Belfast Telegraph

Sam Allardyce: Track record

Sam Allardyce has taken up his new mission at Sunderland with a remit to preserve the club's Barclays Premier League status after a dreadful start to the season.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the career of a man with a proven track record for dragging clubs out of trouble and paving the way for future success.


Allardyce cut his teeth on the coaching front as a player-manager in the League of Ireland, leading Limerick to the 1991-92 First Division - the second tier - title in his only season at the helm before heading for Preston to take up the number two role.


In July 1994 he took charge of Second Division Blackpool, who had avoided the drop to the fourth tier of English football by a single point at the end of the previous campaign. They finished 12th in his first season and third 12 months later but much to his shock, Allardyce was dismissed following a play-off semi-final defeat by Bradford.


Allardyce arrived in Nottingham in January 1997 to inherit a side which had struggled through the first half of the season, and he was unable to prevent them from slipping into Division Three. However, he led the club to promotion as champions on 99 points at the end of the following campaign and kept them in the higher division.


His efforts at Notts County helped land the job at Bolton in October 1999, and it was there that he started to enhance his reputation. Having steered them into the Barclays Premier League at the second attempt, he established them there after two difficult seasons and eventually guided them to European qualification for the first time in the club's history.


Allardyce was seen as the man to stop the door at St James' Park revolving as then chairman Freddy Shepherd sought stability. But his reign lasted just eight months when new owner Mike Ashley decided to give disgruntled fans what they wanted and replaced him with Kevin Keegan.


Rovers were sitting inside the Premier League relegation zone when Allardyce arrived in December 2008, but finished the season in the relative comfort of 15th place. They managed 10th in his first full campaign at the helm, but new owners Venky's dispensed with his services in December 2010.


Allardyce waited almost six months before returning to the game with relegated West Ham in June 2011 and led them back into the Premier League via the Championship play-off final. His style of play did not sit happily with the expectations of Hammers' fans and although the club finished in 10th, 13th and 12th places in the top flight, he and they decided to go their separate ways at the end of last season.


From Belfast Telegraph