130-goal Sunderland legend could be the answer to 'rudderless ship' saga

Sunderland fans must be getting weary of the constant speculation around who will be the next head coach and who can blame them? The saga has dragged on far too long and has left the club looking like a rudderless ship heading for thick fog.

When the owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus announced an appointment was imminent, most of those interested will have knelt down, looked to the heavens and said, ‘thank goodness for that.’ Except it hasn’t happened yet and still the same old names get regurgitated until the time they sign on the dotted line with another club.

It’s tedious to say the least. Why don’t the club just get on with it? They acted quickly enough when Michael Beale was brought in after removing Tony Mowbray.

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When all is said and done, football is really about players. Yes, those players need to be motivated by a manager and it must be said that Mike Dodds, a lovely man, was as inspirational as a trip to the dentist as the club slumped alarmingly towards the end of last season. But it is they who decide how they will perform on any given day.

Maybe it’s time to go for someone like Kevin Phillips who is Sunderland through and through and as passionate as they come. Supporters would back him to the hilt. Could he do any worse than Beale?

What’s most important is getting someone in now so that players understand where they are. Someone like Phillips could be that added incentive for players to want to stay put.

OK, so he hasn’t got a great deal of experience. So what? Every manager gets sacked sooner rather than later. In Chelsea’s case, they recruit the best in the business and the 17 ‘permanent’ bosses they have had since 2004 have lasted a little more than a year each on average.

Sunderland have the nucleus of a good squad and keeping hold of the likes of Jack Clarke, Dan Ballard, Trai Hume, Dan Neil and Anthony Patterson should be high on the list of priorities. Who knows, appointing someone like Phillips while ending a painful wait might just be a good way of achieving that.