1. Rene Meulensteen
For many of the reasons that the rest of the group have highlighted, I have quickly found myself warming to the notion of Sir Alex Ferguson’s former confidant being put in charge of our rabble.
Unless Sunderland wants even more upheaval, then it must be stressed that we’ll be looking for someone who can report to – and co-operate with – Director of Football Roberto De Fanti. Having a system in place that alleviates some of the pressures that come with being the man in the Premier League spotlight will surely benefit someone stepping into such a role for the first time.
Whilst he may not be good for sound bites or rallying war cries, that is the last thing we need at the moment. We just need to do it on the pitch, where, if you believe those who have worked with him, is where Meulensteen does the business.
2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Much like Meulensteen or even Di Canio, Solskjaer is regarded as a fine student of the game – albeit with a calmer, more measured approach. Two Norwegian titles also puts him further along than Di Canio was at the time he was appointed here.
My one apprehension would be how he deals with these ‘strong’ characters in the Sunderland dressing room, given his softly-spoken nature, but then again, these characters aren’t as half as good as football as they think are. Hopefully De Fanti is aware of that.
3. Roberto Di Matteo
It’d be handy to have someone with some top-flight experience at least, wouldn’t it?
Di Matteo has handled big names at Chelsea, and would be one of the more fitting of the early candidates to what is likely to be another ‘head coach’ role.