Will Croker looks at how belief beyond the event is as important as before it and how Sam Allardyce forgot to see that.
Sam Allardyce looks like a buffoon; a greedy, self-serving chancer who didn’t understand the British psyche or media. An approach where the journalists at the back of the newspaper put you on a pedestal, so the ones that write for the front of the paper can try and knock you off it at the earliest opportunity, 67 days in this case.
We can’t be surprised; Glen Hoddle pulled the imaginary pin on his own career with the misguided loyalty to a faith healer Eileen Drury and some shocking views on the disabled. Sven Goran Ericsson tried several times either through affairs, illicit conversations with journalists or from courting Chelsea FC.
Sam Allardyce suffered the acrimony of having his ‘dream job’ whipped away from him unceremoniously without a by or leave because of his apparent stupidity. For me though it is about belief. Sam Allardyce had interviewed for the England managers job a decade ago and didn’t get it. He was vociferous in his condemnation and he was convinced that he was the best candidate. He publicly said that he felt he wasn’t the type of character the FA wanted to fill the suit and the chance to fill the job that he craved most seemingly slipped by.
When the chance re-presented itself this summer he almost seemed bewildered by the fact that he had the job. That whilst he paid it lip service, he was almost surprised by the position he found himself in. Some of his rhetoric seemed cliché, some seemed like working boy done good but never did you feel that he was commanding the role. Even the celebration at his sides late winner in his only game in charge, against Slovakia, seemed shrouded in relief as he looked like he had got out of jail, rather than being confident the result would come.
I believe in the law of attraction, I believe that if you surround yourself with something and talk about it, believe in it enough or revel in it enough that you attract more of the same. I am not a crack pot at all but I see this happen around me a lot; from hoping to find a parking space to managing your finances. I believe that ‘Big Sam’ was the victim of his own seam of doubt.
Sam Allardyce never believed he fitted in, he never felt comfortable with the job he so wanted and subsequently he attracted the end of it. Sven Goran Ericsson actually courted far more controversy, but he seemingly was able to ride through the tougher times far easier than Allardyce because he had this innate belief that he truly deserved the job and that his destiny was un-wavering.
What does this mean to the rest of us? Well I think that very often the pursuit of ones goals are actually the be all and end all. I think sometimes people forget that the ambition isnt the end of the road but somewhere you pass through. Belief to achieve the goal is all well and good but if you lose focus past it you can see your dreams and hopes unravel.
Within our lives I see people achieve promotions that fail because of the weight of expectation that they afford to themselves. Estate agents, who value a property at one price, win the instruction and then immediately question whether they have over cooked it.
I have seen parents who desperately wanted children, then struggle once they have them because they don’t feel well enough equipped to cope with the most natural event in life.
My business has survived the biggest crash in living memory. It was something that I never doubted. I was adamant that I would remain unbowed by what was being thrown at me and reach the promised land of post-recession. But once we got there I was so pleased I had made it I forgot about the next step, to reset my goals and be focused on what comes from continuing to re-evaluate those aspirations.
I spent so much time talking to people about how tough it had been, how glad I was that the tough times were behind me and that we had done well to survive, that I think I continued to attract more of the same. Rather than taking a moment to appreciate what we had done before loading the next targets and moving on, we felt a post event hangover that almost broke us all over. The irony was that by trying to be positive and reaching a goal, it, ultimately, almost created the greatest negative.
In short, life is a series of choices. We can reach each one and we can choose to turn left or to turn right. These contrasting decisions happen almost every minute; tea or coffee, night in, night out, Spain or Greece, change jobs or stay put, stick or twist. What is the most important thing is that once you have made the decision have belief that you are on the right path, don’t look back over your shoulder asking what have I done. Reset your gaze and go again, remember no-one ever made a bad decision knowingly, it felt right at the time but it is the outcome that determines its success or failure.
I know now that I am going to kick on into the coming challenges, I feel equipped to deal with the coming months and to flourish. It is for this reason that I believe Sam Allardyce failed, he turned left into the newpaper’s trap, he twisted on the genuineness of the approach, his ego gave him the wrong steer in wanting to sound like the font of all knowledge, his greed was born out of a sense of feathering the nest while he had the chance. In my opinion it is because he never truly felt he belonged, he had fears for his longevity in the role and he subsequently attracted precisely the bad press that he felt had hampered him getting the job before.
Remember the fear of the past is depicted as depression, a fear of the future anxiety, happiness and success is living in the now and focusing on making the next good decision and believing in it.