It's taken five weeks and eight matches to get there, but murmurings of discontent have begun circulating around Goodison Park.

Sam Allardyce's appointment as Everton boss in late November was one a fair number of Toffees fans were unimpressed with, but a seven-match unbeaten run had put paid to those crying foul over the 63-year-old's arrival on Merseyside.

It had appeared that Big Sam and the Blues were a match made in heaven, thanks in no small part to his ability to turn a team that had been shipping plenty of goals into one of the steeliest defences in just a few training sessions.

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League

Following back-to-back defeats, two consecutive home games without a shot on goal being registered and a seeming 'defend for our lives and hope for a sneaky goal' mantra, however, and the critics have started to emerge.

Regardless of how many dissenting voices now emerge from their festive comas, Evertonians must face up to the fact that Allardyce's brand of unadventurous, boring football is here to stay for now and, sad as it is to say, it is the best bet that the shot shy Toffees have.

Wayne Rooney leads the way in the goalscoring charts for Allardyce's charges with 11 goals but, much like Romelu Lukaku before him, a brief look at other notable scorers this term makes for sorry reading.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin with seven. Oumar Niasse with six. £45m summer arrival Gylfi Sigurdsson with four. Veteran full-back Leighton Baines with three. After that? A few twos and ones.

​Everton's desperation for a new striker and some much needed creativity across the park has been evident all season long and, as much as potential £30m arrival Cenk Tosun may help with part of that problem, he won't solve all of the Blues' woes.

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The returns of Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman and Baines, to add to the fit-again Yannick Bolasie, cannot come soon enough in that regard but all four will need time to find their best form - a necessity which will stretch into the summer break and into next term.

Bold, attacking football is not, therefore, the best option for a side that is being outscored by ​Leicester and ​Watford, and whose 'goals against' column is the 15th worst in England's top flight.

The moans and groans will continue if Allardyce doesn't stop the rot after an enjoyable honeymoon period - and rightly so - but he simply doesn't have the players required to make Everton a force akin to that seen in Ronald Koeman's or Roberto Martinez's maiden campaigns at the helm.

When he does, and if results don't improve when that eventuality comes, the criticism of Allardyce will be justified. For now though, needs must - and Evertonians will just have to get used to it.