Big Sam fired for being Big Sam: Allardyce paid the price for his naivety and England's folly - Firstpost
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Big Sam fired for being Big Sam: Allardyce paid the price for his naivety and England's folly

"Entrapment has won on this occasion," Sam Allardyce told journalists outside his home in Bolton, the morning after he was forced out of the England manager's job, a role he had for all of 67 days.

File photo of Sam Allardyce. Reuters

File photo of Sam Allardyce. Reuters

On Tuesday night, Allardyce was asked to step down from the top job in English football, following a newspaper sting that caught the outspoken Englishman making controversial comments regarding a variety of topics, ranging from Prince Harry's bottoms to Gary Neville's touchline rants.

In short, Sam Allardyce was being Sam Allardyce.

Becoming England manager was a dream for Big Sam. For someone who has always believed he deserved a chance at a top club, Allardyce leapt at the opportunity for England's stewardship. It was to be a golden chance for the Jack Terrier of English football, especially coming on the heels of the mishap that was Euro 2016.

But the FA has terminated his contract just 67 days into the job. In a report published by the Daily Telegraph, Allardyce called Roy Hodgson 'Woy', clearly taking a dig at the latter's speech impediment. He also alluded to knowing a way around third party ownership and made tall claims to the effect. But in actuality, that was what all of this was — tall claims! An England manager looking to make a quick buck and talking big.

Making light of someone's speech impediment should not be grounds for firing Allardyce, nor should him pointing out a profitable way of life as an agent, in an "advisory capacity" in the Premier League.

It is a failing on the English FA's part that they fired someone on the basis of a video that purports to wrongdoing, but is actually more of a character sketch of the outspoken Allardyce. His comments about third party ownership are based on practices that are common in South America, and they don't purport to any wrongdoing or involvement on his part.

But what's happened has happened, and when the dust settles, the ridiculousness of firing Sam Allardyce would and should be seen as yet another failing of the FA.

The real reason for Allardyce being shown the door is that he has brought embarrassment to a job as prestigious as the England manager. Herein is where the fault of the FA lies. If there was any foresight involved in hiring the ex-Bolton Wanderers man, then it would be obvious that talking about skirting the rules and making fun of a former manager's speech impediment would be just another Tuesday in the life of Allardyce. Clearly, his career trajectory has amply displayed this sketchiness, and to think you would get anything other than the same would be foolhardy.

Knowing this would obviously happen, why did the FA hand the reigns of the country's football team to him? Did they think that Allardyce, a man who was once accused of "19th century football" by then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, would turn out to be a tactical genius?


Or will they run through every British option before realising that their football needs an identity first, and a coach who believes in the same principles as these identities later?

This was clearly a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the FA which believed that the best way to quell the embarrassment of a leak of this proportion was to sack Allardyce. But the only accusation that one can make about the ex-Sunderland manager is that of naivety. The English FA on the other hand deserve a far more stinging rebuke than what they have received from this entire episode.

Instead of verifying all facts of the case, they felt it prudent to remove the "embarrassment" rather than stand by their chosen man until he was actually proven guilty. They also showed a lack of gumption through their actions. If they had the courage to hire a rank outsider (in terms of footballing acumen) for the job of England manager, then they should have stuck with their choice for longer than the 24 hours it took to make a permanent decision.

All in all, this saga should have at least waited for an official investigation to complete before firing Allardyce. Sadly for him, it was his tactical issues, albeit on a different field, that led to yet another check in the loss column.

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