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Manager hunt: We asked nine ex-Sunderland players who they would pick, verdict may surprise you

Well, as another Sunderland manager bites the dust and thoughts turn to who's next, we asked a selection of former players who they’d like to see in the hot-seat.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Portsmouth - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Stephen Elliott

Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

I wouldn't mind seeing Roy Keane or Mick McCarthy come back, but I can't see either of them happening if I’m being honest.

Paul Cook is definitely worth consideration. He’s at Wigan now, but he did very well at a big club in Portsmouth with pressure on him, high expectations and a passionate fanbase to deal with.

He’s flying at the minute and would presumably get Reidy involved, considering they work together at Wigan. Hopefully it's sorted out soon though, whoever comes in.


Paul Stewart

Paul Stewart of Sunderland (left) and Michael Thomas go for the ball

I was surprised they appointed Grayson in the first place - I thought at the time there were better candidates available.

The question now is not who is available?’, but more who would take the job?

It’s obvious watching Sunderland that the morale is very low and you struggle to see where the next result is coming from.

The name that immediately springs to mind for me is Ryan Giggs. He’s publicly stated that he wants to get back in the game and I think with his reputation, he’d give the club the lift it needs.


Darren Holloway

Man City v Sunderlan

It’s imperative that they select someone who the fans have an appreciation for, as the place needs a lift. The whole club needs an injection of positivity.

Who can bring that? I’m not 100% sure.

I’d like them to beg Big Sam, but realistically that one isn’t going to happen.

For me, it would be Bally at this moment in time. I think they should have asked him if the caretaker position is something he’d be happy to take on again, then if he took it just wait and see how things go.


Gordon Armstrong

Bob Thomas/Getty Images

I’d go for Ally McCoist. I think we need a strong personality to change this club and its current mentality and I fully believe that Ally is a man who can do that.


Carlos Edwards

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - FA Cup 4th Round Replay Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

We keep giving all these other guys a chance from outside of the club, but I think we need one of our own this time - so I’d go with Kevin Ball.

However, as fans there’s only so much we can do - it’s ultimately up the board to make the right choice. But I think we need one of our own and Bally can do it.


Neill Collins

Derby County v Sunderland Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Before things improve at Sunderland I have a feeling things need to change right at the very top. Pretty much every club in decline can point to mismanagement at a board room level. In respect to the next appointment I think Sunderland need to look at two managers that have already managed the club that were there during my time.

Firstly Mick McCarthy. His record in the Championship is second to none. He has won two titles and led different teams to the play-offs. He would bring back all the principles a club like Sunderland stands for - passion, integrity and hard work - to name a few. He would also make the team hard to beat through being well organised and having players that would run through brick walls for him. All these qualities have been sorely lacking the past couple of years at Sunderland.

Secondly, Roy Keane. I think Roy will be an even better manager after his stint at Ipswich and assistant manager at Republic of Ireland - and he didn’t do a bad job the first time round at Sunderland! As I mentioned before, the fans need someone with passion and desire that they can relate to. No one has more of this than Roy. He would be the perfect candidate to shake up some of the players that are free-wheeling at the moment.

My only concern with this appointment would be the lack of funds. In both his previous jobs he has spent an awful lot of money. I am not sure how he would do on a shoestring. Mick on the other hand, if given some time, would go and recruit well from the lower divisions and hopefully bring in some players that would wear the red and white jersey with pride.


Paul Thirlwell

Sheff Wed v Sunder X

I think at this point the entire club needs a lift from top to bottom. The only realistic way to do that straight away and hopefully get us out of situation we’re in is someone who knows the club and it’s fans inside out.

So for me, it’s anyone between Peter Reid, Kevin Ball or Kevin Phillips, even Ally McCoist is a decent shout. Whoever it is, it can not be an outsider.


Andy Reid

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images

My pick probably wouldn’t be a popular one if I’m completely honest!

However, I would go for Billy Davies.

He’s a really good football coach and I think he’s the type of motivator that the club need right now. I bet many Sunderland fans wouldn’t expect that answer though!


Warren Hawke

Jurgen Klopp once stated in a highly respected German film that focused on the fate of three young German coaches - it was called Trainer - that ‘if you go into a club and the board is bad and dysfunctional - as a manager - you have no chance.’

I think that quote sums up my feelings.