England have a new manger and Big Sam is the Big Boss of England. He’s undoubtedly not everyone’s cup of tea – just ask West Ham fans. But ask Bolton supporters and you’ll probably get the polar opposite response. A man who almost specializes in survival, he’s never been relegated from the Premier League. But look at the teams that have gone after he left or was sacked: Bolton, Blackburn & Newcastle all fell through the trap door post Sam Allardyce.
Football purists will probably never hold Allardyce’s style in high esteem but these people live in football fantasy land – where they have £50 million budgets to pick players. Football at the highest level is a results based industry, it always has been. Yes, Brian Clough famously said “if god wanted the ball to be in the sky, he would have put grass there” but what was his number 1 priority? To win.
Look at Sunderland last season. They needed organisation and wins. Big Sam brought both in the end and they stayed up, at the expense of Newcastle. And all the while by playing some half decent football!
If you look at West Ham post Allardyce, with Bilic in charge, they’ve gone from strength to strength. Yes, Bilic made some brilliant signings in Payet and Lanzini but the base was provided by Allardyce.
Here are just a few more reasons why I think Big Sam is an excellent choice:
- Highly experienced in the Premier League
- No nonsense attitude
- Has a track record of getting the most from difficult to handle players – such as El Hadji Diouf
- Proven his credentials at managing high profile players – Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha at Bolton.
My ideal choice was Jurgen Klinsmann. The job he has done with the United States is phenomenal. Big Sam was probably 3rd on my list after Pardew.
What Allardyce will bring is a compactness out of possession and a clear plan in how to play in possession. We will dominate against smaller nations, simply because of how they set up and the players we have. But when it comes to (hopefully) big games at tournaments against the elite countries, Sam will have a thorough strategy that allows us to perform appropriately.
Add to this his ability to man-manage players, which is a vital skill of any coach or manager working at an elite level, England are in safe hands and could have done a lot worse (Steve McLaren anyone?!).
Overall I am positive going forward and while it will take many years for the scars of the Iceland defeat to fade, Big Sam can help the healing process and build a platform to grow from.