63-year-old is also looking to build upon the progress Ronald Koeman made in his first season at the club, returning the team to the Europa League.
“Last season showed what the club is trying to build and we need to demonstrate that level of ambition and assuredness again. We can. It’s a question now of putting in the work to do that and I’m really enthused by the prospect,” he said.
The former England boss also brings with him his own staff, appointing former Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare as his assistant.
Sammy Lee will also join Allardyce’s backroom staff whilst Duncan Ferguson will remain as a holdover from the previous regimes.
David Unsworth, who stepped in to the role on an interim basis whilst the club conducted their search for a new boss, will return to his role as Everton under-23 manager and Academy Director of Coaching.