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Can Big Sam Save Sunderland?

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Sunderland are perennial relegation escapees, although their start to the season has left even the most optimistic Sunderland fan struggling to feel optimistic about their chances of survival this season.

Despite saving them from the drop last season, Dick Advocaat felt he was no longer the right man for the job and walked away from The Stadium of Light. This left Sunderland looking for yet another new manager.

Sunderland have experimented with a range of bosses in recent seasons, including Martin O’Neil, Paulo Di Canio and Gus Poyet. Although they have all managed to save Sunderland from the drop, none have been able to build on survival and all have been sacked the following season.

Now Sunderland have turned to a man with a proven track record of stabilising clubs and steadily improving them. Enter Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce took Bolton to the Premier League and then kept them there, slowly building the club up from relegation candidates to the UEFA Cup. An ill fated spell at Newcastle followed, although it is worth noting he left Newcastle in 11th place in the Premier League, a position their fans can now only dream off.

A spell at Blackburn followed where he kept the club in the Premier League. Blackburn sacked him with the club in mid table and they were relegated the following season.

Allardyce then joined West Ham with the club in the Championship. After guiding them to the Premier League through the play-offs, he led the club to three mid table finishes. However, with fans unhappy with the style of football on offer, Allardyce left the club in the summer.

Saving Sunderland may be Allardyce’s biggest challenge yet. However, if he can guide them to safety this season then Sunderland will have finally found the man who can see them develop into a mid table club.

His challenge starts tomorrow against West Brom, and if he can lead Sunderland to their first win of the season then he will be confident that he can galvanise the side and inspire then to put together a run of results which will see the Wearside club retain their Premier League status.


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