Could Sunderland’s situation prompt Newcastle into making a big call?

Sunderland and Newcastle United are both at the wrong end of the Premier League table.

Sunderland and Newcastle United have both started the season disastrously, winless in 16 Premier League matches combined and sitting five points adrift of safety.

As a result, the Black Cats have already undergone an important change – former boss Dick Advocaat has stepped down and replaced by Sam Allardyce.

The former West Ham United manager is an expert at staying in the Premier League, having led the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United into mid-table consolidation.

Sunderland may well be his biggest task yet – but would you back against him considering his record?

It’s arguably the best appointment the Black Cats could have made in their current position, and his arrival could spell bad news for those also expected to battle relegation, not least Newcastle United.

The Magpies have been weak under new boss Steve McClaren, with spells of good football undermined by their soft underbelly - emphatically illustrated during their recent 6-1 defeat at Manchester City.

McClaren is undeniably a top coach, but question marks remain over his man-management and motivational skills, and his track record of turning around dire situations is not encouraging.

Three teams have to go down this season and with Sunderland expected to improve should Allardyce join them as new manager, then who are the other candidates?

Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City have all begun life in the Premier League in promising fashion, while Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion have their own managers adept in survival.

The odds are currently stacked against the Geordies, yet there is one possible solution to their predicament in former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson.

Pearson is currently out of work, boasts a renowned quality when it comes to survival and, above all, is an extremely good motivator - proven by his time at former clubs Hull City and Leicester.

It would take a brave man to bite the bullet and get rid of McClaren after just eight matches, but considering the circumstances, it could now be Newcastle’s only option at retaining their Premier League status.

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