A Poisoned Chalice?

What makes a good man do it? Following in the footsteps of many a good man, sorry ladies but to date it is only men, our hero sticks his head over the parapet and says ‘I will do it.’

Is it love of country, high ideals, or a passionate belief in one’s own ability to make the difference? Surely to goodness it can’t be just for the money, can it?

No sooner is the crown, metaphorically, placed upon the head of the chosen one than the media dredge the bars of Fleet Street, and lord knows where else, to find detractors, often resorting to former school teachers who decades before taught the reluctant youth Latin or mathematics or sport with quotes such as ‘get a day job because you have no ability worth a Woodbine’.

Who? Oh, sorry, I was talking about Big Sam, but draw your own conclusions about anybody else to whom this may apply. In Britain we appear to love to destroy our hero’s before they have chance to shine.

Mr Allardyce, late of Sunderland FC, has accepted the role of England Football Manager. No doubt the pecuniary rewards will blunt the pain of the press attention that will follow him mercilessly over the duration, one hopes so, although his wages (including severance pay) being roughly equal to the GDP of some small countries could make one wonder?

One hopes that Big Sam will be allowed time to prove himself, the ink is not dry on his contract of employment yet there are already those who are saying that ‘he is the wrong man for the job’, he has ‘no relevant experience at this level’, ‘he has never won any major trophies’, and other unreportable comments – the comparisons with politics are striking, are they not?

Would it not make sense if brave people were given the time and the opportunity to actually prove their mettle before slagging them off?

One sees this as ‘glass half empty thinking’. Had people written Durham, City and County, off post heavy industry we would all be in dire straits. With good management and consistent effort, plus teams built with a ‘can do’ approach, and encouraging pride and belief, mountains can be moved. Nothing revolutionary here, just common sense? Northern grit will out.

One wishes Big Sam every success as England Manager, and his successor at Sunderland likewise. But, for pity’s sake, let us hope that the National Press and the BBC will give Big Sam a chance before writing his epitaph.

A poisoned chalice, is something that appears to be good but carries a hidden threat. One hopes for the sake of every England football supporter, honest, decent working men and women who travel at their own expense across the globe in support of the National team that Big Sam and his heroes can do us proud. Best of luck.



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