After much speculation and being linked with several top managers across the globe, the FA seems to have finally come to a decision with Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce set to be the next England manager. The FA trio of Martin Glenn, Dan Ashworth & David Gill came to the decision after consulting with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand & Harry Redknapp.
It seems life has come full circle for Allardyce who was overlooked in his first bid to be the England manager in 2006. Allardyce had to see off some stern competition to finally land his dream job with the likes of Steve Bruce, Eddie How and Jurgen Klinsmann considered in the final round.
Sam Allardyce or fondly known as Big Sam had a lengthy playing career spanning over 2 decades mostly in the Football League. His first managerial stint came in 1992 as a player-manager for Irish club Limerick F.C. Since then Big Sam has gone onto manage 8 other clubs mostly in the Premier League.
Allardyce’s first taste of international football will come in a friendly on September 1st with the opponents yet to be decided. His first big task as England manager though will be to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
England qualifying group for World Cup 2018
England will kick off their 2018 World Cup against Slovakia on 4th September, 2016. It is a relatively easy group with Slovakia perhaps being their biggest threat. Unlike the Euro’s only the group winners will directly qualify for the World Cup group stages.
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Sam Allardyce Departs – What next for Sunderland?
Sam Allardyce who joined Sunderland eight games into the start of the 2015/16 earned praised for keeping the team in the Premier League. The Black Cats at that time had just 3 points from 8 games even with Big Sam’s arrival the team went into Christmas still in the relegation zone. Allardyce enforced his defense during the January transfer window and ultimately kept the team up picking up 27 points from their final 19 games.
The Black Cats rightly so are miffed with the imminent departure of Allardyce and released a statement following their 3-0 friendly win over Hartepool.
“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 interest of Sunderland A.F.C”
The news coming out of Sunderland indicates that the Black Cats have found a replacement for Big Sam in David Moyes. The former Manchester United & Everton manager is set to return to the Premier League after getting sacked as Real Sociedad manager in November,2015.
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Sam Allardyce Trainer Profile
Big Sam as mentioned kicked of his managerial career with Irish club Limerick FC as a player manager in the 1991/92 season. After guiding the Irish club to promotion Allardyce returned to England where he had spend majority of his playing career.
He joined Preston North End as a player-coach and after Les Chapman was sacked ten games into the season he was appointed as the interim manager. His playing career also came to an end at Preston with an overall record of 578 appearances for 11 different clubs.
Despite the fact that he was a center-back Big Sam did score goals mostly via Headers and finished his career with a overall tally of 42.
Sam Allardyce History as Manager
Allardyce kicked of his full-time managerial career with Blackpool. He did well during his time with them narrowly missing out on promotion to the 1st First Division in the 1995/96 season. Much to the surprise of everyone he was sacked at the end of the 2nd season after they had missed out on promotion by a single point.
Next stop for Allardyce was Notts County with whom he would win the 1997/98 Division Three title by a margin of 19 points. After 2 and a half seasons with the Notts he returned back to Bolton, a team with whom he had spend the majority of his playing career.
As a manager Allardyce would spend a total of 8 seasons with the Trotters. After a couple seasons he led Bolton into the Premier League in the 2001/02 season after winning the play-off final against Preston 3-0. After struggling in the first couple of seasons in the League, Allardyce turned the club into a premier league regular with strong finishes in 2003/04 season onwards.
He also led them to the 2004 Carling Cup final but lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough. Despite the success Allardyce had strained relationship with the board who wouldn’t spend enough to push for a Champions League berth. Allardyce ultimately walked out on the team with two games remaining in the 2006/07 season.
He would manage Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham in the following seasons before finally landing at Sunderland which paved the way for a England call-up.
Big Sam’s Tactics
Allardyce has always been criticized for this playing style with Jose Mourinho once accusing him of playing football from the 19th century. His preferred formation is 4-4-2 and sets his team up to be defensively resilient. The biggest asset of Allardyce as a coach is his man management skills and the players respect him.
It will be interesting to see how Allardyce handles this current England squad who have been termed as a joke following their humiliation in Euro 2016. However one thing can be for sure Big Sam is never reluctant to make the hard decisions.