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The Football Association has selected Sam Allardyce as the new England manager. He was arguably the best English manager interested in the job, beating Steve Bruce to the position.
The FA announced in a statement that Allardyce has signed a two-year contract and will take over the role with immediate effect. This appointment parks Allardyce’s career of keeping teams safe against relegation.
Historically, Allardyce has had to deal with a reputation of long ball tactics. Although, those comments have been mentioned publicly from opposition managers after an unflattering result for them. The most famous, probably, being by José Mourinho, then of Chelsea, claiming it was “football from the nineteenth century”.
People on the inside of the game have praised his ability to setup a team to frustrate or nullify the opposition. This usually results in an Allardyce team being defensively focused and organised. This defensive trait may not win him many fans while in control of the national team.
Jaime Carragher and Martin Keown have already mentioned the step up in the quality of player Allardyce has worked with. Without disrespecting any one, Sam Allardyce has been tasked with the role of avoiding relegation. A task he has managed incredibly well considering the calibre of players at his disposal.
Watching his teams face off against the leagues best you can see the opposition probing for an opening but struggling to create many clear chances. He appears to instil a confidence in his players. Last year he was able to get Jermain Defoe firing again, where he grabbed 15 goals in 33 appearances.
The Next Step
It could be said that this is a big step up for Sam. He will have his pick of the nations best and up coming talents. No longer will he have the hopes of fans willing him to keep their team in the league. Instead, England will be expecting him to deliver results against the worlds best.
Only time will tell how Allardyce approaches this chapter of his career but you can not imagine the defensive structure of his game plan will disappear. Why would it when he can select the best player suited to his style? He will almost certainly be expected to adopt a more attacking approach than perhaps he is used to. The media and fans will not settle for anything less.
Given the list of available candidates Sam Allardyce is not a bad appointment by any stretch of the imagination. He has a knack of finding an effective game plan to disrupt teams who were filled with better players than his. The English public should be excited by this appointment, a team that keeps a clean sheet is impossible to beat. As Michael Owen will tell you, “when they don’t score, they hardly ever win”.