Sam Allardyce admits former Arsenal boss his inspiration as he bids to transform Sunderland

first_imgNew Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will rely on his George Graham guidebook as he looks to transform the club’s fortunes.Graham was renowned for moulding defensively-strong sides during his managerial career and his success at Arsenal – where he won the first division title twice – owed much to a formidable back four.Allardyce, who played under the Scot at Millwall, now plans to copy the tried and trusted methods used by his mentor to improve a Black Cats defence that has shipped 18 goals in just eight Premier League games this season.The 60-year-old, appointed as Dick Advocaat’s successor on Friday, told talkSPORT: “The first thing that needs to be done is to stop conceding goals because that is the problem.“That is my first priority and if I can put that right then I’m sure we can win a few games.“A lot of my stuff comes from George Graham, who I worked with at Millwall many years ago. All the stepping up, pushing out, getting your hand up, dropping back, shuffling up.“A lot of that stuff I have taken with me in my time because we all know the importance of clean sheets at every level of football.”Sunderland have yet to win in the Premier League this season, and Allardyce’s predecessor, Advocaat, described the squad as ‘not good enough’ following his departure.But the former West Ham boss insists there is enough quality and experience within the club to turn things around.“There is good potential there and good Premier League experience,” he said.“John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Younes Kaboul, Billy Jones, Lee Cattermole, they have all played a lot of games, they all know what it is about. Hopefully, with my guidance, we will pull out of trouble as quickly as we can.”last_img