Big Sam our best shot, but will his demands suit Short?


For the bookies and the media pundits, Sam Allardyce is now pretty much the only show in town.

In other words, if you have voted in the Salut! Sunderland poll for Michael Laudrup, Nigel Pearson, Frank De Boer or “others”, not listed above but including Brendan Rodgers and David Moyes, you will have to accept that Big Sam is Ellis Short’s clear first choice and the pair are already talking terms or about to start.

If the Mirror story is to be believed, Allardyce is ready to come to Sunderland but only with Short’s acceptance of his main demands.

The big bonuses for him and his staff should they keep us up will present no problem. Nor will Sam’s insistence on choosing his own management team, reuniting him with Neil McDonald, Blackpool’s current boss, as his No 2 and possibly Martin Glover as head of recruitment.

But the other condition may prove tricky. Sam reportedly wants full control over transfers. Advocaat did not have that, nor did Poyet or Di Canio.

Short is known to prefer the head coach/director of football arrangement and, even then, exercises hefty control over who goes and more importantly who comes. Advocaat has cited frustration over transfers, leaving him with a squad he considered too weak for Premier survival. Our DoF seemalike, Lee Congerton, is leaving with apparently similar grievances.

So it would be a huge and expensive concession for Short to relinquish some of his power as owner and also loosen the purse strings.

On the other hand, does he not stand to lose out heavily if Sunderland go down, with the bumper new Sky deal offering any club a grand incentive for still being in the Premier next August.

The other contentious demand – the right to bring in Kevin Nolan – is one Sam will have to square with the fans rather than Short.

Safe to say some tonight talking is in prospect, maybe in progress. Can Short be persuaded relegation would be more costly than giving Allardyce a free hand, albeit with a budget? If it is true, as I have seen mooted, that the idea is to given Sam a contract only until the end of the season, do we really want yet another short fix that leaves all the familiar problems unresolved?

Your guess is as good as mine on how it will go.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
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1 thought on “Big Sam our best shot, but will his demands suit Short?”

  1. “Short is known to prefer the head coach/director of football arrangement and, even then, exercises hefty control over who goes and more importantly who comes.”

    Big Sam is not my preferred choice of new manager but if he comes with the proviso that he takes charge of all footballing matters then that will be a step in the right direction in my opinion. I’ve said it before but since marginalising Quinny, Short has overseen a series of disasters. I put the blame fairly and squarely on his shoulders in that he set up a chain of command that sees non-footballing people controlling the purse strings, which limits the activities of whoever oversees recruitment, which ties the hands of those in charge of team affairs.

    I always get loads of thumbs down when I make this point by (I assume) people who think that because he has splashed the cash he can do no wrong, but on the whole that money hasn’t been spent wisely and we lurch from crisis to crisis. We rely too heavily on loan players and are doing so again with Yedlin, M’Vila and Toivonan possibly pivotal players over the next few months. What happens when their loans come to an end? Who negotiates contracts which has seen us committed to buying Santiago Vergini (who I’d rather was still at the club given our problems across the back four) and Ricky Alvarez (who knows what’s happening there?) but put no options in place for Danny Rose, Ki Sung Yeung, Fabio Borini, Marcos Alonso etc.

    Plenty of other well respected figures in the footballing world have recently made similar points and that O’Neill, Di Canio, Poyet and Advocaat are not all bad managers. Roy Keane said he would still be there had it not been for back room interference, although he is perhaps not the most consistent of personalities.

    Elsewhere others have talked about the drinking culture and the power of some of the senior players having too much influence on what goes on at the club. I wouldn’t like to speculate on the truth of that but would expect the owner of the club to back his manager if that were the case.

    I can’t help but think that he has accepted too many words of advice from non-footballing people in order to pursue his business model which sees SAFC as just another part of his portfolio. Ask yourself what the three clubs in the Premier League with the biggest problems (Ourselves, The Mags and Villa) have in common. But I’d still rather have Short than Ashley.

    If Big Sam is appointed in the coming hours (and now we know he has been) then I wish him all the best and hope he can turn things around. I saw positive things in the Swansea, Spurs and West Ham games. There is plenty to build on and despite what those in the media might say, I do think we have a squad good enough to push us up the table. Ha’way the Lads!

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