The England manager’s job is possibly the most thankless job in football. With the news that Sam Allardyce will take over after Roy Hodgson’s resignation following England’s Euros exit, it was not the first choice most of the press had preferred.
I’ve read some fans complaining about Big Sam’s lack of silverware and that’s fair enough (even though I love to mention his winners medal for the 1991-92 League of Ireland, when he managed Limerick). But Allardyce is pretty much a classic English manager in every sense. And even though the FA’s first choice was his polar opposite in Arsene Wenger, there’s something very likeable and traditional about Sam. This could work well in his favour during his tenure at England boss.
When Hodgson was appointed manager of England in 2012, it came as a surprise to some. Harry Redknapp was long touted for the gig. This time around, there was no obvious successor. And Big Sam wasn’t the obvious choice, yet he saw off competition from Jürgen Klinsmann, Eddie Howe and Steve Bruce, who resigned as Hull City’s manager on Friday.
I have a hunch that it will go either phenomenally right or spectacularly wrong for him. It will be interesting, that’s for sure.
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)