Sam Allardyce said monday that he was “very proud” to be named the new England manager, but refused to confirm that star striker Wayne Rooney would remain as captain.
The 61-year-old succeeds Roy Hodgson, who quit after England humiliatingly lost to minnows Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016, triggering another bout of soul-searching in English football.
The fate of Rooney – both as a starter in the team and as skipper – is among the weighty issues Allardyce will need to confront.
“It is far too early to make any predictions and I will not make any decisions until I meet the players and coaching staff,” said Allardyce, who revealed that Sammy Lee, an assistant to him at Bolton and who has previous England experience under Sven-Goran Eriksson, would be part of his backroom staff.
“It is my first day in and getting my feet under the table and meeting everyone.”
Allardyce, who looked relaxed to the extent he dispensed with the formal attire of a tie, said his strength was his well-earned reputation as a man capable of going in and motivating the players to believe in themselves.
“It is 10 years since I was last interviewed and to be here is a huge thrill for me,” said Allardyce, who lost out to Steve McClaren after Eriksson stepped down following the 2006 World Cup.
“I fit the chair, I hope I do and I have the experience to pass on and to challenge the team and myself.
“Man-management is my biggest asset – one, to help the players enjoy themselves, and two, to make them better than they already are.
“I have a reputation for turning a club around very quickly but I consider myself to be much more than that.
“I can turn things around and I start doing that by getting among the staff and the team and setting out on a journey.
“To be a successful journey, though, it has to be everybody pulling together.”