Ralf Rangnick rumours have steadily been gaining pace towards the end of last week. He’s the football hipster’s choice who masterminded the fairy-tale rise of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim from the third tier of German football to seventh in the Bundesliga. So what should Sunderland fans make of 'the German Wenger' being linked to the current managerial position at the Stadium of Light?
The long standing favourite for the job, Gus Poyet is under the microscope. Samantha, editor for Vital Brighton, gives us her verdict on Brighton & Hove Albion’s former boss, starting with her opinion around his mysterious departure.
We were lucky enough to get a few moments with Republik of Mancunia writer Nashat Hassan (@nashat_hassan) – so we fired him a few questions. He talks Sunderland, Paolo Di Canio, United, Moyes and today’s game.
So who should get the Sunderland job? Well, it might not be our decision, but we fancied getting the opinions of those who know the top candidates a little better. Each man will be rated on their tactics, man management, youth management, discipline and if they would be a good fit for us to give an overall score. First, we get a bit of help from ESPN blogger James Whittaker to give us his verdict on former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis – being a Stoke fan, he’s got plenty to say!
Perhaps it’s time to alleviate ourselves from the thought-shackling managerial mess and think a little bit about football, for a bit anyway. Kevin Ball takes charge of what is likely to be his last match as caretaker manager with the next permanent boss set to be announced next week, apparently. So what exactly does a managerless team with one point on the board, the worst defensive record who find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table need next? A visit from the champions of course!
John O’Shea is a bit of an enigma for me. His pedigree is undeniable with nearly 400 appearances for the most successful side of this generation and no fewer than 10 major domestic and European winners’ medals. So why is it that, at least in my opinion, he just doesn’t cut it as a Sunderland captain?
Kevin Ball must be wondering why the gods seem to be working so much against him by setting such missions impossible. When he was appointed caretaker manager back in 2006, Sunderland's fate was all but sealed, having accumulated just 10 points from 28 games. In his current predicament, he was given the herculean task of inheriting another demoralised squad again on an interim basis with just one point from the first five matches.
It's hard to be confident going into this weekend's game against Liverpool, but the regime change and a more relaxed atmosphere around the Academy is surely a huge boost.Life under Paolo Di Canio doesn't seem to have suited our squad and if some of the stories I have heard about him are true I'm not surprised. Hopefully they enjoy life a bit more under Kevin Ball and we can start picking up points sooner rather than later. We are still bottom of the league, let’s not forget that!
It was fascinating to read that in the recent revolt, players reportedly had to go to Sunderland's chief executive Margaret Byrne and director of football Roberto De Fanti to air their grievances. Seems there was little choice.Previously they would have gone to Niall Quinn, when he was chairman or even in his temporary role of international development. Since his sad departure, the whole structure seems to be lacking in what the club is supposed to be about.
“I can let the team do the talking for me.” It is a quotation obvious never learnt by Paolo Di Canio or seemingly able to understand. It comes from one of the most unlikely football legends, whose name stands at the summit of managerial achievements in British football - a stunning array of 20 trophies in nine seasons, which will never be equalled. Despite this, he brought humility, not seen or ever likely to be seen any more, to the game.