Sunderland fanzine editor Martyn McFadden has welcomed the appointment of Sam Allardyce as the club’s new manager.
Allardyce has been unveiled as Dick Advocaat’s replacement after days of negotiations with owner Ellis Short.
The 60-year-old former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham boss returns to the club that he served as a player in the 1980s and youth team coach under Peter Reid in 1996.
Allardyce was linked with the job in the summer before Advocaat’s U-turn, but now follows the Dutchman into the hotseat with Sunderland having yet to win a Premier League game all season.
McFadden, editor of A Love Supreme, said: “It’s weird, because at the end of last season, people were quite snobby about him and the way he plays football but the way Sunderland have been playing football over the last few weeks has been pretty ineffective.
“Even if we play a system that’s not very pretty but wins games, that will work for me.”
And Big Sam’s reputation for playing dull football was not entirely deserved, believes McFadden.
“The last couple of times we played West Ham when he was in charge, they played good football,” he added.
“They used the wingers well and, being an Allardyce side, were well-drilled at set pieces.
“He’s got a good reputation for getting the best out of average players, so he’s probably qualified for the job at the moment because we seem to be pretty well served for average players.”
Dick Malone, a member of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning side, welcomed the news.
He said: “I think it’s a good appointment.
“He has been there and seen it all. He has been in this situation before.
“No matter what flak is fired at him, he just keeps going and keeps his head down.
“It might not be everybody’s cup of tea but as long as he gets it right that’s all that matters.
“I think he will know what he will want, to shore us up, and will put it in place quickly.
“It was good of Dick Advocaat to leave when he left so there is time to put it right. If anyone else had come in, I think it would have been a gamble given our situation.
“If you have not been there you don’t know what it’s like.”
George Forster, Sunderland Supporters Association chairman, added: “We had to do something. We all had our own view on who the manager should be, but he has been here before as a player which is a good thing - I used to have a bit of a natter with him back in the 80s.
“I think he will steady the ship and I don’t think players will argue with him as a manager, he is too big for that.
“And it augurs well for the derby as he will have a lot to prove.”