Sam Allardyce's Blog
End of the day, when the final late tackle has put the opposing right-sided midfielder in hospital, I can say hand on heart that I am a man of principle. I’ve been England manager for 60-odd days now, and in that time people have actually stopped me in the street and told me “thank God we’ve got a proper patriotic, no-nonsense, larger-than-life, doesn’t pull his punches Englishman in charge of a dreadfully under-performing national team, once again”.
I’m a simple lad with simple tastes with a £3m-a-year plus bonuses job to manage the England team. I enjoy a pint of no-nonsense John Smiths fizzy bitter and a pickled egg served with a bag of a ready salted crisps, and a game of killer pool with a bunch of pisspots from Wigan who’re on a stag month in Majorca. Yet I also enjoy the more sophisticated things in life – a bottle of £4.99 wine from Morrisons, Salt & Balsamic Vinegar crisps and air freshener in the downstairs bog.
There are those who call me a wheeler-dealer. Recent events which I cannot possibly comment on at the moment, on the advice of my legal team, but will comment on later after I’ve had a few vodka & cokes, have once again portrayed me as some kind of second-hand car dealer who’s permanently ducking and diving. I resent these constant accusations that I’m some kind of Arthur Daley figure (especially the crap ones when Terry was replaced by the other bloke who wasn’t really up to much).
Many people say to me, they say “Sam”, they say “Sam, you’re the jammiest Arab that’s ever lived” (that’s not racist – I checked with Gary, my accountant). I’ve had a wonderful time in football, managing some of the greatest clubs in the English game: Newcastle, West Ham and Sunderland to name but a few. As I say I can look back and say I’ve had a terrific life in the game, and now in the twilight of my career it’s time to stop and smell the roses, play some golf and pick the England team out of a hat once every two months.
However, as I now have a higher profile in the game, I am now constantly being hounded by the TV, newspapers, radio and the media. I don’t mind the TV, newspapers and the radio, but the media really get on my wick.
Take the other day, for instance. The wife had just prepared me my favourite tea of a Fray Bentos Mixed Grill Pie & Aunt Bessie boiled spuds when the doorbell rang. It turned out to be some people from Hello! Magazine who wanted to get some pictures of me and the wife relaxing in our 11-bedroom (9 of which have their own khazi) gaff.
Such is the life of an England manager; we have to oblige them. So we got some nice ones of us both in the hot tub in the lounge, one of me serving up coffee from one of those cafeterias, but none of the four Arab businessmen who were spending the weekend with me not discussing matters which in no way compromise my position as England manager. They were terribly camera-shy – something to do with their religion, apparently.
There’s never a dull moment in my hectic life. To give you some kind of an idea, here’s yesterday’s schedule;
8am-9pm – Fry-up
10am – 11.30pm. Interviews with the media.
12.30-2.30pm. Meeting with the FA.
3pm-02.45am. Reading Jack Wilshere’s medical records.
As you can see from the above, there simply isn’t enough time in the day when you’re top of the heap, king of the hill. As my old pal Ron Atkinson used to say…eh, actually I’ve just been advised by the FA to add that he used to be my pal, but I haven’t seen him for years and that I can’t use that quote now because some people might take it the wrong way. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an important meeting with Qatar businessmen disguised as reporters from The Daily Telegraph.