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Hodgson rules himself out, then in to Sunderland job & the cronyism behind new boss recruitment

Frantic 'who's next' speculation has gripped the media all day as the spectre of David Moyes is expunged from Sunderland memory banks and the single most important managerial recruitment exercise for a decade gets underway. With supporters and observers crying out for a fresh dynamic approach to the job at the Stadium of Light, worrying noises are emerging already.

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Former England boss Roy Hodgson - linked with the Sunderland job today - has said he isn't actively looking for a new position but would not readily turn down a stint in the Stadium of Light hot seat either.

England v Australia - International Friendly
Roy Hodgson during his last visit to the Stadium of Light as England manager in May 2016
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The former Fulham and Liverpool boss - who turns 70 this summer - displayed all the hallmarks of the indecision which blighted his reign in the national role by ruling himself out, and then in, to the running for the Sunderland job all in the same sentence - though that's not entirely clear:

I'm not after a job but at the same time I am not looking to turn down jobs.

Hodgson - who many Sunderland fans will identify as being a factor behind the club's current crisis - has been linked with taking charge at a succession of sides since leaving the England job after Euro 2016.

Wearside folklore now concludes that because Hodgson was unable to beat the minnows of Iceland, the FA came knocking at the door of the Stadium of Light for Sam Allardyce - a move from which Sunderland have never really recovered - and the rest is history.

Despite boasting an impeccable record at club level - bar his failed stint at Anfield - Hodgson is not a name many Sunderland fans would have anywhere near the summit of a top ten 'most wanted' list for the now vacant manager's job.

The veteran of sixteen different club management tenures has not taken charge of a domestic league fixture in over five years and the landscape of football continues to evolve at an ever-increasing rate.

Hodgson also has limited club experience of working outside of the Premier League and you have have to go back to the early 1980s for a stint in the old Division Three with Bristol City to find any evidence of non-top-flight time served in this country.

That said, Hodgson's spells at Blackburn, Fulham and West Brom bring cracking pedigree of managing at clubs outside of the traditional English elite or those considered to be 'fashionable'.

Certainly Hodgson has acknowledged how difficult the Sunderland job in his assessment of David Moyes' dismissal:

Unfortunately sometimes when you take on difficult jobs like Sunderland the odds are perhaps stacked against you.

I'm very sad for him [Moyes] and very sad for the club but david will certainly bounce back because managers and coaches of quality do not grow on trees.

With the job at the Stadium of Light an extraordinarily hard one to crack, whether Hodgson would be up to the challenge would cast doubt for many. And he does have history of withering under pressure - as the tail end of his spells at Blackburn, Liverpool and England prove.

Bain turns to old pals to advise on recruitment

Not content with headlines claiming Sunderland will consult the man whose chair is still warm - David Moyes - on who to pick as the club's next manager, chief executive Martin Bain has decided he will seek advice from another name from his little black book - former Rangers' boss Walter Smith.

Alas Smith and Bain

According to reports in the Scotsman, the 69-year-old - who hasn't worked in football management for six years since leaving Ibrox - is acting as an 'unofficial adviser' to aid Bain in drawing up a shortlist of potential names to replace David Moyes.

At a time when Sunderland require innovation and dynamism to recruit an innovative and dynamic replacement for the man who was anything but - David Moyes - most will agree that a Rangers old boys' routine is the last thing we need. Ally McCoist anyone?

And the last time Sunderland AFC sought the services of a veteran football manager to advise on a vacant position, the adviser ended up advising that he himself be appointed as boss. Howard Wilkinson being the terrible precedent for this kind of nonsense.

Howard Wilkinson

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