Football

Ledley King backs 'Big Sam' as England boss

Another summer has passed with England once again flopping at a major tournament.

The Three Lions' meek elimination from Euro 2016 in the Round of 16 by unfancied Iceland inevitably led to the departure of manager Roy Hodgson.

However, it has not taken the England Football Association long to identify his successor, with Sam Allardyce appointed yesterday.

His supporters have been quick to highlight the impressive results he has achieved at less glamorous clubs like Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland, but his detractors have questioned his credentials - given he has never managed at the highest level.

However, former England international Ledley King has thrown his support behind the 61-year-old. "Sam Allardyce is obviously a manager with a lot of experience," said the former Tottenham Hotspur captain.

BIG PERSONALITIES

"He's worked with a lot of players, has had (to manage) some big personalities, and I think that experience will help him.

"I think England need to get back to doing what England do best and Sam could be the man to identify the strengths that could see them playing their best football."

King arrived in Singapore yesterday morning in an ambassadorial role with Tottenham, and was speaking at the official opening of KidZania Singapore's kid-sized indoor stadium.

The stadium was opened in partnership with AIA Singapore, whose parent company is the official shirt sponsor for Spurs.

Aside from meeting fans and even refereeing a match involving youths from VOX @ Singapore Children's Society and Special Olympics Singapore, King also spoke to the media.

When asked by The New Paper if it was time for England fans to stop heading into every tournament with huge hopes, the 35-year-old was sympathetic, as he could see why expectations were naturally high.

"It's difficult because, on paper, England do have a strong team," said the former centre back, who won his first cap at 21 and represented the Three Lions at both Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup.

"It's very easy for the fans to get excited because the group of players are capable of putting in some excellent performances and, when they do, you see the potential.

"But we haven't been able to do that for a long time in tournament football and it's something we have to look at.

"I don't think it's a problem with talent because it's there, so it's something we have to figure out.

"Maybe it's our style, our identity or the way to get the best out of our players but, hopefully, the next man for England can do that."

sportsFootballepltottenham hotspurLEDLEY KINGSAM ALLARDYCEenglandUncategorisedcoachcoach