The bookmakers have quickly drawn up a wide array of specials in anticipation of Allardyce’s confirmed appointment, including markets on which players he will select in his first squad, whether he will win a major tournament and who Sunderland will find to replace him.
Sam Allardyce Specials
- To Win a Major Tournament with England: 8/1 - Coral
- To Call Up Andy Carroll in His First Squad: 4/6 - Sky Bet
- To Give Mark Noble his England Debut Before the End of 2016: 2/1 - Sky Bet
- England to Win World Cup Qualifying Group F: 2/5 - Bet365
- England to Win 2018 World Cup: 24/1 - 32Red
- Sunderland to be Relegated Without Sam Allardyce: 9/4 - Bet365
- England have only won one major tournament in their history, at the 1966 World Cup on home soil.
- England bowed out of Euro 2016 in the last 16 after losing 2-1 to Iceland - a result which was widely hailed as the national team’s most embarrassing moment.
- Sam Allardyce has never won a major trophy.
Allardyce once summed up his frustration at the lack of opportunities given to British coaches by top Premier League clubs by joking that he might be better off with the name ‘Allardici’. Some of England’s recent performances might suggest that he still doesn’t have a great pool of talent to work with, and have probably been more on a par with the Limerick team where he started his managerial career in 1991 after being appointed by an Irish priest. However, the truth is that there is still a lot of potential in this England team and eternally optimistic fans will believe that Big Sam could finally be the one to lift the gloom.
There is no doubt that he is a straight-talking character with a strong personality and shrewd tactical brain who will be very clear in his instructions to players, which will come as a blessing after the farce of Euro 2016, when it looked like England went out on the pitch without much of a game plan. However, whether he is the right person to work out how to break down the stubborn defences that England will regularly come across remains to be seen, and there might not be too many takers of Coral’s 8/1 offer on England winning a major tournament under Allardyce.
While many fans will believe that Allardyce surely can’t do any worse than some of his predecessors, the best bets probably relate to who he might select in his first England squad. Jermain Defoe performed brilliantly for Sunderland last season and Allardyce, who got to watch him at close quarters, suggested that he should be on the plane to Euro 2016. Odds of 5/4 on Defoe being called up for Allardyce’s first squad look too good to miss, as Big Sam is not someone who will worry about being accused of bias.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Jermain Defoe to be called up to Sam Allardyce’s first England squad - 5/4 at Sky Bet
*Please note, odds may fluctuate