The Football Association have finally confirmed the appointment of Sam Allardyce as the new England manager.
Allardyce’s selection was ratified by the FA’s national board at Wembley on Thursday after the 61-year-old was put forward by a three-man selection panel consisting of technical director Dan Ashworth, chief executive Martin Glenn and vice-chairman David Gill.
The deal was still subject to the FA agreeing compensation with Allardyce’s former club Sunderland with the Wearsiders making it clear in two statements that they were extremely unhappy at the disruption caused by the pursuit of a man who guided them away from relegation last season.
However, that was resolved on Friday with Allardyce signing an initial two-year contract.
Allardyce leaves Sunderland after nine months in charge – he attended Wednesday’s pre-season win at nearby Hartlepool United, but left before the final whistle – and succeeds Roy Hodgson, who resigned in the immediate aftermath of England’s dismal Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland.
An FA statement read: “Following a comprehensive and structured process, the Football Association is today delighted to confirm Sam Allardyce as England manager.
“The unanimous choice of The FA’s three-man selection panel, comprising FA chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and acting chairman David Gill, Allardyce arrives with a proven track record of getting the best results out of the teams he has managed and a strong reputation as a forward-thinker with progressive ideas.
“Alongside his primary target of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Allardyce has a mandate to shape a strong, purposeful team identity and maximise the performance potential of a young, talented England squad at a major tournament.
“Allardyce is also charged with helping Ashworth integrate and strengthen The FA’s elite performance and coaching programme across the England senior and development teams at St. George’s Park.”
— England (@England) July 22, 2016
Allardyce said: “I am extremely honoured to be appointed England manager especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted. For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football.
“I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.
“While my main focus will be on the senior team and getting positive results, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St. George’s Park – a facility I have used with my previous clubs.
“I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver.”
Steve Bruce was also interviewed for the position, while Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann were mentioned as potential candidates.
It is the second time Allardyce has gone for the England job after missing out to Steve McClaren in 2006 and his appointment is reward for a managerial career that has proven largely successful, bar a miserable spell at Newcastle United.
He started out at Irish outfit Limerick in a player-manager role and got his first full-time chance in England with Blackpool before being sacked in 1996.
Notts County was his next destination where he spent two and a half years before returning to Bolton Wanderers, with whom he spent two spells in a largely undistinguished playing career.
He led the Trotters into the Premier League and the UEFA Cup before resigning towards the end of the 2006-07 season and joining Newcastle.
He was sacked eight months later and replaced by Kevin Keegan only to link-up with Blackburn Rovers in December 2008. He lasted two years at Ewood Park before being dismissed by controversial owners Venky’s.
Allardyce signed a two-year deal at West Ham on June 1, 2011 and was tasked with guiding the east London club back into the Premier League, a feat he achieved in his first season with a play-off final defeat of Blackpool at Wembley.
Despite murmurings of discontent from the Upton Park faithful over his style of play, Allardyce established West Ham as a solid top-flight club before leaving when his extended deal expired in June 2015.
He stepped into the breach at Sunderland the following October after Dick Advocaat left by mutual consent and guided the Black Cats to Premier League safety with January signings Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri particularly prominent.