We're entering sacking season and Big Sam's lurking, but Sunderland should leave managerial mayhem to others

There's a job vacancy going here in California.

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 8:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:26 am
Former Sunderland and England manager Sam Allardyce

The bullet delivered to national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann and the return of current LA Galaxy steward Bruce Arena to the post, leaves the MLS outfit on Sunderland’s favourite fairground ride – the managerial merry-go-round.

There is a former England manager (yes, he just about fits into that category) out-of-work and keen to revive his fortunes after the perceived injustices of a newspaper sting, although Sam Allardyce’s er… no-nonsense, manner hardly fits into the glitz and glamour associated with LA Galaxy since David Beckham’s arrival nine years ago.

But if Allardyce is to return to the dug-out, could it be in the MLS?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There was some 2+2=5 speculation on that score after the ignominious end to Allardyce’s England dream turned into a nightmare, and a link to new MLS club Minnesota United.

Yet it’s far from unimaginable to see Allardyce heading across the pond, particularly with the American season drawing to a close and clubs inevitably considering changes in the dug-out.

Allardyce loved his time in Florida at the tail end of his playing career with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the media spotlight on football burns nowhere near as bright out here, as the likes of Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole have welcomed.

It’s a break from that 24-7 tabloid attention.

It would only heighten the sense of wastefulness among Sunderland fans if Allardyce were to head to MLS less than a year after leading the Black Cats so magnificently to survival.

But fate never seems to wink in the direction of Wearside anyway.

However, perhaps the bigger question is whether we will ever see Allardyce in the dug-out again.

Before Roy Hodgson presided over that shambles against Iceland, Allardyce more or less accepted that at 62, Sunderland was his final managerial position after half-promising his wife that his next move in football would be in a more executive position, following his West Ham departure in the summer of 2015.

It’s quite conceivable to see Allardyce making a return in a director of football capacity somewhere, perhaps even at first love Bolton Wanderers.

But where could he really end up managing in the next few months?

We’re entering sacking season and there are clubs fighting alongside Sunderland to remain in the Premier League, but none of them seem a perfect fit.

Certainly nothing on the scale of the Black Cats, who were an obvious fit when Dick Advocaat left the Stadium of Light just over a year ago.

Swansea have made their bed by appointing Bob Bradley, Hull have no cash and on Saturday’s evidence even less hope than Sunderland, and West Ham would hardly go back to Allardyce.

Crystal Palace is about the only conceivable option, but there’s no real talk of dispensing with Alan Pardew.

Would Allardyce really have the heart for yet another drop battle either?

It took every ounce of experience, energy and transfer nous that he had left to keep Sunderland up last season.

It’s why Allardyce was frustrated with the transfer kitty at Sunderland in the summer, before England even came calling.

Few Sunderland fans blamed him from taking the England job.

It was the FA’s dithering recruitment process which was what really grated.

But steam emerged from Ellis Short’s ears at losing yet another manager.

The Sunderland chairman doesn’t forget quickly, which was why there was never any genuine prospect of Allardyce returning to Wearside after his England dismissal.

Back-to-back wins have thankfully seen questions over David Moyes’ position pushed firmly to the background and Allardyce’s successor deserves credit for turning the Titanic around, just as it was approaching the iceberg of relegation.

The inclusion of Victor Anichebe has clearly been monumental.

Yet Moyes’ ploy of going back to basics has been crucial towards the victories over Bournemouth and Hull.

There’s been nothing fanciful.

But Sunderland have stopped trying to play pretty football which they were incapable of producing without error, and concentrated on being defensively solid and getting the ball into the feet of the front two as quickly as possible.

It’s pretty much what Allardyce did in the second half of last season.

Whether that’s sufficient for Sunderland to remain in the Premier League remains to be seen.

Liverpool, or Leicester seven days later, will hardly provide as tame opposition as Hull did.

But at least Sunderland are now making a fight of it. For once, the Black Cats might be able to leave the managerial mayhem to others.