Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Own Goal

It was never going to end well, was it?  Sam Allardyce as England manager, obviously.   As he makes an ignominious exit after just one game in charge, victim of a newspaper 'sting', it's difficult not to feel some sympathy for him.  I know what it's like to lose a job because of a lapse in judgement.  It's a humiliating experience, the more so for Allardyce as it has all been conducted in public.  Moreover, this was his self-professed 'dream job' and he's blown it before it ever really started, with a spectacular own goal.  So, I can take little pleasure in Big Sam's demise, but at the same time, my sympathies are very, very limited.  After all, you'd have thought that landing your dream, very well paid, job would be enough for most people.  But apparently not, as he still felt the need to seek out other income sources.  OK, to be fair, Allardyce did keep emphasising to the undercover reporters that he'd have get the FA's approval before actually taking their money, but nonetheless, the very fact that he was willing to entertain the idea of providing some kind of paid 'consultancy' whilst still in post as England manager, reflects very poorly on him.  You'd think that someone who so coveted the England job would, once they attained it, conduct themselves with greater decorum.

But Big Sam's apparent greed is simply a reflection of a wider malaise in modern society where, just being paid to do your job isn't enough. No, everyone has to be potentially 'for hire', always looking for that opportunity, no matter how dubious, to use your 'expertise' to make a quick buck on the side.  We shouldn't just be satisfied with what we've achieved - even if that includes landing your dream job -  that sows a lack of ambition, this attitude seems to be saying.  And 'lacking ambition' in this way surely marks you out as a loser.  Unfortunately, this kind of ambition can, as Big Sam as found, can also make you a loser.  But, to get back to the point, the FA has to take its share of the blame for this latest managerial debacle, for appointing such a manifestly unsuitable candidate - Allardyce's obvious ego was always going to derail him.  I always thought his appointment as England football manager an act of desperation on the part of the FA, revealing their total lack of ambition and imagination.  Rather than launch a proper, in depth, search for the right man, they instead went with the popular sentiment of Allardyce's friends in the media.  The FA should, perhaps, be thankful that Allardyce has tripped himself up with his off field behaviour rather than through inevitable failure on the pitch.  Hopefully, they can now redeem themselves by actually appointing someone capable as England manager.  Their appointment of Gareth Southgate as caretaker manager, however, doesn't fill me full of confidence that they are capable of doing this.



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