When Sam Allardyce took over at the Stadium of Light in October of last year, few predicted that the 'Black Cats' would be ending the season with their Premier League status intact, fewer would have predicted it after a 6-2 defeat at Everton in just his third game in charge.
However, here we are, Sunderland have survived, and they did it with a game to spare - ironically following a 3-0 win against the team that stuffed them 6-2 earlier in the season.
Big Sam's career was built on the promotions he gained with Notts County and Bolton Wanderers respectively, but his career will be cemented by the fact that he hasn't been relegated from England's top division, something that previous employers, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, have achieved since deciding they were better off without the man from Dudley.
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For that reason alone, it's so crucial that Sunderland stick with him.
Bolton stuck with him, and his tenure there was nothing short of phenomenal. Four consecutive top half finishes, a League Cup final appearance, and a first ever UEFA Cup campaign.
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The Wanderers, initially, took a chance on him and he repaid them greatly. He left to pursue opportunities at bigger clubs but how the club from Greater Manchester would have hope he'd stayed on.
OK, his style of football is not always pleasing on the eye. Jose Mourinho famously said after West Ham United held his Chelsea side to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge that it was '19th century football', a remark he later retracted as it was clearly born out of frustration, and frustration is what the north-east club will get, at times.
Both Blackburn and Newcastle were relegated the season after parting ways with the 62-year-old because they were seeking more attractive football, and what those clubs were seeking, led to their downfall. The underlying motive should be, sacrifice some of the beautiful game, to gain far greater reward.
Not since the days of Peter Reid's tenure have Sunderland fans really had anything to shout about in the Premier League, and arguably they've never had someone at the helm who they could confide in and have the belief that their beloved club could, stabilise, build and progress.
They have that in Big Sam, and as long as the board stick by him, Sunderland will have a manager who will do just that.
How will Sunderland perform in the Premier League next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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