English Premiership

Welcome on board 'Big Sam'

2016-07-23 09:21
Sam Allardyce (Gallo Images)

London - Sam Allardyce will hopefully prove the England job is not an impossible one tweeted former England striker Gary Lineker as the football world reacted to his appointment on Friday.

The 61-year-old Englishman has been give a two year contract with the priority of first guiding England to the 2018 World Cup finals and then be judged on how they fare in Russia as they seek to end what will be by then a 52-year trophy drought.

"Sam Allardyce is the new England manager. Wish him the very best. It's not the impossible job it's said to be, as I hope big Sam proves," tweeted Lineker, who was in the England team which lost to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals.

Phil Neville, former England international defender and who was assistant coach at La Liga side Valencia until the end of last season, said Allardyce was a good choice.

"Well done @OfficialBigSam well deserved!!!" tweeted the 39-year-old.

Jamie Carragher, formerly a Liverpool and England central defender turned respected TV pundit, couldn't restrain himself in his congratulatory message.

"Good luck with the @England job Sam Allardici!!" tweeted Carragher, referring to the time Allardyce bemoaned the fact he might have been considered for the England job if he had been a foreign coach.

Former Arsenal and England defender Kenny Sansom said Allardyce's no-nonsense style and frank way of speaking would be a strong weapon to possess in the England job when dealing with players with big egos.

"Sam #Allardyce is a strong character. You've got to be strong to deal with modern players," tweeted Sansom, who was capped 86 times.

His now former club Sunderland did not join in the warm reaction.

They issued a terse statement and demonstrably showed their displeasure at having their manager, who had saved their Premier League status from an almost impossible situation last season, ripped from them just weeks ahead of the start of the new season.

However, there was not one word of gratitude nor wishing him well in what he described as the job he had always desired.

"Sunderland AFC confirms the departure of Sam Allardyce, who takes up the position of England manager with immediate effect."

Among fans there was a mixed reaction ranging from scarcely hidden contempt to confidence that Allardyce would restore the fight and vim to the England side that looked shot when it trailed 2-1 to minnows Iceland in their Euro 2016 last 16 clash last month.

"Wow. Just, wow. What exactly are the FA hoping to avoid relegation from?" wrote Guardian reader Geoffrey Soupe referring drily to Allardyce mainly being associated with clubs battling to avoid the drop.

However, another fan said that Allardyce had actually overachieved with the level of players he had generally worked with.

"Allardyce has shown at Bolton, Blackburn and Sunderland that he's capable of producing sides greater than the sum of their parts," wrote pearcesleftfoot.

None, though, quite went to the lengths of Peter, an England and Newcastle fan -- a team that Allardyce once managed -- who was outraged by the appointment.

"I am going to support Scotland in the World Cup qualifying group this year," he told the BBC.

Read more on:    sam allardyce  |  soccer

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