Into the mind of Sam Allardyce: Could the safe bet be the best bet?

With that in mind, there are a few aspects of Allardyce’s mindset that will be crucial to his success in the role. “But if you have to pick the most important element, you’d have to go with his change mindset,” said Istead. 

“A lot needs to change in this England team. Not just in terms of the players he picks, but the overall mentality of the team – after all, it seems any player, no matter how great they are at club level, seems to shrink in an England shirt. Big Sam needs to make fundamental changes. Whether it’s tactics, team selection, backroom staff, training regime etc. rapid change should be his number one priority.

“And given that the change mindset is so crucial, he’ll really need to establish himself as the man who’s going to make serious changes. That may involve dropping some players, bringing in new ones, overhauling the formation. But obviously you can’t take it too far. Ruling with an iron fist tends to affect team performance negatively – just ask Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.”

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They key for Allardyce, it seems, will be to maintain balance. He’ll need to convince everyone that he won’t be like previous managers, but he can’t completely dismantle the foundations of what is an unquestionably talented young side either.

But more crucially, a strong change mindset is invaluable for any new leader, in any workplace – not just the preserve of football management replacements. Traits like optimism, decisiveness and even stress-resistance can be put to good use just about anywhere. 

“As I said, it’s crucial to maintain a balance,” Istead explained. “If Allardyce waltzes in and sacks the entire team, the backroom staff and the tea lady just to prove how forward thinking he wants to be, it’s unlikely to go over well. An no leader should exhibit such behaviour on or off the football pitch.

“You could also draw parallels between the current England team and the emerging millennial workforce – i.e. an emerging, young crop of promising, but as yet, largely untested talent, that needs to be managed and nurtured effectively by someone from an older generation.

“Our own research suggests that leaders can’t expect success by using the same old techniques. The leadership style Allardyce is probably used to from his days as a player isn’t going to translate when it comes to this new batch of millennial footballing talent. Success may hinge on whether Allardyce is as modern a coach as he says he is.”

Meanwhile, with analysts suggesting that a number of Premier League football clubs could be bought by the end of 2016, we took a look at teams that found new owners – or majority stakeholders – from outside of the UK.

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