Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big Sam defends style after Newcastle win

Big Sam defends style after Newcastle win

Everton manager Sam Allardyce (left) and Newcastle United counterpart Rafael Benitez watch from the touchline during their English Premier League match between at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Monday night. AFP
Everton manager Sam Allardyce (left) and Newcastle United counterpart Rafael Benitez watch from the touchline during their English Premier League match between at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Monday night. AFP

Big Sam defends style after Newcastle win

Theo Walcott did his best to boost Sam Allardyce’s approval rating as the Everton winger clinched a 1-0 win against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Monday.

Allardyce has been under fire for Everton’s dour style of play since he was hired in November and fans called for his dismissal following a draw at struggling Swansea City in their previous match.

The pressure on the former England manager was increased by his own club last week when Everton took the curious decision to send a survey to a group of supporters asking them to rate his performance on a scale of zero to 10.

Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright apologised for a gaffe that added to the perception Allardyce is on borrowed time with Everton.

Against that troubled backdrop, Allardyce – who has lifted Everton away from the relegation zone in his brief reign – couldn’t afford to see his side’s winless run extend to four matches against the club that sacked him 10 years ago.

Walcott ensured Allardyce wouldn’t hear a chorus of disapproval for one night at least as the former Arsenal star netted in the second half at Goodison Park to lift Everton into eighth place.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Allardyce, who had to endure a banner reading “Our survey says – get out of our club” being unfurled before kick-off.

But he came out fighting after the match, saying: “What was wrong with our style today? We dominated the game. You have to be patient.

“You can’t knock our football. You can knock some of the passing that goes astray but you can’t knock me for that, I don’t pass the ball.

“I think eighth in the league compared to fifth from bottom tells you we’re getting better.”

Rafael Benitez’s 100th match as Newcastle boss marked the end of their four-game winning run as the Magpies remain in mid-table.

Allardyce’s team could have taken the lead when Michael Keane guided Wayne Rooney’s cross towards the far post, but Phil Jagielka couldn’t keep his lunging effort on target.

Ayoze Perez was having a night to forget and after he shot wide from a good position early in the second half, Everton made the breakthrough in the 51st minute.

Yannick Bolasie swung a cross to the far post and when Newcastle failed to clear, Walcott pounced on a fortuitous deflection and smashed into the roof of the net for his first goal since January.

Islam Slimani was anonymous in his first league start since joining on loan from Leicester and the Newcastle striker was replaced by Dwight Gayle, who should have snatched an equaliser moments after coming on.

Jamaal Lascelles headed down and Gayle was in position to strike from close range, but instead fired over as Benitez shook his head in frustration.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey