Sunderland in safe hands with Everton miracle worker

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Just when Sunderland seemed to have found the steady hand that would ensure endless relegation fights were a thing of the past, the England job comes along and pulls the rug from under their feet.

Sam Allardyce is reportedly hours away from being named Roy Hodgson’s successor with the Three Lions, leaving the Black Cats without the man who guided them to safety last season.

Although the north east club have grown accustomed to losing their saviours during a three-boss span in which Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat all left the campaign after avoiding relegation, there appeared no danger of that with Allardyce.

This time around their dugout departure was not of the club’s own volition, nevertheless they have moved quickly to ensure stability is retained.

David Moyes is widely expected to take the reins at the Stadium of Light once Big Sam becomes an international manager.

Although his last two forays on the sidelines haven’t quite gone to plan, it’s his long tenure as Everton boss that should put Sunderland minds at ease.

The Toffees went from constant bottom-half finishers to top-eight regulars under the Scot, a turnaround good enough to land Moyes the Manchester United job.

His time at Old Trafford was ultimately short and disappointing, while his follow up gig with Real Sociedad wasn’t particularly memorable either. However, it is the chance to work with lower expectations in the north east that will likely bring the best back out of him.

Like Allardyce, Moyes knows how to get a team operating at a level that is greater than the sum of their parts. His expected appointment at Sunderland is therefore an entirely sensible one.

Should he get the gig a tough first assignment awaits, with the Black Cats travelling to Manchester City for Pep Guardiola’s Premier League bow as whopping 14/1 outsiders for victory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.