So we say goodbye to Big Sam after just 67 days in his dream job. He leaves us with a 100% winning record, but in slightly murky circumstances.
Some journalists have stated that he had to go, that his actions made his position untenable. I’m personally not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning or even defending what he said. I’m just saying, was it really bad enough to lose his job over?
Let’s not forget that this was basically entrapment. It was an embodiment of what is wrong with modern journalism. Make no mistake, there was no story here. This wasn’t a case of Allardyce being involved in regular illegal or immoral activity, and some sort of undercover investigation to expose him. That would have been news, and the journalist actions would have been justified.
But that was not the case. There was no news, so the journalist created some. It was entrapment, a self fulfilling prophecy. The investigation created the news, it didn’t report on it. Had it not taken place, Allardyce would have done nothing, and would still be in a job.
What he did was ill advised, but not illegal. The things he said, particularly about the FA, Hodgson and Gary Neville were silly and unprofessional, but as far as he was concerned this was a private conversation. He was in the wrong, but surely a simple apology would have sufficed. I just don’t see it as serious enough to justify sacking him.
Still, what’s done is done and now we need to find someone else to take the reins. The most obvious choice, Gareth Southgate, said he didn’t want the job (yet) only a matter of a couple of months ago. If we end up with some journeyman like Neil Warnock I’m checking my Scottish heritage. I’m sure there’s a great uncle McShaggydog in my family tree somewhere….