It was an experiment that was, perhaps, always destined to fail, though Sam Allardyce clearly isn’t happy at the suggestion he’s a long-ball merchant.
West Bromwich Albion decided upon employing Big Sam because of his ability to avoid relegation as a manager, however, his magical powers deserted him throughout his tenure at The Hawthorns.
The style of play he employed was much different to his predecessor, Slaven Bilic, and even West Ham’s Michail Antonio alluded to it in a post-game interview.
In so doing, he clearly riled Allardyce.
“He (Antonio) has just insulted me and my team,” the West Brom manager was quoted as saying by talkSPORT.
“I know he’s a nice lad but it’s disgusting what he said. I think he should go back and watch the game and see how we really played. Our front two are 5ft 10 and 5ft 9 so I don’t know what big men he saw running in the channel.
“I haven’t been more than that for the last six to seven years because it’s all you lot talk about. Just like Michail Antonio said, ‘it’s Sam, we’re long ball. It’s Sam, the way we play.’”
“[…] I’ve never played the same at any club I’ve been at and if you thought that was long ball today then somebody is deluded.”
Rather than stick around and help the club try and ensure an immediate return to the Premier League next season, Allardyce and his backroom staff have already jumped ship.
Given the abject failure of the project, it’s difficult to see how Allardyce will get a job at the top level in England again.