You’ll see that phrase a lot if you’ve read anything on Sam Allardyce in the last week, as it was after that many days that he was relieved of his duties as England manager. One of the biggest managing jobs in the world, it’s a position reserved for only the best minds football has to offer.
Or, at least in theory.
As we all know, it’s definitely not reserved for the most brilliant managers; in fact, England has been international laughing stock for a few decades, appointing guys like Glenn Hoddle and Steve McClaren and choking at nearly every penalty shootout they’ve come across. Allardyce seemed like a reasonable choice, as he’s known as a player’s manager and a guy who would be able to get England into serious winning form, hopefully developing a young squad that actually has a backbone.
It’s kinda hard to do all that when you’re only around for one game.
Just after two months on the job, Big Sam was caught speaking with some businessmen from the Far East. That sounds all and swell, but it’s not; our pal Sam wasn’t just having some drinks with old colleagues – he was telling them how to get around certain FA and FIFA transfer rules.
Obviously that’s a big no-no, and Mr. Allardyce managed to do that while secretly being filmed, incriminating him beyond redemption.
67 days it took for this to happen. Well, it’s not like this is the first sketchy thing Sam has done, but to think that he would continue to engage in these activities while managing the freakin’ England international side is mind-bogglingly stupid. You’re constantly in the lens of the media, every move is scrutinized, and any false step sends sacking rumors of swirling.
Big Sam, you knew all that, and you still went along with your slimy dealings.
To last not even three months is a joke, and it’s going to take a lot for Sam to convince the footballing world that he is worthy of redemption, of another chance at leading a professional side, international or no. This is just one of a line of antics from Allardyce, and represents the state of English football during the millennium; much talk and hype, followed by an incredible failure, then followed by talks of rebuilding, of turning over a new leaf as an organization.
It’s a humorous cycle from the outside, but for British people, it’s likely torture, although a very familiar kind of torture.
So, what’s next for English football?
Gareth Southgate, current general of England’s U-21 squad is set to take over the position on an interim basis, and while he likely won’t be in charge of getting the team into the next World Cup, he may help set the tone for the next England manager.
Too many times England has appointed a manager who had issues off the pitch and can’t get results on it; this time around, it’s got to be the right choice.
Don’t choose the outspoken leader who has an attitude; don’t even consider anyone who plays possession football. Maybe, just maybe, don’t hire an Englishman.
Eddie Howe might be the best choice, but there’s not a chance that he’s leaving Bournemouth and the magnificence he’s contributed to over the last few years; Alan Pardew could be lured away, but he says he’s happy at Crystal Palace.
If only Brian Clough was still around.
England’s national side need to be inspired and organized; they have loads of young talent, but there isn’t anyone to guide them. Bobby Robson wasn’t bad*. He almost resigned twice, but he stayed on due to the FA hating Clough more than him (Clough was a bit of a jerk too and loudmouth, to be honest).
This time around, England needs to find a manager, not just some guy to yell at the boys as they scamper around without a unified cause. No one should know anything about him, other than that he’s the new manager.
Gareth Southgate, you’re England’s guy.
*When he wasn’t saying stupid shit or choking in big games.