We wish we could say it was fun while it lasted, but it wasn’t really.
After patiently waiting for the opportunity to manage the opportunity, Sam Allardyce has fluffed it. An undercover report from the Telegraph has exposed the 61-year-old meeting with fictitious businessmen looking to swerve FA transfer rules.
Allardyce's dismissal, confirmed today, means his sole game in charge of England was a 1-0 win against Slovakia which arrived thanks to a 95th-minute winner.
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Allardyce, eyeing £400,000 for his part in the deal, explained to the ‘businessmen’ how it can be done.
“It’s not a problem,” Allardyce tells the reporters when the issue of third-party ownership is raised. “You can still get around it.”
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According to The Times, the former Sunderland manager met with FA chiefs at Wembley Stadium this morning. His employers were said to be “disturbed” by his actions.
Sacked two months into the job and with a 100 per cent record. Only England.
Big Sam's replacement
In light of his dismissal, the bookmakers have been speculating about his replacement. Gareth Southgate’s name has been thrown into the ring, as has Glenn Hoddle’s.
They are the obvious choices. Here, GiveMeSport takes a look at the six options that will leave you saying, “really?”
Odds at the time of writing are courtesy of William Hill.
Louis van Gaal | 33/1
England has already seen the Louis van Gaal experience, his two years in charge of Manchester United a nightmare from the get go.
Any English player currently playing at Old Trafford must be quaking in their boots at working under Van Gaal again.
Gary Neville | 25/1
The jury is still out on Gary Neville the manager following his failed stint at Valencia .
The former United defender is the eighth-favourite to replace Allardyce but it’s hard to imagine him swapping the comfort of the Sky Sports sofa for the Wembley dugout. Especially after that horrific Euro 2016 campaign, where he served under Roy Hodgson.
Claudio Ranieri | 25/1
There are some managers on the list who just shouldn’t be.
Claudio Ranieri is one of them.
After years of being the bridesmaid, Ranieri finally became a champion with Leicester City last season. And he’s currently enjoying Champions League football with the Foxes.
Porto, Club Brugge and Copenhagen are their opponents in the group stage. They may not be as attractive opponents as Barcelona or Real Madrid, but they’re significantly more enticing than Malta and Lithuania.
Sir Alex Ferguson | 50/1
If Manchester United couldn’t get Sir Alex Ferguson to return after their recent struggles, there’s no way the FA can sell him the England job.
Jurgen Klopp | 33/1
Apparently there’s more chance of Jurgen Klopp swapping Liverpool for the Three Lions than of Fergie coming out of retirement, which is hard to believe.
Put simply, Klopp is loving life at Liverpool and will stop at nothing until the Reds are back in the Champions League.
Having beaten Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City this season, many are ready to call Liverpool title contenders.
If not this season, then they’ll be ready next year. Klopp has an exciting, young team at Anfield and it’s not hard to imagine him being at the club for several more years.
Slaven Bilic | 25/1
We expected Slaven Bilic to have much lower odds than Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, who are also priced at 25/1, due to the current unrest at the London Stadium.
West Ham are 18th in the table with one win in six and their fans are furious. In what is supposed to be an exciting time for the Hammers, there’s little to cheer about.
We thought the bookmakers would have Bilic closer to Mark Warburton, who is priced at 16/1. That would have drawn the punters in.