Sam Allardyce appears to be in pole position to be Sunderland’s new manager after the club opened talks with him today.
The former Newcastle and Bolton manager has been the favourite for the job since Dick Advocaat quit last weekend.
Sunderland stars past and present, along with other football pundits and columnists, have been commenting all week on the experienced boss.
Here’s what they’ve had to say:
Gary Rowell: “For me, bookies favourite Sam Allardyce is the man we need.
“I know Sam Allardyce isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but he knows how to set up teams with a game plan of being difficult to beat and it is difficult to imagine he couldn’t tighten Sunderland up at the back and improve the team defensively.”
Kevin Phillips: “I wouldn’t have a problem with Big Sam getting the job because he’s got such a proven track record over the years of turning clubs around and keeping them in the Premier League.”
Phil Brown: “Sam is the man for the job. For me, he is the outstanding candidate.
“Sam has a wealth of experience with a really impressive CV and, as an individual, I am proud to have played a part, given the amount of challenges we faced at Bolton Wanderers together with regards to survival campaigns.
“He inherited a yo-yo club by definition in the 1990s and turned that yo-yo club into an established Premier League club.
“And not only that, a Premier League club which was in Europe when he left.
“For me, without a shadow of a doubt, Sam is the best candidate for the job and, as a Sunderland supporter, I would be absolutely delighted if he was given the job.”
David Preece: “Ask me to deliver my ideal manager and out of pure love I’d give you Michael Laudrup.
“Give me a second, more realistic choice, then I’d go for Sam Allardyce; pragmatic not pretty but at least we’d know exactly what we were getting and know who we were as a team.”
Gus Poyet: “Sam Allardyce should be Sunderland’s next appointment. He had an experience before in the north east. He knows the Premier League inside out and he knows exactly what a team needs to do to stay in the Premier League.”