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Big Sam is the man
Can I just add something to this Sam Allardyce debate. I’ve already seen the hordes of England fans stating that they “won’t ever watch another England game if Allardyce is appointed”, some on this very website. Can I just begin by saying on behalf of an awful lot of football fans “please, shut the f*ck up”, we all know you will watch another England game so cut out the histrionics and put those toys back in the pram. It’s like that Graham bloke who writes into this site a lot, who I swear states every season “I won’t be watching Arsenal”. It’s boring, it’s melodramatic and I can assure you that nobody cares much for a guy who can’t construct an argument to defend his point so therefore decides to claim he “just won’t watch”.
What is wrong with Allardyce as an appointment? The “long ball” football? I don’t see the problem with it. England have attempted to play aesthetically pleasing football since Capello was appointed and each time we have failed in spectacular fashion. England’s ideology seems to be ‘copy what the most successful team is doing’, which has resulted in us attempting to a more possession dominated game on the international stage. We can’t do it because it isn’t our strength. Instead of attempting to mimic the successful teams of the last two major tournaments in an attempt to create some hybrid revolutionary style of football, why don’t we just keep it simple and play to our strengths? England have quite possibly some of the quickest full-backs and wingers in the modern game (ironically, England didn’t take one specialist winger to France) so why don’t we try to use them in a system which suits us? Kane and Carroll can both head the ball incredibly well so why not attempt to create a system whereby England can break rapidly down the wings, whip the ball into the box and stick in on a big man’s head. Why not pump the ball long to Carroll and expect him to hold up the ball and then funnel it out wide for a rapid winger in the form of Townsend or Redmond? England don’t need the ball to be successful, they just need a resolute defence that is well drilled and a plan to put the ball into the back of the net via any means possible.
We’ve completely wasted the last 8 years and it’s time for a change. The idea of Allardyce isn’t appealing because he isn’t sexy, but his style might help to bring the best out of a bunch of players who simply cannot complete on a technical basis against the very best. Long ball, short ball, kick it out the f*cking stadium for all I care. England need an identity and Sam offers one, it won’t be easy to watch but then again, football is never easy to watch is it?
If everyone (both the mailbox and the site pieces) insist on being so negative on Big Sam for England then at least look at the candidate set and tell me who would 1) do a better job and 2) is actually up for it?
If Pep/Mourinho/Conte/Klopp were available and willing to do the job I’d equally be despondent at the prospect of Sam Allardyce managing England. As it happens they’re not, and the candidate list is pretty slim. Sam is the right choice for the FA based on the potential candidates and I suspect will do a better job than Roy has over the last 4 years. People can criticise him all they like but he’s a far more sensible candidate for this job than any of Howe, Klinnsmann, Hiddink, Hoddle or Southgate – surely that’s pretty obvious?
For all the rants directed at the potential appointment of Sam Allardyce as England Manager, we seem to have forgotten something. At Bolton, he was the manager of Jay Jay Okocha, one of the most skillful dribblers England has ever seen. That didn’t turn out so bad.
There’s hope for England yet.
Scarred manager for scarred players?
After John Nic said that most English footballers are thick and the best ones go into punditry, and then hearing said pundits tell us why Fat Sam is the best choice for England manager, well, I am now severely depressed.
What England doesn’t need is a relegation battling expert, with limited experience managing the players who should be in the England team. But more so, it doesn’t need someone who either thinks the media are against him all the time, finds stats to prove someone else plays more long balls, tries hard to show why he could have done what Leicester did but wouldn’t because Leicester are just a long ball team and plied some incredibly turgid stuff at West Ham and turned on the fans. There are just so many things wrong with appointing someone who thinks he is someone but is not. We don’t need an Allardici, we need a humbler manager who just gets the job done.
England, according to Hodgson, went into Euro 2016 without any emotional baggage because they were young and fresh. But what wasn’t said was that their manager had a ton of baggage, which clearly hindered the team and became evident in his picking a squad to please the media, poor team selection and petulant press conferences following his resignation.
Now we are saying that the same team are scarred for life.
But we’re going to turn it over to Fat Sam, who has so much baggage in his footballing life. And a man who has never, ever, brought along a young England talent and made them into a great England talent. EVER!!!!
So that’s going to be all good then.
Allardyce = Brexit
The game of football, as our biggest and culturally most significant sport, inevitably holds a mirror up to our society as a whole.
That society is one of massive division, where the better off have been allowed to advance their quality of life at a faster pace with more opportunity than those who don’t feel represented by anyone in a position of power. This was allowed to escalate to such a proportion that the people had had enough, and whichever way they could be heard, they took it. The reasons provided aren’t particularly logical to me, objectively it doesn’t make a lot of sense but the message has been sent. Whether it is listened to or not is yet to be seen.
And so we’re presented with a similar situation in football. Supporters are so disenfranchised with the elite that they boo young men that they think represent what is wrong with the whole thing, goaded by ridiculous excuses for what used to be call newspapers. They fight on the streets of foreign countries believing they are being patriotic. They look on in disbelief and anger as what was once their great country lose to Iceland and go home with their tails between their legs. ‘But we’re Lions, we ruled the World’ they scream at each other and cast blame upon those that don’t represent them.
Are the FA at least trying to listen to them? I think they are, I think that for them the Men’s England International Football Team Manager has to be an English Man. I guess that makes some sense (not the gender bit, the lack of women in the countries favourite version of a sport is astonishing), we are entering in to a competition of nations, pitting one country’s finest against another’s so for a significant and influential role such as the Manager maybe they should be a citizen of that country. So I can’t really blame the FA for looking at Allardyce and thinking that he represents a choice that addresses some of the issues we have. I would personally hate to have him turn up at Selhurst Park but then I’d rather enjoy going to Palace and the diversity that has brought then maintain a status quo of relative ‘success’ of mid to lower Premier League table. I spend a lot more time with Palace then I do England.
But is Allardyce the right choice for England? Maybe. He identifies a clear system and communicates this well to his squad of players. He has a level of arrogance that not only allows him to chew gum with no regard for etiquette or anything approaching good manners but also allows him to not give two sh*ts who you are, you either play in the system he wants to play or you don’t. He prepares and does his research on teams he is due to come up against, so he can make the most of any resources he has at his disposal. Ultimately he is a good manager in this country, that much is fairly obvious as he operates in the top level. And maybe he can pass on some of that couldn’t give a flying f*ck attitude to his team. The attitude that flies in the face of what I see as a typical English person, the type that will queue up and wait patiently their turn, the type that will apologise when they need to ask another human being something, the type that thinks everyone will hate me if I miss this penalty rather than I’m going to be a f*cking hero. I can’t imagine Allardyce queuing for anything patiently or ever doing the limbo of which side to step to when two of you are walking at each other, apologising several times as you both try and avoid inconveniencing the other. No way, he’s the guy steaming straight through chewing with his mouth open.
Will he bring anything new and exciting to the England team? I very much doubt it. But then who else is there at this point in time. Eddie Howe? I like him but I can’t imagine he has the political ability at this point of his career to deal with the FA above him, the media and the various factions of players in his squad. Klinsmann? I can’t see that he has any more management ability than Allardyce and would alienate immediately a good portion of support through the sheer fact that he isn’t a citizen or even resident of this country. Pochettino? Probably my personal favourite but the geezer won’t want the job right now, if at all.
I don’t particularly want Allardyce either, but much like Brexit, it is a decision that, if taken, we all may as well get behind and make the most of it. It’s time we all stopped being a bunch of moany doom-mongers and started exerting some positive energy on this country.
(We all judged Ranieri a year ago and it turns out that a manager can be different things to different teams.)
At first it was an idea that seemed to ridiculous to even mention out loud. Then one person comes up with a (misguided) reason as to why it is a good idea. They manage to convince another person, who manages to convince another and so on until this idea snowballs into an unstoppable avalanche of buffoonery which results in its manifestation into reality!
The Sam Allardyce appointment is the footballing equivalent of Brexit and it is also the first direct negative consequence of it.
We were worried about adverse effects on exchange rates, stock prices, property indices, hate crimes, immigration, employment, foreign investment and trade.
We missed the worst consequence of all- Allardyce becomes England manager.
– Mr. F (an idiot can never be overwhelmed by knowledge, but the knowledgeable can be overwhelmed by idiots. What have we become?)
Big Sam and Limerick
As the mailbox loses control of itself at the thought of “Big” Sam Allardyce getting the England job I thought I would share a story/myth about Sam and Limerick FC. Where, as F365 have previously pointed out, Sam won one of the two trophies in his not so “bulging” trophy cabinet.
When then Chairman Fr Joe Young started his search for a new manager he started by putting together a shortlist of possible candidates. Top of that list and first to be called was Sam Allardyce who when being sounded out for the job was very keen and so was appointed post haste (Limerick were seeing who they could get as opposed to narrowing the list, having just been relegated). But as it goes the only reason Sam was at the top of the list was because it was in alphabetical order.
If his name was Sam Staunton, maybe someone else gets the call (and job), Limerick might not have been promoted the next year but maybe “Big” Sam doesn’t spend the last 25 years becoming a PFM culminating in getting the England job ahead of a foreign (Top top PFM work).
In other news Limerick FC were once again relegated last year and look like bouncing back up to the premier division on the first attempt as they are 19 points clear of second with 16 games played (W15 D1 L0) and have a goal difference of +46 (second has a GD of +4). So get your money on Martin Russell to be manager of England in 25 years.
Gerry S (Limerick man trapped in Dublin) LFC
Get Sean Dyche in
In response to Ted (Manchester) in yesterdays mailbox.
There is a couple of paragraphs putting forward the reason why Big Sam would be an ideal England manager. The standout points being hes not going to be ground breaking but he is solid. Realistically its very similar to what was being said when Woy was being put forward for England however Woy had a slightly better record in my opinion. I think it would actually be funny to see Sam appointed as I would like to see his friends in the media shuffle uncomfortably when the wheels come off.
One manager who I havent seen mentioned would be the man touted to replace Sam at Sunderland. Sean Dyche has taken a relativily small club and brought them up twice and down once. He has sold some good players but the team still looks solid. He has done this on little money and they will probably be relegated again (poor transfer window so far) but he is looks a better fit for England and seems to really get the most out of players, Joey Barton being one despite his troublesome past.
Eddie Howe is the obvious choice and would have both the image and footballing style which might get the fans on board. He has done a good job at Bournemouth and at times they play good stuff. The media side of things might be difficult for him to get used to.
All that said, at the end of the day when you look at the English candidates for the job its actually astonishing they havent looked abroad, its a scandalous that a manager is potentially going to be appointed on nationality rather than ability and herein lies the problem with the FA. The best man may well be an Englishman but the door shouldnt be shut on managers from overseas.
Swap Ozil for De Bruyne?
Sorry if I’m late to the party, but I think Joe, AFC, Manchester from the last morning mailbox may be onto something. Özil and Giroud clearly don’t match up, yet are both very good players (world class in özils case).
One solution would be to go all out and get a “world class centre forward” to match Özil, and shunt Giroud onto the bench, but nobody has considered the alternative, getting rid of Özil for a better fit.
I think I have come upon one of those rare situations where everyone’s a winner (therefore definitely won’t happen).
I know Arsenal fans are enamoured with Özil, but someone who can do what he does with more aggression would be a better fit, so I suggest a swap with city for De Bruyne. For Arsenal, he’d be the star of the show (much as Özil is now), and would pick up far more goals playing off Giroud than Agüero, a strong and underrated skill of his last season.
On the other side of the transfer, Guardiola gets one of the top passers in the premiership, fitting his style, and a player designed to set up chance after chance for a world class finisher, you’d be looking at 25+ assists straight through to Agüero (fitness provided).
Both were bought for a very similar value, but ages means there’d probably be a little cash to city to finalise the deal, but seems to make both teams significantly better!
I think the one thing stopping deals like this is fear: what if you strengthen a rival and your half flops?
Anybody got any other instances of how chopping your best player could make everyone happy?
KC (Giroud for Sturridge might work the other way round too)
Paul Pogba’s project
Mino Raiola’s recent quotes regarding Paul Pogba were interesting to me on several levels. Apparently, Juve don’t want to sell and want to sign Mr. Pogba to a new contract. “But,” says the agent, “if you come with a project that will make Paul want to leave, we’ll talk with the club.”
Did that quote raise anyone else’s eyebrows? I’m having a hard time getting used to this new world order in which buying clubs negotiate personal terms with players before negotiating fees with selling clubs. In the current climate, can a club simply offer terms to any player at any time? Though that might be good for the players, I don’t think that’s good for the clubs or the game.
It must be tough for any “project” (at least they’re not saying it as much as 3 years ago) to sustain itself long-term if every player that is halfway successful is constantly getting tapped up (a phrase which has now lost its formerly perjorative meaning). The people who really benefit from all of this are the agents. They can continuously shop their players to anyone who will listen, desperately trying to get their percentage of a possible transfer fee. I don’t blame them. That’s what they are incentivized to do. It’s just that the more that I think about it, the less I like it.
Ben VanLandingham, an American fervently hoping that Brexit doesn’t portend Trump
I was really interested in the mail from Big D, Luxembourg, around football player transfer “futures”. I’d note that this example is more an option than a future. A future is an agreed exchange at a specific time in the future. In this instance, Man City have bought an option from Real Sociedad, where they have paid a £1.7m premium for the right, but not the obligation, to buy Rulli for £13.3m at any time in the future (though most options would have an expiry date).
I find it an interesting concept which, on the face of it, makes plenty of sense in football.
A new revenue stream for small clubs.
Bigger clubs would spread their investment (i.e instead of buying say 5 young players and then loaning them, they’d buy options on 10-15) meaning funds are shared around many clubs.
Clubs can appease a players desire for big money moves by selling an option on them, basically putting it on to the player to perform and convince the option holding club to exercise the option.
Once agents realize they can get a cut of any option premium paid, you’d imagine these would be touted even more too.
The main impediment… football players are human beings and not commodities or financial instruments. They have a say on where they would and wouldn’t go to play, and what compensation they’re entitled to. So while it may become more common, I believe it will never become widespread, much in the same as player swap deals.
George (wish Wenger had bought options on all the players he “nearly” signed) AFC, Wellington, NZ
Has there ever been a monologue that has captured the PFM manifesto as thoroughly as Steve Bruce’s thoughts conveyed to Martin Samuel?
Paranoia, delusions of grandeur, delusions of injustice, the destruction of British institutions by foreigners.
It was a PFM manifesto, which, with a few tweaks could also be converted to a Brexit manifesto.
– Mr. F (being soft spoken and endearing doesn’t make you any less of a ponce , Brucey)