MANAGING an England dressing room full of egos will be child’s play for Sam Allardyce, according to a man who knows him well.

Stelios Giannakopoulos played the best football of his career under Big Sam’s watch at Bolton Wanderers and is not the only member of that multi-cultural squad hailing him as the best man for the job.

The former Greece international joined in the summer of 2003 as Allardyce was pushing the club on from perennial relegation candidates to one capable of challenging the Premier League elite.

Assembling that group of World Cup winners, ageing international superstars and Premier League stalwarts was the easy part, says Stelios, but getting them to play as a team which regularly bloodied the nose of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and the like was what makes Allardyce the “complete package.”

“I think it is a myth that dressing rooms are full of big characters, it is a big group of boys looking for someone to lead them,” he told The Bolton News.

“We had a lot of nationalities in our dressing room, a lot of different people.

“People said that Nicolas Anelka was a difficult character, he was quite the opposite, Anelka was quiet. People said El-Hadji Diouf was tough to manage, he was just a kid.

“Every footballer has a button and if you press it, they will play their best.

“Sam Allardyce finds that with every single player. That is what makes him special.

“That is the key for the national team. He is English, he knows the mentality of the players and knows what they are feeling right now. He knows the egos he will see in every corner of the dressing room.

“He has experienced so much in the game that nothing will faze him, nothing worries him. He should have been the manager of England a lot sooner but his loss was Bolton’s gain.

“I wish him all the best, I love him.”

Simon Charlton, who signed for Allardyce in 2000 and helped establish Wanderers in the top flight, saw a different side to his managerial mentality.

There was no big budget on offer when Big Sam first turned up at the Reebok, which tested his ability to get the most out of a piecemeal squad.

“Sam used to say he couldn’t afford to buy a Rolls Royce, he’d have to get a BMW and do some fine tuning,” he told us. “Those details, the little things he drills into you as a player make such a huge difference.

“He hasn’t failed anywhere and I have been banging the drum for him to get the England job for a long, long time because I think he’ll be a success here too.

“I played for 12 different managers in my career and he is head and shoulders above anyone else.

“The ley thing for me is that he wants the job. The FA have tried paying huge sums of money for people they think are right for it, or those who have a good CV, but did they really want it as much as Sam? I doubt it.

“He will surround himself with the best possible staff and I am absolutely delighted for him and Lynn, they completely deserve it.”