Everton manager Sam Allardyce insists their summer transfer business will have a large bearing on how successful they will be next season.
Criticism has been levelled at director of football Steve Walsh and former boss Ronald Koeman for the near £200-million outlay on players prior to this current campaign which failed to have the necessary impact.
Despite the biggest spend in the club’s history, the squad went into the season unbalanced with three players – Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen – all wanting to play the number-10 role and a distinct lack of pace.
Allardyce has already set his sights on cutting back a squad which he believes is bloated but having brought in Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun in January for a combined £47million, he will be looking to make further additions when the window reopens, even if speculation about his long-term future continues.
“It will all be about recruitment. How good it is, what we can achieve, what funds are available,” he said.
“We have a difficult summer by the fact the World Cup’s on and it’s okay saying we want to do this business or that business, a lot of the summer months you try to achieve what you can and then all of a sudden you do business you never expected to.
“What your targets might be at the beginning of pre-season or the end of this season, by the time the middle of pre-season has happened those targets could very well change.
“But, being in a World Cup year, recruitment’s going to be difficult to say the least.”
Despite those questions about his future, not helped by the club’s survey to a fans’ forum asking them to rank the manager and his coaching staff out of 10, Allardyce maintains it is business as usual for him as he pulls together his blueprint for the summer and beyond.
Having quickly achieved his primary target of ensuring the club did not get dragged into a relegation fight he is now looking at how he can make them better.
“We achieved our first and only goal at the beginning from the very start. Safety was the ultimate for 13 games and 12 points from when I got here,” said Allardyce, although the club actually had 15 points from 14 matches as he was sat in the stands for the win over West Ham when his appointment was announced in late November.
“That was similar to other clubs I’d arrived at a similar time. We have done it in quick time when you see others striving and worried and we are not.
“What we are striving for is to finish the season as best we possibly can and acquire as many points as we can then deliver the pre-season of ins and outs.
“As time moves on and a new season arrives we have to make big decisions amongst us all and all pull in the right direction to make those decisions and say how do we get Everton better next season than this?
“I don’t feel anything but great respect for the club and it’s need and desire to have as much success as it possibly can.”