After the sacking of Paolo Di Canio after only five games of the new season, all eyes are on Sunderland’s hierarchy to see just who they replace the eccentric Italian with and while for many it seems a foregone conclusion to just who that man will be, Andrew Musgrove takes a look at a few top Championship managers that may take Black Cat’s owner, Ellis Short’s fancy.
Remember, these are just Championship candidates for Sunderland’s next manager, not all prospective candidates:
1 – Gianfranco Zola, Watford: 8/1
After nearly reaching the Premier League last season with Watford, the Italian has re-established himself as one of the game’s most exciting young managers, particularly down to his brand of exciting and attacking football. With previous experience at West Ham United, where many thought he was harshly sacked, the ex-Chelsea striker is no stranger to top flight management and for many would be a welcomed re-addition to the Premier League. At 8/1 he’s second favourite to his ex-team mate Gus Poyet but his friendly attitude, attacking football and general all round nice guy attitude makes him a popular choice amongst some to be the Sunderland’s next manager.
Surprising many at Blackpool, the ex-Manchester United midfielder has guided the Seasiders to the top half of the table when many expected a battle with relegation and while its early days in the campaign, Blackpool should be okay under the guidance of Ince. At 33/1 he’s far from a favourite to take over as Sunderland’s next manager and after his ill-fated spell at Blackburn Rovers, he perhaps won’t be a popular choice amongst the fans. However, guiding Blackpool to 17 points out of a possible 24 is not a feat to be scoffed out and should Ince continue in this fashion, while he may not become the next Sunderland manager surely it’s just a matter of time until he gets another crack at top flight management.
3 – Sean Dyche, Burnley: No odds
Another Championship manager who is upsetting the odds at the top end of the table, with Burnley sitting pretty in 2nd place, something many thought was impossible especially after the sale of Charlie Austin to QPR in the summer. However Sean Dyche has worked his magic at Turf Moor and has lost only one of 8 leagues games this season largely thanks to the goals of Danny Ings. Dyche, a centre back with the likes of Northampton Town and Chesterfield has impressed many by producing great results on relatively low budgets such as that of Burnley and ex-club Watford. Not linked by many as Sunderland’s next manager but impressive performances in the Championship have surely not gone unnoticed.
4 – Chris Powell, Charlton Athletic: 66/1
A very unlikely appointment to be Sunderland’s next manager, however at 66/1 but stranger things have happened. The Charlton Athletic gaffer has been at the Valley since 2011 after a short stint as Leicester City caretaker manager and has turned the Addicks from a mid-table league one team into one that narrowly missed out on the playoffs in their first season back in the Championship in three years. Charlton haven’t fared as-well this season, lying just about the relegation zone with only five points but Powell is still held in high regard at The Valley, and is by all accounts happy in the job but if you fancy a long shot this could be the man for you.
Special mention: Gus Poyet, unattached: 1/6
The undoubted favourite is the ex-Brighton manager, who left his post in rather acrimonious circumstances towards the end of last season after a relatively successful time in charge at the Falmer Stadium. He guided the Seagulls to League One promotion in outstanding fashion, not abdicating the top spot which they had occupied from 8 games in. He also guided Brighton to the Championship playoff semi-finals, losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace who would go onto reach the Premier League, that defeat would be Poyet’s last game in charge of Brighton who soon suspended him. The reasons behind that suspension will be of interest to Ellis Short who cannot afford to make another managerial mistake. Poyet, known for his attractive style of football, he is for many the first choice to become the next Sunderland manager and has already publically admitted an interest in the vacant position, if you want a safe bet – Poyet would appear to be your man.
All odds are taken from Skybet. Click here for a free £10, no deposit required bet.