LONDON: Sam Allardyce has yet to decide whether Wayne Rooney will still be England captain under his reign as manager.
The 61-year-old, fresh from keeping Sunderland in the Premier League against the odds, was the unanimous choice from the Football Association panel to replace Roy Hodgson, who stepped down after the humiliation of defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.
Allardyce, who has added his former Bolton assistant Sammy Lee to his coaching staff, faced the media for the first time today at St George’s Park on Monday and said it was “far too early” to reveal who he would like to captain the Three Lions heading into the World Cup qualifying campaign.
After describing his management style as “pragmatic”, he said: “I’m going to leave that until I meet all the players and get all the staff together.”
“My coaching technique is to try and give the players the opportunity to win a football match wherever they are playing, be it home or away and also to make them aware of the opposition, which may change the style of how we play.”
Allardyce considered it important that he and the players enjoy representing their country, describing the England job as the “pinnacle” of his career.
He said: “I think the bonding of the team is exceptionally important and trying to create a good team spirit. And have some fun, the game of football is to be enjoyed and I’ve enjoyed my life in the game for many years.
“So as the pinnacle of my career, which this job is, I want to enjoy this the most. So I can only do that with everybody who works for me and works around me.”
Allardyce applied for the England post a decade ago when he was in charge of Bolton, but the FA opted for Steve McClaren instead. Since then Allardyce has gone on to manage Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland and he believes he is well qualified to take the England job.
He said: “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. I think I’ve got the experience to challenge the England team and challenge myself. Managing five Premier League teams has given me huge experience.”
Challenged on his lack of trophies and major European competition experience, Allardyce responded that he had managed many world-class players in his career and “they make things easier for you as a manager.”