Our next head coach: Dyche, Allardyce, Cocu, Pol. Who excites, who doesn’t?

portofino stripes

So who do we think is fit to lead a team bearing the handsome red and white stripes on which someone clearly based his or her design when coming up with a colour scheme – spotted the other day – for the central bagni in the Italian resort of Santa Margherita, right next to Portofino?

I had a go at this question in my latest piece for ESPN, which you can see at http://www.espnfc.com/club/sunderland/366/blog/post/2477242/dyche-linked-with-sunderland

Let’s look at the supposed targets:

* Sean Dyche is favourite to take the job Dick Advocaat declined to keep after saving the club from a calamitous relegation. But only the favourite according to the bookies …

My take:

Online mutterings among the supporters suggest such an appointment would receive an unenthusiastic response. Dyche undoubtedly earned respect for taking Burnley to the Premier on a feeble budget. He impressed many in football during a difficult season and there was genuine sympathy, if not from Sunderland fans more concerned with their own club’s plight, that he was unable to keep them up.
But that honourable failure leaves Dyche with the inescapable status of an unproven quantity in the top flight. Is the hope that he might show his true worth at a bigger club, with greater resources, really the height of Sunderland’s ambition?

* Philip Cocu,
capped 101 times as a midfielder by the Netherlands and Advocaat’s successor as a manager of PSV Eindhoven

My take:

He has just led Eindhoven to a first league title in seven years. It would take an extraordinarily generous deal, and the promise of serious investment to enable Sunderland to realise the potential a huge fan base suggests, to engage his interest. But that is the sort of appointment that would excite supporters, who feel they are owed recompense for season after season of turgid, relegation-standard football and — until Advocaat’s brief appearance — a succession of unsuitable managers.

Others who have been mentioned:

* Viktor Skrypnyk, the Ukrainian now in charge of Werder Bremen,

* Armin Veh, formerly with Stuttgart.

* The former Spurs and Fulham boss Martin Jol is available, having been out of work since a disastrous run of defeats, after two solid midfield seasons, cost him his Fulham job in December 2013.

* Sam Allardyce

Allardyce and his style of play will always divide supporters and there are doubts about his willingness to accept the sporting director/head coach arrangement to which ower Ellis Short is clearly attached.

But I presented the names with my usual health warning, that supporters should know from experience that nearly all speculation about transfers and management changes should be taken with a lorryload of salt.

I have never forgotten the words of an impeccably placed individual who explained to me how wrong most close-season transfer gossip had been after Roy Keane led Sunderland back to the Premier in 2007. Many of the players described in the media as targets had never even been considered; several others had been courted without reporters hearing about it.

My conclusion, therefore, is that the identity of the new boss may surprise us all, Paddy Power included. Ellis Short has had few more important decisions to ponder since taking a controlling interest in the club in 2008.


Jake: 'thanks to all have shared their thoughts in this feature'
Jake: ‘thanks to all have shared their thoughts in this feature’
* See also: Salut! Sunderland writers review the 2014-2015 season:

AlanJ (reader): ‘excellent, thoughtful and thought-provoking articles. They should be compulsory reading for Ellis Short and our new Head Coach/Manager’

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

18 thoughts on “Our next head coach: Dyche, Allardyce, Cocu, Pol. Who excites, who doesn’t?”

  1. Well the new coach…is the old one.

    Was hoping he wouldn’t do it,it’ll only end in tears,and I do worry about his age and health.

    But part of me is happy!

  2. Sinisa Mijhaiiovic. Just taken Sampdoria to 7th place in Serie A and left to look for a fresh challenge.

    He’d be a better bet than all of them.

  3. Slavisa Jokanovic – The Watford manager’s contract is running down and he has refused to sign a new one on the terms offered. An out of contract manager means no compensation payment.

    I’d be surprised if he wasn’t sounded out around about the time of the Arsenal game.

    You heard it hear first! – Possibly.

  4. Dyche is a Mick McCarthy, we have been down that avenue and it is not the way forward. We have tried everything and were all surprised by what Advocaat achieved. We need stability we need a steady hand, a person who can consolidate and build. To that end is Allardyce such a bad choice he has a history at Sunderland and great passion for the game to could suceed where many have failed

    • No Big Sam,,,run of the mill manager! Thank God Advacaat has signed a new deal,even for a year he will steady the ship,direct it forward.

  5. Advocaats made his money out of your club, he didnt need another year’s worth. I hear tell of David Moyes as an outsider, good move that if you could get him but I doubt it. I still think Ian Holloway could be a breath of fresh air for you

  6. A VERY BIG NO! NO! NO! to Dyche and Mclaren and a very BIG NO! NO! NO! to BIG SAM! We need someone with the calibre of Advocatt not one of these managers who are on a roundabout of differant clubs. Come on Short,we have had enough of crap managers that you give a nice big check to,then you fire them and have to give them an even bigger check to pay off the contract you gave them,give them a years contract and if all’s going well,extent it for another year,stop throwing money away on crackpot managers and get some good players into the club….You should have asked Advocaat if he wanted a 1 year contract,with a nice juicy salary,long enough to settle the club down next season and look for a new manager who can work with him for the season,then take over,But its always the same year in year out,,,,season after season,,,,Crap,crap and more crap.

  7. This, without comment, from the HITC site http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2015/06/03/report-sunderland-consider-hiring-bernd-schuster-recently-linked/

    Sunderland are considering a move for ex-Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster as they look to replace Dick Advocaat.

    Advocaat only arrived at Sunderland in March after replacing previous manager Gus Poyet, and was immediately charged with the challenge of keeping the Black Cats in the top flight.

    The Dutchman, formerly of Rangers, achieved his task before the final day of the season, but is now off to enjoy his retirement at the age of 67 – and whilst Sunderland fans were desperate for him to stay, the club now must find a replacement this summer.

    Burnley boss Sean Dyche is currently the favourite with the bookmakers, but The Sun now believe that German Schuster is now in the running for the job.

    The 55-year-old has been out of work since leaving Malaga last summer, and whilst The Chronicle recently reported that Schuster wouldn’t be the next Newcastle manager, he could yet find his way to the North East – only on Wearside rather than Tyneside.

    Schuster has a long managerial career which has seen him take charge of Fortuna Koln, FC Koln, Xerez, Shakhtar Donetsk, Levante, Getafe, Real Madrid, Besiktas and Malaga, and now a move to England could be a possibility for the former Barcelona midfielder.

    Schuster would be an Advocaat-like appointment in that he brings a wealth of experience but little recent success – and it would be a surprise to see Sunderland gamble on that for a long-term appointment despite the links to Schuster.

  8. Let’s just go for Cocu, he’s worked with big Dick previously, so if he’s in the same mould as him management wise, it can only be a step forward. He’s young so (you’d think) he’d have fresh new ideas and would get the most out of what’s at his disposal, especially if we do recruit well (which I’m always sceptical of) so let’s just put all of our eggs into a Philip Cocu shaped basket and let him build something. That’s the key for me – give a young manager the chance to build something beautiful.

  9. It’s easy to be a bit ‘sniffy’ about some of the managerial selections but a number of excellent managers had fairly poor beginnings. Bobby Robson was sacked by Fulham and Shankly didn’t really impress at Carlisle, Workington or Huddersfield prior to taking over at Anfield.

  10. I’d like to see one of the younger foreign coaches appointed – Armin Reh, Phillip Cocu or the one we’ll just call “Vik the Gaffer” Viktor Skrypnyk – a very big no to Dyche, Big Sam or Mclaren (new neighbour ?) as I see them as a step sideways/backwards

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