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Premier League festive season: Everton

Everton 3-1 Swansea City

New Everton boss Sam Allardyce inspired his side to a 3-1 victory against Swansea on Monday at Goodison Park with the help of goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and team captain Wayne Rooney. Allardyce talked about the match and about being the new boss at Premier League giant club Everton.

Everton goals: Dominic Calvert-Lewin 45 +1:17, Gylfi Sigurdsson 64, Wayne Rooney 73 Pen
Swansea goal: Leroy Fer 35

“I think that from our point of view, a very disappointing first half. We needed to see a lot more from the players than we were getting. A little cameo of play which was rare in the first half of play for us got us a penalty. We changed not so much the system but the way we wanted to push up and shut them down and get more at the back four. Then we changed, putting Tom Davies on, pushing farther forwards, got us in the game a bit more. Then you need a special player sometimes to pull something out of the bag and that was Gylfi. It was a great three points, especially considering how poorly we played in that first half. I think sometimes we play still with a little bit of negativity, sideways and backwards at times. In the second half you could see how much more creative we were. We were too negative with our passes in the first half.”

Then Big Sam talked about his plans for the January transfer window. “The business in the January transfer window is around including all our youngsters, it’s around 30 pros, so we’ve got a lot of young pros, under 23, that have come from football clubs abroad and are finding their way in the Premier League. They’re frustrated about not playing as much as they should. We’ve got players to come back from injury, that will make us as a squad so much better and they have huge Premier League experience. The quicker we get the squad into place, the more I can look at the market and say, ‘What do we really need?’ Yes, a front man. But if there’s a striker around in January that’s good enough for Everton I’m not so sure. Other than that, I’m not sure how much business we need to do,” continued Allardyce. “The targets now? Top half, I think. Not getting too carried away. Delivering 13 points out of a possible 15 is an outstanding feat. We’ve scored 11 goals in the last five games. A team that comes back from 1-0 down to win, shows us a lot of character which maybe was missing before I got here.”

“From a tactical point of view, I’ve simplified the game. And I’m man managing the players. I bought some experienced and talented staff with me, along with the rest of the staff. I want everyone to get better. To turn around so quickly is a great credit to everyone. Not just me,” added Allardyce. “What looked like a desperate situation is becoming a comfortable one. And now people are looking up the table than down. The last clubs I took over were tougher to turn around initially. We’ve got to try and get a result against Chelsea and then we’ll really know what we’re made of. With this confidence, if we can get a result there, we’re on the right track for finishing as high as we can. Let’s see if the lads can pull one out of the bag. With a pretty mediocre first-half performance, I’m delighted with the turnaround and the lift of performance in the second half. We really needed it. I was really pleased with the fans’ patience in the first half. We switched off from a corner, which is disappointing. Goals change games. The game turned in our favor. Our first goal knocked Swansea back and gave us encouragement. We got Tom Davies on to get further forward than Morgan, who was sitting back, and then Gylfi Sigurdsson comes out with a wonder goal. Players like that can change games in your favor. That knocked Swansea down and we won comfortably in the end."

New Everton boss Sam Allardyce was hired to possibly be in charge of a relegation battle, and things have quickly improved at Everton since then. "The target now? Top half, but not to get too carried away. To collect 13 out of 15 points is outstanding considering the position where we have come from. We have scored 11 goals in five games and kept clean sheets. We are a team that comes back from 1-0 down to win and that shows the character." Superstar Everton striker Wayne Rooney scored the third goal, a penalty shot, against Swansea. "A deeper position is the right one for me at this stage of my career. I can pick my moments when to get in the box and when I stay out,” said Rooney in reflection. "I can score and create goals. I think the manager has got us back to basics. If we went a goal down we had a feeling we wouldn't get back in the game earlier in the season. We are solid." Former England skipper Wayne Rooney continues to have a major impact on the Premier League. The Everton captain was on target in Monday’s 3-1 win over Swansea making it 11 goals for the season for the 32-year-old. Six of those goals were scored in the five games since Allardyce was hired as the new Everton boss.

“I think the move and the timing of the move looks like it was perfect for Everton and perfect for him and he’s proving that now. The last year at United he wasn’t playing and he wanted to play,” said Allardyce. “So he’s come to Everton and after a difficult start for everybody because of results he’s come through that period now and we really need him. We need him at that level, and to continue at that level for the rest of the season.” Rooney’s form now makes Jose Mourinho’s judgment to freeze him out at Manchester United last season look all the more questionable. Big Sam finds Wayne Rooney easy to coach due to his immense experience in the top tier of England and European football. Sam Allardyce believes Everton and Wayne Rooney are perfect for each other as the former England skipper continues to have a major impact on the Premier League. “What can I say, Okocha and Djorkaeff were the two easiest players I’ve ever had to handle in my entire career,” added Allardyce. “Wayne is very similar – say one or two things and they go ‘yes ok gaffer, fine I’ve got it’. What more do you want from a top quality player like that? You ask once, twice maximum and they understand that instruction, and go out and show you what they’ve got why they are at your club.”

Even Wayne Rooney has improved ever since the arrival of Sam Allardyce who has taken over at Everton on a mega 18-month contract worth £6m-a-year, meaning he now earns more than these top European managers. Sam Allardyce now earns more than several top managers after his £6m-a-year deal. “So he’s come to Everton and after a difficult start for everybody because of results he’s come through that period now and we really need him,” said Big Sam. “We need him at that level, and to continue at that level for the rest of the season. But I think it’s all about the 30 games we’ve already had and managing that situation. So, in his form at the minute and if I can afford to substitute him, then it gets him rested a little bit more for the next one, so he can play in the next one and the next one. I wouldn’t say he was that happy with me. He’s never happy, Wayne! But he’s a great professional. He’s had a huge career hasn’t he, but he’s only 32, not in his mid 30s. Looking after yourself a different way when you go into your mid-30s is what it is all about now.”

Before the start of the match, the two managers were interviewed about their match strategies. Paul Clement wanted Swansea to be more of a threat. “Try to build our play, get into good areas and try to threaten a little bit more,” said Clement. “Build on the performances that we had against Bournemouth and West Brom and try to get something here as well. We’ve probably performed underneath our potential with the players we have. Today’s a good opportunity to get that right.” Everton manager Sam Allardyce talked about what he’s done right. “I think it’s getting back to basics. If you listen to everybody, you talk about a bad run, everybody talks about getting back to basics, but it’s how you explain that and how you pass that over to your players, said Allardyce. “We can deliver in short spurts these messages to the players without going too far into it, out of possession this is what you do to snuff the opposition out, this is what you do to hurt the opposition. Finally Wayne’s coming through with the experience and the talents that he’s got. it’s not only the goals, it’s the final passing ability. What we have to do now is be determined enough with our application and our desire to continue that run tonight, and not to be complacent, and deliver the performance that hopefully will get us another three points.”

Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Keane, Jagielka, Sandro, Davies, Vlasic, Lookman, Robles.

Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, Roque, Carroll, Dyer, Bony, Narsingh. Subs: Van der Hoorn, Abraham, Nordfeldt, Clucas, Ayew, Rangel, Sanches.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Everton are now in 9th place on the England Premier League Table with 25 points, only 9 points behind 4th place Liverpool. After the Swans’ defeat, there will be more scrutiny on under-pressure Swansea boss Paul Clement in the coming week. An intensive festive period will surely determine whether or not he remains in charge at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea City are in last place on the EPL Table with 14 points. Coming up Everton has some crucial Premier League games against Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester city and Burnley that you will want to watch live! Buy legal, cheap, football tickets for Everton securely now online from LiveFootballTickets.com!

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