David Moyes – Sam Allardyce left me with an uphill task at Sunderland
Sunderland come up against their former manager for the first time at Selhurst Park today, having spent almost the entire season entrenched in the relegation zone.
Big Sam's Sunderland career ended on a high when he was lauded by a delirious Stadium of Light crowd following last year's great escape. But it has been a struggle from the outset for Moyes, who had to wait until November 5 for his first Premier League win.
And he is convinced the circumstances behind Allardyce's exit and his arrival just a fortnight before the big kick-off lie at the heart of this term's troubles.
Sam Allardyce insists he did not do the dirty on Moyes
"I think it hampered us," said Moyes, who could hand debuts to former Everton pair Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson today. "You've got to remember there were no players signed before I joined so it gave you the feeling Big Sam was having difficulty, either getting them or having the right money.
"And Sam's settlement took a bit of time as well, about a month. That disrupted us because if you're Sunderland, you didn't know what your manager was doing.
"By the time I got here, they were well into pre-season and very little had been done."
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Allardyce, however, claims he did not do the dirty on Moyes but told the Scot to take the Sunderland job.
"I did tell him all about the club, all the strengths and weaknesses and where he had to change in all areas," said Allardyce. "I didn't hold back on any type of information for him to take the club forward. While I want to beat him I don't want David and Sunderland to fail, I wanted to see them push on.
"I hadn't strengthened the squad by the time David arrived and he didn't have a lot of time to do that. So I don't know the team now and they don't know each other because it takes time for players to bed in. He didn't have a lot of time to do that."