Sam Allardyce could be the man to lead the England football team to a brighter future, according to former Football Association chairman David Bernstein.
Bernstein was in charge of the FA when Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager, but admitted there remained a “psychological problem” within the team that prevented players from fulfilling their potential at major tournaments.
Allardyce masterminded Sunderland’s successful fight against relegation from the Premier League in 2015-16 and Bernstein reckons the 61-year-old could restore some confidence to the England camp.
“I’m not saying we should have an English manager. But, of the English managers, I actually would go for Sam Allardyce,” he said.
“He’s a very powerful character. I think he’s got the personality, the strength, he’s a good technical manager, he’s very experienced and he’s someone who perhaps could imbue confidence.
“Because, clearly among other things, there’s a psychological problem with our players, where they seem to get to a stage with international football where they just can’t cope, and that’s manifest time and time again, year after year, in individual errors which you just wouldn’t expect from players.
“You had Steven Gerrard’s error at the World Cup last time which cost us, you’ve got goalkeeping errors. A general psychological malaise seems to overcome them. They seem to freeze.”
He added: “Someone like Sam Allardyce may have that personality and strength to do a little bit of what has happened to the England rugby team.”
Bernstein insisted he had no regrets about the appointment of Hodgson, who resigned from the position after England’s 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016, which left him with a record of 33 victories and eight defeats from his 56 matches in charge.
“I believe we ended up with the best candidate, someone who’s extremely credible, who had taken Switzerland to third in the world, who had international experience therefore, and who had a good club record,” said Bernstein.
“I’d in no way go back on the exercise that we did and I’m very sorry and surprised the way it’s finished.”