Sam Allardyce will be named as England manager on Thursday, according to widespread reports.
The outgoing Sunderland boss is set to be ratified at an FA meeting, reports Sky Sports, in an appointment that is sure to divide opinion.
Making his name with Bolton Wanderers and since with Newcastle and West Ham, Allardyce’s football has never been pretty (although his imminent announcement does give an excuse for another quick watch of his most defining moment:)
— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) July 11, 2016
The 61-year-old is famed for his direct style of play, although frankly after Euro 2016, England couldn’t possibly get any more mundane.
The great irony, however, is that it is Roy Hodgson whom Allardyce is replacing. Hodgson who, four years ago, was given the job instead of the people’s choice, Harry Redknapp.
It was thought at the time that Redknapp was simply not enough of a ‘yes man’ and the FA couldn’t afford to appoint someone who would speak their mind so freely.
Now, it seems they have thrown that approach straight out of the window.
Allardyce is exactly what the England team needs. A no-nonsense approach coupled with seriously smart, albeit not very exciting tactics.
The Three Lions don’t have the luxury of bringing in a Pep Guardiola. Quite the opposite, when Allardyce was once asked what he thought of tiki-taka football, he gracefully summed it up as: “tippy-tappy stuff” which was “a load of b*******” (an actual quote, as per ESPN).
All connected with England are aware they made the wrong choice picking Hodgson over Redknapp. As decent and honest a man as Hodgson undoubtedly is, this England team needs a bit more grit.
Four years in international football is unfortunately a very long time. A World Cup and a European Championships have been wasted, but Allardyce is one of the few managers left who remembers when England were actually good.
Big Sam has watched their demise and now it’s his turn to reverse it through old-fashioned hard work. And if it doesn’t work? England have nothing to lose.