Why Sam? Why?

Sam Allardyce lost his job as the England manager after just 67 days in charge. He leaves after being at the helm for 1 game, quite extraordinary.

Allardyce and the FA partied company after a newspaper sting recorded him openly discussing ways to get around the ban on 3rd party ownership of players, chasing 400k pounds for guest appearances, making fun of the previous manager, criticizing his employers on their project management when rebuilding the national stadium and also having a dig at Royalty and the role they play in the FA.

Did it all really warrant the guy losing his job?

As much as I think the FA are far from perfect I believe in this instance they had no option but to relieve Allardyce of his duties. The FA see themselves as the governors of the beautiful game and want to be seen as whiter than white. They value their reputation and want no scandals. Allardyce was filmed advising on loopholes for a rule implemented by the FA to stop 3rd party ownership of players. To also be filmed speaking derogatively about your employers with regard to money matters and then about the Royal family who have ties to the FA meant there could be no reconciliation and they had to let him go.

Over the past 30 years the role of England football manager has become one of the most scrutinized jobs outside of politics. The press in the UK have relentlessly targeted the national team boss, delving into his private life, the private lives of his family and at times crucified them with regards to football (warranted at times!). The pressure within that job must be unbearable at times and those who take it on are very brave, although getting a few million quid a year will probably ease the pain.

Sam Allardyce knew all this but the England manager job was his dream role. He’d waited his whole career for this, all those years battling to save relegation at club level had paid off and it was his chance to shine for his country as a manager. He believed he could be the one to end the 50 years of hurt. The smile on his face during his unveiling was great to see, a man who had fulfilled his dream.

So why oh why did he put himself in the situation to be stung??? I think we are all baffled by his judgement. He was earning 3 million pounds a year as England manager, he’d been a premier league manager for over 10 years, he is a very wealthy man. So why chase 400k for doing a guest appearance for a foreign firm (fictitiously created by the newspaper). It must just be pure greed. It has to be. The press have no morals but they will say their job is to uncover corruption, although to be fair Allardyce did say he would have to discuss any payment given with the FA so there was no corruption unveiled just downright stupidity in being so loose tongued with strangers when you have such a high-profile job.

Big Sam has some history though with regard to scandals. Both he and his son were accused of taking transfer “bungs” during the mid 2000’s, an accusation that Allardyce denies. I think after this current debacle we could be forgiven for suspecting that the 2006 accusations might have some truth in them.

Reports suggest he has received a 7 figure pay off which is remarkable for losing your job due to your own stupidity and 67 days work so I can’t have too much sympathy for him really.

Is Sam a big loss to the national team? Probably not. The game he managed against Slovakia was same old same old so I didn’t really envisage a footballing revolution during his reign, although the FA did state that he had brought an enthusiasm to the team off the field and during training that had not been see in a long time.

Who takes over? Well it looks like as long as Gareth Southgate doesn’t lose every game during his 4 game “trial” he should get the job. He fits the bill after “Sam gate” in that he’s a good guy with no dodgy history and will probably go along with what the FA wants. To be fair he’s also a young manager who has done all his top coaching badges and overseen the U21’s for a while and done well so why not give him a chance. I’d like to see someone like Glenn Hoddle come in as an adviser to Southgate. Hoddle’s footballing philosophy fits international football better than club football. I honestly believe that if he hadn’t been fired for his religious beliefs in the late 90’s England may well have won an international tournament by now so being alongside Southgate might prove a masterstroke but will the FA bring in someone they once fired? Probably not.

I believe England currently have some very talented young players who if managed correctly could do well for the national side over the next few tournaments.

Pity for Big Sam that he won’t be there to oversee it but his stupidity cost him that privilege.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canelo v Golovkin…..who would win?

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez v Gennady “GGG” Golovkin…………………will they ever fight? if so who wins?

I’ll let you know what I think the answers to those questions are at the end of the blog.

I watched Canelo beat England’s Liam Smith the other week in Dallas via PPV. I was impressed with his performance. I thought Smith fought a great fight and never took a backward step but Canelo moved really well and didn’t waste too many punches. He slipped a lot of inside shots that Smith tried to get through with and countered very well indeed. I’ve watched Canelo fight many times and I’ve not been that taken aback by how brilliant he was. Sure he always hit hard and had a great chin but in a way I think we may have been conned by him and his team.

At the moment he’s basically a super middleweight (and very close to light heavyweight) fighting light middleweight. Rumors persist that on fight night he’s weighing in at around 180lbs, 26lbs over the weigh in limit at Light middleweight!!!Some of his recent opponents will be 20lbs lighter or more when the bell goes. That’s ridiculous but under the current rules it’s legal and Canelo and his team are taking full advantage of the mockery that is boxing weights.

Watching him fight Smith it was just plain to see that Canelo was miles bigger than Smith, this massive size advantage gives him more punch power and also allows him to take punches better. Smith caught him with some decent shots and Canelo never flinched which eventually broke Smith’s heart and from the 6th onwards it was all one way traffic.

He’s fought at middleweight but now seems happy weighing in against the smaller fella’s to make him appear to be invincible, which at the moment he does. His only loss came against the genius of Mayweather who boxed him to death at light middleweight.

So comes the question of whether he will ever take the risk of fighting Gennady Golovkin.

I don’t think Canelo wants to fight GGG but I think he’ll have to.

He’s happy to keep the gravy train running while fighting the little guys who are moving up. 50,000 watched the fight in the Cowboys stadium against Smith with 100m others watching on TV, mostly all Mexicans. He’s making a lot of money while not taking big risks (although for me anyone getting into a boxing ring is taking a big risk!).

Golovkin didn’t look at his best in beating Kell Brook but still showed glimpses of the incredible power he has which is scaring the heck out of Canelo!

If they do meet who do I think will win?

If they were both guaranteed to weigh in at no more than 165lbs then I would go for Golovkin but Canelo will fight at 180lbs or more and that will mean the thunderous power of GGG might not have the same effect it’s been having on fighters coming in at 165lbs or less when the bell goes. Obviously GGG may opt to pile on more weight to gain even more power but this will slow him down and this won’t do him any favors as he already appears ponderous at times.

Therefore I’d go for a Canelo points victory. I believe both men will be able to absorb their opponents shots and Canelo being the slightly slicker boxer will sneak a win.

Let me know what you think would happen.

Broady

Preview: Chelsea v Liverpool

Friday gives us another mouthwatering Premier League fixture. Both Chelsea and Liverpool have been scoring goals so it should be an entertaining game.

My top 4 at the start of the season was as follows:

1: Man City 2: Chelsea 3: Spurs 4: Liverpool

From what I’ve seen so far I think Chelsea will be the only side to really challenge City for the title.

I believe Antonio Conte is a fantastic manager. His record at Juve speaks for itself but it was also the way he had the Italian national side playing the Euros that made you realize that Chelsea were getting someone right from the top drawer.

Kante was a great signing and Diego Costa looks sharp again this season and if he stays fit will get 20 + goals which could take Chelsea close to winning the title again.

I might be one of the few who thinks signing back David Luiz could turn out to be an inspired decision. Sure he has a mistake in him but he’s also a very talented footballer and if Conte decides to switch to a back 3 it means Kante can sit deep and allow Luiz to bring the ball out and start attacks.

The team Conte has been putting out is, baring one or 2, basically the same team that produced the worst defense of a Premier League crown in history. He’s brought in a freshness to the club and shook up some of the big names and got them playing again.

Onto Liverpool and what performance it was at the weekend against the champions Leicester City. Well I say what a performance but I should really be more granular, it was a great performance going forward. Liverpool’s pace and movement was at times breathtaking. Saido Mane, Firminho, Lallana and Sturridge were unplayable. Defensively they were still a little uncertain and on another day Leicester could have scored 3 or 4 but Matip does look a lad who has class and given time might be a defender in the mould of a Alan Hansen or Phil Thompson, he’s got the same type of build. I don’t think you can win a title with your 2 left backs being James Milner and Alberto Moreno though so top 4 is the best I see Liverpool doing.

Jordan Henderson has started the season well and Adam Lallana has been a revelation since Jurgen Klopp took over, his goal against Leicester was great strike.

Daniel Sturridge had his best game for a long time. Questions have been asked as to whether or not he still has the hunger and desire to play week in week out. He looked sharp and wanted the ball, he also made some great runs that took the defenders out and allowed Mane to run into acres of space. It was very encouraging for both Liverpool and England.

Apart from the debacle at Burnley it’s been a good start for the redmen picking up 7 points from 4 games with 3 of those being very tough fixtures.

Like I said I’m anticipating an exciting encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Broady’s prediction: 2-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilshere epitomises the English mentality

When Jack Wilshere signed for Bournemouth it was a surprise to most. At first glance I thought, yeah he’s looking for regular first team football and should be the first name on the team sheet at Bournemouth if he’s fit so this gives him the best chance of getting back into the England setup.

But then on reflection I came to the conclusion that it was a cop out and epitomizes the mentality of an English professional footballer.

Wilshere had the opportunity to sign for Roma or AC Milan, these aren’t little Italian clubs, these are giants of European football. Even when fit he would’ve had to have performed week in week out to get in the team at both clubs. Roma are always challenging for silverware and while Milan have dropped somewhat over the past decade they are still a massive club with worldwide exposure.

Why are English footballers so reluctant to play abroad? The majority choose to stay in the comfort zone of the Premier League. I honestly believe that if Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes would have gone to play for a European giant for a period of their careers they would have become even better players. They would’ve had to fine tune their game to adapt to another playing style which would have benefited the English national team also. I understand some guys just don’t want to up sticks and move their families abroad away from family and friends but come on, these are millionaires who could fly their families in every other week and Europe isn’t a big place with regard to air travel. A sportsman’s career is short and can be ended at any time due to injury therefore why not take on a challenge even if just for a short time and go test yourself at a top European club?

Italians have always been reluctant to play abroad but they have the excuse of the fact that the Italian national team has still won World Cups and got to European Championship finals so the players staying at home hasn’t really affected the national team’s ability to challenge. England don’t have that excuse. We have reached 2 semi finals since 1966 which is an appalling record. If some of our top players had played abroad for just a small amount of time I’m sure the national team would’ve seen the benefit.

The reluctance of English players to play abroad makes me ask the question……is it basically down to the fact that they aren’t good enough and wouldn’t be able to adapt to other styles of play? Maybe that is the case but as it stands we as the public and the players themselves will never know!