Sam Allardyce is set to be handed the England managers job later today according to reports.
It is a decision that will split opinion amongst the fans. The 61-year-old Sunderland boss is type-cast as the long-ball loving, no-nonsense rough and ready Englishman.
However, for all the talk of other candidates, he was the leading English candidate, which does not say much about the state of English coaches.
The likes of Steve Bruce and Eddie Howe were overlooked in favour of Allardyce.
Back to basics
England is talked about as the home of football and that raises expectations amongst supporters. The Premier League’s hype also contributes to unrealistic expectations.
The Three Lions have a group of decent players, but in truth, they are not the best team in the world. They are not the worst either. The basics of football passing, tackling and shooting seem to have been lost on the players at Euro 2016 though.
England now needs to get back to the basics. Taking a step backwards to move forward if you like. For too long a so called big football nation has tried to copy other people’s work. First, they copied France’s Clairefontaine with St Georges.
The Three Lions then tried to copy the passing style of first Spain and then Germany. Instead of trying to create a style that suited the players. This led to a team that dominated possession without any purpose.
I hate going back to the Iceland game, but it a perfect example of England’s failings at Euro 2016. Roy Hodgson team dominated possession, yet completely lacked a cutting edge. Too many pointless passes and not enough done with them.
Football seems to be moving away from possession football, as Portugal winning Euro 2016 and Leicester winning the Premier League title last season proved. It’s that old adage of it’s not the size of the possession you have, it is what you do with it that matters.
Big Sam gets results his own way
If ever there was a man that did not care about possession it is Sam Allardyce. He gets results and makes no apologies for the lack of aesthetics of his team’s football. The 61-year-old is not the man who creates horrible football teams that some have billed him.
Yes, his team’s do not have the lion’s share of possession, but he has created entertaining teams in his career, usually with limited resources. He is a man that comes into to sort problems out. He is a football firefighter, just as he has done in his latest job at Sunderland.
When Allardyce leaves a job the club is usually in a far better position than when he arrived. The experienced boss will bring a sense of organisation to an England team. Something that seems badly needed at this point in time.
The former-West Ham boss is also regarded as a good man-manager, so maybe he can help with the psychological turmoil Three Lions players seem to suffer on the big stage.
The English press is well-known for going after England bosses. That will not worry Allardyce at all. There is nothing left that the press can say about the veteran boss that has not already been said. He is a guy with a thick skin.
Allardyce is a big character but is not a yes man in the same vein as Roy Hodgson. He has his own opinions and does seem to respect big reputations.
A solid choice for England
The FA did not have to choose an Englishman to be the national team’s boss. However, they decided they wanted to go down that route, which meant that they only had one boss to turn to.
Allardyce has a wealth of experience at club level. A negative may be that he has very limited experience of the European game. Then again Roy Hodgson had managed in numerous different countries and in European competitions. All that experience proved close to worthless for the former Liverpool boss.
Sam Allardyce is much-maligned for his playing style and many England fans will be lamenting his appointment. Despite the doubts about his style of play, Sam Allardyce right be the right man in the right moment for England.
The current England team needs a man capable of shaking things up and having an impact. Big Sam may just be that man.
With Allardyce in charge, the Three Lions are unlikely to be suffering any embarrassing defeats of the Iceland proportion anyway, which is probably the greatest comfort the doubters will take from his appointment as England boss.
Is Sam Allardyce the right appointment for England?