Are Sunderland’s nine lives up?

As pre season starts to draw closer, Sunderland are still searching for a new manager following David Moyes resignation at end of May.

Aberdeen boss, Derek McInnes was the bookies’ favourite to take over at the Stadium Light. He however failed to agree personal terms to leap over to the English border.

As clubs start to finalise their transfer plans for the next two months, who could take over at the Stadium of Light?

Below are some possible options who i personally think would be worth looking at for the job.


  1. Aitor Karanka

The former Middlesbrough coach is settled up in the North East, making him a decent target for the vacancy.

After spending so long in the Premier League, the Mackems need an experienced coach who has managed in the Sky Bet Championship.

Hence why Karanka would fit the bill having challenged with Boro in his first two full seasons for promotion.

Even though he can be a difficult coach at times, Karanka is ambitious and will accept nothing less than absolute dedication from his squad.

That is something that Sunderland players lack in buckets as seen on numerous occasions when they switched off mentally.

For that reason, someone like Karanka is required to refocus the club whilst taking no prisoners from underperforming players.

The only issue would be his managerial return being at one of Boro’s rivals, which is something he would probably want to avoid out of the respect he has for his former club.

Appointment potential: 4/5


2. Nigel Pearson

He might of missed out on the Boro job to Gary Monk but could Nigel Pearson still come to the North East this summer?

Pearson ticks all the boxes in terms of experience, promotion history and quality. He however often has had a strained relationship with the board at his previous clubs.

With rumours of Ellis Short being close to a deal to sell the club, would the new owners want a tense relationship with Pearson? I highly doubt they would making him probably the last resort option.

Appointment potential: 2/5


Steve McClaren

If want a man who knows what it is like to have been in Premier League one season then managing in Championship the next, Steve McClaren is the perfect man.

With a colourful managerial CV including managing aboard in the Eredivisie and Bundesliga, McClaren will bring plenty of experience to a club in desperate need of some.

He has also managed both of Sunderland’s main rivals in Newcastle (July 2015- March 16) and Middlesbrough (July 2001- May 2006).

Could McClaren become the first manager to manage all three of the North East’s leading football clubs?

McClaren also has previous in the Championship with two spells at Derby County and one at Nottingham Forest (Aug-Oct 2011), so knows how tough promotion is to achieve.

That knowledge would benefit him as well as the players, who might expect to go and smash the league this coming season.

Realistically if want a safe pair of hands then Steve is the man to provide that.

Appointment Potential: 4/5


4. Ryan Giggs

Could an ex Manchester United ‘Class of 92’ player be the answer as he looks for his first managerial role?

Ryan Giggs may be inexperienced but having coached under Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, he might be a fresh pair of hands for the task in hand.

As the Black Cats set out on a new challenge, Giggs might be the ideal man to guide them on that challenge as he begins his own personal challenge in the dugout.

The one thing that might put pay to his chances is his lack of experience because England’s second tier is notoriously difficult to master for many relegated clubs.

An instant return is often the preferred option if want to avoid the same fate as Blackburn succumbed to, after a few seasons of failing to regain their top flight status.

For that reason, Giggs probably is a dangerous bet for a club currently set for a takeover.

Appointment potential: 1/5


Other contenders

There are several managers available alongside those of above. Could the Black Cats lure Sam Allardyce back out of his sabbatical for another stint on Wearside?

Alternatively, the recently sacked Claude Puel would worth considering alongside Walter Mazzarri. The latter was unpopular for his training tactics at Watford but would of learned a lot about how to manage in England last season.

Could Mazzarri well be the kick up Sunderland’s backside that they need, if want an instant return to Premier League next season after some woeful performances during last season?

Simon Grayson and Owen Coyle have also emerged as possible successors lately.

I can’t see Grayson leaving Preston North End to take over a struggling club, when he and Preston are edging closer to the front of the Championship.

As for Coyle, his recent Championship spell with Blackburn Rovers didn’t fare well, making his credentials for the job questionable.

Please feel free to comment below and share your views on who the new Sunderland manager should be. 

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