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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 21 July, 2019

Everton midfielder: 'The football played by Big Sam was awful, if it could even be called football'

Nikola Vlasic wasn’t a fan of Sam Allardyce’s approach.

 Sam Allardyce during his time in charge of Everton.
Sam Allardyce during his time in charge of Everton.

NIKOLA VLASIC HAS slammed Everton’s “awful” efforts under Sam Allardyce, admitting that it is difficult to suggest that the style of play on offer “could even be called football”.

The Croatian midfielder was already on the books at Goodison Park when the former England boss succeeded Ronald Koeman in November 2017.

Allardyce was able to guide the Toffees to an eighth-place finish, but was sacked after just six months at the helm after failing to win over supporters with his methods.

He also appears to have had few fans within the Everton squad, with Vlasic conceding that collective standards slipped during a forgettable period in the club’s history.

“Everything changed after Koeman left,” the 21-year-old told Sportske Novosti. “The football played by Big Sam was awful, if it could even be called football.

“In such football I do not have a place. The team was terrified by everything, the fans mostly. This season, Marco Silva plays different, much nicer football, but has not got results.

“It is true that Everton did not make an expected breakthrough but at least fans now look at the normal football in which the guys, through their actions, are trying to score and win.”

Everton v Apollon Limassol - UEFA Europa League - Group E - Goodison Park Nikola Vlasic at Everton. Source: Martin Rickett

Vlasic was signed by Koeman for €11 million from Hajduk Split. He was, however, to take in just 19 appearances for Everton before being moved out on loan to CSKA Moscow by Marco Silva.

With the Toffees having invested heavily in his absence, the youngster is not expecting to be welcomed back into the fold on Merseyside and believes a sale will soon be sanctioned.

“Honestly, I do not believe,” he said when quizzed on his chances of working his way back into favour. “Everton paid about £90m on only three players — Richarlison, [Yerry] Mina and [Lucas] Digne — and are therefore looking for great names and players from big clubs, like Barcelona.

“Despite these immense investments the team is currently in 11th place, which means there will be new, big purchases. When you bring three players out of Barcelona in a few days then it’s clear that you do not have much care for those who come from the small leagues. So I expect them to sell me as soon as they get their first bid.”

Vlasic has enjoyed an encouraging first half of the season in the Russian capital, scoring seven goals in all competitions, which included the winner against Real Madrid in October’s Champions League clash.

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