Sam Allardyce has quit West Brom because he sees himself as a short-term manager – or a ‘saviour’, if you prefer.
The boss had held talks with the Baggies following their relegation from the Premier League but will leave after Sunday’s finale at Leeds, having failed to keep them in the Premier League despite his reputation.
Allardyce, who has a whopping Premier League win precentage of 33%, replaced Slaven Bilic in December when West Brom were just two points from safety.
They were relegated back to the Sky Bet Championship earlier this month and, following Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham, Allardyce confirmed his impending departure.
The former England manager has had a series of short-term jobs in recent years, parachuted in to clubs as a ‘saviour’. He guided Sunderland away from relegation before leaving after just nine months to take the national team job, left Crystal Palace after also saving them from relegation, lasted six months at Everton before being sacked, and then returned to the Premier League with West Brom for another six-month spell.
Allardyce said: “I was given assurances over the budget but irrespective of that it’s about me and me being a short-term manager, that’s my pigeon hole, it has been for six or seven years now.
“When you are a put in that pigeon hole, you might as well stay there. That’s where I see myself, a saviour, a troubleshooter – whatever you want to call it.”
So where next for ‘Big Sam’? Here’s a number of options he may have:
Blunt and forthright, Allardyce is bound to be pursued by TV companies such as the BBC and Sky Sports. No doubt he’ll appear lounging on a settee in a Euro 2020 studio imparting his immense international knowledge this summer.
Government spin doctor
Facts and figures, data and insight. There’s so much floating around at the minute with Covid and more, and who better to put a positive spin on things than Big Sam? After West Ham forward Michail Antonio said West Brom were direct in their game last night, Allardyce snapped back: "It is a load of crap and always has been, I've never played long ball at any club I've been at.” Really? Since Allardyce’s appointment at WBA, they have attempted fewer passes than anyone else (298), the second fewest final third passes (102) and sit second in the number of long balls attempted!
Republic of Ireland
Stephen Kenny has suffered a horrendous start to his tenure as Republic boss, failing to win in his first 10 games which included an embarrassing loss against Luxembourg. Allardyce has mentioned being keen on a return to international football after his ill-fated, one-game spell with England. Could Big Sam emulate Big Jack? Long ball, pints of Guinness...it seems a match made in heaven.
This one absolutely WAS a match made in heaven when Allardyce stepped into the Stadium of Light back in 2016. The former Sunderland defender guided them to safety before being offered the chance to become England boss. Black Cats fans feel there is unfinished business – could a return be on the cards if Lee Johnson fails to get the club promoted into the Championship? A drop to League One may seem unrealistic for Allardyce, but Sunderland do now have a rich new owner in Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and money talks…
Roy Hodgson leaving means they are on the lookout for a new manager. Would they consider a short-term appointment for their old boss? At 66, he’s a spring chicken compared to Roy. And let’s not forget that Allardyce followed Hodgson in the England job, only to then be caught on camera mocking his predecessor’s speech impediment! So, maybe not then, eh?
If anyone needs a wine waiter, who better to recruit than the man who appeared to have a pint of white wine on his table during that infamous, catastrophic meeting with the undercover Daily Telegraph reporters that led to the end of his England tenure. Cultured.
Forget Keith Lard, Allardyce could have a role as a fire safety officer touring social clubs and pubs handing out advice given the amount of blazes he's put out. When he took over at West Brom, he admitted: "I have already had texts from my mates calling me Red Adair. I can't get away from that tag."