6 candidates to be part of Sam Allardyce's England backroom staff


With Sam Allardyce set to be appointed as England's next manager, talk is already turning to who he might bring with him.

With Gary Neville and Ray Lewington leaving the Football Association with Roy Hodgson, there are vacancies to fill and here football writer Rory Dollard considers six candidates.

1. Neil McDonald

Sam Allardyce and Neil McDonald on the bench

The 50-year-old has a Uefa Pro Licence and is a long-time Allardyce lieutenant, having worked as his assistant manager for four years at West Ham. He has also been on the staff at Blackburn and Bolton.

He has worked briefly as a number one, at Carlisle in 2006/07 and Swedish side Ostersunds, but is currently a free agent having left Blackpool in May.

2. Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor on the sidelines with Fulham

First appointed by Allardyce as a physio at Blackpool in 1995, he has since worked his way up the ladder, working as head of sports science and medicine at both Bolton and Newcastle.

He was the sole Allardyce appointee at Sunderland too, named as performance director, but was surprisingly dismissed after six months to the manager's frustration.

It would be no surprise to see the pair link up for a fourth time.

3. Sammy Lee

Sammy Lee and Sam Allardyce on the sidelines with Bolton

The 'Little Sam' to Big Sam at Bolton. Allardyce recommended his former assistant as his successor at the Reebok Stadium, though the appointment was brief and unsuccessful.

Lee has since worked as a coach with Liverpool and Southampton and was a former full-time employee of the Football Association during the Sven-Goran Eriksson years. Having also earned 14 England caps as a player, Allardyce may see him as a handy ally once again.

4. Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham at Mark Noble's testimonial

Part of Steve Bruce's pitch to the FA was apparently a willingness to involve a high-profile former player - such as Rio Ferdinand or Alan Shearer - in his backroom team.

If either were interested, Allardyce would surely listen but Shearer's former strike partner Teddy Sheringham seems a likelier fit.

He was brought in by Allardyce as an attacking coach at West Ham and impressed with his work alongside the likes of Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate.

Sheringham left the Hammers to be a number one at Stevenage on Allardyce's advice but was sacked in February and is available.

5. Peter Reid

Peter Reid and Sam Allardyce playing cricket

An outside bet but a close friend and contemporary of Allardyce for many years. His work at Sunderland between 1995 and 2002 was frequently used as a touchstone by the latter.

A decorated player, including 13 England caps, two league titles and a European Cup Winners' Cup at Everton, he could be a fitting foil.

Signalled his interest in returning to coaching by working on a short-term deal at Bolton following Neil Lennon's departure last season.

6. Kevin Nolan

Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan at a West Ham game

The inter-generational bromance between Allardyce and Nolan, spanning their shared time at Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham, is well known to everyone.

It has already been joked that he can expect a midfield call-up in September but while that is played for laughs, might Allardyce be seriously tempted to bring arguably his most trusted former player into the coaching set-up? Nolan dipped his toe in the water with a brief player-manager's gig at Leyton Orient but has since departed. At 34, he may be considered too young.