Football: Big Sam agrees deal to become Everton manager

Sam Allardyce at Goodison Park before Everton's match against West Ham, Nov 29, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Sam Allardyce arrived to watch Everton's home game with West Ham United on Wednesday (Nov 29) after the Premier League strugglers announced he was finalising terms to become their new manager.

The former England manager was shown arriving outside Goodison Park on Sky Sports, while social media videos showed him walking down the touchline inside the ground.

Allardyce's imminent appointment will end Everton's long hunt for a successor to Ronald Koeman, who was sacked last month.

"Sam Allardyce will be at USM Finch Farm (Everton's training ground) this afternoon to finalise terms on becoming the new manager of Everton Football Club," Everton said in a statement released earlier in the day.

The Daily Mail reported Allardyce had signed an 18-month deal and quoted owner Farhad Moshiri as saying: "We need a strong leader. He gives us that."

Allardyce, 63, ruled himself out of the running earlier this month, saying he did not feel Everton were convinced he was the right man.

But after the Merseyside club's pursuit of Watford head coach Marco Silva was met with a firm rebuttal, Everton returned to Allardyce.

This will be the 10th English club managerial position taken up by Allardyce, who established his reputation at Bolton Wanderers and most recently guided Crystal Palace to safety last season.

When he left Selhurst Park in May, Allardyce said he had no ambitions to take another managerial job, but the chance to turn around Everton's fortunes appears to have lured him back.

Everton were 17th in the table ahead of Wednesday's game, two points above the relegation zone.

Ironically, Wednesday's opponents West Ham recently appointed former Everton boss David Moyes as their new manager.

David Unsworth has been in temporary charge at Everton since Koeman was sacked on Oct 23 and the under-23s boss had made clear his desire to take on the job permanently.

But during his seven-game tenure, Everton have lost five matches and won just one, conceding 20 goals.

Unsworth was due to take charge of the game against third-bottom West Ham.

Everton invested heavily following last season's impressive seventh-place finish, but results have fallen well below pre-season expectations.

Allardyce has previously led Palace and Sunderland to safety from precarious situations.

His achievements at the Stadium of Light earned him his dream job with England, but that turned sour after only one match, with Allardyce stepping down in September 2016 following a newspaper sting.

Earlier on Wednesday, West Bromwich Albion appointed former Palace and Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew as the successor to the sacked Tony Pulis.

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