Rowell Report: Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland legacy is survival – but it could have been so much more

Sam Allardyce.
Sam Allardyce.
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Of all the managers Ellis Short has hired and fired in his time at Sunderland, the departure of Sam Allardyce has got to have frustrated him the most.

Usually when a manager leaves, not too many tears are shed but no one wanted Sam to go, it was circumstances outside of the Sunderland owner’s control, which must make it even harder to take.

At last Sunderland seem to have had a manager who was the perfect fit for our club and Sam must have felt he had found a club that was just right for him.

The Sunderland fans had given him more support, respect and appreciation than he got at other clubs he had been in charge of.

It is frustrating that the incompetence of the England team and management at the Euros has ended up with Sunderland football club being the club to pay the price, as we lost a manager and have to start all over again with David Moyes.

When Sam first came in last October, there was no magic wand and it was tough going for quite a while.

But the turning point was the January transfer window, when three inspired signings; Wahbi Khazri, Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchhoff were brought in and they immediately improved the starting XI and results improved.

A good transfer window had become a rarity at Sunderland, but Sam’s knowledge, judgement and contacts were a huge improvement on Lee Congerton’s and I have no doubt another wasted transfer window would have seen us relegated.

Sam’s legacy at Sunderland will be escaping the drop against the odds, but there are a lot of former managers that can claim that. Had he stayed and built on last season, then I am convinced it could have been so much more.