Five reasons why Sam Allardyce will be an England success after Sunderland exit

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce
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It's been almost 40 years since a Sunderland manager was last poached by an alternative employer, rather than resigning or facing the firing squad.

Usually the search for a new Sunderland boss is accompanied by an autopsy into the shortcomings of his predecessor and why the promise of their reign culminated in being shown the door.

But this time is different. The traits demonstrated by Sam Allardyce in hauling Sunderland to Premier League safety last season have appealed to the FA in overseeing a similar salvage job on the England team.

Sunderland's loss is England's gain though. Here's why Allardyce can bring success to the national team:


Allardyce's good pal and rival for the England job, Steve Bruce, used to half-jokingly quip that the key to Premier League management was having the knack of motivating a group of multi-millionaires.

As Paolo Di Canio emphatically demonstrated during his Sunderland tenure, it's no easy task.

Sunderland's players revelled in Allardyce's leadership and genuinely enjoyed playing under him, even if he wasn't a constant presence on the training ground and delegated many responsibilities to backroom pair Robbie Stockdale and Paul Bracewell.

He is not afraid to lay down the law though. Quite the contrary.

Allardyce's prevalent use of video analysis immediately highlights anyone not pulling their weight, and he won't be afraid to leave out any of England's big hitters as a consequence.


Patrick van Aanholt - a liability during Dick Advocaat's brief eight-game spell - was a great example of Allardyce's impact, as the left-back thrived when given clear parameters of responsibility.

The free-kick that van Aanholt scored in the survival-sealing 3-0 win over Everton even stemmed from Allardyce telling his players to shoot around the Toffees wall, rather than over it.

There will be no repeats of that long-throw shocker against Iceland, which saw England concede a goal of such tameness.

Each player will get iPad-based homework to brush up on the opposition, during their pre-match preparations.


Roy Hodgson played with two widemen throughout England's Euro 2016 campaign, yet only took one orthodox winger to France and that was the infuriating Raheem Sterling.

There were some eye-raising selections from Allardyce during his Sunderland reign - Danny Graham on the left wing, while Lee Cattermole as an advanced midfielder didn't completely convince.

But once the January signings injected some cohesion into Sunderland's ranks, Allardyce's side were a finely-oiled machine - ending the season with every player knowing the exact extent of his role.


There is no emphasis on in-vogue possession under Allardyce.

The focus is on getting the ball forward, creating chances and players regularly producing high-intensity sprints, rather than dwindling around the park at three-quarter speed.

It's common-sense football - make opportunities, score goals. When England didn't have a clue of their strategy or approach against Iceland, perhaps simplifying the approach is what's needed.


It shouldn't be a factor, but the FA clearly believe the attention and media circus which surrounds the England team affects performances.

Allardyce won't be worried by it though. He's a season-operated in manipulating the press and getting his message across. He enjoys the cut and thrust with journalists.

His relationship with the FA might be more interesting.

Allardyce won't tolerate interference from the host of 'technical' staff that line the corridors at St George's Park.