In charge of Sunderland’s friendly versus Hartlepool United on Wednesday night, named as England manager on Friday, it has been quite a week for ‘Big Sam’ within the crazy realms of football. Following The Three Lions’ round of 16 defeat to Iceland just a few weeks ago, the hierarchy in charge of the FA were handed the task of finding a successor for Roy Hodgson. With Allardyce being touted as a favourite from the outset, it is no surprise to see the former West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers boss unveiled as our nation’s new footballing figurehead.
Following the announcement, fans have shared their views across various social media platforms and his arrival has been greeted with a mixed reception. Renowned for playing a brand of football that isn’t perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing, a proportion of fans are worrying that watching England will be dull. However, many others (including me) aren’t too bothered about the way we play, as long as we pick up results. Whilst I do enjoy casting my eye over pretty, passing football, it’s not always the recipe for success.
I must admit, if I had my way then Eddie Howe would be in the hot seat now, but we have to back Allardyce. As a nation of supporters we demand a lot from our football team, but our pessimism is unrivalled. We always hope and dream that we will do well, but we never believe that we are actually going to win something. To be honest, we have every right to be downbeat given our history, but can Sam be the man to lead us to glory once more? You may not be convinced yet, but at least give him a chance.
One thing you are guaranteed with Allardyce is passion and brutal honesty, the complete opposite to Hogdson who was often described as the FA’s ‘yes man’ by many. His love for the game is infectious and we can only hope he can motivate the young, talented squad at his disposal. We can also expect him to select players on merit, not just on what club they play for. This could create extra competition amongst the English players and that can only be beneficial to us as a nation. As happens every time a new manager comes in, the players will be chomping at the bit to impress.
With the qualifying campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia imminent, it will be interesting to see the squad Sam selects. Whoever he decides to pick, I am optimistic that he can get the best out of the players at his disposal. The job he did at Sunderland last season was phenomenal, transforming them from a side that looked dead and buried into a team brimming with confidence. His tactical nouse will undeniably bolster our chances also, and let’s face it, he is certainly more respected in the managerial circle than Hodgson. Here’s to a (hopefully) successful tenure.