Despite Sunderland’s recent troubled history and free-fall down the English leagues, a stint in charge of the fading Black Cats has not proven to be any hindrance to the career progression of various ex-managers.
Just ask Sam Allardyce, whose success in steering Sunderland free from relegation landed him the country’s top job; and when that went pear-shaped he moved swiftly onwards to Premier League Crystal Palace and now Everton.
And don’t even mention David Moyes. The man who led the Black Cats into the abyss has washed up at West Ham and earlier this week boasted to an aghast audience that such is the belief he has in his own abilities, he reckons he can do any job in the world.
Before them, Martin O’Neill landed an international gig after departing Wearside and no doubt Simon Grayson will be back in work before the end of the season at a Football League club who need an experienced hand. Gus Poyet and Paolo Di Canio have not fared so well though and neither have managed in this country since being sacked from Sunderland.
On the topic of the latter, one of Di Canio’s former Swindon players has been recounting his experiences of playing under the fiery Italian. Si Ferry, who featured for the Robins in 2009/10, said in an interview with the Scotsman that he is surprised the former West Ham midfielder has not made a mark on management in the English game despite saving the Black Cats from relegation in 2014:
I thought he would be a top, top manager. His coaching, his attention to detail, his man-management was great. On the training ground he was amazing. He took every session, every drill, his shape was brilliant.
And asked about the management style which did not go down well amongst the established playing personnel at the Stadium of Light, Ferry had this to say about Di Canio:
We [Swindon] played so many higher teams and we beat them just due to his tactics. It didn’t matter if you were the best player in the team or the worst, he’d treat you exactly the same way.
Elsewhere, in the Netherlands, Dick Advocaat - who recently retired from the Dutch national job - may be about to haul himself out of old-age leisure time once again to take charge at troubled Sparta Rotterdam.
The Eredivisie’s second-bottom side were smashed 7-0 by Feyenoord at the weekend in a dreadful city derby and are looking for a new boss. The veteran coach is thought to be top of the wanted list and has been recommended on the basis of the trouble-shooting job he did on Wearside in 2015.
Advocaat has retired more times than Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky of course, but former Dutch Under-21 coach Cor Pot reckons he’s just the man for the Rotterdam gig:
Dick Advocaat has proven at Sunderland that he can fight against relegation. If you can get a man like Dick Advocaat, then you have to feel very rich, he is a man with a huge charisma, a lot of experience and he knows how to put out a team.
Advocaat played for Sparta on more than 60 occasions in the 1980s and was born in Rotterdam, so he has some connection to the city.
The 70-year-old was lured out of retirement in the summer of 2015 - in part thanks to a gift of flowers to his wife from Sunderland fans - to take charge of the Black Cats on a permanent basis after keeping the side in the Premier League following the sacking of Gus Poyet, but he had resigned by early October that same year after a poor start to the season.
Chris Coleman is Sunderland’s seventh permanent manager since the dismissal of O’Neill in 2013. The former Wales boss has made a good start to his Wearside career but recent history suggests there’ll be a whole host of challenges set to come his way; just ask Martin, Gus, Paolo, Dick, Sam and David.