Just as a new dawn was breaking at Everton under Marco Silva, where their new look side performed admirably with ten men for large periods in their opening game of the season against a lively Wolves outfit, supporters might have been feeling something close to optimism for the first time in what has been a fairly wretched twelve months for the club.
One sure way to sour that mood as they look to the future is an appearance by Sam Allardyce on Goals on Sunday where he talked about the "fantastic" job he did at Goodison Park last season.
Speaking with Ben Shephard & Chris Kamara on Sky Sports, Big Sam revealed that he felt the club should have been more honest with their intentions to part ways in the summer after he had restored the Toffees to the safety of mid-table obscurity:
I knew I was leaving about two months before I left.....if they thought they were keeping it quiet they don't know how many people I know and what was going on behind the scenes, as always I kept professional.......they should've just said 'look Sam, fantastic job, thank you, we're gonna move on next season'....I can say with all pride I've done a fantastic job at Everton with the position we were in.
While Allardyce can rightly point to his success in stabilizing Everton's Premier League status having taken over a side heading towards a relegation battle at the beginning of December, others will argue that the term 'fantastic' is quite a stretch in describing the job he did there. His relationship with the Everton support was anything but warm and the collective sound of breakfast cereal being spat was heard around the blue half of Merseyside as Big Sam went on to defend his playing style.
It goes down to that perception of the type of football you play and all that rubbish that keeps rearing it's ugly head....we played some really good football......if I was a negative way of playing why would I buy Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott
Never one to play down his achievements over the years, Allardyce's latest comments will no doubt rile the Goodison Park faithful even further having been subjected to a putrid second half of the season under his watch, where despite a top-half finish, their attacking impetus was largely non-existent.
Everton had more shots on target in those 50 mins with 10 men than they managed in almost half of Sam Allardyce’s full games last season (40%).
— Matt Cheetham (@Matt_Cheetham) August 11, 2018
After defending his prowess as an expansive, attacking head coach, Big Sam went on to discuss how he would have shut up shop with England in the final half hour against Croatia before conceding the equalizer that took their World Cup semi-final to extra time.
You know me, I would have got criticized for blocking it up and seeing the game out, you're not supposed to do that now........France won the World Cup because they did that against Belgium....even though Deschamps was getting criticism from the French press because of his style of play, they won it.
Presumably we can expect more of Big Sam's observations this season between his appearances on Sky Sports and talkSPORT until the first struggling team decides to hit the panic button and call on his services.