Sam Allardyce is set to take the England job, which leaves Sunderland in a difficult position. They wouldn’t have expected to lose Allardyce this summer when the season finished and they may not have a contingency plan. They can’t afford to leave the vacancy open too long, as the new manager needs to come in and get his ideas across to the squad before the season begins. The transfer window is open, and Sunderland have yet to make any moves, increasing the urgency in their managerial hunt. David Moyes is an early frontrunner and it would be an appointment that makes a lot of sense, but not one without risks.
He was chosen to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, which didn’t go very well for Moyes after a great spell in charge of Everton. Then a spell in Spain with Real Sociedad didn’t go to plan and was another stain on his reputation. He has since had some time out of the game, but the last three years have damaged Moyes and he needs to rebuild his reputation. Sunderland could be the perfect club to do that, they haven’t had stability for a long time and Allardyce has put a good foundation in place at the club.
Moyes is a manager that suits one of the sides outside the traditional top six and the Manchester United job always looked too big for him. Spain was a failure for him, as his methods are best suited to English football. The Scottish manager is pragmatic and will continue the good work that had been done over the last six months. Sunderland have been involved in a lot of relegation fights over the last few years and need a manager who will make them hard to beat.
In the second half of last season, Sunderland were one of the better sides in the league, despite being in the relegation fight. They only lost four times in 2016, with the January signings taking the club onto the next level. Recruitment will be important again this summer and Moyes has a good record in the transfer market, especially at Everton. He had small finances on Merseyside and was responsible for some of the club’s best signings. Tim Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Mikel Arteta are all excellent examples of that. He will have increased spending power at Sunderland, but the rest of the Premier League also have a lot of money to spend with the new television deal. It is a new market and Moyes will need to adapt to that.
If he gets the job as expected, Moyes will firstly try to organise the defence, as his Everton side succeeded due to their strength at the back. He may choose to bring in some new players to strengthen that area, but in Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchoff and Patrick van Aanholt, they have some talented defensive players. Although Moyes looks like a good fit, there are risks. He hasn’t managed in the Premier League for over two years and it has changed a lot since then. The finances have increased massively and all 20 teams can compete for the best players across Europe.
In terms of carrying on the good work done by Allardyce, David Moyes seems the logical choice. Sunderland are at a similar level to Everton, when Moyes took over there, and the Ellis Short is hoping the Scotsman can get his club competing in the top ten. This will be the final chance for Moyes to prove himself of he gets the job. He has had three poor years and the Premier League will leave him behind if he has another. Sunderland are a club in good shape and it is a great chance for Moyes to get back into the English top flight.