It may have been a throwaway remark to try and temper expectations ahead of next season, but Evertonians have once again been left perplexed by something Sam Allardyce has said.

The Blues boss spoke to the media ahead of his team's final home match of the 2017/18 campaign and opened up about acquiring new signings in the summer.

"I think where we are - seventh last year, eighth at the moment - we want to try to maintain that position, but it all depends on the recruitment in the summer," the 63-year-old replied to the query.

Playing devil's advocate for the moment, it could well be that Allardyce was just talking about the end of this term. Everton will want to see off late competition from ​Leicester City to secure eighth place in the ​Premier League standings in a bid to both entice players to Goodison Park and earn that little bit of extra cash from where they finish in the table.

If, however, Allardyce had meant it in the manner of achieving a similar position next season then it bears the hallmarks - and potentially the final nail in the coffin - of his reign as ​Everton boss.

Simply put, Everton's fanbase won't settle for a mid-table finish in 2018/19. The club is backed by a wealthy benefactor now, have plans to move into a new world-class stadium on Liverpool's waterfront in the near future and want to end their 23-year barren spell without silverware.

Finishing seventh or eighth isn't good enough. It might be for the current campaign, given how abject the Toffees were for large portions of it, but the summer break will allow for those shelved plans to be brought back out.

It should have been done this season but, for all the reasons written about consistently already over the past nine months, it hasn't - and Everton can ill-afford to be left behind yet again by not trying to force their way into at least the top six next year and not try to win a cup of some sort.

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It makes sense for Allardyce to want to dampen expectations. It's in his best interests to try and do so in case he fails to haul Everton back into the big time, if he remains in charge.

Everton's supporters will see right through that like they have with his recent comments. They know nothing but the best is good enough, and so too will Allardyce if he continues to lower the values set by Everton's fanbase.