So Sam Allardyce has been relieved of his duties once again. The inevitable that was always going to occur.
However, since then I’ve read opinions that don’t really ring true in my ears or mind. This belief that he was hard done by. The constant ‘but he steadies the ship’ or ‘he won’t get you relegated’. All true, all well and good to some extent.
He’s held in a high regard by other managers and players, but really, what are his achievements in being a full-time manager in the game?
Well the truth be told, none. No FA Cups, no League Cups.
A few promotions, one via first place and the other two by the play-offs.
After being so long in the game and wanting to manage at a top six club, he hasn’t really justified the hype that was/is around him.
Some would say that his rapport with the fans, with the exception of Bolton Wanderers, hasn’’t exactly been on good terms.
Fans want to see entertaining football. Allardyce likes a clean sheet and to build from the back and bypass the midfield.
Recently, I took the time to read his book. In certain cases he objectified to this. Claiming that he often had to work with what he was given and used tactics that suited the players he had at his disposal, but over the years, it is clear that once he builds a team the same type of players are recruited. The big target man, followed by the physical defenders and the midfield grafters.
Newcastle United presented an opportunity for Allardyce, regardless of what people say, to really move himself forward and change his style in football. He didn’t. There are no excuses. There is no it wasn’t completely my fault or the fans were too intense. Nope.
Recruitment was awful when he was at St James Park. A style of play that didn’t suit the team.
Sometimes it is all about the result. In today’s game that’s all that matters. Instant results mean instant success. His win percentage averages out at about 39% which doesn’t bode well against the elite managers around the world.
In some ways, his short tenure at Everton has mirrored his time with us.
Looking back over his career, nearly every club’s fans have asked for attacking football, but the retort has always been along the lines of take what you are given and just be thankful that I’m here to stave off relegation.
But that’s where the problem lies and that’s what people don’t seem to get, it’s all about progression. Yes take over a club, get it to safety, but then build. Yet that doesn’t ever seem to happen. It’s a merry-go-round.
Progression builds stability, otherwise you just stagnate.
Being in management for this long should have seen him build up a natural progression where instead of him being the guy that they call when the club is in the mire, they call him to help them break that top six, but it just doesn’t happen and it never will – because when it comes down to it, the change is never there.
Sam Allardyce has become the stop gap guy.