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Sam Allardyce

Like many I’m underwhelmed by the appointment of Sam Allardyce. His best achievement was at Bolton where he worked the successful model of ageing players on short term expensive contracts but this was at a cost that has left Bolton with enormous debt and now in the third tier. He did not last long at Newcastle, was unpopular at West Ham and saved Sunderland from relegation.

The crucial question is how well he will handle the press. A press that called Bobby Robson a “plonker”,  Grahan Taylor a “turnip” , a press that will delve into his personal life and that of his family, it is alleged that the reason he failed to get this appointment before was that his son was an agent, skilfully-orchestrated campaigns from the likes of  Team Rooney so he can play in his favoured position  and the victimisation of one player after yet another disappointing tournament. West Ham have a strong constituency amongst leading football writers who worked assiduously on the campaign to remove him from West Ham. Add to this he has a shrinking pool of English talent in the Premier. He tends to become surly when cornered and a loose remark in a press conference might return to haunt him.

An ex-premier manger I know well felt that Glen Hoddle was tactically best suited – one recalls a 0-0 draw at Rome securing automatic promotion for the 1998 World Cup – with a cadre of younger talents like Gareth Southgate and Eddie Howe might have proved a more achieving solution.