I watched West Brom’s game with Leeds and you can just see how a manager can suffer.
Sam Allardyce had gone and got his system right at Liverpool at the weekend, soaked up everything and then broken out at periods in the second half to get a result.
He will have then had his expectations shoved down his throat last night when you look at the back pass from Romaine Sawyers.
It is easier to play forward in that position – and it’s beyond me how you see a lot of players’ first choice is to try to get it back to the keeper. You’re facing forward, all you have to do is clip it to the side on an angle away from the player who is pressurising and play it forward.
You turn the opposition, it’s a release ball but for some reason it’s been drilled into heads that getting it back to the keeper is the top option.
We saw John Obi Mikel do it for Stoke a couple of hours later and almost gift Nottingham Forest a late winner.
You regularly see it worked back from the half-way line, knocked into the back third and then to the keeper who is 40 or 50 yards behind where it started and in a much worse position. Where has the thinking gone?
If I was Big Sam I would have resigned after the match. He’s already criticised their fitness levels and admitted doubts about their dedication. I would have said, ‘Stuff you, you’re on your own.’
He’ll stay but will he have the time to make a real difference?
Look at the chaos at Sheffield Wednesday, even if they won yesterday. What exactly was Tony Pulis expected to do in 45 days at a club which has been out of the Premier League since 2000?
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Managers need three years to shape a club to where they want it, like Michael O’Neill is finding at Stoke. You need a lot of transfer windows to deal with the ins and outs and get in players who suit your philosophy and tactics.
You can’t do it in half-a-season or 12 months, even if you can make progress. You have your own ideas and you need trust and backing to see them through, which is why it’s so important to get the appointment right in the first place.