Sunderland Football Club on Wednesday broke the ice on who is likely to become the next England boss by confirming rumors that current Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce had been contacted by the English Football Association for the vacant managerial position of the three-lions.
A statement from the club read this:
“The Football Association contacted Sunderland AFC to seek permission to speak with our manager as part of what was supposed to be a confidential discussion process with potential candidates for the position of England manager.“
Big Sam, as he is fondly called, was touted to take over from Sven-Goran Eriksson as England manager a decade ago but in the end Steve McClaren got the nod.
Last season in the English Premier League, Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland were late bloomers, choosing to save their best football for a relegation battle which they eventually won by losing just one of their last 11 matches.
Sam Allardyce can hold his head high while bowing out at Sunderland after having helped the black cats remain in the elite league for one more year. Up next for the former West Ham boss could be a highly coveted English job. With Sunderland’s announcement of the parley between Big Sam and the English FA, we expect Allardyce to be named as England’s head coach in the coming days.
Before I can make an assertion on whether ‘Big Sam’ is the right man to take the reins at England, let’s take a look at some of the 61-year-old’s achievements as manager.
If there was ever an award for the Premier League’s best manager for mid-table teams, Sam Allardyce would probably win it without much of a challenge. ‘Big Sam’ has left his mark in English football as one of the managers who have successfully managed and kept afloat teams in the Premier League with a tight budget.
Allardyce has coached teams such as Newcastle, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, and the like before making a move to Sunderland via West Ham. It was however at Bolton Wanderers that Allardyce would enjoy his best success as manager of a Premier League club, helping the English side finish 6th and qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
His worst managerial spell came while at Newcastle United, as he was fired after just 24 games in charge. Allardyce’s Newcastle had won a paltry 8 games during that period.
Allardyce is known to explore the physical strengths of his players in order to produce the best of results, as can be seen during his successful spells at multiple clubs.
Sam Allardyce is sure to bring some stability to an English team low on confidence, and after a disappointing outing at EURO 2016, would likely get England focused once more on qualifying for Russia 2018.
However, he is very unlikely to win any major trophies with the Three Lions. Allardyce has been known to manage teams with a poor winning mentality, on a losing streak, and rare contenders for anything save relegation. As manager of Notts County, Bolton, West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and so far with Sunderland, ‘Big Sam’ has suffered a combined 323 losses while winning 370 games.
England needs a manager who can instill a big-time trophy winning mentality in the Three Lions and Big Sam is simply not the man to do that, considering his antecedents as club manager.