Connect in the back of the net

The Football Association has officially confirmed that Sam Allardyce is the newly appointed England manager, effective immediately.

In a way the appointment couldn’t have come at a worse time as the players are currently away on pre-season with their various clubs awaiting the commencement of the 2016/17 Premier League season.  

Furthermore, his first competitive match will be a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on September 4.  

On the flip side however, the new England manager has ample time to brainstorm over tactics and watch his players in action – most of whom he has previously interacted with as both manager of West Ham and Sunderland.

Sam Allardyce takes over the dreaded button from Roy Hodgson who resigned instantaneously following England’s tumultuous campaign in the European Championship.

The Three Lions finished second in Group B [with 5 points], behind newcomers Wales, but were distastefully eliminated from the last sixteen by Iceland who were massive underdogs- extending England’s record of not winning in a knockout competition since 2006.

In fact, since winning the World Cup in 1966, England have only won 6 games in the knockout stages and these were against: Paraguay [1986], Belgium [1990], Cameroon [1990], Spain [1996], Denmark [2002] and Ecuador [2006].

As such, here are three things Big Sam needs to do to empower his cause as the new England manager.


Tactical awareness

One of Roy Hodgson’s biggest misgivings was the baffling yet bemusing lack of tactical awareness.

Case in point at the just recently concluded Euros when he insistently kept naming Raheem Sterling in starting XI despite him being ineffectual and in all honesty, a waste of space.

If you’re young enough, you’re old enough…or so the saying goes.

Marcus Rashford may only be 18, but his unwavering belief to execute take ons and dribbles was only called upon during the last fifteen minutes of their loss to Iceland, yet the youngster still registered more successful take ons than any other England player on the pitch.

Big Sam should avoid repeating the mistakes of his predecessor like plague and instead make the right tactical adjustments which more often than not are usually the most glaring.


Make the right call ups

Games are usually won and lost in call ups, and England’s 2016 European charge was over even before it began because of undeserving call ups.

Roy Hodgson chose familiarity over merit when he called up Jack Wilshere- maligned for nearly seven months due a recurring injury- ahead of the deserving Danny Drinkwater- who won the Premier League title with Leicester City while Wilshere was bedridden.

And don’t even get me started about the decision to get Rose Barkley and Jordan Henderson on the plane to France which was an outright farce.

Big Sam certainly has his work cut out for him.


Stick to his strategy

This may quite rightly be the most controversial point, but Sam Allardyce needs to stick to his strategy.

His football is not the most exciting, and may by all means not the most inspiring, but it is what has gotten the 61-year the England job.

He may have been hounded out of West Ham for his drowsy tactics, but Big Sam should just stick to being ‘Big Sam’.


Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

Like O-Posts on Facebook

You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts