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Is it really the end of the road for ‘Big Sam’

FOOTBALL: Here The Phuket News picks out five facts on Sam Allardyce who resigned as Crystal Palace manager just three days after the end of the Premier League season having achieved his task of saving them from relegation:

football,


AFP

Saturday 27 May 2017, 06:00PM


Crystal Palace’s ex-manager Sam Allardyce awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park in south London on April 29. Photo: Ian Kington/AFP
Crystal Palace’s ex-manager Sam Allardyce awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park in south London on April 29. Photo: Ian Kington/AFP

Love affair over with ‘Beautiful Game’

Allardyce once told the BBC in the early days of his managerial career he would not manage beyond the age of 50. Now 62 his comment he had “no ambitions to take another job” after resigning from Palace rings true after a bruising season which saw the dream job of England coach disintegrate after just 67 days due to ill-advised remarks to undercover reporters thinking they were East Aisan businessmen on a variety of subjects including how to circumnavigate transfer rules. Yet again he showed when given the chance of rehabilitation by Palace there is no better manager in preserving a modest team’s Premier League status. However, it appears that at last family have won the battle with football: “While I’ve got the energy, I want to travel and also spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager.”

Big Sam

Blunt talking is his style – reflected in his autobiography ‘Big Sam’ – and no surprise after a playing career where uncompromising and no-nonsense would be the attributes most commonly used to describe him as a central defender. Former Wimbledon and Sheffield United manager Dave Bassett quipped: “He was what I called a ball-playing defender... If he wasn’t playing with the ball he was playing with your balls.”

It’s a fair cop

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Allardyce’s father Bob was a policeman who rose to the post of sergeant. “My old man always said you only get what you graft for,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2014. “It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, how much education you’ve got, you’ll only get there on work rate. My dad was a policeman for 25 years, a sergeant, and he taught me discipline. Any problems on our estate were always sorted out by Bob Allardyce. If we got into any trouble we’d be in trouble with my old man. So discipline was everything. Getting up for work on time, don’t be late, shave, don’t let anyone down.”

Bet your house on him

Had Allardyce reached the level he did as a player today he would have been more than adequately paid. However, in his day, he had to cast around with an eye on how to supplement his playing income. He bought up modest properties in Bolton, doing them up before selling them on. “We modernised terraced houses. Buy the place for £6,000 (B268,287). It didn’t have a damp-proof course and needed rewiring, so you’d do a rip-out job, revamp it and sell them for £10,000 (B447,146) to £12,000 (B53,6575). I did a lot of the mortgages during the season and in the summer, I’d be in there with a sledgehammer, knocking down walls,” he told The Daily Telegraph – ironically the newspaper which was to bring him down years later.

Finds his rhythm at Limerick

Rafael Benitez and Allardyce have had a running feud for years. Not the least of the perceived slights was when Benitez claimed Allardyce had never won silverware – wrong because ‘Big Sam’ won the 1992 League of Ireland title as player/manager of Limerick City. The experience Allardyce had there marked him, not only because he learnt about management but about the tough side of life as the city had many poverty-stricken neighbourhoods where local priest – and chairman of the football club – Father Joe Young played a key role in giving youngsters some hope. “The collar (priesthood) has mighty powers there. Watching Joe, with his faith, was a massive eye-opener for me. He looked after one of the poorest parishes in Limerick, working with people who were struggling, down and out, but it never got him down. We had a brilliant time together.”

 

 

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