Alan Shearer on the main thing Sunderland must do to turn their fortunes around

The former Newcastle United man thinks drastic change is needed at the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has claimed that Sunderland need a ‘radical change behind the scenes’ if they are to progress as a club.

The Black Cats are currently searching for a replacement for the departed Dick Advocaat, with Sam Allardyce the hot favourite according the likes of the Daily Mail.

Shearer – who scored 148 goals in 303 games for the Magpies – feels that the successive failures of highly-rated managers at the Stadium of Light suggests a deeper on-going issue at the club.

“Ellis Short has been through a number of managers over the past few years now. Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane, Di Canio, Gus Poyet, and now Advocaat, all of these guys can’t be bad, surely?” He wrote in his column for Coral.

“It would be understandable if it did not work out for one or two, but for it not to work out for all of them tells you there is a deeper problem underneath the surface at Sunderland.”

Debate has raged over the transfer policy at the club, with a report by the Shields Gazette claiming a lack of control over recruitment led to Advocaat's exit and Shearer believes this will have to change if the club is to ever escape a perennial relegation dogfight.

“I am pretty sure that whoever goes in there, the first question will be “who is in charge of bringing players in?” Added the former Newcastle striker.

“If it is not going to be the manager, then they may not be able to attract the top coaches. I am pretty certain that if Sam Allardyce was to go in there, then there would have to be a radical change behind the scenes.”

In Allardyce, Sunderland wouldn’t be hiring a man who is happy to be dictated to over his footballing decisions and he may well bring about the changes the club so desperately need.

If appointed, his first task will be to fashion a disjointed bunch of individuals into a focused and committed team able to put points on the board before the chance of strengthening further in January.

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