Fri, Jul 22, 2016 - Page 16 News List

Allardyce on verge of being appointed new England coach

AP, LONDON

England are on the verge of hiring Sunderland coach Sam Allardyce to take charge of the national team as Roy Hodgson’s successor.

A person with knowledge of the situation on Wednesday said that the Football Association (FA) is close to finalizing Allardyce’s appointment.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity, because the appointment has not been made and the FA board, which was due to meet yesterday, has to approve new coaches.

The FA has to secure Allardyce’s release from Sunderland, who last week urged a swift resolution after revealing that the 61-year-old Englishman had held talks with England.

“At the present time, Sam Allardyce remains Sunderland manager,” Sunderland said in a statement on Wednesday evening. “We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland.”

The FA began searching for a new coach three weeks ago when Hodgson’s hopes of extending his four-year stint were ended by an embarrassing loss to Iceland in the round-of-16 at Euro 2016. The defeat prolonged the nation’s trophy drought since the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

England have little time to dwell on the humiliation in France, with qualifying for the 2018 World Cup beginning with an away match against Slovakia on Sept. 4.

Allardyce has 25 years of experience in management, including spells in the English Premier League with Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United.

Although Allardyce has never won a major trophy as a player or coach, he has a reputation for improving struggling teams.

Allardyce joined Sunderland in October last year and helped the team stay in the Premier League, further improving his credentials for the England job.

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