Sam Allardyce lasted just 67 days as England manager.
He never hid the fact that it was his dream position and when appointed he said: “I can’t stop smiling because I’ve got this job.”
There were, however, no smiles on Wednesday morning as he faced the press outside his home to apologise and spoke of ‘entrapment’.
I felt a tinge of sympathy towards ‘Big Sam’ when I first heard the news. He seemed a great fit for the England job and looks to have fallen into a trap which was a sting operation by The Telegraph.
Now, however, I believe Allardyce was foolish and it was a massive misjudgement on his part. Yes, I can see his view of ‘entrapment’ but to actually have two meetings with relative strangers and to openly talk to these people about third-party ownership is wrong. He created his own downfall here.
He was the England manager, one of the most coveted jobs in world football, the figurehead of the Football Association, and being paid a healthy sum for it. He should have known better and I’m disappointed he went chasing more money because I believe he would have managed the England players well and been successful.
The FA were correct to act the way they did.
They are the governing body of English football and must be credible. After all that’s gone on with FIFA over the last few years, they needed to show authority and that they will not tolerate alleged corruption. Under the circumstances, it would have been impossible for Allardyce to continue as England manager.
The FA, Premier League and English Football League need to maintain the integrity of English football. With the news of more allegations of corruption coming to the fore, it looks like it will be a difficult time for the English game.
I believe it won’t have a major effect for the England team moving forward. Allardyce was in charge for only one game and therefore wouldn’t have had a massive impact on the players. They are professionals and they will just move on from it.
At the moment, the FA have made the correct decision in appointing Gareth Southgate. He’s done well with the under-21s and is perfect for England in the short term. It will give the FA time to sort this mess out and then put plans in place for a long-term appointment.
Personally, I’d go for Eddie Howe. He fits the bill perfectly and is a great young manager. Would he even take the job at this stage of his managerial career, though? He’s doing a terrific job at Bournemouth and he may feel he isn’t ready for international management yet. He would be the sort of person I’d be looking at if I worked at the FA.