Football

Time to deliver

New England boss wants Three Lions to 'make everyone proud again'

English football began an optimistic new chapter after incoming manager Sam Allardyce vowed to bring a sense of pride back to the Three Lions.

Allardyce was confirmed as Roy Hodgson's successor late on Friday, signing an initial two-year deal after a compensation package was agreed with a frustrated Sunderland.

And the 61-year-old, who has publicly coveted the post since missing out to Steve McClaren a decade ago, could not hide his delight at landing the top job.

In a short message to fans, released via FATV, a beaming Allardyce said: "I can't stop smiling because I've got this job.

"This is a job I've waited for for many, many years and I'm absolutely delighted that I now sit in this privileged position to be English national team manager.

"It's going to be a great thrill for me to take the team forward from the nation's point of view and, hopefully, make everybody so proud again."

The words, and tone, were a stark contrast to the tetchy, raw parting address given by Hodgson in Chantilly last month after the embarrassing Euro 2016 defeat by Iceland and the Football Association will be praying the latest incumbent's spark will not be extinguished so emphatically as that of his predecessor.

For now Allardyce, who rescued the Black Cats from a seemingly hopeless position when he arrived on a fire-fighting mission last season, has outlined his positivity for both the challenge and the resources at his disposal.

"For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football," he said in an earlier statement.

"I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.

"While my main focus will be on the senior team and getting positive results, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St George's Park - a facility I have used with my previous clubs.

"I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver."FA chief executive Martin Glenn, who headed a unanimous selection panel alongside acting chairman David Gill and technical director Dan Ashworth, said: "Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job."His excellent managerial credentials, including his ability to realise the potential of players and teams, develop a strong team ethos and embrace modern methods that enhance performance, made him the outstanding choice."

Allardyce will face the media at St George's Park, where he will be based, tomorrow morning with his first match taking place against unnamed opponents at Wembley on Sept 1.

Wayne Rooney, Hodgson's captain for the past two years, welcomed the news from Manchester United's pre-season tour of China and vowed to remain available for national duty.

Skipper Rooney, his country's all-time leading goalscorer, was part of a Three Lions side humiliated by Iceland at Euro 2016 and suggestions followed that he may retire from the international stage.

But the Manchester United forward, who turns 31 in October, is keen to continue and is relishing the chance to work with Allardyce.

Speaking on United's pre-season tour of China, Rooney told various newspapers: "Yeah, I think it's a good appointment for England.

"He will probably bring a different way of playing to England and, hopefully, it's a good way and we can be successful under him.

"I only know him through teams he has managed. I have seen him a few times off the pitch, but it's like everyone, I know him through the teams in the Premier League.

"Am I going to carry on? Of course. It was asked of me after the Euros but, yes, I'll be there." - PA Sport.

"I wish him well and now he can focus to win the next World Cup. I believe you have the players in England to do well. Recently he has done well at Sunderland from a very, very bad position. He has a capacity to get the best out of his teams. His teams are always difficult to beat, yes. They are very well organised."

- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was linked to the England job

"When you look at the group for qualification, England will be massive favourites every game they play and are expected to win. That's the question mark now - can Sam set up a team to win games rather than to stop teams or stifle them?"

- Former England defencer Jamie Carragher questioning if Allardyce could handle the pressure of England being favourites and set-up attack-minded teams


BY THE NUMBERS

3 Number of promotions Sam Allardyce has achieved in his career, taking Notts County up to the third tier before bringing Bolton and West Ham into the top flight via the play-offs.

19 The century Jose Mourinho claimed Allardyce’s West Ham played football from in 2014 following a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

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