Sam Allardyce is 1/4 to break what has come to be known as ‘the Sunderland cycle’ after steering them to Premier League safety with one game to spare.
In besting Everton by three goals to nil and demoting Newcastle and Norwich in the process, the Black Cats extricated themselves from deep within the cloying depths of the relegation mire for the fourth successive campaign.
Speaking after the success that ensured survival, Allardyce was quick to point out the club should not be “doing a lap of honour by avoiding relegation again.”
That the Wearsiders have been serially incapable of channeling their relegation-cheating end of season form into the campaign that follows has led to a regular churn of managers, aka ‘the Sunderland cycle’.
Not once since Steve Bruce left the club in November 2011 has a Black Cats boss seen out a full Premier League campaign from start to finish.
However, the bwin odds gurus make it a warm order that Allardyce puts a stick through the spokes of this particular hoodoo and the ‘Big’ man is historically durable when occupying the hotseat.
During a 22-year career in charge of seven separate clubs he has been relieved of his duties during the campaign only twice.
The first, at Newcastle, was arguably the sole genuine black mark against him, when he lasted less than eight dreary months at St James’ Park.
Allardyce’s only other mid-season sacking came after Venky’s took over at Blackburn Rovers, despite the club sitting comfortably in mid-table.
Under his stewardship, Sunderland have lost just twice across their last 13 league games and recruitment for next season is already on the agenda.
In stark contrast to the managers that preceded him, the former West Ham boss’ transfer dealings were uniformly successful.
Lamine Kone, scorer of two goals against Leicester, midfield anchor Jan Kirchoff and forward Wahbi Khazri have all been instrumental since arriving in January.
The Black Cats are 12/5 to sign off the season in style at Watford on Sunday, while centre-half Kone is 15/2 to find the net again.