Coming several days after the announcement was first made, the FA have today officially unveiled Sam Allardyce as the new England manager by way of an introductory press conference at St George’s Park.
After confirming that long-time collaborators Sammy Lee and Paul Clement will be joining his backroom staff, Allardyce fielded questions from the assembled hacks and spoken with infectious zeal as if he was actually enjoying himself – fancy that!
Anyway, here are 10 of the most pertinent quotes from Big Sam’s opening spiel:
“It is 10 years since I was last interviewed and to be here is a huge thrill for me. I think I fit in the chair. I hope I do.
On whether Wayne Rooney will continue as England captain: “It’s far too early to make any predictions on that area.”
“This will be my greatest challenge in my long career and hopefully I will be as successful as I have in the rest of my career.”
“There is no lack of passion (in the England team), I don’t see that anywhere from the players.”
“I wouldn’t suggest we are at rock bottom. People see me as being able to turn a club around very quickly and that comes around by taking West Ham up, keeping Blackburn and Sunderland up but I consider myself to have much more than that label.”
“Working with the England elite players will be very exciting for me because they will take on board ideas very quickly. Winning no trophies or cups, unfortunately, as an English manager I never got to go right to the top of the Premier League. I saved clubs and never got relegated, and they are not the same as winning the FA Cup or Capital One Cup, but they are big achievement.”
“I can turn things around quickly and get amongst staff and create a successful journey and that starts by us all pulling together.”
“Potential is not something I want to use, you want the quality player to produce his best performances immediately. This squad of players is very experienced and going forward hopefully produce better.”
“Man management is my biggest asset. One – to help the players enjoy themselves, and two – to make them better.”
“Poisoned chalice? Not for me. I’m hardened. You take the good with the bad or don’t bother. I’m here because I think I’m tough enough to take it. Bring it on, lads”
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Very matter of fact and generally more charisma on display in the space of an hour than the supposedly affable Roy Hodgson managed in four years.
Consider Pies’ tentatively impressed.