Signing former Newcastle and West Ham man Nolan could be Allardyce’s big mistake at Sunderland.
Allardyce looks well set to take the Sunderland manager’s job now, and the Daily Mirror claimed earlier this week that the former West Ham and Newcastle boss already has his first signing in line.
Allardyce wants to bring Kevin Nolan to Wearside, having had the 33-year-old midfielder with him at Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham.
Nolan left the Hammers earlier this season by mutual consent when it became clear that he was not going to be part of Slaven Bilic’s first-team. He is past his best, but has proven that he still has the ability to have an impact in the Premier League, and a number of sides in the bottom half of the Premier League could theoretically want to sign him.
However, Allardyce should stay away from Nolan, as signing him could potentially turn the fans on his back.
When Allardyce is hired, he will be the first man to have managed Sunderland and Newcastle since the 1800’s, and if he brings in Nolan, Allardyce would be signing a player who turned out 91 times for the Magpies, captaining them during his final season at the club.
With Allardyce arriving, and then Nolan being signed, the manager would immediately have brought a large Newcastle influence to Sunderland, and that will hardly endear Allardyce to the fans at the Stadium of Light - even if he did play for the club back in the 1980’s.
Allardyce needs to build a side with a character and unity, and bring the fans back to supporting a team they have become disillusioned with in recent years. This will not be easy if the former Newcastle boss brings in a former Newcastle player - even if he impressed during spells with Bolton, West Ham and the Magpies.