Five things Sam Allardyce has to address as the new England boss

Date published: Monday 25th July 2016 11:44

Sam Allardyce: Hit in sting

Sam Allardyce: Hit in sting

We look at the five biggest issues facing Sam Allardyce following his appointment as England manager.

The latest England post-mortem was relatively straightforward and the FA have spent less than a month since the Three Lions were embarrassingly ejected from Euro 2016 to send up the white smoke from Wembley to announce Roy Hodgson’s successor.

Sam Allardyce, Big Sam, Allardici has finally got the appointment he’s been waiting for.

He’s had run-ins with some of the biggest names in management, disagreements with fans and divided English football with his tactics, but now Allardyce faces the biggest test of his managerial career.

Here, we take a look at the five key issues Big Sam has to get right on the day he was presented before the media as the new England coach.

Shake the long-ball image

The biggest concern England supporters will have following the news of Allardyce’s appointment is a world of route one football and gritty but efficient football typified by Big Sam’s emphasis on “Position of Maximum Opportunity” (POMO), applied primarily in throw-ins, free-kicks and corners.

Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, most recently, and famously, brought his long ball dossier to argue the case against Big Sam when he was manager of West Ham and, in fairness to Louis, Allardyce’s teams have placed an emphasis on moving the ball quickly from defence to attack.

England are still trailing the major European powers in terms of playing possession football so the need to take better care of the ball is vital, but as Portugal showed at this summer’s Euros, not essential.

Big Sam will also need to ensure his current win percentage of 34% improves dramatically but the former Bolton boss will feel he finally has the stage to show off just what he can do.


Advance the youth

Eric Dier: One of England's most impressive performers

With the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Claudio Ranieri all plying their trade in the Premier League, the England squad has never had it so good.

The FA’s emphasis on bringing through England youngsters will continue under Allardyce but opportunities to play Premier League football has become scarce so now would be the ideal time for the new Three Lions coach to encourage players to ply their trade abroad.

It’s no coincidence that Eric Dier was England’s best player over the tournament and the only player in the Euro 2016 squad to have enjoyed time on the continent. His stint at Sporting Lisbon was pivotal in developing his education to allow for the seamless transformation from central defender to defensive midfielder.

Across the tournament the Spurs man kept play ticking over with stats from revealing that he completed 89.3% of his 67.8 passes per game, while his goal against Russia was undoubtedly the highlight having averaged 2.3 shots per game.

English players in general have been reluctant to go abroad which seems to stem from a wider problem in the UK regarding the willingness to learn a foreign language. A recent survey revealed that more than half of 18-24 year olds in the UK let their language knowledge affect where they travel, so it’s perhaps no surprise that Big Sam will have some opposition.


Protect the squad

Big Sam on a number of occasions has shown that he has an ego to match his nickname. The repetition of early exits from major tournaments, followed by inquests from the media, public and the FA have taken their toll on the players.

With Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling showing differing levels of how playing for England can have a harmful impact on performance, Allardyce must shield these talented youngsters before they are corrupted by the continuing negativity and another promising generation is lost.

Allardyce isn’t afraid to take the heat from all quarters and his big personality should be ideal for taking some of the flak that will come the team’s way.

He’s shown in the past he isn’t afraid to get his point across as this video where he laughs at Swansea’s Chico Flores feigning injury illustrates.


Win over the fans

The self-belief and confidence is something that will be welcomed by England supporters in the aftermath of Roy Hodgson’s meek reign.

His bold public showing of self-belief when in charge of Blackburn in 2010 was completely un-English when he claimed that he would be “more suited to Inter (Milan) or Real Madrid” because he “would win the double or the league every time” shows that he is ready for his chance.

Allardyce’s image as a man of the people will also be useful in repairing the damaged relationship between the public and the national team, but fans will only see this as an added bonus; it’s the results and performances that will fill Wembley during another meaningless midweek friendly.


Address the winter break question

Sam Allardyce Sunderland TEAMtalk

It’s a subject that has been less prominent in wake of the Iceland defeat but the issue of a mid-season break will continue to raise its head as long as England falter at World Cups and European Championships.

Big Sam has had some strong views on the winter break and was a big supporter of the idea urging the Premier League to follow the rest of Europe earlier in the year.

Having witnessed Allardyce’s fiery character on a weekly basis it’s likely that he will give the football establishment a few headaches.

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Home Forums Five things Sam Allardyce has to address as the new England boss

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  forcefield 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    James Marshment

    We look at the five biggest issues facing Sam Allardyce following his appointment as England manager.

    [See the full post at: Five things Sam Allardyce has to address as the new England boss]


    Al The Gooner

    I’m not sure there’s a lot any England manager can do until our entire academy system is overhauled.

    We have some very good players, but how many of them are truly world-class? I can’t think of one.

    Only time will tell whether Sam is the right man, but one thing he has going for him is that he’s built a career on making do with the players he has and getting the best he can from them.


    nine nine nine

    Agree with all those issues James.

    Hopefully Sam can take is through the World Cup qualifiers to the Finals in Russia and that we go a bit further than we have in the last two tournaments.

    I doubt we are good enough to think about winning it but it would nice to see an England team in Russia that gave it their all and went out with a bit of a bang rather than a whimper like we did in losing to Iceland.



    I would be happy if big sam decided on a playing style that he thinks suits us best, then picks the players to fit this system to its best and pick players regardless of who they play for or if their name is Wayne Rooney! no round pegs in square holes, no trying 500 players in friendlies to try things, pick what you want to achieve then stick with it and allow the group of players to play that system together as much as possible until a tourno….he needs to be his own man and I have hopes he will be


    Al The Gooner

    That’s pretty much what he’s always done as a club manager Steveo – let’s hope having the national job doesn’t go to his head too much.



    The one big thing Sam needs to address is the England managers constant will to take players based on name rather than form. If you take out of form players then I dont know why you are suprised that it ends badly. Players like Rooney and Wilshire shouldnt have been in the squad. Why was Rooney allowed to play so much game time and stink up the pitch for so long. This happens with different players every year. Take the players who are playing the best. Simple!


    Al The Gooner

    Liverpool_1986 – agree with you on Wilshere, but Rooney is the most experienced player we have. True, he hardly set the tournament alight, but he was far from our worst or most ineffective player and sometimes just having that older, more experienced head on the pitch is good for the youngsters.



    really nice to see and hear just how happy he is and how much he has always coveted the job and that big cheesy grin he cant keep off his mush!



    what is the Key to winning tournament football? they key is being the best team and playing effective football to get results. people Talk about Portugal and Greece being rare occasions of Anti football winning but that’s further from the truth. Italy, Germany, Argentina and France have won many a tournament through disciplined defending and team work. Spain are the rarity and let it be said up until they won their first tournament, Spain were renowned for being the big Chokers where they would have the biggest pool of individual talent that would implode every time and massively underachieve. The reason for their success is not down to a manager or playing a certain brand of football, its down to familiarity and the fact the 80% of the squad was chosen from Barcelona. In fact is no coincidence that Spain’s decline has come as a result of the retiring Barcelona contingent as barca have not replaced them with Spanish compatriots.

    Big Sam is the right appointment for England as he will look at the players he has available and will finally put square pegs in square holes. where he will have a plan A, Plan B and Plan C to beat the opposition.

    general Fans who are against his appointment, Newcastle Fans and a minority of Pundits spouting statements such as “he’s a long ball merchant” “he’s a dinosaur” “he’s never won anything” just shows to me how little they know about the game… especially Newcastle Fans. i had the privilege to have a one on one conversation with Harry Redknapp and one of the subjects raised was the under rated talent we have with British Coaches. he stated a manager is only as good as his players and if you have the best players that work as a team then you’re playing sailing. he stated that if Big Sam was foreign he would be called Jose Mouriniho. he said “all José is’ is Big Sam with Carte Blanche on transfers, he even stated that in some cases big sam has more modern approaches to coaching and player management especially with bedding in foreigners which often gets over looked. He even stated that it disgusts him that the like of him, Eddie Howe and many other top British coaches get a look in at big EPL clubs , he even used himself as an example to what he achieved in his career and with the likes of West Ham, Pompey and Spurs.. I mean look at what he did at spurs for a man that never managed in the CL… he even used BR as an example of what can be achieved with the right players, which you couldn’t argue with.

    Big sam does not need to change, Big Sam needs to be left to pick his squad without FA interference, only then we will go to tournaments with a plan and looking like a team that will be head strong and competitive. Not clueless and rabbits in the headlights like Woy.


    Adam Khemiri

    I suspect I speak for a few when I say I really don’t care if Big Sam plays a long ball game as long as it is effective and gets results in tournaments. At least we will go with a game plan.

    England have been a laughing stock of world football in pretty much every tournament since France 98.



    I don’t like Sam, or his brand of football. I think it’s disappointing that the FA picked, seemingly because he was the “best” British candidate, rather than the best candidate. I probably should have an opinion on who should have got the job, and if pushed, I would probably have gone for Slaven Bilic. Oh, and one more thing – it’s six things he needs to fix, not five – stop selecting out of form players like Rooney and Sterling. iMHO neither should even have been in the squad

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