Sunderland are back in a position that they have found themselves in many times over the years, looking for a new manager. In recent history, almost every calendar year has seen the Black Cats searching for someone new. Here is a look at some of the candidates to be the next Sunderland manager.
Next Sunderland Manager Candidates
He led rivals Newcastle United to the Premier League by winning the Championship, then guided Birmingham City to the Championship play-offs before departing for Premier League side Norwich City. In his first season he led the Canaries to an 11th placed finish. After taking Brighton to the Premier League in 2017, he successfully kept them in the top flight. He left the Seagulls at the end of last season.
Hughton would be an ambitious and popular appointment. He was one of the first linked with the Chronicle having him as an early contender. However, whether he would want to drop down to League One is not known. A huge club and project like Sunderland could appeal though.
A fan favourite, Keane has managed Sunderland once before. He took them from the bottom of the Championship to title winners in his first season in charge. The next season, he successfully kept the Black Cats in the Premier League until falling out with the then new owner Ellis Short.
Keane is another who would be a popular choice and was instantly named as a leading candidate in the local press, including the Sunderland Echo. Keane has made no secret of his admiration for the club and their supporters. He has also stated that he would like another go at managing the club.
Former striker Phillips is a huge fan favourite at Sunderland. His goals in the late 90’s and early 2000’s made him a legend on Wearside. ‘Super Kev’ as he is affectionately known, has held coaching roles at Leicester City, Derby County and Stoke City since retiring.
The former England striker has made no secret of his desire to be a manager. He is also keen to manage the club where he had the most success as a player. David Coverdale of The Sun reports that Phillips has told friends he wants the job.
Sam Allardyce was manager at Sunderland before taking the England job in 2016. Many fans believe the club would not be where it is now if he had remained in charge. At this stage however, it appears that a return to Sunderland is unlikely. When asked about the job on Talksport, he said: “Unfortunately not, there’s not a chance. I loved my time there but I don’t think it’s right to go back.”
German Daniel Stendel led Barnsley to promotion from League One last season. However, like Jack Ross, he too lost his job on Tuesday. Stendel had previously managed Hannover 96 before heading to Yorkshire.
Speaking about Stendel, Sunderland owner Stewart Donald said: “I’m sure he’ll be somebody that we’ll potentially look at. We’ve got to find our new man and got to get it right. I’m looking for a manager that is going to get us promoted. The remit is obvious.”
The current Wycombe Wanderers manager has done a remarkable job since taking over at Adams Park. Ainsworth has guided Wanderers from the bottom of League Two to being promotion contenders in League One. His side are currently second in League One and it would be huge achievement for them to be promoted to the Championship.
46-year-old Ainsworth is reportedly happy in his current position; however, should Sunderland come calling with an attractive offer, he could be tempted to test himself at a bigger club. Ainsworth is another who was instantly linked by the Sunderland Echo.
Having guided Bolton Wanderers to the Championship in his first season, Phil Parkinson successfully kept them there until financial difficulties saw them relegated. Parkinson left Bolton at the beginning of this season with the club in administration.
Parkinson boasts a lot of experience, having also managed Charlton Athletic, Bradford City, Hull City and Colchester. A return to management in the near future is likely; however, with Barnsley also looking for a new manager, he could be tempted to try again at managing in the Championship.
Holloway has said the he would “run to Sunderland“ when speaking to Talksport on the day Jack Ross was sacked. In the same interview he claimed “what a job that is for somebody”.
Holloway has a huge amount of experience in management; he has been in charge of the likes of Crystal Palace, Blackpool, Leicester City and QPR. Despite being out the game since leaving QPR in 2018, it appears he could be ready to steep back into management.
Big Club but a Big Job
Once again it is an interesting time at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland are desperate for promotion this season and once again they are searching for what they hope will be the man to bring the good times back to club. Whether it is someone listed above or someone else, they will be going to a big club but it will be a huge job.
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