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Sam Allardyce named new England manager

Popular Big San Allardyce hired to coach the Three Lions

New England manager, Sam Allardyce, left Sunderland after beating off his competition from Steve Bruce and Eddie Howe to be hired for the prestigious, high-paying coaching job he has always desired. Big Sam warned critics: 'I'm hard, I'm ready for the challenge, bring it on!' Popular Allardyce stated he has taken the "best job in football" and vowed to "do the country proud" after he was unanimously chosen to replace former England boss Roy Hodgson who recently resigned after England’s disappointing performance in Euro 2016.

After applying for the Three Lions job ten years ago, Allardyce has finally taken the helm of the biggest job in English football against the wishes of his wife Lynne who warned the nation could turn against him if he loses. “The missus made me think about that side of it long and hard but I am going into it with my eyes open,” said Big Sam.

“I’m hardened over many years.” said Allardyce in defense of his decision. “I’m here because I want to be. I’m here because I want the challenge. I’m here because I’m tough enough to take it. So bring it on lads. It could well be me somewhere down the line but I’m not going to do anything after this job anyway. I’m 61 coming up to 62. There’s not a lot more I’m going to do after this one is there? There’s not a lot more after this one that is going to excite me as much unless I’m enticed into staying in football in a different form. But that would be a different challenge.”

“I think that it was 10 years since I was last interviewed and to sit here is a huge thrill for me. I think I fit the chair, I hope I do, continued Allardyce. “I’ve dreamt about this job and I have fulfilled that dream so I am a lucky man. I am exceptionally lucky. Or am I exceptionally good? I suppose you’ll decide that along the way. You know what the next dream is.” In Big Sam’s first day at St George’s Park he talked about his unsuccessful interview for the England manager’s job ten years ago. Allardyce then said Hodgson’s squad had underestimated Iceland at the recent Euros and had underachieved overall although the England side were good enough to win it. Allardyce will have his first get-together to talk about his vision for England with his squad on September 1, and will “read” the body language of his squad. “The body language of a player will tell me something about a player without him having to speak to me,” said Big Sam. “That would be something I would try to address before I made a decision, the decision of go or stay. But creating a much happier and much more enjoyable atmosphere will help in the matter of keeping the players focused and to be ready for whenever they might be needed.

“I’m pretty alright to get on with you know. I’m not that bad. So my style in terms of man-management is having a good relationship with the players. Not being distant. That’s not my style, added Allardyce. “I like to be in amongst the banter, in among the chat. But at the right time. Not all the time obviously. I want the players to feel comfortable in my presence and I have to earn their respect of course.” The FA announced Big Sam’s hiring on Friday after closing on a deal worth £3m with Sunderland. "Following a comprehensive and structured process, the Football Association is today delighted to confirm Sam Allardyce as England manager,” stated the FA. "The highly respected 61-year- old has signed an initial two-year contract and takes up the position with immediate effect following a successful spell retaining Sunderland’s status in the Premier League. Allardyce’s first match in charge will be a friendly fixture at Wembley Stadium on 1 September."

"Allardyce arrives with a proven track record of getting the best results out of the teams he has managed and a strong reputation as a forward-thinker with progressive ideas," the FA continued. "Alongside his primary target of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Allardyce has a mandate to shape a strong, purposeful team identity and maximize the performance potential of a young, talented England squad at a major tournament.”

Allardyce replied that he was honored to be chosen. "I am extremely honored to be appointed England manager especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted," said a delighted Allardyce. "For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football. 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."

Allardyce has left England Premier League club Sunderland after nine months having saved them from relegation last season. He took charge of the Black Cats for the final time on Wednesday night leaving the dugout at half-time of a 3-0 pre-season friendly win at Hartlepool. Reportedly the former Bolton and Blackburn boss was snubbed by the Three Lions in favor of hiring Steve McClaren 10 years ago. Now the 61-year-old has been handed the task of leading England into World Cup glory in 2018.

Allardyce’s police sergeant father Robert and mother Mary both died before he began his managerial career in the League of Ireland with Limerick. He has been married to his wife Lynne since June 1974 after a courtship during his time at Bolton Wanderers as a youth team footballer. They had a son, Craig, in 1975 and daughter, Rachael, in 1979. As a football player, defender Allardyce left Bolton in 1980 and went on to represent Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry, Huddersfield, Preston and Limerick. Allardyce led Limerick to the 1991-92 second-tier title as player-manager. Allardyce eventually guided the Wanderers to European qualification for the first time in the club's history.

Sunderland were still seven points away from safety at the start of January, when only champions Leicester beat them after February as Allardyce stopped their top-flight relegation.

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