Sam ‘Big Sam’ Allardyce once opined that top English Premier League clubs would havechasedhim vigorously had his name sounded Italian – an obvious tongue-in-cheekreference to the dearth of English men at the helm of affairs of top English clubs.
His argument wasn’t farfetched, opining that if he could get the results he got despite the small budgets and being under the whims of bigger fishes, who had what it took to pluck vital players off your team with the caprice of an interest and stroke of a pen; then it was only logical he would achieve far more success if given the chance at a bigger club where he wouldn’t have to worry about tight budgets and every other ugly duckling that befall small clubs.
Only the English national team offered reasonable chance to men of English origin to be in charge of a team brimming with talent. With the FA’s sacking of Roy Hodgson and the media-drums of Big Sam’s name, the 62-year old took the opportunity with both hands.
Unfortunately he lasted only 67 days not due to poor results or dress-room revolt but for a recorded comment of him telling a huddle of suits how to bypass the FA’s rules.
That incident gave him a reality check he could never have imagined: in the course of getting what he always wanted, handling a team where the headache would be selecting the best from the best, a mere side talk and not a lack of result would get him fired.
Premier League side Crystal Palace’s call offered him a chance to get back to what he was always good at doing: keeping teams away from the extreme ends of the EPL table. And once again he delivered. The Eagles are safe. That’s all that matters. Maybe that’s all that will ever matter at least to Sam Allardyce.