With the news that the F.A. are at any moment going to announce Sam Allardyce as the new England manager I’m pointing the finger at Newcastle and Norwich.
Most of Sam Allardyce’s media mates, and he’s got a number, have been claiming that Allardyce saved Sunderland from relegation and that’s why he should be England manager.
Well no he didn’t.
If you read or listen to them, his media mates, you’d think that once he took over from old Dick Advocaat, a few months into the season, Sunderland zoomed up the table. They didn’t, they basically hung around the bottom three, circling the drain, until Newcastle and Norwich blocked it up.
Newcastle’s hiring of the Fat Spanish Waiter and Norwich well being Norwich – they always look nice and dandy and then at the end of the season with no luck, no strikers and no defence they plummet like a stone – is the reason we are here.
The hiring of Ed Balls by the tired and emotional Delia probably didn’t help either.
Allardyce saved nobody, they were barely out of the bottom three for the rest of the season and never out of the bottom four. It was those other two that saved Sunderland, not Sam’s less than 30% win record.
Either of them don’t suck and well the F.A. go and hire… err… Steve Bruce. Oh well, clouds, silver linings. The F.A. wanted Wenger but got Allardyce. There’s those cloud linings again.
The F.A. again trying to copy other nations. Wanted to be Spain but didn’t have the players or manager. Wanted to be Germany but didn’t have the players or manager. With Wenger they wanted to be Wales, not that impressive performances that are over hyped, finish fourth and have an open to bus ride as if you’d won something.
With Allardyce they’ve decided they want to copy Portugal. Be crap and hopefully win something.
His mates will tell you, ad nauseam, that far from being the old dinosaur that we all perceive him to be that Allardyce is an innovator and has been at the forefront of modern football. He used ProZone stats way before others.
I don’t know how they square this “real football man” with hipster stats but hey.
Anyway stats, yes Allardyce stats. Those’ll be the stats that say get the ball up the park as quickly as possible and try and win corners, most of the goals come from corners.
So basically Sam Allardyce, mister modern football thinker is in reality Major Frank Buckley.
Major Buckley, who managed Blackpool in the 1920s – Allardyce did so in the 90s – Notts County in the 40s – Allardyce again in the 90s – was one for the stats, get the ball up and play for set pieces. And while there’ll be fun stories about sheep’s testicles with Allardyce you can think back to Buckley’s media story about Wolves being on the old monkey glands.
Psychologists, team bonding, physios. It’s not new, Major Buckley has already done it.
Buckley had a major influence on Stan Cullis, his captain at Wolves, who later became manager, where he also used the statistical analysis of Wing Commander Charles Reep’s long ball game, which is the Allardyce way, oh and Graham Taylor’s and didn’t that work out well for England.
So we can probably expect Wembley to be flooded to stop those other lot playing and well a lot of big fellas, you know a back four of centre halves, though there may be a place for a little ‘un as I can see lee Cattermole named as the new England captain.
A lot of corners, can he get Kevin Nolan to come out of retirement to stand in front of opposition ‘keepers? And how will he sign Jay-Jay Okocha, you know his one flair player, whose signing he’s lived off for years.
Oh well in that search for silver lining, hell there’s a lot of clouds, at least England will start with no hope or expectations.
You’d think the only way was up after Hodgson but with Allardyce even that’s put on hold, yes he might beat Slovakia in his first game, World cup qualifier, something Roy didn’t manage to do at Euro 2016 but that’ll be meaningless we won’t know where England really are until the finals, if they get there of course.
One thing we know is Jabba Allardyce will be full of himself now he’s got the job…