LONDON (Reuters) - Everton have named former England boss Sam Allardyce as their manager on an 18-month contract, the Premier League club said on Thursday.
Allardyce replaces Dutchman Ronald Koeman, who was sacked last month after the Merseyside club dropped into the relegation zone.
"I’ve always thought Everton was a great club. Obviously, the club has gone through a difficult spell and hopefully I can put that behind us as quickly as possible and start looking upwards again," Allardyce said in statement.
"Ultimately, it’s the ambition of the club, the ambition of the owner and the Board, allied to the fact that it’s Everton and all the fantastic history, which have proved to be key for me."
Allardyce, 63, watched from the stands as Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick in Everton's 4-0 thrashing of West Ham United on Wednesday and takes over with the Merseyside club 13th in the table, five points above the relegation zone.
Allardyce has been out of work since leaving Crystal Palace in May, his first role since stepping down as England manager by mutual consent in 2016 after two months in the job following allegations he offered advice on how to bypass rules on player transfers.
Everton have lost seven of their 14 league games this season and cannot qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League after earning one point from their five Group E matches.
Their poor form has come despite spending more than 140 million pounds on players in the last transfer window, including record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, defender Michael Keane and Dutch international midfielder Davy Klaassen.
Allardyce's task will be to restore stability and return the club to being the regular top-seven finishers they were under David Moyes from 2004-2013, Roberto Martinez in 2014 and Koeman last season.
Everton's new boss will bring experience of managing a record six Premier League clubs – Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland and Palace – during which he developed a reputation of building direct, defensively solid and hard-to-beat teams.
David Unsworth, who took caretaker charge after Koeman was sacked, will resume his role as manager of Everton's Under 23-side and academy director of coaching.
(Reporting by Matt Westby in London and Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)