Sunday, September 4, 2016

England - Road to recovery or further failure?

Back blogging after a good holiday break!

England starts a new era with Allardyce as new manager in a few hours as they visit Slovakia for the World Cup qualifier. Allardyce for England? I might have to eat my words in the future but the news of this got me thinking that this is one of the worst and reckless decisions, among many others, made by the FA. What has he won? Has he ever played or managed in a Champions League match? How many England caps? Anything he won as a manager or player? Nothing. Arguably, his greatest achievements have been to avoid relegation with Bolton and Sunderland and throwing long bombs in order not to lose to Arsenal. The decision to hire Big Sam seems short-sighted and desperate. It had to be an Englishman and among the candidates, he must have been the least worst in the eyes of the pickers.

But could it be that this is exactly what this England team needs after years of failure with supposedly talented teams? Keegan, Capello, Ericksson, Hodgson to name a few, all failed. So maybe getting a manager on the opposite side of the spectrum, i.e, one that has never managed any star-studded squad, is what this under-achieving team needs? Maybe he is the one to put in some mental toughness that seems to be lacking in the current squad? These qualifiers will tell.

It would be a sight seeing England throwing long balls or parking the bus to get a result against nations like Belgium and Germany. It could very well be the new mantra is to focus on the result and let the talent or football go to waste. The nation won't care of the football if it wins some silverware. But Allardyce's selection is a mighty gamble that raises a lot of questions and the spectre of even more hardships for the national team. We will get an indication of whether hope or despair is in sight against Slovakia today.

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