Big Sam interested in Ireland gig

Big Sam interested in Ireland gig

Former England manager Sam Allardyce has become the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring for the vacant Republic of Ireland manager's job. 

A few weeks ago, it was announced that the former holder of the role, Stephen Kenny, would no longer be the Ireland manager after another disappointing run of results and a challenging qualifying campaign. 

Several individuals have been linked to the role already. The likes of former Newcastle boss Steve Bruce have, on more than one occasion, expressed interest, saying that "if the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) (Football Association of Ireland) ring him, he will pick up the phone and have a chat with them." Other potential candidates include Lee Carsley and Roy Keane. 

Allardyce, who once managed Limerick as a player-manager in the early '90s, has, like Bruce, expressed his interest in the job and is eager to learn about the FAI's plan going forward. 

Allardyce's last job in England was a short spell with Leeds United, where they eventually were relegated to the English Championship.

“Yes, I would always have an interest and always like to speak to them, of course,” Allardyce told Second Captains. 

“It would be nice to be interviewed and see where they’re going and what they’re thinking. Of course, it’s just a short journey over by plane. You’re not to forget, I spent a full season at Limerick. That was an eye-opener, to say the least!” 

The former England manager has confirmed that no offer has been made to him about taking the role just yet. Like many fans and pundits in Ireland, he can't quite put his finger on what has gone wrong for Ireland over the years. 

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Leeds manager Sam Allardyce reacts on the sidelines during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road on May 28, 2023 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“Nobody has officially made any offer, in terms of whatever shortlist may have been brought up. Obviously, that’s all done through my agent, which is the way things go today. 

“Whoever they choose is a big decision for them, of course. They’ve failed a bit recently in the last few seasons, to say the least. I don’t know whether that’s the manager or a combination of the manager and the team…” 

However, if he does take the role full-time, he won't steer away from the style that made him a household name in England. "Big Sam," as he is called by many members of the public, is best known for being a pragmatic, no-nonsense manager who steers teams struggling with relegation away from trouble. He has never been one to employ open, expansive football and will stick with what he knows if Ireland gives him the gig. 

“I’ve always been pragmatic in terms of how good the players are, and we will suit a system or style for those players and play to their strengths and try to cover their weaknesses when all is said and done,” Allardyce added. 

“If you’re playing a team that is so much better than you, it will be about what you can do with the limited possession you’ve got and how good the defending is to try and get the ability to score a goal and win a game of football. 

“I play winning football; that’s what I play.”