Allardyce gone: the wrong decision

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Ex-Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce’s appointment as England manager caused a definite sense of optimism to brew around the nation, partly due to his disparity from the archetypal puppet that the FA normally appoint. Yet, just 67 days later, Allardyce has departed “by mutual consent” after being involved in discussions about bypassing third-party player ownership rules and negotiating a fee of £400,000. Of course this is not an act that can be tolerated but his immediate sacking was too harsh a punishment for a man who had waited 20 years for the England chance.

Allardyce managing West Ham

Allardyce managing West Ham

The entire scenario unravelled after a media set-up – a ‘sting.’ Big Sam did not actually talk to real agents but undercover reporters, deliberately setting out to expose him –  making his ordeal even more of a façade. Would Allardyce’s actions have had any implication for the England National Team? Of course not.

More importantly, this meeting took place even prior to Allardyce holding training with the national team; in some respects he hadn’t fully taken over as manager and was still acclimatising to the backstage work of the job. Perhaps the FA could have taken this into consideration and given Allardyce a second chance for ‘an error of judgement’ instead of immediately issuing his P45?

Big Sam loving the sunshine

During the undercover interview Allardyce was also heard to criticise his predecessor Roy Hodgson and ex-coach Gary Neville, but one of the fundamental aspects of management is to be opinionated. The matter of fact is, Hodgson and co failed to meet expectations and in the eyes of many deserved to be slated. Allardyce’s comments, which included a playful dig at Hodgson’s manner of speech, definitely should not have played a part in his sacking, but almost certainly did!

Allardyce appears to have been removed for reasons unrelated to his management. In his first game away to Slovakia, England looked assured, composed and confident; a stark contrast to what we had seen under Hodgson against the same opposition in the Euros.

Big Sam is another victim of the media. The FA were clearly worried about the Dudley native’s outspokenness and although fans enjoy a passionate, interview-friendly manager, the FA saw him as an unnecessary challenge to their power.

Given the current scandals in football, it wouldn’t be inconceivable that the FA themselves had an involvement in the plot to stitch-up Allardyce. What is certain is that his successor will be a puppet that the FA can control.

Featured image: Egghead06CC BY-SA 4.0.