Monday 19 August 2019

John Giles: I must be mellowing because I got a good laugh out of Big Sam on his soapbox last weekend

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Sam Allardyce, Manager of Crystal Palace gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Sam Allardyce, Manager of Crystal Palace gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

John Giles

This is usually the time of the year when Sam Allardyce climbs onto his soapboax in the middle of a relegation battle.

Once again, he’s done a good job for a club in dire straits and showed that he has enough knowledge of the game to organise a team well in pursuit of safety.

I don’t know if I’m mellowing towards him but I got a good laugh out of his response to a right hammering from Manchester City at the weekend.

He spoke about the truly awful mistakes that his players had made and that he didn’t see a performance like that coming.

It was, he said, a consequence of hitting the 38 point mark, with the clear implication that his players had slacked off after making their big effort to avoid relegation

In short, the fact that Palace were rubbish had nothing to do with Sam.

Just a week ago after winning seven points from Arsenal, Leicester and Liverpool Sam was taking the plaudits for a great job of management and rightly so.

But he can’t have it both ways even if he always tries. He doesn’t even need to do it. Everyone would acknowledge that he has done a great job to save Palace and he did exactly the same at Sunderland this time last year.

He’s a decent manager but that’s not enough. He just can’t help himself.

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