When Sam Allardyce replaced Alan Pardew in December, many expected Crystal Palace to jump up the Premier League table almost instantaneously.
After all, we’re talking about a team with a £30million striker up front in Christian Benteke, one of the best wingers outside of the top six in Wilfried Zaha and former PSG playmaker Yohan Cabaye in midfield, to highlight just a few of their big names, being managed by a former England boss (albeit, the shortest reigning England boss ever), who has made his career from steering clubs clear of relegation.
Just last season, Allardyce accomplished that exact feat with a distinctly average Sunderland team. But ironically enough, Big Sam’s Eagles suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat to an even weaker manifestation of the Black Cats on Saturday, leaving them second-bottom and two places away from safety.
No doubt, managers are made into scapegoats far too easily and quickly these days, but every now and then, unflattering circumstances are genuinely their fault. And although nobody questions Allardyce’s experience and ability, his record as Palace boss is now just two wins and six defeats from ten, keeping only two clean sheets and conceding 17 goals in the process. Very un-Allardyce.
2016 was a huge year for Allardyce as The Telegraph’s investigation into corruption in football cost him the job of a lifetime with the Three Lions. Whilst not every problem at Selhurst Park can be traced back to him, could it be a case of that sacking, that dream being crushed, taking the edge away from Allardyce’s managerial game? In a nutshell, has Allardyce lost his touch? Let us know your thoughts below…