LONDON • Sam Allardyce's first act as England's new manager was to inform his players that the time has come "to deliver", with this challenge readily accepted by Wayne Rooney.
"I think it's a good appointment," the striker said after Allardyce was finally released on Friday by Sunderland. "He will probably bring a different way of playing to England and hopefully it's a good way and we can be successful under him."
Speaking from China where Manchester United are on a pre-season tour, Rooney made it clear that he not only endorsed the Football Association (FA)'s decision but had no intention of retiring from international combat in the wake of the Euro 2016 debacle against Iceland.
"I'll be there," Rooney said as Allardyce began setting out a manifesto for change - including whether to keep Rooney, England's record scorer and captain, in the squad.
Once some prolonged haggling was over and Sunderland had agreed to a £3 million (S$5.34 million) compensation deal, Roy Hodgson's successor made it clear that he could not wait to set about the business of "making the whole country proud".
The 61-year-old has signed an initial two-year, heavily incentivised contract potentially worth about £3.5 million a year.
Should things go well during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there is an option to extend the deal until 2020.
"I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve," said Allardyce, who has been succeeded by David Moyes, the former Everton, United and Real Sociedad manager, at Sunderland.
"Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud. While my main focus will be on the senior team, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St George's Park. I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver."
Allardyce's staff are yet to be named but there are strong suggestions that Sammy Lee, his one-time assistant at Bolton, who recently stepped down from a coaching post at Southampton, could have a key role.
Paul Clement, Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Bayern Munich, may be hired in a part-time capacity.
The FA is also keen to involve former internationals and the possible candidatures of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand have been discussed.
The new manager will select his first squad late next month for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia in Trnava on Sept 4.
His first match in charge will be a friendly at Wembley on Sept 1 against an unnamed opposition who could be confirmed by tomorrow.
THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON