Under-fire Everton manager Sam Allardyce engineered a tactical masterstroke during his side’s 1-0 Monday night win over Newcastle United.
By switching the positions of Everton’s two wingers, Allardyce directly contributed to the winning goal and proved his worth to the Goodison Park doubters.
For much of the first half, Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott were frustratingly ineffective when stationed on the left and right wings respectively.
Bolasie constantly declined to whip in crosses when given time, instead opting to idle on the ball and lose possession through poorly-executed bits of skill. When the Congolese international decided to put in service to the box, it regularly failed to meet an Everton shirt.
On the opposite wing, Walcott was largely anonymous and had little impact on proceedings, suffering from a lack of service.
However, Yet Allardyce’s swap proved instantly effective just minutes into the second half. Bolasie collected the ball on the right wing, just inside the Newcastle half, and drove purposefully down the line with his favoured right foot.
The former Crystal Palace man then lofted in a looping, inviting ball to the back post, where now left winger Theo Walcott was waiting in a perfect position.
After a kind ricochet, the ball fell kindly to the Englishman, who lashed home an emphatic strike to give Everton the lead.
It was a perfect reward for the tactical nous of the Everton manager, with his intelligent switch directly resulting in the crucial strike for the Toffees.
The success of the switch provided a much-needed boost for Allardyce, who had endured an uncomfortable week. After a much-publicised club survey asked supporters to rate the manager on a scale of 1-10, the experienced manager had faced embarrassing questions over his future.
There was no better response than an inspired tactical shift that handed Everton all three points, proving his worth to the Goodison Park faithful.