Sam Allardyce has admitted that he will have “failed as a manager” if he needs to pull out a big speech to motivate his players prior to tomorrow’s crunch game at home to Hull City.
Despite his reputation as nothing more than a “hoofball” manager, the former England gaffer has often been one of the first in his profession to embrace new technologies and techniques in a bid to prepare his players fully for the challenges they face.
Whilst at Bolton Wanderers, Sam spoke openly about his willingness to embrace the analytical side of the game, utilising programmes like ProZone long before many of his contemporaries fell into line, making these latest musings regarding the build-up to tomorrow’s meeting with Marco Silva’s Tigers as predictable as they are impressive.
When you compare the Dudley-born boss’ approach to that of his immediate predecessor Alan Pardew, it doesn’t take long to identify the huge differences in their motivational approaches. Whilst Pardew has spoken openly about his decision to show the Charlton team Al Pacino’s infamous speech from “Any Given Sunday” in the moments leading up to a pivotal end of season game, Allardyce believes such tactics are employed by coaches who have failed to fully prepare their players for the task at hand.
Of course, with Palace needing just one point from tomorrow’s game to be sure of safety in the Premier League for another year nerves are sure to play a part but in Big Sam’s world, the hard work will have been done in the training sessions leading up the day itself rather than over the course of the 90 minutes.
If you’re anything like me I’m sure you’re feeling tense about the game in prospect already but Allardyce’s comments should offer a few crumbs of comfort at the very least. He’s obviously put a lot of work in with the players over the last few days; let’s just hope it pays off when that first whistle blows in SE25 tomorrow lunchtime.