Everton finally settle on Allardyce

Sam Allardyce Everton

Sam Allardyce has made a dramatic turnaround by agreeing to become Everton’s new manager on an 18-month contract, replacing caretaker boss David Unsworth.

After previously distancing himself from the Toffees job in the wake of Ronald Koeman’s sacking – due to feeling like a ‘second choice’ to Watford head coach Marco Silva – Allardyce has now signed a deal at Goodison Park until the end of next season.

“The ambition of the club, allied to all the fantastic history, has proved to be key for me,” he said.

“Obviously, the club has gone through a difficult spell and hopefully I can put that behind us as quickly as possible and start looking upwards again.

“I think that whatever’s happened before we’ve just got to all rally around together. Our will to do it all together would be my way forward.

“I feel really enthused and energised to come in as manager.”

Long-time assistant Sammy Lee and recently sacked Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare join ‘Big Sam’ on Merseyside, with the rest of his technical team comprising of Martyn Margetson as goalkeeping coach and Ryland Morgan as first-team fitness coach.

Former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson, who served under Koeman, is also expected to form part of the backroom staff.

Unsworth had urged the board to make a permanent appointment in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s heavy 4-1 defeat at Southampton, which left his side just two points above the relegation zone in 16th place.

Allardyce arrived at Finch Farm on Wednesday to finalise the agreement and sat next to majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri later that evening to watch Unsworth’s final game in charge – a 4-0 home win against West Ham, where Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick.

The 63-year-old will kick off his tenure on Saturday when Premier League new-boys Hudderfield come to town.