Frontrunner Sam Allardyce is set to be confirmed as the new England manager on Thursday after the soon-to-be ex-Sunderland boss won the battle to succeed Roy Hodgson.
The appointment of Allardyce, who took charge of the Black Cats’ friendly clash with League Two side Hartlepool United last night, is expected to be ratified at tomorrow’s Football Association (FA) board meeting.
The 61-year-old fought off competition from Hull’s Steve Bruce to land the position and will now replace Hodgson who quit in the wake of England’s humiliating defeat to minnows Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016.
Allardyce’s first assignment is set to be England’s friendly against as yet unconfirmed opposition on 1 September, while his first competitive match will be a World Cup qualifier in Slovakia three days later.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn had earlier in the day said a decision was imminent and that the next England manager must “build resilience” in players and cultivate “psychological techniques”.
Allardyce, often maligned for his teams’ style of play, fits that bill having gained an overriding reputation for being the go-to man when a club has entered choppy waters and moulding robust outfits which consistently punch above their weight.
He is yet to win a major trophy during a managerial career which started at Blackpool in 1994, although only Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redkanpp have clocked up more than his 467 games as a Premier League boss.
Since his days at Bloomfield Road, the former centre-half has taken charge of Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland. His highest league finish to date is sixth with Bolton, who he guided to two Uefa Cup campaigns, in 2005.
One of his final acts in charge of Sunderland was guiding the Wearsiders to Premier League safety last term after taking over from Dick Advocaat in October with the club second-bottom and winless in their opening eight games.
The FA’s selection of Allardyce comes 10 years after he was interviewed for the position following the departure of Sven-Goran Eriksson, only to lose out to Steve McClaren.
Allardyce’s imminent departure from the Stadium of Light has opened the door to David Moyes, who is believed to be in talks with the Sunderland hierarchy about a return to English club management. The former Manchester United boss, who enjoyed a productive 11-year spell in charge of Everton between 2002 and 2013, has been out of work since being axed as Real Sociedad manager in November.