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Luke Bowley: Top 3 Picks For Sunderland Manager

With Sunderland once again looking for a new head coach, I've taken a look at the selections and given my top three preferred options. Even though it actually doesn't matter who we appoint.


1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

I know very little of Ole Gunnar's managerial career in Norway. The media tells us he's doing quite well, having led Molde to back-to-back Norweigan titles, but he supposedly did it on a budget much bigger than any other team in the league. So while Solskjear is certainly still unproven, I say we should be the ones to give him his first big shot. The reason for this: he's just a really loveable man. Everyone likes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer; even fans of Man Utd's biggest rivals. After having such a divisive figure in charge, it would just be nice to have someone as manager who you can say with 100% certainty isn't a fascist, and who won't fall out with everyone after a couple of months.

After the flashy egoism of Di Canio, we need the polar opposite. A man who knew his job was to wait patiently on the bench until he got the signal to run amok amongst tired defenders, and who quietly went about becoming one of the most important players in the history of one of the world's biggest clubs.

2. A Hologram Of Deceased Italian Fascist Leader Benito Mussolini

Alternatively, we can go down the opposite route to 'hire a man everyone likes', and go for someone that will make everyone hate us instead. We saw with the appointment of Di Canio, and the subsequent media storm over his political beliefs, that having everyone on our backs can galvanise supporters, and have us all pulling in the same direction.

Now of course, we can't appoint the real Mussolini, but the hyper-commercialisation of the rap industry has shown us that a person's death is no obstacle to them doing their jobs and, like the holographic 2Pac, our visual recreation of Mussolini will be the next best thing to the man himself.

The nation's media will vilify us and everyone will hate us, but this will only have the effect of banding us all together in defiance to the criticism, and create a union that will spur the team on into comfortable Premier League safety.

3. Anyone. Then Sack Them At The First Sign Of Things Not Going Well

There is a cycle to how things work at Sunderland. After sacking our manager mid-season, we appoint a new one who, though arriving too late to get us anywhere beyond mid-table, starts magnificently, steering us well away from relegation trouble. In the close season that follows, we fans become as optimistic as we've ever been. After all, if this is what this manager can do with someone else's squad in half a season, imagine what he can with his own players in a full one. The peak of the positivity wave comes when we make our marquee summer signing, an Adam Johnson or a Giaccherini.

Of course, this optimism quickly fades when the season starts and we actually play football, when we find out we're still really average. With relegation fears rising, the manager will be sacked mid-season and replaced with a new one, who makes a terrific start, taking us away from danger . Optimisim reigns again and the cycle continues unimpeded. This is what will inevitably happen with whoever we appoint now and it doesn't matter whether that man is Pep Guardiola, Tony Pulis, or a Hologram of a long dead Italian dictator.

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