Wednesday 22 November 2017

Gerrard in frame for England No 2 role under Allardyce

Sam Allardyce is England's new manager
Sam Allardyce is England's new manager

Matt Law

Sunderland have demanded the English Football Association pay out for the remaining year on Sam Allardyce's contract and the disruption caused to their pre-season plans.

Allardyce's Sunderland contract is worth £2m, but the Wearsiders have held out for more than that to reflect the difficult position the club has been placed in just three weeks before the start of the new Premier League season.

Sunderland have made no secret of their anger regarding the process, which they believe has contributed to the fact the club has yet to make a single signing this summer.

Allardyce left Sunderland's friendly victory over Hartlepool at half-time on Wednesday night, but was back at the training ground the following morning while the FA negotiated for his release to become England manager.

David Moyes is poised to succeed Allardyce (right) and will have to work quickly to shape his squad for the new season.

Sunderland's desire to get the maximum compensation for Allardyce meant the 61-year-old had to wait for official confirmation of his appointment after the FA board yesterday approved his recommendation from the three-man panel.

The board are believed to have discussed the appointment of Allardyce for around two hours, from around 10am until noon. Personal terms are believed to have been agreed between the FA and Allardyce, with the former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham manager expected to be handed a two-year contract with the option of a further two years if he meets targets at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Once his appointment is confirmed, possibly today, Allardyce will work on his backroom staff, but Gary Neville will not return to the England set-up.

Despite leaving his position as first-team coach when Roy Hodgson quit after England's Euro 2016 last-16 defeat by Iceland, Neville had been installed as bookies' favourite to return as No 2 to Allardyce.

But there is no prospect of Neville returning even if he is asked and the FA and Allardyce will have to look elsewhere for his assistant.

The departure of both Lewington and Neville leaves two vacancies open under Allardyce in the England set-up, meaning he could bring in one of his own trusted allies and still leave space for the FA to appoint a former player or a young coach who could be groomed for the top job.

Sammy Lee, who worked with Allardyce at Bolton and was a part-time England coach under Sven-Goran Eriksson, is available after leaving Southampton following the departure of Ronald Koeman.

Neil McDonald, Allardyce's assistant at West Ham and Blackburn, is also out of work after being sacked by Blackpool.

Eddie Howe has been mentioned as a possible part-time member of Allardyce's staff, but it is not certain he or Bournemouth are keen on the idea, while the FA is also considering ex-players such as Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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