Report: While Allardyce remains the favorite for England, Klinsmann still in the mix

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Earlier today it was revealed by Sunderland that Sam Allardyce has been approached by the FA for the vacant England managerial position, and while they still hope he stays, the club has given permission for him to be officially interviewed and courted.

That much we know.

Something that remains fuzzy, however, is who is positioned behind Big Sam should the FA decide against offering him the job, or should Sunderland make him an offer he can’t leave.

USMNT head coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann’s name had been floated around soon after Hodgson’s departure, but nothing serious truly materialized on that front, and as it seemed to be more speculation than anything, the noise faded. Now, according to a report John Cross of the Mirror, Klinsmann is indeed being seriously considered.

Noted in the report is that no official approach to US Soccer has been made, which would be the true mark of interest. However, it does state the United States is willing to let Klinsmann walk should he wish to accept any potential offer.

The article speculates that Allardyce has the advantage mainly because his reign would see very few changes in terms of staff, youth development, and other managerial business; whereas Klinsmann has built a reputation for overhauling systems. As Cross puts it, Klinsmann’s approach would likely clash because “[the FA does] not believe the current system is broken after watching 10 straight wins in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. They want a manager who will embrace the St George’s Park ethos, offer a pathway to domestic coaches and also work within their plan. They also like the fact Allardyce has a strong tactical vision.”

Another candidate reportedly in the mix is Hull City’s Steve Bruce, after the 55-year-old led the Tigers back to the Premier League via the playoff just one season after relegation. Other names listed in the article include former PSG manager Laurent Blanc and current Inter boss Roberto Mancini.

If this is indeed the FA’s view, it’s unclear why they’d even consider Klinsmann in the first place, since it seems completely out of line from what they’re looking for. Allardyce is a known quantity, Klinsmann much less so. It seems before the FA figures who they want in charge, they must figure out what it is they want – it’s hard to hire an employee before the job description is written.