Sometimes we all feel ignored or marginalised. For me, this is usually whenever a politican opens their mouth.
Listen out for how many times they will make reference to 'hard-working families' or 'hard-pressed families'. They obsess so much about what is happening to families that it seems to completely pass them by that millions of people don't have kids. Indeed, millions of people are single and they get ignored by the Westminster blow-hards too.
You'll never hear them announce a policy to help 'hard-working single people'. Single people are invisible to them, it seems. You'll also never hear them announce a benefit or a policy to help the self-employed. The self-employed in Britain have always been treated with suspicion and poked at a distance with a long stick as though an especially odiferous turd. The under-lying sentiment remains that you only work for yourself if no-one will give you a job. Some bloke was complaining on the radio about the lack of jobs the other day, and whined that he'd had to work for himself in order to make ends meet. That's the product of a culture which assigns more wealth and status to the corporate whore than the freak or maverick.
Lip service is paid to the entrepreneurial spirit but in reality it's sneered at until you've made a million - at which point you're hated for doing well and forced to move abroad.
As you can probably guess, I've never had a family, never been married and never actually had a salaried job in my whole life. I have always worked for myself. Consequently, I've felt liked I've been off the government radar because my life never seemed to be recognised by the state. It'd be nice if just once instead of 'hard-working families' getting all the tax credits, the self-employed got a freebie as reward for creating work for those who would otherwise be moaning about having to be self-employed. But it never happens because they know we'll do our own thing regardless, being ornery sods in the first place. But even so, it seems unfair.
In football, Sam Allardyce is in a similar position. Somehow, what he does is invisible to the wider football public.
It's probably fair to say that Allardyce has few admirers outside of a coterie of well-cultivated press men. Allardyce knows this and you sense he feel understandably bitter. He feels under-appreciated. His past comments about how if he was an overseas manager called Allardici, he'd get more recognition smacks of the naked self-regard that characterises the man. but has more than a modicum of truth about it, nonetheless. The trouble for El Grande Samuel is that he is English and thus we know the sort of bloke he is. We understand the class he comes from, we've probably all had relations like him and we implicitly understand what the way he speaks says about him; in short we recognise where one of our own fits into the scheme of things and then make our judgements from there. It's much harder to do that about a man from another country. We tend to treat them with few pre-conceptions based on anything other than football.
He's always been defensive of his preferred style of play, claiming while direct football plays to his teams' strengths it is also an over-simplification to characterise it as brutal and long ball. In an era where the distance you pass a ball has become emblematic of your greater or lesser qualities, perhaps Allardyce is always going to be judged harshly, but it seems very unfair.
I recognise his self-belief - a self-belief that he's always first in the queue to tell you about - is an inevitable defence mechanism to being ignored or put down for so long. But Allardyce has a lot to be proud of. He's just beaten the European champions 3-1. West Ham are an excellent eighth but even so you'll hear far more praise about how Reading or Southampton play despite the fact that they are getting humped most weeks. They're managed by inoffensive blokes who won't be in your face about how bloody good they are but they are all worse than Allardyce as managers.
It's bound to make him feel angry to be so marginalised regardless of his achievements. When Owen Coyle took up the reigns at Bolton, he was lauded for turning them into a better football side compared to Allardyce's regime. Result? Relegation. At Blackburn he had them comfortably mid-table and was sacked when they were 13th. That was also a story which ended with relegation. He must carry a sack of schadenfreude around with him the size of Kevin Davies' buttocks.
Allardyce knows what he's doing. If you've got a fairly rubbish club with average quality lumbering players and are in a lower league, with a bit of investment and with the help of the sturdy thighs of Kevin Nolan, he can turn them into a promoted mid-table Premier League side. This is what almost every club would love and Allardyce can deliver.
This is an art form which really should receive more praise than it usually does. So many clubs come up, play a bit of football and then, glowing with praise, go all the way back down again. That's not the Allardyce way.
Others such Wigan under Roberto Martinez manage to get plaudits for just about staying in the Premier League, mostly losing but playing a bit of passing football. They'll finish well below West Ham this season but Martinez will be praised while Allardyce will be ignored.
It's as though the big Brummie is an uninvited guest who no-one wants to acknowledge. It'd put a chip on anyone's shoulder.
What has Allardyce done wrong? I admit he looks like the sort of man you'd be reluctant to use the toilet after. Okay West Ham, like his other teams, can be boring to watch at times but he's not alone by any measure in that. Yet at their best, like his Bolton teams, they can use physicality in an exciting and hard-to-beat way. This isn't just clumsy brutality and it's hard to do in an era where you can pick up a yellow card for a ball-winning tackle that's a bit too aggressive. It's also undoubtedly true that West Ham can play good football at times. Allardyce creates sides that are hard to beat despite being limited in talent and that's simply a rather rare skill.
Okay, it's great fun watching Reading score and concede a hat-full but I bet they'd rather be eighth having just beaten Chelsea.
Maybe Sam is a bit too old school; a bit too tabloid. He's often painted as a long ball anachronism and, despite his early championing of sports science, is set in the popular mind as a footballing dullard and thus decried. Or ignored.
It's no wonder he's quick to tell you about his own achievements because, frankly, no-one else is going to do it. If I was Sam Allardyce I'd wonder what the hell I had to do to get some respect around here.