The English FA have appointed the man they always wanted. The BBC report that England will appoint Sam Allardyce as their new manager. When Roy Hodgson resigned following England’s dismal showing at Euro 2016, the FA set about appointing a successor. Several names were apparently in the frame including the likes of German Jurgan Klinsmann. However, once the FA decided that the new man in charge should be English, then the shortlist got a lot shorter.
England Appoint Sam Allardyce as Sunderland Return to Square One
After leading Sunderland to safety last season, Sam Allardyce’s name was immediately put into the hat. Alongside him was the likes of Hull City’s Steve Bruce and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe. Others mentioned but realistically had little chance were ex England manager Glenn Hoddle and Alan Shearer. England seemed to set their sights firmly on Allardyce much to the disappointment of all on Wearside. They had seen Big Sam come in after the beginning of last season produced eight winless league games. He got the team organised, made some excellent signings and masterminded another great escape. With Sam in charge, fans had hoped that the club could now start making forward steps. Many for the first time in several years were now looking forward and not back. Unfortunately they seem to be right back to square one.
A look at Big Sam
For non Sunderland supporters the appointment has divided opinion. Some suggest he has won very little and has not been in charge of one of the “big” clubs with the “big” stars. With this in mind how will he cope managing England? On the other hand, Allardyce has never been relegated, is not renowned as a failure and can certainly bring out the best in players. England could now also be classed as the underdog in many games coming up over the next two years, especially at the World Cup. If they qualify of course. If this is indeed the case then Allardyce has always been able to prepare and pick teams that can cause the big boys problems. And on many occasions, he beats them.
England certainly have selected the best Englishman around. They have also done the right thing in making this appointment as quickly as possible. Although not as quick as those on Wearside would have liked. From an England point of view, there is little to suggest that Big Sam cannot do well in a job that he has craved for many years. Many, whether they agree with appointment or not will be hoping his time in charge will prove to be successful. Many are not expecting the Three Lions to beat all before them and bring home the World Cup; however they, like Allardyce, will be expecting the team give it their are all, show passion and pride and make the country proud even if they fail.
What Now for Sunderland?
After having a feeling of optimism, if only briefly, Sunderland seem to be right back to where they were at the beginning of last season. And at several points of the past several seasons. The writing was on the wall of Allardyce’s departure when signings failed to materialise. A return to England from Sunderland’s training camp and the bookies odds dropping daily got the fans nervous. Allardyce was then photographed at the home of the FA’s David Gill’s house. Sunderland released a statement confirming the talks and the inevitable was just around the corner.
So where do the Black Cats go from here? First of all they need to appoint a manager a lot sooner than later. Pre season is underway and any new manager will want to get to know his new players and bring in new ones.
As expected several names are already rumoured. Ex Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes, current Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who has been linked with the job before, and even recently departed England manager Roy Hodgson are among the candidates. Many on Wearside however, will see Hodgson as an unfair swap. Whoever the new man is, they will need to act quick to get the Wearside faithful back into an optimistic frame of mind. Sunderland have had too many times in the recent past where optimism has been taken away. The club got it right in appointing Allardyce. They must get it right again. Unfortunately time is not on their side. Once again fans are keeping the faith. Not just in Sunderland but the whole country.
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Sam Allardyce manager of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on November 23, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)