This was why Everton hired Sam Allardyce. He offers a reassuring reliability to the imperilled. The risk of relegation at Goodison Park was reduced at a stroke. As Allardyce became the first man to manage seven Premier League clubs, it was a snapshot of why the previous six had deemed him eminently employable.
Few have procured more points from forgettable fare. Allardyce has a reputation for ugly effectiveness; he is likely to keep Everton up and it probably won’t be pretty. Two goals that contained elements of class were out of keeping with the rest of a low-calibre game, but highlighted the ability Everton have displayed too rarely this season.