Dick Advocaat’s departure from Sunderland surprised no-one, and it was only ever a question of when rather than if the Dutchman would leave the Stadium of Light.
Seeking a fifth manager in two and a half years, there are plenty of intriguing names on the Sunderland shortlist to sit in the dugout for the clash at West Brom on October 17.
Top of that list is Sam Allardyce. The former West Ham and Bolton boss has been on sabbatical since leaving Upton Park in May, and the 60-year-old is the 11/10 favourite with Ladbrokes to take the hot seat.
Big Sam’s previous spell at a north-east club did not go well, and he lasted only half a season at Newcastle eight years ago, but the lure of such a task could prove too great to turn down.
Should the Black Cats and Allardyce reach an agreement, it would be a marked change of tactic from Ellis Short and the Sunderland board.
In recent seasons they’ve turned to Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat to turn things around, each with minimal Premier League experience.
All three succeeded in keeping Sunderland in the top tier, but with so much of the season still left to run, perhaps the club realise they need more of a lasting presence for their next appointment.
Allardyce ticks pretty much all the boxes for any club in the bottom half of the Premier League. Some disapprove of his style of play, but the fact is an Allardyce side has never been relegated from the top division.
Current Burnley boss Sean Dyche is also in the frame at 4/1, having been considered by the Black Cats over the summer.
The Englishman is one of the best young bosses in the game and led Burnley admirably in the Premier League last season, but having been in charge at Turf Moor since 2012, time could be right for Dyche to take on a new challenge.
At 6/1 Nigel Pearson is third favourite, and like Allardyce has plenty of experience in keeping club’s out of the drop zone.
He led Leicester to seven wins in their final nine games last season, but controversy is rarely far away for Pearson, which could be a factor.
And what about an outsider?
Ally McCoist’s only spell in England was with Sunderland in the early 80s, and the former Rangers boss is now free to speak to clubs following the termination of his contract with the Ibrox club.
The Scot can be backed at 50/1 to take his first job south of the border.
With Sunderland’s track record of appointments, you just don’t know…
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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