Sunderland chief beams over Moyes
Sunderland owner Ellis Short believes he has secured an upgrade on Sam Allardyce after confirming the arrival of David Moyes as the replacement for the England manager. Short revealed yesterday that he had tried to get Moyes on five previous occasions and insisted the Scot had been his first choice before he appointed Allardyce last October.
As a result, the American believes he has replaced the new manager of the England national team with a better one from Britain and did not try to hide his happiness. Given that there was no message of thanks to Allardyce in the statement released by Sunderland on Friday that officially confirmed his departure, it seems the nature of his exit has left a bad taste in the mouth, at least at boardroom level.
Moyes had never been out of work before when Sunderland had been looking for a new manager but the club moved swiftly to make sure they got their man this time. Moyes has signed a four-year contract at the Stadium of Light - which is a much longer deal than Sunderland offered Allardyce last year - and spoke of his excitement at returning to the Premier League for the first time since he was sacked by Manchester United in April 2014.
"We are absolutely delighted to welcome David Moyes to Sunderland, who was by far and away our first choice," said Short. "He is a man whose football pedigree speaks for itself and is someone I have long admired.
"He was my No 1 managerial target for the last five appointments, but his desire to honour existing contracts meant we were not able to bring him to Sunderland previously. The fact that David has committed to a four-year deal is a clear demonstration of his belief in what he can achieve here.
"It is our aim to become a better, stronger and more stable football club, and with a manager of David's calibre and experience at the helm, we have a fantastic opportunity to begin looking upwards rather than downwards every season."
Moyes did make reference to the good work done by Allardyce before he had his head turned by the Football Association.
"I am delighted to have joined Sunderland," Moyes said. "I am relishing the challenge and excited by the opportunity. I have taken over a big British club, with a great support, and I'm looking forward to working in the Premier League again. I look forward to continuing the good work done by Sam."
Moyes will watch Sunderland take on Rotherham in a pre-season friendly today from the stands, with coaches Robbie Stockdale and Paul Bracewell taking charge of team matters. He will then jet out with the squad to France for their pre-season tour, which includes three games.