I read a rather unkind tweet a few months back which suggested that over the last decade or so Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis had, basically, just been swapping jobs. Jokes as we know work with archetypes and Twitter humour restricted as it is to hard character limits tends to simplify even further but it was hard to dismiss the message.
Since 2011 two of this number have managed West Ham United and from 2014 three Crystal Palace. From 2008 two have also been in charge at Newcastle United and, in more recent years, a different pair coached Sunderland. Most recently Pardew replaced Pulis at West Bromwich Albion (now departed – as have West Brom from the Premiership).
When I watch the same clubs creating the same vacancies over and over again and a short-list of familiar names up for those jobs I find it impossible not to believe that I am viewing the basis of the next Trivial Pursuits or Hungry Hungry Hippos. If only it were possible to somehow nail down and formulate this dynamic into a playable game it could be the making of my fortune.
Alas the formula remains tantalisingly beyond my reach.
Midfield General (ret.)