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Can Sam Allardyce oversee England’s rise to international success under his reign?

| 25.07.2016

Lee Gormley | July 21, 2016

Is Allardyce the right man for England?

After Roy Hodgson’s unimpressive reign as England boss came to an end, following a hapless exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, Sam Allardyce is the man chosen to lead the Three Lions forward, having agreed a two-year deal.

The experienced former Sunderland coach had previously shown interest in taking charge of his country following Sven-Goran Eriksson’s departure after the 2006 World Cup, but the role was then given to Steve McClaren instead.

Sunderland v Everton - Barclays Premier League - Stadium of Light

Now, a decade on from his initial interest, Allardyce will arrive on the England managerial scene with bags of Premier League experience and a clear passion for his new job, but also possesses obvious flaws in his CV.

Nevertheless, it’s the 61-year-old that has pipped the FA’s other outlined option Steve Bruce to the post, and Allardyce will enter his latest position at 8/1 with Coral to guide England to a major international victory during his reign.

Big Sam the chosen one for Three Lions

Hodgson’s uninspiring tenure came to a damning end on French soil this summer, as he resigned from his position after England’s shocking last 16 defeat to a gallant Iceland outfit, having thrown away an early lead to lose 2-1.

That followed on from the Three Lions’ disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign too, having crashed out of the Brazil-hosted tournament in the group stage after defeats to Italy and Uruguay and a draw with Costa Rica condemned them to rock-bottom of their standings.


With the squad having seemingly been full of young talent and some experienced heads, fortunes never changed in France and it will now fall on Allardyce to pick up the slack and steer England in the right direction.

Big Sam, as he has become known during his time gracing the Premier League sidelines, is odds-on 8/11 to still be in charge of the Three Lions at Euro 2020, but his first duties as boss will be overseeing 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

England have been thrust into a promising Group F alongside Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta, while neighbours Scotland also feature and will provide Allardyce’s future side with arguably their toughest test.

Potential flaws for new appointment

Allardyce had been in charge of the Black Cats for just nine months but was instrumental in helping them retain their top-flight status last season, as they finished two points above the dropzone and bitter rivals Newcastle United.

The veteran coach has also previously been in charge at West Ham United, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Notts County, giving him plenty of experience throughout England ahead of his new role.

Watford v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League - Vicarage Road

Although, unlike Hodgson who had earlier managed Switzerland and Finland, Allardyce possesses no international background, and has never managed any of the so called elite clubs of the Premier League in his long-standing career.

The Black Cats coach’s first game in charge will fall on September 4th, in a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, meaning he will have to adjust swiftly to the international after his long expected appointed.

Although, Allardyce’s experience throughout the top-flight and his understanding of those players involved will no doubt help him settle into the role he has desired for a decade.

Allardyce gets ‘Special’ backing

Allardyce has become the 15th permanent England boss, with his career having begun back in 1994 with Blackpool, and he has since taken charge during 467 Premier League games. Only former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and former Tottenham coach Harry Redknapp have overseen more in the top tier.

Another glaring omission from Big Sam’s career is a major trophy, but he did secure promotion to the top-flight with both former clubs Bolton and West Ham, while also winning Division Three with Notts County back in 1998.

Britain Soccer Premier League

Such an appointment has already angered a number of fans, who think Allardyce will bring an old-fashioned lump-it-up style into the England set-up, though there are many who see him as a coup, including recently appointed Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho.

Speaking during his pre-season duties with the Red Devils in China, Mourinho stated: “I think Sam never had the big chance at the highest level – lots of experiences in the Premier League but never that big one.

“And now he has the big one, so I think he is more than ready. I think he is a good motivator, I think he can create a good team spirit with his player and I wish him the best.

“I hope you can do the same because it’s your time. In Portugal we were waiting and waiting and finally we got it [at Euro 2016]. I think it is time for you because ’66 [when England won their one and only major trophy] was a long time ago, so good luck Big Sam.”

Allardyce is evens to not be in charge when Euro 2020 rolls around in four years time, but the experienced coach will hope to have already enjoyed a quick rise to prominence in his new role by then, with England now set for a new era on the eve of crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers.


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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.