Sam Allardyce’s resignation as West Brom manager does not come as a surprise. Hell, he even described himself as a “short-term manager” and having failed in task of keeping the Baggies in the Premier League, he didn’t fancy sticking around for a season in the Championship, despite being offered a contract by the Midlands club.
But where does ‘Big Sam’ go from here? Famously of course, he had never been relegated from the Premier League, but now that record has gone, as has his ‘invincible’ aura. His mystique has now vanished. When clubs were in desperate need of survival, in the midst of a relegation scrap, they turned to the vastly experienced former England manager.
Time and time again he proved he had the motivational and man-management skills to keep a side in the top flight, and given how lucrative staying in the top division is, he was never short of potential suitors. It’s exactly what West Brom hoped for when they sacked Slaven Bilic earlier in the season, having amassed just seven points from their opening 13 league games.
It’s not as if Allardyce didn’t have time to turn this ship around, he was in charge for 25 Premier League games this term, but only managed four wins. With his relegation record now gone, and his failure at West Brom, if a Premier League club is in a similar position, why would they now turn to him?
He has a vast amount of experience, sure, only four managers have taken charge of more Premier League games, but his recent history doesn’t make for thrilling reading. He improved Everton to an 8th place finish, but his focus on defensive football meant they were lacking at the other end and dull to watch which did not please the locals.
Before that, he spent £30m at Crystal Palace in January 2017 to take them from 17th to 14th and away from danger, before he left the club on his own accord and claimed that would be his final job in club football. Perhaps unwittingly, Big Sam has now taken his definitive departing bow.
It seems he is unwilling to manage in the Championship, despite securing promotion with West Ham in that division back in 2012 and is focused on retaining his ‘short-term manager’ status at 66 years of age. However, having made his career as a firefighter, Big Sam has lost his hose.
He is no longer invincible, he can no longer be seen as a safe pair of hands that will guarantee a club’s Premier League status and his defensive style is unlikely to win over any fans if the results are not produced alongside it. Next season, when clubs are stranded in the bottom three and sack their manager, will Allardyce be top of their wishlist? It’s unlikely.
Allardyce has had a career full of huge successes. He performed miracles at Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland and it is testament to him that he was offered the England job. However, his recent jobs are now diminishing his reputation. A man who has given so much to the game could well have said farewell to the Premier League for the final time.