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Five things new Sunderland boss David Moyes can bring to the Black Cats

| 25.07.2016

Holly Thackeray | July 24, 2016

Sunderland wasted no time in lining up former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes to replace departed Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce, with the Scot speedily succeeding the now England gaffer at the Stadium of Light earlier this weekend.

Marmite manager Moyes had been rumoured to return to the Premier League for some time following a disappointing stint in Spain with Basque outfit Real Sociedad – but what may Mackems fans expect now he is back in Britain?

Rotherham v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly - AESSEAL New York Stadium

Sunderland have squeezed to safety, narrowly preserving their top-flight status, for four successive seasons now. Surely fed up of consistently flirting with relegation, can Moyes make the Northeast club more than just escape artists?

Here are five things Coral experts think Moyes can bring to the Black Cats’ cause.

Smooth transition of style and tactics

While there is much ruckus about Big Sam’s direct style not suiting England’s ambition, there should be few complaints heard from passionate Mackem support surrounding Moyes’ management.

While the two are of course different in character and tactics, they do share a few crucial things in common that should make for a smooth transition on the Black Cats bench.

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Everton v Bolton Wanderers - Goodison Park

Moyes was maligned, just like Allardyce when at West Ham United, for deploying hard working teams that were tough to beat – always willing to put in a shift and a testy tackle, making a nuisance of themselves for bigger clubs and pinching points.

Craving the relative anonymity of mid-table safety to a dramatic and draining relegation scrap, Sunderland’s players and support will not be able to give an ounce less of dedication under Moyes.

A managerial Steady Eddie, any purchases lined up with Big Sam in mind should also suit Moyes.

Hartlepool United v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly - Victoria Park

While the Scot should be busy in what has so far been a quite summer on the transfer front for Sunderland, who are 5/2 with Coral to be relegated, he should be able to make plenty from a portion of the existing squad.

Known for having hard working wingers such as Steven Pienaar in his time at Goodison Park, the Glaswegian gaffer will surely seek out attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri, who is one bright spark that could benefit from Moyes’ teachings. While, rumours that the Northeast side were chasing Swansea City’s energetic Andre Ayew could also be reignited.

Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Liverpool v Everton

Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman were of course charged with bringing bountiful width from full back for the Toffees, and Moyes certainly has a similar player on his books in Patrick van Aanholt – though the Dutchman could do with a dose of reigning in.

Moyes was also the man that nurtured Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley for the Merseyside blues as well as overseeing the arrival of a young John Stones.

Soccer - UEFA Europa League - Play-Offs - First Leg - Everton v SK Sigma Olomouc - Goodison Park

Having made Everton a haven for British Isles boys while at the helm, this should be good news for industrious Lee Cattermole, as well as former Toffees charge Jack Rodwell whom Moyes handed his professional debut, with young-guns Duncan Watmore and Jordan Pickford perhaps ready to become crucial cogs under their new coach.

Defensive nous

It is easy to see since Moyes left Everton in 2013 that the Toffees lost much of their tactical drilling, going on to ship goals galore under more expansive Roberto Martinez – who lost his job due to such a daring, or naive, approach.

With so many coaching years under his belt, the Black Cats can breathe easy about Moyes being in charge of their backline.

Moyes’ Man Utd record against other top teams may underwhelm, but with the Toffees he was reliable for beating those in and around their level.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Bolton Wanderers - Goodison Park

For example, the now 53-year-old never lost to the likes of Swansea City, Leeds United, Derby County, Watford, Blackpool or Crystal Palace in the Premier League while steering the ship. As for his record versus Sunderland – that’s a cool 11 victories, four draws and just one defeat while at Everton.

It is those types of teams the Stadium of Light side need to sink to stay afloat – and Moyes is the man to help them do just that.

In his last term with the Toffees, Moyes guided his side to sixth place in the Premier League, with 40 goals conceded – less than both Tottenham above and rivals Liverpool below.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Manchester United - Villa Park

Last season Sunderland shipped a whopping 62 strikes, so the Scotsman will certainly have his work cut out, but in Jan Kirchhoff and Lamine Kone there are two defenders Moyes may yet be able to build a base around.

Transfer connections

Well traveled now after his time away in Spain and having quite the corner on the Northwest transfer market, the days of wheeling and dealing under Big Sam may not be over with Moyes.

One of Moyes’ last Merseyside signings was wingman Kevin Mirallas but it remains to be seen what new Goodison gaffer Ronald Koeman makes of the flank threat who fell out of favour with Martinez.

Britain Soccer Premier League

This is just one example of the calibre player Moyes may be able to attract to the Mackems after years carving out a respectable reputation in the English top-flight.

In the same vein, Man Utd midfield disruptor Maroaune Fellaini was one such player who followed Moyes from Everton to Old Trafford – is there a big bid coming to reunite the pair?

Shoestring budget shopping

Continuing the transfer theme, while Moyes’ signings for Man Utd distinctly underwhelmed, there is little to argue over his Everton transfer record.

Soccer - FA Cup - Fifth Round Replay - Everton v Oldham Athletic - Goodison Park

Regularly unearthing gems such as Stones, Baines, Coleman, Phil Jagileka etc and raiding the Red Devils for bargain deals such as Tim Howard, Phil Neville and Louis Saha for a relative pittance – it is clear Moyes does his best work on a budget, with lower outlays and expectations. Sunderland’s board will surely be in awe of that.

Underdog appetite

Finally, it seems cruel to judge this capable coach purely on his last two stints – being shuffled in to fill the humongous void of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford before toiling with a new culture and language at Sociedad.

Instead, glancing over his large body of work which includes over 500 games with Everton and a win ratio of 42.08 per cent, plus promotion antics with Preston North End – it is actually an impressive CV.

Sunderland v Everton - Barclays Premier League - Stadium of Light

A champions League coach he may not be, but Moyes has a point to prove and is much more suited to the kind of underdog environment to be enjoyed at the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland are 6/1 for a top ten Premier League finish. Game on.


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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.