David Moyes was swiftly appointed as Sam Allardyce’s replacement as Sunderland manager on Saturday, and he’ll have little time to get comfortable before the start of the new season.
We’ve assessed his early priorities at the Stadium of Light…
Strengthen the squad
Most new managers want to add players to the squad on arrival, but the need at Sunderland is unusually pressing.
Allardyce had yet to bring any new faces in before his departure and the squad is actually smaller than before with the likes of Emanuele Giaccherini, Steven Fletcher, Wes Brown and Steve Harper departing.
Moyes is well enough in touch with the game to have a ready-made wish-list at hand and should be presenting it to the board without a moment’s delay.
Look at last season’s loan stars
Yann M’Vila and DeAndre Yedlin were both big figures in the successful fight against relegation but have returned to Rubin Kazan and Tottenham respectively.
Both are available for transfer and Sunderland would be disappointed if other suitors snuck in while there was a change of guard at the Stadium of Light.
Moyes should use the fact that both enjoyed their time on Wearside to get them in the door.
Assess the youth prospects
Striker Duncan Watmore and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford are already worthy of their places around the first-team squad but Sunderland have a number of other youngsters eager to impress.
Time and care must always be taken over developing talents but Moyes will have to make a fairly early call as to whether the likes of George Honeyman, Rees Greenwood, Thomas Robson and Lynden Gooch are ready for the Premier League.
Moyes was Everton manager when Jack Rodwell made his name as an exciting young midfielder tipped to be an England regular.
With an ill-fated move to Manchester City in 2012 and a series of fitness setbacks those days seem long in the past, but who better placed to give the player a second wind than the man who oversaw his initial development?
Use French training camp wisely
The Scot’s first assignment with the first team will come on a week-long trip across the Channel.
Three friendlies are on the slate and Moyes will need to use those, as well as the surrounding time on the training pitch, to stamp his basic plans on the team.
Whether he persists with Allardyce’s flexible 4-3-3 system is a big question, but the latter’s focus on fitness means there should be plenty of time for tactical work.
Press Association Sport