New England manager Sam Allardyce blasted Roy Hodgson and made digs at the Football Association in a secret interview with the Telegraph, it has been revealed.
The former West Ham and Sunderland boss also believed that Gary Neville had been a bad influence on the team, and should have been told to ‘sit down and shut up’.
“Psychologically, we can’t cope,” Allardyce began. “There’s a psychological barrier.”
Referring to Hodgson he said: “The players let him down in the end. I think maybe he was too indecisive. Cast a bit of an anxiety over to the players maybe. If that ever happened to me as a manager, I’d be absolutely gutted. It would be my fault.
“So I’d have come in at half time and gone, right: bang bang bang bang bang. And then if that didn’t work I’d have gone bang, substitute, substitute, know what I mean, and changed the complete style in the team…but he ummed and ah-ed and Gary Neville arguing about when to bring Rushford [sic] on.
“They were arguing for 10 minutes about bringing him on, him and Gary Neville. So Gary was the wrong influence for him – tell Gary to sit down and shut up, you do what you want. You’re the manager, you do what you want, not what anyone else wants.”
Allardyce believed England’s individual mistakes were the reason they were embarrassed by Iceland.
“If somebody makes two mistakes, one after the other, you’re gonna get in big trouble. We all make mistakes, but the next man can’t make the same ones. And Kyle Walker made a bigger mistake than Wayne Rooney.”
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 26, 2016
“It was the youngest side in Europe. It was the youngest squad. The average age was under 25. There are some stats out there that says that any team that wins a tournament has to be, has to have an average age of 27 or above.”
Allardyce voiced his concern at the lack of game time that members of the England squad were getting.
“Can’t play them then,” he said. “Joe Hart. Jack Wilshere, on the bench for Arsenal. Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench. You can play them, but they’re not playing for the club. When they’re not playing for the club, they’re just short of match practice.”
‘Big Sam’ also spoke out on managers and their involvement in players going on international duty.
“That’s the name of the game innit, like. When they finish the game on Sunday I’m in control of the players. Not them.
“So if I want to call them up, I’ll call them up, whether they say I can or I can’t. I’ll call them up anyway. I don’t give a s*** about what you say.”
Turning to his employers, the FA, he said: “They’re all about making money aren’t they? You know the FA’s the richest football association in the world?
“If they’d built it anywhere else, it would have cost about 400 million… most of the money the FA make will go to the interest on the debt.”
Allardyce also made it known he was unhappy that the Duke of Cambridge was not present at the Euro 2020 launch event.
He said: “He’s our ambassador for the Football Association, so it would have been nice if he’d have turned up but he obviously had more, much busier things on.”