Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has voiced his backing for Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce as the new England manager, despite previously criticising the way his team played.
Allardyce looks set to succeed Roy Hodgson, who resigned following England’s disappointing showing at Euro 2016, with English FA chairman Greg Dyke disclosing that a three-man selection panel would be recommending him for the job.
Mourinho, who is in China with his Manchester United team, criticised Allardyce’s West Ham United side in 2014 for playing “19th-century football” when frustrating Chelsea, but the Portuguese now believes the FA has made a wise choice — but also put some onus on the British media.
“I think he’s the right person for that, yes. I think he is a good choice but I think he needs support,” Mourinho told reporters on Thursday.
“I think you can do better in respect to that because my experience in your country (England) shows me that you, (the) football world, could do a bit better.
“I think Sam never had the big chance at the highest level – lots of experiences in the Premier League but never that big one. And now he has the big one, so I think he is more than ready.”
Urging the media to support Allardyce’s quest to win England’s first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup, Mourinho pledged to try to ensure the English players in the United squad were available for the national set-up.
“From my side, the only thing I can promise is that I am going to try to support him the best way, prepare the players for him, try to have the English players always available in a good condition to help him,” Mourinho said.
“I hope you can do the same because it’s your time.”
TRIO OF OPTIONS
Mourinho said he had three options lined up for his fourth big signing since taking over at Old Trafford.
Having already added defender Eric Bailly, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mourinho has been widely linked in the British media with Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
Mourinho refused to comment on the possible return of the Frenchman to United, but he said he has three different choices for his final major transfer.
“We know the profile of the player we want. We have three faces who fit the profile,” the 53-year-old said when asked about Pogba.
“I am really confident (executive vice-chairman Ed) Woodward and the owners can get the profile of the player I think the squad needs.
“I don’t confirm and I don’t deny. I cannot tell … we are in a great position to do what I consider will be a great market for us.”