Sam Allardyce has said that England are being held back by the Premier League ahead of his expected appointment in charge of the national side this week.
The Sunderland boss was interviewed for the England position in 2006 but lost out to Steve McClaren.
Now, though, Allardyce is on the cusp of becoming the new national team manager following Roy Hodgson’s departure after a disappointing round-of-16 exit at Euro 2016.
Allardyce said: “The biggest problem for England is the Premier League — it’s bigger than the international stage.
“The Premier League’s almighty, and growing even greater. And of course the greater it grows the more it diminishes the player availability for England level. Fewer around.
“How many has Roy Hodgson got in total? Not more than 70. This country is probably the hardest to get the international team to its peak because of the Premier League.
“I had a discussion with the FA over the fact that I would have to spend a lot of time with the managers of every club to encourage letting the player go and that they would be in safe hands, that I wouldn’t do anything ridiculous to upset them as a manager and not get the player injured.”
Allardyce added that he would support the introduction of a winter break in order to ensure England players are fresher heading into international tournaments.
He said: “I talked about players’ fatigue from still not having a winter break. I always voted for it.”-ESPN