I fear ‘Big Sam’ has little idea
Nothing I saw on Sunday afternoon changed my mind about England having a blithering idiot in charge of the national team. In fact Sam Allardyce started spouting his nonsense in the build-up to the game by suggesting a draw away to Slovakia would have been an acceptable result.
Yes that’s right, if Adam Lallana hadn’t poked the ball though a goalkeeper’s legs in the 95th-minute ‘Big Sam’ would still have been happy.
Slovakia are the West Brom of European football, but with less attacking threat. They are organised defensively, but lack ambition.
In short a team of multimillionaires should brush them aside with contemptuous ease, as I’m sure England would have done with a Jurgen Klopp or an Antonio Conte in charge.
But instead, the no-mark England selection panel have lumbered us with Allardyce, a man drummed out of modest West Ham because of his Dark Age brand of football. England’s technical director Dan Ashworth appointed Ade ‘Hoofball’ Boothroyd to manage England Under 20s so at least he’s consistent.
Allardyce’s supporters (most are Bolton-based) claim he is actually a visionary. Apparently he was way ahead of his time in terms of data analysis and diet.
Sadly in terms of team selection Allardyce is less ambitious and less innovative. He picked most of the players who had been abysmal against Slovakia a couple of months earlier.
It’s a sign of madness not genius to keep doing the same things and expect different results as Albert Einstein, (or was it Jose Mourinho?), said.
Allardyce (right) picked Jordan Henderson to start even though the soon-to-be Liverpool reserve has a worse first touch than Carlton Palmer and less passing ability than Nobby Stiles.
Or maybe Wayne Rooney picked Henderson? Allardyce appears to be in thrall of his skipper. Even stating after the game that the fading Manchester United star was told to ‘play anywhere you want’.
You what? The England manager is handsomely rewarded to make those sort of decisions. Rooney is not the best player in the team any more (if he ever was) and indulging his (seriously misguided) belief that he can pass like Glenn Hoddle is a huge error by the manager.
Build your team around someone already good, but with decent potential to improve, like Dele Alli, not a player who (again self-indulgently) has decided he will retire after the World Cup in Russia.
Of course England will reach Russia because qualification is so easy, Graham Westley would be hard pressed to cock it up.
But will England be any good when they get there? It’s very doubtful with Allardyce in post.
At least he’s stopped Harry Kane taking corners, although getting him to remember how to score goals would be a far more impressive feat of coaching.