Boss Impressed By Everton New Boys' 'Desire And Determination'

by Paul McNamara

Sam Allardyce says the “desire and determination to succeed” of both Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott convinced him the attacking duo were the right men to help propel Everton into a prosperous future.

Tosun and Walcott are both poised for Goodison Park debuts against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, having completed moves to the Club this month.

Manager Allardyce also has centre-back Michael Keane available for the clash with Alan Pardew’s Baggies – and revealed Seamus Coleman has stepped up his recovery after “training all week with the squad” for the first time since suffering a broken leg 10 months ago.

Striker Tosun made his Everton bow in last week’s match at Tottenham Hotspur, where Allardyce was disappointed by his side’s second-half display as the Blues went down to a 4-0 defeat.

The manager is urging the Toffees to “dig in” in search of a precious victory this weekend – and believes his two new signings can inject extra purpose and a decisive cutting edge into the Everton team.

“Theo is more experienced [in England than Tosun], he knows the Premier League inside out, and the players and teams he will be playing against,” Allardyce told evertontv.

“He has a very good track record. His last season was his best ever in terms of his appearances and goals. His place at Arsenal was only disrupted by them changing their system to a back three.

“Hopefully we can put him in a position where he can start creating and scoring for us like he did for Arsenal last year.

“The indicators on Cenk from Turkey, and in the Champions League and with his national team, are all good. That is more difficult for us to assess… and it is more difficult for him to adjust in this period and show what he is all about – and [immediately] do for us what he has done in Turkey.

“That is where the risk comes in – but you have to take these risks to give your team a better opportunity to score more goals.”

Everton’s meeting with West Brom will represent the 1,000th competitive match of former Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United and Crystal Palace boss Allardyce’s managerial career.

Sir Alex Ferguson, an existing member of the ‘1,000 club’ and the manager who oversaw Manchester United’s remarkable 20-year stranglehold on English football before his retirement in 2013, this week hailed Allardyce's resilience and dedication to his trade.

But 13-times Premier League winner Ferguson also underlined the Everton boss’ credentials as one of the most “forward-thinking” managers in the country.

And Allardyce insists his pioneering techniques are essential when it comes to identifying the right players to bring into his club.

“The technical data available today, and the methods for analysing that data, can be a massive help on the recruitment side,” said Allardyce.

“There is a lack of top, top class talent worldwide. So your recruitment policies now… you have to research in much greater depth than just scouting players.

“You input facts and figures and an algorithm can give you a guideline [of a player’s attributes] – as well as the player’s statistics and physical output.

“One thing you cannot measure yet is a player’s mental aptitude, which is something you have to assess when you sit and talk to him eye to eye. You get that feel and instinct that you are signing a player who has the desire and determination to succeed.”

West Brom come to Merseyside buoyed by last week’s 2-0 success over Brighton & Hove Albion – a win which puts the Baggies within striking distance of a position outside the Premier League’s bottom three.

Everton met the West Midlands team at the Hawthorns on Boxing Day, when a scoreless draw extended Allardyce’s unbeaten start as boss to a seventh game.

That match also marked the return to action of Yannick Bolasie after more than 12 months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Bolasie has since featured in a further four games – but the Blues have not won any of them and boss Allardyce insists his side understand the importance of claiming victory this weekend.

“It is difficult at the moment to overcome this spell we are in,” added Allardyce. “We have to dig in against West Brom and make sure the result is a positive one – that it is us that goes out there and picks up the points.

“Leighton Baines is still injured, Michael Keane is back in training and Seamus Coleman has trained all week with the squad for the first time after his broken leg.

“There is still a lot of progress to be made with Yannick who is not totally at his best because of the length of his injury.

“I think, sometimes, we have pushed him a little bit too much – and expected too much from him.”

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