Sunday 18 February 2018 / 12:37 PM


So you’ll have seen by now that Alan Pardew has been shown the door at Selhurst Park, replaced by disgraced ex-England boss Sam Allardyce.

And you know what? It’s the best thing they could possible have done.

It’s not like ‘Pards’ is a bad manager.

In fact, when he’s on song, he is one of the best English bosses out there.

It’s just that he’s been so far from ‘on song’ for far too long – and Palace just couldn’t afford to see whether things might turn around.

When you’re a football club, being in the Premier League is BIG business, especially when you’ve spent £60 odd million players in the last transfer window.

Going down is not an option, and I’m guessing that even Pardew couldn’t have been 100% confident in his ability to steer the club to safety.

Which brings us neatly onto his replacement: Big Sam.

His ethics notwithstanding, the appointment of Sam Allardyce is the closest thing you’ll ever get to a guarantee that Palace are staying up this season.

It’s what Sam does. It’s what he lives and breathes for.

Allardyce is in something of a niche in the ‘relegation rescuer’ bracket, with perhaps only Tony Pulis close to a match for him (Palace couldn’t have appointed Tony; he’s already been there and owes them about three million quid).

In Sam Allardyce, Palace have appointed the relegation specialist, and although I’m not party to his payslip, I’m guessing that his wages reflect that fact.

Which brings me onto the main point of this article really: niching down.

In the world of marketing, businesses are always told to ‘niche’ their marketing down and appeal to a very specific target audience. In so doing, they’re able to craft a message that appeals strongly to that audience, as opposed to a message that’s ‘okay’ to a larger group of people.

I think it applies here. Sam will NEVER lack for work, because he is the relegation rescuer – the specialist.

Rafa Benitez will never lack for work, because he’s the cup competition specialist – clubs that probably won’t win the league but would love the odd cup will snaffle Rafa up quick smart (just look at Newcastle).

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will always get work because they’re the guys who are ruthless enough to get the job done (although the jury is out on both this season).

Sam clearly has a survival blueprint; one that he’s rolled out everywhere he’s gone. And it works. It’s proven.

So when Palace are shopping for a new manager, why would anyone be above Sam on the wishlist? They wouldn’t.

Adding a specialist like Sam is a very smart way to elevate yourself above the competition, and if there are any young British managers reading this, that’s how you can stand out from the crowd and get those elusive first few jobs – be different.

Add Comment

About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

More premier-league News

Special Features