Allardyce’s Appointment : England accept their underdog fate?, Sam Allardyce’s appointment yesterday evoked the expected response. While some lauded the England Football Association(FA) for the appointment, others lamented. “Big Sam” is thought to be the one who could bring the much needed mental strength into the England camp.
His profuse likeness of functional football that has left some fans wondering about their team’s future and playing styler, there are others who consider it as the need of the hour.While one camp may be crying hoarse at the risk of talents like Jack Wilshere being cast aside in favour of more reliable Mark Noble, the pro-camp point to the exploits of European Champions Portugal as an indictment of triumph of Trophy over style.
Allardyce’s Appointment : England accept their underdog fate?
Granted, the former Sunderland boss hasn’t won many admirers of his playing style, those who have seen his journey might feel that he is man who is the right solution at present. No World class coach is available right now. And a manager will need approximately 24 months to plan his journey to the world cup. It’s not that Big Sam isn’t a coach caught in time warp. On the contrary, he is a manger way ahead of it. When nobody knew of it, his players were provided with statistical analysis and more about their rivals.His appointment came unstuck ten years ago because the FA didn’t have a powerpoint projector to aid him in his presentation. However, to claim that he is the best bet is being ignorant. Without doubt he is the best English manager available, however that is an indictment of the poor condition that English football finds itself in the coaching options.
Sam Allardyce’s appointment is being viewed as a kind of acceptance from FA of their national team seemingly content with being labelled as an underdog that may aid them. Burdened by the constant media pressure, the Three Lions usually underwhelm at the big stage time and again. With Allardyce at helm, those expectations might be lowered, but then every pro has a con attached to it. The players and team may not feel like winners anymore. Allardyce has never won a trophy in his managerial career. He is adept at saving teams from relegation, not guiding them to glory.
The chances of that mindset creeping in the players are significant. His playing style has won him followers at clubs like Sunderland but has seen him ostracized at the likes of West Ham United where the supporters were used to seeing free-flowing attacking brand of football. The Englishman was not the answer to West Ham’s supporters expectations and in the three seasons that he was in charge, it proved to be right.
The England squad has far more talent than West Ham. Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Co are skillful operators who are more comfortable with going forward than with tracking back and defending as a team, a trademark of Big Sam’s teams. How these players adapt to his coaching demands remains to be seen. There also will be many others watching from the sidelines as their own fates are intertwined with the constant juggling of playing styles their players will have to endure.The likes of Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger who eulogise the short passing game to their teams will have to ensure that once their players return from national duty, they remember that demand because Allardyce’s England will probably be playing long balls.
It was not the FA didn’t have options. Laurent Blanc was relieved from his duties at PSG. Jurgen Klinsmann was touted as a possible candidate. Both of them quality managers and had their own shortcomings but both, who arguably were better than the current appointment. The decision of FA and the recruitment process that followed which saw Steve Bruce and Eddie Howe being interviewed begs a question as to what end will FA stick to its “Only English” guns. The lack of quality is a problem and it may fix over time. But to insist on appointing from the limited options as a means to resolve the issue is a gamble that may have ramifications for the men responsible for the current coach’s appointment. FOr English supporters, one would hope it has positive ones.