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Sam Allardyce is the regeneration man who can rebuild England

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce is the sort of man who walks into a packed room and immediately dominates it. If that hardly ranks as a rare trait among football managers, particularly those standing 6ft 3in, the difference with Allardyce is that he really listens to what people are saying – and with a surprisingly open mind.

Premier League rivalries unravelled: a history of English football derbies

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho poses ahead of the press conference

Every year, when the fixture lists come out, fans from all over England pore over what is basically a run down of dates, an administrative procedure to determine when games happen, and immediately look for their favourites. Perhaps it’s a local derby, perhaps it’s a long-running feud, perhaps it’s a manager returning to a former club: rivalries form the meat of what it means to be a football fan.