England manager elect Sam Allardyce and his proven faith in English playersby Andy Dillon / 15 July 2016, 11:15Tweet
SAM ALLARDYCE loves giving English players a chance.
That's handy as it appears he is now the new national team manager elect.
Big Sam is not everyone's choice to pick up the pieces of shattered pride and deflated egos in the wake of not one but two utter disasters at major tournaments.
In an age when even Macclesfield are expected to play like Barcelona, Allardyce's misguided reputation for preferring industrial football to ticky tacky ballet on grass is an uncomfortable fit.
But just like he has been saddled with the wrong image for his style Allardyce also has to cope with misconceived ideas that he also likes to buy ready-made larger than life foreign players to fill his club sides at Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham.
However, a quick check back at his four years at West Ham and it's plain that Big Sam buys British.
During his time as manager at Upton Park he signed TEN English players. Even now a year after he has gone, the spine of his former team is home grown.
For every Cheikhou Kouyate and Mo Diame there has been an Englishman too.
Should Allardyce land the bitter-sweet role of England manager expect to see West Ham captain Mark Noble, striker Andy Carroll and defender Aaron Cresswell get call ups.
Allardyce spotted left back Cresswell at Ipswich and picked him up for just £3.75 million. He is now worth three times that and the campaign for the talented Scouser to get a call up grows with every season.
Midfield general Noble is a Hammer born and bred but it was under Allardyce where he first started getting serious mentions in despatches with regard to playing for his country.
Noble matured under Big Sam helping to lead West Ham out of the Championship playing alongside former captain Kevin Nolan - another Englishman brought to the East End of London under Allardyce.
Andy Carroll has had his ups and downs - mainly downs admittedly - but there is no debate that the big Geordie striker has scored vital goals for the club during the periods when he wasn't injured.
And we cannot forget that winger Stewart Downing was recalled to the England squad after a two year gap thanks to his return to form under Allardyce.
During their one season in The Championship West Ham also signed strikers Sam Baldock and Nicky Maynard. Throw in midfielder Matt Taylor, the gamble on Ravel Morrison which could have been a Godsend but turned out a loser.
Matt Jarvis and Joe Cole were also brought in and combined with English owners in David Sullivan and David Gold, West Ham did their bit to keep the flag flying in the most multi-national league in the world.
For a time West Ham had more English players than any other Premier League club but they all got overlooked because Allardyce is considered unfashionable by the snooty elite at The FA.
Well now they don't have much choice. Allardyce is being asked to perform a rescue act on England just like he did with Sunderland last season.
And at least England fans know he will make playing for their country feel like an honour again instead of an embarrassment.