David Boyle - Give Bally The Job!
As Ellis Short and his board look set to take their time over the next managerial appointment to be thrust into the Stadium of Light's hot seat, responsibility for the day-to-day management of the club continues to rest on the shoulders of Kevin Ball. However, as those who can remember the combative midfielder from his playing days on Wearside, Sunderland fans can rest easy as those very shoulders are more than likely carved from granite.
I must admit, following Di Canio's departure and the subsequent maelstrom of names being bandied around as to who should replace the Italian, I scoffed at a few who suggested Kevin Ball.
It's fair to say that as I now come around to idea more and more each passing day I feel a little daft for making such a snap judgement.
Ball has garnered quite a reputation for himself with the club since hanging up his boots, slowly going about his business behind the scenes, operating in a number of different roles and earning the requisite coaching badges along the way. The caretaker gaffer has also drawn praise for his work with the under-21's and especially the way in which he has set them up on the field of play.
Many will point to a lack of top flight managerial experience, and in Ball's case any at all, however this is an argument that could easily be aimed at the other names that are in strong contention for the role.
We have recently gone for the safe option in appointing Steve Bruce, tried the "messiah" route with Martin O'Neill and most recently, well how should I put this? Tried "thinking outside the box" with Paolo Di Canio and none of these managers were able to bring about the success or stability required.
So with that said, maybe the answer to the current problem could lie beneath our very nose.
Of course, I would certainly approach the appointment of Ball with an air of trepidation and would expect the club to back their man with the recruitment of a backroom staff that can ably support Ball with his new role and the additional responsibilities of a Premier League manager. A new approach to the defensive side of our game, for example, certainly wouldn't go amiss at the moment.
Whatever decision the club come to, at least we can rest easy in the fact that the club have been diligent in carrying out the their homework this time around, slowly whittling down their shortlist and exploring, from the sounds of it at least, a multitude of options.
However, we would also be remiss to ignore what we already have in the shape of Kevin Ball.
Simon Walsh - Look Elsewhere!
This is a difficult one to write as I'm not actually against the appointment of Kevin Ball. In fact, I'm actually warming to the idea the more the days tick on with him at the helm. So take this as not my opinion at all, but what someone who is against it might say, in the form of brief bullet points;
- Will bring back Phil Bardsley when he's fit.
- While he his a refreshing change of pace from Di Canio, he may well be too 'pally' with the players.
- He's actually gone on record as saying he likes Phil Bardsley.
- Little experience at the top level, may not be able to translate success at youth level to top level.
- Not quite sure he can pull off a suit on the touchline. Looks like a hardened Uncle at a wedding or a bouncer. I'd opt to bring back his glasses full time and go for the look of Jurgen Klopp at his most casual. It just doesn't 'suit' him, AMIRITE?
- Can he attract quality players? We're unlikely to really succeed on the pitch, so will his name carry any gravitas?
- Seriously, he will bring back Phil Bardsley.
- The novelty of his difference to Di Canio may well start to lose it's sheen soon.
- I refer back to points 1, 3 and 7.
Clearly there's some doubts which can be raised about Kevin Ball, and for that reason alone, I'm out.
Do you support Kevin Ball to be manager, or have enough questions been raised about this in the counter argument? Make your vote heard in the poll below!