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Who could be Sunderland’s ideal replacement for Tony Mowbray?

In the aftermath of Mowbray’s departure, could Sunderland opt for an up-and-coming coach, or a more experienced figure? We asked our writers for their thoughts

Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Derek Carter says...

Once again, our club has arrived at a crossroads and although we seem to have been here regularly in recent years, we must move in the right direction this time.

The problem is which way the current hierarchy are looking to go.

Are they looking abroad in the hope that someone with a bit of success can transfer their skills to the Championship and beyond, or will they be scouring the growing list of available head coaches within the domestic scene?

We’re already seeing the usual candidates being linked and it feels like a matter of time before that list includes the likes of Alan Curbishley and Alan Pardew!

I’ve no idea where they’ll be looking abroad, but if they want to stay closer to home then I think they could do a lot worse than sounding out Graham Potter, who may have had a rough time at Chelsea but has a distinct style of play and a level of tactical flexibility that would get the best out of our young squad.

Unfortunately, he’s unlikely to be considered because he wouldn’t come cheap, so it’s a ‘wait and see’ situation once again.

They were caught out with Alex Neil’s sudden departure but there’s no excuse this time round. There’s still a lot to play for, so let’s hope they don’t take an easy option and leave us treading water.

Sunderland v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ewan Bowman says...

For me, our next head coach should be Kevin Muscat.

Muscat is a former Millwall defender known for his hard tackling and no-nonsense defending, but his coaching style is completely different.

He utilises a possession-based, high tempo and front-foot style that would be welcomed with open arms by Sunderland fans. With his defensive career behind him, I also think he would improve our backline.

He currently has a 57% winning percentage at Yokohama F Marinos and his style has been compared to Ange Postecoglou, a fellow Australian.

His stock has risen and he did say in an interview a few months back that he’d be open to an opportunity in the UK. He was also recently linked with the Rangers job before they appointed Philippe Clement.

In my opinion, Muscat is a good option for the club and one I think we should pursue.

Yokohama F・Marinos v Albirex Niigata - J.LEAGUE Meiji Yasuda J1 Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says...

A balance needs to be struck as this is a chance to move forward but there’s also a risk that we may regress if we get the appointment wrong.

I agree that there’s a lot of potential in bringing in a young and ambitious coach from the continent, but we have to bear in mind that our team itself is very young, so we probably don’t want to go too unproven and take the risk of slipping down the table.

On the flip side, we already had a pretty reliable and experienced senior coach who did quite well for a spell but wasn’t suitable long term, for reasons which will doubtless come out in due course.

Going for someone who’s more experienced but more ‘long in the tooth’ and who maybe isn’t aware of modern coaching skills, tactics and playing styles could also mean we make little or no progress.

Ideally, we’d be looking for someone young but not inexperienced, with the ability to coach and mentor young players with modern and exciting playing styles and strategy, but who’s also able to advise and steer seasoned pros when needed. An easy task!

What I expect is someone who I’ve never heard of but who may be in the network of the hierarchy and who they feel is worth backing. Hopefully, they already have this person on the way in.

If this turns out to be a good balance between experience and modern thinking, I back this team to take us a step closer to being Premier League ready with our new boss at the helm.

If we go for one of the usual suspects as per the bookies lists, we may end up worse off than if we’d kept Mowbray happy.

Stade de Reims v AS Saint-Etienne - Ligue 1 Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Tom Albrighton says...

Thanks to the local press and their scathing reaction to Mowbray’s sacking, there’s only one characteristic we should look for in our new managerial recruit.

Quite simply, they must be an unquestioning slave to the mighty and all-powerful ‘Sunderland Model’.

If local journalists are to be believed, any and all dissent towards The Model and its willing subjects should be cast aside immediately, and it therefore makes complete sense that our next head coach succumbs to this magnificent beast.

Tactic acumen, enthusiasm and a willingness to work within a specific framework can all take a sidestep as our next gaffer must become so absent-minded they become one with The Model.

That means not questioning The Model. It means doing as The Model says and it means worshipping at the altar at the church of The Model.

Simply put, our next boss should have absolutely zero agency over their own thoughts and should offer their entire being to The Model.

The Model isn’t king. The Model is God.


Pause for thought


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