Wednesday 26 October 2016

England boss Sam Allardyce ready to lock horns with Jose Mourinho or anyone else over players

Published 28/08/2016 | 10:33

England manager Sam Allardyce (right) and Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane at Goodison Park
England manager Sam Allardyce (right) and Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane at Goodison Park

Sam Allardyce is prepared to fall out with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho or any other manager when it comes to getting the players he wants for his England team.

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Allardyce - who took over from Roy Hodgson this summer - will name his first England squad on Sunday evening, and is expected to include United left-back Luke Shaw, who is back in form after missing almost all of last season through injury.

Mourinho might be keen to let the 21-year-old rest, but Allardyce is not concerned.

"I will speak to Jose," he said in several national newspapers. "We've got on well together, but when you're having a conversation with an international manager, we all know the difficulties of the past.

"So, I'm not saying we won't have a fall-out now and again because we're both passionate about what we do. There may be a time when it gets a bit sticky, when he doesn't agree with me or I don't agree with him. Hopefully that's miles away."

While Shaw is line for a recall, there are several other question marks over Allardyce's squad.

Phil Jagielka, Danny Drinkwater and Andros Townsend could all return, while Jermain Defoe - who worked with Allardyce at Sunderland last season - is under consideration.

Joe Hart will be included but, after being dropped by Manchester City, is not guaranteed to play.

"Obviously Joe's not playing, Jack Butland is injured and there's only Fraser (Forster) who's playing at Southampton on a regular basis," Allardyce said of his goalkeepers. "That's a bit of a dilemma."

Allardyce also revealed he had looked into including Frenchman Steven N'Zonzi in his England squad, but learned the Sevilla midfielder - linked with Leicester - is not eligible.

Allardyce signed N'Zonzi for Blackburn in 2009 and was approached by the player's father, who wanted to know if his six years in England with Rovers and Stoke opened the door.

The Football Association contacted FIFA, but was told N'Zonzi's one cap for France Under-21s ruled him out.

"We did have a call, and it would have been of interest for me," Allardyce said. "We did explore it, but it was impossible, and it's dead now."

James Milner called time on his England career after Euro 2016, but Allardyce revealed the Liverpool man remains available to him in an emergency.

"James has said he will always be there for us if we want him," he said. "He can't continue to keep traipsing all over Europe without playing.

"But he will always be there to step in if we need him, if there is a crisis with injuries or suspensions. That is great from my point of view."

Allardyce will be naming his first squad ahead of next weekend's opening World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, England's only match of this international break after a planned friendly with Croatia was cancelled.

"Let's face it, the last thing the players needed was a friendly," Allardyce said. "The last thing I needed in my first get-together was to have to think about a friendly at Wembley and then only have two days after that to prepare for Slovakia away."

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