Sunderland Named ‘Big Sam’ Their New Head Coach


Sam Allardyce has vowed to save Sunderland from relegation – after signing a two year deal to be boss.

The veteran becomes the first coach to manage both Newcastle and Sunderland.

The 60-year-old, who also played for the Wearsiders in the 1980s, says he is “raring to go”, describing his mission of rescuing the Black Cats as a “challenging job.”

Refreshed after five months off, after leaving West Ham in May, Allardyce cut short his sabbatical – and takes up the title of “manager” not head coach.

Allardyce is Sunderland’s six boss in four years since Steve Bruce was sacked. He admitted he has to bring “stability” to the Wearside managerial merry-go-round.

Matthew Lewis
Looking up: Allardyce believes Sunderland can climb the table

Allardyce was Sunderland’s No.1 target from Monday morning the day after Dick Advocaat’s resignation was confirmed.

He will face West Brom next Saturday, before attempting to deliver the Black Cats’ sixth successive Tyne-Wear derby win eight days later.

Allardyce, who was sacked by Newcastle in January 2008, said: “I have enjoyed my break from football and now I’m raring to get back.

In pictures — Sunderland draw with West Ham in Advocaat’s final game:

“I met with Ellis and we spoke at length about the club and his ambitions and I knew I wanted to be part of that. I hope to be able to help to bring the stability and success that everyone wants.

“Of course it’s a challenging job, but it’s something I have experience of in the past. I’m looking forward to working with the players and of course I will be relying on the help of the Sunderland supporters, whose tremendous passion I have experienced first-hand. I can’t wait to get started.”

Owner Ellis Short, who is desperate to end the cycle of managerial departures, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Sam to our football club. Sunderland is a club he knows well and he was the obvious best choice for the job.

GettyEllis Short
Support: Ellis Short has backed Allardyce

“He has vast experience of managing in the Premier League and an understanding first-hand of the north east and the passion of our fans, which will stand him in great stead.

“This was a very popular job, proactively sought after by a large number of managers – contrary to much of what has been portrayed. The process was made easier by the fact that Sam was such an obvious choice.

“The other misconception is that Sam had to be persuaded to join us; nothing could be further from the truth.

“From the very beginning, he understood the importance of this job and showed great enthusiasm for the role and a desire to be part of moving this club forward.”

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