Sam Allardyce has opened up about the heartache he felt in the final stages of his stint as England boss whilst also speaking incredibly positively about his future at Crystal Palace.
For Allardyce, the England job was supposed to be the pinnacle of his career but after just a few weeks in the hot-seat and some very big mistakes, the whole project had come crashing down around his ears. At the time, public opinion was decidedly split over his treatment by the FA but now, a few months down the line, he seems genuinely relieved to have been given the opportunity to redeem himself at Selhurst Park.
Make no mistake, Steve Parish’s decision to bring Big Sam into the football club was one made with business in mind. Having stuttered hugely under the continued guidance of Alan Pardew, it looked as though we were hurtling towards the drop at the turn of the year, meaning the availability of a “survival expert” in Allardyce was simply too good an opportunity for the board to turn down. Luckily, with one game left to play in the 2016/17 Premier League season, it is looked upon as a stroke of genius from Parish and his fellow directors.
There is an understandable sense of regret in all of the quotes given by Allardyce on the disastrous spell he had as England manager but alongside that sadness, there is an obvious desire to build something successful in South London, both for himself and for the man who offered him his first chance to get back on the horse after the humiliation he suffered whilst employed by the FA.
The Dudley-born boss’ association with Crystal Palace may have begun as nothing more than a marriage of convenience but it now has every chance of blossoming into something special. Let’s hope this is just the start.