Sunderland’s managerial vacancy: Who will succeed Di Canio?

Blog by: Tanya

Feeling the axe : Paolo Di Canio

Feeling the axe : Paolo Di Canio

After the departure of the Italian Paolo Di Canio, whoever takes over at Sunderland will have a tough job on their hands with the Black Cats holding up the Premier League after a poor start to the season. Sunderland will now be searching for their third manager in less than six months.

There are several names being rumored to fill the post as managerial candidacy is lined up.

Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea to historic glory as interim manager, last season, after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge. He however, drew the sack after three mere months as full-time boss due to unsatisfactory results.

Di Matteo started his career at Milton Keynes Dons and later managed West Bromwich. He led the Baggies to a promotion to the top flight but was dismissed in February 2011. He was appointed as Andre Villas-Boas’ assistant at Chelsea before becoming the interim boss when the Portuguese was sacked.

He has been out of work since getting the chop at Stamford Bridge, but is still regarded highly in the game. He is the overwhelming favorite to succeed Di Canio at the helm.

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren, whose much maligned management of England in 2006-07 caused the battering of his stock, has been considered a front-runner for the Sunderland job.

McClaren’s tenure as England boss ended poorly, when the Three Lions failed to qualify for Euro 2008. He rebuilt his reputation by leading FC Twente to the Eredivisie title in Netherlands, but struggled subsequently at Wolfsburg in Germany, Nottingham Forest and in a second spell at Twente.

A former assistant of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, McClaren has not managed in England since 2006. He has the experience of managing Middlesbrough, leading them to the League Cup in 2004. He is currently working as a coach under Harry Redknapp at QPR.

Gus Poyet

During his time managing Brighton, the former Uruguay, Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder enjoyed three great years at the Seagulls, where he won praise for the way his side played and guided them from League One to the Championship, then into the play-off semi-final last season.

He was however, sacked in June under reasons not-so-well documented and has been linked with Everton and Fulham in the past.

Tony Pulis 

The Welshman left Stoke following seven successful years at the Britannia, where he transformed the Potters from a struggling Championship side to a solid Premier League outfit.

This was his second stint at the club. He is regarded as someone who can be in charge for a long duration, and for that reason may not fit the ever-changing managerial role at the club.

Nonetheless, the board at Sunderland could view him as the safe choice to steady the sinking ship after Di Canio’s brief reign.

Neil Lennon

The Celtic boss is also one of the leading contenders to take over at the Stadium of Light.

He has been in charge of Celtic since March 2010 and has won the Scottish championship two times along with two Scottish Cups during his time in Glasgow.

The former Northern Ireland international, 42, has revealed in the past that he would love the chance to manage in the Premier League  but he would surely have to contemplate on losing the chance to manage his team in the Champions League, if he decides to venture into the Premier League.


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