Morgan Schneiderlin was given a standing ovation from Everton fans just two months after sections of their support booed him – and boss Sam Allardyce believes the Frenchman is rediscovering his form.
The midfielder was forced off in the victory over Newcastle on Monday night due to a dead leg and home supporters showed their appreciation for Schneiderlin’s recent displays by rising to their feet.
That was in stark contrast to the reception he received as a substitute against Crystal Palace in February, when Schneiderlin was jeered, to Allardyce’s surprise, following a difficult spell at Goodison Park after a £20million move from Manchester United in January 2017.
At one point Schneiderlin was even left out of the squad, along with Kevin Mirallas, following a training-ground incident in November but Allardyce thinks he is now displaying the type of performances which earned him the big move to United from Southampton.
“Sooner or later he has to find himself from where he used to be,” the Everton boss said.
“Sometimes it takes a while to find yourself after, I think, probably a disappointing move that didn’t work at Man United.
“For the first time you find yourself in the squad not being involved very, very much indeed. Then you come to Everton and try and reinvent your career and show what you can do again. Sometimes it takes a bit of time.
“Obviously the whole team suffered a lack of confidence at the start of the season. Everybody’s finally going in the right direction and ebbing back towards more and more confidence. I think the confidence is going the right way.
“There needs to be a bit more consistency. Morgan, if he continues to play like that and show that consistent level of form that he’s shown in the past, particularly at Southampton, we will all get better as a team with him.
“Fans will always like to see you show your best and show commitment. They will always support you.
“If you’re not playing so well, they will show their disapproval. We all accept that; that’s been in football since it was invented.
“What you have to do is make the fans want to cheer you, want to be pleased with your performances. That’s what we’re paid to do.
“At the moment his game has improved very, very well over the last four games, which we’re very pleased to see.”
Newcastle would have moved above Everton in the table had they recorded a fifth victory in a row but Theo Walcott’s second-half winner ended Rafael Benitez’s side’s good run.
“The difference is you have players with experience in the Premier League,” Benitez said of Everton.
“I don’t know how much they spent this year, it’s very simple.
“To come here and expect we have to be better than them, because we were doing well, it’s not easy.
“We can have a chance but normally when you go away to these kind of teams, it’s not easy to get anything.”