23 Dec Sam is the man
Former England manager Sam Allardyce has arrived as Crystal Palace’s training ground to “complete talks” over his appointment as boss.
Allardyce, who in September left England after 67 days and one match, is expected to imminently be named as successor to Alan Pardew, who was sacked on Thursday.
The 62-year-old Allardyce arrived at Palace’s Beckenham base on Friday afternoon to meet with Palace chairman Steve Parish.
He told Sky Sports News: “Just here to complete talks, talk to Steve and (if) everything goes all right it should be okay.”
Palace play at Watford in Monday’s Boxing Day fixtures.
Asked if everything could be sorted in time for the trip to Vicarage Road, he replied: “We’ll wait and see. It’s early days, been a bit of a rush.”
Regarding his potential new role, he said before driving off that it was a “fantastic” prospect.
Allardyce lost his dream job with the Football Association after a newspaper sting where he made ill-advised comments to undercover reporters.
He has taken his time to ponder his future and Palace represents an ideal opportunity. The Eagles, 17th in the table, sacked Pardew after just one win in 11 Premier League matches.
Pardew paid the price for a meagre six Premier League wins in 2016 – but also potentially suffered after claiming just three weeks ago that Palace’s American owners “perhaps don’t know a lot about football”.
Parish pledged to “wind the dial back the other way” from Pardew’s attacking style – a move that would perfectly fit Allardyce’s approach.
Assistant boss Keith Millen hosted the media conference to preview Monday’s match.
On its conclusion, the assembled media were immediately asked to vacate the room which included the branded signage which any new manager would pose in front of for club photographs.
And Allardyce arrived soon afterwards.
Millen believes Allardyce has Premier League pedigree thanks to his stints with Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle, West Ham and latterly Sunderland.
“I don’t know if he’s got a point to prove with his career in league football, because he’s been very successful,” Millen said.
“I think the England situation is different to managing a football club in the Premier League.
“If you look at his record last season with Sunderland he did well.
“If it is Sam, you know you’re getting a good, experienced manager coming in.
“He’d certainly be able to sort the players out.”