Michael - Moyes In!
Initially, my main preference was obviously for Sam Allardyce to stay at the club and carry on the good work that he did last season, but I honestly do not blame him for taking the England job on.
With Sam pretty much out of the door, it's expected that David Moyes has already agreed to take on Allardyce's role as manager, and to be honest I was astonished to see some people weren’t as keen on the prospect on Moyes taking the job.
It’s too easy to judge him on his time at Manchester United and, however poorly he did at Old Trafford, I still don’t think it was fair to employ him on a six-year deal then sack him less than a year into it. It was always going to be difficult for the man who directly followed Sir Alex Ferguson because expectations would still be sky-high and you’d inevitably be compared to him.
Moyes didn’t get much out of his players but I think that was because the United players had won trophies, or at least challenged for them, and Moyes hadn’t done that so he was already in a position where he had to work extra hard to gain the respect of that team. But I do admit that the fear factor in playing United had disappeared under Moyes and while the job was probably too big for him, the Sunderland job definitely wouldn’t be.
Real Sociedad was always going to be harder because you have to adapt to a different culture in another country, let alone a different league. Just because he’d done poorly in his last two jobs, both of which put together he didn’t get even two years, doesn’t mean we should overlook what he did at Everton.
He was at Goodison Park for over a decade and gave them stability, something which Sunderland have desperately needed for years and Everton finished in the top ten eight times during his reign - that is where a club like Sunderland should be competing regularly.
Teams hated going to Goodison Park because they knew they were in for a rough ride. Moyes usually had Everton fired up for games and even when they lost, they were consistently competitive. Not to mention he barely spent money in the transfer market and generally got the absolute maximum out of his players.
For me Moyes ticks the boxes and we can’t let his last two jobs overshadow what he did for Everton. I don’t expect him to be at the Stadium of Light for anywhere near that amount of time but, if/when he does take over, let’s hope he can do the same for Sunderland.
Callum - Forget Moyes, Dyche Is The Man!
If I was in charge of the hunt for the new Sunderland manager, I would set David Moyes’ resume to one side and go straight for Sean Dyche.
I know, I know, it’s neither the safe nor the sexy choice. Names like Phillip Cocu and Frank De Boer sound far more exotic, while Moyes, Martinez and Giggs offer some a degree of comfort, because - regardless of their achievements, failures or inexperience in management - at least their names are synonymous with the Premier League.
When it comes to potential managers, I don’t look at names, trophy cabinets or even Premier League experience. Of course, managerial experience at the top level is a bonus, but what I really want is passion, positivity and a composed but inspiring influence, who has proven he can organise a squad and convince them to walk through fire for him.
The idea of Sunderland asking Burnley’s manager to take over the Stadium of Light hot seat may be interpreted by some as an admission that we can’t attract the big names, or - even worse - we won’t even try. This is an unsophisticated view, lacking any foresight or an understanding of how managers progress in the game.
Dyche has been at Burnley since 2012, guiding them to promotion in his first season despite being among the favourites for relegation. Dyche has built his approach around work ethic, togetherness and an ability to convince the players to buy into his approach, which is far more positive than anyone gives him credit for.
This is a man who approached Burnley’s Premier League campaign with a refreshingly positive 4-4-2 system. Despite only spending a total of £9m on ten signings such as George Boyd and Lukas Jutkiewicz, they nearly pulled it off as well, playing some excellent football and providing a stern test for every team they played. It was evident that Dyche had created a strong team culture, secured the unfailing commitment of his players and created a team that was greater than the sum of its parts.
Dyche’s stock is on the rise and he has demonstrated his ability to build a long term project on a limited budget, exceeding the expectations and limitations of his squad by moulding them into a solid and motivated unit. He has also shown an ability to replace key players, first losing Charlie Austin to QPR and then Danny Ings to Liverpool. Despite these setbacks, he has once again earned Burnley promotion to the Premier League as Champions, despite competing with big spenders Derby, a strong Hull squad, as well as many other capable clubs.
Despite Moyes’ troubled spell at Real Sociedad and the fools errand he undertook at Old Trafford, his achievements during his time at Everton are impressive and enticing to a club like ours. But let’s not forget, Everton secured Premier League novice Moyes from lower league Preston and showed the bravery to pursue and trust a manager who was forging a reputation for himself in management but had not yet proven himself in the Premier League. Since he left Everton, however, Moyes' stock has plummeted and while it would not exactly be a shock for him to succeed with us, it would require a turnaround from his recent inability to communicate his ideas and influence to his players. In contrast, Dyche’s career and reputation is on the rise and momentum can be a powerful force in football.
We could go for the safe option or the sexy options, but what I want to see is Sunderland go for the intelligent option. Dyche has an excellent future in management and would likely relish a move to a club who could back him in the transfer market more significantly than Burnley can. Dyche can continue Big Sam’s work, convincing the players to invest themselves completely in a project, as well as creating a positive culture that produces a team who fight for each other and the club.