Sam Allardyce’s appointment as the new manager of England national team was met with euphoria in some quarters and skepticism in some. There were many former players,pundits and experts who had reservations against his team’s playing style, his track record but the views were restrained, the people bitter at his appointment very few,if any. His appointment was a bad news for one particular entity. Having survived relegation at the expense of their neighbor Newcastle United among others, Sam Allardyce had brought in a belief at Sunderland that things were changing for good. The manner in which Big Sam had managed to rally his troops to pull off a remarkable escape from relegation made supporters of the club from North East England optimistic about their team moving up the ladder and getting rid of the perennial relegation battles waged by their managers year after year.
Hence, the departure of Sam Allardyce was a big blow for not just them but also to the Sunderland board. Thier resentment could be clearly seen from the statement issued by the club informing about the departure of their manager. No congratulations, not even a note of thanks to the man who may have did them a huge favour last season. It is understandable from the looks of what is expected to unfold the upcoming season at the Stadium of Light.
Allardyce to England : Sunderland set for another season Relegation Dogfight?
Sunderland Preparing for The Upcoming Season
When Gus Poyet departed two seasons ago, Sunderland FC were in dire straits. Their playing style under the Argentine had seen fans leave the stadium even before the final whistle had been blown with the team playing for a draw from the outset. If the style was employed while they were visiting, there may not be such disappointment. However, even at their home ground, the defensive cautiousness preached by Poyet won him few fans. Dick Advocaat was parachuted at the fag end of the 2014-15 season to rescue the team. The Dutchman had claimed it was his last job. He resigned after guiding Sunderland to safety but was coaxed by the owners to come back for one more year. Agreeing reluctantly, Advocaat’s tenure soon unraveled. After just 10 games, he decided it was in the best interests of the club and of himself if they mutually parted ways.
In came Sam Allardyce. Having never seen any club under his watch suffer the ignominy of relegation, his start was far from smooth. Having been rooted to the bottom three of the league table till January, his new recruits took time to settle in. Once they did, the fortunes took a different turn. Beating the formidable teams when required and eking out draws when needed, all the pieces finally seemed to fall into place much to the delight of the Sunderland supporters. Not just the faithfuls but the others watching from the sidelines were convinced that Black Cats were turning a new leaf.
This summer of 2016 turned out to be what Sunderland fans have been witnessing for many years. Managerial uncertainty plagued their preseason friendlies as the English Football Association dragged its feet in appointing Allardyce. Not that it was a welcome news for the Black Cats. David Moyes has been instilled as Sam Allardyce’s successor and will be charged with handling the fortunes of the 5-time English Champions. This time the Board, the manager, players and supporters were on the same page. Alas, Lady Luck had some other plans for them, one they would be hoping to be same as the last two times.