Sam Allardyce GONE: Here is what our writers had to say…

by THE FLAT BACK FOUR TEAM

Sam Allardyce was appointed as England Manager on July 22nd with one task: To take on a team that just suffered it’s most embarrassing defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 and turn them into winners. Instead, he has further added to the humiliation the FA has had to suffer these past few months. 

After just 67 days at the helm, the former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland manager has stepped down following a sting undercover operation by the Telegraph.

The British newspaper sent reporters out to film Big Sam, with the video evidence released today to show one of England’s most respectful managers spill the beans on third party ownership and other loopholes within the FA guidelines in a dodgy £400,000 deal.

Allardyce’s only game as England boss ended in a 1-0 victory thanks to Adam Lallana’s late winner against Slovakia in their World Cup qualifier.

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Adam Lallana’s late goal gave Allardyce his first, and only, win as England boss. (Image Credit: mirror.co.uk)

Gareth Southgate has been put in charge until the end of the year.

Here is what our team of writers have had to say on the day’s leading sporting story.

Macaulay Daley: “It’s disappointing for Big Sam, because this was the job he’s deserved for the hard work that he has done in his career. He’ll be the most disappointed about the way that his brief spell has come to an end. Unfortunately he gave the FA no other option than to mutually terminate his contract, as they would have looked soft if they had let him get away with just a caution. Considering that this was supposed to be his ‘dream job’ and earning around £3million a year for the work, why on earth would you take part in a dodgy deal just for an extra £400,000?! Gareth Southgate has been given the reigns until the end of the year, despite him turning the job down when it became available in the summer. I think he’ll do a good job in temporary charge, especially if the work that he has done with the youth set up is anything to go by.”

Jack Prentice: “Allardyce was only a victim of gluttony and good journalism. The big shame of this unholy debacle is that the England team would have done well under Allardyce’s stewardship. Sam was at best brainless, especially given that he was on £3m a year anyway so it is pure greed. He deserved to lose his job. What a pity that English football will lose out because of this”

 Liam Richner: “This doesn’t just add to the embarrassment of the Iceland result back in June, this tops it! For a national manager to be so easily left hung up to dry by these undercover reporters really makes you wonder whether the FA did actually do much in terms of a thorough application process for Roy Hodgson’s successor. It will be interesting to see how quickly Gareth Southgate can take charge of this team of individuals, especially with key qualifiers next week.  This makes the Slovenia game that little more trickier! The real winners here are Scotland. They may have an even bigger incentive to beat their neighbours if they hadn’t already!”

 

 

 

Sam Allardyce names first England squad ahead of World Cup Qualifier against Slovakia.

by THE FLAT BACK FOUR TEAM

This evening has provided England fans with the first opportunity to examine Sam Allardyce as England manager, with the 61-year old announcing his first Three Lions squad that will face Slovakia next Sunday (September 4th).

The eye-catcher if you will, is the first international call up for Michail Antonio.

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Michail Antonio has proven to be a class signing for West Ham. (Image Credit: westhamworld.co.uk)

At 26, this could be more than just a one-time call up like we have seen in the past. However, the West Ham winger will need to prove he can make the jump to International football when his opportunity arises.

Another call up which could be a crowd pleaser up and down the country is that of Luke Shaw. It is the first time since his leg break last year that the left back has been involved in the national team. The 21-year old has been ever present in Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side this season.

Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere are the biggest names to be excluded from Allardyce’s squad, Jermain Defoe is also missing from the final 23, despite his excellent goalscoring figures for Sunderland.

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Jermain Defoe, pictured scoring at Manchester City on the opening day, can count himself unlucky not to be included in the squad. (Image credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Here is what our writers have had to say:

Macaulay Daley: “Big Sam has played it very safe, and I personally can’t pick too many major holes in his squad as a whole. The inclusion of Michail Antonio is fully justified, he’s been a terrific player for West Ham over the last year and deserves his first call-up at any England level. I am slightly surprised by the decision not to include Jermain Defoe, a player that Allardyce had at Sunderland last season. He might be getting on a little bit now, but he’s finding the net as regularly as he has done throughout the entirety of his career and can count himself very unlucky that he’s not in the plans of his former manager.”

Jack Prentice: “Overall it’s a squad picked on merit rather than reputation. Not that anything else was to be expected from Sam Allardyce a man who laughs in the face of previous reputations. He looks like he will pick players that prove themselves in the here and now, which many of the fans have wanted to see for a while. I’m a fan of the decision to include Michail Antonio, who as a winger, has looked very dangerous for West Ham despite their indifferent start to the season. Luke Shaw also deserves a chance following a solid return from that horrendous broken leg 11 months ago. Bigger tests will await Big Sam even if Slovakia proved the scourge of Roy Hodgson.”

Liam Richner: Including Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge for me doesn’t show enough belief from Big Sam. Unlike the Tottenham and Liverpool strikers, Jermain Defoe has been scoring goals and looking dangerous going forward, so his exclusion shocks me. I also think Scott Dann can count himself unlucky. He is one of the country’s top centre backs and is a threat from set pieces which may appeal to the way Allardyce sets his team up. We will have to wait and see if this squad, most of which went to the Euros this summer, can step up to the plate after that humiliating defeat to Iceland.” 

England Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Michail Antonio (West Ham United), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal).

Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).