With Sam Allardyce stepping out as England boss for the first time away to Slovakia in World Cup 2018 qualifying, we took a walk down memory lane (well…Google) to find the best betting lessons from Three Lions managerial debuts through the years.
Here’s what we found:
The past two England managerial debuts away from home have been won to nil
Every England manager since Bobby Robson has won his first game in charge, although the last to lose his debut at the Three Lions helm was Alf Ramsey, so going down to defeat in Trnan may be no bad omen for Allardyce.
Glenn Hoddle and Roy Hodgson were both faced with road fixtures first time out, with the former steering his side – which included a debuting David Beckham – to a 3-0 win in Moldova, while the latter’s 1-0 triumph was England’s first in Norway for 30 years.
Five of past six matches involving new England managers saw over 2.5 goals scored
Hoddle’s 3-0 victory was followed by Kevin Keegan landing a 3-1 win at home to Poland in 1999, then Sven Goran Eriksen’s side besting Spain 3-0 two years later, Steve McClaren’s men taking apart Greece 4-0 in 2006, and Fabio Capello’s charges downing Switzerland 2-1 eight-and-a-half years ago.
In terms of seeing three or more goals during England managerial debuts in recent decades, Hodgson’s first game in charge stands alone in its failure.
Despite this, over 2.5 goals can be backed at generous 16/11 odds at the City Arena.
Wingers have scored in each of the past two England managerial debuts
Touchline hugging appears to be a dying art form in football, with the dominant 4-2-3-1 formation forcing wingers to either tuck into wide-forward positions, convert to wing-back, or find a level/league which suits their game.
England still have three in the squad, although Theo Walcott has been repeatedly experimented with as a striker at Arsenal in recent campaigns, while newboy Michail Antonio rarely gets a game at anywhere but wing-back for West Ham.
The closest thing England have to out-and-out wingers like Shaun Wright-Philips and Ashley Young, the men that bagged in Capello and Hodgson’s first matches in charge, is Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who’s likely to start against Slovakia.
Sterling is 7/1 to fire home an opener and 5/2 to score his first England goal of 2016 at any time during the 90.