Big Sam set to be England’s Three Lions boss
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is set to be appointed England’s new manager in the next 24 hours, British media reported.
England have been without a coach since Roy Hodgson stepped down following their Euro 2016 exit to Iceland in the last 16 and Sky Sports said Allardyce would be ratified as his replacement at a Football Association board meeting on Thursday.
Allardyce, 61, has been manager at Sunderland since last October and managed to steer them clear of relegation last season.
The club said late on Wednesday, however, that they were frustrated with the situation.
“Naturally we are aware of the intense media speculation this evening, however, at the present time Sam Allardyce remains Sunderland manager,” the club said in a statement.
“We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC.”
Allardyce’s coaching CV has included spells at Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, but he has never managed a club who were likely to challenge for the Premier League title.
He has, however, never been relegated from England’s top flight and has not been afraid to ruffle some feathers along the way with some opposing coaches criticising his playing style and accusing his teams of being overly physical or employing negative tactics.
Allardyce has been the favourite for the job, since Sunderland confirmed last week that they had given the FA permission to speak to their manager about the vacant England position.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce was also interviewed for the job, while British media reported the FA had spoken to United States’ German head coach Juergen Klinsmann as well as Bournemouth’s English coach Eddie Howe.
England have been searching for a new manager after their embarrassing exit from the European Championship at the end of last month.
Hodgson said he was standing down in the immediate aftermath of a 2-1 last-16 defeat to Iceland, the smallest country to ever compete in the tournament.
Allardyce was first interviewed for the England job following Sven-Goran Eriksson’s departure after the 2006 World Cup but he was overlooked in favour of Steve McClaren.
He will now be tasked with restoring pride in the England team, who have not reached the semi-final of a major tournament since they lost to Germany as hosts in the last four of Euro 96.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn told the BBC on Wednesday that the new manager would need to “build resilience” in his players.
“The British press, like it or not, are probably the most intensely passionate about the game in the world and that has a spill-over effect,” he said.
“The consequence of which is people probably play not to make a mistake, as opposed to play to win.
“So the new manager’s got to be someone who can inspire people to get the best out of themselves, build resilience and unashamedly adopt the kind of psychological techniques that other sports and other football teams have done.”
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