Sam Allardyce is being heavily linked with the vacant England job. Would he walk out on Sunderland so early into his rebuilding job?
English football is in crisis. The new Golden Generation, studded with all the young gems the Premier League has to offer, crashed to the most humiliating defeat in England's history. The reputations of these promising young stars will be forever tainted by their part in this disaster, none more so than the relative veteran Joe Hart.
Allardyce would undoubtedly offer a reassuring presence to the FA. As a no-nonsense coach, he would get the most out of England's underperforming millionaires, and he wouldn't let any of them get away with shirking their responsibility, as so many of them so obviously did during the ill-fated Euro 2016 campaign.
The current raft of candidates offer little hope for English football fans. Gareth Southgate's managerial CV is wholly uninspiring. Gary Neville offers nothing. Glenn Hoddle? Eddie Howe? None of these names would fill you with confidence. It's easy to see why the FA would want the trusted name and reputation of Big Sam at the helm of the national team.
But would Allardyce have any reason to take the job, if he was offered it? The prestige has long since left the position. The England hot seat is widely viewed as a poisoned chalice. What would he have to look forward to, other than two to four years of trying to make a bunch of disinterested millionaires try to have some passion for their country? Furthermore, there's very little public support in the job for him, unless he achieves the (admittedly, relatively unlikely) task of getting England into the later stages of a major tournament.
Allardyce also has a job to do at Sunderland, and has stated his commitment to doing this job well. At the Stadium of Light, he has been offered money, support and backing in a way that was absent at Newcastle, West Ham and Bolton. If Allardyce was to leave this job behind, he would never have a better chance in his career to establish a successful dynasty or legacy.
Allardyce has nothing to gain and everything to lose by stepping through the doors at Wembley. On Wearside, he's already a hero for mastermind in our survival at the expense of Newcastle last season. If he stays, he will have full prerogative to rip up the existing infrastructure of the club and establish his own lasting system. If the suits and blazers at the FA come knocking, there's only one obvious choice.