The 68-year-old former England coach Sam Allardyce was signed by Leeds till the end of the season after the relegation-threatened team sacked manager Javi Gracia on Wednesday, making him an improbable comeback to the Premier League.
The second half of the 2020–21 season was Allardyce's last stint as a head coach at West Bromwich Albion, when he failed in his immediate goal of keeping the club in the Premier League.
That hasn't stopped Leeds from hiring Allardyce, who was once thought of as a survival expert, to replace Gracia, who is leaving his position after two months on the job and after only winning three of his 12 games as manager.
Leeds lost five of their seven games in April and let up 23 goals, which is a Premier League record for a single month. It turned out that Sunday's 4-1 defeat against Bournemouth was Gracia's last match.
With four games left, the squad is in fourth-to-last position in the standings and is barely avoiding the drop zone on goal differential.
If Allardyce manages to keep Leeds in the Premier League, he would get more than 3 million pounds ($3.75 million), claims the British daily The Times of London.
Before his employment was formally announced, Allardyce gave an interview to British radio station talkSPORT in which he said, “Obviously there's a tingle that runs through your veins when you take over a football club.”
I am aware of its serious problems. I've seen enough of difficulties before, so perhaps we can make a difference and maintain this fantastic club in the Premier League. I could have done with a little bit more time, but four games.
Allardyce said that he was “shocked” to get the chance.
He said, “I never imagined there would be jobs given at this point in the season. “When the phone rang, I recognized the caller right immediately since I recognized the name rather well. I needed about two seconds to respond “yes.”
Allardyce's four-game stay begins with matches against two of the top three, Manchester City on the road and Newcastle at home, followed by trips to West Ham and Tottenham, which is vying for European qualifying, in the season-ending home game. One of Allardyce's numerous previous teams is West Ham, while another is Newcastle.
This is a last-ditch effort by Leeds, who, in the span of approximately a year, went from having Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa in charge—something of a cultural phenomenon—to hiring old-school English manager Allardyce.
The striking contrast in coaching philosophies between the two men serves as a reminder of Leeds' lack of leadership.
Nowhere is Allardyce's favored straightforward, practical manner more evident than in the title of his monthly podcast, “No Tippy Tappy Football.”
Victor Orta, the director of football, was fired on Tuesday, adding to the chaos at Elland Road.