5 barrel-scraping reasons why Sam Allardyce might not be a shambolically bad England manager


Sam Allardyce is about to be appointed England manager.

And while it might seem to you that this is a new low for the England football team or that perhaps the Football Association are simply trying to lower fans' expectations, that might not actually be the case.

Here are some sort of compellingish reasons why it might not be as bad as all that maybe.

1. Longevity

Sam Allardyce as Bolton manager

Guys, Allardyce must be good because he's hung around a long time. Only Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp have been in charge for more Premier League games. True, he's never won anything, and true, he's not the most fashionable candidate out there, but so what? There is precedent for this kind of thing and we think you're gonna be quietly impressed.

There is another man who hung around with the big boys and girls for long enough, not doing anything of note, refusing to fit in before eventually, surprisingly getting the top job. His name is Jeremy Corbyn, and that worked out pretty damn well.

2. Forward-thinking methods

This is what people say about Big Sam, isn't it? Oh, he may seem unsophisticated but his methods are actually very forward thinking. Revolutionary even. So have a little search around and literally the only examples of these methods you will find are Prozone stats and yoga.

And it's with Prozone that Allardyce deserves a heck of a lot of credit. He was very early on the Prozone train, using the kind of stats to help develop his side's style of play that are now commonplace among Premier League teams. In fact, there's only really one manager of note who got there before him, and that's the man who helped develop the system, Steve McClaren, who went on to have notable success as boss of FC Twente in Holland. So that tells you all you need to know.

3. The football he plays isn't as bad as you think

West Ham fans protest against Sam Allardyce

You probably think that Allardyce's teams play terrible football, but it's actually not true. He's guided by the players he has at his disposal. That's why at first Bolton played horrible football and then when they got people like Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okacha in the team it was marginally less horrible.

He's really developed his style in recent years, too. Just look at the exciting football West Ham used to play under Allardyce, before Slaven Bilic went and messed up all his good work. West Ham fans must be furious about that.

4. He gets results

His teams might not play the best football, but by god, he gets results. Behold, for example, his fearsome win percentage: of the 467 games he's managed in the Premier League, his side have won a whopping 33.6%.

People might try and throw this stat at you, but don't be fooled. He has never won more Premier League matches than he's lost at any club he has managed. This is slightly sneaky - at Bolton he actually won 80 and lost 80, so that's almost the same.

5. He probably won't actually put Kevin Nolan in the team

Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan at a West Ham game

Will he? No. He couldn't. Could he? Surely not.

But he'll almost certainly make him assistant manager or something.