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Big Sam's not small-minded

Former England boss Eriksson believes Allardyce will adapt his style if he gets Three Lions job

Over the years, Sam Allardyce has earned a reputation for playing a direct brand of football, with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho famously saying that Big Sam's former West Ham side played "football from the 19th Century".

But former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson believes the England manager-in-waiting will adapt his style to the different calibres of players available in the England ranks.

The Swede told Sky Sports: "He's very organised, so it will be a very organised team, I suppose. Why not?

"If you take a team from the lower part of the table, you have to adapt what you want to do.

"You have to defend and be organised or you will go down.

"So I think it depends on the situation, whether you have a top team, a middle team or a bottom team.

"Many times Sam has managed a team that have been struggling for survival and he has done the job."

Allardyce himself has previously claimed that he would have landed a job at one of the Premier League's bigger teams if he was a foreigner, adding that he would win trophies galore if he managed one of England or Europe's bigger clubs.

Former England midfielder Jamie Redknapp called criticisms of his playing style "cliche".


He wrote in his Daily Mail column: "His 'way of playing' is a cliche. I've played against his teams and they could play too.

"Sure, if you wanted to fight, they would fight but, if you played, they would try to match you.

"He made the most of his players and adapted his style to their strengths."

Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, opined that the English FA's prospective decision to go for a homegrown candidate is the right one.

He said: "(Allardyce is) certainly the top Englishman. You can search the world for a top manager, but it was right to appoint an Englishman."

Even former critic Mourinho believes the 61-year-old is ready for the "big one".

Said the Manchester United boss: "I think he's the right person. I think he is a good choice...

"I think Sam never had the big chance at the highest level - lots of experiences in the Premier League but never that big one.

"And now he has the big one, so I think he is more than ready.

"I think he is a good motivator, I think he can create a good team spirit with his players."

Being a master motivator is one of Allardyce's strong suits, according to former player Kevin Davies.

Describing his former Bolton Wanderers boss, he told talkSPORT: "He makes you think, 'Yeah, I really want to play for this guy'.

"I think he's done that with a lot of players. That's why we had success at Bolton, because of what he gave you individually - he could sit you down and motivate you as an individual - and he could do that in team meetings as well...

"He's an expert at that."

Allardyce's former No. 2 Phil Brown added that England's humbling Euro 2016 Round-of-16 defeat by Iceland wouldn't have happened had his old boss been in charge.

He told Sky Sports: "The game against Iceland, I thought we looked devoid of ideas, it looked as if we did not have a game plan.

"Sam would never go into a game without a game plan and certainly a change of plan, if something went wrong."

In addition to having a coherent strategy, Redknapp believes the new England boss needs to adjust the attitude of his charges.

He said: "Allardyce's in-tray: stop England playing like they are scared, stop the players looking as if tournaments are a chore delaying their holidays, stop the paranoia...

"Being manager of England is not a difficult job, but I think a lot of people have made it look difficult recently.

"There is talk of the job being a poisoned chalice and a bad time to take over. I couldn't disagree more.

"I am convinced we have good players and he will love the idea of getting his hands on John Stones, Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Ross Barkley." - Wire Services.

He’s very organised, so it will be a very organised team... I think it depends on the situation, whether you have a top team, a middle team or a bottom team.

- Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson on Sam Allardyce’s style

sportFootballenglish premier leagueSAM ALLARDYCEenglandengland managereplSVEN GORAN ERIKSSONalex fergusonJose MourinhoJamie RedknappPHIL BROWNKEVIN DAVIES