Jan Kirchhoff lifts lid on life under Sam Allardyce at Sunderland and reveals why he'd 'love' to return

Jan Kirchhoff doesn’t think Sam Allardyce gets the credit he deserves in the game, hailing the former Sunderland manager for his impact on Wearside.

Saturday, 16th February 2019, 9:06 am
Updated Saturday, 16th February 2019, 9:12 am
Former Sunderland midfielder Jan Kirchhoff.

Kirchhoff was signed by Allardyce in the 2016 January window, the German midfielder playing a key role as Sunderland pulled off another Premier League great escape.

Allardyce, popular amongst the Sunderland squad and fanbase, left that summer to take charge of England, albeit briefly.

And Kirchhoff has now lifted the lid on life under Allardyce on Wearside and his excellent man management methods.

In an interview with Roker Report, published in the Sunderland AFC programme for the visit of Accrington Stanley, Kirchhoff talks in-depth about the impact Big Sam had at Sunderland.

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Kirchhoff, when asked if Allardyce gets the credit he deserves, said: “No, he is definitely under appreciated as a coach.

“He makes the right signings, he knows exactly what kind of players he wants for what sort of team he wants.

“Secondly, his tactics might be ‘basic’ but that’s what you need as a footballer.

“To have a plan and to know what you should expect from your team-mate, you knew what the plan was, who was running onto which pass, who was defending which areas as a whole team.

“Sam’s idea was clear and effective. You can discuss if it’s nice all you want, but what he does is he teaches his game plans very well, it’s very, very clear.

“He’s an excellent man-manager too. He gave us all lots of support, not only the starting XI but the whole squad.

“He made them all feel valued and when a manager is like that, you understand your contribution to the team.

“That sort of attitude is so underrated, especially when you see other types of managers don’t get the results that he does.”

On Allardyce taking the England job, Kirchhoff added: “We all knew Sam and being the manager for the national team was his dream role, so nobody blamed him for that.

“We were gutted, but we did understand it, it’s just the business of football.”

Kirchhoff, who now plays for FC Magdeburg, made 16 appearances for the club that season, having bounced back strongly from a nightmare debut at White Hart Lane.

The 28-year-old retains a strong affection for the club and when asked 'So, when are you coming back?' Kirchhoff replied: "I would love to. I still follow Sunderland because I enjoyed it so much.

"I really enjoyed living in the North East and if there was an opportunity to come back, I would always consider that."