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17th Oct 2017

Sam Allardyce interested in becoming USA manager, but Americans don’t seem to want him

Some are worried Big Sam will play "uncontrolled" and "unpossession-based soccer”

Robert Redmond

Sam Allardyce is reportedly interested in becoming the manager of the United States’ football team.

The USA need a new coach for the men’s national team after Bruce Arena stepped down following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Despite just needing to finish in the top three of their sixth team qualifying group, and in fourth place to go into a play-off against Australia, the United States finished fifth, behind Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras.

The country’s national team is at an extremely low ebb following their failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. They probably need an overhaul of the sport in the country, but first they need a new manager, and Big Sam is said to be interested.

According to ESPN’s Mark Ogden, sources close to the former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United manager have revealed that he would welcome an approach from the US soccer federation, less than a week after he ruled himself out of contention for the vacant manager’s job with Scotland.

Allardyce’s last job was with Crystal Palace. He resigned in May after guiding the London club to Premier League safety and said he wanted a break from club management. He was England manager for 67 days in 2016, but lost the job in controversial circumstances after just one game in charge.

According to the report, “sources said Allardyce feels that the US can be restored to its previous position of dominance alongside Mexico in the CONCACAF zone, and regards the potential opportunity as a sporting one rather than financial.”

Allardyce spent time as a player in the United States with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League back in 1983.

He could be a good option for the US team. Allardyce has improved almost every side he has taken charge of in England and is known for his ability to get the best out of his teams. He is certainly more tactically astute than the United States’ last two coaches, Arena and Jurgen Klinsmann, and it’s difficult to imagine him failing to guide the team to the next World Cup. He could also make them competitive at the finals.

However, fans of the beautiful game in the US don’t seem too keen on Big Sam. When news broke of Allardyce’s reported interest in the job, the reaction was mostly negative. Considering the country has just failed to qualify for the World Cup, and don’t exactly have a great pedigree in the sport, it’s arguably a little difficult to understand their objection to appointing Allardyce. It’s not as if they’re currently playing free-flowing possession-based football.