If you were reflecting back on fond memories of supporting this football club, 2017 is generally not a year that would be at the forefront of any Sunderland fans mind. Relegated, broke and displaying very little direction as a club - Ellis Short’s Sunderland were a laughing stock.
Not long after the club lost their final Premier League game of the season to Chelsea, manager David Moyes left the club without surprise or disappointment from any involved with the club.
Along with Ellis Short looking for prospective new owners, the club were also looking for a new man who was brave enough to take on the poisioned chalice of managing us.
Many potential candidates had come and gone after being linked with the job. The search for a replacement was problematic because of the ongoing talks over a potential takeover with many consortiums linked with the job.
Reports from many news articles at the time had already listed out an abundance of candidates that were reluctant to take the job.
The likes of Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes and former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson are recent figures to turn down the Sunderland job or distance themselves from it.
Others such as Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder and new Middlesbrough manager Gary Monk have become unavailable for Sunderland to talk to since David Moyes departed over a month ago. Though there are suggestions Monk agreed to join ‘Boro the day after he left Elland Road.
A German consortium was said to be in talks with Ellis Short over taking the club over. With this in mind, potential candidates that they had identified for the managerial position were being mooted in the media.
This brought the legendary name of Jurgen Klinsmann into the frame. Klinsmann was out of a job after stepping away from the USMNT job the year previous and it seemed like a perfect fit for a man who had already had experience in England as a player.
Klinsmann posted a message on facebook to distance himself from the vacancy - and it was short but sweet:
No truth on rumours coaching Sunderland FC in the near future.
Further reports on the matter suggested that the German was happy with his lot in the US with his family settled in schools there.
The 52-year-old is settled in Malibu and his eldest daughter is in her final year of high school. His son, 20-year-old Jonathan, has recently been selected for a trial with Hertha Berlin but for now Klinsmann was never swapping California for Wearside.
Alas, it wasn’t be for Klinsmann and Sunderland. With this particular move falling through, Sunderland were back to square one with Simon Grayson still the favourite to take over the job.
With no manager in place, and the players returning to training in just a couple of days, coach Robbie Stockdale took training in the meantime.