Monday 18 December 2017

We made a travel itinerary for Sam Allardyce based on his colourful career in management

Big Sam has decided to call it a day, stepping down as Crystal Palace manager and essentially retiring.

By Kameron Virk

Somewhat unexpectedly, Sam Allardyce has stepped down from his role as Crystal Palace manager, insisting that he has “no ambitions to take another job”.

Instead the 62-year-old hopes to do some travelling, spend time with his family, and generally leave behind the stress of the Premier League.

Based on his long and colourful career we reckon there are a few places he should definitely visit on his travels, such as…

1. Jay-Jay Okocha’s birthplace


Okocha is arguably the most gifted player Allardyce ever managed, and he owes him a lot – not least for helping save Bolton from relegation in 2002 and guiding them to a cup final in 2004.

We propose Allardyce taking a pilgrimage to the great man’s place of birth, Ehugu, where he could visit the Nigerian National Museum Of Unity, the stunning Awhum waterfall, and take in a match at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium – once graced by not only Okocha, but also Taribo West.

2. Le Mans


Bolton is undoubtedly Big Sam’s spiritual home, so it’s only right he visits one of the places its twinned with – Le Mans. Yep, Bolton is twinned with Le Mans.

While there, he could take in the city’s famed cathedral and visit the even more famous race track.

But what we really reckon will get his pulse racing the most is Le Mans’ most famous culinary offering – rillettes, a shredded pork pate.

3. Milan


Allardyce always resented that he was never given the opportunity to manage a “big” club, something he felt he would’ve excelled at.

“I’m not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Inter Milan or Real Madrid. It wouldn’t be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time,” the manager once said.

Alas, Sam never did make it to Milan or Madrid, and Milan doesn’t know what it’s been missing.

4. Cornwall, the birthplace of Charles Reep


Who’s Charles Reep, you might be thinking. Even Big Sam might not be sure – but Reep played a big part in Allardyce’s career.

Reep is credited as the founder of long ball football – arguing that most goals come from moves involving three passes or fewer, essentially advocating for the ball to be lumped forward as quickly as possible.

It’s a theory that has had a profound effect on British football, but also one that has come in for much criticism, and it’s worth noting that Allardyce said long ball football has “never been me”. But when your name is the first under the “notable proponents” section on the long ball Wikipedia page, it might be time to accept your legacy.

5. A wine tour of Mendoza, Argentina


We all know Allardyce loves a glass, or supposedly a pint, of wine, so why not visit Mendoza – South America’s largest wine producing region, home to sumptuous Malbecs.

The hilly region would offer an incredible place to relax, and as one of the nine Great Wine Capitals we’re sure there would be a lot of learning involved.

Just don’t ask for a pint, Sam.

6. Get back to Marbella


Who doesn’t remember that video of Big Sam partying the night away in Marbella after masterminding Sunderland’s Premier League survival?

Now that all that responsibility is behind him, Allardyce will be able to move and shake with much more freedom. He has to go back.

Press Association

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