London (AFP) – Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace appointed Sam Allardyce as their new boss on Friday in a swift return to the dugout for the former England manager.
The former Bolton and West Ham manager’s one-match reign in charge of the national side ended in September following a newspaper sting.
“We are delighted to be able to make an appointment so quickly and fortunate that someone of Sam’s calibre and experience was available,” Eagles chairman Steve Parish said, a day after sacking Alan Pardew.
After agreeing a two-and-a-half-year contract, Allardyce will have his first game in charge on Monday with an English Premier League match at Watford.
He was set to take his first training session on Saturday and has the opportunity to remodel the squad once the January transfer window opens.
“I hope I can bring some joy, particularly over Christmas and New Year, and over the long term between now and the end of the season,” he said.
“The club seems to be very ambitious, certainly the chairman and the owners seem to be taking the club forward in the right direction.
“I like the look of the squad and that’s the probably the reason that I’m here, because I feel that the club can go forward from here and hopefully I can help it go forward.
“With my experience, I think I can us get a few more results on the board.”
Pardew was sacked on Thursday following a miserable run of results, with the Eagles winning just four of their 17 league matches this season and only one of their last 11.
Palace are 17th in the Premier League, one point above the relegation zone and three points off the foot of the table.
Allardyce has been out of the game since being ditched by England after just 67 days in charge following ill-advised remarks to undercover journalists.
Allardyce gave advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules, criticised the FA’s decision to rebuild Wembley and mocked his England predecessor Roy Hodgson while being secretly filmed by reporters from The Daily Telegraph posing as East Asian businessmen.
Though he has never won a major trophy, Allardyce, 62, has proved adept at keeping smaller sides in the Premier League.
“Big Sam” has integrated sports science and technology into his training techniques and made his teams difficult to beat, often proving a thorn in the side of the top flight’s more glamorous clubs.