Big Sam — The Messiah — Manager Story
Let us start with a special poem.
What we have here is an exquisite poem from the British wordplay and recreational Mathematics expert — Leigh Mercer [1893–1977]
There is a special name for five-liner poems with a strict AABBA rhyme scheme, typically in the anapestic meter [two short syllables followed by a long one]. Such poems are generally obscene with a humorous intent.
They are called Limericks. A typical limerick, albeit naughty one, goes like this —
Mercer reverse-engineered that equation, the one we started with, from a limerick — its equivalent in words — which goes like this —
Limericks derive their name, according to some experts, from the County of Limerick in Northern Ireland.
Founded in 1937, Limerick F.C. represents the city of Limerick — which is in the county of Limerick — in the League of Ireland Premier Division. Currently, they have a Neymar lookalike up their sleeve, named Barry Cotter, who aspires to emulate the Brazil Star.
Limerick F.C. was relegated for the first time from the top division in 1990–91. They also lost the League Cup Final that season to Derry City.
Enter Sam Allardyce — who was transferred in and appointed player-manager.
Like time would see him repeat a gazillion times, Sam Allardyce hit the ground running in an ailing club — to achieve immediate promotion by winning the 1991–92 League of Ireland First Division.
Starting there, the impact of Sam Allardyce’s ability to save teams in distress time and again, has earned him the sobriquet — The Messiah.
Most remarkable of those stints was at Bolton Wanderers from 1999–2007. He won promotion for Bolton into the Premier League, established them as a top-half team and for the first time in Bolton’s history, master-minded their entry into European Football by finishing sixth and entering the UEFA Cup in 2004–05.
The image of a Messianic Saviour, a manager who would patch up your weaknesses and rattle the doors of probability through a notoriously straight-forward gameplay, is central to Sam Allardyce’s persona.
However, according to Alex Ferguson and similar experts of English Football, it is unfair to not give equivalent credit, if not more, to him being the pioneer of Sport Science in the English Premier League and one of the first managers to realize the importance of data in analytically breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of his own as well as his opponents.
This visionary approach to player profiling allowed him to pick and choose experienced veterans like Gary Speed and Fernando Hierro — aged 35 and 36 respectively — to find synergies with particular aspects of his team to enable ridiculously high performances at paltry budgets. In the field of electronics, particularly Data Acquisition, this approach is called Modular Instrumentation.
In 2016, having won millions of hearts over 25 years of managerial experience at the helm of many clubs, Big Sam was appointed the manager of the English national team. A privilege he dreamt off for decades.
However, less than 3 months into his stint, a scandal struck as he was the center of a sting operation which eventually led to his resignation from the coveted post.
Taking charge at the helm of Crystal Palace, he inherited a team battling relegation, from Alan Pardew. And like he does always, he is engineering a tale of resilience and disciplined execution — Palace is now comfortably out of the relegation zone. As always again, he tore into the big teams and earned victories over Arsenal, Liverpool and even league leaders Chelsea.
For a detailed statistical analysis on Sam Allardyce and a comparison with similar managers like Alan Pardew and Roberto Martinez, stay tuned to footbaat.com.
If you have a manager in mind, who you’re curious to compare with Big Sam, please let us know in the comments section.
Signing off with a trademark Big Sam response to a tricky question —