High-profile managers past and present have joined forces in welcoming the imminent appointment of Sam Allardyce as England manager and successor to Roy Hodgson.
No formal confirmation of Allardyce’s hiring was given today as the Football Association (FA) continued to thrash out a compensation package with the 61-year-old’s current employers Sunderland.
The governing body’s selection panel – chief executive Martin Glenn, vice-chairman David Gill and technical director Dan Ashworth – did, however, meet the FA board where Allardyce’s appointment was ratified.
New Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, led the chorus of approval for Allardyce, despite once accusing the former Bolton and Blackburn manager’s West Ham side of playing “19th century football”.
“I think he’s the right person. I think he is a good choice,” said ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho. “I think Sam never had the big chance at the highest level – lots of Premier League experiences but never that big one.
“Now he has the big one, so I think he is more than ready. He is a good motivator, he can create a good team spirit and I wish him the best.”
Mourinho’s endorsement was followed by words of encouragement from Harry Redknapp, who was in the running the England job in 2012 before the Three Lions reins were passed to Hodgson.
“It’s a great opportunity and I think Sam will do very well,” said Redknapp. “He’s managed at the top level for so many years. He’s got great enthusiasm. He’s his own man and will do it his way. He will tell it how it is.”
Redknapp also poured scorn on the notion that Allardyce employs one-dimensional tactics which centre on a long-ball mentality, a stigma which has dogged the Dudley-born former centre-half for many years.
“Yes, he’ll get the ball in the box, he’ll get shots in. People get carried away,” added Redknapp. “I watched the Euros and I’ve never been so bored in all my life.
“Everybody wants to roll it out from the back and you’ve got to beat the whole team to get it up the pitch. Sam will demand a bit more pace.”
Well wishes were also received from Sven-Goran Eriksson, England manager between 2001 and 2006. He said: “He’s done a good job wherever he’s been. Good luck, Sam.”