Everyone connected to Bolton is delighted to see Big Sam get the England job.
It’s finally happened. It should have happened in 2006, 2007 and 2012 you could argue, but in 2016 it has happened. Sam Allardyce is the England manager.
Pretty much every Wanderers fan is very happy with the appointment. Outside of Bolton, the reaction has been a lot more mixed, a mixture of snobbery, ignorance, and just general idiocy.
This article is more for passing visitors. Any Bolton fans who read this will be reading little they didn’t already know.
Now, if you didn’t want Allardyce as manager, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are quite a few big name foreign managers I’d have taken for example. His lack of European competition experience is a fair point to make, but for those who want an English manager, nobody has that experience in the last five years other than Harry Redknapp or Tim Sherwood. Yep.
Anyway, Allardyce has left every team better than where he picked them up. He turned us from a mid-table Championship side to within touching distance of the Champions League. West Ham were taken up and kept there. Comfortably.
Sunderland were kept up. Blackburn were kept up and were a mid table team, a top half team before Steve Kean was allowed to help destroy the club. Even at Newcastle they were two places above their finishing position the previous season when he left after six months.
He has managed elite players. Maybe not always at their peak, but Hierro, Campo, Djorkaeff and Okocha were no mugs. Better than Fabian Soddding Delph anyway.
Players play for him. El-Hadji Diouf called him a ‘cool coach,’ Ivan Campo has endorsed the appointment and would love to work with him. That’s a man who played under a serial winner in Vicente del Bosque.
He’ll have a plan for every opponent. That’s something we didn’t seem to have against Iceland or Slovakia. Not a Wanderers fan. Read up about the War Room.
He’ll get men right for the job to surround him. The Sun are reporting Paul Clement will be part of his staff. That is a rare English breed, a man who has travelled Europe, coached in foreign lands, and has a Champions League on his CV.
And he isn’t a long ball merchant. Sometimes, yes. But Youtube any piece of Okocha skill from the mid 2000s, or our dismantling of Leeds in 2004. If you get the right commenetary for that game they make note that the football had impressed people that season.
But we started beating big teams too regualrly. Labels were applied and they stuck. We adapted depending on the opposition. Isn’t that a good thing?
Old fashioned? Check his record on innovation, on wanting a winter break. Then come back to me.
The final biscuit came this afternoon when I saw a Scot on Twitter saying they’ll be disappointed if Scotland lose to an Allardyec team. That’s Gordon Strachan-led Scotland.
He may not necessarily lead England to the World Cup itself, but success is relative. England have decent players, but not world class ones. If England reach a quarter or semu final of the World Cup, he has done a good, possibly excellent job.
In any case, I hope he sticks it right up the critics, just like he did with us.