Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce still hopes to manage England

New Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce still believes he can one day coach the England team.

Allardyce, 60, returned to management with Sunderland on Friday evening less than five months after leaving West Ham United at the end of his contract.

His first task is to lead Sunderland out of the relegation zone, where they are already five points adrift of safety just eight games into the Premier League season. Success could again see him linked with the national team when Roy Hodgson leaves.

He remains unhappy about missing out on the England job in 2006 after Sven Goran Eriksson had vacated the post, and has made no attempt to hide the fact he feels he should have got the job that was given to Steve McClaren.

"I should have got it and, as I'm a better manager now than I was then, I believe I should be in the running whenever it comes round again," he said in his autobiography, "Big Sam -- My Autobiography," which is being serialised in The Sun. "I had a shot at the England job, impressed in an interview but missed out to Steve McClaren.

"That's not vanity or being full of my own importance. My track record entitles me to be considered. Being a national team boss intrigues me. I'm ambitious and I still want the England job but I have less chance now even though I'm better equipped to do it now."

Allardyce also revealed how he met with then-captain David Beckham to convince him he would be the right man to replace Eriksson.

"David Beckham came out with his opinion on the criteria for the job, and they weren't in my favour," he added. "He said 'the next manager needs to have experience to handle Champions League and World Cup games' but I didn't agree.

"So I got on the front foot and asked David to lunch in Madrid. I wanted to change David's mind and pick his brains about the England set-up and he was happy to meet me at a restaurant that was noted for being very discreet.

"Becks and the rest of the squad were warned by the FA's media department not to talk publicly about individuals in the running for the job. But he could see I was serious and I think I left having convinced him I could do it.

"He said if anybody at the FA asked him about me he wouldn't have a problem, but he didn't expect to have any say on the choice."

Coincidentally, McClaren is now in charge of Sunderland's arch rivals Newcastle -- the only team below the Black Cats in the table. The two teams will go head to head at the Stadium of Light on Oct. 25.