Sack, hire, stay up and repeat. That has been the club motto for Sunderland over the last four years. In those four years the Black Cats have appointed six different managers, and have staved off relegation each year, by courtesy of their club motto.
In keeping with tradition Sunderland are without a manager at a crucial point in their season, and are currently looking for the right man to save them by the skin of their teeth. It should be pointed out that Dick Advocaat was not sacked; he instead opted to resign, and therefore refused to be paid compensation. A gracious gesture from a man most Sunderland fans will not begrudge after his departure.
His appointment was questionable to begin with, as the Dutchman stated that he couldn’t see a long-term future with the club. This was epitomised by the financial incentive the Sunderland board offered him if he saved them from relegation.
Past appointments have hinted at a short-term fix rather than long-term stability. Paolo Di Canio is the obvious one who springs to mind. Of course it all ended in tears the following season after the Italian came in to keep them up the season before. Sunderland could have saved themselves a lot of trouble over the years if they sacked their managers every summer instead of during the season.
Di Canio replaced Martin O’Neill, who was perhaps Sunderland’s last realistic chance at stabilising the club. Surely if Sunderland had any ambition at all they would want to follow a model similar to one O’Neill had at Leicester City, Aston Villa and Celtic respectively.
Even Gus Poyet showed promise; he led Sunderland to a cup final, and performed the customary great escape at the end of the season.
The Black Cats are not dissimilar to their northeast rivals Newcastle United. Both clubs have a tendency to prematurely hire and dismiss their managers on a short-term basis. Some might argue that long-term Premier League survival ensures stability, regardless of the methods Sunderland have implemented. However for a club the size of Sunderland to be settling for 17th place year in year out is a little embarrassing.
The Black Cats have reached a very crucial point in their Premier League history. They have the opportunity to start afresh and build a team that can challenge in the seasons to come. But they must make sure they hire a manager for the long-term, and one they can stick by for the next three years. Sean Dyche, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes would all be good appointments for Sunderland.
It’s time for Sunderland to show some ambition and with players like Jeremain Lens and Yann M’Villa, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Stadium of Fright.
— Titanbet (@TitanBet) September 30, 2015