Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job and has promised to help the incoming Three Lions boss in his new role.
While United players have not always been as available for international duty as England would have liked in the past, notably under Sir Alex Ferguson, Mourinho has said he will be cooperative if the Sunderland boss’ appointment is confirmed.
“The only thing I can promise is that I am going to try to support him the best way, prepare the players for him, and always have England players available for him. I hope he can do the same,” he said at a news conference in Shanghai on Thursday.
Mourinho said Allardyce deserved the chance to prove himself at international level after a career managing clubs including Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham.
“Sam never had a big chance at the highest level,” he said. “He has lots of experience in the Premier League, but never that big one, and now he has the big one — I think he is more than ready.
“He is a good motivator, he can create a good team spirit with his players and I wish him the best from my side, not just as a friend but as Manchester United manager.”
Mourinho also stressed that England managers need more support from the media, saying: “It is your country. I think he is the right person. He is a good choice but he needs support. My experience shows me that you football people [media] can do a bit better.”
Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, meanwhile, says Allardyce has the right qualities for the job.
The Shanghai SIPG manager, who coached England from 2001 to 2006, said Allardyce is able to adapt to the requirements of whatever team he manages.
“If you take a team from the lower part of the table, you have to adapt to what you want to do,” Eriksson told Sky Sports News.
“You have to defend and be very organised, otherwise you will go down. It depends on the situation.”
Despite the Swede’s relative success with the Three Lions — leading them to the quarterfinal stage at the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup — Eriksson sometimes came under fire from the English media.
“I think Sam doesn’t need any advice,” he said. “He knows the English press as well as I know them. That is the hardest part of it; the least pleasant part of the job. He will do a good job.”
Former Bolton centre-forward Kevin Davies, who played an important role during Allardyce’s time in charge of the club, says England are appointing the right man for the job.
“Sam calls it winning football,” Davies told Sky Sports News. “He finds a way, he organises the players, he organises the staff. He will build and get the best people in there.
“He will have them hungry. He will have them motivated and hopefully playing with a bit of passion because that’s what we feel we’re lacking as a nation.”
Davies, 39, does not believe the pressure of the England job — a role with a higher profile than any Allardyce had held before — will affect his former boss.
“I don’t think he will feel the pressure,” Davies said. “He’s a very confident person, he knows his strengths, he knows his weaknesses.”