5 Candidates For The Vacant Sunderland Manager's Jobby Chris Knight / 29 April 2018, 15:59Tweet
Spare a thought for Sunderland fans. Since Sam Allardyce departed in July 2016, they have witnessed five different managers walk through and back out of a seemingly revolving door at the Stadium of Light, whilst suffering the indignity of successive relegations.
The Black Cats" demotion to League One, allied with the imminent change in ownership of the club, spelled the end of Chris Coleman"s time in charge after just five months at the helm and the North East club are looking to appoint a sixth manager in the space of 22 months.
We look at who could return the glory days back to Sunderland...
1. Mick McCarthy
Does the new regime start a new era by employing a former manager? There is no doubt that the game has moved on since McCarthy returned the Black Cats to the top-flight during the 2004/05 season but he remains a master at getting the best out of limited resources.
Depending on your point of view, McCarthy either saved his most recent club, Ipswich, from certain disaster or he drove the fans away with a turgid brand of football. The 59-year-old resigned in typically blunt fashion when departing Portman Road a few weeks ago and he would no doubt relish the opportunity to go straight back into management.
Sunderland will have to be up for a scrap in League One and McCarthy has always loved one of those.
2. Alan Pardew
It is difficult to imagine a world where Alan Pardew ever manages in the Premier League again following his doomed spells with Crystal Palace and more recently West Bromwich Albion. It seems that his most likely route back to the top table of English football would be by taking a lower league club up but would his ego allow him to drop down into League One?
It seems unlikely but the new Sunderland board will no doubt arm any new manager with the resources to succeed and Pardew would love to be the man to restore the club to former glories.
CLUB STATEMENT: Sunderland AFC to change ownership pic.twitter.com/REy00JBFsl— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) April 29, 2018
3. Danny Cowley
Lincoln City"s Danny Cowley has forged a reputation as one of the up-and-coming managers in the English football as he, along with his assistant and brother Nick, guided Lincoln City back into the Football League and into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup last season.
The Imps are on the verge of reaching the play-offs in League One this term as they need just one point from their final game of the campaign to be sure of a top-seven finish. The Cowleys signed new contracts until the end of the 2021-22 season but it would be difficult for Lincoln to stand in their way if Sunderland came calling.
4. Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam is looking for a route back into football management after being sacked by Reading last month. The Dutchman"s reputation has dipped after guiding the Royals into the Championship play-off final last season as Reading underperformed this term and Stam will be desperate to take on a job that can help restore his standing in the game.
5. Steve McClaren
The Alan Curbishley of modern day football. Steve McClaren is rarely off our television screens, perched on a sofa or in a Sky Sports studio, reminding anyone who will listen that he was once a football manager.
The former England boss has a close affinity with the North East as he was formerly in charge of both Newcastle United and Middlesbrough - could Black Cats fans forgive him for those "indiscretions"?