Date:Monday March 13 2006
How would the candidates for the Sunderland job fare on Wearside? We ask the fans of their current and former clubs what they think.
In the first of several parts, we begin with early favourites Alex Mcleish, Adrian Boothroyd, Kevin Keegan, Mike Newell and John Gregory:
'Mcleish is a great man, a true gentleman and I'm sure the Sunderland fans would take to him. You can't argue with his record. He won more in four years than what Martin O'Neill won in the same amount of time.
'He handles himself with dignity with the press, his fellow managers and opposition players.'
'He's won 7 trophies here at Rangers and it's easy to forget what he's done here because of disappointment in the league this season. Despite this, he's still got us to the last 16 in Europe. He'd do well at Sunderland, but might be looking for an immediate job in the Premiership.'
'He likes his team to play quick, passing football and go for the full 90 minutes. He sold himself to Watford with a real vision about what he wanted to achieve and how he was going to do it. He also has the ability to create a team and that is one thing Sunderland clearly are not at the moment.'
'Boothroyd has taken a relegation-threatened team and turned them into promotion contenders. We might yet be a division higher than you lot next season, keep your hands off!'
'Mike Newell is a pretty decent manager. His appraisal of matches is very honest. He will naturally be linked to vacancies but he is still learning his trade. I doubt that he would be ready for the sort of expectations that a club relegated from the Premiership would have.
'He is sometimes lacking in the tactics department and tends to want all out attack even at the expense of defence. When the team is firing on all cylinders up front they tend to win matches comfortably, but when they are frustrated and don't score, they over commit to attack and the defence either loses concentration or gets caught on the break.'
'Mad Kev will drive you up the wall at times and at others put a smile on your face. He started off well at City and got us promoted in what was one of the best seasons seen at Maine Road for years. Maybe he was meant to achieve promotions over anything else because his time in the top flight was a continuing story of decline.
'He appeared to be at the end of his tether as his time approached and it has to be said not to many were bothered when he left. All in all he could be good for you in the Championship but where is the money he craves? What about his Newcastle links? I also believe his reputation is now in decline after another inglorious departure. Sadly there is probably better around today.'
mcfcandy, Man City
'There's a lot of folk here who would have him back at Villa Park in a heartbeat. You could do a lot worse. He was on the verge of producing a very good Villa team, but was frustrated by Doug Ellis in his attempts to bring to the club the final one, maybe two players, needed to turn a table topping outfit into serious premiership title contenders.
'Life's never dull with him around, although some would question his man management skills. Certainly passionate and tactically aware, I'm surprised he's been without a managerial position for so long.'
glensider, Aston Villa
'Gregory would be about the best available to Sunderland in my opinion. He is desperate to get back into football and could do a very good job. He would set the team up first and foremost not to lose, so some deem that boring, but with the right players and backing, I'm sure attacking football would be his wish.
'Could be a very solid manager for you, but if your chairman is a berk, he had better watch out, JG doesn't mince his words.'
The Fear, Aston Villa
To see the next part of this article featuring the outside chances for the Sunderland job click here
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