The plaudits have begun to arrive at the feet of Sam Allardyce as the much-maligned West Ham manager approaches his 60th birthday this Sunday.
Now, to the many tributes that have already laid at the ‘Big’ man’s feet, news.bwin.com/en/ add the title ‘Best English Manager of the Millennium’.
And furthermore ask the question how can he be as long as 50/1 in the next England manager market?
Naming the Dudley-born tactician as the nation’s greatest manager to have practiced this century is admittedly as much about the dearth of competition as his own on-pitch achievements.
Bobby Robson may have earned 2000/01 Champions League qualification with Newcastle, while Steve McClaren’s Eredivise title with Twente and UEFA Cup final run with Middlesbrough similarly outshone any one Allardyce accomplishment.
Yet for sheer consistency of overachievement this millennium, arguably only Roy Hodgson, who established mid-table security in short spells at Fulham and West Brom, can come close to echoing the former Bolton boss.
Allardyce began the century by securing promotion to the Premier League for Wanderers in his first full season in charge.
This was followed by a narrow survival for the next two campaigns before the former Notts County boss led the Trotters to four consecutive top-eight Premier League finishes between 2003/04 and his departure.
A prematurely-axed spell at Newcastle concluded his all too brief shot at the big time, but since he has continued to do the business at Blackburn and West Ham, saving the former from relegation and re-establishing the latter at the top table.
Seven months on Tyneside apart, Allardyce has spent the entirety of this footballing century in consistent credit.
His three aforementioned rivals for the title of ‘Best English Manager of the Millennium’ have all managed the Three Lions.
Surely, given the FA seems to have turned it’s back for the moment on foreign managers, it must be Big Sam’s turn soon.