Sam Allardyce Appointed England Managerby Mick Bates / 22 July 2016, 15:47Tweet
It’s official. The search is over. England have a new manager and his name is Sam Allardyce.
Over three weeks of frenzied speculation has seen an abundance of gaffers linked to Roy Hodgson’s vacated post - including Jurgen Klinsmann, Steve Bruce, Gareth Southgate, Glenn Hoddle and Eddie Howe - but in the end it’s Big Sam who bags one of the most high-pressured jobs in world sport…10 years after his original interview.
Sam Allardyce bags his dream job
- Sam Allardyce is 20/1 to be knighted (Paddy Power)
- England to win the 2018 World Cup @ 22/1 (Betfair)
Once settled in the swanky England headquarters Allardyce, who has signed a two-year deal, will begin his preparation for the rapidly approaching 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, which kicks-off in early September. The Three Lions have been placed in a very straightforward Group F featuring rivals Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta, with Allardyce’s troops unsurprisingly the hot 2/5 (Bet365) favourites to top the group and book their spot in Russia.
Waltzing through a qualifying campaign is common ground for England - they won 10 of of 10 in qualifying for Euro 2016 - but the real test will come in two years time in Russia (should they qualify that is!).
Churning out results is part and parcel of the Big Sam approach to the game, but he’ll be under scrutiny like never before as he bids to restore the national team’s identity and implement an effective tournament game plan - two fundamentals that were clearly lacking under Roy Hodgson.
The 61-year-old will also be tasked with transforming the mindset of England players. A mentally fragile England inexplicably crumble under the weight of expectation at every major tournament, meaning getting shot of the clichéd “fear factor” is crucial, and with Allardyce’s excellent man management skills it will be interesting to see if he can be the man who finally break of the chains and free England from their shackles.
What next for Sunderland?
The appointment - as is the norm for an England appointment - will cause huge controversy and debate, but love him or loathe him, it’s Sunderland supporters who will feel the most frustrated, as their club is left searching for a sixth permanent manager in just over three years.
Allardyce arrived at the Stadium of Light nine months ago, replacing Dick Advocaat, and proceeded to save Sunderland (17th) from the dreaded drop out of the Premier League - ensuring top-flight football for the 10th successive season. Fans would have been looking forward to a whole campaign under Big Sam, but now those expectations have been cruelly wiped, as he ventures of to take charge of his country.
With just over three weeks to go until the dawn of the 2016/17 season Sunderland will be keen to appoint a replacement as soon as possible. It’s David Moyes who is the favourite to take charge of the Black Cats, although Steve Bruce is a new addition to the betting following his surprise decision to leave Hull.