HERE’S hoping Sam Allardyce won’t be looking back as he tries to take Sunderland forward.
Big Sam will no doubt be looking to do everything he can to save the Black Cats’ sorry season so far.
I think it’s at the back where Sam really needs to look at Sunderland.
And that could well mean looking to bring a new face (or an old one) to the first-team squad.
Sunderland have only registered 24 players in the Premier League from a possible 25, and it appears Allardyce hasn’t ruled out bringing in a free signing.
If that is the route he chooses to go down, we have to hope that there aren’t any reunions on the cards.
Not surprisingly, ever since he took the job, Allardyce has been linked with a swoop for Kevin Nolan, and more recently Carlton Cole’s name has been mentioned.
In my opinion, neither would be a good move.
Forget about Nolan’s former Newcastle United allegiances, but neither he of that infamous goal celebration or Cole are spring chickens – coming in at 34 and 32 years of age respectively.
It’s not hard to see why people have made the link, Allardyce worked with both at West Ham United, and also at Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle in Nolan’s case.
On top that, it’s fair to say that Big Sam will be hoping to add much-needed goals to the squad.
But do either Nolan or Cole still offer that?
Having been West Ham’s leading scoring in the previous two seasons, Nolan scored just once in 29 league appearances in the 2014-15, although he did miss six weeks with a fractured shoulder.
Cole, on the other hand, netted just three times in the 2014-15 campaign (two in the Premier League from 23 appearances, and one in the FA Cup).
Of course, Sam may feel that either will still bring something to the dressing room – some have mentioned that Nolan’s leadership qualities may be a real asset.
But I’m not sure if that’s enough to go out on a limb.
Between now and January, Allardyce will get just one throw of the dice to add to his squad, with just one place up for grabs.
And if goals are the way he wants to go, in my opinion, neither Cole or Nolan’s recent records suggest that they would really boost the Black Cats’ firepower.
Personally, I think it’s at the back where Sam really needs to look at Sunderland.
While scoring goals has been a problem, the way have been conceding them has been nothing short of catastrophic.
Sorting out the rear guard has to be a priority for our new boss, and I have no doubt that he is already more than well aware of our shortcomings.
With that in mind, perhaps a left-back or even another centre-half would be a better bet.
Whatever route Allardyce goes down, he will no doubt get our full support, and rightly so.
Once again, we have found ourselves searching for yet another mid-season saviour, if Sam pulls off another of those relegation “miracles” we keep seeing.
Let’s hope it’s our last for some time.
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