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Sunderland facing summer of uncertainty as Allardyce talks rumble on

Monday 18th July 2016
Sunderland are facing a stuttering start to their preseason preparations ahead of the start of the new English Premier Division season.

Following on from a resoundingly positive end of season feeling on Wearside, fans and pundits alike were raising expectations ahead of a new campaign.

With Big Sam at the helm showing the grit and leadership required to steer a side who have narrowly avoided relegation in each of the last few seasons, it was clear to see that something had to change going into the new season- as avoiding the drop by the skin of their teeth was simply not enough.

The plan was clear as soon as the final whistle blew at Vicarage Road on the 15th May. That Sam was to bolster his squad with both resilient and technically improved summer signings to ensure Sunderland could “kick- on” and start to rise through the Premier League rankings.

Unfortunately for the Sunderland faithful another side had a resoundingly underwhelming campaign only this time it was the England national team who failed to meet any expectations in Euro 2016 and crashed out of the competition with a frankly embarrassing display against minnows Iceland. This led to not only a swift resignation by England Manager Roy Hodgson, but also calls for a complete change in direction from the FA to ensure that England are not embarrassed on the world stage again.

However, with English managers who have stayed at the top of the game seemingly at a real premium, it was only a matter of time before Sam Allardyce was to get a call.

Big Sam has made a career out of grinding out victories for underperforming sides and to a keen observer he appears to be exactly what this current England side are needing- a no-nonsense manager who is there for one reason only- to wins football matches by any means necessary.

Despite being called in for an interview for the England job, Sunderland remain very much in limbo with Allardyce now being touted as the clear favourite for the job- although the FA are rightly wanting to interview all targeted candidates for the job which will naturally take time- something which Sunderland are quickly running out of.

With the new Premier League campaign now under four weeks away Sunderland are in desperate need for some closure. As well as the obvious distraction around the training ground around the future of Allardyce, this could very well have a knock on effect to the current squad with several players futures being up in the air.

The much needed incoming arrivals have made very little progress with no player wanting to sign for a new club until they know who they are going to be working with. Players such as PSG right-back Youssouf Sabaly and West Hams Diafro Sakho have held advanced talks with the club but are crucially not signing until a decision has been made.

The majority of Sunderland fans will be hoping for Allardyce to stay on Wearside, however the priority must now be on closure of this chapter so that Sunderland can adequately prepare for what will no doubt be another long hard season.
Phil Spencer
Sports Reporter covering all levels of the Footballing Pyramid. Member of the Press Association and avid Middlesbrough fan. Twitter handle is PhilSpenc23

Total articles: 3

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