Chris Weatherspoon: My Top 3 Choices For Next Sunderland Manager

Denis Doyle

It's odd, it doesn't feel like very long since I wrote this piece. Oh wait, it isn't. So, for the second time in six months, here's my favoured three choices for the next man to enter through the Stadium of Light's revolving door.

1. Marcelo Bielsa

Would he come? Who knows. Is he worth a try? Absolutely. If we're talking revolutions - and I believe, in amongst the madness, we still are - then embarking on the road to 'Bielsafication' would be the logical, and ambitious, choice.

For all the criticisms surrounding Paolo Di Canio, and there were plenty, one thing that was never levelled at him was a lack of appetite for the job. Di Canio, even by his most vocal detractors, was accepted as a seriously hard worker; a man who lived for the game and would do his absolute best to ensure success. Bielsa is cut from a similar cloth but, crucially, his is a more nuanced approach. Where Di Canio attempted to use the tactics of shock and awe - not to mention a constant desire for tinkering - Bielsa's approach is one with foundations of hard work and applied with, you know, a bit of sanity.

Bielsa, currently unemployed, would bring a toughness to the job. Despite too many of this squad clearly showing their unwillingness to better themselves, Bielsa would be aided by the fact that he has a proven history of getting results. His Bilbao side were one of the best sides in Europe to watch for two years: ambitious and attacking. It may be beyond the reach of the club, but after this most recent debacle, Sunderland need to make a statement. Appointing Bielsa would be a positive one.

2. Jurgen Klinsmann

Probably another one in the 'Why the hell would he come here?' basket. But I don't care. Di Canio was brought in because the old school English manager approach wasn't working. Di Canio wasn't the answer, but nor is reverting back to the sort of appointments we firmly abandoned at the end of March.

Unlike Bielsa, Klinsmann does have a job right now, overseeing the US national team. But it is hard not to feel that, after having his time at Bayern Munich cut rather short, the former Germany supremo would love another stab at club management. I feel it's an overly ambitious choice, but really, do we have anything to lose? This is a ship sinking - somehow - at an even quicker rate than six months ago.

3. Roberto Di Matteo

Frankly, I'm against the appointment of Di Matteo. It sounds ridiculous to say of a man who has FA Cup and Champions League wins on his managerial CV, but I don't see what justifies the hype surrounding him. He fluked his way to those Chelsea wins, carried on the shoulders of a playing squad with enormous power, then largely failed at West Brom. Yet, perhaps he is all we can get right now. Few in the managerial wilderness will now view the Sunderland job as anything other than a poisoned chalice.

In essence, Di Matteo is the best of a bad bunch. Tony Pulis would arguably do a better job, especially when it comes to keeping us up, but the chances of Short plumping for one of the old school are, in my opinion, almost nil. Di Matteo has a point to prove.

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