Big Sam – What If?

Its been 10 years since Steve McClaren was chosen ahead of Sam Allardyce to become England Manager.

big-samThere have been some huge disappointments in that 10 year period for England. With the benefit of hindsight would have Big Sam made a difference in some of these crucial England matches? 

England v Croatia 2007. Euro 2008 Qualifier. England 2 – Croatia 3

The end of McClarens reign with the ‘Wally with the Brolly’ 3-2 defeat to Croatia at Wembley. England were sliced open too easily in the first half and only got back into the game when half time substitutions of Jermaine Defoe and David Beckham resulted in a more direct approach from England. A deep cross from Joe Cole forced a Croatian defender to pull on Defoe in the box, Lampard scored the penalty. Another deep cross from Beckham resulted in a neat finish from target man Peter Crouch got England back to 2-2. Croatia scored a goal with 14 minutes remaining to rule England out of qualifying for the tournament.

Would Allardyce have played Peter Crouch and not played arguably the best crosser of the ball in English history (Beckham) from the start? Allardyce has built his reputation on getting players to deliver certain passes to certain areas. Crouch/Beckham combination is something he would have been able to maximise earlier in the game. 

England V Germany 2010 WC – Second Round. England 1 – Germany 4

Oh dear. Still kills me watching it now. 

Goal 1. Two centre backs couldn’t deal with one long (shanked) kick from Neuer.

Goal 2. Both England centre backs deciding to play left back. Schoolboy defending. Upson in particular was dreadful.

Goal 3 England attacked and exposed themselves to the counter.

Goal 4 As above, the lack of pace and lack of compactness in midfield highlighted. 

Englands Goal – Deep cross headed in from Upson. Allardyce type of goal?

Capello played a 4-4-2 formation against a German midfield that contained Schweinsteiger, Muellar, Ozil, Khiedhra and Poldoski. Would Big Sam have let his team be so open and not flooded the midfield?

England V Iceland 2016 Euro – Second Round. England 1 – Iceland 2.

Iceland played a 4-4-2 defended resolutely but lacked a cutting edge as an attacking force. Hindsight: The throw in. Iceland had already had success earlier in the tournament with a long throw routine and even before they scored, England had a warning. Would Allardyce have his team set up to defend better? You would have thought so!!! 

Its time now for England to move forward but you cant help but wonder where they could have been with a bit of Allardyce influence. 


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