Palace fans have long viewed the England squad as something which was heavily rigged in favour of players from other clubs, but new boss Sam Allardyce has offered new hope to everyone of a red and blue persuasion.
After watching the former England gaffer Roy Hodgson bumble his way unsuccessfully through three consecutive tournament failures, the FA were left with no choice but to wield the axe, plumping eventually for a man who has never been afraid to do things his own way in the shape of Allardyce.
Whilst Hodgson’s supporters will point towards the relative youthfulness of the group he took with him to France this summer, the decision to ignore players from “unfashionable” clubs has often been a stick with which disgruntled football fans have chosen to beat the now former England supremo.
There has long been a stigma attached to the tactical stylings of Roy’s replacement, with countless critics pointing towards Big Sam’s willingness to favour results over flair as a sign of his lack of culture, but with the fiftieth anniversary of England’s sole tournament triumph having passed over the weekend, it’s fair to say that the country’s football fans no longer care about the manner in which victories arrive.
This shift in mentality is undoubtedly good news for players from the likes of Palace, West Ham, West Brom and Sunderland, all of whom have been overlooked without a second thought in recent years. It’s startling to think that since the glory days of 1966, England have won just six knockout games at major tournaments; a record which Allardyce will no doubt be mortified by, given his preference for precise preparation ahead of each game he takes charge of.
There are plenty of footballing snobs who will look upon Big Sam’s rise to the top of England’s footballing ladder as something of a death knell for our game, but for supporters of clubs outside the upper-echelons of the Premier League, his arrival at the top table offers more hope than many who have come before him.