Sam Allardyce’s reign over the English Lions has begun with, well… a 1-0 win over Slovakia. Doesn’t sound too impressive and it wasn’t. But Can we really judge him on this performance? After all, he’s only had a few weeks to get his ideas in place and get the team on board, so should we judge him poorly? Let’s take a look;
I’m sure that Sam will be extremely impressed with himself for beating the team that Roy Hodgson famously drew against in 2016, and to him it will seem like a step forward. But it really wasn’t; the team’s performance was flat, the play uninspiring and every aspect of the organisation was woeful. Adam Lallana was needed to score an injury time winner against ten men to secure the two points, but the late finish against poor opposition was not the only problem on show.
Wayne Rooney should not be bigger than the manager.
‘Yes sometimes he played a little deep, but I can’t stop Wayne if he thinks that’s the right position to go to play a little deep.’
This quote is troubling. Big Sam is the fucking manager and, as such, it’s his job to tell players where to play. What if Joe Hart had been working on his passing and decided to play midfield? Would Sam not tell him not to because he believes in his judgement? It seems as if every England manager is terrified of challenging Rooney for fear of bad publicity if it didn’t work out. Rooney became a centre back at times for England when he was supposed to be a number 10. Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson had nobody to play up to because Rooney was either alongside them or behind. Big Sam needs to tell Rooney to either play as a number 10 (as Alli did when he came on) or kick him off the team because frankly we don’t need him as a midfielder.
England should thank Martin Skrtel for his seemingly desperate need to be off the pitch, as he lunged in on Harry Kane and was sent off with half an hour of play remaining.But even with Skrtel’s help we could only manage to score one goal against ten men for half an hour, and it took us until the ninety fifth minute. Big Sam should count himself lucky; if we had drawn against Slovakia again while they had ten men, Sam would have been slaughtered and ‘WORSE THAN HODGSON?’ would be screaming from every headline. Luckily for Big Sam, Lallana saved him his big blushes.
Another question is why was Theo Walcott in the squad, but Marcus Rashford out? Rashford already showed us that he can be a bright spark in the English national squad. in the Euros, whereas Walcott hasn’t earned his call up to the squad in the last two years. So, in an important game or Big Sam, where was Rashford?
Scoring a hatrick on his under 21s debut. Maybe Sam was just trying to shield him because of his early age. To allow him time to mature before he can burn out like some young players do.
In time Sam will hopefully show why he was chosen and that he can show that he has got what it takes to finally be seen as an England manager who succeeded, even just a little bit.