It’s going to take a while for the English media and fans to get a feel for Sam Allardyce‘s Three Lions, and probably vice versa.
The former Sunderland boss has caused some headaches already after England’s last-minute win at Slovakia in its World Cup qualifying opener.
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It has to do with captain Wayne Rooney, no stranger to positional controversy at club and country. The captain was forced to react to Allardyce’s casual comments that the midfielder played well and “wherever he wanted” during Sunday’s match.
It’s quite overblown, as Rooney pointed out. He’s playing his game.
“Listen, I’m playing on the pitch for England. I’m captain of the team and I feel I can do a very good job in the role I played tonight.
“I feel too much is getting made. It’s headlines for a lot of people, but of course it’s about the team and about us winning. I played in that role and helped us win the game.
“I’ve done it my whole career and suddenly it’s big news. It’s not a big thing and I think there’s a big over-reaction to it.”
In some ways, he’s very much correct. This, indeed, is Wayne Rooney. Allardyce obviously will have different tactics than Roy Hodgson, but Sunday wasn’t about that.
Slovakia away is the toughest test of the group for England, and when going for a goal against a bunkered-in team got increasingly desperate, tactics will go a bit out the window.