Sam Allardyce: Pragmatism the West Brom key

Albion boss Sam Allardyce believes his pragmatic approach to management is the reason why he has enjoyed such a long career in the game.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce

The 66-year-old is the only man to have managed eight different clubs in the Premier League during a coaching career that first began in 1989.

In total, Allardyce has had spells in charge of 11 different sides with the Dudley-born chief having managed in all four of England’s top divisions.

And he feels being realistic rather than idealistic with his teams is why he has been successful.

“Pragmatic is my approach in terms of what is the team capable of, what are the individuals capable of?” Allardyce said.

“How can we best structure that team to give each individual the chance to show their strengths?

“I think that has always been my approach and it has stood me in good stead.

“Having managed in every division and having played in every division, there is an experience behind what I’ve wanted to do.

“And I have to say I have a huge amount of respect for the staff I have worked with behind the scenes.

“They have always done everything they can to give the players the best possible opportunity to get results and succeed.”

Allardyce began his managerial career in Ireland with Limerick before having spells at Blackpool and Notts County.

He then became a household name while in charge of Bolton.

And he says his apprenticeship has had a big impact on his managerial style.

“I think when you start off in the game, you think you can do it but you need an opportunity,” he continued.

“Then when you get one, you realise you are the man in charge, you have to quickly work out how you can progress your career and bring success to whatever club you are managing.

“You learn from your mistakes very quickly because in the early days you don’t get many opportunities to stay in the game.

“When you succeed at building a reputation, you can move on and start looking at ways to progress the game.

“My biggest adventure in the world of football was how can we advance the game, what can we do differently, how can we improve, can we do something that’s not been thought of?

“First, though, you have to survive as a manager and then build on that.”

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