By Amir Mir
Former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said that the recently appointed England manager, Sam Allardyce, must adapt his normal playing style.
The former West Ham boss was officially named England manager on Friday afternoon, with the 61-year-old leaving his duties at Sunderland to take on the so-called ‘impossible job’.
Sky Sports pundit Carragher questioned whether Big Sam could handle the pressure of being favourite and set-up attack-minded teams.
“When you look at the group for qualification, England will be massive favourites every game they play and are expected to win,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “That’s the question mark now – can Sam set up a team to win games rather than to stop teams or stifle them?”
Allardyce is known for setting up teams to defend, as proved when he guided Sunderland to safety in the 2015/16 Premier League season.
But Carragher, who won 38 caps for his country over an 11-year period, was confident Allardyce was the best man for the job and pointed to his strengths.
“His teams are difficult to break down,” said Carragher. “He would usually be with a team near the bottom of the table, sometimes fighting relegation. He did an extraordinary job at Bolton but, more often than not, he’s trying to stop the opposition.
“The best thing about his teams are that they keep clean sheets and make it difficult for the opposition. Breaking his teams down was always the main aim when playing against them.”
The former Bolton boss will enter unknown territory as he steps foot into international management for the first time in his 25-year managerial career.
He will now prepare for World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland, Lithuania and Malta after the humiliating exit from Euro 2016 which led to the resignation of Roy Hodgson.
Allardyce will have the opportunity to work with the likes of Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, the type of players who Carragher feels he has not had the opportunity to work with before.
“He’ll now be dealing with players from Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool – all the top clubs – who probably play more easy football on the eye,” said Carragher.
“I’m sure he’ll argue that he hasn’t had those types of players in the past to play that type of game – but he’s a manager that adapts to a situation he’s in and whatever situation he’s in, he’s always been very successful.”
The new England manager will face his first test when the national side take on minnows Malta in a World Cup qualifier in October.
In other Liverpool team news, this former Anfield flop has tweeted this message to the clubs new Dutch signing.