9. David Moyes
W/8 D/7 L/28 F/32 A/73 - Win %: 18.60
Surely there can be no argument about the man at the bottom of our list - David William Moyes - and whilst he wasn’t statistically the worst, in this instance stats definitely don’t show the entire story.
Hiring David Moyes was the equivalent of punching yourself in the face repeatedly, or perhaps drinking bleach. I think I would rather sleep on shards of broken glass than have to deal with another season under him.
Where did he go wrong? Well, let’s see.
He threatened to slap a woman, didn’t sign Yann M’Vila and instead paid £13m for Didier Ndong, had us as good as relegated by our SECOND game, complained the players he signed were not good enough, signed Joleon Lescott on 30k a week (oh and Adnan Januzaj), took a bunch of millionaire footballers to “relax” in New York a week after mass redundancies were announced at the club - and that’s just touching the sides.
The absolute worst.
8. Simon Grayson
W/3 D/7 L/8 F/23 A/34 - Win %: 16.67
Nice bloke? Sure. Good manager? Hell naw.
Whilst ‘Sunderland Til I Die’ showcased just how out of his depth he really was, we didn’t really need a television show to see that the Yorkshireman was clueless when it came to motivation, tactics, defending, attacking - well, pretty much everything.
He didn’t exactly have a huge amount of help with Martin Bain being the man in charge of bringing new signings to the club, but when you consider he wasted almost our entire budget on James Vaughan and Jason Steele, perhaps it was best we didn’t give him the cheque book.
Three wins in all competitions (only one in the league) tells it’s own story.
7. Chris Coleman
W/5 D/8 L/16 F/27 A/49 - Win %: 17.24
Chris Coleman was a huge appointment at the time and without doubt gets many supporters’ full respect for coming to Wearside. He risked his reputation that he’d built with Wales to try and fix what was a basket case of a football club.
Ultimately though, he failed - and he failed miserably.
He started off brightly enough with wins over Fulham and Burton alongside a commendable draw at Wolves, and he was without doubt a thoroughly likable man who understood the enormity of the football club. But in truth, the positivity train he came in on soon derailed and crashed just as it had done under David Moyes and Simon Grayson before him.
Many fingers can be pointed at the reasons for the Welshman’s failure; however, his in-game management was poor and no matter how good of a bloke he seemed to be, he couldn’t seem to motivate his players and, subsequently, we went down to the third tier with little more than a whimper.
He gets in above Grayson based solely on his ability to swerve the club’s Secret Santa by pretending to be impressed by a Freddo. Impressive work.
6. Paolo Di Canio
W/3 D/3 L/7 F/15 A/24 - Win %: 23.08
Many fans’ abiding memory of the madcap Italian is him parading down the touch line at 100mph every time one of our players thumped a screamer into the black and white’s net (which was absolutely mint by the way). And, quite rightly, those celebrations go down in Wearside folklore as the first and most memorable of the six wins in a row over those lot up the road.
Aside from that though it was a pretty horrendous time to be a Sunderland fan. Once the novelty of a derby win wore off, he lurched from a 6-1 defeat to Aston Villa, to banning tomato sauce, to trying to ruin Phil Bardsley’s career, and that utterly depressing ‘chin up’ motion to fans after a 3-0 defeat to West Brom.
He certainly had some character and his passion for the game definitely aligned with Sunderland’s fanbase, but turning the Academy of Light into a boot camp was probably a step too far.
5. Dick Advocaat
W/4 D/6 L/9 F/23 A/35 - Win %: 21.05
I really like Big Dick (no pun intended), but I think, in hindsight, his return was a bad idea.
Another manager who waltzed in the door, lost his first game then battered the Mags, he was responsible for some excellent results at the end of the 2014/15 season - namely an impressive 2-0 win over Everton and a 0-0 draw at Arsenal. Heck, he even turned Danny Graham into a goal-scoring machine... well, sort of.
In truth, his return was a disaster from the minute those flowers were delivered to his wife.
Rumours of promises broken to Advocaat were rife at the time and have more of less been confirmed in the years since his departure. If what you hear is true, Dick knew coming back was a bad idea as soon as the ink on his contract was dry.
All in all, though, it’d be fair to say that his tenure was more of a mistake based on romanticism than a total disaster. Ultimately, he was another failure.