In typical Sunderland fashion, the club appears to be in turmoil before the start of a Premier League season.
This time, however, it is out of our control. The Football Association, the same organisation that are supposed to represent and support clubs like ourselves, are in fact the ones who are potentially digging our grave.
Four weeks prior to the first game of the season, the FA have chosen to pursue our manager Sam Allardyce in an attempt to rectify the mess that England are in, with the public fall out of doing so putting Sunderland in a position where we are unable to make any progression in pre-season until his future has been resolved.
Despite being the ideal manager to take Sunderland forward, is Big Sam the right man to produce the goods on the national stage?
There is no doubting that Allardyce has gained a wealth of experience during his managerial career and has been a mainstay in the top-flight since guiding Bolton Wanderers to the premier league in 2001. However, despite being linked by many notable figures in the press, you have to wonder, why has Sam never had a 'big' job?
During his 25-year managerial career, Allardyce has been renowned as a mid-table manager, a man who can save a team from relegation and steady the ship. Sadly, Big Sam has never managed to take a team further than this - a distinctly empty trophy cabinet, filled with promotions from the second tier, bring into question Allardyce’s suitability for a job as big as the England one.
A career win percentage of 39% is a very solid ratio, with 373 wins from 956 games managed, although you have to wonder why other larger clubs have not taken a gamble on Allardyce prior to now.
I’m a firm believer that certain players and managers are made for certain teams, and Sam Allardyce is the perfect fit for Sunderland. He understands the club, the fans and the north-east culture. He has captured the hearts of fans during his third spell at the club, guiding the club to safety and building the foundations for a stable period that we have craved since Martin O’Neil’s debut campaign.
It may well be a dream of Allardyce’s to manage his country, and you can’t blame him, nor will I begrudge him should he choose to do so. However, personally, I feel that Sunderland could be Big Sam’s best opportunity to finally achieve something special during his managerial career; a career that has flirted with achieving the heights that it perhaps deserved.
What do you think - taking your red and white tinted specs off, do you feel Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job? Leave your comments below the article.